Only about 2 weeks to go. My family is lucky in that our work and school schedules allow us some real downtime over the holidays. We are so looking forward to seeing friends, no morning or evening rush, hanging out together doing not much of anything. Oh, the new Star Wars, of course. The grandparents have already given my kids everything Star Wars (merchandising! where the real money from the movie is made!), so a very merry Christmas to you, J.J. Abrams!
How’s your holiday shopping going, anyway? You know the whole thing about going for experiences over things, right? You don’t want your thoughtful gift to be konmaried right out of the house come spring cleaning.
The gift of a doula is the best gift I ever gave myself. It’s one of the most thoughtful, loving, nurturing experiences you can gift to the expectant parents on your list. The onesies are so cute, the tiny booties and softest blankets, the high tech strollers… but the postpartum doula is the one who will make sure the new parents are fed and rested. That the laundry isn’t piling up. That they are remembering to take care of themselves while everyone around them is asking about the baby. That they aren’t alone in the middle of the night and the baby won’t stop crying and they are too tired to see straight. A postpartum doula helps them figure out how they want to parent, the best approach for their family at that time. A birth doula cares for the family before and during that most intense and unique of human experiences– bringing a baby into the world, be it naturally, medicated and assisted, or surgically.
Every person, every family is unique in what will be most helpful to them. A doula can adapt to their needs to assist them in the best way possible. Pretty much the best gift ever.
Fall is my favorite season. The turning leaves– just incredible. The cooler weather, very welcome. Tall boots. It also means another year is nearly done flying by, which I suppose shouldn’t surprise me anymore.
I’m feeling big changes in the air. Time will tell if that comes to pass or if it is just wishful thinking.
I’m looking forward to a short week— extra time with friends and family. Special foods. Not having to rush into rush hour. Getting ready to help families welcome new babies in December. We just started putting out our Hannukah and holiday tchotchkes but you can bet I’m keeping the decorative gourds out for now.
Next week, I’ll get to make a fun announcement. I’m excited for what this will mean for future clients. Good things.
Enjoy your Thanksgiving holiday! And as you review your gift list, consider gifting doula support to the expectant parents in your circle. I may be biased, but honestly there is no better gift. We’d be happy to work with you on gift certificates or a wish list.
I’m looking forward to working with clients as a postpartum doula. The role is quite flexible depending on your needs, but the focus is on supporting the mother (whatever that might mean to her) during the first 3 months with a new baby (also known as the “fourth trimester”). Set aside your other concerns so you can bond with your baby, learn each other’s patterns, and adapt to your new normal. A postpartum doula will also help you figure out your parenting style, so you feel more confident as you step into parenthood or a bigger family. Let’s talk!
Well, looks like it’s about time for my annual blog.
Earlier this year, I became obsessed and re-fired up for life as a doula. I took a postpartum doula training in June so I could add that to the services I offer. I’m planning to take a placenta encapsulating training as soon as possible. (a vegan…. learning about placenta prep… that’ll be interesting.) And next I want to take a breastfeeding counseling training, too. ALL THE TRAININGS!
In the 4+ years between my babies, the smartphone was born. I held out for a while, not needing one of them fancy contraptions, but finally my dinosaur phone (i.e., just over 2-year-old flip phone) was falling apart and I figured, why not? Maybe I will love it as much as everyone else seems to. I got the iPhone last summer, and as predicted, most of the technology is lost on me. I downloaded some apps but never use them. I still use an actual laminated map if I’m going someplace new in the city. I do like the better texting and being able to check email, the odd website, and Facebook. I also occasionally use the camera to snap a photo or video of the kids and send it instantly to the grandparents. I listened to some Hypnobabies tracks while I was pregnant. That’s about it.
And then suddenly I had a baby nursing at all hours and I was busting out my phone A LOT. It helped me wile away the time during those marathon nursing sessions in the wee hours. Specifically, I’d fallen in love with the Dear Sugar column a few months prior to Leo’s birth, and was able to catch up on the backlog of her beautiful posts while nursing. Additionally, I used a breastfeeding appto help track feedings, diaper action, and sleep (ha ha ha) since I couldn’t remember one moment to the next in the newborn fog. With my older son, I have notebooks filled with my OCD scrawling of every nursing and diaper change until whatever time I realized I could let it go already. So, what are the pros and cons? Let’s see:
a toy to keep you company during long nursing sessions, especially if you watched the whole Battlestar Galactica series with your previous baby
a variety of apps to track feedings, changes, and sleep
keep up with friends via text, email, Facebook, and maybe even a good old-fashioned phone call while nursing– helps to feel less isolated and find instant support at any time if you’re in a rough patch
you could follow a suggestion I saw on Best for Babes (probably while nursing) and video your baby nursing, to be viewed later when you’re back at work or otherwise separated to help get your milk a-flowin’ for the pump
you’ll totally jack up your eyeballs from squinting at the tiny screen in the middle of the night
perhaps you could have safely dozed while nursing but now you’re obsessively ‘liking’ stuff on Facebook
the electromagnetic waves are probably melting your baby’s brain
maybe I should be cooing over my baby now and then rather than the pretty phone?
So, that’s been my experience and inner struggle so far with the smartphone in my role as a breastfeeding mother.
What about you? Do you play with a fancy phone while nursing, or something else?
Leo is already 3 months old and my return to work is around the corner. I know it is a nauseating cliche, but how time flies! I’m already feeling overwhelmed with the juggling balancing act I’ll have to figure out anew.
Our wonderful friends and neighbors set up a meal chain for us, so we’ve been receiving one or two meals a week for the past three months. Some people cooked elaborate gourmet menus worthy of a Saveur cover story, while others made a simple dish or ordered us some take-out. Whatever it was, we appreciated every bite. How glorious to tuck in to some delicious food with no prep and minimal clean up? I don’t think I could put into words what a huge help this was during the new baby adjustment. We are so sad the meal chain is over! We used a website called Meal Train but I know there are a few others sites that do the same thing– making it easy for friends to choose dates, get a reminder, see your dietary restrictions, address, any other pertinent information, and help out in the best way possible– feeding you.
There are lots of great posts out there about how to best support a family with a new baby. Here are a few that I like.
Think ahead about what will help make the transition as smooth as possible for your family. Lean on friends and family and call in those favors. Make life as easy and simple as possible so you can focus on rest and bonding with your baby as much as possible.
What was the best thing someone did for you as you adjusted to life with a new baby?
And maybe for fun, what was the worst/most annoying thing?