Posts in category dads

Pregnancy, Birth, and Parenting Affirmations

Pregnancy, Birth, and Parenting Affirmations jax placenta

Pregnancy, Birth, and Parenting Affirmations

Pregnancy, birth, and parenting affirmations are one way to stay positive and feel more grounded and centered. October is the perfect month to begin a daily affirmation routine and we are going to help you get started!

The best news is you’ve already seen and used some affirmations in your everyday life. Think about those positive memes you read on social media sites and posters you see in the conference rooms, those are affirmations!

Pregnancy, Birth, and Parenting Jacksonville, Placenta

Pregnancy will test your limits in every way.

In fact, pregnancy is a really great time to start a daily affirmations routine because it helps you become more positive-minded and relaxed before your upcoming birth! Being the best parent for your child begins with feeling good each day. Starting now in pregnancy will give you more time to practice before your baby is born and improves your chances of continuing your practice once your baby has made their arrival.

The last few weeks of pregnancy presents with its own set of unique challenges.

Your belly seems to bump into everything, you have to pee at least a hundred times a day, and two-hundred times at night. You’re not sleeping well and your feet hurt. It seems likely your baby can’t get here fast enough and you know this because every single person keeps asking, “Have you had that baby yet?”

During labor and birth you will do best of you are relaxed and at peace.

Affirmations are designed to do just that! There are very few times in your life when you’ll birth a baby. No matter how or where you are choosing or need to birth you’ll look back and remember the details of the day for the rest of your life. How you felt and how you were treated will matter. Creating a set of personalized affirmation cards that you really connect with to use through labor and birth is on my list of “Top 3 Must Haves For Birth”. Following right behind hiring a great doula, and taking an excellent birthing class! You, your partner, and your doula can utilize these cards in labor. Not only to help you directly, but to help yhem feel more grounded, confident, and calm indirectly influencing all who are in your birth space!

There is no harder or more rewarding job in the World than parenting!

Being a parent is not for the faint, you will be tested on every level and pushed beyond what you ever thought possible. From day #1 your life is turned upside down in a good, but crazy way. From one age and stage to the next, children change so quickly.

Affirmations help you connect with your inner self. They can help ground you and refocus you in times of stress. Taking time to practice and repeat affirmations will help you be the very best you can be for yourself and your family!

Be The Best You Can Be in Pregnancy, Birth, and Parenting With Two Rules for Daily Practice:

Intention

  • Set a reminder on your phone.
  • Practice daily for a minimum of 20 minutes.
  • Make the most of your time. It allows you to be the best you that you can be.
  • Create a space as a visual commitment.
  • You have to believe what you want to achieve. When beginning your practice choose affirmations that you connect with and believe in.

Attention

  • Silence your phone
  • Set an alarm for 20 minutes and do not think about the time while practicing.
  • Practice in a way that allows you to get the most of your time. You may only use one affirmation for 20 minutes or you may focus on several.
  • Completely submerge yourself while you’re practicing.

Each day in the month of October First Coast Doulas is sharing affirmations to our Instagram account making it easy for our followers to begin or add to their daily practice! Begin today with the affirmations in the attached picture, “I am stronger than my fears!” Follow us on Instagram @ fcdoulas

How Babies Tell You They Love You

How Babies Tell You They Love You

5 Ways Babies Tell You They Love You placenta capsules in jax

 

Those first 6 weeks of life after giving birth are surreal, overwhelming, beautiful, crazy, (your turn to fill in the blank). You name it and parents somewhere, in a home not far from your own, have felt and experienced it too!

After 6 weeks things begin to get easier as you settle into more of a loose routine. You are learning your baby and your baby is learning how to live life outside the womb.

It sounds cliché, but it does get easier!

As you survive the first year of parenting it’s so easy to get caught up in the day to day challenges, your own thoughts, and self-doubt. You’re responsible for this tiny little person who came rushing into the world and captured your heart. This little person whose only mode of communication is squeals, squirms, rooting, cries, grunts, and smells. Not our dominate communication style as adults, but you are doing amazing!

I see new parents bravely venturing into uncharted territory, parents who love their children and want to be the very best they can be for their children. They have their own ideas of what the “best” is. I commend all parents for just sticking with it, sometimes it’s just surviving, and sometimes it thriving, that’s why I am there, to help them thrive!

This list may be laughable, but it’s the truth. We could all benefit from a little more laughter and a lot more encouragement!

In honor of all of you amazing parents out there, here’s how babies tell you they love you:

Your Baby Wakes

Your baby sleeps off and on all day and the very moment you slip off to sleep he wakes up for a long stretch. He wakes to eat, to see your face and hear your heartbeat! A face he’s studying and a heartbeat he knows as home.

Your Baby Poops

Your baby is an eating and pooping machine. I think everyone of us have asked ourselves at least once, “how is it possible for one tiny human to poop this much?” Am I right? Being a super pooper means they are great eaters!

How do they know to poop just after we put a fresh diaper on their booty? You got to love that they’ll wait until it’s time for a diaper change, I mean come on, how do they know?

There is a running joke between current clients of ours, they’re certain that their baby waits till dad returns home before pooping each day and poops at bath time when it’s dads turn for bath routine. Baby genius!

Your Baby Knows

Does your baby seem to always want you? Does he only want you to soothe him in times of distress? Whether it’s teething, illness, or fighting sleep, these babies know they’re smart! They sense you; they just know it’s you!

Has there ever been a day where Murphy’s Law seemed to apply to you all day long when going out with your baby? Blow-outs, spit up, fussy fits, oh my!

They Say “Mama/Dada”

Those magical words are sometimes anticipated and other times it takes you by surprise. Why is it they only say the magical word to you the first gillion times? She clearly repeats the most exciting words ever spoken, over and over, but only when you’re alone. Pull out that camera and you are sure to get a precious, but confused gawk while you wait without success for those words, “Mama”, or “Dada”. What gives?

Then, One Day, They Say It

Just when you thought nothing could be sweeter than those cute giggles, smiles in their sleep, seeing them milk drunk, and hearing the words Mama and Dada, she speaks the sweetest words ever spoken from a child to her parents: I Love You!

“I Love You” makes all those sleepless nights, whining and crying, miserable days of teething, and all those explosive diapers worth it. You wouldn’t trade those words for anything!

In those moments you feel engulfed with love and it’s what living is all about!

How babies tell you they love you may seem small now, but they’ll be meaningful memories you will cherish and carry with you for the rest of your days. Again cliché, but it’s true, you’ll look back and miss these days! No truer words have ever been spoken.

Share this blog with a new mom or dad, an expecting couple, your friends, sisters, co-workers, and neighbors. You never know who you’ll touch with these encouraging words!

 

Delivery Room Etiquette

Delivery Room Etiquette

Delivery Room Etiquette best doulas in jax

Wedding and delivery room etiquette blogs are becoming more popular for good reason. This blog goes right along with some of the benefits of hiring a doula to support you and your partner while you’re giving birth to your baby. This blog was inspired by the above linked blog!

 

To Rest or Not to Rest

Your doula can give your partner a rest. Your doula actually helps both you and your partner to get sleep and rest that’s beneficial through-out labor. yes, sleep and rest in labor. It looks different at different stages in labor and depending upon the couple’s needs.

Phone Calls or Power Off

Your doula phones home! She can reply to text messages or stay with you while your partner steps away to update family and friends if that is needed. Your mom, mother in law, best friend, and sister all need an update. You don’t have to choose, your doula is happy to help in several ways to support your birth experience!

Paparazzi or Nah

If you opt to not to have a professional photographer join your team in the delivery room your doula is happy to snap the pictures you want and leave off the rest. Sometimes support is holding your hand and helping you remain “in the zone” and sometimes it’s getting pictures using your camera or phone, we have you covered!

Feeling Faint

Doulas are there to support your partner too, our top priority is to support you both in the way that is best for you specifically. That may look like hip squeezes and counter-pressure through a few contractions and getting your partner a cool glass of water and a fan in between.

Complaints or Compliments

Partners bust their ass! They are expected to be and do so much through pregnancy, labor and birth. Hold down the calls and texts, carry the bags, get your drink, hold your leg, stroke your skin, take care of older siblings, and stay awake. All of that with no complaints! They are amazing, but doulas are there so your partner can be an intricate part of the birth experience. With a doula there to support and help lighten the expected load your partner is able to attune to you and be “in the moment”.

T.V. On or Off

Let’s face it, if your partner is a sports fan and it’s on television they may be apt to watch the game or at least the highlights. Perhaps it’s the love of the game, or perhaps it’s just needing a way to release and refocus. Doulas have you covered so mom is not alone when she needs support and you don’t have to feel guilty for stepping away for 5 minutes.

Advocate or Support

The last piece to the “delivery room etiquette” puzzle: no one takes the birthing woman’s voice from her. Her voice is powerful and can be a source empowerment for the mother. Often times people say my doula stopped my doctor from x, y, and z. Doulas have a non-medical scope of practice and we have one job, one very important, underestimated job. Our job is to support! Support, period. That is not to say we can’t help the mother articulate with her own words her wishes and desire. We do not argue with care providers or “make sure” things are done as outlined. We will remind you of your wishes, validate your feelings, and help you find your own words!

Delivery room etiquette can be easily achieved with First Coast Doulas by your side! Our clients love the unique support they receive. Your birth experience is one you will carry with you for a lifetime.  With First Coast Doulas you will gain confidence and feel supported on your path to birth and parenting.

 

Pushing In Labor; Don’t Push Me!

Pushing In Labor; Don’t Push Me!

pushing in labor jacksonville doula

There she was, growing physically tired after hours in labor.

She was ten centimeters dilated and soon to enter the second stage of labor, pushing. As I wiped her forehead and held her straw to her lips she sipped and then asked me, “Did we lock the back gate before we left the house?” Then she asked, “Will I know when to push?” I reassured her that her body would do it when it was ready, she would know, but if I noticed she was ready before she realized that I was there to help her remember to follow her body’s cues just as she wanted. She asked, “Is this the lull we talked about at our prenatal visit?” I shook my head, and she smiled, and closed her eyes.

***

It’s not uncommon for women to experience a lull during labor and sometimes they even get to enjoy it!

When a lull happens this is a chance for the woman to rest, doze off, or just regain her bearings, but often times the lull is missed. A lull can seem strange to a laboring woman, a place of in between where they aren’t quite sure what to do. It can last five minutes and up to a few hours depending on baby’s positioning, typically not more than about five to sixty minutes.

Sometimes this lull is missed out on when people are directing and encouraging a woman to push when she doesn’t feel quite ready to push yet.

This directed pushing is known as purple pushing. It’s perfectly fine to push with direction and encouragement if that is what the woman wants, but it isn’t necessarily necessary, at least not most of the time. Women can feel “pushy” before ten centimeters dilated and also not feel the need to push once she is complete at ten, both are variations of normal. The female body is designed to birth, and get this, she can actually birth without anyone directing her most of the time.

Now, I say all of that to says this; labor is hard work, no doubt women work very hard pushing in labor and to labor their babies down, but their bodies use instincts and do the work without needing to be told what to do, and most of the time it actually works quite well without their minds over-thinking it.

***

While my client rested peacefully on her knees with her chest on a pillow and her husband stroking her back they prepped the room and called the attending obstetrician so he would be there for the delivery.

She opened her eyes and looked up at her husband and I and said, “I’m not ready, no purple pushing,” she reminded us firmly.

I smiled at her and told her good job listening to her body. Her husband spoke to the nurses and explained that she was listening to her body, and she doesn’t want to be coached to push unless medically necessary.

The nurse said, “She’s complete at ten, we need to get the baby out.” Her husband smiled and said, “We understand, noone wants our baby out more than us, but if it’s not a medical emergency she wants to wait and listen to her body.”

The nurse agreed that there wasn’t a medical need and was accommodating to her patients, my clients.

I was focusing on my client and making a soothing sound that has helped many of my clients stay peacefully in their lull until they were ready to emerge. I remained alert to what my client’s husband was doing, saying, and how he was reacting to the nurse, his wife, and the room filling up as they prep for the birth of their baby.

About ten or twelve minutes past from the time my client’s nurse checked her cervix and gave her the green light to push and the time I felt my client’s body curl inward as my hands were on her back and shoulder blade.

I could hear my client gently grunting through quiet moans.

I signaled her husband to come close at this point, as they had previously expressed the desire for him to remain at her head during pushing. She wanted him to say a prayer during this stage of labor to help her have strength. He was her rock. He looked nervous as he stood in front of me; his eyes told a very beautiful story of a man becoming a father.

I took his hands and placed them on hers, he knelt down and she grabbed his hands. She then lifted her head with eyes wide and said, “This is it!” He looked up at me as though he was thinking, this is it what do I do?

I know that look all too well, and so I leaned in close to them and said, “You made this baby together, you have spent months preparing for this, together you can do anything!

Keep listening to your body. Keep encouraging her.”

He nodded and half smiled at me, and then she was pushing.

There we were less than an hour later, a strong woman who listened to her body, a supportive husband who encouraged his wife, trusted her, and kept her space safe. A doctor and his nurse who respected their patients wishes and were happy to do so. And a Doula who was honored to guide this couple through the most memorable, most challenging day of their lives together.

As her doctors waited patiently for the third stage of labor, delivery of the placenta, my client announces to all of us, “I did it! I did it without anyone having to tell me. I listened to my body and my body did this!”

And just like that a mother, a father, and a baby were born!

 

 

 

This story was shared with permission from my clients. Names, dates, and information that could jeopardize my client’s privacy were left out intentionally.

For more information about labor patterns, lulls, and baby positioning check out Labor Patterns Spinning Babies.

My Baby Hates Me

my baby hates me jacksonville

My Baby Hates Me!

You know what stinks? Thinking, “My baby hates me!”

There’s an array of feelings that come along with a new baby; one of life’s most challenging and rewarding journeys. From joyful and excited to overwhelmed and terrified. Feelings are feelings and the vast difference a parent feels from one day or moment to the next is completely normal.

Dads, this means you too!

You’re dealing with a unique set of feelings its true!

We commonly hear from fathers who say, “I think my baby hates me!” Even more common, we hear from moms who say, “He’s withdrawn and isn’t bonding with the baby. He expects me to do it all.” Dads expect moms to be tired and emotional as they recover from birth, but most of time neither parent anticipates dad being on the rollercoaster of emotions. Add that to sleep deprivation and boy do we have a lot going on at once.

Have you considered creating a plan with a postpartum doula?

Couples may write off the idea of a postpartum doula. Sure lots of families give birth and get by fine without doulas, but having a professional there to help ease your entire family’s transition just seems to makes sense when you are in the thick of it. It’s like traveling across town, sure you can get there by foot and it’s great exercise, but taking a car means you’ll arrive more quickly, have more time to do other things like rest, you stay dry, and you can crank up the air conditioner!

Perspective is everything!

Our society put a lot on parents. Many dads are the sole provider and caretaker for their family. This is a sure fire way to lead to burn out. Dads experience emotional, physical, and mental challenges that are taxing and draining as well.

Postpartum Doulas are here for Dads too!

Does your baby seem to only want mom?

Consider this, your baby spent nearly forty weeks + or – in the comfort and peaceful surrounding of his mother’s womb. It’s warm, soothing, dark, and all your baby has ever known. From conception to birth mom and baby are functioning as one unit. The smell, taste, and sound of his mother’s womb are “safe” and home to him.

Then, one day he comes rushing into the world.

Bright lights, loud sounds, cold, heat, gravity; all completely foreign. In addition to that, hormonal changes are taking place. Baby is born and the most familiar place to baby is mama. They are biologically programmed this way. It’s only normal that babies want the comfort and familiarity of their mothers in these early weeks.

Are you doing the best you know how?

Are your intentions good?

Then you are probably doing things beautifully!

In the first day or two of life outside the womb it’s very normal for babies to sleep, a lot. Biologically this makes sense, so mom and dad can eat and rest after labor and birth. Yes dads labor too!

Then they begin to wake more to breastfeed and establish their milk supply. Moms look to dad to step in and help out, dads proudly step up, but it’s normal for babies to begin crying shortly after the exchange.

Dads do their best to console their once peacefully sleeping newborn and things don’t always go as they thought they would, the books didn’t explain this part. Where are these videos? No one ever tells you about this craziness, or maybe they did and you discounted their experience or brushed it off. Moms grow weary and dads grow worried that they aren’t doing something right, that somehow they may not belong, or they think, “My baby hates me!”

If you’re thinking, “My baby hates me”, have no fear!

Babies cry! Sometimes a lot!

Will your baby ever enjoy daddy time? Yes, absolutely!

Again, I want to reassure you, your baby loves you and will grow to like being with you, and it will actually be fun for you!

Your newborn and his mama are as one as two can be. Your baby is born and is living outside of his mama’s body, but in the early weeks mom and baby still function as a single unit. It can help to view it this way.

Like an intricate dance they begin their life together with you right beside them. If separated in these early weeks, even for a short time, or even if only within feet of each other, the single unit becomes two, one who feels lost.

Dad fills a separate role from mom in the early months… and that is the biological norm.

There is beauty in this season!

This too shall pass!

Dad’s role is protector and nurturer. Changing diapers, making phone calls for appointments, making sure mom has what she needs close by, helping to burp baby, cooking meals, helping with siblings, breaking mom to shower or use the bathroom are all things dads can do in those early months.

The key ingredient is time!

Soon after a baby is born a dad may feel confident, uneasy, full, empty, sleepless, exhausted, and everything in between. As the days pass and baby begins to adjust to life outside the womb, milk supply is established, and minimal routines start to take shape, dads gain confidence in ways that are very unique.

One day dad may be caught playing an instrument, signing, or reading to his baby.

Dads may take on the task of bathing and bedtime routine, even waking in the night to feed the baby a bottle so mom never has to wake up. These moments happen, right along with the challenging ones, bonding happens, love happens.

Dads, your babies don’t hate you! They are acting on instincts and they do love you and will grow to love you even more with each passing day.

It’s worth the wait!

Authored by Elizabeth Luke, owner of First Coast Doulas

my baby hates me | Jax FL Childbirth Classes

Myth- A Healthy Baby and A Healthy Mom Are All That’s Important

I know you’ve heard it, we’ve all heard it, “A healthy baby and a healthy mom are all that’s important!”

A Healthy Baby and A Healthy Mom Are All That's Important

 

Well I am here to tell you, that’s a load of crap! Yep, I said it and I mean it!

Now, I do agree that the safety of a mother and her baby are first and foremost, but to say that a healthy baby and a healthy mom are all that’s important is terrible.

Did you know that 25-34% of mothers report that the birth of their baby was traumatic.

To shade the way a mother feels about her own personal journey is disrespectful, rude, and terribly warped. Is it done intentionally? Most of the time no, not at all. Most of the time it’s done by well-meaning loved ones and friends who just want to make mom feel better, they just want to “fix” the situation.

However, by saying, “A healthy baby and a healthy mom are all that’s important”, you are saying her feelings and thoughts about her birth are invalid, null and void. Women don’t need to be fixed. They need to be heard, validated, empathize with, and they need time, space, encouragement, and support to heal.

The path a woman takes through pregnancy, labor, and birth are a journey so unique that it can never be duplicated again.

Yes, she may have more pregnancies, more labors, and more births, but no two are ever the same, even ones that are very similar. Whether it be her plan to have a homebirth, medicated hospital birth, VBAC, or cesarean, the journey is important and how she feels about her journey is even more important!

The end result, baby in arms is not all that it’s about, the journey that is taken to get there is of importance too. The way a woman feels about her pregnancy, labor, and birth shape her into who she is, how she feels about herself, and how she will parent her children. The same applies for the father. He knows the safety of his baby and his partner is the most important thing, but tell that to the father whose wife is suffering with postpartum depression or psychosis. Tell that to the father that works all day and comes home to a wife who is weeping in the closet, or full of anxiety about something being wrong with their baby.

First Coast Doulas knows how important the journey is, it’s why we do what we do!

We support women and their partners in pregnancy, labor, birth, and even into the first year after delivering their babies because we know this is a journey not a race. We know the foundation is being built for their parenting journey and we want them to have the confidence, love, light, and laughter they desire to make the journey a positive one.

So, please before the next time you tell a woman or her partner, a healthy baby and a healthy mom are all that’s important, stop and think for a moment. It may be awkward, you may draw a blank on what to say that is o.k., sometimes saying nothing and just being there is what they need.

 

 

Here’s a great blog by Sam McCulloch that is along similar lines of this one if you are interested in reading it.

If My Birth Doesn’t Go As Planned

Have you ever wondered; what if my birth doesn’t go as planned?

if my birth doesn't go as planned

From the moment I saw two lines on that stick I started planning and preparing for the birth I wanted. The last thing I ever thought about was; what if my birth doesn’t go as planned?

We found a great provider, we hired professional Doulas who were knowledgeable and provided continuity of care with placenta encapsulation, and postpartum Doula services which we planned for too. I had the best chiropractic, acupuncturist, and massage therapists around. Our chiropractor even adjusted me in labor.

Months went by and we finished the nursery, researched and bought everything we needed, and we hired a photographer. We met with our Doulas who assisted us in creating an official plan for our birth and also helped us create a contingency plan.

We also decided it was best to take a series of childbirth classes. Our Doulas recommended one based on our goals for our birth, we took it. The classes were incredible, informative, and as much as a class could prepare us for something we had never experienced, it prepared us in every way for labor and birth. I was healthy, baby was healthy, I ate healthy, and attended a great prenatal fitness class, and my pregnancy was textbook perfect. Baby was ready, I was ready, we were all ready!

Then my due date came, and it went.

I stayed in good spirits, but the naysayers began texting, calling, and messaging me. Strangers would put their two cents in and the pressure I felt from well-meaning family and friends was overwhelming in every way. Surely they must know I wanted to meet my baby much more than they did, surely they knew I would announce her birth after I had her!

Labor started on its own.

It began with contractions that increased in intensity, duration, and began to come closer together. Textbook first-time labor. Our Doula recommended we sleep, rest, and get into a groove together through this part, and we knew she was right, we learned about this in our classes. This was early labor.

About six hours passed between the start of labor and us requesting for one of our Doulas to come. She arrived, reassured us, explained things to us, and helped us get things ready as I labored. Several more hours passed, our other Doula arrived, and things began to become more intense, requiring more focus. This was active labor. Our Doulas helped us decide when to call our provider.

Everything progressed as a normal labor for a first time mom would have.

We trusted the process and everyone we hired to be there. Our Doulas encouraged me to eat to keep my energy up, but I still rested a lot during the first twelve hours to conserve energy. I didn’t sleep, but dozed here and there. I stayed hydrated; our Doulas ensured that I had cool water ready. I labored in positions that were favorable, danced with my partner, utilized water therapy, moaned, rocked, utilized the techniques our Doulas had in there toolbox, and did everything to help my cervix soften and open. I listened to my body, welcomed my baby to come, and followed all recommendations made.

About twenty hours after labor began I started feeling like I needed to push, my husband helped me into positions and our Doulas guided us through this. I pushed in every position imaginable for several hours, maybe six or so. Then, I rested again. I talked with my provider and made some decisions and I continued on, doing what I trusted my body to do and pushing and resting in between. Listening to what my provider suggested, our Doulas helping us through the many aspects that goes along with this.

After about 2 hours I reached a point that I didn’t think I could continue laboring with literally no change in the progress I made. I was fully dilated, effaced and baby remained healthy and safe, but with no new downward or outward motion. I was running out of steam. After almost thirty hours of laboring and six hours of pushing with no drugs I needed some relief.

So my husband and I talked with our Doulas and provider and I decided I wanted to get an epidural. I knew the epidural would help me relax enough that I could rest and get some of my energy back to push my baby out. So that is what we did.

Our Doulas knew our desires for our birth, and they kept that in mind, but they also helped us navigate in muddy waters, they supported us completely in our decisions and it was nice not to feel pressure or disappointment from them in any way.

I rested, but didn’t sleep and I pushed again in every position I could.

After another six hours baby and I were still well, but I was worn out. I found more energy after the epidural, somehow. I value my sleep, and take naps any chance I get. How I even make it this long is amazing to me and everyone around me kept saying how strong I was! I couldn’t go on and I didn’t want the birth to turn into an emergency situation. So I knew instinctually what my baby and I needed, a cesarean. We were fully supported in this decision.

In the operating room we were fortunate to have received a clear answer as to why our baby wouldn’t come down, many never find out.  We knew the problem wasn’t something we created and there was nothing we could do to correct it, but we still wondered why.

How do you do everything “right” and still have this happen?

Well, just like many things in life birth is just unpredictable. Life and birth is journey, a progression of things, the ride is unique, it truly is. Our Doulas told us this early on in pregnancy, but no matter how they could have explained it we would have never fully understood this until we walked through it ourselves.

Neither of us could imagine doing this without our Doulas, both of them were incredibly helpful and in so many ways. While we knew the first time how important they were because everyone told us they would be, we now had first-hand experience with our Doulas and it’s impossible for anyone to put into words the importance of hiring a Doula. Our Doulas were a huge help to both me and my husband. Trust me when I tell you, hire professional Doulas, you won’t regret it.

Our provider was terrific, she made sure baby and I were safe, for that I am forever grateful.  I am grateful for modern medicine and machines, I needed them this time. The support from the women in my fitness classes and our childbirth classes couldn’t be replaced. Everything I did and learned humbled me when it came down to delivering our baby.

We don’t regret doing any of these things, they were all things that were important and beneficial to us. Ultimately we’ve chosen to do them again, only a very short seven months later we are pregnant with our second! Only difference, we now know without a doubt that if my birth doesn’t go as planned, it’s okay because we will be fully supported and have set ourselves up for the best birth experience possible again whether un-medicated, medicated, vaginal, or repeat cesarean, it will be just as it was supposed to be.

Defend Against Postpartum Depression! We Share How!

First Coast Doulas shares how to defend against postpartum depression in this blog post. Tell us what you think, leave us a comment.

defend against postpartum depression jacksonville

Time is more valuable than money, money can be replaced, time cannot!

Have you experienced baby blues or postpartum depression before? Are you at an increased risk to develop postpartum depression? Are you just concerned about the risk since you’ve heard so many moms have it? Then you are not alone!

Women all over the country worry, struggle, and do battle against postpartum mood issues. Families suffer silently for fear of someone taking their baby. They worry they’ll be locked up in a mental facility if they reach out to their doctor for help. It’s supposed to be the happiest time in a family’s life, but instead, for many it’s a dark, scary time. A time that cannot be described or understood unless you’ve been in the pits of darkness to experience it first-hand.

What if I told you there is hope for those struggling in silence? The good news; there is a way to defend against postpartum depression and other postpartum mood issues. Your first line of defense is your postpartum Doula! Your second line of defense is professional Placenta Encapsulation!

Your postpartum Doula, in comparison is like Fort Knox against intruders. Same concept of building up your immune system to combat against illness when something is going around. Like every other option out there, there is no guarantee with a postpartum Doula, or placenta encapsulation, but the odds are in your favor!

Having a professional postpartum Doula is a great way the best way to help you defend against postpartum depression. Your postpartum Doula helps you form a plan for a happier, brighter postpartum! She will discuss with you your families unique needs, describe ways that she can be helpful to you during this time, be open ears, an our heart, and helpful hands. There to listen, and validate your concerns and feelings, and to help you find real solutions to what life throws your way.

Placenta Encapsulation is beneficial to our clients in many ways. Encapsulating with First Coast Doulas means you have a professional encapsulation specialist in your home who is also a professional, certified birth Doula and postpartum Doula. What does that mean for you?! Well, having a professional with this combination of training, experience, and knowledge in your home shortly after you give birth is very unique, and nearly impossible to find here in and around the Jacksonville, Florida area. You have this unique individual in your home for up to three hours, two days in a row to talk and share with, to get expert advice from, and to pick her brain for ideas. You can just relax, sleep, or snuggle your baby while she encapsulates for you if that is preferred, you don’t have to entertain or feel obligated to do anything because we’re providing a professional service, we don’t expect or prefer to be waited on or entertained. It’s a definite win for new families!

So, when planning for your birth and thinking about enjoying your new sweet smelling baby, think outside of the box, think one step ahead, think “how do I set myself up to succeed”, think “professional postpartum Doula and professional placenta encapsulation with First Coast Doulas!”

Having a First Coast Doulas professional postpartum Doula by your side day or night for help with sleep, showers, comfort and recovery, baby soothing or care, general breastfeeding assistance, you will have the best defense available! The best defense is a good offense, with First Coast Doulas you can’t go wrong.

Get in touch with us today and start planning for your happiest birth and postpartum! If you are not in our service area of Jacksonville, Fernandina Beach, Callahan, Yulee, Orange Park, Florida or Kingsland, St Mary’s, Kingsbay, Georgia, contact us anyway and we can get you in touch with the right connections in your area!

Click HERE is a great link with studies done on consuming the placenta

Here is a link to an article titled Mothers Opt for Placenta Benefits

Here is another titled Eating Your Placenta Offers Serious Health Benefits

And another titled Some Moms Swear by Consuming Babies Placenta

Why Would I Want A Doula? Why Wouldn’t I?

Why Would I Want A Doula? Why Wouldn’t I?

why would I want a doula Jax fl

You’re at the park pushing your daughter on the swing and another mom is pushing her son.

“It’s so hot. I’ll be glad when fall gets here,” the woman says to you!

You reply, ” No kidding, I don’t know what I was thinking, being pregnant through the summer sucks!”

“Congratulations! Yeah that’s tough I did that with my last baby, never again,” she responds laughing, “When are you due?”

With an, “I’m over it look” you explain, “Ugh, not for another six weeks!”

“Awe, an October baby, he was born in October,” she says pointing to her son. “Do you have a Doula?”

“No,” you state. “Isn’t that someone who helps you have the baby?”

“No, it’s kind of hard to describe what a Doula is and everything a Doula does,” she shares.

“I have a doctor and my boyfriend and mom will be there,” you say, while wondering why you would ever want a Doula.

She tells you about her experience, “That’s cool, my husband was with me, my midwife and her assistant arrived right as I was about to start pushing. My mom showed up right before he was born, but I was so thankful to have our doula there. Honestly I’m not sure how I would have done it without her, I know one thing, I don’t want to do it again without her, she was a God sent.”

Her cell phone rings. While she takes the call you wonder why anyone would want to have another person in the room when delivering their baby.

The kids run off to play in the mulch under the slide and you take a seat on the bench in the shade. Her call ends and you ask, “What was so great about having a Doula there, was it weird at all? My doctor delivered my baby, my boyfriend was there for that one and it went fine, so why would I want a Doula, no disrespect, I just don’t see the point I guess.”

“No offense taken at all. When I heard about Doulas from a couple of my friends I use to think the same thing. In fact, we hired our Doula on the recommendation of my best friend who also had a Doula and swore she didn’t know why anyone would want to labor without one. Go figure,” she said!

“Well, it’s one of those things that you have no idea you’d ever want until you have one, then you can’t imagine your life without one! Kind of like my story before I had a kid,” she laughed.

You can sort of relate with that so you smile and you laughed with her and she continued, “So, to answer your question; No, not weird at all, she is a professional, she is trained and experienced in supporting families. Several of my friends shared their stories with me about their deliveries, and I’ve had enough strangers tell me terrible stories while I was pregnant to last me a lifetime. Well, the stories from those who had Doulas all bragged about how supported they felt. That spoke volumes over those other stories I heard.” She paused for a moment.

Then, she began again, “our Doula helped me stay focused and calm, she was incredible. She really helped me and my husband in so many ways, ways I can’t even explain to you. She stayed with me when my husband fell asleep on the couch, which I honestly never imagined him doing, but babies come when babies are ready and he worked a double shift the day I labored so, yeah that was nice for both of us. He was able to eat and shower while I had the support I needed during that time. She seemed to know exactly what I needed without having to say a word to her. She gave me direction for labor positions that were effective in moving him down in the birth canal, I felt him drop lower, seriously she knew her stuff! Oh, and she did this hip squeeze thing that I swear I would pay double for next time! She woke my husband as I was about to start pushing. I remember looking up and seeing his face, wrinkled from sleep, and he looked like a deer in headlights,” she laughed.

“Seriously, his face was priceless, like it was me doing the work, what the heck was his deal,” she added.

“My boyfriend and I took a hospital childbirth class, he knows more this time then last time so he better not have that look,” you tell her, in all seriousness!

She shares with you, “Yeah, we took private classes and practiced a ton at home too, but when it came down to it he didn’t know what I needed at that point in my labor. I don’t know if he forgot or what happened. Our Doula gave him suggestions and reminded him of what we learned in the classes, it was awesome! He was awesome, the whole experience was just awesome. Just thinking about it makes me want another baby. You know, if my Doula can be there,” she laughs, but is serious in her tone.

Why would I want a Doula

By now you are interested, but still not sure, “Well, you know my mom had two kids, and she is giving me a hard time about wanting an epidural. I wonder if a Doula could be of any help to me, probably not since I am getting an epidural”.

“You bet,” she says, “my sister hired our Doula, she says she was great and she had an epidural, she had a long labor and because of an emergency with my niece’s heart rate she had to have a cesarean. Her Doula was excellent, she helped explain the process before she went back, helped her with breathing exercises despite not taking classes my sister says they were helpful. The Doula also helped her establish breastfeeding, assisted her with the baby, and even took pictures for them. My sister is already planning for her next baby and says she’ll hire her again.”

“Oh, wow, o.k. I just assumed Doulas were for natural births only. I’m glad I asked, thank you for sharing all of this with me,” you say surprised.

“Nope, our Doula is very professional, she gave us information about risks and benefits for anything we asked about and we made our own decisions she made it very clear that our birth was ours and she supported us in every way no matter what we chose. I know she meant that. I was sold on the idea of hiring a professional Doula before meeting her, but my husband wasn’t. My husband asked her a question, something along the lines of, well, she has me why does she need a Doula? Well, when she told him that even though I know him, loved him, and trusted him, that both of us would be better off with a Sherpa while hiking the Himalayan Mountains, birth is like a marathon, like hiking a mountain and he understood this. She went on to say that a Doula is like a trail guide for birth. I’m telling you she attuned to our needs and knew what to say to get him to open up. That isn’t an easy task with my husband,” she explained.

So your day started out like any other, led to you thinking; why would I want a Doula, and ended with; why wouldn’t I want a Doula!

As you wrapped up your time at the park you ask her if she could give you her Doula’s information. She looks you up on facebook, sends you a link to her Doula’s business page.

You go on to deliver your baby with your boyfriend, mother, and your Doula by your side. You never imagined your birth would go this way, the rest is history!

The evidence for Doulas;

The evidence for Doulas

The importance of Doula support

To have a professional Doula support, coach, and pamper you through your pregnancy, birth and postpartum period contact First Coast Doulas today and we will set you up with an amazing team!

 

Reading To My Children

Reading to my children is one of the things that I love and they love equally as much. It allows us time to engage with one another, time to sit together, take a break, snuggle, and share the same space. All in the world can be yuck, but when I sit down and start reading to my children everything else seems to fade away, if even for a few short minutes.

I began reading to my babies at various ages, when my oldest was a baby I didn’t read to him until he was about four or five months old, but the first time I did his face light up with excitement! That single moment fueled my passion for reading to them.

When I became pregnant with our second baby I started reading to him in utero. I also put headphones on my belly and played classical music and books on tape. I thought why not! I am glad I did it because as a new mom with two kids it was harder to find time to read to them as much as I would have liked to so I felt a bit of guilt for not reading as I did when my first was an infant.

There is a ten year gap between our second and third baby and during that time we read a lot of classic stories, funny things the kids picked up along the way and a few sad ones like Old Yeller.

When our third baby was born I was excited to get back to reading some of these books so I started much sooner, around eight weeks old. She loved it, probably more than I did! She would calm down and though she couldn’t speak yet, it was like she understood every word I said to her. We primarily looked and talked (I talked, she babbled) about picture books with just a few words, but occasionally we would read a longer book with more words.

Reading is something that is great for children’s development, and their coordination, and imagination flourish when they are read to. I am guilty of not reading to my kids as often as I probably should, but that time is spent doing other things with them so that guilt is short-lived.

I am including a link for each of the books from my list below. We would love to hear from you. What are your favorite books to read to your children?

Books make a great baby shower gift instead of a card, they also make great first birthday gifts and Christmas gifts as well. Many older children really enjoy listening to books on tape in the car.

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom, Chicka Chicka ABC, Charlotte’s Web, The Giving Tree, Where The Wild Things Are

doulas in jacksonville florida

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