newborn

Trimming baby’s nails. Hard pass.

By Andrea Stainbrook

You stare down lovingly at your sweet bundle. Squishy and angelic. An angel with claws! It is always amazing to see how fast babies can grow their nails. Some come out of the womb with long nails. New babies may need a trim as often as every few days!

While looking at your sweet unsuspecting baby you are thinking, “Nope, not gonna do that. I don’t want to hurt him!” That’s totally ok… for a little bit. There are those little newborn mittens, or even baby socks you can put over your baby’s hands so that they don’t scratch themselves. Eventually though it needs to happen.

Step one: Deep breaths. You CAN DO THIS!

Step 2: Gather your tool of choice.

Clippers, scissors (nail scissors not your kitchen’s junk drawer scissors), or files. Clippers are the most commonly used. They sell mini ones perfect for tiny hands. Some even have magnifying glasses on them. Scissors are typically more expensive but those who prefer them like the control they have. The fear with either of those is accidentally cutting the baby. Files are known not to draw blood and people like that there is no cutting of any kind. Sometimes baby’s nails are soft though so files can be hard to use until their nails are hardened.

It is not a good idea to bite them off or tear them off. Taking off too much nail is easy to do and can lead to ingrown nails or discomfort.

Step 3: Take your time and pick a good moment of the day to trim your baby’s nails.

Some parents like to make this something they do together with their partner or helpful friend, as some babies like to squirm. It is not a bad idea to add it to a routine or schedule if you are following one. Perhaps add it onto bathtime, the bedtime routine, or even tack it on to playtime. “See baby? This is fun!”

You will learn that it is doable! It can be daunting at first because we never want to harm our little ones accidentally. With patience and practice it will become a breeze of a parenting task.

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 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.”

‚ÄúHaving 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‚Äôs Companion, Happiest Baby on the Block, and Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child.  The list could go on…”

What are you reading now?  “A bunch ūüôā 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. ‚ô•”

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.

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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

Who is Metro Detroit Doula Services? A Blog Series | Meet Marie Lang

by Andrea Stainbrook  Doula, Co-Owner of Metro Detroit Doula Services

We at Metro Detroit Doula Services know Marie is fabulous and we want you to know why she is too!  She is a trained Postpartum Doula as well as a Postpartum Placenta Specialist.  She has had a special training in supporting families of multiples as well as an interest in supporting breastfeeding when needed.

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Marie Lang ~ Postpartum Doula & Postpartum Placenta Specialist

We all have our own paths to our careers.   Marie tells us about her journey to becoming a doula:    “Through my own mothering experience and helping friends and family through their postpartum time, I came to realize how natural this work was to me. Whenever anyone I knew had a question about pregnancy, birth, or babies, they always came to me. When my youngest daughter was an infant, I became active in my local La Leche League and that really opened my eyes to how important it is to have mothers supported through this time of their lives. When I found out I could actually make a career out of this, it was like a dream come true!”

“Marie was fantastic. She quickly built up a rapport with our toddler. He enjoyed having her around, which was so important to us. My stress was greatly decreased knowing that he trusted her. She was also very comfortable and skilled with our newborn. I enjoyed having her around. It was great to have someone to talk to and I always felt like things were under control when it was time for her to go home.” – Postpartum Doula Client

What do you love about being a doula?    “The early postpartum days can be full of so much anxiety and emotions, so I love to be there helping the new parent to feel confident in their new role. Also, I love the sweet baby cuddles :)”

Tell us about your family!  “In my house I live with my awesome and supportive husband Dan, my creative and hilarious 9 year old son Tyler, my independent and sweet 3 year old daughter Eleanora, and my thoughtful and helpful Mother-in-law Mary. We also have two dogs (Charlie and Lyric) and a cat (Madeline).”

If we turned on the radio in your car, what would we hear? “Well, right now my 3 year old commands the track listing with the Frozen soundtrack all of the time.  But, if I had my way it would probably be a mix of current pop music and indie rock.   I also have a love for 80’s new wave and 90’s alternative, so it would really depend on my mood that day. ūüôā ”

‚ÄúMarie was the voice of confidence that I needed to get through the first few weeks of motherhood. She reassured me and comforted me. She let me vent about anything I needed to and was passionate about my bond with my baby.‚ÄĚ – Postpartum Doula Client

Marie’s take on parenting philosophies and support:   “I think it’s important to follow the family’s lead and help them through this time without judgment.  Everyone has their own philosophy and ways of doing things.  My job is to support and help you with YOURS.”

When Marie isn’t busy being a Postpartum Doula or a Postpartum Placenta Specialist she loves taking spontaneous day trips with her family.  Living in Southeastern Michigan there are so many things to do!  Her and her family enjoy going to the Detroit Zoo and Toledo Zoo, Frankenmuth, Cedar Point, Greenfield Village, or even just spending the day at the beach on one of our beautiful lakes!

We think Marie is full of superpowers but if she could chose one what would it be?  “I think it would be super cool to have healing superpowers. I hate seeing people sick or injured and would love to be able to make it better!”

“You are the expert on your baby! Listen to your intuition, it’s the best tool you have in your parenting toolbox.” – Marie Lang

Lastly, what is your favorite song to karaoke?  “I cannot help from singing  Whitney Houston’s ‘I Wanna Dance with Somebody’ every single time I hear it!”

Contact Metro Detroit Doula Services today and have Marie there for you during your postpartum time!
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.

 

 

Don’t forget your B.R.A.I.N.

By: Andrea Stainbrook

Decisions.  Parenting (as well as life in general) seems comprised of decision after decision.  It starts in pregnancy and will continue.  Some are easy, most are not.  You want to make a well thought out choice.  What to do when you are at a crossroads?  As a doula I remind my clients to use their brain.  Well that one and this one РB.R.A.I.N..

This acronym is handy when making all of life’s decisions. ¬† Think about being in labor perhaps, a truly difficult time to make decisions. ¬†Things are going along much like you expected and then something comes up. ¬† You don’t know what to do and you feel like you need to make a decision. ¬† You and your partner can look to your doula and she will walk you through B.R.A.I.N.:

Brain Graphic with Instinct Corrected

This tool is useful in so many situations.

Taking a moment to walk through and weigh out everything involved will likely lead you in a clear direction and will certainly make you feel more confident about your choice. ¬†When you are presented with a choice you are not sure about¬†you can turn to your doula. ¬†She can help you answer what the benefits and risks are. ¬†You can discuss the alternatives with her. ¬†She will ask you what your intuition is telling you and how you are feeling about it. Your doula will always remind you to ask, “What if I do nothing?” ¬† (Often waiting and revisiting the option later is okay to do.) ¬†Then you and your partner can discuss together and decide which option suits you.

Many times we are comparing apples to apples. ¬†There aren’t always clear choices. ¬†With your doula to listen and guide you with this¬†tool you will know that the decision made was yours. ¬†Being active as part of the decision making process is a positive step to a more satisfying birth experience.

This also comes in handy in all of life’s decisions. ¬†Maybe you are deciding on a color for the nursery; Blue¬†Grey or Green Grey? ¬†Maybe you are at the vet and deciding on care for your puppy. ¬†Use B.R.A.I.N.!

So whether you are pregnant, in labor and it pertains to your health, ¬†dealing with a parenting choice, or you just don’t know where to go for dinner tonight…just use your B.R.A.I.N.!

Netflix and Baby

Yay!  Things are settling in.  Visitors are winding down.  You and baby are getting somewhat of a handle on life together.  Baby wants to eat or be held a lot.  But what can you do with limited movement?  I mean reaching for anything becomes a battle in your mind where you are listing the pros and cons of how worth that said movement is.

“Ok so baby is finally sleeping. ¬†My drink is right …over….there. ¬†Ugh. ¬†If I move my right arm just enough I could probably reach it. ¬†Why didn’t I put it 6 inches closer to me. ¬†I know I CANNOT try to reach it with my left arm. ¬†And move baby’s head? Um, no way. ¬†Not waking this little cutie. ¬†Ok I will go for it. ¬†I’m really thirsty and my doula is always reminding me to hydrate! ¬†She should have told me to never set it down more than 3 inches from me. ¬† ¬†Ok one quick movement… here I go….. REACHHHHH. Got it!” ¬†Looks down at baby. Phew she didn’t flinch.

So now your hydrated and comfy.   All is good.  Look at that little darling.  And now what?

Bet you didn’t think that you would get TV time in? ¬†What’s that…. you can watch all of the seasons of Mad Men? ¬†Yup, or at least try ūüėČ

 

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TV tips for new mom and newborn:

-Keep the remote with all your feeding stuff

-Get comfy

-Think of your lineup of shows you have been wanting to watch

Oh yeah and don’t forget to use the restroom before feedings. ¬† It’s hard to hold your pee while under a sleeping baby ūüôā

Too busy for tea.

I don’t know about you but there are often times that I feel like I’m running on a hamster wheel. Going, going, going, more to do, more to see, more to be‚Ķ and ultimately it’s draining. ¬†It can turn you into a grumpy human. ¬†Many of us feel overwhelmed and yet, we don’t know how to turn off. ¬†In a world of hustle & bustle, it’s easy to forget about what’s important, who’s important, and that caring for ourselves is important and required for healthy life balance.

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To pour into others, your cup must also be filled.

We’re here to tell you, you can’t pour out from an empty cup… it’s like the airplane instructions & oxygen masks – pour into your cup first. ¬†Be mindful as new parents, to do something for yourself every day; even if it’s just getting dressed in something you feel wonderful in and brushing your teeth. ¬†And then, make yourself a nice pot of tea & enjoy with some sweet biscuits; just make sure to put them close enough, so you can reach them while you feed your little munchkin. ¬†Cheerio!