You are the FIRST of your friends to be pregnant. Everyone is so excited and over the moon to meet your little bundle of joy. Soon though, they realize that having a baby is A LOT of work. You can no longer just drop everything and meet up. You are not as free to go to happy hour, the gym, or meet up after you get off work.
Messy buns, yoga pants and puffy eyes are your new attire but your heart is FULL. You are in love. Exhausted. Missing your friends. Feeling alone. Where is everyone? Why is no one coming over anymore? Your phone rarely buzzes. Did my friends forget about me? Read more
Congratulations, you have made it to your 3rd trimester. Your little one is packing on some weight and you feel her kicks and stretches even more powerfully now. You are super excited to meet her BUT have patience because there is a lot of developing she still needs to do before she can safely come earth side. Soon she will be in your arms.
As your delivery date approaches, the reality that labor is coming becomes more real. You HAVE to give birth to this baby.
At this point in your pregnancy, you should be thinking about or working on your birth plan (lets people specifically know what you DO and DO not want during labor, delivery and the immediate postpartum period). Some people want their goals written out, others just talk to their support people and make sure everyone is on the same page. Do whatever makes you feel the most comfortable.
Labor questions to ask your provider:
WHO will be delivering my baby? Again, is the OB or Midwife in a solo practice or in a group with other professionals? If a solo practice, ask who their back up/on call professional is. If a group practice, do I get to meet or schedule visits with the other doctors? What is your on call day?
Will you be at the hospital the entire time or do you come and go based on how I am progressing in labor?
When can we discuss my birth plan?
Are you ok with me NOT delivering on my back?
What is your position on inductions? Why would you induce me?
Vacuum and forceps usage?
Do I have to have an IV upon arrival? Oxytocin?
What monitoring do you recommend when I go into labor? External or internal?
Will you delay cord clamping?
Should I keep a copy of my prenatal records with me?
Do you perform cervical checks? If so, how often?
When labor begins, at what point should I call you?
Do you support vaginal breech births?
What is your c-section rate? Episiotomy rate? In what situations would you perform one?
How long will you let me go after my due date?
Understanding all your options and getting all your questions answered can help alleviate your fears, put you at ease to feel safe, informed and supported during your pregnancy and your labor and delivery.
Give me a call today to learn how I can help you feel the same way once your baby is in your arms and you are in the comfort of your home.
You have chosen your provider and the news that you are expecting is finally sinking in. Maybe you get an early sonogram picture and your heart explodes at the life growing inside you. The wheels in your mind are spinning as prenatal questions keep popping up. You devour pregnancy books and ask friends but you won’t have peace of mind until you chat with your provider.
As an RN, a former certified childbirth educator and co-author of Starting out Right: Positive Strategies to Guide Adolescents through Healthy Pregnancy and Childbirth, I have heard almost every possible question that people have during their pregnancy. A good amount I can answer, others I will tell you I need to get back to you and some I will tell you to ask your OB or Midwife. Read more
Dictionary.com defines self-care as “care of the self without medical or other professional consultation”
Happy New Year! The hustle of the holiday season has stopped and routines are starting back up again. Some people love to make new year’s resolutions, others do not. Some people work really hard and accomplish their resolutions and some give up after a few days or weeks. Me, on the other hand, I like to set goals and work towards them. Setting goals pushes me to work hard towards them but allows for LIFE to happen when it needs to and allows me to be guilt free! Read more
Picture this if you will, close your eyes and take a deep breath!
It is your first night home with your new baby. You feed, burp, change and swaddle the baby and place her gently in the bassinet next to your bed. You pull the covers up to your chin and settle in, it’s only 9:48pm but you feel like you haven’t slept in a week. You quickly fall asleep from sheer exhaustion but within 20 minutes your little one is up and hollering for something. You think, you CANNOT be hungry AGAIN! You throw the covers off and go to pick up this screaming little red cherry who is loudly exercising her lungs. You cuddle her on your nice warm chest, speak to her in a quiet voice and sway back and forth to get her to calm down. She gently nods off and you tip toe over to the bassinet and place her inside. You crawl back into bed and this same scenario plays over and over ALL night long till finally the sun comes up.
You are exhausted! That Mack truck that you heard about has crashed through your front door and hit you HEAD on. Your back, shoulders and arms are sore from holding the baby in various positions to keep her from crying. Your bladder is full and you need to change your pad. You discover diapers on the floor because you missed the diaper genie when you changed the 5th diaper at 3:14am. You look down and notice that your bra is undone and your left breast pad is missing, you can’t find your hair tie to pull your hair back and the dog is excitedly dancing at your feet because he is ready for breakfast.
You hand off your sweet, beautiful, perfect angel to your husband and peer over to see she is sound asleep on his chest, your heart explodes with LOVE and the silent tears silently roll down your cheeks. Welcome to parenting!
You grab your phone to capture this moment and see a text from Colleen, checking in to see how your night went and remind you that she will be there at 10am with breakfast burritos. You cry some more, just because! You can’t wait to see Colleen, she always makes you feel safe, heard, not judged, and helps you tap into your own instinctual abilities.
You think about taking a shower, brushing your teeth and combing your hair but your husband taps the couch next to him to come sit down and snuggle. You sink into his side and place your head on his shoulder, he gently kisses your head and tells you how amazing you are and how much he loves your new family. You take a deep breath, smile, wipe your tears and KNOW you totally GOT this!
What feelings did this scenario bring to your mind? Fear, excitement, sense of calm, overwhelmed, supported, loved? Memories of your own postpartum period? When you plan ahead, you will never be alone, whether it is just you and your partner or you have loads of family and friends ready to help out however you need. Talk to any parent and they will all tell you how overwhelming the first couple weeks can be with no support or resources to call on.
A postpartum plan is a starting point for discussions about how your family will adjust to life with a new baby.
The goal of this plan is to help parents identify people and resources BEFORE they are needed thus making their transition into parenthood a little easier.
As a postpartum nurse, doula and consultant one of services I offer is how to create and effectively use this postpartum plan.
Most expecting parents educate themselves, talk to friends and family members, research and plan for how to have the best pregnancy, labor and delivery, however their postpartum period is commonly overlooked and they assume they will just “figure it out.”
I like to compare pregnancy to planning a wedding; a lot of time and energy are invested in creating the perfect outcome (safe & healthy mom/baby to beautiful day to start your new life together. When you get a positive pregnancy test (you start googling everything, eat better, take vitamins, schedule doctors/midwife appointments, educate yourself on all your labor and delivery options, buy maternity clothes, decorate the nursery and pick out cute decor, buy baby books and take childbirth education classes. Planning the perfect wedding day includes researching invitations, picking dresses, florists, hair, make-up, colors, venues, time and day, music, food, etc). The postpartum period is kind of like the actual marriage (no one really plans for that)!
Having a postpartum plan in place allows you to focus on the remaining weeks of pregnancy and not fear the parenting journey that is ahead of you.
Can and will you survive your postpartum period without making a plan? Absolutely, but why not take some of the guess work out of it and plan ahead so when you are not at your best (mentally, physically or emotionally), it will already be taken care of.
There are so many little things that you can do today to make your first couple weeks smoother.
Now, I hear you say, I have family in town and they will help out and take care of things. My reply is AWESOME, FANTASTIC, so happy to hear that. I love working with the entire family. There is always room for more care and support when a new baby comes along. Most family members and friends are of great help, however, I am a professional who offers current, evidence-based and non-judgmental services to you and the entire family. If you are worried that your family members need some up-to-date information, let’s all get together and I would love to answer their questions so they can be the best possible support to you as you recover.
Some of the topics we will discuss in detail are:
What does your ideal postpartum period look like to you?
SLEEP: yes, you will get some
Infant feeding: breast, bottle or both
Roles & responsibility changes in the relationship
With over 18 years’ experience in the postpartum and breastfeeding fields I am a wealth of knowledge and expertise. I will adapt to meet whatever needs you and your growing family have and I work closely with amazing community partners to help out however your family needs as well. My passion is to support you and your family to have a positive, empowering postpartum experience and feel confident as parents.
Don’t get stuck not knowing who to call or who to ask for help. Don’t give up when you reach your frustration point. Plan ahead so when challenges arise, you can take a deep breath, re-visit your postpartum plan and call me.
A few hours to plan is all you need to put your mind at ease. Let me know when you are ready! I’ll be waiting to hear from you.
Who do YOU know that could benefit from my SERVICES:
A grandparent who has a son or daughter who is expecting?
Is your best friend going to have a baby soon?
Does your co-worker hang out in your office asking you questions?
Did your neighbor recently deliver?
Do you have out of town friends or family members who could benefit from a consultation about support services?
Gift certificates are ALWAYS available and make fabulous and unique Christmas and baby shower gifts.
Excerpts of “Why Hire a Postpartum Doula?”by Emily Flynn of Natural Child Magazine
“A doula is also there to help the family care for baby in the way that best meets their individual needs, without injecting personal bias or potentially negative advice. In the instance of things like baby wearing, co-sleeping, pacifiers, sleep training, and other topics that often trigger strong opinions, a doula helps guide the parents in making informed decisions and eventually following through with them without judgment. Where family and friends are irreplaceable parts of the postpartum adjustment period, there are some real advantages to hiring a doula to aid in this transition. Doulas are hired to help, not just to visit with the growing family. Doulas tend to be great networkers out of passion and necessity, and often maintain personal connections to providers such as massage therapists, chiropractors, herbalists, pediatricians, nutritionists,etc.”
Halloween might be over but Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years are right around the corner and did you know that 75% of Americans annual weight gain takes place during the holiday season? There are over 29 million adults or 1 out of 11 people living in the US that have diabetes and 1 out of 4 of those don’t know they have it! 1 out of 3 people will develop diabetes in their lifetime. Those are staggering statistics. Read more
In my quest to help families throughout their pregnancy and postpartum period, I stumbled across flotation therapy. I have to admit, I had never heard of this before so I was a tad skeptical but after talking to Kalyn Wolf, the owner of Cloud Nine, I wanted to learn more. I was eager to try it myself and now that I have thoroughly enjoyed it, I want to share it with the world. What makes the flotation tank so amazing you ask??? Just sit back and enjoy this blog because I know you will want to try it for yourself once you are done reading. First, it is automatic QUIET alone time (if you are a parent, this is an added bonus). You are in an environment free from gravity, stress, tension and pain. YES, it is safe to float during pregnancy and postpartum. Read more
In the October sea of PINK don’t forget the BLUE. Most people know that October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month but it is also Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month and October 15th is our day of remembrance. Did you know that 1 in 4 women will suffer a miscarriage or infant loss?
“A mother NEVER gets over losing her child. It doesn’t matter how long it has been, how old her child was when they died, or the reason they were taken away. GRIEF does not ever expire! Never tell a mother whose child died to move on, get over it, just “be happy” that their child is in HEAVEN now or you are sick of hearing about it? She has to live with it every SINGLE day.” Read more
Childbirth education classes were created to help inform, educate and empower parents so they feel confident and knowledgeable about their birth and early parenthood experiences. Anecdotes and studies alike will agree: it is an extremely good idea to start learning the ropes and making major decisions before you are in the throes of labor, breastfeeding and the early days of parenting. Prepare ahead of time. Dr. Google—while we all love to rely on him from time to time—is NOT where you want to turn at a time like this. Plus, the internet is widely known for providing a plethora of misinformation, and it’s sometimes difficult to discern current, research-based best practices from all the rest.
Whether you are planning for a medication-free birth, an epidural, a scheduled c-section, or have no time in your busy schedule…make childbirth education classes a priority. The investment of time and money are well worth the decreased anxiety and increased probability for healthier outcomes (outcomes, I might add, that will last you and your child a lifetime). Read more
Curious about labor and delivery and want to be better informed?
Interested in having some additional support during labor and delivery?
Concerned you don’t know enough about taking care of a newborn?
Recently had a baby?
Struggling with breastfeeding?
Want more sleep?
Worried about postpartum depression or anxiety?
Have to go back to work?
Nervous that your home isn’t baby-proofed?
If you answered YES to any of these questions, we can help! You are not alone. Pregnancy and parenting bring on a WHOLE LIST of new questions and concerns, joy and happiness, as well as fears and anxieties about doing everything right. Whether this is your first, second, fifth, or your SURPRISE baby, we have you covered. Read more