Birth is really unpredictable.
Even if you've done it many times before,
we really never know what may happen next.
You have a plan...
so does your baby...
and so does your body.
You can have the most supportive provider, take all the best classes, pick the perfect doulas,
and have a wonderful and supportive partner,
but sometimes your plan has to go out the window.
We don't like to talk about it,
but the reality is:
Sometimes everything ends up the opposite of your plan.
To some it is just the scary stuff.
To some it means a home birth transfer.
To some it means an emergency cesarean.
To some it means an epidural and pushing on your back.
We don't want to harp on these things,
we're here to help instill strength and confidence in those giving birth,
but we also want to make it clear that we support
those who feel as though they had the birth they hoped for taken from them
or that their body is broken.
As your birth doulas and postpartum doulas
to support you,
to be a shoulder,
to maybe be the only one who says "It is okay to be sad!"
Sometimes things don't go as planned,
But we want you to know that you're not alone.
We really do want to help and support you, give us a call anytime to see how we can!
When it comes to pregnancy, working out may be the last thing on your mind;
You're tired, irritable, and perhaps suffering from some nausea.
But for some, exercise is a huge part of their daily lives and giving it up just seems like a big sacrifice!
So, can you work out while your pregnant?
For most typical pregnancies and purposes, YES!
(Ensure you check with you personal doctor first though, always.)
One of the main keys
is starting with very close to what you were doing before you were pregnant:
If you were normally running 5 miles a day, run 5 miles a day.
If lifting weights has been your thing, be safe, but keep it up.
If you are just wanting to start working out something
like swimming, walking, or yoga may be a lot better for you.
Just listen to your body. Be aware of pushing too hard. Stay very well hydrated.
And ensure you're eating well!
Whether you've been an exercise lover for a while or are just wanting to have a more healthy pregnancy, what are some of the benefits of working out while pregnant?
Better circulation which can improve constipation, backaches, bloating, and swelling.
Increase in energy.
(Yes, using energy can give you more)
Better muscle tone and less weight gain.
Can help prevent and/or treat gestational diabetes.
It also can help with labor and losing weight after baby is born.
Pregnancy is not the time to focus on fitness for weight loss purposes and if your doctor has given any indication you should not be working out, you definitely should limit activity as told.
But for most people exercise during pregnancy,
while trying to conceive,
or after baby
is a great way to improve your overall health!
You plan for months, sometimes even years for just that one special day.
You look into each other's eyes and BAM...
all the sudden you have a spouse!
You plan for months, sometimes even years for just that one special day.
all the sudden you have a baby!
So, what does a wedding really have to do with babies and doulas?
Did you know the national average for the cost of a wedding is anywhere
from $25,576 - $35,329?
In Indiana, the average wedding cost is $19,129!
We want to challenge you for a moment to think on how much you spent on that one specific day:
your wedding day.
(Don't worry we won't judge.)
It may be quite a bit less than the national average,
but for most it was still probably quite a big sum.
Now, we want to challenge you to think on
how many postpartum hours that would get you after you have a baby.
(We'll go ahead and do the math for you with the Indiana average)
$19,129 / our largest package hourly rate
with the same amount of planning and money spent,
you could have almost 800 hours of support from a professional after you have your baby!
Lets break that down:
80 overnight shifts
100 8 hour day shifts
200 4 hour day shifts
over a month of live-in care
any combination of those
All for just the same cost of what you spent on that one single day.
We aren't saying you need to spend almost 20k on postpartum support
or that your amazing wedding wasn't worth the cost,
we just want you to think critically about planning for your time after your baby comes!
You're worth it.
Your mental health and recovery are worth it.
Your marriage is worth it.
And we'll be so happy to help out!
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.
Or as many call it, Kangaroo care.
While it is becoming more of a regular in many birthing facilities, there are still many reasons why it is important and why putting it into your birth plan is a good thing to do!
What is kangaroo care?
Just as it sounds, it is holding baby against your bare chest. Typically with a blanket over baby's body to help keep them warm.
It was first introduced regularly in the NICU (it is even considered safe and beneficial in most instances to do while attached to most machines), but now is a pretty regular practice during a birth.
Some people are even able to do it before leaving the OR during a cesarean.
Why kangaroo care?
Body temperature control.
Heart rate and breathing regulation.
Encourages breast milk production.
Why wouldn't you?
Medical issues with birthing person or baby.
Want or need to decrease or eliminate breast milk supply.
You don't want to.
You are planning to sleep, under the influence, or drowsy.
Kangaroo care is an amazing choice and option for most families.
In many instances, even if the birthing person isn't able to do it immediately,
a partner or family member can also help and fill in any time!
It is an excellent way for
new parents to bond with their baby,
even if they aren't the parent doing the feeding.
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.
Jessica Anne Dill
Mom of 5, Wife, Doula trainer, Professional Birth and Postpartum Doula, Placenta Specialist, and best friend of coffee and long naps!