Metro Detroit Doula Services

Car seat safety in a crash

by Andrea Stainbrook

In a snap things change forever.

Let’s get some candy on the way to the movies.  It’s a relaxing family day so seeing a new movie with a bucket of popcorn overflowing, ice slushies, and candy sounds just right.  We snag our favorites hop in the car and head towards the movie theater.  One left turn.  The car turns left, headlights glare, a horn honks, then BANG!

First thought: What happened? Is everyone alright?  I look back at the kids.  They are OK.  Second thought: Thank heavens I know my kids were in the best car seats for them and appropriately.   We are safe.  Just minor bumps and bruises.  Mainly scared and anxious about what just happened.  To be clear our accident wasn’t as severe as many are.  But it was severe enough to see the importance of all the safety features.

We continue to relive the accident.  Every day the anxiety lessens a bit.  The accident is good for my children.  How so?  Lydia, my oldest, so badly wanted to just sit on the seat with no booster.  She recently switched to a small seat adjuster.  Now she wishes she could be the right size for a five point harness high back booster again.  We all see how vulnerable we all were in that moment.

I am fortunate.  I work with and am friends with a CPST, Child Passenger Safety Technician.   Dana Lange, who is on our Metro Detroit Doula Services team,  has helped me through every car seat purchase and placement.   Dana has said, “I hope your car seat is a waste of money.”  Meaning she hopes you are never in an instance to need one but she wants you to use them correctly for those moments that they are needed.   Thank goodness for car seats! Our youngest in the high back 5 point harness booster was the least injured.  Those car seats do their job.  My kids are 8.5 and 5.5.  These ages are less educated on appropriate seating than infants believe it or not.   I feel like many parents I know are always wondering:

When can my child switch to a  booster seat?

Is my child ready for just a seat belt?

What is the best brand?

Check out these graphics Dana created to answer your questions.

Booster SeatSeat Belt Ready

 

Safety does not have to mean the most expensive brand on the market.  Choose your budget, then choose the car seat that is needed for your child at the stage they are in that fits within that budget.  Remember that your child’s height and weight matter more than their age.   Also keep in mind that your child will likely be in a booster until ages 10-12.

Dana’s tips for when to use a booster:

There are 3 criteria –
1: Child fits weight and height requirement for specific booster
2: Child fits in the booster well, and
3: Child is mature enough to stay seated the entire trip (no bugging siblings, reaching for fallen toys, slumping over when sleeping, etc)
Dana’s tips for selecting a booster:
Features to look for:
1: Specific weight/height requirements that may be tailored to your child’s needs.
Examples:
  • If your child has a long torso, a higher height limit seat is good based on shoulder slots.
  • If you’re moving it between vehicles often, choose one that you can quickly and easily install properly. Maybe take the weight of the seat into consideration as well.

 

Car accidents are scary.  Taking comfort in having us all secured the best we knew how brings me some peace.   If you are not sure what your children need,  where to begin, or would like a car seat/booster check give us a call.  Dana will come to your home and guide you.

Be safe!

 

 

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?

 

The Fear of Giving Birth Again

“You have done this before.  You know what you are doing!”  Anyone who has given birth once and is now preparing to birth baby number 2, or 3, or 10 has probably heard someone say this.  Maybe you feel like, “Heck yeah I got this!”, or you maybe you want to reply, “Do I know what I’m doing?  Is it too late to back out?”

Just because you have given birth before does not mean you:

A) Know what to expect this time

B) Feel good about giving birth

C) You don’t need any help, or guidance

D) Are not nervous

Let me be the first to say it is perfectly OK to feel HOWEVER you are feeling about giving birth AGAIN.  Whether it is indeed excitement, or happiness, it is also OK if its not.  Perhaps you have fear of giving birth again.

No matter what you are feeling there are things to do to help you cope with birthing again.

  1. Make a birth plan.  This isn’t just for first time births.  You can perhaps even use what your previous birth was like to help you choose things you for sure know you want to happen again, and things you know you absolute do NOT want to repeat.
  2. Process your feelings.  As you are growing your baby and awaiting your due date it is a good idea to explore your feelings when you are ready. Talk to your partner or doula.  Sometimes you just need someone to listen.
  3. Take a Childbirth Education course.  Maybe you skipped this the first time.  Maybe you need a refresher.  It is always good to learn about as much of the unknown as you can so you can feel more confident.  If you take a group class you may even make friends with someone feeling just like you are!
  4. Surround yourself with positive support.  Your family, your partner, your care provider, your doula and your friends.  Try to keep positive people near you.  People who don’t dismiss your feelings but validate them.

It’s also normal to have your feelings change.  Every pregnant woman at some point or another takes a moment to think about what the upcoming birth may be like.  And with that comes some emotion.   Take comfort in knowing that you are not alone in your processing and feelings.

push birth labor

What can be cool about giving birth again is maybe you do have an idea of what it is like.  Some of the unknown may be known!  This may allow you to focus on other details.  You may have an idea of what helped you.  Use these to prepare for this next birth.  Use your previous experience as another tool in your tool-belt.

For example, “I thought having family in the waiting room would not bother me.  But I remember feeling bad that they were waiting so long out there.”  Use this as a tool to know you would prefer all excited family to wait for baby’s arrival at home until they are notified to come be with you.

No matter how you are feeling about birthing again, remember you are not alone and there is support to help you!

April the Giraffe | The Watched Pot… Stays in Labor?

It is amazing to witness a birth.  Seeing a human enter the world is a beautiful and spiritual thing.  Watching animals birth is equally awe-inspiring.  How they seem to just know exactly how to move and where to go.

Miss April the Giraffe is about to give birth.  She’s a Giraffe in New York anxiously awaiting her baby.  For the last month she is believed to give birth any day.

 

And the world is watching……….And still watching.

Good news is she likely doesn’t know it.

In labor it is common for people to be so excited and supportive to their loved ones they think they will get to watch the birth.  They may wait in a waiting room or hope to enter the labor room.  They could be at their own home waiting on updates and continue to text or call worried.

So when you birth who do you want watching?  It’s OK to do what you feel.  For some the idea of lots of close loved ones near by is reassuring.  For others it can create the feeling of “the watched pot never boils.”

giraffelegs

Typically in labor a woman will experience pain or intensity.  Which can be hard for others to see.  The woman may be coping well but all the loved one sees is suffering and wants it to end.  A laboring woman will have different levels of intensity at different points of the labor.  The mood of the room will change.  If the people in the room do not acknowledge that change it may become annoying or frustrating to the laboring woman. As well as anxious energy in the room can radiate to the laboring woman.  Ideally the room will radiate relaxation and calm.

Some find themselves feeling bad if the baby doesn’t come fast enough because all their family is waiting.  This can all lead to mind games.  The mind and body are very connected.

I personally thought I was OK with the number of people who attended my first birth in the beginning.  Which included some unplanned but caring loved ones.  Then my labor was long.  Long enough for the visitors there to dwindle down to who I originally thought would be at my birth.  And then… things picked back up and baby girl arrived.  I truly believe the added people watching and waiting played  a role.

You need to take a look at yourself and what serves you.  What will you feel if your labor is long?  Are you comfortable asking people to leave?  Some say birth is as intimate as the act to create the baby.  Who do you want watching then?

So April, Good Luck sister!  You’ll do great!  I won’t be watching 😉

 

 

What’s Wrong With Me? | Feelings of Infertility

Disclaimer: I’m completely grateful for the babies we have been blessed with.  I am allowed to feel a range of emotion as I struggle with the difficulties of secondary infertility.  Just want to be clear. ♥

I remember it well.  The idea of becoming a mother had always been in my “one-day” dreams of a big family.  I was 26.  I remember the excitement, the anticipation, the uncertainty if we were really ready to become parents.  I remember thinking, this felt special and different and we could seriously have just started a new life!  How exciting it all was!

Then for those of us who aren’t so lucky to get pregnant at the drop of a hat, I began experiencing the bummed emotion that washed over me when my cycle would return at the end of every month.  What was once a let’s just see what happens attitude soon turned to a this isn’t as easy as we thought it would be worry.

After reading up on becoming pregnant and other’s experiences the, “Do we want to try for a certain sex or birth month?” discussions turned into prayers for a baby of any sex, due any month.

I read Taking Charge of Your Fertility an excellent book written by Toni Weschler.  It was insightful, informative, taught me a lot about my own body, how to chart, and is now in our library to stay.  With lots of prayers, charts, temperature taking, ovulation sticks, sex and funky positions among other things, after 17 months of trying we FINALLY conceived.  I finally stood there holding a positive pregnancy test in hand – shaking.  I was on cloud nine!

sweetbaby
All the plumbing worked!  We delivered a healthy baby girl.

Surely, trying for baby number two would be easier because why wouldn’t it be?!

Things started out the same way going from nonchalant to intensive focus.  I read more and looked into other issues.  This time after 24 months of trying turned into charting, it worked!  Some would say all the sex is great – which was enjoyed mostly, but for those of us who have been there you can’t help but start to wonder,

What is wrong with me?  And why have I been worried about preventing all those years?  This is not as easy as I thought!

It’s heartbreaking and it sucks.  You stand between the thoughts of maybe it worked this month, to not wanting to get your hopes up in fear of being let down.

siblings
We had our second baby, a son, on a beautiful autumn day.  Well, we’ve been trying yet again and it hasn’t been any easier, and it hasn’t been any quicker, and I even got pregnant and miscarried this past year, to which they said I would be more fertile within the next 6 months.  And still, we are not pregnant.

I’m quickly approaching my 40’s and I really do feel like my clock is ticking.

I feel at a loss.  I feel like it is so out of my control.  And I feel like I’m in limbo waiting which direction my life will go.  Why can’t I just be like those women who get looked at the wrong way and get pregnant?  Why isn’t it working?  Is it something I didn’t do? Is it the endometriosis I never had officially confirmed?  Is it something else I don’t know about?  Maybe it’s just not meant to be.

Way back in the beginning I proudly announced to my OBGYN that we were trying.  Her response to me was,

Great!  If you don’t get pregnant in 3 years come see me.

I’ve both relaxed in this statement and become resentful of it.  I understand it’s normal to not happen right away, there are many factors that may come into play.  I also understand not everyone has 3 years and not everyone is willing to wait.  The tricky part about second hand infertility is that it worked before!!!… why not now?   In our case 3 times.  Upon research, apparently 60% of infertility cases are secondary, so we are not alone in our struggles.  And like many things revolving around women’s bodies, people just don’t talk about it.

Who is Metro Detroit Doula Services? A Blog Series | Meet Amy Hammer

By Amy Hammer, CEO & Co-Founder of Metro Detroit Doula Services

After having a fabulous doula for her own birth over 5 years ago, Amy Hammer decided to join her gifts of compassion and service with her love for families and become a business owner & doula herself.  Amy and Andrea’s collaboration together has been a complete blessing.  Together they support families, support each other, and laugh a lot!  Amy is certified with ProDoula as a Labor Doula and a Postpartum Placenta Specialist, she is also pre-certified as a Postpartum & Infant Care Doula.

Amy Hammer, Co-Founder of Metro Detroit Doula Services, Certified Labor Doula and Postpartum Placenta Specialist, and Pre-Certified Postpartum & Infant Care Doula

Tell us about your family.  “I’m happily married over 14 years to a super tall 6’8″ husband who I grew up 4 miles away from most of my life and never even knew it, attending rival high schools.  We have a daughter & son who are growing like weeds.  Our animals include a 16 year old grandma grey tabby cat & a black and white Shih-tzu-mix puppy who is exactly that… a puppy!”

What do you love about being a doula?  “I love helping!  I love that my work assists families in enjoying their biggest life moments & helping them realize their dreams.  I was born to help & care for others, it feels so completely natural to me.”

“Having a Doula was fantastic.  I will recommend her to all of my pregnant friends!  I can’t believe the patience and nurturing spirit it must take to do this job.  I can’t imagine how my labor would have gone without her there – it would NOT have been the same at all.” – Labor Doula Client

What are your favorite resources for expecting parents/new families?  “Taking Charge of Your Fertility, Business of Being Born, Birth Without Fear, Active Labor by Janet Blaskas, Natural Hospital Birth by Cynthia Gabriel, Nursing Mother’s Companion, Happiest Baby on the Block, and Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child.  The list could go on…”

What are you reading now?  “A bunch 🙂 Breastfeeding Made Simple by Mohrbacher & Kendall-Tackett for my Postpartum and Infant Care Doula Certification, Chase by Jennie Allen for my Lifegroup, The 5 Love Languages by Chapman for my marriage health, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Kondo for my sanity, and Leadership Promises for Everyday by Maxwell for my volunteer work and business! Phew!”

What is your philosophy for parenting & supporting women and their families through their postpartum transition?  “See a need, fill a need and I have faith in you! Transitioning to family is hard work and everyone can benefit from an extra set of hands. The type of hands needed can change on the daily, but ultimately our goal is for you to feel rested and cared for so that when our shift comes to a close you can enjoy your family & relax. Our families know what they need and have great intuition of their baby’s needs; it is my job to support this, encourage where needed, and advise when asked.”

“You are doing better than you think, you are enough, and you know your child best!” – Amy Hammer

What are your favorites?  “Favorite show right now: Call the Midwife on Netflix; Favorite vacation: somewhere warm, Europe, or tent camping in Michigan; Favorite food: Mexican & Mediterranean; Favorite hobby: Yoga.”

On a day off Amy loves to sleep in and spend quality time playing with her family.

If you could have a superpower, what would it be and why?  “This is hard because teleporting would be ah-mazing!  But, super speed task master with multiple arms would have to be it at the moment, so that I could do all the things I need and also be able to spend time laughing with my family.”

“I didn’t know until recently that I was ‘allowed’ to rest and have consistent help.  We hoped that by hiring doulas for postpartum that we wouldn’t feel as overwhelmed as we had before.  To boot, she offered emotional support, a listening ear, company, laughs, warmth to my children – definitely met and exceeded my expectations!  She and Andrea were a valuable and priceless part of postpartum!” – Postpartum and Infant Care Doula Client

What is your favorite song to karaoke? “Nothings Gonna Stop Us Now by Starship… it’s become our MDDS theme song. ♥”

Contact Metro Detroit Doula Services today and have Amy complete your dream team!
586-960-5993
info@metrodetroitdoulaservices.com

Who is Metro Detroit Doula Services? A Blog Series | Meet Andrea Stainbrook

By Andrea Stainbrook , CEO & Co-Founder of Metro Detroit Doula Services

Andrea Stainbrook joined forces with Amy Hammer to create Metro Detroit Doula Services. Together their vision is to bring support without judgement during pregnancy, birth, and as a family after baby arrives.  Andrea is certified with ProDoula as a Labor Doula, pre-certified as a Postpartum Doula, and is currently working on her certification as a Childbirth Educator with ProDoula.

andreafamilydoula-5128

Andrea Stainbrook, Co-Founder of Metro Detroit Doula Services, Certified Labor Doula, Pre-Certified Postpartum Doula, and future Childbirth Educator

Tell us about your family!  “My husband Justin and I will be celebrating our 10th wedding anniversary next summer.  We have 2 beautiful, full of energy, funny little girls; Lydia, 6, and Estelle, 3.   George and Jerry are our senior dogs who have been helping us clean under the kitchen table ever since the girls were born.”

What do you love about being a doula? “What I love is watching families grow and how they find strength they may never knew they had.”

If we turned on the radio in your car, what would we hear? “Currently a lot of Sia.  My girls love Sia as much as I do.  You’ll also hear Thrice,  Dustin Kensrue’s solo stuff,  or Rilo Kiley when I get some time to choose as well.”

“As I grieved the loss of the birth I had hoped for, Andrea very easily adapted her support to meet my new needs.  She provided me with a listening ear, supportive words, and many suggestions that helped me emotionally prepare for a cesarean birth.” – Labor Doula Client

Give us 3 words that describe you.  “Fun.  Listener.  Caring.”

What are you reading now?  “Lots of  children’s books.  🙂  I would love to find time to read one of Mindy Kaling’s books or Jennifer Weiner’s latest.”

What’s your favorite show?   “I am very excited for the return of The Walking Dead!  That premiere episode was intense.   It’s shaping up to be a great season.”

What is your philosophy for birth & supporting women and their partners through labor?  “I believe in supporting each family without bias.  Whatever you want and see for your birth I will stand behind you.”

“Trust yourself and be easy on yourself.” -Andrea Stainbrook

Who is your role model?  “There are a few. Truly I am inspired by people who are 100% themselves and just go for it!  My partner Amy is my doula role model.  I’m blessed that we get to do this together.    My husband is a role model for parenting.  He’s so kind and patient.  It’s awesome to watch him with our girls.”

When Andrea gets a day off she enjoys family days together.  She loves baking or cooking her favorite food lasagna with help from her children.  They love lining the lasagna pan with the pasta and sauce!    She enjoys traveling all over Michigan and recently had a great vacation in Disney World!

If you could have a superpower what would it be? “To make everyone happy.  In a perfect world I would love to bring joy to everyone I meet!”

“Andrea was the best Postpartum Doula!  She was absolutely wonderful with my sweet baby girl and was so comforting to me as a new mama.  She made me feel like everything I was going through was normal and was so reassuring.” – Postpartum Doula Client

What is your favorite song to karaoke?  This is a tough one.  Hands down if I am karaoking with Amy (my co-owner) it would be “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now” – Starship.  With my hubs I would probably say “Almost Paradise” (from Footloose) – Mike Reno and Ann Wilson.  But ya know a good Beyoncé song never hurts either!  (For the record my singing isn’t so amazing… but my entertainment value is there 😉 )

 

Contact Metro Detroit Doula Services today and have Andrea be a part of your birth team!
586-960-5993
info@metrodetroitdoulaservices.com

Autumn Fun at Upland Hills Farm

Written by: Amy Hammer, co-owner of Metro Detroit Doula Services, Labor Doula, Postpartum Doula, and CPPS

Fall is upon us and in Michigan that means fun with the family at cider mills, apple orchards, pumpkin patches, and farms to name a few.  Janice Rex-Weaver, a fellow birth professional, Hypnobirth teacher, and mom of two also works at Upland Hills Farm in Oxford.  She does marketing and social media for the farm which has been open since 1960 and is still family run by the current Websters who met at summer camp as pre-teens.  Awwwww!  We decided to ask Janice a few questions so families could learn just exactly what wonderful opportunities Upland Hills Farm offers to its community.

hanging-plants

We asked Janice… What is your favorite thing about Upland Hills Farm?

“The fact that it has maintained an authentic farm experience for all these decades.  It was created to teach people where their food and fiber come from.   In addition to days when the public visits the farm, Upland Hills welcomes thousands of school children to the farm each year.  And for school districts that do not have field trip capabilities, UHF brings the farm to the school!  Kids are in complete awe when they see a cow in their gym!”

They have farm animals that you can visit of every kind… dairy cows (that children have the opportunity to milk), goats, sheep, pigs, horses, alpacas, mini-donkeys, chickens, ducks, geese, turkeys, rabbits, even labrador retrievers!  The farm breeds them, which means you may be lucky enough to visit when the babies are little.  Many spring babies happen with cows and sheep.  This summer also brought kits (baby rabbits) and they are expecting a cria (baby alpaca) any day now.  It’s a baby boom!

Piglets are coming in October!

14358707_10157510329625711_4329747856941754066_n

Speaking of animals, we asked Janice for a funny animal story…

“Ok, this is perfect because this melds together my birthing education business with my love of farm life. I was showing a family around the farm who was interested in having their wedding there. One of our cows had just given birth to a calf and ………..wait for it………was eating her placenta. Ok, for those of us in the birth world we understand mammals do that, but I am sure for the bride it was a little shocking!”

How about that?!  Farm mammals instinctively understand the potential benefits of placenta consumption!

Along with the amazing farm animals, Upland Hills Farm offers many different programs throughout the year:

  • School Field Trips
  • School Assemblies
  • Summer Day Camp
  • Summer Sundays
  • Fall Harvest Festival
  • Harvest Moon Hayrides
  • Weddings & Private Parties
  • Downtown Rochester Farmers Market + CSA (community supported agriculture) share opportunity
Summer Day Camp is a huge offering the farm has.  Kids have the opportunity to just be kids, hanging out with animals and nature… choosing their own activities from farm chores, crafts, sports, nature walks & swamping, horseback riding and more. And their afternoons are spent swimming in a lake.  Who doesn’t love that?!

Fall brings popular upcoming events as well like the Fall Harvest Festival (Saturdays and Sundays in October) and Harvest Moon Hayrides (Friday and Saturday nights in October).

The Harvest Moon Hayride is a great non-haunted attraction.  It’s super chill and includes a hot beverage and a donut. People can also bring marshmallows/hotdogs and sticks if they want to roast by the bonfire or they can also just relax by the fire with their family.
There is something going on every season at Upland Hills Farm, so no matter when you decide to visit you are sure to enjoy it.  Go check them out – it’s worth the drive!  From 0-99 years of age, there is sure to be something fun for everyone.

Happy Fall!!

Thank you to Upland Hills Farm for all you do, also to Janice for your time and input!
For more information visit: www.uplandhillsfarm.com
481 Lake George Road, Oxford, Michigan 48370
248-628-1611

Don’t Forget Her.

By: Andrea Stainbrook, Doula & Co-Owner of Metro Detroit Doula Services

 

Babies.  They are so adorable.  When a new one comes it is so fun to shower him with gifts.  Baby toys, bottles, don’t even get me started with all the cute outfit options.  Watch out Buy Buy Baby and local boutiques.  I love baby things.

Our society loves babies too.  When it comes to pregnancy, birth, and especially after baby’s arrival the main focus is baby.  And baby deserves a LOT of focus.  But so does someone else.

 

Don’t forget her.

Don’t forget the person whose whole life shifted months ago.  The woman who tolerated nausea.   The woman who worried for 9 months.   The woman who had back aches, mood swings, and is simply always exhausted.   This person birthed a human, after growing that human.   That woman is healing, recovering, and no longer recognizes her life.

Call her by her name.  She may not know where she begins and baby ends anymore.  She may not know when she will be herself again.  It may feel as if she is no longer an individual.  She loves her baby.  She wants you to love her baby.  But she wants you to love her too.

Love her as the woman she is.  Strong.  Beautiful.  Capable.  Love her for her interests.  She still has her own interests.  Don’t forget that.

As a doula I have some ideas for you to do when visiting a new mom.  Aside from coming when the new family says, not staying long and helping by bringing a meal:

Bring something for HER.  For the woman who just gave birth.  Acknowledge her.

LISTEN.  Let the conversation go where it needs to.  But follow her lead.  Listen to what she needs and wants to talk about.

New moms are at a huge transition and adjustment.  No matter how easy or hard the adjustment goes every woman at one point may feel overwhelmed and consumed by this new life.  They may feel they are no longer who they were.   They may feel they don’t even know themselves.  They may feel no one notices them.   These women are still the women that love Game of Thrones, or a good glass of wine.  Value them as they are.  Of course they are a new mom and that is amazing,  but don’t discount them as an individual.

So shower your friend’s new baby with Sophie the Giraffe, and Betsey Johnson’s new line of baby wear, and also shower your friend with your friendship.  Bring her favorite Biggby coffee and always remember to remember her.

 

 

Guest Blogger Kate Rich: Discomfort in Pregnancy

5 Things I Know About Discomfort in Pregnancy

 

Written by Kate Rich of Tender Beginnings Birth Services

Pregnancy and pain: unfortunately sometimes it feels like the two go hand-in-hand. From the nausea and fatigue of the first trimester, to the heartburn, breathlessness, and just general aches and pains of the third trimester, you might experience some discomfort at some point in your pregnancy.

As doulas, we are focused on your comfort, and that is not just during labor! Remember that we are there for you throughout your pregnancy, and there is no better person to call than your doula when you are in need of some trusted advice and tips.

Here we share five common pregnancy complaints, and our tips for finding relief:

  • Nausea: Often times this is caused by hormonal shifts that are normal part of your pregnancy. Pregnancy nausea can be compounded by not eating often enough throughout the day, or not staying hydrated, which is especially tough in the heat of summer! Make sure to talk to your doctor or midwife, but sometimes relief can be found by simply eating a protein paired with a complex carb and a big glass of water. Many women also swear by eating things with ginger or lemon, or they have success wearing a motion sickness band like “Sea Bands.” If the nausea is really bad, though, definitely ask your doctor about prescription options for keeping the nausea at bay. There are options, such as Diclegis or Zofran, and it is important for you and your baby to get adequate nutrition and water during your pregnancy.
  • Heartburn: Thank you again, hormones. Progesterone surges in pregnancy cause a relaxation of the muscles in the esophagus, which gets compounded by the uterus squishing the stomach up closer to the esophagus as time goes on and your baby grows! Aside from talking to your doctor or midwife about antacids, eating smaller, more frequent meals can help, and try to take a gentle walk or do something else upright for at least 30 minutes after.
  • Pelvic pain: This is one of those things that many women see as unavoidable during pregnancy, but there are things you can do to help your aching hips and back! Try doing some gentle, healthcare provider approved stretches such as the cat-cow yoga stretch. Some women also love to wear a pregnancy support belt during later pregnancy, or even create one out of a babywearing wrap. If things get really bad, get a referral from your doctor or midwife to see a Women’s Health Physical Therapist for an assessment, and relief.
  • Leg cramps: There are a few reasons this might happen in pregnancy, including restricted blood flow and compressed nerves, or even a possible dietary deficiency. When it happens, stand up and flex the your foot up, pointing the heel out while rubbing the muscles with your hand to relieve the tension. If it is happening frequently, check your diet with your healthcare provider for adequate calcium, potassium, and magnesium intake.
  • Hemorrhoids: Pregnancy is oh-so-glamorous sometimes, right? Hemorrhoids might not be avoidable as your baby grows and pressure builds up down there, however a warm sitz bath can feel nice. For a more folksy home remedy, try putting grated raw potato on the hemorrhoids. Sounds crazy, but it works to bring cooling, soothing relief, and helps to reduce any swelling!

What are some of your pregnancy aches and complaints, and what remedies and relief did you find? We would love to hear about it!

 

 

 

Kate Rich is a Certified Labor Doula and Childbirth Educator, and the owner of Tender Beginnings Birth Services located in Ohio.