There's been quite the hype lately surrounding placentas.
Everyone from celebrities to the CDC is talking placenta encapsulation.
There's sadly NO governing rules over how this process is done,
which can lead to some pretty shady practices.
We aren't knocking anyone for their personal choices,
but we do want you to know our safety standards and how we do things to ensure you and your entire family have the best and safest experience possible
if you chose to have your placenta encapsulated with us:
#1- We ONLY do it in YOUR home.
Honestly, we don't want your organ in our homes (you know with our kids, animals, and germs).
This ensures if your placenta comes in contact with bacteria,
it is from your home and you have already been exposed to it.
#2- We follow food safe handling guidelines at ALL times.
Cross-comtamination prevention, sanitizing, and even disposable cutting boards;
we ensure we aren't mixing raw and cooked and possibly exposing bacteria to different things.
#3- We have a OSHA blood born pathogens certification.
Blood born pathogens are kind-of (ok a HUGE) a deal. We have been certified in and follow the proper safety precautions to prevent the spread.
#4- We know and can articulate when it is safe to encapsulate.
Been out of the fridge for more than 4 hours... sorry; We just won't risk bacteria growth and issues that may effect the safety of you and consuming your placenta.
There's only a few reasons we have evidence and we can't encapsulate, but they are major concerns and we know them well.
#5- We don't deal in RAW.
Because the way to kill bacteria is to bring something up past the kill zone; Which (for poultry, which is the most bacteria resistant to kill) is 160 degrees.
#6- We have attended an extensive hands-on training with an organization
and trainer who has been doing this for many years.
Did you know you can learn how to encapsulate a placenta off youtube!? YIKES! We've ensured we know the safety protocols and instead of "practicing on you," we've actually done the process in training.
#7- We follow the WHO guidelines.
You are sent a transportation kit which contains everything you need to follow the World Health Organizations guidelines for organ transportation.
#8- Your placenta never leaves YOU.
We won't come pick up your placenta or take it anywhere. You and your own organ never separate,
so there's no concern of a mix up.
While some of this may seem like common sense, it really isn't to some.
This is an organ, a food product, and a supplement you will take for weeks... safety matters!
These aren't standards every encapsulator upholds
or every client is even looking for when having the process done or seeking out someone to do it,
but WE strive to ensure the safest process in the industry for you and for every client!
Things can seem quite overwhelming when you begin your pregnancy journey and
start to realize there are so many choices to make.
Everything from nursery room color,
where baby will sleep,
epidurals and pain medications,
who will be at your birth,
what bottles to use,
what breast pump to get,
where should baby sleep,
how can you connect with local parents...
There's lots of choices to be made
and even more options to sort through!
You options are really quite endless!
As long as you know what they are.
Sure, you can crowd source on FB and get a lot of advice
(and sometimes WAY more than you bargained for with just a simple question),
but wouldn't it be great if there was some sort of expert you could ask about what options you have and the tried and true best ones that will meet your goals?!
In come our doulas...
Whether it be birth or postpartum, we really do know our stuff!
We've researched, stay up to date on the newest trends,
have worked with many families,
and take your personality and unique family in to account!
Although we will never give you any medical advice, we can help you navigate and sort through all the options, to help you feel confident in your decision making process!
And because we are truly nonjudgmental,
we can present every option without bias
and without our personal goals in mind.
There's no right or wrong for any new baby or any family,
but when looking for options that can make a huge difference
it is always a good idea to talk to the professionals!
Is *this* normal?
Is *THIS* normal?
It is amazing that when we really know there's no real "normal",
we ask this type of question so often, especially in pregnancy and with a new baby.
There is a spectrum of normal when it comes to pregnancy, birth, and postpartum
and our doulas are trained to know what it looks like.
Our birth doulas know what normal can look like during pregnancy and while you give birth
(and if it is a question at all will refer you to your care provider).
Our postpartum doulas know what normal can look like with your newborn
and with you after having a baby
(and if it is a question at all will refer you to your care provider).
Sometimes, just asking if something is normal and getting the reassurance that it is okay to call your care provider can be huge!
(It is always okay if you have concerns, by the way)
Is it normal for my baby to cry all the time?
Is it normal for me to be spotting?
Is it normal for me to have such a range of emotions?
Is it normal for me to be worried about the birth?
Is not having a sex drive normal?
Is it normal that my baby wants to eat all the time?
Is this latch normal?
Is it normal to not want to eat?
While we certainly won't be diagnosing these issues,
we do know what the "textbook range of normal" can look like.
We know how to ask questions and help you come to the conclusions yourself.
Our doulas know to tell you it is okay to call your care provider,
even if it seems pretty normal because that peace of mind is valuable.
There's really no such thing as normal,
but your doula can walk with you while you figure out your normal!
Where do I start?
While I am very aware many struggle immensely trying to get to this point
(and you my friends, are ROCK STARS)...
I can't help but be honest:
Motherhood kinda sucks.
I mean, yeah the kids are cute and sometimes their smiles light up a room,
but when it really comes down to it,
Motherhood isn't fun for most of us or most of the time!
The world wants to tell us that if we say this we are bad people,
that we don't love our kids.
But that just isn't the case!
I love my kids with all my heart,
I'd jump in front of a bus for them in a heartbeat,
but motherhood just isn't my jam!
I don't like wiping butts and cleaning up pee.
I don't like feeling like someone needs me 24/7.
I don't like the constant touching.
I don't like feeding people at least 3 times a day.
(Like, who eats this much!?)
I don't like not being able to pee alone.
I don't like having to pay someone, just so I can walk out of my front door alone.
I don't like not sleeping.
I don't like the can't even get in the car without it being a production.
I don't like picking poop out of the bathtub...
POOP, out of the bathtub!
Some say, "You knew what you were getting into"
Does anyone REALLY know until it happens?!
Saying I'll be fine not sleeping for a couple months (or years)
is completely different than LIVING with no sleep!
Saying I love babies and can't wait for all the cute cuddles
is completely different than holding a crying baby for hours and walls covered in poop
(because yes, poop just keeps happening)!
Saying I LOVE my children
is completely different than loving motherhood.
There are some amazing and beautiful moments, don't get me wrong.
But it is OK to not love motherhood.
It is okay to not like the day to day and the loneliness that can come with it.
It is okay to feel those feelings!
I hear you.
I love my children too,
but I don't love motherhood.
(And before y'all go on about LOVING motherhood,
I know some people do... and that's cool too!)
The original blog that spawned my feelings of being able to write this one can be found HERE
It feels different.
Everything about it feels different.
You relax a little more,
you think a little less,
and enjoy a little more.
When you make the decision to have your last baby it just isn't the same.
Maybe your on number 6 and still aren't sure, but they are telling you this needs to be the last.
Maybe it is baby number three and your family feels complete.
There's something special about it.
Your body will never again carry another human in the safety and beautiful way it is again.
You rest a little more and enjoy those little flutter kicks more than ever.
You look at your belly and think time after time how it will never again look like this.
You take pictures and kind of don't want it to be over... until you do!
There's moments of sadness and moments of thankfulness.
And then baby comes...
And everything feels like whirlwind.
You want it to slow down, but golly you want to hurry up and sleep.
You cuddle a little more.
You take in that perfectly sweet smell, just a little bit longer than you used to.
You slowly begin to realize that growing out of that outfit means it is really gone forever.
With each milestone you can't help but think, I'm never going to see one of my babies do this again.
You hold on a little tighter in those hugs and cuddle a little longer before bed.
You laugh and you cry just a tad more over the falls
and the amazing potty training triumphs, as diapers are now a thing of your past as well.
You have a campaign toast with your partner as they climb onto the bus for that first day of school,
right behind your other babes because, by golly, you made it...
and then start the tears.
The last one feels different.
It feels final.
It can feel scary and hard and sometimes like you just might not want it.
But the last one is important.
They teach you that all those moments you may have thought were silly or insignificant, were not.
They are important.
The last one teaches you to take just a little longer
and hold on just a little tighter.
The last one is different.
If you haven't heard by now, mommy wars are a real thing.
Everything from your son's penis to choosing a cesarean or an epidural.
Shaming and persecution.
Isolation and judgement.
It seems everything about being pregnant and being a parent brings on judgement.
You can't turn your head without someone commenting
"You're huge! You have twins in there?"
"Why are you giving them a bottle?"
While we search for our connections with other parents in the isolating early days of motherhood, we enter the forums online: looking to connect, to find answers, and to maybe validate our feelings.
Some, sadly most, are faced with a hard truth...
Judgement comes without warning there too.
A simple post of "why isn't my baby sleeping through the night yet?" can make sparks fly with judgement ranging from sleeping arrangements, sleep training methods, and every personal parenting choice you've made up to this point.
(I mean "it is all your fault you let them come into your bed that one time, so now you've screwed them for life!")
Judgement doesn't stop online, even in public...
"Why aren't you baby wearing?"
"You haven't lost any weight since you had the baby?"
"You should cover up!"
It never seems to end.
We all have our opinions, sadly they typically come out in the form of judgement.
This is why we go above and beyond to ensure we our nonjudgemental!
Our birth doulas won't try to talk you into or out of anything.
Our postpartum doulas aren't going to talk you into or out of anything.
We support you.
You are an adult.
You know your family, yourself, and your child the best!
While we are the experts in normal, we won't try telling you what to do.
The evidence sometimes isn't what you want or what you need to do for you and your family and we know that.
We answer questions and support your thoughts ,feelings, and choices on what you feel is the best.
We can help you by asking questions to get to those conclusions,
but this isn't our life.
We support you, without judgement.
"It means the baby will have lots of hair!"
That's all well and good, but some relief would be better, right!?
Heartburn during pregnancy can be horrible.
The hormone progesterone causes the value between the stomach and the esophagus to relax and allows stomach acid to pass back up, YUCK!
It can be pretty chronic and extremely uncomfortable,
especially in those last few months.
So, what can you do to relieve
heartburn while pregnant?
#1- Talk to your care provider
They will have the best insight and they are the ones you should be taking advice from on what medicines are the best and safest.
#2- Eat smaller meals
Eating smaller meals more often can help reduce some of the pressure and in turn reduce the acid being pushed back up.
#3- Wait to lie down
I know being hungry all the time doesn't help, but if you can, try to wait at least an hour before lying down to rest or sleep.
#4- Sleep / Rest on an incline
An extra pillow or a few to help keep your head further up while your sleeping can help gravity work to keep that acid down.
#5- Avoid foods
Typically spicy, greasy, and very fatty foods trigger the heartburn. Try eating them in smaller amounts (we know they are good) and spacing it out through your day and week.
While this doesn't work for everyone and certainly not when it becomes a bit more severe, but a cup of milk can help equal out that acid and work the acid back down.
(a tablespoon of honey mixed into it while warm helps even more)
Whether it started in your first trimester or third,
heartburn is no fun...
Hopefully with these tips you can keep it down to a minimum
and your baby will have a lot of hair either way!
Before babies, these were awesome times:
Winding down from your day, sharing a meal,
and relaxing in silence on the couch.
(outside of the Netflix binge of the week)
Maybe enjoying a beer or glass of wine and
just putting your feet up to relax, finally!
Then enter baby.
The beautiful, apple of your eye who desires nothing more than being
fed, cuddled, cleaned, and being kept warm and safe.
Until the evening hits.
"WHOSE CHILD IS THIS!?"
"WHY IS HE DOING THIS TO ME?"
"WHAT AM I DOING WRONG?"
"WHY DOES MY BABY ONLY CRY IN THE EVENING?"
"WHAT CAN I DO TO MAKE IT BETTER?"
"I'M GOING TO LOSE IT!"
All things we've heard many times from parents about the evenings in their house with newborns. Whether you have other children or not, the evenings come as quite a surprise as to your infant's behavior and how to handle it all.
There's lots of theories as to why babies tend to cry more in the evening:
It could be colic.
It could be over stimulation or being overly tired.
It could be wanting more food and desiring cluster feedings.
It could be gas discomforts.
It could just simply be that they'd like cuddles and attention;
with dinner being made and attention being spread around to more people, they just aren't getting enough.
Whatever it is for your baby, it can be so frustrating!
We all know babies cry, but when you feel as though you have 20 things needing to be done, other children to care for, and a partner who may just like a hug and kiss and cuddle of their own...
It can wear you down with a quickness.
So, What can you do?
Contact your baby's care provider to see what ideas they have or
if they feel it may be a bigger issue.
Hire a postpartum doula to come help out with baby and
family/dinner care during the evenings.
Wear your baby.
Get into a routine.
Take turns (if you have a partner, take turns cuddling baby,
so you each can get some breathing time)
Check into chiropractic care for your babe.
Try to remember this really is JUST A PHASE and it will pass.
(I promise, even though it may seem impossible at the time)
These EVENINGS can seem endless,
but YOU'VE GOT THIS
and we are here to help!!!
Guest Blog Written By: The Fabulous Heather Kemp of Gemini Birth Services
When I say wrapping a baby,
I don’t mean gift wrapping.
Rather, I mean wrapping them to you!
This can be done in the form of a baby carrier or a wrap. Whatever way you choose to transport your baby, here are some things I know about wrapping them:
Taking Care Of Business
I am a mother of 4 and when my youngest came along, as much as it would’ve been nice, the world did not come to a screeching halt. I still had a 2 year old as well as older kids in school, dance, etc. Luckily, I had discovered stretchy baby wraps, like the Moby and Boba (formerly Sleepywrap). I could wrap baby to me and have 2 free hands for doing dishes, making dinner, and reading books to an antsy toddler.
Baby It’s Cold Outside
I also happen to have all winter babies. Living in the Midwest this means cold and germs. Wrapping my baby to me was a great alternative to the heavy little car seat others drag around. I would put the wrap on me at home before putting on my coat, wrap baby in a blanket and carry out to car. When we arrived at the store I could easily slip her into the wrap and bring my coat around both of us. My body heat was able to keep her warm. The added bonus was with her all wrapped up, random strangers wouldn’t try to touch her and cough on her! Win-Win!
Nursing With Ease
Another great advantage to wrapping a baby to you is for when you are breastfeeding. Your child is already right there against your chest. With some minor adjustments to make things more comfortable, you can nurse them right in the baby carrier and again still have your hands free.
Imagine shopping at Costco, while nursing, and not worrying about the stigma that is being put on woman nursing in public.
Everyone around you will just think baby is sleeping.
It is not just for outings though. Doing this at home allows you to nurse a teething, fussy baby and bake some cookies (or at least make the cookie dough…whether it makes it to the oven or not is up to you!)
Don’t Forget The Toddlers
Baby carriers aren’t just for babies though.
You can wrap your toddler too. Imagine going to the zoo and NOT having to bring that giant double stroller or wagon with you. You know your kids are going to complain about tired feet, or try to run ahead, but you don’t want to worry about it. Throw a baby carrier or 2 in your diaper bag. You can wrap one kid on your back and the other on the front, or your partner can wear one while you wear the other.
No more worries about losing your kid in the crowd!
Unless, of course, mommy brain takes over and you start frantically looking for your 5 year old because you forgot he was on your back. Not that it happened to me….
Gotta Find What Works
There are so very many options out there when it comes to wrapping and carrying children. You have to find what works for you and your lifestyle.
Stretchy wraps are good for newborn stage through about 20 pounds, but you cannot use these to carry on your back. They are stretchy which means baby can pull away from you and they is not safe on your back.
You can go more traditional and get a woven wrap, they are good from newborn until toddlerhood. I have even seen people wrap grown adults with these. They are strong, but can be tricky to get the hang of.
Another option is the soft structure buckle carriers. These can be sold with a newborn insert making them safe for newborn through toddler stage. These can usually be worn on your front or on your back and are more modern. They are also a common choice for men as they are easier to figure out.
My favorite option however is the mei tai. This is similar to the soft structured carrier, but instead of buckles it has long straps to tie. I like that my husband and I can quickly trade who is carrying and not have to adjust the buckles to our different sizes.
I would recommend checking Facebook to see
if there is a local baby wearers group to you.
(There is and it can be found HERE - Jessica)
These groups will sometimes have a lending library so you can borrow different carriers to see what you like. Ask around your friends and see what their preferences are and maybe you can try theirs out to see how it feels.
Wrapping babies can be a lot of fun and
a great way to bond with them so enjoy it!
A Guest Blog Written By:
The wonderfully sweet Jennifer del Sol of Mainstay Doulas & Co
A breastfeeding relationship is hard.
A breastfeeding relationship can also be easy.
It can look like breastfeeding on demand, breastfeeding with supplementing, exclusively pumping, or somewhere in between all of that.
Every breastfeeding relationship looks different, just like every breastfeeding goal can be different. As a Certificated Lactation Educator Counselor, IBCLC candidate, and working with hundreds of moms to find a feeding solution that works best for them, there are a few things Jennifer del Sol has learned along the way when it comes to making your breastfeeding goals.
Your Goals Can Change
Nothing about a breastfeeding goal is set in stone.
You may think while you’re pregnant that you want to breastfeeding until 6 months but then you find breastfeeding after a couple months is easy and works for you, so you change your goal to nine months.
Or maybe breastfeeding through tongue ties and cracked nipples is not how you imagined your breastfeeding relationship and your goal changes to getting through this one last feed before switching to formula.
That is OK and nothing to feel guilty about. You still accomplished something worthy of praise. Your baby is fed.
They Don’t Have to Have a Timeline
A lot of times when we hear a breastfeeding mom describe her goal its sounds something like “3 months until I go back to work”, “6 months until we start solids”, or “1 year because that’s what the American Academy of Pediatrics Recommends” but your goals don’t always have to contain a number.
Your goals can be about just having those moments of bonding time each day or feeling like your providing some immune protection for your baby through your breast milk. One of the most important things to consider when creating your breastfeeding goal is that accomplishing your goal should feel like the right thing to do for your baby AND you.
It Doesn’t Have to be Exclusive.
Your goals don’t have to contain the word “exclusive” anything.
Your breastfeeding goal can be that you only want to breastfeed when you’re not working and supplement with formula while you are working, for example. It doesn’t have to be about exclusive breastfeeding. If you’re pumping for your baby, you can also decide that you only want to pump in the couple times a day you feel like you have a spare moment to pump and supplement with formula the other times your baby is hungry. It also doesn’t have to be about exclusive pumping.
Having the Right Support System Makes Reaching Them Easier
Do you need a cheerleader or do you need someone to say it’s ok if you don’t want to do this? Think about the people in your life and who can embody each of these roles. Sometimes you want might want the cheerleader to get you through those 3am cluster feeds or to help you find the best remedy for sore nipples. At some point, you may also need the person who is going to hold your hand and tell you that you have done an amazing job, its ok if you want to stop.
Your baby will still love you, be healthy, and be fed. Your postpartum doula can fulfill both of those roles for you as she attunes to your differing needs in every feeding.
Reaching Them Feels Really Good
It doesn’t matter if you decided you wanted to breastfeed two times, two days, two months, or two years, when you reach your breastfeeding goal it feels really good. Remember, goals can change so even if you say “I just want to get through this last feeding and then I’m switching to formula” that’s still reaching a goal.
The ultimate goal is always feed the baby.
Jessica Anne Dill
Mom of 5, Wife, Doula trainer, Professional Birth and Postpartum Doula, Placenta Specialist, and best friend of coffee and long naps!