Category Archives: Pregnancy & Motherhood

Preparing for Baby #3 – Part 2: Babywearing

So this is still part of my Preparing for Baby #3 series, even though baby #3 decided to make his appearance a month early! On Oct. 11th, I delivered my third. 🙂 He came into this world kicking and screaming, weighing a hefty 7lbs, 4oz, at 36 weeks and 3 days. So I have gotten a refresher on much that is in this post. 🙂

 

I decided to give babywearing its own post. Babywearing can be confusing, but now that I have worn a newborn, I don’t know how I ever lived without it!

There are so many ways to wear a little one and everyone has their favorite(s). 🙂 I personally love wraps, ring slings, and wrap carriers.

 

Reminder: Until a baby has really good head control, they need to be front-carried only, facing you! No back-carry! Back-carries can be started once baby can hold their head up well, and have enough control to look around.

 

Wrapsody Noa Wrap

  1. Wraps – These are great for the first few weeks. They help to keep the baby warm and close to you. They are also great for skin to skin contact, as the way the wrap is worn, it keeps mom covered. Also, wraps hold the baby so close that it can allow mom to lean back and rest. Just like having the baby lay on mom’s chest, just wrapped up. 🙂 Just don’t fall asleep!!! You don’t want to roll over on baby.
    There are 2 different kinds of wraps. Both are great for newborns.
    The first is a stretchy wrap, like a Moby or a Boba. The stretchiness helps you get practice taking the baby in and out of the wrap while giving plenty of room to adjust as needed. The downside to stretchy wraps are they need to be rewrapped if you need to take baby out, can get looser the longer you baby wear, and they can really only safely support a baby smaller than 12lbs.
    The second is a woven wrap. These are typically a woven cotton. Popular brands are Dolcino,  Wrapsody and Tula. (Wrapsody also makes stretch wraps.) Woven wraps are great for long-term babywearing,  as there is no spandex to stretch out. Woven wraps can also support larger babies, so you can safely wear your baby after they hit the 12lb mark. The only downside I have noticed to woven wraps is that sometimes it can be hard to get the wrap to where it is not digging into your shoulder while you are wearing. But this can be remedied with practice.
    There is a bit of a learning curve with wraps. It take some practice to get the right fit and snugness.

 

  1. Ring Slings – I love ring slings! They are so easy to use. You just throw it on, make sure baby is all snug, tighten it up, and you are ready to go! These are perfect for running in the grocery store, or days you just don’t feel like wrapping yourself up in a wrap carrier. 

    A word of caution! Do not lay baby down in the sling like a hammock! This is a very unsafe way to babywear, as the baby’s head can tilt forward and cut off the airway. I feel I must be blunt here, your baby can smother if worn this way. The proper way to wear a little one in a ring sling is snuggled upright against your chest, with their legs wrapped around you. Like they are giving you a full body hug. You want them up high enough that you can easily kiss the top of their head. 

Tula Standard Carrier

  1. Soft-Structure Carriers – Since we are talking about wearing a newborn, this category can be a little confusing. This category includes carriers like the Boba 4G, Action Baby Carriers (ABC) and the Tula Standard, which can be used without an infant insert, or the Ergo and Beco, which need an infant insert. (Tula also makes an infant insert, but I have found that it is not 100% necessary. With the Ergo, it is needed in order to give the baby the proper head support.) I personally love the Action Baby Carrier and the Tula Standard, as they are super easy to put on. I have one of each and usually keep one in the car and one in the house. 🙂
    With carriers that do not need an infant insert, you still might need something to give baby a little support for the first few weeks. I have found that a small receiving blanket works very well. Just roll it up and use it like a seat for the baby. Make sure to keep their legs spread out, just like with the wrap or ring sling. Like they are giving you a big hug. 🙂

 

This is in no way an exhaustive list of your babywearing options. If you want more info on babywearing, many areas have babywearing groups that provide help with many different types of carriers at many different stages. Some groups also have carrier “libraries”, where you can borrow carriers and try them out for a few weeks, before you commit to a big purchase. (Let’s be honest, carriers are expensive!) One place to look up groups is Babywearing International. Many local groups also advertise on Facebook. These groups are well worth the time to look into, whether you are new to babywearing, or if you have worn all of your children.

 

For me personally, babywearing from the start has been a huge help! It lets me care for my other children and just helps to provide a sense of peace and calming for me and my new little one.
Babywearing is a life-saver. 🙂

Preparing for Baby #3-Part 1: The Birth Bag

Postpartum Care

Hi! I am new here to the blog (but not to Sweetbottoms). I am Charity and I started out at Sweetbottoms in March of 2013 as a retail employee at the local store and then moved to the Internet department in July of 2014. My two children (Rose and Gabriel) spent a good deal of the first part of their lives at Sweetbottoms, so it has been a huge part of our lives for the past 2 years.

I am a stay at home mom now, since the closure of the physical location, but I was leaving regardless to prepare for the arrival of my third baby, Oliver, due November 5th. It just hit me a few days ago that he is due in only 6 weeks! So that means I need to start preparing!

The past week, I have been working on my birth plan and my birth bag packing list. I am going to deliver at a free-standing birth center, so things are a little different then delivering at a hospital. Rose was born at a hospital, complete with pain medication and an epidural, and Gabriel was born with no unnecessary intervention and no medication at the same birth center where I will be delivering Oliver. I think it goes without saying which type of birth I prefer. 🙂

Not going to lie, birth plans can be hard, even after 2 kids. I did not have a real birth plan with Rose. The hospital did not really encourage them. But, at the birth center, they actually ask you to have one and to give them a copy at your 36 week appointment. It is very reassuring to know that I can give them a birth plan and they will do their best to stick with it.

I have actually found that packing a birth bag for a birth center can be just as hard as writing a birth plan! With Gabriel, I had no idea what to take. The hospital had provided most of the items I needed when I delivered Rose, so I was kind of guessing when I delivered Gabriel. But I think I have it figured out this time. 🙂 So I am going to tell you what I am taking this time and highlight a few of my favorites.

 

1. Clothes & Diapers (Goes without saying) – Both for you and baby. My birth center does have gowns, but ask your preference when you arrive. I prefer to wear my own clothes. I was free to leave the birth center once I checked in and walk around, or even drive into downtown for dinner. (I do have a funny story about that. Thank goodness it does not involve my water breaking or anything like that. I just felt sorry for our waitress who was having to deal with a very pregnant lady who was having regular contractions.)
Don’t pack or wear anything special or has any sentimental value to you though. Birth is messy. Same for baby. One or two outfits should be good for baby. At my birth center, you are heading home within 4-8 hours after giving birth, so you and baby don’t need too much.
I also plan on cloth diapering from the start with Oliver, so I have a few BumGenius and Blueberry Newborn AIOs, and some EcoPosh Fitteds and Rumparooz covers to take. I also have one pack of newborn disposable diapers, just in case. 🙂

2. Bath Items and other toiletries – Though you may not feel like it right after giving birth, you might want to take a shower or bath sometime before heading home. My favorite of my toiletries is my Earth Mama Angel Baby Happy Mama Wash. It is 100% castile soap with yummy essential oils like orange, lime, and grapefruit. I follow up with a spritz or two of Earth Mama Angel Baby Happy Mama Spray, and get a great mood lift. 🙂

4. Music – Some parents like to have special music playing in the room for relaxation.

5. Cool Mist Diffuser & Essential Oils – I love using essential oils for relaxation and focus. I have a Green Air Spa Vapor Pro diffuser that I love. I plan on taking my lavender, frankincense, grapefruit, and Plant Therapy Self-Esteem oils to diffuse. Self-Esteem also makes a good massage oil when properly diluted, so I am also packing a small bottle of fractionated coconut oil for massage.

6. Pillow & Blankets – I don’t know about you, but I can be picky when it comes to my pillow and blanket. I also love to bring my Aden & Anais Swaddle Blankets for baby. My Gabe still carries around the one I first wrapped him up in. 🙂

7. Postpartum Care – I have quite a few products that I love and are at the top of the list. (You will notice that most are from Earth Mama Angel Baby with some LuSa Organics sprinkled in. I just love Earth Mama Angel Baby. 🙂 )
First is Earth Mama Angel Baby Postpartum Bath Herbs. These look like large tea bags filled with all kinds of herbal goodness. You brew it just like tea and then can use the warm tea bag as a compress for sore bottoms. You can also take the liquid and pour it onto a pad and cool for use later. I am also taking LuSa Postpartum Herbs. These are designed to be used as an herbal bath.
Next, Earth Mama Angel Baby New Mama Bottom Balm and New Mama Bottom Spray. Excellent to use after the postpartum bath herbs.

8. Food – I am sure most people would argue this belongs at the top of the list. But this is just another thing I love about the birth center. I can eat and drink as I need to in labor! Be sure to pack some nutrient-packed foods for you and your partner. It could be a long day! (Or night, as in my case.) Good things to pack are fresh fruit, granola bars, and Gatorade or coconut water. Also be sure to drink plenty of water! That is one thing that sticks out in my mind after labor and delivery. I just wanted water!

9. Baby Wrap – I put this at the bottom of the list because not everyone is plans on babywearing right after birth. But I do plan on taking my Wrapsody Breeze Woven Wrap in Noa with me to wrap my sweet Oliver in. There is nothing like having a sweet, fresh, brand-new baby all snuggled up against you. A wrap can help keep that closeness while giving your arms a break.

10. Car Seat – Again, goes without saying. You have to have a safe way to get that new squish home! Be sure to pack some light blankets if it is cold. In a carseat, covering baby with blankets rather then dressing in layers works best to keep them snug and secure in the carseat.

 

So, obviously this is not a conclusive list. Items will vary depending on what you need and where you are giving birth. But I hope this will give you a general idea of what to pack, if you need help, and also maybe introduce you to some new things that could really help with your labor and postpartum experience.

Until next time,

Charity 🙂

Blog Collage

How to Make Mom Feel Special on Mother’s Day

With Mother’s Day this weekend – the question is… what do I REALLY get mom for Mother’s Day and how do I make her feel special?

Mothers Day Gifts-2_stomped

Who is it you are hoping to celebrate? Is it a first time mom, a mom of a newborn, a mom of 2 under 2, an expectant mom, your mom? Some Moms want to spend a fun filled day planned with her family, some want to celebrate quietly while the husbands take the kids out of the house. Here are just a few ideas to take into this weekend to help make her day special.

 

Let Mom sleep in!

Maybe that means packing a quick breakfast the night before and at the first sign of the kids stirring you wake up and quickly dress yourself and them and take them into the car and give them their packed breakfast while you drive around or take them to the park for an hour or two. Those blissful extra minutes of sleep in a quiet house are priceless.

Best For: ANY MOM

Mothers Day Gifts-6_stomped

Give Mom potted flowers or plant some flowers as a family.

This is a slightly different spin on ‘giving flowers’. Cut flowers, although beautiful, don’t last forever. And this gift she can enjoy for many months to come.

Best for: ANY MOM

 

Place little notes around the house for Mom to wake up to.

Take some time to think of some of the things you love about Mom and write them down and then place them in places she will likely see throughout the day.

Best for: ANY MOM, especially a new Mom who is still so unsure about the whole mom gig!

Mothers Day Gifts-8_stomped

Mothers Day Gifts-5_stomped

Set up a Massage for Mom.

It is no lie – Moms like to get pampered! Set up an appointment for her and then give her the address and tell her to go enjoy a relaxing afternoon. You can hold down the fort!

Best for: ANY MOM but especially an expecting Mom… pregnancy massages are amazing!

 

Make her a special breakfast.

If taking the kids out in the morning is not an option, consider breakfast in bed. Make her eggs and then adorn her plate with a jelly heart and toast. It will make her smile.

Best for: ANY MOM, especially the Mom with a nursing newborn who nurses all night long.

Mothers Day Gifts-3_stomped

Make her a weeks worth of freezer meals!

This is the gift that keeps on giving. Follow this link for a 7 day freezer meal prep (or find many others online) and spend the day making all the meals for the next week. She will love not having to think about dinner for a whole 7 days!

Best for: ANY MOM, especially the Mom with young kids.

 

Set up a Brunch Date with some of her good friends.

If you have the husbands contact information, set up a time that the Moms can meet and enjoy a brunch with out the kids. I am sure the restaurant you chose will be busy but just waiting for a table without having to chase kids around is a vacation! And then while the moms are out eating, invite all the dads and kids over for a playdate.

Best for: ANY MOM

 

Hand make her a card or other crafts.

This is the kind of gift Mom gets to enjoy and hang on the refrigerator. This is also so special to give to Grandmothers. But even if you don’t have kids and you are looking to give your own mom a little something – draw her a picture, write her a note. She will cherish it forever; its not too often Mom’s get arts and crafts from their grown children

Best for: ANY MOM especially your own Mom

 

In home date.

End your day with getting the kids to bed and ordering take out. It’s a great way to have a little quiet time with just you and your wife to show her how much you appreciate all she does.

Best for: ANY MOM

 

Birth through Photos | Raleigh Birth Photography

Once a month I will be sharing some of the Births I have photographed through Manda’s Memories Photography. I have been photographing births for nearly 4 years and each birth is so unique. Documenting a babies birth day is so special; capturing the moment they take their first breath and finally feel fresh air on their skin. These memories slip away so fast but having them documented is a true gift.

This birth I have chosen to showcase this month took place at home. They kept the gender a surprise and the anticipation was high! Mom wanted to have the baby in the water but never quite made it back to the tub.

 

Raleigh Birth Photography | Birth Through Photos

A video of their birth can be found here.

Raleigh Birth Photography | Home Birth Raleigh Birth Photography | Home Birth Raleigh Birth Photography | Home Birth Raleigh Birth Photography | Home Birth Raleigh Birth Photography | Home Birth Raleigh Birth Photography | Home Birth Raleigh Birth Photography | Home Birth Raleigh Birth Photography | Home Birth

 

If you are interested in having your birth photographed in the Raleigh NC area,

please contact me through This Link.

 

Life Through Photos | Postpartum Meals

Postpartum Meals

Do you remember what it was like to be a first time mom, or how about a 2nd time mom, 3rd time, 4th? Those first few days at home are no doubt a blur. You want to spend all day snuggling and nursing your little one. You curl up on the couch under a nice warm blanket and spend hours staring into the eyes of your innocent little child and all the possibilities of what is to come drift through your thoughts. Counting every breath; smile with every coo. Hard to imagine that this tiny human once shared your body. As they lay; ear to your chest; you watch in wonder as your baby is soothed just by the sound of your heart.

Postpartum is a time for bonding, healing, rest and reflection. All too often is this time cut short with everyday life. Maybe your spouse can’t take time off work. Maybe you ran out of clean clothes. Maybe your toddler is a daredevil and tries to climb your bookshelf. Maybe your school age children need you to pack lunches for them and see them off to the bus. Maybe you have 4 mouths to feed; 3 times a day…

You can never underestimate the gift you are giving to a new mom when you bring her a meal. Or the gratitude she feels to have her toddler kept entertained for a few hours while she gets a nice, long, hot, …quiet… shower. New moms want to bond with their babies and you are giving them the time to do that. By bringing her a meal, you just saved her at least an hour of time she could have spent enjoying the fleeting newborn moments.

Last night – I spent a few hours making 4 batches of Sweet Potato Black Bean Chili (my favorite). Once finished, I divided it up into 4 parts. I kept 2 (one to eat today and one to freeze for a later day). The other two portions were packaged up for delivery to 2 ‘new’ moms.

SB Blog _ Raleigh Birth Photography -3_Stopmed SB Blog _ Raleigh Birth Photography -2_Stopmed SB Blog _ Raleigh Birth Photography -1_Stopmed

I took my boys over to drop off the first meal and we spent a few hours playing with her toddler. He is an energetic one but I am hoping that having my two there helped make nap time a bit easier out of sheer exhaustion. I was happy to see that she had a fridge FULL of meals that friends and family had brought over. Around nap time we headed out to visit the next mama… and with my two asleep in the car, and her toddler who had just fallen asleep, I just dropped off the chili. I spent just a few minutes talking because I knew that with a sleeping toddler; this was prime snuggle or nap time for mama so I was quick to leave. Her birth story can wait – new mamas need their rest.

If you know someone who just had a baby within the last month or so… double, triple or even quadruple your favorite recipe and give them the gift of time.

Featured Natural Product: BALM! Baby Diaper Balm {and 1st Aid!}

Vivid colored leaves fall to the ground, and the cool air comforts you at night. Fall weather is wonderful, but the cold air tends to cause dry, cracked skin! Luckily for us, we have BALM! Baby Diaper Balm {and 1st Aid!}, an ALL ORGANIC multipurpose balm, which can also be used to treat just about any skin issue!

BALM! Baby Diaper Balm

BALM! Baby Diaper Balm {and 1st Aid!} is created using a mixture of healing herbs and oils. Not only is it cloth diaper safe, it is also anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, anti-viral, vegan and cruelty free!

Balm Open

BALM! Baby is a family business, owned and operated by Malena & Dominic Taylor. They use the best natural, organic products available, and all of their storage containers are also health safe and toxin-free. Sweetbottoms carries quite a few other products by BALM! Baby, including: natural tinctures (Be Well, Stay Well, Baby and Bye-Bye Teething, Hello SLEEP!), Shue Bug Spray, and Teething RUB! All of their products are 100% natural, and stored in eco-friendly containers.

BALM Products

You can receive your FREE sample of BALM! Baby Diaper Balm {and 1st Aid!} with a purchase of $25 or more. Just add the product to your cart and use code: FEATURED (or ask at the register, if shopping in the store).

full1_27_117

Keep in mind that this balm isn’t only for little ones in diapers! How will you use your FREE Balm?

Young Living Thieves Oil and Green Air Diffuser

 

We recently started carrying Young Living Essential Oils and Green Air AromaMister Ultrasonic Essential Oil Diffusers, and couldn’t be happier about it. Essential Oils have many wonderful uses, and are especially easy to use with a quality diffuser!

Young Living Essential OilsI interviewed CARE instructor Christina Hagan, of Healthy Steps NC, to learn more about Young Living Essential Oils and their uses.

You can also read more about Essential Oils in this post.

How long have you been using essential oils, and why have you chosen to use Young Living exclusively?

I was introduced to essential oils in 2003 when I was stressed and sick – the oils worked which made me want to learn more.  While in massage school I ended up with a collection of different brands of essential oils because everyone said they had the best!  I tested them on myself when I had an allergic reaction to medication.  From the meds, I started getting itchy bumps – the bumps started on my neck and continued to cover my body.

For some reason I decided to do an oil test right there and then.  I applied a spot of YL oil on the inside of my arm and another brand on the other arm and went to bed.  When I woke up – the only place on my body that did not have itchy bumps was where I put the YL oil.  That helped me to see that there is a difference in EOs.  I started to do more research and that is how I and ended up taking a CARE Intensive and becoming a CARE Instructor.

Young Living Thieves

What are the benefits of essential oils, and how do you implement them in your everyday life?

We use the oils in our massage practice regularly.  The oils help to relax muscles, so we use the oils practically in every massage.  I also use the oils when I’m doing manual lymph drainage, as the oils support lymph movement.  I use the oils in Raindrop Technique and AromaShapes.  EOs are easy self care tools for clients, so I share with clients simple ways they can use the oils to relax muscles, support sleep, reduce swelling, reduce colds and the flu and reduce appearance of cellulite. We use essential oils instead of over the counter meds and to clean our house.  We have successfully replaced common toxic products (over the counter meds, air fresheners, cleaning products and self care products) with essential oils!

We are giving away Young Living Thieves Essential Oil this month. What is Thieves used for, and how is it used?

Thieves is excellent to reduce the number of colds your family gets and to shorten the length of a cold.   Best ways to use as a preventative is to: apply 1-2 drops on each of the soles of your feet daily (for those under 18 months, dilute it 50/50); diffuse the essential oil when you and your family are in the room together.  What ever time that works for you…

Young Living Thieves EO and Diffuser

We are also giving away a Green Air AromaMister diffuser. How does a diffuser work, and where can it be used? 

There are many different types of diffusers – but the goal of all of them is to get that essential oil in the air in tiny droplets so you are breathing the oil and the oil is landing on everything in the room.  It helps you because you are breathing the oils, which then goes to your lungs and blood stream to help fight off those nasty bugs.  It also helps to fight off nasty germ bugs floating in the air and those that you carried into the house on your shoes, purses, books, etc…

September Young Living Giveaway
If you’d like to try Young Living Thieves Essential Oil and a Green Air AromaMister Ultrasonic Essential Oil Diffuser, enter to win our September Giveaway. You can enter once daily for two weeks!

Featured Natural Product: Motherlove Diaper Rash and Thrush

Although my first baby was a breastfeeding champ, he was riddled with constant diaper rashes. Rough, painfully irritated yeast rashes that just wouldn’t go away. We tried what seemed like every cream and ointment on the market to no avail, passing the yeast back and forth. Itchy and in pain, we reached for Motherlove Diaper Rash and Thrush Salve. Ahhhh, relief at last.

Motherlove Diaper Rash and Thrush

If you’ve ever had a little one with a diaper rash, you know how irritating it can be. That’s why I’m thrilled to announce that we’ll be giving away FREE samples of the amazing Diaper Rash and Thrush Salve by Motherlove this month!

Created to heal all inflamed diaper rashes, including those caused by yeast, this all-natural ointment helps soothe and protect tender skin from further damage. The best part about this salve is that it can also be used by breastfeeding mothers! Simply apply Diaper Rash and Thrush Salve on clean, dry nipples and diaper areas, and let this salve by Motherlove do it’s magic!

Motherlove Samples

Unlike most other diaper ointments, Motherlove Diaper Rash and Thrush Salve does not need to be wiped off of mom’s nipples before breastfeeding, and is cloth diaper safe!

With a purchase of $25 or more, you can receive your FREE featured product to your cart, by using the coupon code, FEATURED. Your cart will be adjusted accordingly so that your Diaper Rash and Thrush Salve is free. Just make sure you have a total of $25 in your cart after the discount is applied. If you’re local and shopping in-store, simply ask at checkout.

We carry many other great products by Motherlove, intended to help baby and mom during pregnancy, birth, breastfeeding, and more. Motherlove is a family business, founded by Kathryn Higgins. Kathryn saw the health and medical benefits of plants and herbs, but was unable to find any of these products on the market during her pregnancy. She began creating her own blends, and the Motherlove brand was soon to follow!

Motherlove Products

Don’t forget to add your Featured Freebie to your next purchase! Limit one free product per address. This free item will be available for the month of September until they have all been given away. Supplies are limited, so shop fast!

Life Through Photos | Beach Vacation

One of my favorite things to do in the summer is go on a beach vacation. This year we rented a house near the Beach and spent a whole week. The weather was not too cooperative for the first part of the visit but the last 4 days it was beautiful.

I didn’t bring my big camera with me to the beach until the last day – I took photos with my phone. I kept my phone in a zip-lock bag when I wasn’t using it to keep the sand exposure to a minimum!

These photos were taken with my big camera – the wind really added a little maturity to the photo of my oldest son – one of my favorites of him to date. The photos of them together are so them. And that is the key to sibling photos! Sure, getting them both to look and smile is always nice, but these are the photos that I cherish; the two of them interacting like they do everyday.

Beach Vacation 1 Beach Vacation 2 Beach Vacation 3 Beach Vacation 4 Beach Vacation 5

 

These photos were taken with my smart phone. When you are lugging a ton of stuff to the beach – the last thing I wanted to worry about was my big camera and bag. I had so much fun watching both boys explore the sand and ocean. I can’t wait to take them back! This was also taken during world breastfeeding week – so of course I included a photo of me breast-feeding on the beach!

Beach Vacation Phone Photo 1 Beach Vacation Phone Photo 2 Beach Vacation Phone Photo 3 Beach Vacation Phone Photo 4 Beach Vacation Phone Photo 5

What Is A Doula?

If a doula were a drug, it would be unethical not to use it.

If you are new to the arena of childbirth you may have heard a funny little world being thrown around here and there… doula. What is a doula? I get asked this question on a regular basis. It is new and strange word to many, but it comes from ancient Greek and means “woman who serves”. In today’s culture a doula is a trained professional who provides continuous informational, emotional and physical support to a mother before and during childbirth and/or provides practical and informational support in the postpartum period.

What Is Special About a Doula?

Unlike any other childbirth professional, a doula is solely there to support the mother. Doctors, nurses and medical staff are there to assist in the delivery of a healthy baby and may not always be able to solely support the mother in the ways she needs.

Doulas are also one of the only childbirth professionals who will provide continuous support to the mother throughout labor and birth. Nurses and doctors have other patients and responsibilities and are usually unable to stay with a single family throughout all of a labor and delivery; a doula provides continual support from the start of active labor through delivery.

You have a relationship with your doula. In many cases you will not know exactly what doctor or midwife will be on call when you deliver and you will not know what nurse or nurses you will be assigned. This means that most moms have little to no relationship with the people supporting them during this important time which may be disconcerting to some new parents. However, because most parents hire a doula towards the middle of their pregnancy there is a lot of time to establish a relationship and get to know each other.

 

Why Should I Consider Hiring a Doula?

There are four primary reasons that expectant parents should consider hiring a doula.

  1. Information: When you hire a doula you have an experience and trained professional available to answer any question you may have whenever you have them. This is reassuring and can help moms feel more prepared and confident about the journey ahead of them. Doulas are also a great way to get connected to resources in your area because they can refer you to services, groups, and doctors that may be of interest to you.
  2. Support of Partners: Doulas are often primarily there for the mother during the pregnancy and delivery process but moms are not the only ones who benefit. Doulas can be a huge support to the mother’s partner and family as well. For many partners childbirth is a new and scary territory that they have little to no experience with. Yet, without continual labor support moms often end up relying on their partners for support. This can be incredibly stressful and sometimes traumatic for partners, so having a trusted professional in the room allows many people to feel more at ease and better enjoy the birth of their new family member.
  3. Physical Support: Numerous studies have shown that the presence of a doula at a birth tends to result in shorter labors with fewer complications, reduces the need for pitocin (a labor-inducing drug), forceps or vacuum extraction cesareans, and reduces the mother’s request for pain medication and/or epidurals. This is especially appealing to women interested in having a birth experience with minimal interventions. (1)
  4. Emotional Support: Studies have also shown that parents who receive support can Feel more secure and cared for, Are more successful in adapting to new family dynamics, Have greater success with breastfeeding, Have greater self-confidence, Have less postpartum depression, Have lower incidence of abuse (1)

 

How do I Find a Doula?

There are a couple of great resources to help you find the doula that is going to be the best fit for you. First you can check out websites for doula certifying agencies like DONA International and look at their directories for certified doulas in your area. You can also connect with local resources such as La Leche League, your childbirth educator, or even your care provider. Many groups like this have lists of doulas that they would be happy to share with you. Finally, connect with other moms! There is no greater vote of confidence than one from a mom who has been through the process. Ask around and see who other local moms recommend.