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Easy slime for a super fun time!

by Andrea Stainbrook


Easy and safe slime recipes can turn a boring afternoon into a fun one full of memories!

Kids love slime. There seems to be a slime wave sweeping the nation! It is actually a fabulous toy for so many ages. From younger toddlers to middle schoolers!

Making this concoction can be a learning opportunity too! It’s a great way to talk about science. You could formulate experiments! What will it stick to? How far does it stretch? Making and playing with slime is a wonderful tactile experience. Kids love to use their hands to explore and the feeling of slime is an interesting one to say the least.

The slime recipe I like to follow is one without anything harsh. Borax is a common ingredient in many and can be irritating to skin. When looking for directions on how to make easy and safe slime you can find our favorite here on Elmer’s website.

My kids like to experiment and seem to be experts at eyeballing the perfect amounts to make their slime. So don’t worry if your measurements aren’t perfect!

Click here to watch Lydia & Estelle make slime!

Simple Slime Ingredients:

-Washable glue

-Baking soda

-Contact solution

Other items that can add to the fun:

-Food dye

-Glow in the dark glue

-Glitter or glitter glue

-Foam beads

Pro-tip: If slime gets on your clothes or furniture try using vinegar to remove it!

So the next time you need an activity to spice up your day think about making an easy slime recipe with your little ones!

Family resolutions for new parents


As new parents, you are probably busy busy busy with your new little love.

 And you might not want to add another item to your overflowing to-do list, especially around the holiday season.

However, it’s always a good idea to set goals and intentions before the start of a new year – and it’s even more important for new parents.

 This is an exciting, memorable and wonderful time and we, as doulas, want you to enjoy it.

 By setting some simple – and doable – family resolutions,we think your first months as new parents will be even more full of love and happiness. Here are our top family resolutions for new parents. Read on:

Set boundaries

You have probably already had a relative or two say something slightly-less-than-supportive about your parenting. This is the time to set some clear boundaries about your new family. Trust us: It doesn’t get any easier. By being clear and non-confrontational now about your new family and its needs, you’ll avoid headaches down the road.

Set traditions

Every family needs a few fun and meaningful traditions, right? Yes! And now is the time to start thinking about what your family’s will be. Game nights, vacations, dinners by candlelight: You will make so many wonderful memories.

Unplug

Little eyes and ears are watching you, so now is the time to start showing your child (or children) the joys of unplugging from technology and savoring the moment. After all, your child will be growing up in a tech-infused environment, but it’s important to show her the joys of an unplugged life.

Health and wellness

This probably will look like something different for every family, but by setting health and wellness goals (this could be exercise, healthy eating, self-care – whatever works!) you will be modeling life-long habits for your children.

Metro Detroit Doula Services

We hope you and your family have a happy and healthy 2019.

What’s love got to do with it?

by Andrea Stainbrook

Love and labor go to together.

Common questions doulas are asked are:

“How do I get labor started?”

“What keeps a labor going?”

“What can help me in labor?”

These are all fabulous questions.  Some are surprised to hear our answer for all of these questions is love.  What’s that?  Love?!  Yes.  Let’s break down love and labor.

Oxytocin is the “love hormone.”  It is the feel good hormone that your body releases during labor to keep your uterus contracting.  Do you know when else oxytocin is released?  Whenever you have that warm and fuzzy feeling.  You know when you watch a romantic comedy and we all see the plot, we all know how this ends, but you find yourself smiling and feeling nice anyway?  That is good ole’ oxytocin working.  Hugs feel nice,  sharing a meal with another, memories of favorite vacations, these all stir up that hormone.

So anything to release oxytocin in labor can help get a labor moving or started, and also help you through labor by making you feel good while it continues to progress.

You can use to this knowledge in the birth room.  The uterus needs to keep contracting to bring baby down.  If you have a partner you care deeply for they can be useful in labor to keep that oxytocin flowing.  Getting into positions where you are facing one another can help facilitate that exchange.   My favorite position is “8th Grade Slow Dancing.”   The birthing person can place their hands on the shoulders of their partner while the partner places their hands on the birthing person’s hips.  You both can sway and dance together during or through contractions.  You may giggle at first and that is OK because giggling is good too! Laughter releases the love-hormone.

Romantic love of a partner is just one form of love.  Other oxytocin inducing ideas:

  • Hang up photos of a vacation you truly enjoyed

Thinking about our favorite spots can make us smile.

  • Set out framed photos of your other children, or loved ones
  • Place favorite movie quotes around the room
  • Positive birth affirmations
  • Music that gives you the feels
  • Being told funny or heart warming stories

Love is such a wonderful thing!  As you can see it can play an integral part of your labor.  What other things do you think you can do during labor to keep the love hormone flowing?

 

Baby outings? Can I really shop with my baby?

By Andrea Stainbrook

An outing with your baby doesn’t have to be hard!

Babies are squishy and adorable and well frankly a lot of work!  Normal outings like heading to the grocery store, or to shop for some new clothes can feel like daunting tasks.  I know I sometimes rather wait for my hubby to come home or ask grandma for help so I can do these tasks alone.

And while alone shopping is super fun at times it may not be practical to try to plan for every outing without our cute little tag-a-long.

Oh hey Mom great choice!

Babies can become a part of the mundane outings or the fun shopping days!

Here are tips for successful shopping days out!

Think ahead!  

  • Make a plan.
  • Limit where you will go for the day just in case baby isn’t up for it.  If you are prepared to only hit up  a store or two and not conquer a marathon of shopping you will be setting yourself up for success!
  • Prepare the best you can and remember keep your expectations low!

This cute face may make the outing even better!

Baby gear for outings!  

  • Bring with you whatever feeding items you need.  Whether it be bottles, or your breasts, or baby is old enough for snacks, kiddos get hungry.
  • Favorite toys are a must!  Anything to help with distraction.
  • Some people like those cute little shopping cart covers.  Sometimes you are able to attach toys to those.
  • Remember if baby is in it’s bucket car seat still always place it in the bottom of the shopping cart.

Where do we go?

  • Grocery store.  Bring a list!  Many grocers try to get the kids excited now with either finding the store’s mascot while you are there or offering free fruit.
  • Superstores.  (Or Book and Toy stores.)  Just want to get out and go somewhere?  Let your kiddo explore the toy or book aisles for fun.
  • To your local baby store!

Make it a fun day to remember!

Local Baby /Children Stores

These tips should help you as you venture out.  As a Postpartum & Infant Care Doula I have even become a part of these outings too and help parents feel more confident doing so.    Fill out our inquiry form if you rather shop with us!

Where do you think you will head first?

 

Five cute mom and baby Halloween costume ideas

The weather is getting colder, the leaves are turning and that means only one thing: It’s almost Halloween!
If you have a new little love this year, you might be wondering what to dress up as for Halloween. Having a baby at Halloween is a fun time and what’s cuter than a coordinating mom and baby Halloween costume idea? In our opinion, nothing.

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Here are five cute mom and baby Halloween costume ideas for you to try. Read on:

Farmer and piglet (or chick, or duck, or calf)

One of the cutest (and easiest!) mom and baby Halloween costume ideas is for mom to dress up as a farmer and baby to dress up as a farm animal. A farmer costume is pretty easy to pull off: Some jeans or overalls and a flannel, maybe add a hat, boots and a bandanna. Baby can be whatever adorable baby farm animal costume you want: A piglet, a calf, a chick. It’s up to you!

Lobster and chef

This one is cute and funny! Get your baby a lobster costume and you dress as a chef. If you want even more of a giggle, put baby in a big silver pot for pictures.

Bank robber and bag of cash

If your tiny bundle is still all curled up and would fit in a bag, why not add a money sign and dress up as a bank robber? Chances are she’ll sleep through trick or treat or that Halloween party and in this costume, she’ll be snuggly warm and cozy.

Superheroes

For this one, you can go matchy-matchy (meaning you both dress as Wonder Woman, for example) or you can coordinate, meaning mom (or dad) is Batman and baby is Robin. You could also do an Incredibles theme, since that movie was popular this year, if you have a Baby Jack lookalike.

Witch and black cat

This Halloween costume is simply adorable. Mom gets a witch costume and baby gets dressed up as her black cat. Who doesn’t love a cuddly kitten to snuggle as you stir up a spooky potion or two?

 

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Metro Detroit Doula Services

At Metro Detroit Doula Services, we hope you and your family have a safe and fun Halloween!

Four benefits of taking a childbirth education class

If you are entering the last months of your pregnancy, or starting to process what it may be like to give birth, you might be wondering if you need to enroll in a childbirth education class.

After all, it’s 2018. Anything you need to know you can find on the Internet, right?

Wrong!

Well, sort of.

You can find a lot of great information about childbirth on the Internet but the trouble is, you have to sift through a lot of bad – and even dangerous – information first. And who has time for that, what with a nursery to decorate, baby clothes to buy and ice cream to eat?

Taking a childbirth education class is a great way to prepare for birth and baby and taking it from a trained, caring and knowledgeable person is even better. At Metro Detroit Doula Services, we are proud to offer childbirth education classes that prepare parents-to-be with real talk. There’s no question we haven’t heard and we give you the facts in a supportive environment.

Here are four benefits of taking a childbirth education class. Read on:

Confidence

When was the last time you did something totally new and different without a little preparation? Childbirth is one of those things that you can talk about with people who have been through it and leave feeling…maybe not so good. But taking a childbirth class from an open and honest instructor can have the opposite effect – and boost your confidence!

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Options

Often times in birth you feel out of control and as though things are happening to you.  Learn your choices, and options regarding common interventions, and paths in birth.  Understanding the routine – and not so routine – things that can happen during birth from a trained professional can make all the difference in achieving the birth you want.

Preparedness

Coping through labor is always the goal.  Learning techniques that will manage the pain and fear of birth will ultimately leave you the best prepared you can be.

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Bonding

Taking a childbirth education class with your partner is a great way to spend some one-on-one time bonding and preparing for baby. You both can get your questions answered in a safe and caring environment and leave feeling prepared and on the same page.

Metro Detroit Doula Services

We’d love to help you choose the right childbirth education class! Check us out online today.

 

May is Preeclampsia Awareness Month. Do you know the signs?

If you are pregnant, or if you have been pregnant before, you have probably heard of preeclampsia. It’s a condition that can occur during pregnancy and maybe you or someone you love had it.

Preeclampsia can be an extremely serious pregnancy condition that can happen at any time. There are usually warning signs, however, and moms-to-be who get regular prenatal care are generally screened for them at doctor visits.

So, what is it? It’s a hypertensive condition that affects mom AND baby and occurs in 5-8% of all pregnancies, according to the Preeclampsia Foundation. It usually occurs after the 20-week mark of pregnancy and it can occur up to six weeks AFTER delivery. The foundation estimates that hypertensive disorders in pregnancy like preeclampsia cause 76,000 maternal and 500,000 fetal deaths annually.

It’s important to know the warning signs, even though some women with preeclampsia have no symptoms. To learn more, read on:

High blood pressure

One of the main signs of preeclampsia is high blood pressure. You can’t tell if you have high blood pressure; it has to be measured by a medical professional. That’s why it is so very important to have proper prenatal care.

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Proteinuria

This is a fancy word for “protein in your pee.” And it’s also why your doctor has you pee in a cup during prenatal visits. Your doctor should be checking the protein levels in your urine during visits, to see if the level is changing.

Headaches and nausea

These can be common pregnancy symptoms OR they can be signs of preeclampsia. It’s hard to tell, right? If you have a migraine-like headache that lasts a long time or is exceptionally painful or changes in your vision, call your doctor.

Also, if you have vomiting that happens after the 20-week mark and comes on suddenly, call your OBGYN or midwife. It could be something as simple as food poisoning or a virus but it’s best to be checked out.

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Swelling

Many women swell during pregnancy, especially in their feet and for the most part, this is an annoying and normal part of the experience. However, if you have swelling in other areas like your face or hands or excessive swelling in your feet, call your doctor.

Pain

Aches and pains are common during pregnancy, especially as baby grows and moves. However, if you have stomach or shoulder pain that comes on suddenly, it could be a warning sign of preeclampsia.

Metro Detroit Doula Services

We want you to have a safe and healthy pregnancy!

 

World Book Day Blog | Why reading to your baby is so very important

Today, April 23, 2018, is World Book Day, a worldwide celebration of books and reading. If you have a baby, you might already be reading to her. Or, maybe you haven’t started yet.

Reading to your children, starting in infancy, is so very important. Even the tiniest little babies can benefit from being read to daily. It’s NEVER too early to start reading to your baby!

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In fact, starting the habit of daily (or nightly) reading with your baby sets your family up for a lifetime of reading. It also creates lasting memories and is bonding time.

Here are four ways reading to your baby is so very important. Read on:

Memories

Maybe you remember snuggling up to a parent or grandparent and reading a beloved story. If you are a reader yourself, thank your parents! You probably have fond memories of reading and being read to and starting a habit of reading to your baby will create new memories for your family to enjoy. Don’t forget to snap a selfie or two!

Language development

Reading to even the smallest of babies can help them develop language skills. It’s true! Studies show that children who are read to as infants have better brain development: They know more words and have improved math skills. Babies need to hear thousands of words every day; reading is one way to accomplish that goal.

A bonus of reading to babies: You can read anything you like? The news, your favorite book, the back of the cereal box. It’s all good. It’s the sharing of words and language skills that matter most.  And let’s face it, soon enough they’ll have preferences and you’ll be reading Goodnight Moon for the 11,468th time.

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Legacy

If you read to your baby, he will likely become a reader himself. Even if babies can’t understand the words, they begin to start understanding language by hearing you read. Your voice sets your child up to read independently one day. If you watch closely, you’ll probably see him responding to the rhythm and tone of your words. It also sets them up to think that reading is a fun, enjoyable activity.

Bonding

Reading a book can be a great way to calm your baby and have a relaxing moment together. Sometimes life can get so busy, but you can always sit down, cuddle your child and read for a few minutes to reconnect.

Metro Detroit Doula Services

We love books and reading! Share your favorite book with us in the comments.

Why Doulas Are Just Like “Sadness”

Did you watch the Disney movie “Inside Out”?  There is one scene that as a doula resonates with me.   The character Sadness sits down next to Bing Bong after his magical rocket is lost forever.  Bing Bong is clearly upset.  Joy tries to cheer him up.  But Sadness… Sadness listens to him.  Just listens.   She sees him upset and starts with, “I’m sorry that they took your rocket.  They took something that you loved. It’s gone…..forever. ”  Then as Bing Bong opens up she asks questions about the fun he and Riley had on that rocket.   Sadness lets Bing Bong feel his feelings.  By letting him feel his sadness and talk about it she validated his feelings.  A warm embrace and then Bing Bong felt a little better and was able to continue the journey.  film (1)

This is important to doulas.  This is a role we strive to provide.  Not to be “Sadness” per se but to be support that hears you .  We don’t believe you should be a certain way, we just want you to be.  We do not tell you how to feel, we let you feel.

This transcends our doula life and is useful in all relationships.  Parenting, friendships, relatives.  Sadness has it right:

Listen.

Validate.

Support.

That movie has such great lessons to all ages on communication and emotions.  We thank Sadness for being her.  Let us support you and be your listening ear!

 

 

Tips To Get Through The Holiday Parties With A New Baby

As the holidays are upon us there are many opportunities for gatherings and parties.  These can be overwhelming to a new baby and it’s new parent.  Here are some tips to get through it:

 1) First determine if the outing is appropriate to you and your baby.

  • How old is baby?  Brand spanking new?  Has the cord fallen off and healed?  Did your doctor or midwife offer any suggestions when baby is ready to be out and about?
  • What about you?  Are you still healing and recovering?  Be gentle on yourself.  Even just sitting and chatting can be draining.  Decide if the activity will create too much stress.  Resting and healing can go a long way and you’ll feel better faster than if you do too much too fast.
  • Will your family or friends be helpful to you?  Sometimes these gatherings can be a time to get help with baby tasks and it is refreshing to get out of the house and talk to other adults you haven’t seen in a while.

 
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2) Prepare and pack all the things.

Assess how long you will likely be at the party and add some more time on to get there.  Then make a list of the the things you may need during that time.  Some are listed below:

  • Diaper change necessities
  • Feeding items: nursing cover, formula, bottles, etc.
  • Pacifier if being used
  • At least one extra outfit
  • Burp cloths
  • Swaddling blankets
  • Wrap/carrier- *Babywearing is great to keep baby close if you don’t want too many people touching your baby*

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3)  It is not selfish to focus on YOUR family and what you need.

If the holiday party feels like too much it is OK to pass or leave earlier than planned.  Don’t worry about upsetting Aunt Sally.  Your baby will be just as adorable the next time you see everyone!

  • Do what makes you feel the best
    • If visiting sounds fun, you feel healthy, baby is ready to go out, then go and enjoy!
    • If visiting sounds draining, you feel too tired or weak, allow yourself to stay home.  Your health matters most.

Metro Detroit Doula Services hopes your holiday season is filled with love.  Our Doula services make for lovely gift ideas!  Call us today 586-960-5993!  For more tips about life with babies check us out on Instagram and Facebook!