5 Questions to ask Your Doula

When interviewing your prospective Birth or Postpartum Doula, there are a few key questions that you should be asking to know if they are the right fit for your support team.



Where did you take your Doula Training?

Technically, you do not have to take any formal training to be a Birth or Postpartum Doula. However, there are so many layers to comfort measures during labour and birth, positions, postpartum recovery elements and emotional healing that having a trained Doula can make a world of difference in your experience as a parent. Being certified adds another layer of professionalism and seriousness to your Doula.

At what point are you on-call for me?

The answer to this is a bit tricky, but technically your Doula should be on call for you from the moment you sign your contract with them. If you have a question during your pregnancy, you should feel confident that you can text or email your Doula and that you will get a prompt response.

Do you have a back-up that I can meet prior to 36 weeks?

This is an important one as babies arrive on their own time schedule. If your Doula books more than 1 birth per month (which many of us do) you will want to be sure that they have a backup Doula who can assist until they are able to get to you, or who can spell them off in the instance of a particularly long labour. You are well within your rights to ask to meet the backup prior to full term!

What is your opinion on (insert topic here)?

As Doulas, our opinion stays at home. It is not our place to tell you, advocate for you, advise you what is best. Whatever is best is what works for you, and that is what your Doula should respond with.

What happens if you get called by another client while you are attending my birth?

Again, this is where your Doula having a backup will come in handy! We always stay with whoever called us first, and while we may need to check out phone from time to time if we are on -call for another family, you can be rest assured that we will stay with you until an hour or so after the birth of your baby. The backup may need to start care with the other family, while we stay with you, and only following your birth will be bid adieu and tend to our other client in person.


Other notable questions to ask could include....

What happens if my labour is particularly long? Do you take breaks? Is there an hourly rate over a certain number of hours?

How many prenatal visits will we have prior to birth?

How long do you stay with us after birth?

Can you help us with (insert topic here)?


You want to feel confident in your birth team, so make a list and ask all of the questions that you need to. Your doula is there for you, so no question is off limits! Building your confidence, empowering you, supporting you...that's what you Doula does.

xoxo
Shannon

Why You Need a Postpartum Doula

If someone asked you what a Postpartum Doula does, would you know what to say? Here are 5 reasons why every mom needs to have a Postpartum Doula on her support team for the first 6 weeks postpartum.



You need sleep

The old sleep when the baby sleeps saying is true, but how are you supposed to truly turn off your mom-brain and not tend to the mounds of laundry, the dirty dishes in the sink, and oh yeah...there's dinner to prep and kids to pick up at the bus stop. A Postpartum Doula can do all of those things...while you have a nap.

Your hormones, and emotions, are raging

Sometimes, you need someone to vent to who isn't so close to the situation (ie: your best friend, sister, mom, or spouse). Someone who can give an unbiased ear, and provide you with the emotional support you need. Our team of doulas have taken additional training in postpartum support, and we have a vast network of resources for women who struggle with postpartum mood disorders. Support is there and you don't have to deal with your hormones and emotions alone.

Sometimes your partner needs support, too

This is one that I can speak to from personal experience. I wish we had of hired (or even knew what one was!) a Postpartum Doula for our first baby when I had pretty severe Postpartum Depression. My husband was run ragged, up all night with the baby and had to deal with my emotions. Sometimes, your partner needs support too and a Postpartum Doula can do that.

When was the last time you ate?

Your Postpartum Doula can ensure that you are well hydrated and fed, and ours will bring you yummy snacks, fresh juice, baked goods and more. Sometimes we drop a delivery at your door, and send you a quick text message to let you know that it's there. Other times, we swoop in and do some baking in your home...while you have a nap or hot shower!

Self care is essential to your postpartum recovery

What good are we mothers to the rest of our family if we are completely drained and burnt out? Self care is something that we really encourage our clients to take part in after they have their baby. Once a week, treat yourself to a solo date night out. A quiet coffee. Shopping. A movie...all by yourself, while your babe is at home being taken care of by your Postpartum Doula. Matinees run during the week, so there's no need to put yourself on the back burner until the weekend when your Self Care Day fits with everyone elses schedule.


The first 6 weeks postpartum are about survival, and a Postpartum Doula can ease that transition, making your survival and snuggles with your newborn that much smoother and sweeter.

xoxo
Shannon

Car Seat Safety Tips

Taking a new baby home can be a stressful event. Leaving the comforts of the hospital, where someone can answer any question with the press of a button, to strapping your tiny human into a car seat and taking them out into the real world! How scary is that? Wouldn’t you like to know that your baby is as safe as possible from the get-go?

It is estimated that 80-90% of car seats are being used incorrectly. Many people think it’s as simple as putting the seat in the car and buckling up the straps. Not so! Before you even put your child in the seat, you need to make sure it’s installed correctly.

When buckling the seat into your vehicle, use either the UAS (Anchors) or the seatbelt. NOT both!! After attaching the lower straps, pull on them and tight as they will go, while applying light pressure to the seat to push it down. When this step is done, your seat (or base, in the case of an infant seat) should not move more than an inch from side to side. If it does, keep pulling on the straps until it doesn’t.

After the seat is secure, if it is a forward facing seat, you will need to secure the top tether. This is the strap that is at the top of the seat and the anchor for it can be found either on the ceiling above the seat, or on the floor or back of the vehicle’s seat. If there is no top anchor, you cannot install a forward facing seat there.
(photo courtesy of healthychildren.org)


Once the seat is properly installed, you can now buckle your child in. For a rear facing seat, the straps must be at or below the child’s shoulders. Once they are in, tighten the straps by puling on the bottom strap that hangs off the front of the car seat. Don’t be afraid to pull it tight, it won’t hurt your child. You shouldn’t be able to pinch the straps. If you can, it’s too loose. The chest clip should be at armpit level.
For a forward facing seat, everything remains the same, with the exception that the shoulder straps are at or above the child’s shoulders.
Rear Facing Strap Position
(photo courtesy of rearfacingtoddlers.com)
Forward Facing Strap Position
(Photo courtesy of orbitbaby.com)
Proper chest clip placement
(Photo courtesy of csftl.org)
(photo courtesy of treadingragingwaters.com)

The other thing that many people are doing wrong without even realizing it, is using after market products on their seat. These range from strap covers to car seat covers. If it didn’t come in the box with your seat, it hasn’t been safety tested and could compromise the safety of your child. The only exception to this is car seat covers that don’t go behind the baby, such as shower cap or canopy style covers.

After making sure the seat is installed correctly, the next question many people have is “what seat should I be using?” or “when can they move to the next stage of car seat?”

Here is a breakdown of each type of seat and the recommendations for each.

Infant seat

These bucket style seats are great for brand new babies as they can be clicked in and out of the car and the stroller without disturbing a sleeping child. Most of these seat have a weight range of 5-30lbs, but most babies are either too long, or the seat gets too heavy to carry long before it is outgrown. At this point, is a recommended that you move to a rear facing convertible seat. 

Rear Facing/Forward Facing

It is recommended that your child stays rear facing until at least 2 years of age, if not longer. Nowadays, many seats allow this by having rear facing weight limits of up to 35-40lbs. The main argument many people have for turning around children before this, is that their legs are too long and it won’t be comfortable for them. Have you ever watched young children sitting on the couch or even at the kitchen table? They are acrobats, and put themselves into crazy positions without any effort. Many children cross their legs, or hang them over the sides of the seat.
Once your child reaches the rear facing height or weight limits of the seat, it is time to turn them around (don’t forget to adjust those shoulder straps!) Many seats allow for a forward facing child to remain in a 5 point harness until age 6 or 7 (around 65lbs).

Booster seat

Many people seem to want their child to be in a booster seat the day they turn four. This is not recommended as many children that age do not have the capacity to sit in a booster seat properly. Your child is ready for a booster when they have outgrown the height and weight limits of their current seat and can sit properly the entire duration of the trip without slouching, leaning over, unbuckling the seat mid-ride, etc. If they can’t do this, but have outgrown their current seat, your safest option is to purchase a new 5 point harness seat with higher height and weight thresholds.
In Canada, the minimum requirement for sitting in the car without a booster seat is 8 years old or 80 lbs or 4’9” tall, but many children aren’t ready to be booster free until closer to 10-12 years of age. To see if your child is ready for this next stage, they must be able to pass the 5 step test:

(photo courtesy of thecarseatlady.com)

People will always have questions about car seats and their child’s safety but the best way to ensure you are using your seat correctly is to contact a Certified Car Seat Technician. These people have been trained to know all about each and every car seat on the market, how to install them perfectly, and even which seats work best in which vehicles. They will often host car seat clinics where you can register to come out and have your seat checked for free! Keep your eye out for a Sweet Stella’s hosted clinic coming soon!

xoxo
Lisa

Early Bird Registration closes TOMORROW!

Tomorrow is your last chance to save $100 on registration for both the Postpartum Wellness Retreat in February and the Prenatal Wellness Retreat in May!


Space is limited to 5 attendees for each retreat! This is to ensure you are getting specialized attention and care, one-on-one doula support and that there is ample time to tend to each person, as well as space and room to move as a group.


Register now for one or both of these amazing retreats! Tomorrow is the last day to save $100!

Tips for Itchy Skin, Postpartum Itchy Skin

Once postpartum "complication" that I was not prepared for was a serious case of itchiness. I don't ever recall having it with my first, but definitely had it with my second and man alive! Talk about itching your skin until it breaks and is raw!

Postpartum itchy skin is commonly a result of the drastic drop in progesterone and estrogen following childbirth. Further, as your salt and water levels rapidly decrease after having a baby, the elasticity of your skin changes.

Off I went in search of relief, and I wanted to share some tips with you on the off chance that there are any mamas out there experiencing postpartum itchy skin!


My first remedy was to find a lotion to hydrate my skin. I started with coconut oil right after a shower, which worked nicely. When I found that my skin was itchy in the middle of the night, Gold Bond Triple Medicated Body Lotion was the only thing that I found would give relief. It has the cooling sensation of menthol, which was greatly appreciated at 1am!

Eventually, it got to be so itchy that it felt like I had hives, but without the hive-like blotchy red patches and rash. I sought the help of my bloggy bff, Shannon from Baby Shmizz, and she recommended an antihistamine like Claritin, which would target the areas of itchniess from the inside out. Off to the pharmacy I went, and home I came with the store brand Reactine.

I kid you not, within 20 minutes of taking the medication, the itchiness was gone.

Where were the patches of itchy postpartum skin?

Behind my knees
Under my knee caps
Under my bustline
My armpits
The inner part of my thighs right by my knees

And it was the kind of itching that nags at you, begging for relief...immediate relief!

If you are experiencing postpartum itchy skin, know that there are remedies out there and that you don't have to just sit and wait it out!

Update: if all else fails and you're still experiencing postpartum itch, go talk to your doctor. We found out that my hormones were way out of whack and my birth control pills were actually causing the itch!

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What Is a Postpartum Doula?

This is a question that I get over and over, as the idea of having a doula after your baby has been born is rather unfamiliar to many.


Similar to how a birth doula provides mental and emotional support during labour and birth, a postppartum doula helps ease the parents transition once they return home from the hospital or birthing centre.

A few things that a postpartum doula does are...

  • Food delivery
  • Breastfeeding support
  • Helping the parents process their birth experience
  • Give mom an outlet to scream, cry, laugh, talk
  • Help partner with tips and tricks to support mom through things like postpartum anxiety, depression, and self care
  • Deliver self care kit and give mom some peace and quiet
  • Meet mom for a coffee date, without kiddos
Personally, I love being a Postpartum Doula. My favorite thing is to make a batch of waffles or muffins, then drop them off at a clients house and text them while I am on my way home. Knowing that you just helped by dropping off breakfast to a client...likely a very tired client who isn't taking the time to make herself a nice breakfast, but deserves breakfast in bed on a daily basis for just having championed through childbirth...it's such an awesome feeling.

Postpartum Doula's are incredible people who are there to support you through the emotional ups and down of your transition to parenthood. If you have older children, they are super effective with distracting them while you tend to baby, or taking both kiddos off your hands for a little while so you can take a few minutes out for yourself. 

Consider adding a Postpartum Doula to your recovery plan for after your baby arrives. You never know...a waffle and juice delivery may be just what you need when you've had a particularly rough night with your baby!

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February Self Care Challenge Checkin #selfcare

Even though February is a short month, I do hope that you were able to work in a few minutes for self care, especially since it is the month so closely associated with romance and love.


How did you love yourself this month? Your challenge was to look in the mirror and for five minutes, appreciate every wrinkle, line, and flaw.

With every line, there is a story. I have a scar on my neck from a cyst that needed to be removed when I was in high school. I remember, fondly, that my Dad got a real kick out of moving the light for our doctor and paraded around all day saying he assisted with my surgery.

I have a scar over my eye from pulling on my dogs whiskers when I was three
I have stretch marks on my belly from carrying three precious babes
I have stretch marks on my hips and arms from weight loss
I have lines on my forehead from worry and stress

But they are all mine and they tell my story, and for that...I love them.

Do you love yours?
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February Self Care Challenge #selfcare #moms

Happy February, mama's! This month, it's all about taking time out of your busy mama schedule to give yourself a little love.


It might sound weird to just stare at yourself in the mirror, but we actually do it alot. I dare you to walk through a department store and not gaze at your reflection in the mirror or store window.

We do it ever.single.day.

And more often than not, we are looking at the imperfections. Lines, wrinkles, saggy skin. These should be higher, this should be tighter.

But what if...what if you looked in the mirror and loved yourself? Just...gave yourself some love?

Those dark circles? They're there because you were tending to your baby over night.
The stretch marks? Because you grew beautiful babies in your belly.
Wrinkles due to stressing over the well being of your children because you just love them so much.

Your challenge this month is to look in the mirror, and love yourself. Your face, stretch marks, scars, dark circles. Everything.

Just
Love
You
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February Doula Special

Ahh, February...the month of love! Give yourself, or a mom you know and love, a little extra lovin' this month with the February doula special!


What can be better than a little pampering for a new mom? Your pamper kit may include some yummy tea, a beautiful nail polish or even a lovely bubble bath. Something to inspire you to take care of yourself and recharge your batteries.

Also included in your bonus package is a self care planner sheet, healthy snacks (please advise of any allergies upon booking), and in home support to make sure you are taking the time you need to take care of yourself.


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January Self Care Challenge Checkin #selfcare

So...how did we do with our self care challenge this month?


How did it feel to take fifteen whole minutes to yourself? Did you indulge in the mindfullness of the activity...

Running the water
Pouring the bubble bath under the running water
Lighting candles
Turning the lights off
Turning the water off
Soaking in the hot water for fifteen minutes
Letting your muscles melt into the water

How did it feel to tune out the mmmmmmmooooooooooooommmmmmmmmmmmmmyyyyyyy at the door?

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10 Things That Make You Happy #gratitude

When I begin working with a new family as a part of my doula work, I always provide them with a journal and a card.

The card often reads....

Use this journal as a space to scream...cry...vent...remember. Celebrate the small victories, the tough days and great ones.

It's all about taking a moment to reflect and be grateful for the life you've created, your new outlook and family.

Each month right here, you will find a gratitude exercise. This is one that I did last fall on Instagram, and I thought it was such a great exercise to take a moment and think about the small things in your life that make you happy. The ones that probably no one else notices. The small, quiet moments that put a smile on your face.


So go on...what makes you happy??

Write them down, put them in a space place. Share them here if you want to publicly celebrate them!


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How to Create a Safe Space at Home

One thing that I hear over and over again from my postpartum doula clients is that once they become a mom, they feel lost and overwhelmed. Suddenly, the essence of who they are has changed and now they are being called on for feedings, diaper changes, meal prep for the rest of the family, cleaning the house, and the list goes on and on.

So how do you create a space that is just for you, within the walls of your chaotic home?


Think about the things that you truly enjoyed prior to becoming a mom. Maybe you really loved to curl up with a favorite blanket in a comfortable chair with a beautiful book and warm cup of tea. Perhaps you like to get your hands dirty with clay and a pottery wheel. Make a list of the things that you really loved...things that make you truly happy.

Now, look at your list and consider the space that you have in your home. Maybe you have an unfinished basement and a pottery wheel would be totally doable. Maybe you don't have that space but you have a lovely corner in the nursery where you could put a reading chair and side table.

Then, make the space uniquely yours. In my art studio, for example, I have an area for creating at a high table with lots of storage under neath. Then, I have my rocking chair, side table and stack of books off to the side, with a cozy blanket. The entire room is just for me, and only those who are invited in are allowed. It is my space, and I feel safe, free and like myself when I am in it.

On my cork board, I have inspiring phrases about being awesome, drawings that I have done of arrows and anchors, and badges of honour that I want to be able to look back on and learn from. I also have pictures of those important people who have etched their way on to my heart, those folks who are proud of where I came from and who I am becoming. Reminders of why I do what I do, and how hard I push myself.

So...what does your safe space look like? Is it an entire room, or a corner of a shared space where your family can see you taking time out for yourself? Full of books, or empty for self reflection?

Whatever the space, make sure that it is yours. Make sure that you feel safe, grounded and secure there. Make sure to take care of your heart.


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Self Care Challenge

The holidays have come and gone, and it's the start of a brand new year. To inspire you to take some time for yourself, just once a month, I am starting a Self Care Challenge!

Each month, there will be a new challenge posted. When you've completed the challenge that month, write in the comments what you did and how to feel.

My hope is that by doing these challenges you not only will feel refreshed, but you will also see the importance of taking some time for yourself. If at any point you start to feel guilty for taking time out for yourself, stop and remember that you deserve the time away, the time to recharge and to be happy. You also deserve the peace and quiet!


A bubble bath. Easy peasy...but lock the door. Turn the lights off and create an atmosphere of relaxation for yourself.

Candles...heck, ever music if you like!

Once you've taken your rest and relaxation time, comment below!

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January Doula Special

Kick off the new year with the support of a doula! This month brings extra perks for those booking postpartum doula packages!


Juice delivery to your door on a biweekly basis
An extra meal for your freezer
2 hours of in home support....meaning you can go take a shower, or put me to work cleaning your bathrooms or entertaining your kiddos while you have a nap!

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Self Care Checkin

Hey mama!

Stressed with the hustle and bustle of the holidays? Too many parties to attend, dinners to go to, one that you're hosting, and on top of all of that....kiddos that are on winter break and are anticipating Christmas morning?

Time for a self care checkin!


If you are feeling stressed out to the max, you probably haven't taken five minutes just for yourself this month. Instead of letting the hustle and bustle consume you, treat yourself!

Manicure
Pedicure
Body Scrub
Coffee date with a friend
Bubble Bath (bonus points if you're sipping a glass of wine while you have a bath!)


Anything that gets you to focus on yourself for a few minutes is perfect at this time of year. I also like to tuck something under the tree for myself. I know that probably sounds selfish, but sometimes there is a book that I really would like to read on the holidays, or a new lip color that I want to try...things that I know my husband likely won't think to put in my stocking or under the tree, so I treat myself to them.

Take a time out mama, you've worked hard to get prepared for the holidays!


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Why I Doula

As I've gotten more and more into helping new moms find their groove, I wanted to take a moment to explain why I doula.

I doula to support
I doula to advocate
I doula to educate

I doula for you



When I was looking for a doula during my last pregnancy, I was pretty clear about what I wanted. I wanted to feel supported and confident in our parenting decisions. I wanted someone who wouldn't question me about what we wanted, but would advocate for us and help us feel empowered.

I had heard that doulas are all the same; they're hippies to the core and will push you into a natural birth. They'll push you to breastfeed and won't back down when it comes to some really sensitive topics. Essentially, that they have their own agenda and will, politely, force it on you. Failure to fall within their ideals means they won't work with you.

My vision of what, and who, a doula is changed when we met Jena. She was incredibly supportive and said something that has stuck with me throughout labor, delivery, postpartum and now doula work.

It only works if it works for you

How true that is!! As a doula, my goal is to help you find what works for you, and not by impressing my opinion on you as to what worked for me or what I think is ideal, but by looking at your life, routine, your family and helping you find your groove.

I have a specific interest in supporting the emotional and mental well being of moms with postpartum depression because I've been there and it can be really hard.

I have an interest in supporting families going through pregnancy after a loss, those who have or are experiencing birth trauma and moms who are just really overwhelmed and struggling to find themselves again.

I have an interest in helping parents find their voice and feeling good when they make a decision.

It only works if it works for you

Hold onto that
Remember that
Recite it over and over in your head when that baby is placed in your arms and know that you are doing everything right

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Lactation Boosting Tips for New Moms

One thing that I really wish that I has when I was a first time mom was an arsenal of information about breastfeeding. I wish I had someone to help me when my son was literally attached to me at all times and using me as a pacifier. I wish I has someone to tell me that it was okay to not have a bond with breastfeeding, and that I didn't need to feel guilty for wanting to let go of it.

I wish I had someone who could help me with my supply in the six weeks that I pumped. I wish I had someone's support!

As a postpartum doula, part of what I do is support moms in their efforts to breastfeed. I also support moms in their decision to bottle and formula feed. A well fed and happy baby, makes for a happy mom...so, personally, I don't really care how they get fed. My role as a doula is to support that moms decision and make sure that she feels no guilt or shame for whatever her decision is.

If you're a mom who is breastfeeding and struggling with supply like I did, here are some things that you can do to help boost your supply!


Whole Grains and Protein

A lot can be said for a healthy diet when you're breastfeeding. Sure, you need to consume about 500 extra calories a day, but make sure they're the right kind. Start your day with a healthy breakfast of lactation oatmeal, and a fruit smoothie made with almond milk. Make sure that at every meal, you have whole grains and protein. Snack on things like veggies and hummus, whole grain pretzels with cubed cheese or trail mix with nuts and dried berries.

Water

Drink water like it's your job. The rule of thumb for water consumption is take your weight, divide by two and turn that into ounces. For example, I'm 158lbs...so that's 79. 79 ounces is what I should be drinking during the day just to stay hydrated and keep my body flushed. If you are nursing, you can expect to drink almost a third to double that number in a day.

Stay Calm

Create a calm environment for breastfeeding and pumping. Play your favourite music, post photos of places that you want to travel to and of your baby. Anything that releases those happy endorphins will help up your supply!

Acupunture

If there is an energy block, it may prevent your milk from flowing free and easy. If you are afraid of needles, I can personally assure you that they do not hurt. I went to Dr. Andrea Clarke at Rebirth Wellness Centre (highly recommend!) for acupuncture during the end of my pregnancy with Graeme and the sense of relief that I left with was amazing. I was worried that the needles would hurt, but you can't even feel them. And yes, I even had one in my forehead!

Foods to Avoid

Avoid foods that are high in acidity or strong in flavor. Things like cabbage, peppers, tomatoes, radishes and citrus fruits. It's also recommended to avoid things like caffeine and chocolate...but let's be honest...if those things make you happy, it may add more stress to you to have to think about giving them up.

Natural Supplements

One thing that did help boost my supply was taking fenugreek and blessed thistle. Yes, you will smell like maple syrup, but there are worse things to smell like, I dare say! The lactation consultant that recommended these to me advised to take them together to strengthen their properties. You can pick them up at any health food or drug store.

Tea

Fennel tea and lactation teas are very popular breastfeeding supports. You can pick up the Traditional Medicinals brand at the grocery store in the natural food section, or you can make it yourself at home! Here is a recipe for a red raspberry leaf tea, and one for fennel tea.

Stay tuned! Next year I will be featuring lactation boosting juice recipes that I have made for my clients, along with more tips and tricks to help you boost your supply.

When all else fails, and you feel like you have tried everything, know in your heart that you have and are doing the best that you can. What works for one may not work for everyone. Remember, a happy mom makes for a happy baby, so follow your heart and do what is best for yourself.



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November Doula Special

Follow your heart and let it be your arrow on your path. That's what I did, and it lead me to the beautiful experience of becoming a doula. Starting this month, I will be announcing a monthly special on doula services.

Each month  brings something new. It might be a discount on services, or a special self care package for mom. Either way, it will be something fantastic that you won't want to miss out on!




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5 Tips for Engaging with your Newborn

So you have this tiny little babe that you're now responsible for and everyone is telling you to play with her and that she should be doing x/y/z. But...how? Your babe probably sleeps all day, is only really awake long enough to eat, so how exactly do you engage them in play to help them develop?


Songs

Does it seem strange to sing to a little one who can't interact much? Well...if you sang to an older child while you were pregnant, chances are those same songs your baby will recognize those same tones if you sing to them now. Singing, no matter whether you're in tune or not, is a great way for your baby to recognize the different tones of your voice. Try working in their name into the songs too!

Mirrors

For some reason, babies really love looking at their reflections in the mirror. Play Who's That Baby In The Mirror, use their name and giggle right along with them. Alternatively, use the camera on your phone if you don't have a mirror handy.

Patterns

The sharp contrast of black and white patterns has been proven to engage babies and help their brains develop. Try printing out black and white patterns (chevron, stripes, polka dots) and taping them on the bottom of your mobile, or side of the crib so your baby can gaze at them.

Faces and Places

The face that your baby loves the most? It's yours! Smile, laugh, make silly faces and see their eyes light up with glee. Is your baby starting to babble? Babble back using the same ah-goo tones. Mimic their facial expressions and ask questions! Oh is that right? What would you like to do today? The tone of asking a question, when your voice raises at the end, seems to be very pleasing to a baby!

Snuggle Time

One of the best things that you can do for yourself and for your baby is to snuggle. Whether you babywear or simply lounge in a recliner snuggled up with your babe, the use of physical touch is really important to bonding. It helps your baby know your smell, and who to trust. It helps them pick up on your emotions, and naturally releases hormones in your body to keep you calm and happy!

No matter which way you choose to engage or play with your newborn, know that you are doing a great job and all they really need is your love and attention.

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