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In Defense of the Birth Plan

Ah, the birth plan…such a polarizing topic, am I right? In my experience, folks’ opinions on birth plans predominantly come from two camps:

First, there’s the Over-Planner Unrealistic Expectation Camp whose members feel like if they research and plan out as much as possible, they’ll get the birth of their dreams. (Cue Oprah: “You get a magical birth! And you get a magical birth!!”)

Then there’s the Fly by the Seat of Their Pants Camp, whose overarching opinion is that planning is futile since birth is so unpredictable anyway. If you don’t over-plan, you won’t get disappointed. Low expectations won’t let these parents down!

 

Now, these are obviously very oversimplified generalizations and I understand that most birthing couples have far more nuanced beliefs surrounding birth planning. However, I do think that these stereotypes speak a some truth and as a doula, it’s my job to help my clients hit a sweet spot that’s the best of both worlds. Below you’ll find the most common questions I get from clients when discussing the benefits of birth plans and my responses to those questions. Hopefully they’ll help shed some light on your way to creating your own balanced birth plan.

 

What’s the point in a birth plan if everything is going to change anyway?

Let me be clear here. When I advocate for clients to create a birth plan, I don’t mean that I think they should create a hard and fast legal document that they’ll nail to their delivery room door a la Martin Luther. There’s a big difference in creating a list of birth demands and creating a birth plan. Creating a plan requires birthing people to look at all of their options, weigh pros and cons, make decisions based on their values, priorities, and goals, and educate themselves about possibilities. Ideally, the process of creating a good birth plan will leave couples with a wealth of information that they can tap into if and when they deviate from the plan.

The other side of this coin begs the question: How do you know what you want or don’t want if you haven’t researched your options? Do you want your baby to be administered Vitamin K? How do you feel about the use of fetal scalp monitors? Do you want to labor down or have coached pushing? I can assure you that the easiest time to ponder these decisions is not during contractions or immediately postpartum, especially if you’re hearing your options for the very first time. If you’re completely comfortable deferring to others for the medical care of yourself/your partner/your baby, then by all means don’t make a plan. But if you’re the type who wants to know more or to better understand your options, planning is definitely for you.

My final thought on this question is that you will never regret knowing “too much.” Navigating a birth situation, especially for a first time parent, is much less tricky when you’ve taken the time to educate yourself on terminology, hospital policies, and potential procedures. A change in plan or an unexpected event during labor is a lot easier to manage when you’re not completely unfamiliar with the options that exist. Knowledge is power, my friends!

 

I don’t want to make a birth plan because I’m afraid talking about it will just scare me!

Okay, let’s lean into this for a minute. When I hear someone say that they’re frightened of birth I can infer a few things. First, this person is normal, and second, they have some some soul searching to do. Guys, our culture has not served us well in preparing us for birth. When the main birth narratives we’re taught from childhood center around horror stories, panicked scenes in movies, and “Yoouuu did this to meee!!”  it’s no wonder we’re scared. Combine that narrative with everything we’re not taught about women’s bodies and you’ve got some major blanks to fill. And what do we fill the blanks with? You guessed it, fear.

It is absolutely normal to fear what we don’t know. The Haunted House ride at Wonderland Park in Amarillo, Texas scared the cuss out of me as a kid. I almost peed my pants and broke my sister’s hand when she forced me to go in it with her. I didn’t know what to expect except to know that I was embarking on a journey of abject terror: it was dark, loud, clammy, musty, and full of strobe lights. I rode it with my eyes screwed shut the entire time except for the portion during which my sister told me it was safe and I opened my eyes to see a zombie driving a freight train right at my face. Good times, good times.

But here’s the thing: the Haunted House wouldn’t have been so scary if I had known what to expect. If I had been given a calendar that stated the month I was scheduled to  visit the Haunted House, I’d have had time to psych myself up for it. If I had been given a guidebook that told me the different rooms I would travel through, I’d know that our vehicle would pass some bats, a clown or two, and four to eight severed heads on pikes. If someone had taught me the mechanics of how those severed heads popped up, I would have been able to anticipate the scares and manage my response accordingly. By the time I got to the zombie train, I’d have known that the ride was almost over and daylight was just around the corner.

When we know what to expect, the unknown isn’t as scary. I think it’s very important for us to dismantle our fears surrounding birth. What specifically are we afraid of? What is the root of this fear? What is the worst thing that could happen if this fear came true? What practical things can we do to prepare ourselves for the things that scare us? When we speak our fears and give them names, we take away their power. Once I finally knew what to expect from the Haunted House at Wonderland Park, it had significantly less power over me. I was far more confident riding with knowledge than when I knew nothing and buried my head in my sister’s shoulder, trying to pretend it wasn’t happening. I still got nervous when I rode the Haunted House the second time, but I started to enjoy the thrills and cheap gags for what they were. The more I knew, the better able I was to cope. And guess who closed the Haunted House down at Wonderland that day? This kid.

 

This isn’t my first baby, so I know the drill and a birth plan isn’t really necessary.

I understand the temptation to fall into this line of thinking. I’ve got four children of my own and I know full well how impossible it can feel to even think about stealing one uninterrupted minute to plan for a subsequent birth. When you’re pregnant and parenting other kids, it’s easy to feel as though giving birth is like riding a bike. And in some ways it is…until it’s not.

I like to remind clients that every birth and every baby are different. So many factors contribute to how a birth will play out from baby’s positioning to how mama is feeling emotionally. You only get to do each birth once, so it behooves you to take some time to remind yourself of what your birth goals are and reevaluate your previous births to see what you loved and things that you’d do differently this time. Birth planning for seasoned parents is likely to be less time intensive than for first timers, but again, you’ll never regret taking the time to recenter and refresh your knowledge.

 

 

To conclude, birth plans can be an incredibly useful tool when created with evidence-based research, open hearts, and room for flexibility. I take pride in the fact that I spend a large amount of time with my clients discussing and planning for their births. I value birth planning so much that I even offer Birth Brainstorming sessions independent of my birth doula services for folks who just want assistance in planning their births. Sometimes it’s just nice to have an unbiased third party to bounce ideas off of! You can find more information on Birth Brainstorming sessions on my Services page.

What about you? Are you a planner, do you prefer to go with the flow, or are you a combination of both? Remember, at the end of the day, plan or no plan, this is your body, your baby, and your best birth. I’m here to support and educate you however I can, so feel free to reach out and let’s chat!

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The Unhealthy Hustle

Where my postpartum anxiety/depression friends at? 🙋‍♀️🙋‍♀️🙋‍♀️



“The more anxious we are, the more high-functioning we will make ourselves appear, which just encourages the world to lean on us more.” – Sarah Wilson



Anyone else identify strongly with this statement?



Personally I can easily say that the height of my PPA/PPD struggle was when I was hustling most to make it look like I wasn’t struggling at all. And guess what? I was incredibly convincing. Chalk it up to my expensive theater degree (thanks, Mom and Dad!) or to the overwhelming pressure I felt to not be perceived as weak or needy, but the more I struggled the more I hustled to cover it up.



It was exhausting. It was overwhelming. It was indescribably unhealthy. It did not serve me, my husband, our family, or the greater community in any way. None.



Repeat after me: Sometimes the hustle is not healthy.



If you’re hustling to further your career or keep your body strong or to achieve your goals, you go get it! I am proud of you for the work you’re putting in and I will cheer you on every step of the way.



However, if you’re hustling to prove to someone that you’re capable, to prove that you’re fine on your own, that you don’t need help, that’s a problem.



If you’re hustling to cover up feelings of shame, that’s not healthy.



If you’re hustling to keep up with any arbitrary cultural standard, that’s a problem.



If you’re hustling because you don’t feel like you’ll let people down if you step back or say no, that’s an issue.



If you’re newly postpartum or deep into that 4th Trimester of baby’s first year and you find yourself hustling, I want you to take a minute to question. Ask yourself, why am I so exhausted? Did I lose sleep? Am I feeling more than just blues? Am I struggling with extreme emotions like sadness or anger? Am I secretly over-using or becoming too dependent upon substances or other numbing mechanisms to cope? (Think misuse of food, alcohol, excessive social media use, etc.) Am I taking on new tasks or responsibilities because they’re things that bring me joy and satisfaction or because I feel obligated or because I want to make others happy with me?



If these questions strike a chord, you need to get creative and prioritize yourself. I know that’s hard, especially when you’re keeping kids alive and have other responsibilities. But remember, your family/baby/husband/coworkers also need you to prioritize yourself.



The height of the struggle is not the time to hustle more. It is time to prioritize rest and mental health. Remember, your schedule should reflect what works, not what’s “normal.” Be creative. I have a friend who spent the first two years of her baby’s life staying up all night and sleeping for most of the day. That’s what worked for her family and it was perfect. Do what works even if it seems bizarre to others.



It’s incredibly difficult to stop hustling, especially if you’re anxious and depressed. If you’re overwhelmed and you need help to stop the cycle, reach out. The lie says that you’re the only one struggling, you’re a burden, be quiet because your life is easier than most, and on and on and on. The truth is, everyone is struggling. Everyone. You are not a burden. Ever. Also, all the cool moms go to therapy. (That’s a little tongue in cheek but truthfully speaking, talking to an unbiased third party for the better part of a year saved my sanity. Therapists, counselors, priests, pastors, mentors, friends, support groups…they’re all there to listen and support. Use your resources. You will never regret it.) Constant hustling perpetuates the cycle. Just like in labor, the only way out is through. But also just like in labor, there are people ready and willing to support you. You don’t have to shoulder life all on your own. You’re worthy, my friend.



Need a place to start? Try the following resources:
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On Receiving

Mama, you don’t have to do it alone. I know you’ve probably been fed a steady diet of American culture your entire life. You’ve been taught to value independence, hard work, self-sufficiency, and stick-to-it-iveness. If you happen to be a Texan like me, you were brainwashed at an early age to respect those who don’t aren’t dependent upon others to pull themselves up by their bootstraps and get shit done.

 

But, Mama, what if I told you that’s all an impossibility? What if I told you that, while life does call on us to dig deep and be our own heroes from time to time, it’s often the grace of receiving that truly pulls us through.

 

It is hard to receive, so hard to accept help when it’s offered, much less dare to ask for it ourselves. So many of us would prefer to struggle under our burdens with forced smiles rather than to accept assistance when it is offered.

 

Why?

 

Because accepting help is admitting lack. Admitting lack. Everything in me recoils at the thought of that, of admitting that I’m lacking. There it is again, the culture rooted deep telling me that I’m supposed to have it together. I’m supposed to have it in me to be self-sufficient. I’m supposed to have, not lack.

 

But, Mama, we do lack. We do and that’s okay. The illusion of doing it all, juggling all the things, being self-sufficient, above all not being needy, it’s all a lie. It’s all an impossibility designed to alienate and isolate us.

 

I think it’s difficult to receive for a number of reasons. I struggle with it quite a lot, that feeling of shame for needing and lacking. But I think that receiving well pushes us out of our comfort zone beautifully. It’s hard to admit that we’re lacking in any way, and yet I don’t believe that “lack” has the power to change anything about our personal value or our identity, not in the way our culture would have us believe. Friend, the amount we do, the things we accomplish, the items we tick off our to-do lists, the amount of laundry folded (not put away, let’s not go completely crazy here), none of that truly speaks of our value as people. And more than just people, our ability to achieve or the fact that we lack bears no reflection of our worthiness as human beings carrying souls inherently anointed with dignity.

 

Obviously, I’m asking you to swim against the current. I’m asking you to reach out in a world that shames you for needing. But, Mama, I think we can both agree that we’d like to raise children who are able to ask for help when they need it. We want our kids to reach out to us when they need something, whether that’s demanding another trip to the bathroom (during which they’ll tell us to leave), or to help navigate middle-grade friendships, or to ask our advice on how to soothe their new babies so their wives can rest. If we want to raise these people, we have to be these people ourselves.

 

Receiving well requires humility. We have to be okay with our own lacking. We have to own our story and be willing to be vulnerable (for more on that, go read all the Brene Brown you can). And there’s always the argument that allowing people to help us is a blessing to them. Receiving big things from others is an opportunity to allow others to practice charity, something sorely needed in our communities. If someone offers something to you, whether its a small thing like a meal or something of more monetary value like an expensive stroller or a flight to visit your family, they’ve offered that thing because they wanted to, because they love you. The people in your life want to bless you. They really do or they wouldn’t offer.

 

All of this rambling to say, Mama you do not have to do this alone. You are allowed to want and need help. Hiring a postpartum doula or a housekeeper is not admitting defeat, it’s practicing good self care and allowing another person to provide for her own family, which is an amazing gift in and of itself. Using formula instead of breastfeeding is not “taking the easy way,” it’s choosing the right  path for your baby and body. Texting a friend with the hard, harsh, honest truth about how you’re feeling is not being needy, it’s finding support when you’re feeling overwhelmed. Seeing a mental health professional is not a sign of failure, it’s a sign of strength.

 

Mama, you don’t have to do any of this on your own. You may be lacking, but it is our lack that makes us beautifully real. Our lack is not a deficit, but an opportunity. If you’re struggling to receive, don’t make snap judgements. When you’re offered something (a gift of time, money, assistance, etc) take a moment to think through why you’re inclined to turn it down. Is it because of shame? Shut that liar up. Is it because you feel like an inconvenience? Remember that people wouldn’t offer unless they truly wanted to give the gift. Is it because it genuinely wouldn’t be a help? Respectfully decline and feel free to be vulnerable and tell that person what would actually be helpful.

 

Are you turning down help because you don’t feel worthy? Mama, you are worthy. You are so worthy of time and love and acceptance and rest. Be gentle with yourself. You were not made to do it all. You were not made to transform into a doormat, beaten down, and weary from your vocation. You were, however, made for community. You were made for friendship and sisterhood. You were made to give and receive help. You just have to open yourself up to it.

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Amy’s Blessingway

Guys, I love Blessingways. I love them so much, but sometimes it feels like zero other people even know what a Blessingway is. In my extremely unbiased opinion (cough, cough) I think our American culture does a really wonderful job of preparing families for new babies with things, but not preparing them emotionally or mentally for the changes that come with a newborn. Baby showers are absolutely amazing and totally necessary, but birth is so much more than an opportunity to collect clever onesies and stock up on diapers. We do mothers a huge disservice when we only prioritize things for their baby and neglect their mental and emotional health.

 

Enter the Blessingway.

 

Blessingways, or Mother Blessings, trace their lineage back to traditions of the Dine Navajo people. A Blessingway differs from a traditional baby shower in that the focus is solely on preparing the mother-to-be mentally, emotionally, and spiritually for labor, birth, and welcoming a new soul into the world.

 

I had the privilege of helping host a Blessingway for a dear friend and doula client the other day, so I thought I’d take the opportunity to show off what the morning looked like and what we did!

 

It was such a beautiful day. The mother-to-be, Amy, hosted in her home and we had a delicious brunch with a small group of her close friends. I think it’s important to remember to keep your guest list short. It’s best for the vibe to be intimate, so make sure you’ve got a group of people who feel comfortable being a little vulnerable together. By vulnerable, I mean a group of pals who feels safe to you, who are okay with speaking truth to your heart, praying together, things like that.

 

At Amy’s Blessingway, conversation was joyful and uplifting. We spent a lot of time talking about our own shared labor experiences and got on our soapboxes about how women are far more capable to birth than our culture believes. We talked about the funny parts of our birth stories and bonded over our shared identities as mothers.

 

Amy asked that everyone bring a card with a scripture or quote that would be an encouragement to her as she prepares for baby. Blessingways are not necessarily religious, but the definitely lend themselves to many different faith traditions. The beauty of a Blessingway is that you can customize it to include whatever speaks most to your heart. Birth affirmations, scriptures, quotes, mantras, and prayers all work well here.

 

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We were also asked to bring a bead to Amy’s Blessingway. Beads are a common Blessingway tradition. I’ve had clients string them into necklaces to wear during labor or just put them on a string to hold or look at while they’re laboring. Beads can be a tangible way to count your way through contractions or could be a visual to focus on during labor. When each person gave Amy their bead, we explained why we chose that particular bead and what it symbolized. This is such a beautiful opportunity to speak truth to the heart of a mama and to remind her how strong and capable she is.

 

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Amy’s dear friend, Karolann, explaining her gift beads.

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A Blessingway can be as elaborate or simple as you’d like. Some folks like to include henna art for the expecting mama and her guests. Amy was gifted some beautiful henna belly art before her Blessingway by Kera Marie of Traditions HennaI mean, can you even believe how gorgeous this is? She incorporated the handprints of Amy’s other kids and even Amy’s favorite animal, an octopus…gold stars if you can spot him!

 

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After we finished up all the activities, attendees were given a candle to light when Amy was laboring and a blue string to tie around our wrists to remind us to pray for her. It was a truly lovely and special morning.

 

Ultimately, throwing a Blessingway is just such a beautiful way to hold space for expectant mothers and honor their journey toward birth. Blessingways can also be very healing for mothers delivering babies during or after difficult circumstances like the loss of a baby or another family member, a deployment, or after a difficult previous birth. These ceremonies are also wonderful for preparing mamas for VBACs or even a scheduled c-section. The options are endless! If you’re interested in hosting a Blessingway for a friend or having one for yourself, I do offer Blessingway services. Feel free to hit me up and we’ll plan an event customized to your personality and birth. Happy Blessing, everyone!

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Finding Peace in the Paradox

We live in a paradoxical time, do we not? As parents we often find ourselves living in a bizarre balancing act of “long days/short years” meets “just wait for when your kids (fill in the blank) meets “do what makes you happy” meets “live in the moment” meets “if you don’t do or plan XYZ for your family, you’re failing” meets complete and total mental breakdown.

 

As mothers, we find ourselves in a time in which society is beginning to place more value on self care and mental health, but in which our culture also admonishes us to be true to ourselves while simultaneously placing illogical and impossible expectations on us as mothers raising families. We cannot be all things to all people, and yet we’re kind of expected to be.

 

So, what’s a gal to do?

 

I honestly don’t have one great answer to finding a peaceful middle ground on all of this. But I sure identify with feeling pushed and pulled toward many different ideas of thought. And the truth is, there’s a lot of value in each of these ideologies. It’s completely true that the days are long and the years are short. It’s also completely true that we cannot expect women to love every moment of pregnancy or motherhood. We need to temper our need to plan for the future with some good quality mindfulness that helps us appreciate the everyday moments we might otherwise miss. We should cherish those baby days, but we’re certainly allowed to look forward to a time when we’re not wiping butts all day.

 

While I don’t have an answer for solving the world’s problems (mother-related or otherwise), I do think I’ve stumbled upon some things that sure help take the edge off. When I’m feeling pushed, pulled, frustrated, and overwhelmed with my vocation as mother and then feeling guilty about how I’m feeling, these are some tried and true methods that have helped me come back up for air when I feel like I’m losing it.

 

Identify your stressors then plan ahead.  When you’re in a calm state of mind, take a moment to assess which things contribute most to your sense of chaos and stress. Are you annoyed by a particular person posting on Facebook? Do you find yourself slipping into comparison mode on Instagram? Are you unable to avoid unwanted advice from a particular co-worker? Identify a few things that you can easily see contributing to your anxiety and, this is key, problem solve how to stop them.

A priest recently counseled me that we have to have a strategy for avoiding the things that trip us up. It’s not good enough to identify stressors, complain about them, and then go on our way. We have to strategize ways to react to stressors in the future in order to experience any sort of change. Remember, if nothing changes nothing changes. So, take apps off your phone, unfollow people, prepare quick responses and changes of subject ahead of time so your co-worker doesn’t take you by surprise again. Strategy is everything. If we can head anxiety off at the pass, then we’ve made some real progress!

 

Cultivate a peaceful environment. I’m naturally a very messy person, but I’ve come to realize that a clean house is quieter than the slob hole I naturally create. So I make it a priority to try to keep things clean. My clean home is truly only motivated by the fact that it is quieter, more restful, and peaceful when things are put away. That, and the fear of unexpected company. I hate cleaning, but I hate poor mental health even more, so I pick up. My clean environment also includes the air and the volume of my home. If I’m stressed, I put on the diffuser and take time to play a calming podcast for the kids or use music to otherwise set the tone. Cultivating a peaceful environment can also mean planning ahead and having good, filling food available specifically for times when things are crazy. Take the time to put together a snack plate that’s ready for the after school/work rush and crash.

I rarely actually want to do these things in the moment. January Harshe calls this “ugly self care.” I may have to actually force myself to clean the kitchen at night, but I do it as a gift to my future self. I never actually love meal prepping for the week, but my future self appreciates it on a Wednesday night after the whole world has got to pot. We may have to get scrappy with ourselves and force ourselves to prioritize these things that aren’t second nature to us, but ugly self care is better than no self care at all.

 

Cultivate a gentle environment. Take stock in what you’re putting in your brain. If a particular childbirth or parenting birth causes you to feel waves of shame or worry, it’s probably not the right fit. If you’re struggling with feelings of inadequacy, it’s probably not the time to scroll Pinterest or watch shows featuring “perfect” people and homes. This goes for the music and shows you’re putting on for your kids, too. If mama’s feeling wound too tight, this is not the time for annoying character shows with high pitched voices and lots of jumping and flashing lights. Just cut that crap right out. Make sure that the things you’re reading, watching, and allowing to fill the background noise of your space are encouraging and gentle. This is the time for Mr. Rogers, Reading Rainbow, and Wall-E. Let the newest season of Making a Murderer wait and cultivate gentleness in the media you consume.

 

Remember what is true. It’s so easy for us to get caught up in the what-if’s and the could be’s, especially in pregnancy and motherhood. What if I have to be induced? What if my toddler hates the new baby? What if my kid never starts sleeping and I can’t function at work? What if I fail as a parent and my kid turns out to be an axe-murdering hobo? 

When the hypotheticals start taking control, I always remind clients to make a list of what we know to be true. Writing down the facts is incredibly grounding and helpful. have created a birth team who loves and supports me. I have worked hard to educate myself on my options. I have detailed contingency plans in place. I can change my mind at any time. I can trust my intuition. My children know that I love and adore them. I am valued by my boss and co-workers because they said so at the staff meeting.

We can swim around in hypothetical situations all day long, but we’ll never get anywhere unless we temper that with truth.

 

Prioritize rest. Contrary to popular belief, you’re not more deserving of love if you’re busier. You don’t get gold stars for working yourself to death or for not feeding your body properly, or burning the candle at both ends. You’re no good to anybody if you’re burnt out, so prioritize rest. There is no shame in giving your body what it needs. And your body needs rest. It’s a non-negotiable.

 

Self-care and chaos-killing strategizing are my go-to tricks for beating the “caught in the paradox” blues. What helps you fight feeling overwhelmed when you’re pregnant or in the trenches of motherhood? As always, don’t forget to love yourself, and be gentle with yourself. You are worthy and deserving and I guarantee you’re doing just fine.

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5 Reasons You Shouldn’t Hire a Postpartum Doula

Wondering if a Postpartum and Infant Care doula is right for your family? You may want to take the following into consideration while making your decision.

  1. You Live in a Village. One question I get asked quite often when someone finds out I’m a Postpartum and Infant Care doula, is: “Why would I need a postpartum doula when I have my mom?”  It’s a very honest and legitimate question. Here is my answer. If you are blessed enough to have a mother (or other close relative or friend) willing to help you out after having a baby, great! That’s wonderful, and I am so happy for you. But family isn’t always close by. Families are now spread out, not only across the country, but across the world! Gone are the days of having relatives down the block, able to pitch in at a moment’s notice. We are separated by distance now. Furthermore, even if a relative could make the trip and be with you after giving birth (or if they happen to live nearby) many have responsibilities of their own to take care of. They have jobs and families of their own to get back to. They may be able to offer you a few days, maybe a week’s worth of help, but that may be it. A nice respite, sure, but hardly sustainable. A postpartum doula steps in to fill this need  for as long as the family needs.
  2. You Never Need Help. Cooking, cleaning, laundry, errands, meal preparation, older child care, pet care…plus getting to know and caring for a new baby all while healing from labor and delivery? “No big deal”…said no mother ever. The fact of the matter is, we all need help sometimes. A postpartum doula is there so that you can spend more time healing and bonding with your baby and family, and less time worrying about the laundry. Each visit from a postpartum doula will be tailored to fit your family’s unique needs that day. Need someone to care for baby while you take a much-deserved shower and nap? We do that. Need someone to fold laundry, wash dishes, or meal prep while you tend to baby? We do that. Need help handling older children and a new baby? We do that. Need a non-judgmental, supportive ear and a shoulder to cry on? We do that. Our goal is to see the family experience a smooth and joyful transition during this time.
  3. You Never Have Any Questions or Doubts. If you never have any questions concerning postpartum recovery, breastfeeding positions, latch, bottle-feeding, reflux, bathing, co-sleeping, or a myriad of other questions that come up during the postpartum stage, then you may not need a postpartum doula. However, if like most of us you do have questions, a Postpartum and Infant Care doula offers a wealth of information and non-judgmental support during this confusing and overwhelming time.
  4. You Never Need to Sleep. Let’s face it: Most of us need adequate sleep in order to feel our best mentally and physically. Unfortunately, the time when you need rest the most-a time when your body and mind need to take time to recover-is when most families experience the least amount of sleep they’ve had in years. A postpartum doula is here to guarantee that you get the rest and sleep that you deserve and need. Whether it’s a cat-nap in the afternoon, or a few hours sleep at night (yes, postpartum doulas offer night-time care as well! Sleep well knowing your baby is being lovingly cared for.), a postpartum doula will make sure you get adequate rest.
  5. You are Wonder Woman. Actually, scratch that. I’m sure even Wonder Woman could use unbiased support and a chance to ask questions and voice frustrations without fear of judgment. Everyone needs someone in their corner cheering them on.

 

Stacie

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Feature Friday!

Each Friday we share a company, product, or individual that we think is worth a follow! Read about them below and be sure to give them some love!

 

This week’s Follow Friday features Laurelbox, a company that creates boxes specifically curated to offer love, sympathy, and support to women experiencing loss. Whether you’re shopping for something comforting for a friend experiencing miscarriage or stillbirth, something to tide over your sister while her toddler is hospitalized, or you want to show your best friend she’s thought of as she wrestles with the loss of a spouse, Laurelbox has you covered.

 

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Shop here!

 

I’ve personally used Laurelbox to love on a friend undergoing surgery and I was so impressed. The items are timeless and feminine with a nostalgic vintage feel. The thought that goes into creating these products is unparalleled. Selections range from jewelry to coffee cups, teas and oils specially blended for comfort, and hand made prayer shawls that literally wrap your loved one in a hug when you may be apart. You can order individual items or purchase box subscriptions that will make sure your recipient doesn’t fall through the cracks in the long months after a loss. Boxes are curated for specific types of losses or you can build your own, so the sky’s the limit on how you want to spread the love.

 

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Shop here!

 

I love that this company is run by two cousins,  Johanna and Denise, who clearly see that they’re doing more than just running an online shop. They have such a gift for putting into words all the emotions that can be so difficult for our hearts to articulate. They hand write each note on a gorgeous card that is included with your purchase. If you’re not sure what to say, they’ve even got a suggestion for that! They’ve literally thought of everything.

 

 

Also, don’t miss the Laurelbox blog, which has really great posts on topics such as what to say to a grieving friend instead of “how are you,” tips for bringing food someone suffering a loss,  and much more. You can follow Laurelbox on Facebook and Instagram @laurelbox or find them on their website, www.laurelbox.com.

 

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