How Can a Postpartum and Infant Doula Help Me?

postpartum and infant doula jax fl

How Can a Postpartum and Infant Doula Help Me?

You’ve heard the words postpartum and infant doula, but you’re wondering what exactly they mean together, what they do, and how can they help you?! First, you’re not alone! Most people have no idea what a postpartum and infant doula is. So breathe a sigh of relief you aren’t alone in the forest.

The word postpartum tends to get a bad rap.

Most people hear the word postpartum and immediately think of depression after a person gives birth.  Like prenatal and antenatal means during pregnancy, postpartum simply means the period of time after birth. Sure the postpartum time period can entail the baby blues, depression, anxiety, OCD, and psychosis, but it doesn’t always include those things.

A Postpartum and Infant Doula is a non-medical support person who is by your side after you have your baby!

While we can’t speak for all Doulas, First Coast Doulas are Knowledgeable, trained, and skilled in compassionate care for families with babies!

While every family is different and their needs are unique there are challenges all new parents face. We add value to your family dynamics no matter what that looks like. Traditional family, cool! Single parent home, you rock! Blended family, we love you all too! Polyamorous families we see you!

So, how can a Postpartum and Infant Doula help?

Sleep

Be it your first baby or your fifth sleep is a key component of good mental and physical health. We help parents get the necessary amount of sleep day in and day out!

Nourishment

Keeping up after baby is no easy task. Keeping the body fueled is another component of good health. We prep snacks and meals and bring it right to your bedside. We’ll even run out for your cravings! Life is busier than ever, we got you!

Emotional Support

Having a baby brings out all of the emotions. Your doula knows! We’re skilled in the art of emotional attunement! From weepy, raging, and numb to everything in between we see it, we recognize it, and we are comfortable talking about it and being there to see you through it!

Companionship

You need to heal, rest, and care for baby. That doesn’t mean you should feel like an outcast or be confined to isolation. Ugh, we hear it all the time, “I feel so alone.” Your doula makes going out, or staying in more enjoyable. Your doula can tend to your baby while we all walk Target or grab lunch! On the flip side we can stay in, bake cookies, and watch your favorite episodes wth you too!

Team Work

A second set of hands, eyes, and a compassionate heart! We can wear your baby while you get a nap. Keeping him, her, or them soothed. We’re skilled in the art of toddler wrangling and bathing too! Calling in help doesn’t mean you can’t do it, it may just mean you are wise to value another compassionate human to give your babies attention too!

Self-Care

All this talk about self-care and no time for it sucks! Keep your hair appointment and book that massage, we’ll come along and keep baby happy and unwanted hands off! You can relax knowing that during a bubble bath or a phone call with your girlfriend on the patio your baby is with the very best and only a room away!

So, in short your postpartum and infant doula is like a magical unicorn! She appears when you need her most, anticipates your needs before you even know you need it, and she makes magic happen!

Laundry and dishes, done!

Laughs and a safe place to cry, she’s your girl!

Pizza and drink, just say wine or whiskey!

Ssshhhhh….it’s not really magic, but it sure feels like it! Contact our “magical unicorns” for a complimentary phone consult!

 

Is My Baby Normal?

Is my baby normal | Childbirth Classes Jax FL

Is My Baby Normal

Babies do all sorts of seemingly oddish things. Things that’ll leave you wondering, is my baby normal? Sometimes their movements and reflexes can look scary to those who haven’t been around newborns or who aren’t well-versed in their behaviors. We noticed that when we work with new parents, we almost always get asked, “my baby does ________, is my baby normal?”

Common baby behavior includes evolutionarily-base reflexes. These can seem frightening and sometimes funny too (shhhh). We delve into each of these ahead and explain why your baby isn’t an actual alien life form.

Rooting is a reflex that helps your baby, well, root.

What does that mean? It means that this adaptation allows your baby to seek out and find a nipple. They’ll turn their heads side to side, lifting their necks, with their eyes closed.  It’s actually an early indicator of hunger, shortly before they cry and scream emerge.  When they root, they’ll sniff you if you are holding them! If they are by themselves or in a bassinet, you might notice that they put their whole fist in their mouths!

Tonic Neck reflex is a much more subtle reflex.

Fencing or Tonic Neck reflex is when your little one looks like he/she is the “On guard” position when they lie on their back. Some may describe the baby as looking like a little fencer! It serves as an important clue to their neurological development.  For instance, if your baby is never or always in this position, or continues this reflex past six months, it’s important to mention it to the pediatrician.

Is My Baby Normal | Childbirth Classes Jax FL
Fencing or Tonic Neck reflex

The Startle or Moro reflex is simultaneously intriguing and funny.

When you make a loud noise or sudden movement, like unswaddling, your baby will throw his/her hands upwards and their body will jolt. Sometimes, though, it seems to happen when the house is as quiet as a library. This particular reflex is another leftover evolutionary adaptation as it helped our prehistoric ancestors respond to danger.  Notice how their hands grasp while they move their arms upwards?  Since we are primates, this ensured that the baby would hold very tightly to the mother as she escaped danger.  Speaking of grasping…

The Grasp or Palmer reflex works in conjunction with the Moro, but is important on its own.

If you put your finger on the palm of your baby’s hand, he/she will instinctively close their hand around yours. This is one of the cutest, most enjoyable reflexes a parent, family member, or caregiver can expereince. This serves to keep them safe as discussed above, but it also is the beginning of fine motor development.

is my baby normal | Childbirth Classes Jax FL
Grasp of Palmer reflex

The Plantar or Babinski reflex refers are associated with the feet of the newborn.

Just as the Palmer reflex is a reaction of the fingers curling to grab, the Plantar, or Babinski, reflex is the foot’s way of responding to stimuli and helps the body to begin developing gross motor skills. Stroke your finger along the sole of their feet, right under the toes and you’ll see some extreme monkey ability!

Sometimes, parents will notice that their baby’s eyes are rolling into the back of their head!

This is really common and completely normal. As babies come out of or are going into a deep sleep, their state of consciousness is shifting and thus, their eyes will roll under their eyelids. Sometimes, their eyelids open a little and you see all the eye movement. (Generally speaking, there is no need to worry, but like anything, if you’re concerned call a medical provider.)

While we’re on the subject of beautiful baby eyes I want to also mention that if your baby’s may appear crossed from time to time. That can be normal too. It usually always straightens out by the baby’s first birthday. Talk with your pediatrician if you are concerned, but at each well-check they will examine your baby’s eyes to make sure they are developing correctly!

Periodic Breathing

Have you ever noticed that your baby, particularly when asleep, will start breathing short, little breaths like gasps and they’ll whimper? Well, this is another scary newborn event, which is also completely normal! Babies have immature respiratory systems and this is their body’s way of strengthening and regulating oxygen intake (similar to yawning releasing carbon dioxide).  They may whimper and make sounds during this bout of Periodic Breathing, but baby should not however, appear to be struggling to breathe or stop breathing altogether.

You’ll find yourself time and time again wondering, is my baby normal? As you grow as a parent, you’ll begin to wonder, “what is normal anyway?” Then, you’ll begin to differentiate between normal and abnormal behavior. It’s always good to know that some of the strangest baby happenings are absolutely normal.  And if you are still anxious, well, your pediatrician is only a phone call away!

 

Private Childbirth Classes

 

private childbirth classes | Jax FL | Best Birth Classes in Jax., FL

Private Childbirth Classes

Considering private childbirth classes means you’re a dynamic individual!

When preparing for birth it’s much easier to know what you want when you are aware of what is available to you. You need an educator that is as forward-thinking as you are. Someone that can lay out all of your options, knows the ins and outs of the local birthing facilities, and presents the information in a way that allows you to explore what is best for you and your family. That’s exactly what you get with First Coast Doulas!

When attending Family 1st Private Birthing Classes with First Coast Doulas you can expect to learn about:

  • pregnancy & common ailments during
  • the stages of labor & birth
  • comfort measures
  • your rights
  • how to navigate labor in a way that works best for you in the moment
  • the physiological process of birth

You’ll also learn:

  • how to work with your body to feel more comfortable
  • positions that are helpful during birth
  • when those positions are most helpful

What’s better than that?

How about also learning tips and techniques from someone who works intimately with families giving birth and during the first six weeks after birth. Information to prepare you for what you can expect based on your birth choices, and how to care for your postpartum body, are also included.

Family 1st Private Childbirth Classes are the perfect place to explore how you will define a satisfying birth experience.

We provide you with information on un-medicated vaginal birth, various options for pharmacological pain relief including epidurals, and what to expect if you choose or require a cesarean. All the information is presented in an unbiased and judgement free manner. Regardless of your desires for your birth experience, gathering knowledge of the most common options and variations will help you feel prepared should your plans change along the way.

All of this in the comfort, privacy, and safety of your very own home.

Overall, these amazing classes will help you find what works best for you. You will complete your class feeling prepared with tools to navigate the unpredictability and intensity of your baby’s birth. Using research based information and proven techniques, you can expect to feel safer and less fearful of the birthing process. Are you ready to meet your baby?

Authored by Lacey Park agency owner at Chinook City Doulas, serving families in Calgary!

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Delayed Cord Clamping

delayed cord clamping | Birth Classes Jax, FL

Delayed Cord Clamping

Delayed cord clamping is a term that you’ve likely heard of or read about if you are expecting a baby in the near future. At birth babies are attached to their placenta via their umbilical cord. The placenta is attached to the wall of the woman’s uterus. Once the baby is born the cord is clamped. This stops the flow of nutrient rich blood containing iron from the placenta to the baby. When the baby’s cord is clamped matters.

Some of you just thought, “So what’s the research say?” We got you!

The World Health Organization (WHO) says that, “delayed cord clamping (performed approximately 1–3 min after birth) is recommended for all births, while initiating simultaneous essential neonatal care.” Furthermore they say that early cord clamping (less than one minute after birth) is not recommended for pre-term and full-term babies unless they the baby needs to be moved immediately for resuscitation.

I especially love that they also address the fact that keeping the cord unclamped for a 1-3 minute period also helps to prevent and treat postpartum hemorrhage in the birthing woman.

Postpartum hemorrhage (PPH) is defined as a rapid loss of blood after giving birth. PPH can happen anytime immediately following birth up to 6 weeks postpartum. The most common causes of PPH are poor contractions of the uterus, separation of the placenta or pieces of retained placenta, or a tear in the uterus. Some women are at higher risk for PPH. Women birthing more than a singleton baby, are of advanced maternal age, who are birthing via cesarean, and those who have had labor augmented with medication are at greater risk. So, it may be important to you to note that delayed cord clamping can help prevent and treat PPH.

Even more exciting, yesterday the American Congress of Obstetricians andGynecologists (ACOG) released their latest statement and the results show the following benefits:

In preterm infants:

  • improved transitional circulation
  • better establishment of red blood cell volume
  • less need for blood transfusion
  • reduces the incidence of brain hemorrhage
  • reduces the risk of necrotizing enterocolitis (intestinal disease)

For term infants

  • increases hemoglobin levels at birth
  • improves iron stores for several months
  • helps prevent iron deficiency during the first year of life

ACOG also states that in most cases, delayed cord clamping doesn’t interfere with the immediate care the infant receives including the first breath and immediate skin-to-skin contact. Delayed cord clamping alone does not affect whether or not a woman can have her placenta encapsulated. Majority of women who are planning for or who need to have a cesarean birth can also consider delayed cord clamping.

So, if you’re in the midst of creating a birth plan or preference sheet, delayed cord clamping just might be something you want to include. In addition to taking a great childbirth education class be sure to talk with your provider if you have questions and make your wishes known to your support person(s) and your entire birth team.

Fun tid-bit of the day; delayed cord clamping is also known as optimal cord clamping! From us to you, happy birth and parenting! ~Elizabeth Luke

Your Newborn Baby; 5 Things You’ll Want Know

Your Newborn Baby Jax FL

Your Newborn Baby; 5 Things You’ll Want to Know

As delivery day approaches you’ll have all kinds of feels. The idea of your newborn baby in your arms can be overwhelming and exciting all at the same time. As a New Family Support Specialist I want to help enhance your experience. So today I’m sharing with you 5 things you’ll want to know about your newborn baby.

1. Your newborn baby will cry.

I’m sure that comes as no shock, after all, babies cry, it’s sort of their thing. The feeling you get when you hear the sound of your baby’s cry can catch you off guard though. I mean, you know babies cry, so why all the emotions? Damn hormones! Hormones and instincts are to blame. We are wired to respond and be attentive to our newborns most of the time. Your newborn baby has very few ways to communicate with you, crying is the most recognizable one and gets the most attention quickly.

Babies cry for a number of reasons; hunger, discomfort or pain, startling, and sometimes they just cry. Yes, for no known reason. Write this one down folks! No, in fact just print this blog, frame it and hang it in the nursery as a reminder! It will be ok. You try “all the things”, and at the end of the day you remind yourself that you did the best you could and that is enough. As your baby grows you will begin to learn what cry means what. For some it’s an intuitive feeling, but for most it’s a learned art, it takes time, and that’s ok.

2. Your newborn may have a mini period and swollen breasts.

Maternal hormones from the mother’s body are responsible for these happenings. Again I say, damn hormones! In the first couple of weeks of life your newborn baby girl may shed a tiny amount of blood from her uterus into her vagina, and make its way to her diaper. This is normal and perfectly healthy. We’re talking a very small amount.

Your newborn boy or girl may have swollen breasts. Yep, boys can have boobies too! For a limited time only, usually lasting around six weeks of age your baby’s breast tissue can appear raised, swollen, or full.

3. Your newborn will have mucus, and may sneeze frequently.

Your newborn spent his entire life surrounded by amniotic fluid. Stepping, sucking, practicing acrobatics, and he was taking practice breaths of fluid. At birth most of that fluid is cleared via a good squeeze as he passes through the birth canal and is suctioned away by the provider. In a cesarean birth babies are suctioned more thoroughly because they need a little more help clearing that fluid. Some of that fluid still remains in your newborn no matter how they were born.

Your newborn will pass that mucous over the next couple of weeks and will need your help being suctioned occasionally. Hearing your newborn with mucous in his mouth and throat can be a little unsettling, but have no fear, its normal and will pass with time. Sneezing is one way your baby clears his respiratory passages. Using a bulb syringe or similar product like the Nose-Frida you will help remove what they cannot clear themselves. As long as the fluid is clear or milky like and not yellow or green there is no reason to be alarmed.

In the Family 1st Birthing Classes we cover birth, but we also cover what to expect in the first two weeks after birth. The classes are comprehensive and customized to your unique needs.

4. Your baby’s eyes may look crossed from time to time.

You could stare into her eyes forever! Don’t be surprised if one day while staring back your newborn’s eyes are crossed. In the first few months of life it’s very common. The eyes are surrounded by muscles. Majority of the time when the eyes are crossed some muscles may be a little weaker than others and just need more time to gain strength.

Your pediatrician will examine your baby’s eyes at each visit to make certain that everything is developing properly. If there is reason for concern you will be referred to a children’s eye specialist where further testing may be done.  If you are concerned or notice it happening more often absolutely mention it to your pediatrician.

Sometimes a baby’s eyes may appear to be crossed, but actually are not. This illusion is called pseudo strabismus and usually happens when a baby has a wide nasal bridge.

5. Your newborn will signal you when hungry.

You won’t hear the ringing of a little bell or get a, “Yo mom, when’s dinner?” No, no, you have a least a decade before that occurs, but your newborn will signal you when he or she wants to be fed. We all recognize crying as a sign of distress or hunger, but crying is actually a late indicator for hunger.

Catch your baby’s cues early and you can make feeding time a more enjoyable experience for all. If you wait until the late signs of hunger are displayed it may be necessary to calm your newborn before feeding her.

Early signs of hunger in your newborn include:

  • licking or smacking lips
  • opening and closing mouth
  • sucking on anything (lips, tongue, finger, hand)

Active signs of hunger in your newborn include:

  • the rooting reflex or turning their mouth towards your chest
  • crankiness displayed as breathing faster
  • squirming around, increased movement or stirring

Late signs of hunger in your newborn include:

  • crying
  • moving head from side to side
  • frantically moving around

Follow us on Facebook for more great informational blogs about pregnancy, birth, healing, your newborn, relationships, and parenting! In these early weeks of your newborn’s life it’s tough, really tough, but there are ways to feel more supported and transition more smoothly. Contact us today to learn more!

Baby Feeding Cues Visual