new baby

5 anxiety reducing tips in pregnancy

by Andrea Stainbrook

It is normal to worry, or feel anxious in pregnancy. There is a lot happening. Your body is changing, as well as your life is changing! So many things to consider and think about. It can easily be overwhelming. For some you may already have a history with anxiety or have other stress factors compounding your feelings during pregnancy. Always be gentle with yourself.

Give a call to that person who will just listen.

Here are our 5 tips to help lessen the anxiety you feel:

  1. Get your feelings out! Talk about it. And talk about it ideally with someone who won’t judge you and will just listen. Our doulas are trained in this and available to their clients. A good friend or family member can be a great listening ear as well. If you have a partner let them hear you. By speaking about your emotions you will begin to process them.
  2. Get moving! Find an exercise or activity that will let your mind wander away from the pressing worries. Exercise is known to be a mood booster overall and hopefully it can help you think more clearly. Finding a local pre-natal yoga class (or other pre-natal centered exercise class) can be a good option as you can meet others that may have similar feelings and have an understanding of what you are going through. Walking and running are good options as well! Get out and smell that fresh air.
  3. Take a birth class! Many times the fear of the unknown is scary. Often it can be the fear of childbirth itself. By learning more about it and what to expect you can reduce some of the anxiety you have surrounding it. We, at Metro Detroit Doula Services, offer birth classes monthly or will even teach you privately in the comfort of your own home. Knowledge is power, and in this case knowing more about it may bring some calm.
  4. Practice your breathing! Focusing on your breathing is a great tool for coping with anxiety as well as great practice for birth. Long slow deep breaths are ideal. Take a long breath in through your nose filling your lungs, then release it long, low, and slow. Repeat, repeat, repeat.
  5. Discuss it with your doctor! It is always a great idea to keep your care provider in the loop with how you are mentally feeling. They will be the best tool to help you come up with tailored ways to address your anxiety, referrals to therapists, as well as know what is available to you if medication is the best path. If you cannot function through your normal daily life or you are having anxiety attacks please reach out to your doctor right away. They will be able to help you navigate your next steps.
A daily yoga practice can incorporate your breathing practice and exercise.

Hopefully you will see some improvement by implementing some of the tips above. It is OK to have worries and stresses. It is normal to need to process your fears. We don’t want those feelings to consume you though. Take care of yourself and give us a call if you need a listening ear!

You matter too! Self-care with a newborn

by Andrea Stainbrook

Self-Care. Self-care seems to be a buzzword now of days. And for good reason! Life is busy, hectic, hard, and we often forget to check in with ourselves. Just like our cars, we all can eventually run out of gas and when we do it can be dark, sad, and lonely.

So life after giving birth is no different.

You have this sweet little newborn. Sweet as a ripe juicy orange, yet demanding, and time consuming. So time consuming we put ourselves last. We are lucky to brush our teeth before 5 p.m. sometimes.

So try not to let things slide too far. Make sure everyday you find moments. MOMENTS. One small moment to yourself can mean a huge deal to your mental load. These moments can look like sneaking in a few pages of a good book while baby naps. Maybe even resting your own eyes.

When feasible set up support. DO NOT HESITATE TO ASK FOR HELP. Have a visitor or a Postpartum & Infant Care Doula? Let them tend to the baby for 30 minutes (or more) while you shower undisturbed! Or read a trashy magazine! Or fill in the blank here! Try to do something that doesn’t require any thought about anything else. Clear your head.

Have a goal each day to do at least one thing that is just FOR YOU.

Something that fills your bucket and makes you breathe a little easier.

Maybe you can squeeze in a relaxing bath when a helper is visiting!

Caring for others can cost us a lot sometimes. So check your receipt! Make sure there are some deposits going in! Take care of yourself and in turn you will be able to better care for your newborn.

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.

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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. ¬†ūüôā ¬†I would love to find time to read one of Mindy Kaling’s books or Jennifer Weiner’s latest.”

What‚Äôs 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 Beyonc√© song never hurts either! ¬†(For the record my singing isn’t so amazing… but my entertainment value is there ūüėČ )

 

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

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.