This week we celebrate World Doula Week! Please join us on a blog series where we asked as many doulas...
Of Greek origin, the word “doula” has come to refer to a woman that provides emotional, physical, practical, and educational support for laboring and postpartum women. The doula has taken a place alongside female friends and extended family that traditionally assist expecting and new moms during birthing and parenting.
Though you may not have ever experienced it before, heartburn during pregnancy is very common, especially during the third trimester,...
Spring isn’t the only thing that March brings – it’s National Nutrition Month! Created by the Academy of Nutrition and...
Doulas provide families with emotional, educational, and physical support through labor, birth, and beyond. Research surrounding their work has proven...
The Zika virus has been in the news for several weeks now. Many women who are pregnant or trying to...
It may be during your baby’s earliest weeks, or many months later, but you’ll likely encounter some form of diaper...
From the minute you announce your pregnancy, or your belly announces itself to the world, it seems like everyone and...
In Preventing and Treating Engorgement Part One, we learned what happens when the milk “comes in”, common concerns about fullness or over-fullness, and how to manage mild to severe engorgement. Here’s an easy to follow plan.
Not all breast fullness, or mild engorgement, is painful or problematic. If your baby can latch and nurse, and your nipples are reasonably comfortable, you’ll get some relief each time you nurse, or may notice your breasts feel firmer before, and softer after nursing. Between feeding sessions, your breasts may simply feel warm or tingly, and heavier than usual.
Once you’ve had a baby, you might understand the new parents you’ve heard about who can’t seem to manage getting out of the house, taking a shower, or eating breakfast before early afternoon. Yes, it’s just a regular luxury vacation over there on maternity leave, full of leisurely naps on the white couch, daily strolls in the sunshine, and Bon-Bon eating. Right?
Expecting and Stressed Out? Relax - Relief is on its Way! In our culture, the news media often focuses on negative reports which can be anxiety producing for readers and viewers. This is especially true for expecting and new moms who, by nature, feel particularly vulnerable as they try to provide a safe environment for their developing babies or newborns. You’ve seen the headlines: "BPA in Bottles May Cause Learning Disabilities in Babies," "Pregnant Women in Second Trimester at Higher Risk for Car Accidents," "We’re All Going to Get Cancer From Pesticides." How can anyone feel safe, secure, and relaxed with these kinds of messages swirling around our minds?
It’s common to wonder: What should I do if I find out I have a breech baby? Learning that your baby is positioned buttocks first or feet first rather than head down (or vertex) can be disappointing but, never fear, there are some techniques that can help encourage your baby to get into a more optimal position. The list below includes evidence-based and anecdotal recommendations to help your baby turn head down if your provider tells you your baby is breech:
After your little one arrives, you’ll probably be cooped up in the house for the first few weeks. You and your baby are practically attached at the hip, especially if you’re breastfeeding. But as your child learns and grows, you’ll both be eager for opportunities to get out of the house. Most moms love talking about their babies, and you’ll have plenty to dish about as you and your child make new friends at these Mommy and Me classes in Research Triangle Park.
Some initial nipple pain or tenderness can be normal, but should improve within a few days. Severe nipple pain that makes you dread the next feeding, or nipple damage like cracks, scabs and blisters can be improved! Ask your provider for help or for a referral to an experienced lactation consultant. Here are some suggestions and useful products to help your nipples heal up and feel better quickly.
Sore nipples are among the most common breastfeeding challenges a new mom may encounter during the early days of breastfeeding. When the nipple is properly positioned far back in the baby’s mouth during breastfeeding, there should not be any friction, pinching or clamping down directly on the nipple. However, breastfeeding, latch, and positioning all take practice (for both you and for baby), and tender nipples sometimes occur during the learning phase.
Maybe you’ve seen a baby out in the store or mall wearing what seems like an infant-sized football helmet. Most likely, this is a therapeutic device worn to help correct a misshaped head. Learn how and why asymmetric head shapes occur, what to watch for, and when to be concerned.
Most women have heard the terms “baby blues” or “postpartum depression.” A more appropriate term to use for the general mood changes after birth is “postpartum mood adjustments.” Postpartum simply means “after birth.” “Mood adjustment” is a more encompassing term, since depression is just one of several mood adjustments sometimes experienced by mothers during their baby’s first year. In addition to depression, new mothers may experience symptoms of anxiety or panic attacks, an increase of obsessive or compulsive behaviors, or intrusive thoughts, which are unwelcome and disturbing.
Soon after the pregnancy stick is positive, it’s not unusual for expecting parents to begin dreaming about their baby and imagining what the child will be like as a newborn and beyond. Whether they’re focused on the baby’s gender, features, interests, or some other quality, parents may start to paint a picture of the growing fetus and his or her future - perhaps the baby will have dark hair and blue eyes, or be a musician like dad or an athlete like mom? Although there are endless variations of what people might envision when thinking about their soon-to-be-born baby, one thing is certain – most are visualizing a healthy child.
The idea of physically attending a childbirth education class seems ridiculous in this day and age, when an abundance of free online and digital information is right at your fingertips. Why get out of your jammies and the privacy of your own home to sit with a bunch of people you don’t know and watch a birth video? Here’s why: there’s so much more to a childbirth education class than videos, and you will be surprised by how much fun you’ll have!
Let’s be honest, pregnancy can wreak havoc on the musculoskeletal system and the back is no exception. During pregnancy, the breasts and belly expand and that extra weight pulls the shoulders and upper back forward. Simultaneously, the lower back begins to curve inward to compensate for the shift in the expecting woman’s center of gravity. As this change occurs, the muscles and ligaments in the lower back become shorter, tighter, weaker, and achy, and women begin to experience back pain in pregnancy.
During a diaper change, your face is the perfect visual distance from your baby, and she can see your facial expressions more clearly. Take the opportunity to “narrate” your activities and talk throughout during the diapering process. Incorporating fun changing table activities into your routine will engage your baby and make diaper time more enjoyable for you both. Once your baby is through the early newborn phase and stops crying during most diaper changes, chances are good that she’ll soon decide the changing table is a favorite place to play!
You’re moving closer to your due date but feeling impatient while waiting for your labor to start on its own. You’re exhausted from getting up in the middle of the night to pee. You’re so swollen you’ve got “cankles” for the first time in your life. Add to that, heartburn, hemorrhoids, and hot flashes and you may be tempted to say “I’ve had enough!” Thoughts of scheduling your baby's delivery via an induction or cesarean start to enter your mind. How convenient it would be to pencil in your baby’s birth date in your calendar rather than live with the uncertainty of when labor will start or the discomforts of late pregnancy? Sounds like a good idea to get this pregnancy thing over with and move on to birthing your baby, right?? Well, think again…..
Healthy young babies often sound congested, may be noisy breathers, and tend to sneeze frequently. Does this mean they have a cold? How do you know the difference in normal baby congestion and congestion from being sick? Infants tend to be snuffly little people. Here’s why: babies are “obligate nose breathers,” in order to keep their mouths available for sucking and eating. The nasal passages help keep tiny noses clear by producing lots of thin clear mucus secretions. Clear or yellowish thin nasal mucus from the nose does not mean your baby has a cold.