What choices matter and knowing what you want from your childbirth.
When you think about your birth, you usually think about the things you don't want. You may even have a long list. But, what about the things you do want? You may not know it, but choices are being made about you, your pregnancy and birth. You have a choice, and if you know what your choices are, you can be a better birth consumer.
Our childbirth education class will help you walk through your choices, and make decisions that will affect the outcome of your birth, and your level of personal satisfaction. When you eat a burger, you choose if you want ketchup, mayo, mustard, lettuce, onions or tomatoes. Some of these choices may have caused you to have a strong reaction. If you don't like mustard, do you put on your burger? No. You choose something else. Childbirth is full of choices that you can make, if you are aware of them.
Our purpose is to expose you and your labor partner to the options, and help you consider which options you do and don't want. You make the final selection, and we help you write a birth plan to express those choices. If you are have already had a baby, then you will have a better idea about the options available. But, a first time parent may only be aware of the options they have heard about from family and friends. We want you to have all the knowlege that you want. Our job is not to give you bits and pieces, but to give you the whole picture. A first time couple can go into birth with a great deal of knowledge, and adequetely make decisions for yourselves.
What is that? Do I really need one? My doctor knows what I want and says I don't need to give them a birth plan. When you are working with a provider and he or she has spent time with you identifying your wishes, they may tell you that they don't need a birth plan. It's up to you and your partner to decide if you want one. Consider how frequently the nursing staff changes at any hospital, and you may get an idea of how often you have new nurse. Will you labor and birth in 10 hours, 20 hours or 30 hours? There is no way to know the answer, but we can assume that you will have at least one nursing shift change.
How do you identify your wishes? A birth plan is typically shared with the nurse when you arrive to the labor and delivery unit. Your nurse will look over your birth plan and probably will ask you questions related to the information you share, to clarify your wishes. Imagine having to share that information each shift change? Can you count on your nurse to relay it to the new nurse? She would much rather point to your birth plan and ask the new nurse to read it.
Your doctor may or may not look at your plan, but you have had several prenatal visits, so your doctor will have an idea if you want a vaginal birth, a vaginal birth with an epidural, or a Cesarean birth. The real reason you may want to write a birth plan is to know you are prepared, knowlegable about the stages of birth, knowing what you may encounter, and how you will handle those situations. Ultimately, this is for you!
Your Private Class Is Tailored To Your Needs
Learning about proceedures at your hospital will give you a sense of control. Knowing what you can change, and what you have to accept will go a long way towards having a memorable time during labor. Planning and sharing your birth preferences allows you ownership to your very own birth. You will have a sense of satisfaction that only comes with preparation. Our childbirth education manual will be a point of reference through out your pregnancy as you begin to realize what your labor will look like.
When you allow yourself to imagine what your labor and birth will be like, there may be some images that get in the way. We all have preconceived notions about what will happen. TV, magazines, books and personal accounts are where we get those images. We will talk about birth culture and protecting yourself from negative images that will not promote relaxation during birth. Your mother, grandmothers, sisters and best friends will all have opinions. What is important? Your very own opinions based on actual childbirth knowledge! You will have a working knowlege of the stages of labor, and will be able to identify them during your labor and birth. This is especially empoweing to new mothers.
Your Birth Experience
We will help you envision your ideal birth experience. We realize that parents can have differing views of the same birth, and we help you both comunicate that to each other. The sights, sounds, smells, tastes and feelings you have in your mind will reflect your different exposure to birth, and with that information, we help you exchange this effectively. You will have a shared vision after your class is completed, that helps you to be ready for your birth emotionally. Families tell us that envisioning their birth is the single most important thing they take from the class. Having knowledge is simply not enough!
We will explore your personalities and needs, which will help you work better as a team.
You will have an understanding of the entire birth process, starting with the stages of labor. We spend some time focusing on your nutrition. Having a healthy pregnancy goes a long way towards having a successful birth. We will discuss exercise, including specific preparation for your labor. We have found that hands on practice makes you more confortable when you are in actual labor.
We will look at information about fetal positioning. When your practitioner discusses this with you, you will be able to join in with the conversation with complete understanding. Since hormones play an important role in birth, and you can't give birth without them, we will talk about their cause and effect.
Relaxation is important during labor as you make your way through the stages. Fight or flight is a very real thing. You will be able to stay calm, and focused. We will go over the many ways to practice relaxation, Using affirmations during labor is a way to keep your mind calm. We will look at affirmations that are helpful, and you can write your own.
What brings you comfort during labor is an important part of your childbirth class. We will practice these so that you know what helps you the most during labor. Your partner will get to try out some examples, and you can offer feedback so that he or she can dupport you during labor. Your doula will work with your partner once you discover your preferences, and that can be helpful. Many couples use rebozos, birth balls, massage and music. We will go over these options and more.
Putting It All Together
When it's time to go to the hospital, you will have an excellent understanding of the process from arriving to the hospital, being admitted, electronic fetal monitering, the potential use of IV fluids, getting a heplock, what you can eat and drink during laboras well as movement and showers during labor. We will cover "natural childbirth" which is unmedicated childbirth, labor induction and augmentation, evaluating the Bishop's Score, AROM, Ppain relief options, and other options. You can make potential choices during your class, which can be used with approval of your doctor.
Cord blood banking, cord clamping, pushing options and positions, the birth if your baby, birth of your placenta and post-labor information in detail, in addition to the first two hours after your baby's birth which includes what may happen with you and your baby if everyone is healthy, or if there are problems. Our class includes normal infant proceedures such as the vitamen K shot, infant eye ointment, and other possible injections and infant screenings. We will also talking about feeding options (breastfeeding or formula feeding).
Support after your birth is very important, so we will discuss your options. Some couples find it helpful to create a going home plan, so they know there are no gaps in coverage for the new mom, the new dad, the new baby and any other children in the home.
The end of your childbirth education class involves questions and answers. You can reach out to us for more Q&A once your class is over.
We share our resource list with every family who takes our class. This is a valuable list that will help you as you dive feet first into parenting your new baby!
We are looking forward to helping you on your journey. Memphis Family Doulas offers labor and postpartum doulas. We also offer a Newborn Care Class, which is private as well. Sign up for this wonderful class before you have your baby!
Memphis Family Doulas is your first choice in pregnancy, childbirth and postpartum care. Call us TODAY to schedule your private, at home childbirth education class.
Your Birth Experience Childbirth Education is a complete step-by-step journal to help you envision, prepare for and achieve the birth you want. Written by Missy David, BS, CD, CYBET.
Babies Thrive On Formula
When you were pregnant, you may have planned for formula. If you were planning to breastfeed, you may have found that you weren't able to breastfeed after the birth of your baby. Either way, babies thrive on infant formula.
Preparing powdered infant formula is easy with a few simple steps. Before you choose a formula, check with your doctor to see if there is any one formula that would work better with your baby. If you have a history of milk allergies in your family, let your doctor know. Also keep in mind that for the early days, you may want to feed your baby ready to use liquid infant formula. It's as easy as unscrewing the top and adding a feeding nipple. This is actually the easiest formula to feed your baby if you are breastfeeding and need to feed your baby formula for any reason.
About Formula Regulations
The FDA (Food Drug Administration) covers regulations for infant formula. Formula makers are required to do the following:
*Keep in mind that infant formula is NOT sterilized!
Before you make your first bottle
Get all of your supplies together so you don't have to stop. Read the formula can instructions well, and if you need help, you can call us. Our postpartum doulas have experience with this. Next, wash your hands. This is an important step that is missed by many parents. Make sure you wash with very warm water and soap. Dry your hands with a clean towel, or paper towels.
Wash Your Bottles In Hot Soapy Water
Use a special bottle brush that is made just for infant bottles. Let them soak a few minutes then scrub them with the brush. There is a special brush for scrubbing the bottle nipples. If it doesn't come with your bottle brush, make sure you purchase one.
It's important to sterilize your baby's bottles and bottle parts by boiling them for 5 minutes, once a week. Alternatively, you can use a microwave steam sterilizer bag or use a stand-alone electric steam sterilizer, both one time per week.
There are many ways to dry your bottles, and the simplest way is to turn them over onto a dry kitchen towel. However, it's been our experience that it can be quite frustrating to have your bottles falling over. Our personal favorite bottle dryer is the Boon Grass Bottle Dryer. If you buy this, you'll want to buy the twigs and flowers, for hanging bottle rings, caps, bottle nipples and pacifiers on. There are many different drying systems including the popular Baby Brezza, which sterilizes and stores your baby's bottles and parts.
Measuring Infant Formula
Once your bottles are clean and dry, you are ready to measure your formula. Discuss which formula is best for your baby. It's important to carefully read the label to know what the formula verses water ratio should be. Depending on the formula, the instructions may be different.
When measuring powdered infant formula, make sure to pack the formula into the provided scoop. Provide the correct amount of clean water into a clean bottle. Move the formula from the scoop to the bottle and carefully mix. Make sure all of the powdered formula is mixed into the water. Don't use a knife or other instrument to mix the formula.
Mother's of Multiples may want to feed their babies concentrated liquid formula. Follow instructions carefully, and make sure you warm the bottles to 158 degrees Fahrenheit to reduce risk of bacteria infections.
When returning to work, concentrated liquid formula saves time.
Also, adoptive breastfeeders prefer concentrated liquid formula to avoid possible chunks of unmixed formula like with powered infant formula. For more information about adoptive breastfeeding with the Lact-Aid Nursing System.
And here's a warning from the CDC (Center of Disease Control and Prevention) about the risk of Cronobacter Infection (a serious and potentially fatal disease) connected to powdered infant formula uses. Please read about their recommendation on bottle preparation.
Warming Your Baby's Bottle
Once the powdered formula is mixed, it's time to warm the formula. It's important to keep in mind that you are warming the formula for three reasons:
*Once the bottle is heated to at least 158 degrees Fahrenheit, it's important to reduce the temperature so your baby's mouth and throat aren't scalded by the formula. Reduce the temperature by placing the formula bottle in room temperature water until it's cooled, but not cold. Check the temperature by dripping a little formula on your wrist. If it's too hot, reduce the temperature again.
Feeding Your Baby
Now that we have shared our tips on powdered infant formula, it's time to feed your baby a bottle. Hopefully, your baby is calm, but if your baby is crying, try to settle him or her before feeding. It's very important to look for hunger signs and make your baby's bottle before he or she is very upset.
Find a comfortable chair and cuddle your baby. Hold your baby in a semi-upright position and place the bottle nipple in from of your baby. Your baby may try to drink from the bottle, or you may need to bring the bottle nipple closer. Don't push the bottle nipple into your baby's mouth. Give him or her a moment to taste it, and allow your baby to take all the time he or she needs. Once your baby is ready for the bottle, keep him or her close to you. While your baby may seem hungry, make sure to break every once in a while to give your baby time to burp. Memphis Family Doulas postpartum doulas will be happy to show you the may ways to burp a baby. Keep a burp cloth handy, because some babies burp a lot. Return to feeding until your baby's needs have been satiated. Keep a record of the times and ounces of formula you feed your baby. You may have questions for your baby's pediatrician, so the record is very helpful for those middle of the day or night phone calls.
Help with problem solving. Your baby's cues for hunger are important to notice.
Signs Of Hunger
Your newborn is born with a set of reflexes that would impress James Bond! We'll talk about those later, but the most important reflex your baby has is the rooting reflex.
The earliest signs of hunger are:
Advancing Signs of Hunger
Memphis Family Doulas teaches Newborn Parenting Classes that include feeding tips for bottle fed and breastfed newborns. Let us know how we can help you!
April is still pregnant.
It's very interesting that April The Giraffe has not given birth yet. Every day there is a new headline claiming that she will have her calf at any moment
"New signs that April may give birth any time. April The Giraffe may "shake things up" soon! And the best one - It looks like we will have an April Fools Day birth after all!"
I guess I feel a little cheated by the media for telling us she was in labor when obviously she wasn't. She paces the stall she is in. She eats. She sleeps. She is a giraffe, who is pregnant. Normally, our country wouldn't be hyper-focused on a pregnant giraffe. The fact is we won't know she is birthing until the first "hoofing", as we are told. While the birth of a giraffe is wonderful news, do we really need to have this much access to the pregnancy, labor and birth of a giraffe? Do we really need to know every detail?
"I feel a little cheated by the media".
The doctor has confirmed she is ready, and has described all of the signs that she is showing. And if you are watching her LIVE Giraffe Cam, you will see her tail is indeed raised, a good sign that April will have her baby calf soon. But it has been weeks since America started watching. I think I'm most frustrated by the fact that we rush in as soon as a mom is in labor, and wait for her to produce a child. This isn't really about April.
This is about all mothers. I witness this on the regular at hospitals. A woman goes to the hospital to get checked for labor and tells her family that she is going there. Before she knows it, her family has arrived and are having a pre-baby party in the waiting room. Some one stays in cell phone contact with the laboring mother and partner. As the hours passed by, the family goes out to eat in groups, making sure someone is always at the hospital to get the news. The little cousins are there, and it's a regular family event. This happens with families who are very close, and families who have issues relating. It's an American birth phenomenon. This is something that some women like, but the pressure it creates for a mother to perform may be too much. Some women like to birth in isolation. In hospital births, that usually involves dark rooms, windows closed, and few people will have access to her. Some women want to give birth with friends and family in their room. There are so many ways a woman can give birth. Think about your options and make a choice.
The pressure to produce a baby, with a waiting audience, is very hard on mothers.
How do you talk to your family to let your family know you are in labor?
These are options just that, options. You can let some family know, and withhold information from other family members.
Why does it matter?
It matters because some mothers need to have privacy during their birth. It matters because some mothers need to have their family with them on this momentous journey. Women know if there will be drama at their birth if they invite certain family members. Making these decisions ahead of time helps relieve stress so mothers and their partners can focus on the birth of their baby. Does it matter if your needs are met? You betcha it does! Your needs are paramount during and after the birth of your baby. Take some time to think about how you would like your birth to be like.
Memphis Family Doulas would love to play an important role in your birth. Let us know how we can support you during your birth! 901-336-1459
Professor Robert Kelly and his stealth wife
So much has been said about Robert Kelly, a professor of political science who was deep in an interview with BBC before his adorable children crashed his home office. Robert who was talking about the South Korean president, Park Geun-hye's impeachment. As his two children burst into the room, one by one, his frantic wife swung into action, practically duck-walking, trying so hard to be completely unnoticeable, but failed her mission. It was apparent that her pants were not up all the way by the pink panties peaking out, and her toddler daughter was grasping what appeared to be a tampon! This is a classic goof-up, and in my mompinion, I believe the situation was handled as well as he and his wife could handle it.
Think about it for a minute. Everyone has been in a similarly hysterical yet horrifying situation.
I can count on both hands the number of times I was talking to a potential client (maybe you!) inquiring about doula services only to have my teenage daughters burst out of their bedroom, spilling their frustration and arguments into my phone call. My first reaction was to shush my kids and wave them out of my office! And I only wish there was someone who could "stealth-like" swing into action and whisk them away, leaving me to have a peaceful conversation. Not only that, but to save my dignity which is almost always lost when this happens.
The reaction from Robert's face and his quick sweeping hand to shoo away his child brought so much criticism and you can hardly miss the undeniable situation which he was trying to control. He's dressed up, sitting down, stressed out, and has an impressive shelf full of books, and the lovely map on the wall for reference which tells us he is aiming to imply his knowledge of the situation he's being interviewed about.
Judging parents from a 1 minute portion of an interview takes into account none of the actual childrearing this parent duo provides on the daily. I think we do this to so many parents, especially those out shopping with hungry and sleepy children. Maybe we can assume that they are doing the best they can, and give them the gift of grace.
BBC has been known for serious mix-ups before, but this is the only one involving children. Fortunately, the video went viral as the entire world seemed to take delight in Robert's darling children and devoted wife, Jung-a Kim.
Memphis Family Doulas offers non-judgmental support, and we would love to support your family during your labor and postpartum recovery!
Memphis Families Watch Giraffe Birth On YouTube
Let's get real for a moment. Is there a giraffe named April, giving birth LIVE on Youtube? Well, yes there is. Welcome to 2017. We are two months into the new year and I'm not surprised about this at all. As difficult as 2016 was, that's how incredulous 2017 will be.
According to Google.com, there are millions of people watching a giraffe give birth LIVE at Adventure Animal Park in Harpursville, New York. The number of viewers reached 30 million on Wednesday, according to a source at NBC New York. As of the writing of this blog, the giraffe mother has not actually birthed the calf. There's a controversy over whether this video should have been made live, (on Facebook and Youtube). Facebook pulled the LIVE version
As a child, I had the privilege to live on a farm. and it shouldn't be surprising that I witnessed more than three dozen births. My father had herd of Scottish Highland cattle, along with goats, sheep, horses, peacocks and we had our fair share of family pets. I grew up understanding the beauty and sanctity of birth, and watched our veterinarian sit quietly by like James Harriot while a cow calved and sometimes not so quietly while fetching the hoofs of a unborn calf to save both the cow and the calf. We learned how to sit quietly by too, and then we called the veterinarian if he was needed. We learned patience and compassion while observing our father.
There is no surprise that one day I realized that I wanted to be a place-keeper in human births. When I learned about birth and postpartum doulas, I felt that was my calling. As a doula, I learned that childbirth varies from one mother to the other, but overall, the mother's wishes while she births were paramount to everything except for the preservation of the mother and babies lives.
When a LIVE giraffe birth is pulled for "nudity and sexuality", one must wonder how long it will be before all the zoo's will close!
When we think about a giraffe without a YouTube account becoming an internet sensation overnight, we wonder who is behind this. Perhaps, the animal park felt the birth would be very educational to children. I can't argue with that! Having personally observed dozens of births at the farm, I do feel there is an argument for education. The other question that comes to mind is how much control the giraffe had over the situation. Is she birthing in a private space, left to let nature follow its course of action, or was she in a public space where birth slows down? I don't know the answer to these questions because I haven't seen the birth. As a human, I am wondering about this situation with my human head and heart.
Wait a minute! We haven't even talked about how long this poor giraffe has been in labor. She's been birthing for days! Don't you think she may want a doula? Okay, so we know giraffes can't talk, but if they could, they would probably like a doula.
Will You Be A Spectator?
If you decide to watch this birth, you should know a few things. It's an intimate time of bringing young into the world, where they will carry on genetic material, and characteristics. And birth is messy! You will see maternal blood and placental blood. You will see amniotic waters gush. You may see meconium – babies first bowel movement which is black and gooey. And if you didn't already know, you will see the giraffe calf born hoof first. It's a little upsetting as humans to see the newborn calf drop several feet to the ground. Amniotic fluid will pour from the mother onto the calf. The calf will be covered in the amniotic sac, or membrane. The calf will not get up for some time. You will worry and wish someone would intervene, and that is exactly what the veterinarian will not do; unless the mother or baby are at risk. After some time, the mother will use her hoofs to tear at the baby's membrane, and will remove it. If the calf doesn't rise on it's own, the mother will use her hoofs to force the calf to move. It's scary to watch, since humans don't do that. We pick up our young and hold them close to our face. She will sniff the calf, and with opposite attention, she will ignore it. Watching a giraffe birth requires a bit of toughness. You need to be willing to accept that the calf may not breathe. If you plan to share this with your children, you may want to consider waiting until after you know the outcome.
Giraffe birth is different than human birth in that the giraffe mother can birth without a doctor or midwife, although you can be sure that there is a team of highly paid veterinarians standing by, in case they need to intercede. A word from April's veterinarians.
And there is going to be a contest to name April The Giraffe's baby. People really care about this little giraffe!
We don't actually have an opinion if the public should watch this birth. Memphis Family Doulas always listens to your opinion. Do you want to share YOUR opinion here?
If you want to discuss, please leave a comment on our blog page. Thanks!
Enjoy this free printable to post on your social media, to let your family know you are still working hard, and not quite ready for visitors!
With pregnancy lasting approximately 42 weeks, busy families rarely have time to devote 6-12 weeks to childbirth education. You may be wondering how you will get your partner to carve out enough time to attend, and to take off time after the birth.
We are offering busy Memphis families a new kind of private childbirth education class! We will come into your home to teach you what you want to know the most. While many childbirth education classes focus on following a schedule, we find out what you want to know the most, and focus on that!
Sometimes we get frantic calls from families who are days away from the birth of their baby, and we will work with you too! Memphis Family Doulas has always served the individual needs of families, and childbirth education is no different.
Your Birth Experience is a 5 hour childbirth education and we will schedule two sessions so that you have time to read and process the information from your workbook. You may want to write down questions that you have to share with your instructor for your second session.
Your childbirth education sessions will give you knowledge to plan out your birth so that you can make decisions for yourself, and choose options during your labor. You will be prepared for the most important event of your life!
If you have any questions, give us a call! 901-336-1459
Constantly Providing Support
Amelia and Ali were my doulas and they were amazing! They completely changed my birth experience. As a single parent, I was planning to birth alone at the hospital. Even though I didn't contact Memphis Family Doulas until a few days before I was due, they constantly provided me with support and confidence before, during and after the birth.
Amelia dropped in during the birth because the client was experiencing a lot of anxiety, and needed the extra support. We don't mind doing that! It's all about helping our clients feel reassured and comfortable.
Amelia helped me breath, and horse lips really do work. Having the reminder to breath helped me to stay as calm as I could. While I had a lot of anxiety, I never reached a place where I was very scared. Ali was there to assist with anything I could possibly want. These two people made my experience much more personal than it would have been if I was alone. They really encouraged me and made me feel like I could do it. Ali helped me get into the shower to ease the pain from my contractions. Having their support made labor a lot less scary.
Many mothers want massage during labor, but if you don't want massage, just tell us! We use other tools, including verbal support.
Massage was so helpful because I was getting cramps in my legs. I had back labor so counter pressure helped a lot. When I was thirsty, Amelia brought me ice chips. And Ali helped keep me comfortable the entire time with pillows and blankets. You can't really imagine what you would need in labor until you are in the middle of it. Whatever item brought me comfort, Amelia and Ali found it and brought it to me. They provided me with comfort and support my entire labor.
Memphis Family Doulas loves to work with families as soon as they find out they are expecting, but we don't turn away mothers who call us at the last month. It's ideal, however, to get educational support from early in your pregnancy so you feel confident.
I wasn't as prepared for my birth as I would have liked to have been, and I'm sure that mine and my son's birth outcome was much better because of Amelia and Ali. I've never felt so alone when I thought about birthing my son alone. Calling Memphis Family Doulas was one of the best choices I could make. I'm so glad I did!
Life as you know it is about to change. Yes, your new baby and all of her things are about to take over your home!
Being excited about your baby's arrival, or babies arrivals and being prepared for it are entirely different things. Once baby showers are behind you, it's time to start thinking about being prepared. The nursery is an incredible place while waiting for your little one(s), but once it starts filling up with equipment and miscellaneous things, you will likely want help to get your space under control.
The most important place in your house will be your baby's nursery. This is the place where you can sit and anticipate your little ones arrival. This is a comfortable space that's details will inspire your child's future. Your little prince or princess will have his or her first visual experiences in this room. The color on the wall, the details in the curtains, and the grain in the furniture are all imprinted in your baby's mind. The accourtrements of your baby's life and the order that you keep them can be a great influence on the entire family.
Your baby's crib should be a place of safety and comfort. 100% cotton organic sheets will be a luxurious touch for your baby who will be learning to sleep. 100% cotton muslin Aden & Anais swaddle blankets are a perfect choice for swaddling your baby. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends the following:
"There should be no pillows, sheets, blankets or other items that could obstruct the infant's breathing or cause overheating." AAP
And you will need a place to keep your sheets and swaddles. A large dresser with a changing table top satisfies the requirements for a nursery. Your baby's dresser will be home to sheets, swaddles, diapers, socks and clothing. A separate changing table allows you to free up the dresser surface. Changing diapers will be a breeze when everything you need is close at hand. Did we mention diaper wipes warmers? A must have, since no baby enjoys a diaper change with cold wipes.
Rocker or Glider
Your nursery is a great to feed your baby. You need something comfortable to sit on while breastfeeding or bottle feeding. Some parents choose rockers or gliders, but another great choice is a large, comfortable chair and ottoman. A side table can be useful for keeping your water bottle. It's important to stay hydrated. And many parents find it very helpful to have a plug point and USB point to plug in cell phones and tablets. You are going to spend a lot of time here, so invest in an electrician if you don't have proper plug points. Some receptacles come with both plug points and USB ports.
Okay, need I say more? This is a new mom's best friend! Trust us here! How much more would you enjoy your baby's nursery if you had a Keurig? Yes you can! It's allowed and many parents love it. It could be a long night, or day, and you can make coffee, tea and hot chocolate. If you don't want caffeine, it's fine. With so many options, you can enjoy this!
This is the heart beat of your baby's nursery. It could go well, or not. I've seen those closets where a family was giving a years worth of clothing and diapers, and it's stacked from top to bottom. It's not pretty. Your baby's closet is a versatile storage unit you don't have to pay for! Our recommendation is to hire a closet specialist who can help you design the best storage for your needs. You may really have clothing to last one year. It's not uncommon to have more than one baby shower. And family and friends love to give gifts. That's the fun part. Your baby's closet will store shoes, baby equipment, baby's first bath tub, a pack n play, toys for various ages, stuffed animals, photo albums and more. Once your baby is a toddler or preschooler, you will need accessibility for him or her to reach the clothing. Hire a someone to install a system that will last throughout your child's early years.
Sleep is very important to a new parents. Consider keeping a pack and play or side car sleeper in your bedroom. The reality is that once you have gotten up to change your baby, you may end up bringing your baby back to your room to feed him or her. It's something many parents do, and the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends the following in this situation:
"If you do fall asleep, as soon as you wake up be sure to move the baby to his or her own bed," says Lori Feldman-Winter, MD, FAAP, member of the Task Force on SIDS and co-author of the report (safe sleep for reducing SIDS report).
Your kitchen counter is the hub for your breast pump parts, bottles, and other feeding items. If you plan to bottle feed, your kitchen counter will be home to the bottles, nipples, rings and tops. In the past, organizing these items included using Tupperware to keep every thing clean and dry after washing. Now, there are several products on the market, but our favorite one is Boon, Grass, Stem and Twig. It's a drying system, and since bottles are being washed constantly, it's great that you can leave the bottle components out, and it's fairly cute.
Another item that you will want and need is a bottle sterilizer. This can be a cumbersome event, and many parents have called us to find out what and why. But we want to make this step easier for you. The Wabi Baby Electric Steam and Sterilizer is quick and painless.
Your baby will like warm bottles. Many of our grandparents warmed bottles in a pan over the stove. You don't have to do that anymore. Many of our clients use the Baby Brezza Formula Pro One Step Bottle Maker. Guys! It mixes and warms the formula! But we like to use Munchkin Fast Bottle Warmer too, when doing postpartum overnights!
Your Freezer and Fridge
If you plan to breastfeed, your freezer is going to be center stage for breastmilk storage. Families are often overwhelmed with the details of everything else, that they overlook the storage of breastmilk. The Kinde Keeper Breastmilk Storage System is a great example of freezer storage. When mothers plan to store enough for back to work, it's helpful to have multiples of this system.
Your fridge will be the thawing center for frozen breastmilk, and also if you plan to use formula, you can pre-make formula for use each day. Once thawed, breastmilk needs to be used quickly. Check out Kellymom.com for more information about the amount of time breastmilk can be out of the freezer, and out of the fridge.
The Living Room
One of the most useful things I find in the family room on postpartum visits is the Rockaroo by 4Moms. This quiet rocker lulls your baby to sleep, allowing you to have a few minutes of arm-free eating, tv watching or reading. Self care is a very important part of parenthood, and this product helps make families happy. The multi-settings allow you to find the one setting that is perfect for your baby.
Your baby will likely be attached to a pacifier, and many parents find it helpful to have a small basket or cup so you can put your hands on the paci of choice.
A baby monitor is an important item in your home, and you can have the component piece in your bedroom and living room.
Memphis Family Doulas has experience in helping families get their homes organized before baby's arrival. If you need a little help, or a lot, call the office at 901-336-1459.
**Memphis Family Doulas only makes suggestions to families based on information received from American Academy of Pediatrics. We recommend you contact your babies pediatrician before making any decisions that affects your baby's health.
***American Academy of Pediatrics Announces New Safe Sleep Recommendations to Protect Against SIDS, Sleep-Related Infant Deaths
If there is anyone who needs more sleep, it's new moms. With Memphis Family Doulas nighttime sleep solutions, you don't have to be Super-mom!
Have you thought about what self-care looks like during your postpartum time? It may be napping when baby naps. However, like many Memphis moms, exhaustion may set in and you may need more than just a nap. Memphis Family Doulas offers overnight sleep support so that you AND your baby can sleep.
You may be wondering how you are going to do it all. You may wonder when things will get back to "normal". And you may wonder how you will care for your baby when your toddler wakes in the middle of the night. Your newborn may have his days and nights mixed up, as newborns tend to do. For whatever the reason, you are ready to get some quality sleep.
Night Nannies, Baby Nurses and Overnight Doulas, Oh My!
Making the decision to get overnight sleep support is the first step, and deciding to hire an Overnight Doula is the next. Memphis Family Doulas Overnight Doulas have been trained in infant care, are CPR certified, and have a wide range of knowledge about the newborn. Your Overnight Doula has up to date information from the AAP. What is next? It's time to set up your first sleep session.
Memphis Family Doulas spends 8 - 10 hours at your home during the night. You can choose if you want 8 or 10 hours. We recommend 10 hours since it gives you enough time to relax and sleep. Our doula will care for your newborn, including feeding (or bringing your baby to you if you prefer to breastfeed), change diapers, and keep a schedule of your babies nighttime hours. Your doula may run the dishwasher, wash pump parts and bottles, and wash a load of laundry. We want you to wake up to a fresh house in the morning. If there is time, your doula will wake you up with a cup of coffee and breakfast! You will want your doula to come back again!
We will teach you a thing or two as well!
You may be worried that your baby will sleep when we are there, but stay awake when we're not. Of course you should schedule your Overnight Doula as often as you want. Our doulas know a thing or two, so just ask for help with proper feeding, burping and swaddling techniques because we want you to be a pro too!
Now, your next step is to schedule a consultation.
We're waiting for your call!
Memphis Family Doulas