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!

 

Sleep and Help with Meals and Housework After Giving Birth

 Sleep and Help with Meals and Housework after Giving Birth Jax FL

Sleep and Help with Meals and Housework after Giving Birth

This week alone we’ve heard, “We should’ve hired a doula to get sleep and help with meals and housework after giving birth,” at least ten times. Ten times this week alone! That means there is a general consensus that families do want and very much need help after giving birth.

Who more deserving of sleep and help than new parents raising the future generation?

They want to get a healthy amount of sleep, not even an abundance of it. Shoot, most new parents can’t even imagine what an abundance of sleep feels like. For the majority a short 30-60 minute nap along with a minimum of 4-6 hours of uninterrupted sleep each day is enough to maintain mental, emotional, and physical health. Many aren’t getting that though. On average the majority of new parents are only getting three-and-a-quarter hours sleep each night for the first two years of their children’s lives. Sleep-deprivation can lead to unhealthy habits and unsafe conditions for both parents and their children. Someone’s grandchildren!

Food! I think we all speak that love language, amiright?

New parents are praying that someone, anyone will hear their stomach’s cry for a decent meal and that during their night the snack fairy will arrive and save them! After all how will they keep up with their wakeful newborns and maintain a sense of normalcy without nourishing their bodies?

The other universal love language is L-A-U-N-D-R-Y and D-I-S-H-E-S!

New parents may wear boogies as an accessory and the newest eau de spit-up fragrance, but it doesn’t mean they have to start their day that way. To see the mile high pile of laundry and dishes disappear would be like the magic of childhood again! When the subject comes up organically I tell people there are three things you need to know when visiting a home with a newborn.

  1. Bring food for the new family!
  2. Wash your hands upon arrival!
  3. A load of dishes, laundry, or both are required if you’re going to hang out for longer than 5 minutes.

Sleep and Help with Meals and Housework after Giving Birth Jax FL

A great postpartum and infant doula speaks the universal new parent language fluently!

We anticipate the needs of new parents without being asked or without asking a million questions. Many are trained to recognize early signs of baby blues, postpartum depression, anxiety, and psychosis. We help with the most important things: sleep, food, laundry, dishes, siblings, and hello, companionship!

Ask a mom what she needed in the first three months after giving birth and you can bet your first born that we help with it. I’m serious! From sleep to sex, and everything in between we help parents find their groove and do so with less stress and more options!

I absolutely won’t sell our agency short here folks! You want First Coast Doulas on your home team!

Hiring a postpartum doula doesn’t mean you can’t hold down the fort, you totally can! It means your fort can become an impenetrable fortress with hands on, accurate advice, support, encouragement, and help! It doesn’t make you any less of a parent or spouse to bring in a mom and baby professional. You know what it does make you? In the know, a smarty Mc Smarty Pants!

The only down side to postpartum and infant doula support is finding out too late!

However, finding out too late that postpartum doulas help with sleep and help with meals and housework after giving birth doesn’t mean you have to be sad. Okay, maybe a little wallow in the metaphorical mud is okay; after all you could have had a daily shower, food, and sleep! After that though, pick yourself up, clean yourself off and get out there and tell other expecting and new parents that they don’t have to go through this alone!

Often times the most important lessons in life are learned through our own experiences. The fact that we missed out on amazing support shouldn’t be the focus, but rather that we learned from the experience and want to share it with others!

First Coast Doulas is currently offering a few special holiday packages and our gift certificates make thoughtful and extravagant gifts!

 

5 Ways to Hold It Together Instead of Losing Your Shit

5 Ways to Hold It Together Instead of Losing Your Shit | Best Doulas in Jax FL

5 Ways to Hold It Together Instead of Losing Your Shit

Today we’re sharing with you 5 ways to hold it together instead of losing your shit! Pardon our potty-mouths for a moment while we get real! Feel free to use any of the following or anything that works in place of the potty word if it bothers you: mind, crap, control.

Childbirth (no matter your baby makes his/her entry) is hard. Parenting is hard. Marriage is hard.Damn, life is hard sometimes!

You can’t always change your circumstances, when you can you do, but you can learn some ways to hold it together and we’re going to help you because we want you to F.L.Y.! (FLY=first love yourself).

#1 Use Your Breath

No, not to yell. Don’t hold it. Inhale and exhale slowly for about 5 minutes. Try to create a 2 to 1 ratio, exhaling for 4 counts and inhaling for 2. When you do this your heart rate slows, your blood pressure drops, and your muscles begin to relax. Guided meditations, simple affirmations, and stretching can help stress management.

#2 Visualize

Using visual imagery can be an effective way to create change within the body. Like a movie playing on the back of your eyelids you visualize whatever it is that brings your peace, joy, and positive energy. Leave the funk, crazy, outta control feeling right there in the water and visualize that shit washing away with the tide. Bye Bye!

#3 Take a Time Out

Yeah, they aren’t just for toddlers or football! Everyone can benefit from a time out and learning to take time outs can help you to F.L.Y.. Time outs can be taken in the bathroom while soaking in the tub! They can be taken the car while taking a drive singing as loud as humanly possible. They can even be taken in the back of the closet with the door locked and your favorite chocolate bar in hand!

#4 Phone a Frand!

Everyone needs a support system. Parents get other parents. We should all have that one friend who knows that sometimes we just need to vent. We just need an ear, someone to sympathize or empathize with us, and sometimes to kick us in the ass as tell us to get up and laugh that shit off!

#5 Say Yes or No Without Apology

Say yes as often as you can to your children and spouse instead of no. Ask yourself, how important it is to fight the “yes”. Equally, learn to say no without apology or regret. To your kids, your friends, hell even your partner sometimes. Simply learning to say “Yes” or to say “No” will give you more freedom and help you to hold your shit together a little easier! Don’t believe? Try it!

We know that these 5 ways to hold it together can work well most of the time, but if all else fails lose your shit!

Parents are human, we have temper tantrums too sometimes. We like to call them shit fits! Much like tantrums parents might stomp their feet, cry, or scream into a pillow. We get it! Who said losing your shit is ALWAYS” a bad thing? It’s wasn’t First Coast Doulas!

It happens and it’s okay from time to time. Blow steam, shake it off. First Coast Doulas wants to help you hold it together and see things run more smoothly for you. Our birth doulas, postpartum and newborn doulas are right alongside parents supporting them as they hold it together, navigate uncharted waters, and as they lose their shit!

Are you seeking the type of support empowering experiences are made of? Then contact us today to put a doula on your team, learn ways to manage labor pains, heal after birth naturally, and get more sleep!

Helping parents hold their shit together is kind of our thing!

Down Syndrome Etiquette

Down syndrome Etiquette Jax, FL Childbirth Education

Down Syndrome Etiquette

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Here are some things to consider:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Resources for our readers:

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

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

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


top baby names | Jax. Birth Classes | Placenta Encapsulation Jax

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 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

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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!

 

 

Here’s to the Women Who…

Here’s To the Women Who…

August 1st through the 7th is World Breastfeeding Week! In honor of all women working hard to feed their babies, whether from their breast or a bottle, their own milk or donor milk, First Coast Doulas wants to encourage you all today! You are incredible! Here’s to the women who are strong and who determine who and what they are and become!

here's to the women who | jax pregnancy

 

Here’s To the Women Who…

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

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

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

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

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

You’re a breastfeeding pioneer, rock on!

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

You are a beautiful soul!

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

You are strong and brave!

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

You are a milk making goddess, own it!

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

You’re compassionate and generous!

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

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

Here’s to those who knew breastfeeding wasn’t the best option for their family as a whole. Thank you for acknowledging that human milk is designed for human babies, is a complete source of nutrients, and as mammals feeding our young from our breast is normal and the biological way we were designed to do so.  You’re know that human breast milk is created uniquely by the body for babies, but you also know that ultimately with formula your baby will receive all the necessary nutrients she needs, your family as a whole will thrive, and there is no need to feel less than!

You are confident and in control and that is attractive!

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

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

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

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

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

So here’s to normalizing breastfeeding!

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

Here are 10 awesome  facts about breastfeeding, by The World Health Organization