Secrets to Having Great Sex When Your Baby Is Nearby

Secrets to Having Great Sex When Your Baby Is Nearby Jax FL | Best Doulas Jax FL

Secrets to Having Great Sex when Your Baby Is Nearby

Are there really secrets to having great sex when your baby is nearby? In the beginning new parents sometimes feel disconnected from sex while others do not skip a beat. Both are completely normal, not everyone is ready to engage in sex again at the same time. As long as you aren’t staying in valley too long or taking risks with your health and body in those early weeks, where you fall on the scale is probably pretty normal! For most parents if you want to have time for sex you have to make time, and get creative! You might be wondering if having sex when your baby is nearby by is even possible, it totally is!

So let’s just get right down to business so you can get down to business! Sex is a normal, healthy part of life. It can give you a release that is healing and helpful. Sex can be centered on your partner with no interest in self-gratification too. Sex is about connection, not always about orgasms and thrills! You can learn so much about yourself and your partner during sex through open communication and a trust.

Secrets to Having Great Sex When Your Baby Is Nearby #1:

Extra Nap or Nap Extended!

Routines and schedules are proven to be beneficial. Sometimes though it’s perfectly healthy to let go of the routine and be “spontaneous”. Let your baby take an extra nap or sleep another hour now and again and engage in some adult activity! It can break up the monotony and create little sparks here and there! Heck maybe even enjoy a glass of wine while you’re at it!

Secrets to Having Great Sex When Your Baby Is Nearby #2:

Room Divider for Room Sharing, not Sex Shaming!

For the room sharing parents, if “All Eyez on Me,” isn’t your thing don’t worry! You don’t need to be Tupac Shakur to feel the “Changes” that parenthood brings! [Cheesy rapper references used] Younger infants have exactly no idea what sex is, no remembrance of their parents bouncing and moaning, and there have been no studies to ever show it will have any effects on them whatsoever.

If your infants tiny eyes are making it hard for you or your partner to disconnect from the rational part of your brains, the neocortex, and slip into the primal, instinctual part of your brain, the Limbic system then a blind fold or room divider are cheap and easy ways to take eyes off your infant and connect with your partner!

Secrets to Having Great Sex When Your Baby Is Nearby #3:

Make Play time, “Playtime”!

As parents we are ALWAYS looking for ways to get a damn shower! Instead of engaging in playtime with your baby today or this hour, why not make shower time double duty?! Put baby in his/her rock n play or bouncer in the bathroom, grab your favorite water proof vibrator, or you know your partner if he/she is home, and jump in the shower! Great sex can happen alone too! A quickie in the shower while your baby plays safely in ear and eye shot from you can be exhilarating as well as refreshing! Double the pleasure!

First Coast Doulas knows you’re human. You have desires, and sometimes no desire! We know what it’s like to need time with your partner, alone! As postpartum doulas we help parents live the healthiest lives possible. Sex is important, kids are important, your marriage or partnership is important, and YOU are important!

At First Coast Doulas our brand is built on the motto, “First Love Yourself,” and we mean it! It’s ok to put your needs and desires first sometimes, your kids will have happier parents because of it; your family will be healthier because you loved yourself first!

Happy birth and parenting from the best doulas in Jax. FL

 

Down Syndrome Etiquette

Down syndrome Etiquette Jax, FL Childbirth Education

Down Syndrome Etiquette

Down syndrome etiquette is important and is blog worthy! Please take 5 minutes out of your day to read and share this with others on any platform you can. Approximately one in every 700 babies in the United States is born with Down syndrome , making Down syndrome the most common chromosomal condition. Yet there’s still a stigma surrounding Down syndrome (DS).

First Coast Doulas knows it’s super important to be respectful of other humans along their journey in life.

It’s very frustrating for me and many others when we hear people say certain things about people with DS. Frustration doesn’t help change things, but being an advocate and an ally does. So, I decided to write this blog about Down syndrome etiquette to help others who may be confused about what to say or may unknowingly be saying things that are offensive or hurtful to others, yes, even those without Down syndrome.

I’m always learning new things and asking important questions like;

  • What can I do when I hear x, y, and z?
  • What do you want others to know about Down syndrome?
  • What it’s like living with Down syndrome or raising children who were born DS?

One thing I can tell you is that our words matter!

Being a parent is exhausting. Being a parent or caregiver to a person who has DS is double duty exhausting. Not only are they raising their child, they’re likely attending therapy appointments (occupational, speech, and physical) with their children, and being advocates for all people with Down Syndrome. It should be no surprise that sometimes they don’t have the “extra” energy to correct others. To be honest, the responsibility falls on us as individuals to do better and treat people with respect.

Here are some things to consider:

“Downs baby” versus “baby with Down syndrome”, “She has Downs” versus “She has Down syndrome” 

DS doesn’t define who a person is. Think about something you don’t like about yourself and put a name or term on it and imagine how you would feel if every time someone referred to you they said, “Fat Lady”, or “Ugly Man”. It hurts, it’s in appropriate, and it makes the person saying it look like a complete jerk.

Using the terms “retard” or “retarded” or saying it in any context is insulting and completely inappropriate. Even when not referring to Down syndrome the implication remains. If you’re using this term, stop it! Not sure how to stop?

  1. Make a habit of stopping and thinking before you speak.
  2. If you slip up and catch yourself using this term correct yourself and then apologize out loud for your wrong doing. Don’t overlook it and move on; “promising” yourself you won’t do it again. Nope!
  3. Correct others politely without apology. Not saying something still says something. Think about that.

Saying children with DS are the “happiest children you ever met” is offensive.

Saying that they are “the happiest children” implies that they don’t have feelings. That their parents have it easy. It implies that children with DS don’t ever cry nor have bad days. This is quite the opposite; remember DS doesn’t define a person. They have good and bad days and struggles and challenges like everyone else. Parenting is not easy, parenting children with Down syndrome; you guessed it, still not easy!

Appropriately, “cognitive disability” has replaced “mental retardation”

It’s Down syndrome, not Down’s syndrome. The person who named the condition did not have Down syndrome. An “apostrophe s” implies ownership or possession.

DS is not contagious, it’s a condition. You either have DS or you don’t.

Referring to someone with Down syndrome as “special” or asking if they do the same things as “normal” kids should be avoided.

We’re all special and unique. Comparing a child with DS to other “normal” kids implies they are abnormal! People with and without Down syndrome are more alike than different. Say it and repeat it! They are strong, smart, funny, and capable of great things, just as you are!

If you know someone who has a child with Down syndrome, please do not forget the siblings!

Despite being typical siblings at home who play together, share secrets, and argue, when they are out of the house they become fierce protectors of their siblings. Despite being fierce, it’s nice to have others recognize them, to spoil them a little, to see their light shine as individuals, not just the sisters or brothers to the kids who have DS.

I often find myself thinking what I would hope for if I had Down syndrome. I believe I would want to be heard, valued, respected, and accepted so I could enjoy life a little more and worry a little less!

Come to think of it isn’t that what all of us want in life?                           #morealikethandifferent #homieswithextrachromies #t21 #downsyndromeawareness

I hope that this blog was well received by you and by those who you share this with! We want to hear from you in the comments below or email us at info@firstcoastdoulas.com

Resources for our readers:

National Down syndrome Society  http://www.ndss.org/

Local to Jax., FL: Down Syndrome Association of Jacksonville https://dsaj.org/

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

Star of The Bachelorette Eats Her Placenta! Will You Do the Same?

Star of The Bachelorette Eats Her Placenta, placenta encapsulation jax, fl

Star of The Bachelorette Eats Her Placenta! Will You Do the Same?

Star of The Bachelorette eats her placenta, will you? That’s a question many pregnant moms are asking themselves and each other. Okay, hold on just one minute, first let’s address the verbiage used. And you can say eat, ingest, consume, whatever your preference is just go with it for a few minutes. I encourge you to stay open-minded!

With the recent news of Jillian Harris (stared on The Bachelor & Bachelorette) blogging about her personal experience with placenta encapsulation and Anna Williamson sharing her plans to ingest her placenta I decided now is the perfect time to release the results of the poll First Coast Doulas did earlier this year. We polled 25 people about their personal experience with placenta encapsulation with First Coast Doulas.

 

Star of The Bachelorette Eats Her Placenta jacksonville, FL
Star of The Bachelorette Eats Her Placenta capsules, jax
Star of The Bachelorette Eats Her Placenta jax placenta

I find that this poll and the results are extremely powerful! A win for families!

The only down side to what Jillian mentions in her blog and Anna mentions in her interview is the pickup of their placentas and drop-off of their pills, because again, those are not the standards by which First Coast Doulas or our certifying organization operates. I’m sorry, not sorry. I can’t let you leave here without mentioning it’s simply isn’t the highest standards, but whatev! To each their own?!

There are a few things I often tell people about placenta encapsulation.

First, professional placenta encapsulation with First Coast Doulas is like an insurance policy for after birth. When done properly it can’t hurt you, only help you! You may feel great after birth and in the weeks and months to come, or you may not. There are no do overs, once your placenta is gone, it’s gone!

Secondly, it’s the service everyone is purchasing, but not many people are talking about! Other celebrities have spoken out, and about half of our clients share openly. For every one of them who share though there those who that stay private about it, because let’s face it, who wants to be judged or questioned after they give birth? Noone!

Placenta encapsulation is that little buffer, and who doesn’t need that?!

First Coast Doulas has the highest standards in place for our clients. We’re the very safest in the Jacksonville, FL area and we deliver the best experience, not just a service.

The star of The Bachelorette eats her placenta, and if you are considering the same, or just have questions, contact us today and let us tell you more about this placenta encapsulation!

Star of The Bachelorette Eats Her Placenta jax placenta

 

Here’s To the Women Who…

Here’s To the Women Who…

August 1st through the 7th is World Breastfeeding Week! In honor of all women working hard to feed their babies, whether from their breast or a bottle, their own milk or donor milk, First Coast Doulas wants to encourage you all today! You are incredible beings! Here’s to the women who are raising our future human race!

here's to the women who jacksonville placenta

 

Here’s To the Women Who…

Here’s to the women who breastfed for one minute, one day, or one week. To those who made it to a month, a year and even six! Mothering is hard. There’s no right or wrong way to feed your baby or right length of time for anything.

You’re the best mother for your children. You’re doing a great job!

Here’s to the women who wanted to breastfeed but couldn’t. The fact that you found another way to nourish your baby and bond with him in your own way shows you are flexible and loving. Mothering means shifting gears and thinking quick on your feet sometimes.

Fed and loved is what’s best. You’ve done both. You are amazing!

Here’s to the women who were first generation breast feeders. You didn’t know a single thing about breastfeeding, but trusted your body’s design. Those who came before you didn’t see why or how you would make it work, but you did it! Breastfeeding is challenging, you accepted the challenge and step out into the unknown to pave a way.

You’re a boobie pioneer, rock on!

Here’s to those who survived all the long nights of feeding their baby from breasts or from a bottle. Broken sleep patterns, a fussy baby, and the sound of silence is a lonely place to be as a new mother, but you finessed the night and made it through, in your own way!

You are a beautiful soul!

Here’s to those moments of closeness, hope for the future, baby grunts and squirms that come when you are embracing and feeding a newborn no matter the vessel used. Those are the best moments aren’t they?! You used those moments to overthrow the weary ones and you conquered another day.

You are strong and brave!

Here’s to those power pumpers! Whether you choose to pump for a freezer stash or just out of necessity, you make mothering look so selfless! Not everyone responds well to a pump, so rock those flanges and watch those precious drops of milk flow!

You are a milk making goddess, own it!

Here’s to those who share their liquid gold with other babies and toddlers in need of milk. Your acts of kindness will touch and impress upon others for generations to come. Your abundance of milk is incredible, but nowhere nearly as incredible as your love for other human beings!

You are compassionate and generous!

Here’s to the women who are tandem nursing! Who knew your body could provide enough nourishment and comfort for two or more children at a time?! These moments are precious, but trying at times. Remind yourself daily that this won’t last forever and that you are passing on something far greater than just milk.

You are grace and patience; let your light shine bright!

Here’s to those who knew breastfeeding wasn’t the best option for their family as a whole. You acknowledge that human milk for human babies is a complete source of nutrients and is created uniquely by the body for the individual baby, but you also know that ultimately with formula your baby will receive all the nutrients she needs, your family as a whole will be better off, and there is no need to feel less than!

You are confident and that is attractive!

Here’s to the women who have dreamed of having a baby. To those who have endured the heartbreak of miscarriages, infertility, IVF, and those who have birthed babies born sleeping. Just having a baby to feed and love is a huge blessing. You are incredible aunts, neighbors, and parents to your 4 legged babies, but you and your dreams are not forgotten along the way.

Your voice is heard and helps others who are struggling too! You are resilient!

Here’s to all the women who are encouraging others along their parenting journey. Life is tough, raising kids is the hardest, yet one of the most rewarding jobs one can ever have in life. When you extend your kindness to others it is a reflection of how you feel about yourself.

You are a pillar of strength and kindness to those around you. May your kindness never be mistaken as weakness!

World Breastfeeding Week is a week to focus on normalizing breastfeeding! It’s not about downing those who doesn’t breastfeed their babies, but rather it’s another way to teach our society that breasts are normal and another way to feed our babies!

So here’s to normalizing breastfeeding!

Our friends at KellyMom have cited some great sources about breastfeeding!

10 facts about breastfeeding, by The World Health Organization

An Alligator, Gorilla, and A Coward Walked Into A Bar

An Alligator, Gorilla, and A Coward Walked Into A Bar

An Alligator, Gorilla, and A Coward Walked Into A Bar

An Alligator, Gorilla, and A Coward Walked Into A Bar

While the tragic events that have happened recently are no joke, the way many are responding is. What kind of people judge others on their parenting skills and for the love they have for another human being? Since when has judgement trumped love and compassion? What good can come from throwing stones, name calling, and finger pointing?

We have no right to judge. Have we forgotten that we are not perfect, that we make mistakes, every damn one of us? You are an imperfect person, we are all imperfect people!

What nightmare are we living here?

We are humans, but we’ve become apex predators, more violent than any wild animal. This is our reality and it’s not good at all. The animals are being animals. The children free-spirited, fearless, and learning through play. Our children play, explore, and are curious!

Most people love their children, even those facing drug addiction and debilitating mental disorders. Majority of the time they do not want harm to come to their children.

We have a responsibility to our children. Physical, emotional, and intellectual well-being. Sometimes that is holding their hand every step of the way and other times it means letting go and being there, close by when they ask or need for our help. Have you survived teen years yet?!

We have marriages, mortgage payments, other children, jobs, sick or dying loved ones, and ourselves to care for too!

Meanwhile we parent with life in motion, while juggling work, while balancing life!

You take a quick phone call quick while they play in the tub.

You engage in conversation about the big game last night with another father at the park while you kids disappear from your direct line of sight for a few chaotic minutes.

You let your baby keep that blankie with them as they finally fall asleep on their tummy after hours and hours of crying with no sleep. You dare not risk waking him.

You allow an older, more responsible sibling to take your youngest to the potty who can’t hold it at a restaurant while you deal with your infant who just projectile vomited in the car seat.

You allow your child to run around with a lollipop so they will stop screaming so you can have five damn minutes to gather your thoughts after getting the news your mother has cancer.

You come out of the bathroom to find your toddler has learned operate the child locks and has bleach in her hand or how to get out on the back patio near the pool which he could easily have fell into.

These are situations where accidents could have happened, and they have happened.

Most of us have had a baby fall from a bed. Could we have done more? Maybe! Are kids going to be kids? Yes! Are parents going to make mistakes? Oh hell yes we do, don’t insert “but” here. No buts! Accidents do happen!

Your child could have been these children, you could have been those parents, we all could have been. So please, stop! Stop the judgement and hate, choose love!

Humans have become more predatorily than wild animals. More deaths occur in our country every year than all accidental deaths by animals combine.

So an alligator, gorilla, and a coward walked into a bar and all hell broke loose. This animal disguised as a person took the hate and anger he had for himself and projected it onto others. He killed so many for no reason other than hate. What he did was heartless and senseless, but prepare to see more of this hate if we do not decide to change.

It starts with you, it starts with me. It starts with stopping!

We are all mirrors! What we say, do, and project onto others is a direct reflection of how we feel about ourselves. Are your words kind and compassionate or full of hate and judgement?

I know you’ve heard these: sometimes less is more, those who live in glasses houses shouldn’t throw stones, and two wrongs don’t make a right. We are responsible for our actions, our words, and our thoughts. Perhaps we judge less and love more!

Feel, think, process… then respond!

Hate breeds hate. Love changes things! Choose love!

 

Our colleagues at Hampton Roads Doulas also wrote a fantastic blog. Please go over and show them some love too!

Placenta Capsules: Sharing More Than Experience, Part 2

Placenta Capsules: Sharing More Than Experience

Continued  from Part 1, found here.

 

Sharing More Than Experience Part 2

 

Placenta Capsules: Sharing More Than Experience

By Abby Anonymous

 

This person said her workspace was safe and there were never two placentas in the same space at the same time. I asked! She gave me her word and now her word meant nothing.

She went on to explain that she remembered distinctly putting my placenta inside the dehydrator with the tray that has a giant crack in it. It wasn’t until after delivering our placenta capsules that she removed the “paper” from the trays to begin the “cleaning” process that she noticed the post-it note with the other person’s name on it on the dehydrator with a crack now and vice versa. She asked her son if he touched it and he said he was helping.

So she does believe the placenta capsules were given to the wrong people.

Then, she apologized profusely, tried to reassure me that the other person is someone she knows well and is healthy. She said she would “make right” what happened. She seemed sincere in her tone and responses, but how can you possibly make right this situation?

You can’t!

When I was telling Liz what happened, she stopped me here and pointed out that the terminology and processes being used by the other encapsulator were throwing up red flags. She said, Post-It notes, children playing with knobs, and  just “cleaning” are not ways to keep people safe.

Liz went on to say, “the client should always keep, transport, and store her own placenta and be met in her own home by a professional so a mix up like this one never has the chance to happen.”

Liz is right.

Liz made her view very clear, “I feel strongly that providing this service in anyone’s home other than the woman who delivered the placenta is irresponsible of a business owner. There can be serious legal repercussions for doing this anywhere other than the client’s home.”

Again, I think she’s right.

Liz went on to tell me, “All equipment should be kept in tip-top order. When things wear they should be replaced. With First Coast Doulas that tray with a giant crack would have been swapped out with a brand new one just as soon as it happened. Trays with cracks are not being properly sanitized per OSHA standards. There is a difference between cleaning and sanitizing.”

She is right, yet again.

Back to my real life nightmare.

This encapsulator mixed up my placenta and called me TWO days after I started taking the pills!

I felt incredibly violated in a way I can’t explain. Our home was broken into once and our belongings rummaged through. I still didn’t feel as violated then as I do about this catastrophic mix up.

I  told her I’d taken 12 capsules that possibly contained another person’s placenta and blood. I told her I’m a nurse. I told her I see people with contagious and infectious diseases every day. I asked her if she understood what she had done. She just sat there, quiet on the other end.

I was naive and trusted her too easily. I hung up on her again and the next several hours I spent crying and being upset. What she had done was unacceptable and made me utterly disgusted.

How do I fix this? How could I? There was no way.

When I calmed down I called her back and reached her voice mail. I left a message, but she never returned my call. For the next couple days I tried to just put it out of my mind. Then I told my husband, and he flipped out. He wanted answers as much as I did. He called and left message after message and she refused to return our calls. She wouldn’t answer text messages or emails either.

I decided to talk to my OB about what happened since she recommended her to me. My OB didn’t seem to understand the urgency of the matter or how I felt. She sort of brushed me off and suggested I keep quiet about it.

I felt sick inside, I felt gross, and I was scared.

I trusted her to help me feel better after delivering our baby, but ironically she did the opposite. I have depression that had gotten worse during pregnancy. Depression was the reason I chose to encapsulate.

I was stunned when I returned for my six week follow up visit with my OB and her information was still being handed out to patients in this very popular doctor’s office even after making such a grave mistake with the health of others.

That was the last time I visited the office and I will not be returning, ever.

I contacted an attorney. Since I have nothing in writing from this woman, no receipt for payment, and essentially no proof this happened to me I can’t really do anything about it. The damage has been done and there is not a single thing I can do about it.

I have to have protected sex with my husband and I’m being even more cautious with my children until we know for sure I haven’t contracted anything from this person who I’ve still never met.

I googled and came across the First Coast Doulas website along with others. I contacted three companies, but Liz was the only one who got back in touch with me. I had read a few of their blogs and felt comfortable having a conversation by phone that led to an in person meeting where Liz let me share without judgment.

Liz answered questions for me that no one else was willing to answer.

 

Liz also helped me understand that while there are things people can do to be safer, that this was in no way my own fault. She couldn’t give me definite answers about what took place with my placenta, noone could do that, but she offered insight about what may have happened, and listened to me. I am currently seeing a therapist who is helping work through this and other issues and things are getting better each day.

Liz also openly shared a lot about what her process involves and she seems to be very knowledgeable about the placenta, bloodborne pathogens, and how to work safely.

To my knowledge this person is still making placenta capsules in her home kitchen. There is no record of her “business” ever being registered with the state, and she is still receiving referrals from the OB. She still has not returned my calls or emails.

I wonder if she told the other person about the unacceptable mix up. Her actions tell me that although she told me about the mix up, she still isn’t providing this service safely. According to her website she is still “picking up” placentas.

I never thought I would say this, but if we decide to have another baby and I try to do this again I’d most definitely hire Liz with First Coast Doulas to handle this delicate process for me. She’s taught what I need to know to be safer, has listened without judgement, and it’s easy to see that she is the best at what she does.

Things to be mindful of when selecting someone to encapsulate your placenta:

  • Always ask about their certifications and training. Don’t be afraid to check in with their certifying body to be sure the information they’ve given you is true.
  • Not all trainings are created equally so look into what their standards are.
  • Ask them to describe the process. If they seem to flounder or not explain things clearly there could be issues there.
  • Ask to also see their certification for Bloodborne Pathogen.
  • Lower price doesn’t = best deal. The market is all over the place and confuses consumers. Fees range from $0 to about $350 in our area.
  • While a higher price doesn’t guarantee anything either, a business has to pay taxes, has overhead and supply fees, and the person preforming the job should be compensated well for his/her skills. If a person hasn’t taken the time to factor all of those things into the cost they are not running a business sustainably and could be cutting corners with your safety.
  • Contracts and receipts are important, it tells the customer what to expect, what is expected of them, and shows they have systems in place.

            Last and Most Important:

  • Who takes the placenta and where is it going? Placentas should always stay with the woman who delivered it. It shouldn’t ever be transported in the encapsulator’s vehicle, go to the encapsulator’s home or “workspace”. Workspace generally means the person’s kitchen, around their spouses, curious pets, kids, and foreign germs. How many kitchens would you eat out of without seeing it? Oh and separate workspace tends to me garage or shed.

It was clear after getting to know Liz that she genuinely cares about people, their safety, and her business very much. Thank you Liz for taking the time to care about others, keeping my identity private, and sharing my story.

Which Animal Mom Are You Most Like?

Which Animal Mom Are You Most Like?

Which Animal Mom Are You Most Like best doulas in jax

Which animal mom are you most like?

Are you exhausted from lack of sleep and gain a ton during pregnancy? Do you move a lot, birth submerged, share parenting duties, or go without meals?! These animal mothers are awe inspiring!

Which mom do you relate most to?

Tell us in the comment section of the blog! If you know more animal mother behaviors that are comment worthy we’d love to learn from you!

 

Orangutan

Highly intelligent, the orangutan is the ultimate D.I.Y. mom. She spends almost her entire life up high  in the trees. Orangutan moms build a new nest every night from branches and foliage. She creates more than 30,000 homes in her lifetime! Do you find yourself moving around often? Perhaps you are a military family or just like a change of scenery every so often? Thank goodness it’s not every night! Although sometimes scrapping it and just starting over sounds refreshing!

She also generally nurses her offspring until they reach the age or 6 or 7 years old! Have you had an extended breastfeeding relationship? Orangutan’s practice the longest nursing dependency of any animal on Earth.

Emperor Penguins

Emperor penguin moms and dads alternate roles while raising a single baby. Either mom or dad will hunt for food while they other stays at “home” to keep the baby warm and protected. Do you and your partner both work and share all responsibilities equally?

Polar Bears

The polar bear mom-to-be puts on about 400 pounds during pregnancy! That’s a lot of “baby weight”! I wonder how many other polar bears ask her if she is expecting triplets or comment on how she must be about to pop?! Did you experience rude comments during your pregnancy like so many other expectant mothers? 

After packing on the pounds, the polar bear mom has one of the easiest labors known. She fashions a maternity den in a snowdrift normally. Then she enters a hibernation-like state and “sleeps” through the baby’s birth. Can you imagine? Did you or are you planning to hypnobirth? That’s about as close to a hibernation-like state as we human moms can get while birthing!

 

Giant Pacific Octopus

A female octopus has one goal in life: to have one successful brood of eggs. Have you always dreamed of becoming a mother? The Giant Pacific Octopus will lay between 20,000- 100,000 eggs in her lair and defend them at any cost. Are you a fierce protector?

During the time caring for her eggs, the female is starved almost to death. She may even ingest one of her own arms before she’d consider leaving her eggs to get food. Would you give your arm to protect your kids? Have you given up your own plate of food more times than you’d like to count so that your kids can have seconds? Sometimes it’s just not worth the fight! Giant Pacific Octopus die soon after the birth of her babies, leaving behind a legacy to carry on! We sure our lucky that our design is different, we get to lug our babes around in our womb and get our eat on.

 

Killer Whales and Bottlenose Dolphins

Talk about sleep deprivation, these calves don’t sleep for an entire month after birth. You know what that means, neither do their mothers. How fun?! NOT! I think we can all relate to feeling like we haven’t slept in a month, I bet these moms could use a overnight doula!

The sleeping patterns of captive killer whales and bottlenose dolphins were examined. It was determined that the “exceptional wakefulness of newborn whales and dolphins has no ill-effect on their development”. Well, was there a study done on sleep deprived mothers? This takes the, “sleep when baby sleeps” saying to whole new level! Extreme mothering level achieved!

Their study showed that Killer Whales and Bottlenose Dolphins, and their mothers, avoided obstacles, swam continuously and surfaced repeatedly for air 24 hours a day for the first month of life. Mothering, the ultimate responsibility!

 

Harp Seal

A mother harp seal identifies her baby from hundreds of other babies based on smell alone? Did you fall in love with your baby’s unique smell? Your baby’s sweet aroma triggers the release of oxytocin (the love hormone)and tiggers emotions of joy and fierce protection!

The pups don’t have any blubber at birth, but quickly gain weight nursing on high-fat mother’s milk. Was your baby born perfectly on the smaller side? Did she quickly gain mama milk rolls? 

During mating season male harp seals will dance to get the best mate. Did your partner’s hot dance moves win you over?

 

Hippopotamus

A mother hippopotamus will sometimes give birth to her baby underwater. When she does she helps the baby to the surface so he can breathe. A mother hippopotamus must fight off intense predators like lions, crocodiles, and even the male hippopotamus that only attacks the babies in water, not on land. Did you labor or give birth to your baby in the water?

In areas undisturbed by people, hippos lie on the shore soaking up the morning sun. Are you a sun goddess who prefers to spend her time perched beautifully on the shore too?

A mother’s love for her children is immeasurable and unconditional. We protect fiercely and put their needs before our own. Whether we are animal or human we are a force to be reckoned with! Which animal mom are you most like? Leave us a comment below!

The Professional Doula

The Professional Doula

Authored by Elizabeth Luke, Owner

professional doula jax fl

 

Doula:

pronounced [doo-luh] is a Greek word meaning a woman who serves. Any Google search will reveal that, but the real question remains. Who is the doula really serving, herself or the women who are hiring her?

Defining professional doula in my own words:

A professional doula has received training and is either certified or working towards certification. Without judgement or their own agenda they support families . One who works cohesively with other members of the family’s team including doctors and other family members. A professional doula works to elevate the profession and does not conduct oneself as a hobbyist.

First Coast Doulas philosophy?

We support you and your choices! You call the shots and make all the decisions along the way, always. Support will look different from one family to the next. We attune to you and your family so we can understand your unique needs and customize support to help you with your goals! Your way is supported! .

We support!

We support single moms and dads, married couples, assault survivors, and teenage mothers. We support mothers who identify with happiness and mothers who feel burdened with pregnancy and newborns. We support all races, political parties, religion, or lack thereof. We support those who breast or bottle feed their babies. We support those who have a plan and those who don’t want one.

I’m a professional doula because it’s my passion to support women and families, including my own!

It’s nice to see colleagues I work with empowered. This is our profession. We’re able to provide for our families while supporting yours through hard work and dedication!

Professional doulas all over the world have experienced backlash from those who do this work as a hobby.

They say we’re lousy doulas because we don’t push our own beliefs, education, and choices. Yep, really! We are told we’re wrong for simply providing access to resources and education when requested.

We’ve been called ill informed if we don’t educate on the best way to birth or parent.

We’ve been wildly accused of not caring for families because we support our clients choices for their own families. Wowzers!

They call us greedy doulas for charging a fee for services we provide to families choosing to hire us. Yes, working in exchange for money. A familiar concept to most people.

These “doulas” are grasping at straws and throwing stones where they shouldn’t be.

When I hear doulas say things like, “you have a responsibility to make sure they are making the right choice,” “it’s a shame you call yourselves doulas,” and “I attend births because these women are less fortunate and need my help to feel empowered and make sure they stick to the plan”, I vomit a little in my mouth.

It’s sick and it needs to stop!

It’s like they are saying without me you are nothing, your birth will not be meaningful. You know what’s empowering? It sure as hell isn’t pity or handouts.

Women birth every day without doula support and have amazing births!! That’s right, I said it and it’s no secret except to those who are self-serving.

In fact, the majority of women giving birth do not hire doulas, the number is close to 95%!

The lack of doula support does not mean your birth is not empowering. It simply means you are one of the 95%. As professional doulas we work hard to elevate our role, earn the respect of providers, and the trust of families with whom we work so that the number of families choosing to hire professional doulas will rise! So they can be supported no matter how they birth or parent because that is empowering!

Professional doulas are not greedy or heartless! We are not and will not be “ashamed”. You know what would be a shame?

Seeing an amazing doula dissolve her business and close the doors to helping improve birth and postpartum because she didn’t know her own value and require an appropriate fee for services. Fees that allow her to continue to provide support and grow her knowledge base.

Charging a fee for our work does not make us greedy doulas. It simply means we’re being paid a fee while those not charging are paying in energy and emotion. There is always an exchange.

Which exchange do you prefer?

Paying a fee for a professional doula who will attune to your needs and support you and your family? Knowing that the doula will take this important work seriously.

Or

Selecting a free or cheap doula who, on the off chance may or may not value her own skill set and commitment to you? Risk having her miss your birth or skip out on your post-birth, or go against supporting your wishes in favor of what she deems best?

Think on that!

A professional doula is paid so that the important work that we do can continue. We are not greedy I have found that it’s the complete opposite.

I work hard supporting women and their families. I’d be lying if I said supporting and providing for my own family wasn’t empowering to me.

If you hear the term “greedy doulas” I caution you to beware. Doulas who aren’t charging a fee may be taking from their clients in other ways, ways more precious than any amount of money. A doula who isn’t charging may not able to support you because they’re likely emotionally supporting themselves. Another great point to think on!

Greedy doula ≠ professional doula. You can’t have both!

Here’s a great thread on our IG showing how many do not understand the non-judgemental support we provide.

Leading the way in training and mentoring professional doulas all over the world, ProDoula is our only choice when selecting doulas to work with First Coast Doulas

Pumping and Breastfeeding On The Fly

Pumping and Breastfeeding On The Fly

Jacksonville Pumping and Breastfeeding On The Fly
Mamava Suite Jax. FL Picture from www.mamava.com

First Coast Doulas knows that breast may be best for some while bottle may be best for others. Pumping and breastfeeding on the fly are a necessity!

We support parents all over Jacksonville who need or choose to breastfeed and bottle feed, formula and breastmilk.

Florida law protects a mother’s right to breastfeed her baby in any location, public or private, where the mother is otherwise authorized to be, irrespective of whether the nipple of the mother’s breast is uncovered during or incidental to the breastfeeding.

Cover, no cover, it’s what the lactating woman herself feels comfortable with, no one else.

Pumping and breastfeeding on the fly just got a little cozier!

Traveling with a baby in tow is no easy feat. If you’re a breastfeeding or pumping mother you know it’s a little more challenging to be comfortable when out and about while lactating. Whether you are flying cross-country, planning a trip to the zoo, or just doing some shopping at the mall all moms deserve the right to be more comfortable while feeding or pumping milk for babies!

We have some good news for those of you flying into or out of Jax International Airport!

We are fortunate enough to have a  Mamava Suite located right here in Jacksonville. These suites are beautifully designed, totally breastfeeding and pumping friendly, and offer a quiet, private place for women to lactate, relax, and do their thing should they want another option.

Nursing during the newborn stage can sometimes feel awkward at first while mom and baby find their rhythm. Pumping can seem daunting with all the parts, pieces, and funny sounds the pump sometimes make. Let’s not forget there’s rarely an electrical outlet to plug up a pump. A woman’s body can have a difficult time with letdown if she feels unsafe or stressed out. This nursing, pumping, breastfeeding suite helps eliminate some of that stress. Older babies and toddler get easily distracted by things around them and may fight sleep or take twice as long to nurse when surrounded by stimuli. Ain’t nobody got time for that, especially a mom on a mission!

Anyone with an older toddler knows that when you’re feeding the baby the toddler makes every attempt to get away with all the things!

Bottom line, women deserve options for feeding babies and being more comfortable no matter where they are!

Complete with table, benches, plugs, and a locking door so your puppy-monkey-baby can’t escape, these suites are amazing! With 32 square foot of space the Mamava Suites are roomy enough for a stroller, luggage, and company. The Mamava Suite is first class all the way.

We have a long way to go in Jacksonville, and in the United States as a whole to make moms more comfortable breastfeeding and pumping breastmilk for babies, but this is an amazing start! These Mamava Suites are located in airports, zoos, arenas, hospitals, schools, malls, and a few other places. We desperately need better options especially in children’s hospitals like Nemours.

When I saw the Mamava Suite in Jacksonville my first thought was this isn’t about isolating breastfeeding moms or hiding what pumping looks like, it’s about families being supported in their choices for their family!

Way to go Mamava!

August is breastfeeding awareness month Vote here for one lucky place to get a lactation suite of their very own. We voted for the Jacksonville Zoo, but you can vote for anywhere!