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

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.

 

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!

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!

 

Stop Robbing Your Children

Stop Robbing Your Children

As requested by a few of our readers I have decided to write a blog addressing well meaning, but overbearing grandparents. It’s direct, without fluff, but with the intention of helping new families build healthy relationships with those they love and who love them!

 Stop Robbing Your Children

Many woman and men dream of becoming parents, sometimes it’s planned and other times it happens when they least expect it and they’re taken back. Do you remember what it was like to be a brand new parent? To feel vulnerable yet completely over joyed? To feel completely in love, but overwhelmed at the same time? You probably do, but very vaguely.

Becoming a parent is a profound experience!

New parents are fragile, yet they are incredibly strong. They are naive, but fully equipped. They are worthy of their own joys, their own mistakes, and the right to parent as they choose.

New parents need support. They need to hear “You’re doing a great job!” New parents want know you’re there if they need advice or a helping hand, but don’t want your unsolicited advice. Remind them that it get easier. Ask what you can do to help! Bring them a meal. Offer to hold the baby so they can shower. Pick a chore to do while they take in their new love and let the rest of the world fade away if even for just a short time.

Don’t remind them of the places they fall short, we all fall short. Build them up and let them know when you see them shining, even if it’s hard to do. Just do it!

New parents need to know that they are enough, because the truth is, they are!

At one time you were new parents, you didn’t know what you didn’t know and guess what? Your kids survived you! Sure, if you knew then what you know now you would have done some things differently, but that’s the beauty of it. There is no black and white, right or wrong in parenting!

One way isn’t better than another, it’s all just perspective.

With all due respect, grandparents, stop robbing from your children the joys and woes of parenting.

Set up some boundaries for yourself and stop over stepping boundaries your children have established. One example of this is how the baby is fed. Their choices for feeding their infant or child may be very different than your own choices, for different reasons. Car seat safety and co-sleeping are other examples.

It is not a parent’s job to justify to you or anyone else why they chose what they chose. But they may share with you why they do. Listen! Listen to what they are telling you! I bet it’s more than the reasons why, but because they feel it’s the best decision for their child, and that is a powerful reason.

One of the beauties of being a grandparent is that you don’t have to understand the whys, or do the research. It’s simple, respect the parent’s choices and enjoy loving your grandchildren.

Stop warning them of all the craziness that’s to come. Please stop telling them what you feel they’re doing wrong or jumping in to do it your way without being asked. Don’t tell them all the things they should and shouldn’t do or know. 

Grandparents, stop robbing your children and grandchildren of a happy fourth trimester, please! The fourth trimester, the trimester most people don’t talk about, is a delicate time in a mother’s life. She is learning her baby and her baby is learning her. There’s opportunity for risks and rewards. Which one do you want to foster? Her chances for postpartum depression and other issues increase when she is stressed due to many factors, one being lack of positive support.

STOP instilling fear in new parents.

Embrace your new role as grandparents and accept that while you are the parents you do not have the right to parent your grandchildren. Why rob these parents of opportunity and time with their infant and children? It’s hard sometimes to stand by and watch quietly as others do things differently, but it’s necessary.

It’s necessary for parents to learn their own lessons, to find their own path.

Not sure if you are one of these grandparents, not sure if you’ve been robbing your children and grandchildren? It doesn’t matter! Start being supportive now! Start by reminding yourself daily, even hourly if needed. Remember no one loves your grandchild more than your child.

There are no better parents for your grandchild than their parents.

Also, remember, just as you parented your children and they looked up to you and learned from your behaviors, your children are still learning from you even if it’s not the lessons you are intending to teach them. Now you have another set of eyes, ears, and a heart following your lead!

Ask what you can do to be supportive and help them!

A grandparent’s love is a special kind of love. Like a mother and a father, there are no replacements for grandparents. Your love for your grandchildren will live on forever through your actions and your words.

Grandparents, you have given the greatest gift to your grandchildren already, you have given them parents who are strong and capable.

What do you want to be remembered for?

When You’re Expecting Your Second Baby

When You’re Expecting Your Second Baby

When You're Expecting Your Second Baby best doulas in jax

When you’re expecting your second baby things can be different.

Whether you are changing up the nursery or keeping it the same you still want to make this birth special and this baby feel welcomed and in a unique and loving way!

But what are some ways to do that?

Not everyone wants a baby shower, and those who do aren’t always sure what to register or ask for with the second or even third pregnancy. In effort to simplify and enjoy life more many couples are moving away from all the extra things and embracing meaningful experiences. They are being mindful!

Many of our clients decide that doula support and placenta encapsulation services are something they want to budget for with their second baby. Many of them already have the necessities for their baby already and they don’t want the extra clutter around them, especially with two or more kids to care for.

The biggest benefits our clients have reported from taking their placenta pills are;

  • healthy breast milk production
  • more energy
  • faster healing/recovery time

Some of the families we’ve worked with had family and friends that chipped in and purchased gift certificates to help with the once in a lifetime experience they want to have!

First Coast Doulas loves celebrating a new life whether it’s the first or the fifth the dynamics of a family change with each new member. We know it’s a beautiful and fun time and we love being a part of the experiences that will one day be fantastic memories!

Gift certificates for birth doula services and professional placenta encapsulation with First Coast Doulas are a beautiful way to say we love you; we celebrate you, while not cluttering your space!

Gift certificates may be purchased in the amount of $50 or more. To purchase gift certificates contact us. Do you have questions? We have answers!  Check out our Q&A page for some of the most commonly asked questions and answers. We are happy to answer any and all questions you still have.

Contact us today and let’s start planning your perfect postpartum experience!

when you're expecting a second baby best doulas in jax

What’s Left After They’re Gone?

What’s Left After They’re Gone?

What's Left After They're Gones

I hope that my readers find solidarity, peace, hope, and excitement in what is to come when your kids have moved out. Whether you are nearing these days or you are many years away still!

I have birthed three kids of my own, okay they were babies when I gave birth, but you get my point! I’ve also cared for my baby brother through his life, until recently.

Occasionally, over the years I thought about the day each of my kids would grow up and move out. I wondered what it would be like. I wondered if they’d stay home a while after high school and attend college. What if they don’t attend college? What if they just go out into the workforce? What if they want to leave home at eighteen and travel the world or move across country straight away? What if they had a baby before they were “ready”?

The thoughts could be worse, right?

Like, what if they ended up on drugs and in jail? Worse still, what if they overdosed and didn’t recover from their addiction? What if they didn’t live to even get the chance to decide to have kids or not? What if they ended up on the streets? What if they didn’t want to be independent and they enjoyed being at home, forever?!

Oh my! Enabling others is one thing I will never do. Personal back story here, but let’s say there are good examples, and examples of who I never want to become!

My heart ached at the thoughts. I would get teary-eyed and at times, admittedly I cried. Then I would laugh and think you’re silly, they’re just ___________ (fill in the blank with babies, kids, teens), you have plenty of time left.

The thoughts would pass almost as quickly as they came.

Honestly, some of those tears were from frustration. My mantra during the teenage years was, “Remember, you will miss these days!” Raising kids, four of them at that, is not for the faint of heart. I assure you as parents we all have melt-downs, I’ve had many. As the kids grew older the challenges grew harder too.

I won’t “warn” you or say the very cliché thing most people say, “You think it’s rough now, just you wait till they’re teenagers!” I’ll just say this, they’re sweet and adorable as babies for a reason; to ensure that cuteness and love is enough to carry us through the teenage years!

Every family presents with its own unique set of challenges. For us I think having three boys with only a two year age difference was a challenge in and of itself.

I believe that there is comfort in not knowing all the things to come, at least for me it was. To tell you the truth if I’d knew what we’d face between the ages of 12 and 16 I probably would’ve ran away, forever! Kidding, I would have come back once the future revealed to me that not one, but all three of my boys would move out in 2015. YEAH! I imagined their stories would be their own, unique as each of them, but NEVER did I imagine they’d all be moving out in the same year.

Imagine for a second the shock I experienced when one of them not only moved out at a very young age, but also got married and moved three states away all within 30 days! Yeah, serious shock to this mama’s heart!

So what’s left after they’re gone?

Well, they’re not really gone; they’re just living their lives. This is the natural progression of things. The life that I gave them was always their own. I taught them important lessons and have learned even more!

Oh boy, tears are flowing heavily from my eyes now, again…

After their hand prints have faded from the walls, the loud, crazy music has silenced and their rooms have emptied I am left with a full heart and memories of three funny, inspiring, rambunctious boys who I hope get to enjoy their health life they have been blessed with.

After running out of hot water in the shower at least twice a week for the last 6 years we now have an extra bathroom that rarely gets used and hot water to spare.

The dryer that use to run nonstop with football and basketball uniforms and dark clothes mixed with lights is now working part-time.

After the airsoft pellets have faded from the yard the indentions in the wooden posts remain for a little while longer.

The largest tree limbs of my only shade tree were hacked, but I look back and laugh at how crazy and determined those boys were!

The dirty shoe marks left on the carpet have all been ripped up now. There has been wood flooring put in. I remember the fun they had skateboarding, riding bikes, playing in the dirt, and running in and out of the house in a hurry to get to the neighbor’s pond to swim!

Our large grocery bill has now shrunk, but  I have a hard time cooking for just three of us. We hope to one day feed some little ones from our kitchen and table again!

So what’s left after they’re gone?

Cheers! Toast a glass of wine, a beer, or mocktail, you did it, you survived parenting your kids through their childhood. That is a huge accomplishment in itself.

Hope! There’s hope in knowing we taught them to love with their hearts, to be compassionate of others, but to think clearly with their minds.

Time for ourselves! We have made it all these years, through all kinds of challenges. We have been blessed to come out on the other side of parenting still sane (or with our own new definition of the word)! So there’s time now to do more of the things we sacrificed for the kids!

Trust! Trust that you did the very best you could with the resources you had available to raise your kids. They will make mistakes, they will, but trust that they will be okay, and believe they will do amazing things!

Excitement! I am excited for this new chapter in my life, and equally excited to see what is next for them! Oh the things they will learn and experience next!!

When the nest starts to empty don’t be scared! I hope you take comfort in knowing that many mothers and fathers have walked this path before you and that this is the natural progression of things. Our children will still need us, but in different ways. By grace we have made it this far, we are of the lucky ones!

 

Breast or Bottle, Moms Unite

Breast or Bottle Jacksonville Doula

Breast or Bottle, Moms Unite

Breast or bottle, I remain hopeful that we’ll let the love we have for our babies unite us, not divide us! I truly believe that deep down most of us love our children with a love as fierce as a lion protecting her cubs.

We conceive by traditional and non-traditional methods, adopt, and utilize surrogacy. You don’t hear much judgement or shaming over these topics at all.

Why then so much division between mothers on the topic of breast or bottle?

Feeding our babies is a very personal journey. The judgement needs to stop! I wonder if we had the ability to see what other women are using during their monthly cycle (i.e.; pad, tampon, cloth, or menstrual cup) if we would comment about what’s best in that regard? No, most of us would not (insert side eye here).

Why then so much judgement for the way a woman nourishes her baby?

As humans we’re diverse creatures, we face challenges. As mothers we face many choices and difficulties we never thought we’d face. We come to a crossroad and have to think quickly on our feet.

Here is a super short list of some of the challenges and choices we face as pregnant and new mothers;

  • Conceiving a Baby
  • Vaginal or Cesarean
  • Medicated or Unmediated
  • Infertility
  • PUPPS
  • HELLP Syndrome
  • Hyperemesis Gravidarum
  • Plugged Ducts and Mastitis
  • Cholestasis
  • Breastfeeding Aversions
  • Dysphoric Milk Ejection Reflex or D-MER
  • Cloth or Disposables Diapers
  • Sleeping Arrangements
  • Vaccinate on Schedule, Delay, or Decline
  • Circumcision or Intact
  • Tongue & Lip Ties
  • Food Allergies
  • Teething
  • Potty Training
  • When to Introduce Solids
  • Which Formula & Bottles

Isn’t that enough?

No matter where we stand on the subject or how sure or unsure we are of our choice, isn’t it enough that we’re making a decision from a place of love? Some people want deeply to breastfeed while some want deeply to enjoy bottle feeding. Sometimes what the world sees is a person’s first choice, others times it’s not at all. Perhaps their decision was a hard one.

We don’t see the whole picture on the outside looking in.

There are moms who isolated themselves from others because they’re afraid people will say they “gave up” on feeding their baby the “best”, or for fear others will comment negatively on her using her breast to nourish and comfort her baby.

As a postpartum doula I’ve witnessed firsthand what happens when people pass judgement, but even as an experienced mother I didn’t see it.

Do you know what the words, “you’re doing a great job”, can mean to a mother?

As women we already tend to put expectations on ourselves. We have these ideas of how it will be or how we want it to go and when things don’t go as planned we can feel pressure to continue while other times we are okay with shifting gears and changing direction. The pressure can be overwhelming.

A mother’s mental and physical needs need to come first. You can’t serve from an empty cup. What women need is support and encouragement along their journey to find the right fit for them and their families, not unsolicited advice, shaming, or judgment from anyone.

Why then so much pressure, judgement, and shame?

Many people think if they rave about how great breastfeeding is you’ll give up the idea of bottle feeding. Others think maybe they can save you from “suffering” through the woes of learning your baby and breastfeeding. New moms need others to listen.

New mothers benefit greatly from words of encouragement. Saying things like, “you’re doing great despite opposition”, asking “what can I do for you right now” and “what do you feel is best” are great ways to say supportive things!

Breast is not always best. Can we please stop with that crap already!

Women choose to feed their babies in different ways for many different reasons. Some simply prefer one over the other, that’s their choice. Some reasons may be much deeper than what meets the eye. Sometimes women share their reasons and sometimes they don’t, that’s okay too.

Quite frankly how you feed your baby is none of anyone’s business.

Breast or bottle, moms unite when we feed our babies with love in our hearts! Whether you see it that way or not, we all have that in common when you take out all of the other varying factors!

Join the Jacksonville Pregnancy and Parenting group on Facebook for non-judgmental support!

 

Breastfeeding Aversions, Evolutionary Parenting

Breastfeeding Agitation, La Leche League

Hypoplasia/Insufficient Glandular Tissue, KellyMom

PUPPS, Pub Med

Infertility, Medline Plus

Cholestasis of Pregnancy, nlm.nih.gov

HELLP Syndrome, Medline Plus

Dysphoric Milk Ejection Reflex (D-MER)

Hyperemesis Gravidarum, NCBI

Plugged Ducts & Mastitis, KellyMom

What Would Wonder Woman Do?

What Would Wonder Woman Do?

Authored by Keira Packard

What Would Wonder Woman Do Jacksonville Doula

Dear Wonder Woman,

Yes, you. You with your messy bun and a tshirt stained with baby food. Yeah, I’m talking to you.  I’ve got a secret. Want to hear it?

Wanting “Me time” is perfectly normal and healthy.

Yeah, you heard me right.

Even Wonder Woman gets a break every now and then.

In today’s Western society women are supposed to be all and do all; the Wonder Woman of the modern family.

We are mothers, wives, employees, bread winners, friends, volunteers, chefs, cleaning ladies, hot spandex-wearing crime fighters…the list goes on and on.

Taking a break, whether it’s to shower (alone and at a decent hour) or to have dinner with your girlfriends, has somehow become frowned upon. Wonder Woman’s job is never done.

As a wife and mother of two I’m lucky to be able to stay at home while my husband works. Money and time are tight, but it’s worth it to have the opportunity to take care of my family. The downside is the lack of “Me time.” Grocery shopping is done mostly with one or two children in tow, I share my showers with my little one more often than not and the luxury of finishing a fresh cup of hot coffee is a distant memory! Wonder Woman needs her caffeine too!

To combat the constant presence of others, every mother, me and you included, should take the time to do for ourselves. Go get a pedicure, have a glass of wine on the porch or take a hot relaxing bath.

Not only should we do these things regularly, but they should be done without guilt!

I can admit to feeling guilty when I do things that are just for me. I recently went clothes shopping alone at my husband’s insistence and it was so wonderful to sift through racks of clothes and not worry about the stroller being in the aisle or my six year old playing hide and seek amongst the rows of dresses. But even as I enjoyed my moments alone my mind drifted to home and how I could be marking off another thing on my to-do list instead of “wasting” time on me.

I know it’s a struggle I’m not alone in. This kind of thinking is not only wrong, but it’s unhealthy. We are human beings, not machines. Relaxation and joy are crucial to our physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health.

There is no shame in indulging in life’s little pleasures as you step out of your Wonder Woman role.

My challenge to you is twofold: start by planning one thing every week to do for yourself. Crack open that new book you’ve been meaning to read or stay up just a little late to eat that tiny carton of Chunky Monkey you’ve stashed behind the frozen peas.

That’s the easy part.

The hard part is to not let anyone, yourself included, make you feel guilty for it!

Enjoy the many roles you play, but remember: super suits are meant to be worn and taken off. Take comfort in the times you can stow away for yourself. Your body and those around you will thank you.

What Would Wonder Woman Do

About the author:

Keira is married with two children and the owner and knitted designer of simplybee.co. Keira is a hardworking wonder woman who knows all too well the importance of me time. Now, making time and not feeling guilty about it is the struggle many of us face. The more you practice it, the easier it becomes to see the reasoning for it!