New parents deserve support. Postpartum is a time when folks need their community. We can all help, sometimes just in little ways. This past week, The Mom Network pulled off quite a beautiful trifecta of support.
This empathy link is the secret weapon of an otherwise somewhat helpless newborn. They cannot feed themselves, or care for their needs except to compel another to do so. That loving bond, and desire to care for your child is reinforced every time they cry and are comforted by your response.
Many partners feel uncertain about how to help, feeling that if they can’t take the pain away, there’s nothing they can do to help. So doulas can help give direction as to HOW to emotionally support the person in labor, since labor itself is often intensely emotionally trying.
“My favorite part of being a doula is seeing the immense strength and power that the birthing parent demonstrates in the act of giving birth.” “I especially love seeing the development of back-and-forth communication between parents and their babies that leads to growth and learning.”
There is no easy birth. A planned VBAC- with babies that come early and can’t tolerate labor; a VBAC with doubts and doubts and doubts; a planned C-section hoping to feel heard, respected and understood. As a doula, I’m helping people through the mental struggles of birth- the pain, the decisions, the doubts, the guilt people put on themselves. When I can do well, I help people feel positive about their birth.
Making change at the level needed to affect the unconscionable health disparities experienced by women of color is a truly significant challenge. If one is not reading about and hearing this information or interacting in a direct way on a regular basis, it can be put out of mind. That doesn’t mean people stopped dying, it just means we stopped noticing. Be willing to keep learning about and talking about uncomfortable topics.
The early months of having a new baby (or babies) at home are often isolating and monotonous, yet family, friends and others around the new parents expect them to exude only joy and happiness about having a new baby. Groups for new parents can help normalize this juxtaposition of feelings and experiences and create a community around this new role.
Think of the work of putting together your birth preferences as more of a thought exercise of learning about what is most important to you and your partner. Of course a healthy mother and a healthy baby are first on everyone’s priorities. But what else?
You don’t need to necessarily say the right thing or pretend you know what to do, but don’t avoid the grieving family. They may not be able to express much gratitude for your presence, but your loving kindness will give comfort.
Many people are unfamiliar with the role of the postpartum doula, and what the training and education of becoming a doula looks like. Today’s blog post is intended to give new parents some insights about the work involved in becoming a postpartum doula, before that person walks in the door to support their family, as well as shine some light on the process for those considering this career path.
The first couple of weeks with a newborn can be quite the blur, peppered with joy, anxiety, exhaustion, and little sleep and a lot of parents find themselves wondering where the sleep fairy has gone with her bag of sleepy dust.
I love this recipe because it fits in to postpartum real life quite well, with the regular and frequent interruptions of babies, it can be put together over a period of time as one stops to tend to their child. It’s also really easy to grab a bit of bliss bits one handed while holding baby or nursing, and gets some healthy food in to you. And finally—it just tastes good- excellent even when rolled in to yogurt!
Many parents, despite the warnings of the American Academy of Pediatricians, find they bring their baby into their bed with them at some point-- often out of desperation to get some sleep when their child refuses to sleep alone. But this isn't always done in a thoughtful, safe manner.
This was an Empowered Birth. They were able to make the best decisions they could for their family, with the circumstances that presented themselves. This birth, even with it’s unexpected turn, was a chance to heal.
In 1970, the C-Section rate nationally was just 5.5%, in 2014 that number had risen to 32.2%. That's a staggering increase. Are there really that many more people needing to have their baby born surgically?
Choosing the right person to provide support at such a sensitive and important time in your life is not so hard as one might think—trust your intuition. Here are a few doula interview questions to get you started informing that gut check
Yep—I’ve never met a pregnant person who preferred a three day induction over an efficient eight hour, “let’s do this” sort of birth. But most people seem to think there’s little they can do to help ensure they have a smooth labor.
By spending more time with mom and not getting whisked away for a bath, newborns benefit. “A delayed newborn bath was associated with increased likelihood of breastfeeding initiation and with increased in-hospital breastfeeding rates."
I can tell you that our clients are generally very excited with the mood effects. 91% of our clients report at least one of the following mood related benefits: increased energy, better mood, feeling more balanced, less times of weepiness, decreased feelings of sadness or reduced anxiety.
Each of the doulas on this team is kind, compassionate, nurturing and has a heart of gold. They are eager to meet and support new parents and parents to be in going through a pivotal time in their life. I am so pleased they have agreed to join Calm and Confident.