4 Things I Wish I Knew Before I Had Kids

 

Things I Wish I Knew Before I Had Kids | Childbirth Classes Jax, FL

4 Things I Wish I Knew Before I Had Kids

I can’t tell you how many times over the last two decades that I’ve spent raising children and in my career that I’ve thought and heard: there are some things I wish I knew before I had kids. Definitely way more than I ever thought or dreamed I would.  I think most of us would agree that with experience comes at least some knowledge and insight. A mechanic knows vehicles and a doctor knows the ins and outs of medicine! As a seasoned parent, doula, and caregiver I’m often asked about my experience: what I would do in a specific situation and if I have any advice for others. So, I’ve compile a list of 4 things I wish I knew before I had kids to share with all of you and they aren’t about breast or bottlefeeding, spanking, spoiling, or sleep training.

These are things all parents and families can benefit from!

1. It’s imperative that you do you for them!

Don’t underestimate what me time can do for your entire family! Sure, in the beginning it’s tough. The first six weeks is about survival. But after you begin getting back into the swing of things at your own speed, making time for you is imperative!

Parents make sacrifices all the time for their kids and each other, but you don’t have to sacrifice all the time. You don’t have to have an answer for everything or extra set of arms to get it all done, although you give it a good go! We’re simply not designed to multitask and be great at all things. So while balancing, juggling, and living life do not forget to take care of you! Teach your children to love themselves and take time for self-care! A healthy mind, body, and spirit benefits everyone!

2. Your children are modeling for you what unconditional love is!

It’s true, let’s face it! Your finicky three year old doesn’t care if you feed them organic or fast food, they will just pick and poke anyway. Said toddler also give no cares if you leave the house to get the darn french fries without your bra or wearing two different shoes by mistake, they just want the fry fries and love you for getting them. Your little monkey will happily climb you like a tree to breastfeed while you’re squeezing in a 5 minute poop break or share the last few licks of their slobbery lollipop with you! Our children happily love us just the same!

We can learn a lot from our tiny humans. They expect nothing, they have no ideas about how it “should” be, what is “best”, and they simply love and adore us!

3. You can say no without apology or reason!

Not only can you say no because you can’t, but you can also say no when you don’t want to. You don’t have to come up with an excuse and you don’t have to have a reason. Your friend wants to drop by this evening on the way home to go through swatches for her new sofa and paint colors for her living room. You’ve had a long work week and you’re feeling tapped out. You just wanted to sit around in your underwear, have a glass of wine and watch an episode on Netflix. It’s ok to just say no. You don’t have to say why or apologize. You don’t have to feel be sorry, you can just say no, it’s healthy to say no (and yes for that matter) sometimes See #1 again!

This means strangers, friends, even family. It’s hard sometimes, but it’s healthy. This leaves more time and emotional and physical energy to say yes when you want to!

Hint: The more you practice saying no the easier it gets, the better it feels!

4. It’s normal and healthy to make mistakes.

As a mom with three adult children and one whose ten years behind her siblings I often reflect on our journey as a family. I also think back on the choices we made as parents. Boy have we made some mistakes along the way. You will too! We’ve laughed, cried, yelled, and fell upon silence. You will too… and it’s okay! In fact it’s more than ok, it’s completely “normal”. Mistakes means we’re human, mistakes let our children see we are not perfect and that is good!

Before you know it, believe it or not they will be flying the nest! Acknowledging our own mistakes, apologize, and working to learn from our mistakes will help our children not only understand that mistakes are okay, but it also models for them healthy life lessons and strategies they will take with them.

There are a few more things I wish I knew before having kids, but there’s something so freeing about not knowing all things and just winging it! I hope you find these 4 things helpful. What things do you wish you knew before having kids? We want to hear from you in the comment section below!

Here’s to happy birth and parenting!

~Elizabeth Luke, author and owner at FCDoulas

The Beginner’s Guide to Parenting

The Beginner's Guide to Parenting | Jax FL Doulas
www.FirstCoastDoulas.com

The Beginner’s Guide to Parenting

If you have or will be having children in the near future you’ve probably found yourself thinking, “I wish there was a how to for parenting”, or “I could sure use a manual right now”!  You’ll get a lot of advice along the way. Some well-meaning and very helpful, some unsolicited, some when you least expect it, and sometimes you’ll find yourself in complete shock about advice people give out. All will happen at some point, you can bank on it!

It possible you’ve searched “parenting” or “baby manual” and found this blog.

The Beginner’s Guide to Parenting includes 5 fundamental components:

1. There is no right or wrong way to parent your children only different ways.

Different strokes for different folks! As long as you are led with love and good intention in your heart and not fear or anger you are doing the best anyone can do with/for your child. As a childbirth educator I often hear, “I just want to make the right decisions for my baby.” Take a nice, slow, deep breath in and exhale and say, “I am enough.” Now believe that! No one loves your baby or is more capable of raising your child than Y-O-U! We are all winging it!

2. Parenting styles vary!

Sure, mom jeans are a “thing”, but we’re not talking about your wardrobe. We’re talking about your approach! As you hear others talk or your read about parenting styles know that your “style” will be what works for you, your spouse, and your baby! A style will take shape naturally [sigh of relief]. Parenting styles are usually discovered over time between you and your children. Often times we see ourselves parenting one way and even start out parenting that way. Then we end up adjusting our “style” as we go about our daily lives as parents. Each child may even require different parenting styles. After all they are different individuals with unique needs, just as you and your spouse. Think love languages.

You want to room in with your baby, great! You want to put your baby’s crib in the their own room straight away, great! Your family will have its own “fly” style that just works! Believe that!

3. Trust your instincts.

If you are like so many parents today you’re connected daily to the vast sea of information that is the internet. Trying to differentiating between interpretation and science and decide on what is “best” on topics like pregnancy, birth, and parenting can be overwhelming. My suggestion is to seek reliable sources that you connect with personally, be it a book, a pediatrician, or a friend. Be open to hearing new ideas and learning new ways of doing things. But, at the end of the day your instincts should always trump the information and advice when it comes to parenting!

4. You will make mistakes and that is more than okay.

Sometimes you will find yourself high-fiving your spouse and smiling over your parenting wins! Other times you’ll be reduced to tears, upset and even confusion. It will happen, don’t beat yourself up. Recognizing your own mistakes and learning from them only helps you be a better parent! As your children grow they will learn from you that it is okay to make mistakes and learn from ourselves. You can’t have wins without understanding loss! Every loss learned is a win!

5. Enjoy parenting your children. It is a gift some never experience.

Eighteen years can sound like a lot; some days seem much longer and harder than others. You will only have a baby for a year, a toddler for two, and a child for ten. Those are the years to create a strong foundation of love, acceptance, and whatever it is you value as a parent! After that you’re still and will always be a parent, but your role begins to shift slightly away from protector towards being a guide.

From joy to challenges, to tears of happy and sad, and every single possible emotion in between parenting is the ultimate rollercoaster ride! There are very few jobs in this World that are as important as parenting. What gifts do you want to hand down to our future scientist, parents, lawyers, bookkeepers, mechanics, doctors, teachers, doulas, writers, and pilots?

I hope The Beginner’s Guide to Parenting helped each of you feel less overwhelmed and more “ready” to step right into the role of parenting! Get your free The Beginner’s Guide to Parenting printable here.

Author~ Elizabeth Luke

Owner of First Coast Doulas, LLC

 

 

Top Baby Names of 2016 and 2017


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Top Baby Names of 2016 and 2017

If you or someone you know welcomed a baby in 2016 or are expecting in 2017 you should have fun reading and sharing this blog about top baby names. Care to make a prediction with us? Did your baby’s name make the lists? We would love to hear from you in the comments!

A lot goes into a name, especially when naming your own baby.

You want to find that balance. Something pronounced fairly easily, sounds audibly appealing, and will grow with your child. Something that embraces the future! No ex names surely. And, while kids can be mean and find a way to pick fun at any name you’re not trying to make it any easier for them either! Do you lean towards classical names or something more unique? Perhaps you have a family name that will be passed down or you would like to honor a lost loved one by naming your baby after them.

No matter how you reach your decision rest assured your baby will carry on a legacy. One that you began with a name and that is really saying something!

We have tracked down the top five baby boy and baby girl names of 2016. We also have a prediction for the top baby names for 2017. Does your baby’s name make the list? Were you considering any of these names? We want to hear from you!

In 2016 the top baby names for boys were:

  1. Jackson
  2. Aiden
  3. Lucas
  4. Liam
  5. Noah

In 2016 the top baby names for girls were:

  1. Sophia
  2. Emma
  3. Olivia
  4. Ava
  5. Mia

The most popular boy name at First Coast Doulas for 2016 is Jackson or the variation of Jaxson! Aiden held a close second. Our most popular girl names for 2016 are Sophia and Sarah who tied for most popular!

Would you believe that according to census data, the name Mary was the most popular name for girls from 1900-1959! Incredible, 59 years. Just for fun First Coast Doulas predicts that in 2017 at least three of the following names will make the top baby names list: David, Kyle, Violet, James, Peyton or Payton, Cohen, Oscar, Nelson, Elizabeth, Zane, Carrie, and finally Cora

We skipped Mary since it seemed a tad predictable!

 

Your Doula Is A PotHead

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Your doula is a pothead. Yes, you read that correctly.

I’m finally ready to let you all in on my newest secret. Sure at first I was hesitant, after all what would all of you think about my new found love, what would my doula clients think, and even more importantly what would my own family think?

Wait! Are you guys thinking I… oh never mind.

For those wondering what all this pot talk is about I am referring to the Instapot. I shared recently on my personal Facebook page that my awesome husband bought me one and many of you are pot curious. You guys could say that my husband contributed to my love for my pot.

“Try it Liz,” “You’ll love it Liz,” “This thing is awesome!” you, who know who you are used high pressure, like the Instapot, to get me to try it. And you were right!

After trying it I love my pot! My doula clients will love this pot!

I’ve wanted a “magic pot,” as my brother and I would call it, since I was a little girl and my mom would cook food in it like magic. No, seriously it was magic and that’s not the pot talking. Not quite rainbows and unicorns magic, as it appears to children, sorry there’s still work. I’m talking about, “Parents make magic happen” magic! From “Crap I forgot to pull something out of the freezer for dinner,” to dinner on the table in an hour or less kind of magic!

So here is my honest review of the Instapot Lux-50.

This thing is really cool! From use in my home to assisting doula clients in their home with their pot, this thing rocks! We’re talking rice cooker, crock pot, yogurt maker (some models), sauté, and pressure cook all in one pot! In a fraction, a tiny fraction of the time. What normally takes 8 hours in a slow cooker done in less than 30 minutes. How is that not magical?!

From lid closed to lid open, like magic I’ve cooked the following:

  • vegetable soup= 20 minutes
  • dried cannellini bean soup= 40 minutes
  • a falling off the bone whole 6 lb. chicken= 25 minutes
  • a beef roast with carrots, potatoes, and red wine gravy= 25 minutes
  • chicken and veggie soup= 15 minutes
  • from frozen, meatloaf with potatoes= 25 minutes
  • Boston butt/ pulled pork= 25 minutes
  • Bean & Ham Soup= 45 minutes

Your doula jax fl | placenta encapsulation Jax FL

Cons:

  • it’s another gadget
  • it takes time to learn it, but learning is fairly easy
  • doesn’t have a lid for pot to fridge transfer 

Pros:

  • hella fast cook times
  • food tastes as good as it does using other methods
  • one pot
  • uses less energy
  • easy clean up
  • it can replace your rice cooker and your crockpot
  • cook settings & manual mode
  • it has delay start
  • keeps food warm until you’re ready
  • has accessories like a glass lid & silicone lid for cook to fridge transfer
  • comes with a small cook book and cooking guide
  • It’s cute/stylish

If you made it this far you are awesome and know how to have a little harmless fun! This blog came to life when I googled “instapot” and a picture of cannabis buds appeared on my phone screen.

After using the Instapot it’s safe to say I am now a recreational pot user and hopefully after reading this blog you all will be too! Don’t worry about knowing it all, just get in on the magic and get started.

Simplify your life, toss the extra gadgets, worry less, eat more, live, love, and laugh. Happy birth and parenting from First Coast Doulas!

 

Cubs Celebrate World Series Win and Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp Are Born

Cubs celebrate World Series win and Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp are Born

Cubs celebrate World Series win and Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp are Born birth, pregnancy

Cubs Celebrate World Series Win and Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp are Born.

Co-Authored by Elizabeth Luke and Heather Horrell

Cubs Celebrate World Series Win and Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp are Born. What an incredible day for the Cubbies as they make history and win the World Series! Fans everywhere, including the First Coast Doulas team, watched, cheered, and anxiously held their collective breath for this long-awaited win!

Baseball aficionados and everyday Americans alike rejoiced to see Marty McFly’s prediction become eerily accurate, save for a year difference.

An incredible week indeed.

Just to see this level of enthusiasm resurrected, hopefully to create new fans and inspire family trips to the ballpark is magical and reminiscent of simpler days.

It seems baseball is the talk of the town. As a matter of fact, our town! Yep, our home group here in Jacksonville is busy renaming their baseball team. I could hardly believe the news. In fact, like many Jacksonville natives, I thought this must be a joke when I heard the name.

Then I fact checked.

Our Jacksonville Suns are now The Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp. *Crickets*. No, not crickets. Shrimp. Jumbo Shrimp. What the what?
So, will it now be, “Baseball’s never been hotter with the Jacksonville… Jumbo Shrimp?” It doesn’t flow from the tongue quite as effortlessly, but hey, maybe the motto changes too. Time will tell. Or, for another option, maybe it will be, “Shrimpin’ ain’t easy with the Jacksonville Shrimp!” Okay, I am just goofing now, but seriously, whoever has the task of the rebrand/rename/marketing surely has some work ahead of them.

Godspeed.

I’m not sure I even know this city anymore! What’s happening? Why is everything changing? (melodramatic pause).

If there’s one thing I’ve learned through supporting families and through raising my own children, it’s that growth and change can sometimes be difficult. It’s in those difficult moments that we find some nuggets of truth. We learn a lot about ourselves, our own abilities, and about growing into a new “us”. Our identities change, sometimes more rapidly than at any other point in our lives.

Just like the Cubs are now 21st Century World Series Champs. Just as the Jacksonville Suns are now the very locality specific Jumbo Shrimp. One was a forced change and one was chosen (or maybe a little of each), but both represent where the teams are now and where they are going. Their changes indicate their abilities, their values, and how others see them.

It may be a difficult adjustment and still be welcome.

This is true each time a family dynamic changes as well. This is why I love what I do and what First Coast Doulas offers. We are that guide, that support, that confidante who recognizes your new identity for all its challenges and beauty.
So, just as the Cubbies step into the World Series title and grow, and we embrace new stages in parenting our children, so too shall our Jumbo Shrimps grow!

Our city will pick fun (as us Southerners like to say) and ask, “What in the hell?,” but I bet most will embrace the new name of our baseball team in time.

Right now everyone is frantically googling, “The World Series and The Jacksonville Suns are now The Jumbo Shrimp,” trying to understand how this new change affects Jacksonville’s identity as a baseball team and as a city.

I have confidence though, that even if on the surface this name change seems silly, our citizens will look deeper. In time we’ll see it as a good thing so that we will grow, we will change, and we shall find out a lot about who we are in the process…The Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp.

If you think you might benefit from doula support or birth classes through the process of birthing a child in a town with Jumbo Shrimp as their baseball mascot, contact us Jumbo Shrimp loving doulas today!

 

Family Fun for Fall

 

Family Fun for Fall Jax, FL Birthing Classes

Family Fun for Fall

Looking for family fun ideas for fall? You’re in the right place! I’ve heard a resounding theme over the last few months from parents in my social circle and I can totally relate. The theme is “life’s simple pleasures”. Parents are feeling pulled in 100 different directions, none of which seem very…enjoyable or beneficial for their families. So they are simplifying, as am I. This blog will follow the “simple pleasures” theme while helping you connect and have a little family fun this fall.

Visit a corn maze!

Never taken a walk through a corn maze before? Well then, you’re in for a real treat! Conner’s A-Maize-Ing Acres located in Hilliard, Florida and Amazing Grace is locted in Greencove Springs, Florida. These places offer more than just a corn maze, they are local adventures just waiting to be experienced by the whole family. Take a stroll through the corn maze, jump on the jump pad, build a scarecrow, let the kiddos climb around in giant bins of corn, and be sure to talk with the animals you meet at the farm. Conner’s even offers a Feild of Screams for the brave!

Catch the memories on camera!

Throw on some fall clothes, visit a pumpkin patch and snap a few family photos! Seeing the kids faces light up with joy as they scurry about looking at the different shapes, sizes, and varieties is priceless. We have a ton of places around town to stop. One patch that seems to be a favorite umongst parents is at The Shepherd of The Woods Lutheran Church and School in Jax., FL. Visit a pumpkin patch and let us know your favorite!

 

Family Fun for Fall Jax., FL Doulas

Recipes to ring in fall!

No Excuses Pumpkin Muffins! This is the easiest recipe, ever! Calling for only 2 ingredients, everyone has time for that! 1 boxed spice cake and 1 small can (15 0z.) of pumpkin, NOT pie filling. Mix the two together well until no dry spots remain. Then bake at 325 degrees for about 18-20 mins. You can sub carrot cake for spice cake if you don’t like spice cake! These simple yet delicious muffins are only 160 calories each.

That’s until you jazz them up with a maple cinnamon glaze… and there goes the calories!

Cheesy Butternut Squash Pasta is another favorite in our house. Honestly it’s the best mac n cheese I’ve ever had! I however change up the recipe by adding in pureed cauliflower and omit the parsley and paprika. Talk about a fall recipe that’s Heavenly! You might just be adding this to your personal recipe list. The kids love it!

Get crafty!

Follow us on Pintrest for fall crafting ideas like Bundled Q-tip Fall Tree Painting, Yarn Pumpkins, and Coffee Filter Ghosts! Want something for the older kids or yourself, make some fall luminaries!

Tune in to the magic that is Halloween!

Make it a movie night! Pop some popcorn, pour some cider, cozy up, and turn on a movie. Our recommendations are sure to connect your family this season!

Pooh’s Heffalump Halloween Movie (G)

Coraline (PG)

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow (G)

Hocus Pocus (PG)

It’s The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown (G)

Bettlejuice (PG)

Gremlins (PG)

Any of the Harry Potter movies (PG-PG13)

The Little Vampire (PG)

All Hallos’ Eve (TV-G)

Recommendations for a much older audience who want all the frights include: The Nightmare on Elm Street Series(R), Sleepy Hollow(R), The Haunting in Connecticut(R), and of course The Exorcist(R)

One thing that our family loves to do and won’t let fall pass without doing is building a fire in the pit, roasting marshmallows, and enjoying a mug of hot cocoa together.

Winter, summer, spring, and fall, enjoy the season big or small. The days are long, but the years fly by. Our kids once little, grow so fast, what once was today has since long passed. From First Coast Doulas to all of our readers happy fall y’all!

Bringing Home Baby #2, Five Things to Know

Bringing Home Baby #2, jax placenta

Bringing Home Baby #2, Five Things to Know

What’s there to know?

You have done this before.

You are already a parent!

Right….

Because you have previous experience you may be a little less nervous about caring for a newborn or the thought of bringing your tiny human home to a busy toddler can be frightening.

First let me tell you, you can do this. You may flounder around to find your routine in the beginning, but after some time, you will begin to adapt. Take a deep breath and remember these 5 things to help you transition into your new role as a parent of not one, but two.

It will appear that your first ‘baby’ is now actually a giant

Your first child, even if they are still a tiny 1 or 2 year old, will look huge when bringing home baby #2. Everything about them will seem big! Their hands, only a few days seemed so small when you held on to them, now engulf those of their sibling’s. Their voice, their scent and their development now seem so far advanced as you are brought back to the quiet whimpers of your newborn. As a labor and postpartum doula, I have heard clients say many times, “no one ever told me they would look so big.” This alone can be a lot to take in.

What worked for one baby may not work for the next

Feeding and sleeping! Getting to know your firstborn’s likes and dislikes when it comes to the essentials is a great accomplishment. You had mastered your first’s routine in only a few months, this second time around is sure to be quicker! If that were the case, how would they keep life interesting? The behavior and personality of one may not be like the second. During times like these, clients have expressed some doubt before discovering the reason one part of their desired routine is not working. Adjustments will need to be made, but you are capable and you will figure out your new normal.

Know your limits

We give and give and give ourselves to little people who turn around and ask for more with one cue or another. While they are incredibly scrumptious, they can be…and are, equally taxing at times. When we are responsible for the lives’ of our future, knowing what we can and cannot handle is crucial. That will look different for every family. Do you need organization in your house? Hiring that out may be what works for you. Does 2 hours a day to yourself help you recharge? Are you a better mother to your children as a working mom? It’s different for every family and it is more than okay to choose to live a way others may not.

Find your person

Talk to a trusted friend regularly, about anything. Allow their encouraging words to sink in and gratefully welcome their help.  When you receive a compliment only say the words, “thank you”. This sounds silly, but it’s important. Don’t brush it off. Don’t couple your ‘thank you’ with a phrase that waters down the compliment you just received. We don’t always receive words that build us up. Postpartum doulas trained to support families with zero agenda are perfect for this role as well. He or she can be your best friend with professional expertise.

Lower your expectations

Hear me on this. Some of the thoughts we have seem so bizarre that we are sure to be the only ones to think them. “When I am bringing home baby #2 will I love her like the first? How can the second one be cute compared to the first? What if she doesn’t fit in with the rest of us?” You are not the only mother to have these thoughts before laying eyes on your new babe and you won’t be the last. Envisioning your bundle to fit right into your family as if you have always known him is a refreshing expectation that can easily be upheld. Expecting the bliss of watching your toddler kiss his little brother in complete adoration to last throughout their childhood years? Well, that’s an expectation to consider holding loosely.

When caring for a child and baby feels like a juggling act you are sure to drop. Come back to these 5 tips, call your doula and remember to take it one day (or even one hour) at a time.

 

bringing home baby #2, best placenta encapsulation in jax

Author: Whitney Teel, Wilmington Coastal Doulas

Whitney is the owner of Wilmington Coastal Doulas! She holds down the day to day operations and with a compassionate heart and a listening ear she supports couples as they find their confidence and identify with themsleves as self-assured parents! Whitney provides mentorship to doulas who are trained through ProDoula and are working with WC Doulas.

When she’s not slaying the day to day office stuff, building relationships and bridges with people in the community, and supporting her clients you’ll likely find her enjoying time with her own family and close friends! If you’re in the Wilmington, NC area and planning to welcome a baby soon you owe it to yourself to check out all that Wilmington Coastal Doulas has to offer!

 

 

Black Bean Veggie Burgers that Taste Great!

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Black Bean Veggie Burgers that Tastes Great!

A great flame grilled beef burger is hard to beat, but these yummy black bean veggie burgers are not just good, but damn good! In fact it’s a great meat alternative that our family loves. These burgers have been requested by several friends and family members for cook outs and family pool parties. This recipe makes about 6-7 burgers. When I prep these burgers for meals I really like to make enough to have a small freezer stash for a couple more meals!

Black Bean Veggie Burgers

Ingredients:

1 cup of black beans (canned or dried and cooked)

1 egg (vegan option 1 tbsp. ground flaxseed and 2 tbsp. water)

1 tbsp. BBQ sauce

1 tsp. powdered garlic

1 tsp. dried mustard

1 tsp. cumin

1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. pepper

1/2 onion cut into fourths

1/2 sweet red, orange, or yellow pepper cut into fourths

2 garlic cloves cut in half

3-5 mushrooms cut in half

1 small carrot cut into fourths

1/2-3/4 cup of oats

If grilling- 2 tbsp. oil of choice (hemp or EVOO are my preferred oils)

Gadgets and Gizmos Needed:

Parchment or Waxed Paper

Bowls

Fork

Food processor or other way to pulverize/chop veggies finely

Grill or oven

Measuring spoons & cups

Cookie sheet or pizza pan

 

Directions:

Using a fork mash beans well. In a separate bowl beat your egg (or other binder of choice). Whisk in your BBQ sauce, garlic powder, dried mustard, dried cumin, salt, and pepper.

Next in a food processor pulverize the oats well and then dump into a bowl and set aside. Then add the onion, sweet pepper, garlic cloves, mushrooms, and carrot to the food processor and pulse until pulverized well. Combine contents from food processor to the egg and seasoning mixture and mixed together well.

Finally combine the mashed beans to the wet ingredients and incorporate all ingredients together until mixed well. Now you’ll add in the oats a little at a time to get the desired consistency. The desired consistency is going allow you to form the mixture into patties, it will be slightly softer than a beef burger mixture, but you will still be able to form them.

Form into 6-7 patties and place on a parchment lined pizza pan or cookie sheet. Freeze them for about 30-45 minutes to firm them up. Brush with oil on the side going down onto the rack of the grill or down onto the baking sheet. Bake at 425 or grill about 10 minutes per side oiling the other side as you flip it over.

If making enough to freeze, be sure to thaw before cooking or adjust your cooking method to compensate for frozen burgers! Top these black bean veggie burgers with anything you’d top your burger with! My personal favs:

  • sautéed onions and mushrooms with provolone or smoked gouda with either a little BBQ sauce or spicy brown mustard and a little mayo
  • lettuce, avocado, purple onion and a little mayo

I think our black bean veggie burger would be well-loved at any of the vegan friendly dining options around Jacksonville or Fernandina, Florida!

Getting Your Baby to Sleep, Tonight

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Getting Your Baby to Sleep, Tonight

When my kids were newborns I could set my clock by them. They would wake every 2-3 hours. The oldest would wake each morning at 5:30am and be awake for a few hours before being ready for sleep once more. For a mom who is NOT a morning person, this was an absolute nightmare.

I had no clue to how put them back to sleep so I just sucked up the sleep deprivation and would rock them for what felt like hours trying to get them back to sleep. That is until I discovered Dr. Harvey Karp’s book The Happiest Baby on the Block.

It was heaven! My baby was falling asleep in fifteen minutes instead of the usual forty-five, and she was sleeping more soundly. This meant mom and dad were also getting better sleep. We were happier all around.

Without going too in depth, Here are the 5 things to know about getting your baby to sleep, tonight. These are the concepts associated with Karp’s sleep ideology.

  1. Swaddling

Babies are used to being curled up in a cramped space. Swaddling mimics that feeling. However, it is becoming increasingly recommended to practice safe swaddling techniques so please consult with your primary care physician or your doula for how to get that perfect swaddle.

 

  1. Side

It is easiest to get a baby to sleep when they are on their side or stomach. That’s why babies enjoy being rocked in someone’s arms and they clam down when placed on their stomach over someone’s arm. By holding the baby stomach to stomach, you are putting them in a position that is most comfortable for them.

 

  1. Shhhhhhhh

It is incredibly loud in the womb. Between the swooshing sound of your heart, the sounds of food digesting in the stomach, and outside noises it is almost deafening. When a baby is born we try to keep everyone quiet whereas adding some white noise will actually help getting baby to sleep a lot easier.

 

  1. Swinging

We naturally bounce babies in our arms or on our shoulder when trying to soothe them. This movement mimics the womb and is comforting to your baby. A baby’s enjoyment of this particular movement is the exact reason many babies sleep better while in the swing.

 

  1. Sucking

Babies do a lot of sucking in the womb- on their fingers, practicing breathing, practicing drinking, etc. When they are born they are only given a bottle, breast, or pacifier to suck when they are upset and not at will like they’re used to. By giving a baby something to suck on while getting your baby to sleep, it will make the process go much smoother.

Getting a baby to sleep can seem like a daunting task, especially for new parents. There are lots of ways to help get a baby to sleep, but this is the method that I have, personally, found to be most successful. Best of luck!

 

ChristineAuthor: Christine Santos, Sun State Doulas

Christine Santos is a labor and postpartum doula, placenta encapsulation specialist, and photographer serving Central Florida. She knows a thing or two about getting your baby to  sleep!

Christine owns Sun State Doulas in Lakeland, Florida. She is a passionate leader, but also loves working as a cohesive part of a team that provides unwavering support to families in the Tampa area. She also loves playing on a roller derby team and is known as the “Derby Doula”

 

What Women Need After Birth Is…

What Women Need After Birth Is…

what women need after birth is, Jax, FL

Elizabeth Luke, owner of First Coast Doulas asked 48 women and 24 men to answer this question, “What women need after birth is  __________.” You might be able to relate to their answers, or they may just catch you off guard and make you go hhmmm.

First Coast Doulas knows the challenges new families face.

Every experience is different and unique. We know that just because things went awry during birth or afterwards once doesn’t mean you are destine to that next go around, there’s support available. Preparing for what possibly lies ahead can mean the difference between feeling supported and having your voice heard versus feeling alone and like you had no say or support in your corner.

Without further ado here are 72 answers to the question, “What women need after birth is __________?

 

The women who were polled answered the question, “What women need after birth is ___________?”

* number of women with the same answer

  • someone to feed my older kids
  • a laundry fairy *4
  • someone to show me ways to care for and soothe my baby (you can only learn so much from books and videos) *2
  • someone at home with me so I didn’t have to be alone, no one should “have” to be alone after giving birth
  • someone to listen *3
  • food: healthy, warm food
  • two more arms and wine
  • support with breastfeeding
  • someone to care for the baby so I could play with my other children
  • freedom to cry and not get questioned
  • more time off work *5
  • my friends and family to help me without having to ask them *3
  • someone to hold my baby so I could shower *5
  • “a bottle washer I hated washing those damn bottles with a baby in the NICU”
  • someone to help at night, just at night
  • energy to do things *5
  • someone to get the older kids ready for school and do homework with them
  • to hold my baby first *2
  • time to myself, for myself, space
  • sleep *6
  • a pediatrician that understood breastfeeding *2

The men who were polled answered the question, “What women need after birth is____________?”

* number of men with the same answer

pain meds and those ice pack pad things

  • peace and quiet *2
  • food, my wife needed pizza *2, but only 1 said pizza
  • a trophy
  • sleep *5
  • their mother or sister because I didn’t understand any of it
  • time alone with the baby to bond *3
  • their husband *3
  • chocolate
  • more maternity leave *3
  • people around who respect her decisions *2
  • the bed to herself

First Coast Doulas offers services to help you reach your goals for birth and postpartum.

Do you know what a postpartum doula does? Probably not, most people don’t! Do you know what almost every single client we’ve had says? Go ahead take a guess, please!

It’s something along the lines of, “I had no idea this service was available”, or “where were you when I had my first?”

We get calls from women who’ve given birth and most of the time they expected they would bounce back rather quickly and life would be an easy transition. Either because they bounced back with their first, “Marcy and Tina went right back to work and life”, or they just really had no idea of what to expect. After all this is an all new territory, remember every birth is different.

While loved ones and friends get back to their own jobs, lives, and obligations, First Coast Doulas make you their top priority!

First Coast Doulas can support you with latching your baby at birth.

We’re knowledgeable about breastfeeding, helping you care for your newborn, and healing after birth.

We can lay out all the options so you can choose what’s best for you and your baby!

We help create a safe space for women to talk and unload as needed.

We help moms eat healthier snacks, help the family understand what they can do to help, help tidy up a little, and help keep that laundry fairy in check!

First Coast Doulas helps mothers, babies, and partners have an easier transition after birth!

First Coast Placenta is bring love, energy, and healing to women after birth.