Who is Metro Detroit Doula Services? | Meet Kelly Galle

Who doesn’t love a warm smile and someone always there to laugh with you or get real with you? This is Kelly Galle. Her compassion and heart for new families is huge. Take a moment to learn more about her!

What are your favorite resources for expecting parents/new families?

I love “Moms on Call.” They have books based on the age of your child.  “The Contented Baby” basically taught me how to care for a baby.  I also love “Mama Natural” for pregnancy. 

Tell us about your family!

My husband and I have been married for 3 years. We have two black cats that I brought to the relationship. Then we adopted our miniature schnauzer, Eloise, in 2015. After Eloise we adopted our special needs dog, Tallulah Belle, in 2017. In 2018 we had our son, Harrison.       

Look at those matching pineapple shirts! <3

What do you love about being a doula?

I love that I can be a part of someone’s life during such a special and unique time. I feel honored that families let me in their home and trust me with the thing(s) that matter most to them. 

Give us your best piece of advice to expecting parents/new families.

In the words of Samuel L. Jackson in Jurassic Park, “hold on to your butts!”

But seriously being a new parent can be really hard. It’s OK to not be OK. But remember your well-being still matters. It’s OK to ask for help. You can’t pour from an empty cup, as they say. 

If we turned on the radio in your car, what would we hear?

You would hear a true crime podcast. I’m obsessed with true crime. I really like Wine and Crime and True Crime Garage. 

What are you reading now?

The Last House Guest by Megan Miranda

What’s your favorite show/movie, vacation, food, hobby?

I love Parks and Rec. I just saw the movie Dumplin’ and I loved it. My favorite vacation was to Belize.  My favorite food is chips and salsa. And I love cleaning, like really love it. 

Who is your role model? 

Rose from Golden Girls or David from Schitts Creek.

What is your favorite thing to do on a day off?

I don’t think parents have a day off. But I’m a homebody so I like to be with my family, order takeout and watch Netflix. 

If you could have a superpower, what would it be and why?

I would astro-project  because I feel like I could get a lot done while also sleeping. Controlling the weather would be great too. 

What is your favorite song to karaoke?

I don’t karaoke because I care about my fellow humans. But I guess “Wherever, Whenever” by Shakira because I love Shakira’s hair. 

Call us today to ask about Kelly being your Postpartum & Infant Care Doula for your family! We think her curls are up there with Shakira’s 🙂

586-960-5993 or info@metrodetroitdoulaservices.com

Is it normal? | I want my life back!

It felt like all of a sudden. One moment. It felt like I looked around and realized I had changed. I mean I knew I was changing. I watched my belly grow and I labored for hours. I had been through this once before. I knew my life would never be the same. But I was in it. I was all the feelings. Happy, excited, nervous, and anxious.

Then she was here. She completed our family. So sweet, so squishy and my brain instantly just wanted to care for this new sweet soul. Soon she wasn’t so new. Visitors stopped coming, my husband returned to work. It was just me, this new baby, and my older child. I spent my days trying to meet everyone’s needs. For the most part I loved it! I love being a mom. In the early childhood years it defined me. I was more than happy to let it. They are my world and I was proud to dedicate my time to them.

These little beings who are amazing yet needy also meant going out of the house was work. Trying to get alone time as a couple was hard. I felt like I could never give my first born the attention she needed. Then in one moment seemingly out of the blue….

I wanted my life back.

I thought about what I could be doing if I didn’t have the responsibilities of these kiddos. What could I do on a whim? What new career path could I be down? Where could I be traveling? Who even am I?

It is common and NORMAL to have feelings of returning to a life you once knew. Having a baby is a glorious time, but it is also a huge seismic shift of our daily lives and identities. People feel this shift at different times. It can happen in pregnancy. As your body is changing shape and your daily routines are interfered with. For others, like me, it comes after baby one or two. You feel like you open your eyes and realize motherhood consumed you and you want to feel like yourself again. Your old self.

If you have this moment of “I want my life back” first off know it is OK. Let yourself sit with the feelings. Life is a journey, and on this journey we grow and process feelings. Processing feelings never seems to go away.

Just because you yearn for an older version of yourself doesn’t mean you hate the life you are in. It didn’t for me. I think it can be a way we check in with ourselves. I think it is a normal moment for all of us at different parts of our lives. We are constantly growing and ever changing, in our minds and our bodies.

Here are some ideas to help you through these moments. Don’t shrug them away! They will return. It is good to face your feelings as soon as you are ready to.

-Talk about what you are feeling.

Your partner or a therapist are great people to turn to. Maybe you can talk to your mom or a best friend too.

-Cherish your old moments and old identities and come up with ways to figure out your new version of yourself.

It is good to embrace where you are at and how you can add things in. For example you won’t be a 20 year old staying out late rocking out in mosh pits or dancing til dawn with no care for responsibilities again. Reminisce on that, but then look at where you are at now. Embrace, “I am a mom! I get to snuggle, and get kisses from little ones who think I am the universe. I get to see these little angels grow and discover life.” Man writing that out makes me pumped to be a mom. Anywho you don’t have to shove parenthood away to find new things to add to your sense of self. Bring them together.

-Seek out new activities and goals.

Find something to do just for you. It may mean finding a not so cheap but reliable babysitter. It may mean commitment. Explore new things to add into your life. For me it was yoga and then running. Not only do these things help my brain matter stay sane they are times just for me. Exercise is just one avenue to explore.

-How are you and your partner (if you have one)? Make sure you are checking in with your partner regularly.

Carve out time everyday to have grown-up conversations. After you trade stories about the kids have some real talk. “What was something funny that happened at work?” “What do you want to do this weekend?” “What show should we binge watch on Netflix?” Like all relationships they only grow if we nurture them. We can’t ignore them and just bank on them always being there. Set aside time for one another. Date again! There are great books out there to help get the conversations flowing and the relationships growing. This is one I picked up and love, “8 dates: Essential Conversations for a Lifetime of Love” by Julie Schwartz Gottman & John Gottman.

-Meditate.

Find that quiet, happy place, and let your mind rest. Stink at meditating? Never tried it? No worries! You can pick up a book or follow some guidance from a video on the internet. Like all things, the more you practice the easier it becomes. It is good if you can incorporate time to clear your head daily, even if just for a few minutes.

-Practice self love.

You gotta love you. You are pretty awesome. I know we may have never met but trust me, I have good instincts and you are super cool. Doing the things above can help you love yourself more. When you can get to a place of loving and accepting yourself fully, you can then tackle most everything big or small.

Want to know the coolest part of finding your next identity and really loving yourself? Your kids will learn from you. They are watching you as you are their ultimate teacher. Seeing someone explore themselves and doing things that make them better humans is inspiring. What a fabulous thing to do as a parent!

So if you are currently in the “I want my life back” head-space, take some deep breaths. This is normal. You are not alone in ever feeling this way. Hopefully the tips above can help you too.

Authored by: Andrea Stainbrook

Who is Metro Detroit Doula Services? | Meet Kate Nagle

Kate is a special human brought to Earth to share her laughter and comfort with new families. Metro Detroit Doula Services could not be any happier to have her with us on our team. Learn more about her now!

What is your path to becoming a doula?

I became a doula after having one during the birth of my daughter. I had always known I wanted one, but I had never considered becoming one myself. After MJ was born, I explained the job to several people who pointed out that they thought I might be good at it. So I decided to jump in with both feet, no turning back!

Tell us about your family!

I am married to my lovely wife Marie and we have one 10 month old daughter, MJ. She was conceived through IVF, using my wife’s eggs and my uterus!

Marie (left), Kate, and MJ!

What are you reading now?

I’m currently reading The Game of Thrones. Because apparently I enjoy being super late to every party.

I love watching and supporting people as they navigate the first few weeks and months of parenthood whether it is their first time, or their seventh. It is such a crazy journey, and I love being part of the ride. Everyone needs a supportive, listening ear in their court, especially when going through a major life transition.

What do you love to do in your spare time?

When I have free time, which is pretty much during nap time, I love to sew. I just got a new sewing machine, so I have been breaking it in by sewing dresses for my daughter!

What is your philosophy for parenting & supporting families through their transition?

My philosophy is, when it comes to my clients, I have no philosophy besides support, support, support! I take the time to learn about their philosophies, because that is what is important. I then make sure that I do whatever I can to support them and ease their transition into a larger family.

Give us your best piece of advice to expecting parents/new families:

My best advice is to trust your instincts. And when the unsolicited advice comes too hard and fast and frequent? Let it flow in one ear and out the other. And when that advice gets too overwhelming, talk to your doula!

If we turned on the radio in your car, what would we hear?

Either the latest Broadway cast recording (currently the Anastasia cast recording) or country

What is your favorite song to karaoke?  

Summer Nights from Grease

Call us today to ask for Kate to be on your team!


Who is Metro Detroit Doula Services? | Meet Carolyn Katchka

Carolyn is a lovely addition to our team! She always has the brightest smile and truly cares about the families she works with. After many years of being a nanny, babysitting, working in daycare, and raising her own children the path of becoming a doula is a perfect fit! So let’s learn more about Carolyn!

Tell us about your family:

I’m married to my husband Case and we have 2 young sons, Jaxson and Gavin. We also have a dog and 2 cats!

Give us 3 words that describe you:

Empathetic. Supportive. Kind.

What is your favorite thing to do on a day off?

Relaxing with my family, we like to go outside and play, having game night and snuggling up to watch movies.

What is your philosophy for parenting &
supporting families through their transition?

Everyone is trying to be the best parent they can be. I view all parents in the best light and bring nothing but non-judgmental support to the table when working with families. My goal is to help provide some relief to families in an amazing time that can be a very overwhelming, beautiful, exhausting, and an emotional roller-coaster.

What is your favorite vacation?

My family LOVES to go camping and going down rivers in Northern Michigan.

What is your best advice for new/expecting families?

Try to go in with no expectations of what kind of parent you think you or your partner will be, how you think your baby will be, or rushing how soon you think they should be doing something. Always follow your gut, parental intuition is a POWERFUL thing. Ask for advice if you need help or opinions and brush them off if they’re unsolicited or are not helpful.

If we turned on the radio in your car, what would we hear?

Typically Rock music!

We are so excited and proud to have Carolyn on the Metro Detroit Doula Services team! Contact us today to request to meet her and have her be a part of your care!

Simple tips for a successful beach outing

Summer is upon us in Michigan! That means it is time to hit the beach! Beach outings with little ones in tow can sometimes be stressful. So follow these tips to help keep you from being a sweaty, hot, overwhelmed mess.

Tip #1- Gather all your items first

Know you are planning to hit the beach that day? Start collecting your items that you want to bring and place them in one specific spot. This way when it is time to leave you will have everything in one place. If you dig lists make your list and start gathering as soon as the night before. Possible items you may want to remember:

Kid practical items: swim diapers, sunblock, sun-hats, change of clothes, water shoes, sandals, snacks, water bottles

Beach practical items: beach blanket, towels, umbrella, beach chair, sand toys, flotation devices if allowed (check with each beach’s rules)

Tip #2- Plan where to go and for how long

Once you decide which beach you want to visit, maybe Spencer Beach, Kensington Park, or Stony Creek, get an idea of how long is the right amount of time for you. There is no wrong answer here. A short stay is just as fun as a long stay. If your stay is longer make sure you upgrade your snacks and include a meal like sandwiches. The worst is being hungry after a lot of playing and sun! It is also always a good parenting tool to give reminders to your little ones that your leaving in 30 mins, 20 mins, 10 mins etc. in case leaving fun places is hard to do.

Tip #3- Enjoy making memories

Hang out with your kiddos! Make a sand castle with the biggest moat ever! Dip your toes in too! Take pictures! Expect moments of sand in your food, maybe your eye, and a kiddo melting down for a second or two. But also expect your baby or kid to have a great time and make their own memories.

There is something magical about a Michigan summer. We truly know how to soak up the sun after months of cold and snow. Let the sun hit your skin, the smell of the lake air hit your nose, and enjoy playing with your family!

What is a fetal non-stress test?

Due to certain pregnancy concerns, routine measures past 28 weeks, going past your due date, or any reason your doctor/midwife deems necessary you may find yourself being told you need a fetal non-stress test or NST.

So what is an NST?

This test is simply looking to see how baby is doing. It is called non-stress because there is no added stress put on the baby during the non-invasive procedure.

Typically what it can look like is going into your provider’s office or sometimes to the hospital and getting connected to the monitors. (This blog talks about the monitoring process too) One external monitor is measuring any contractions if they are happening and the other measures baby’s heart rate. You will be connected for about 20-30 minutes while your care provider checks your baby’s heart rate, movement, and how it is reacting to the contractions. The provider is just looking to see if there are any signs of distress in your baby with that information.

Sometimes babies are more in the mood to sleep than move during an NST. Drinking something ice cold may help wake her up! If your baby still doesn’t want to move sometimes a “buzzer” can be used by the nurse to stimulate baby to move.

Based off what your doctor or midwife learns from the NST you will be given instructions if anything different needs to happen. This test is one way your provider can get a peek into how your baby is doing.

Written by: Andrea Stainbrook

End of the school year feelings

It is that time. The time when months of routine, schedule, and learning come to an end. It is the end of the school year. Whether you are cheering as a parent or anxious at the idea of adjusting to summer, no matter the feelings all of them are valid and its OK. For some the shift brings some stress as it is a new adjustment. For some it is seamless and easy.

For me I am mostly feeling excited.

There will be some challenges to adjust to I am sure. I work from home a lot. Figuring out those hours again that I can focus on work while we are all home together will be an adjustment.

But my kids are still little. They grow so fast and I swear by each day their independence increases with leaps and bounds. I want to enjoy the moments. And for the record I will focus on moments. I know I will hear, “Mom, I am bored.” “Mom can we do this? That? What about this?” I know my patience will shorten and some days I will be irritated. That is life as a parent.

But there will be days of snuggles, and sun, and play.

I will rub sunblock onto their creamy soft skin. I will get to judge them on their underwater handstands. 10’s seem to be the best answer every time! I will cut up fresh fruit to enjoy in the blistering sun. I will ride my bike alongside them setting goals to go on farther, longer, rides this summer. I will wipe dripping melted popsicle off their cheeks. I will veg out with them and watch their favorite shows. I will pop popcorn over the stove for family movie nights. I will sit out back and watch them play with the neighborhood kids. I will roast marshmallows and make smores over the bonfire. Limit 2 kids! OK maybe 3! We will read together, we will draw. We will run through the sprinkler and slide down the slip-n-slide. I will let them stay up late and sleep-in in the morning. I will have mornings of homemade pancake breakfasts, and others of quick cereal.

I want to embrace this summer. We may never get around to making those cute summer bucket lists. We may not spend enough time outside. We may have lazy days. We may have boring days. We may have busy days. But we will do them together.

As the school bus makes its final stop for the year I may cry. Tears of joy that we get a little time more together. Tears of “I can’t believe how much and how fast they are growing.” Then I will offer my hand to my girls, see if I get to hold one of theirs one last time home. Then we will embark on our remarkable summer.

Authored by: Andrea Stainbrook

What are birth affirmations?

In the process of birth the birthing person typically will need some encouragement and emotional support. Birth affirmations are simply that! They can even be your birth slogan or mantra! The best part of birth affirmations is you can select those that resonate with you and create ones that truly speak to you.

Why use them? Labor can be long. Labor can be hard. And at some point in labor self-doubt can creep in. Having some reminders that lift you up can help you through intense parts of birth. The goal is to make you feel good about the process and keep things positive. These little sentences can act as your own personal cheerleader!

One example of an affirmation for labor.

Tips for finding and creating affirmations:

Check out our Pinterest page of affirmation ideas

-Use lyrics from your favorite songs

-Scan your birth books for parts that truly speak to you

-Buy affirmations already printed out in card form, like these

-Seek inspiration from your favorite movies or books. It doesn’t have to be directly related to birth to be useful and encouraging!

-Take inspirational quotes from uplifting calendars

-Seek out your favorite poet, philosopher, or public speaker for words of wisdom and inspiration

-Ask your provider what their favorite things to tell patients are

Birth affirmations are for every birth desire.

Whether you want a natural birth or an epidural or a planned cesarean birth, encouragement and positivity are always useful.

So you got your inspiring words…now what?

-Your partner, doula, or support person can read these aloud during the birth.

-You can create a booklet of them to flip through.

-Type or write them on cards and hang them around your birthing room.

-Create wish flags or a bunting out of fabric or paper. Then write the affirmations on the flags. String these up in your birth room.

Birth affirmations are simply another tool to help you cope throughout the labor process. You may find them useful and use them the throughout your whole labor. It never hurts to arm yourself with as many tools as you can. Birth affirmations can be an easy and great tool to use and have with you as you bring your baby into this world.

Written by: Andrea Stainbrook

For a Moment Like This

“For a moment like this…. some people wait a lifetime.”  Ain’t that the truth Kelly Clarkson?

When I envisioned my births I envisioned myself like a lot of the videos and pictures I saw and loved.  I pictured dim light and quiet whispers.  I envisioned myself humming and swaying through contractions as they intensified.  I was planning a waterbirth and just thought I would rest there as long as possible. Then at that climatic moment, where I would be so relaxed and quiet, I would pull my baby  up and he or she would crest the water and greet me with a gentle cry and cuddles on my chest.   I could see it perfectly.  It would be beautiful.  

To be clear those births exist.  They are beautiful.  They are a great ideal to envision and strive for.   But know… it is still BEAUTIFUL if it’s not what you envisioned.   My births were not far off from this in many ways.  But in many ways my ideal I envisioned and what it looked like were way different.

You are a version of yourself on the day you give birth.  Who knows what mood and tone you may really take on.  I was not as quiet and peaceful as I imagined.  And although I got my hair done the night before and I painted my nails a few days prior… real life may not be perfectly coiffed hair and runway ready faces.

For my second amazing birth I hired a professional birth photographer.  Worth every penny and it is so great to have these photos forever.   One photo I was so excited to see was what that moment when I see my baby for the first time looked like.  Seeing other pictures of this moment captured I couldn’t wait to see that look of love and that special glow.

My first photo is beautiful.

It shows everything I felt at that moment.  Estelle came in a hurry and the last 15 minutes were intense.  After having a long labor with my first I couldn’t believe this went so fast.  I was processing a lot.  Anyhow I have full on ugly cry, “what in the world,” look.   I’m obviously happy and overjoyed.  You CAN see that too.  I’ll admit it wasn’t at first what I hoped.  I didn’t want to frame it.   Although I did want to cherish it.

WEBfirstlook5757

Birth is so many feelings and emotions wrapped into one.  If you look close enough at this one you may see all of them.  <3

No matter what we strive for, what unfolds, birth and the many faces we wear during it is simply beautiful.

Authored by: Andrea Stainbrook

Newborn Sleep Guidelines

It is always a good idea to stay up to date on current recommendations. The AAP, American Academy of Pediatrics, has specific guidelines for safe sleep practices.

Placing babies (through one year old) on their back to sleep is the most current recommendation for safe sleep. Room sharing is considered ideal for the first six months. This means having your baby on a firm sleep surface, i.e. crib or bassinet, laying on its back somewhere in the room with you the parent. Swaddling your baby is just fine! Keep loose items and bedding away from your baby.

Many babies like to be swaddled.

Sleeping in a Rock n’ Play Sleeper is not safe and the item has been recalled.

Here are some recommended links and articles from the AAP:

https://www.healthychildren.org/English/ages-stages/baby/sleep/Pages/A-Parents-Guide-to-Safe-Sleep.aspx

https://www.aap.org/en-us/advocacy-and-policy/aap-health-initiatives/child_death_review/Pages/Safe-Sleep.aspx

https://safetosleep.nichd.nih.gov/

Our Postpartum & Infant Care Doulas stay current with the recommendations set forth by the AAP and follow their guidelines when caring for your baby. If you have more questions or concerns reach out to your pediatrician.