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Early Labor Emotions 

This is an exciting time! This is the day you’ve been waiting for since you found out you were pregnant, maybe longer. You may feel anxious and excited. Maybe even a little nervous. In early labor your emotions can pave the way for how your labor progresses. Trust in your body and mind to help you through your contractions. Remember this is the longest stage of labor and to relax, go on with your daily activities. Keeping yourself busy will keep your mind off of labor. If your main focus is on your labor in this stage labor is likely to stall or take longer.

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Some things to try to distract your self or maybe even your partner would be:

  •  watching a movie
  • go for a walk
  • take a nap
  • play a game or put together a puzzle
  • continue with your plan for the day

5 relaxation or stress relieving techniques to help during early labor are :

  • light massage from head to toe
  • slow deep breathing
  • listen to calming music
  • take a warm bath
  • imagine a relaxing place

For more information on the Early labor please contact The Nurturing Doula, LLC to schedule your personalized Childbirth Education Class.
Katy Schmidt
thenurturingdoula@hotmail.com
805-791-8325

facebook.com/KSThe.Nurturing.Doula

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Postpartum Expectations

 

The birth of your baby is an exciting time in your life. Before your baby arrives you may think to yourself how your life after baby comes, will be wonderful. You may think it’s going to be magic rainbows, lollipops, and sparkly unicorn poop, I’m sorry it’s not. Don’t get me wrong there will be more happy moments then sad. Life as a new mom is hard, sometimes sleepless, selfless work. Motherhood is a job that takes its toll on all of your body. After your baby arrives it may take time for you to get back to feeling like yourself. The media makes life after baby magical and it can be, just not all the time.

Physical recovery after birth is hard on a body. You may expect to bounce back to your pre-pregnancy weight after birth and for most women thats not the case. Every body and every pregnancy is different. Take it easy on your body. Getting back into an exercise routine too early can make your recovery take longer. Before baby if you were working out regularly you may bounce back quick or it may take time. It’s important to remember the weight you gained in pregnancy took min moths to put on, it may take you nine months to loose it. If you had a vaginal birth you are going to be sore, like really sore. Pushing a baby out uses all of your vaginal muscles, which is hard work, so you will likely be swollen. If you are brave enough to look in a mirror at your freshly birthed a baby vagina remember it will go back to normal. The ice pack pads, witch hazel pads and the perineal irrigation bottle will be your vagina’s best friend for a little while. When you birth by cesarean your body not only heals from the incision site but also your uterus. Abdominal muscles were cut open to help deliver your baby. These muscles will hurt, so the Dr will prescribe pain medication which can make you constipated and have hemorrhoids. Your uterus will need to be massaged no matter how you birthed your baby. This process will be painful, it feels like contractions. Another way your uterus shrinks back to its normal size is through breastfeeding. Breastfeeding releases the hormone oxytocin, which can cause uterine contractions and lochia. Lochia or postpartum bleeding will happen for a few weeks after birth, yes even If you had a cesarean. For some women breastfeeding comes natural in the beginning and others have to work hard to keep up. Breastfeeding can cause sore cracked nipples, this can be due to positioning or latch. Every one will tell you to sleep when the baby sleeps, they are right and they are wrong. You can try to sleep when the baby sleeps but then your less likely to get a shower in, eat or use the restroom. This is when good postpartum support comes in to save the day.

The process of birth brings on many emotions. The media has left this stipulation on birth that you should be happy and glowing with a happy baby in your arms. This does happen on occasion, but most of the time you are mentally and physically exhausted. There is a chance you could feel overwhelmed. The needs of your baby are coming before your partner, your household, and your own needs. Anxiety can creep in and think to your self “Am I enough, can I do this?!”. For the first couple weeks you may cry, feel sad or irritable for no reason, this is called the baby blues. Baby blues can last about two weeks. If you are feeling depressed and/or your baby blues last more than a couple weeks ask your Dr or postpartum doula for help. You may have postpartum depression. Medication is not always the answer to this mental illness, support groups and counseling can help a lot. Your emotions can take over your mind if you let them. You may feel guilty if you take time for yourself. Please try not to feel guilty for taking time to care for yourself. I believe taking care of yourself the hardest and most important part of your postpartum life. About six weeks after you have a baby your partner may want to have sex. For most women they don’t even want to be touched, let alone have sex. This pressure from your partner can put a strain on your relationship. Try to remember your relationship came before your baby. If you make time for just the two of you your relationship will become stronger than ever.

The first hour of life is important for bonding between the baby and its family. Skin to skin during this first hour helps the baby regulate it’s temperature and helps with milk production. Bonding with your baby is physical and emotional. Im sure you imagine the moment you meet your little bundle of joy like a scene from a movie. A happy mom, a smiling dad and a cooing baby swaddled and looking up at its parents. This can happen, but most of the time mom has a look of relief on her face. Relief that the baby is out labor is done, I can sleep and I can eat but mostly sleep. If you don’t get to bond right away its ok. Bonding is not about the quantity it is about the quality. The reality of bonding after your baby is born, your hair is a mess, you can’t remember if you brushed your teeth, and  your baby is just staring up at you like you rule the world and you are an amazing mom! Whether this is your first baby or your fifth baby you will learn baby love is real. Bonding can look different for every parent and even different from the first baby to the next baby. Remember if you are feeling down to talk to someone about it.

Feeding your baby can be stressful. It can take a toll on your emotions and on your personal life.Before your baby is born you may expect your baby to eat, sleep, poop, pee, and be happy. In reality breastfeeding is hard, tiring, and can hurt. In the early days and months your baby and you are getting to know each other and learning how to breastfeed together. Take time helping your new nursling learn to properly latch. Try not to get frustrated. Ask for help from your postpartum doula or a lactation consultant if you are having any problems. When your milk first comes in your breast will feel full and heavy, nursing should relieve the pain. If they feel like you might have rocks are on your chest you may be engorged. If you cant get baby to latch on right away try hand expressing some milk either into a bottle or onto a spoon to feed to baby later, then try getting baby to latch on again. Some mothers find after trying to breastfeed they are unsuccessful and thats ok! You can try pumping to express milk if you cant not get baby to latch. A fed baby is a happy baby. Remember how you feed your baby isn’t important, you are caring for your baby and don’t let the people who say other wise affect you. Also try not let unsuccessful breastfeeding get to you. If you are feeling down about it try talking to someone like a postpartum doula, a counselor or a friend.

When you have a baby you will need time to recover, heal and bond with your baby. Time to rediscover your self, and create a new normal. This time requires support. Many moms expect family and friends to come over and help with what ever you might need. Unfortunately most family and friends only come to see the baby. Before baby is born you can make a post part plan. A postpartum plan can help you organize the chores and other house hold items you can have people help you with when they come over. I’ve had moms post a note on the door asking people to run a load of laundry, hold the baby so mom can shower or eat, or bring food for the family. All of these things are so helpful to a family when a new member is born. A postpartum doula is an awesome support person. Postpartum doula’s help with light household chores, make sure you get a meal and a nap, help with feeding issues and much more.

Life with a new baby can be wonderful, terrifying, tiring, sleepless and beautiful. Remember there will be a time when all of the scary things I just told you will fade away. You will feel like you again, you might even feel like new you. Take time for yourself even if its just a few short minutes. Enjoy those sweet newborn moments where your baby is content and starring at his or her beautiful mom. You are enough, you are a strong capable mother!

If you are interested in learning how to prepare for postpartum life please contact The Nurturing Doula, LLC for information on a personalized Childbirth Education class that includes preparing for postpartum life.
Katy Schmidt
thenurturingdoula@hotmail.com
805-791-8325

facebook.com/KSThe.Nurturing.Doula

#postpartumlife #nurturingdoula

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Car Seat Class

 

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I want to help inform you about proper car seat use. I myself at one point have made most of these mistakes. My hope is to help parents keep their precious cargo safe the correct way. In class we will discuss proper seat installation and proper harnessing. I also fill you in on ways to help make installing easier. We will discuss car seat “no no’s”and common miss use. As of right now I do not have a set date or time on when a class will be happening. I will update this page and my Facebook page when I have more details. Please feel free to contact me with more urgent questions.

~Katy Schmidt

Birth Doula and CPST

The Nurturing Doula, LLC

thenurturingdoula@hotmail.com

805-791-8325

facebook.com/KSThe.Nurturing.Doula

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Wait what?! I need to prepare to bring my baby home!?

The day you bring your baby home is a special day. No matter if its your first or your fifth. Preparing to bring your baby home doesn’t start the day your leave the hospital. Start preparing around 30 weeks. Some questions you need to ask your self and your partner:

  1. Where will baby sleep?
  2. When will you shower?
  3. If you are nursing where will you nurse? Do you want to set up a special area with anything and everything you may need?  Including water, snacks, nursing pads, and a burp rag. Some other items you may want to include in this area would be a nursing pillow, a book, a tablet or laptop, your phone, and the remote for the tv. This list isn’t  all necessities.
  4. If you are bottle feeding do you have your bottles washed and sterilized? ready to feed? Have you bought formula?
  5. Did you buy your carseat? Is it installed? If you are unsure about your install contact your local CPST (Child Passenger Safety Technician) or CPSI (Child Passenger Safety Instructor https://ssl06.cyzap.net/dzapps/dbzap.bin/apps/assess/webmembers/tool?pToolCode=TAB9&pCategory1=TAB9_CERTSEARCH&Webid=SAFEKIDSCERTSQL (for information regarding used car seats contact your local CPST or CPSI)
  6. Who will do the cooking when you arrive home? You can look up freezer meals on Pinterest for examples of make ahead meals
  7. Who will clean?
  8. Who will do the laundry?

I find the easiest way to remember all of this is by making a chart. You and I know there will be plenty of people coming over to see the baby. Have your chart up on your fridge when someone asks if they can do anything to help you can refer them to your chart. Take time creating the chart and talking with your partner about it. All of this helps make your postpartum life run more smoothly. I hope this post helps you prepare for your new bundle of joy! I hope you have a wonderful birth.

If you feel like I missed something or want to tell me how your plan helped you prepare for your baby’s arrival, leave me a comment.

-Katy Schmidt

The Nurturing Doula, LLC

Birth Doula and CPST

thenurturingdoula@hotmail.com

805-791-8325

facebook.com/KSThe.Nurturing.Doula
 

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Why do moms hire doula’s?

What are some reasons a mom and partner would hire a doula? I asked some of my mama’s why they did and here are their responses:Hardwork-001

I would hire a doula for many reasons. My first would be for emotional support. Having a baby with no medication requires a different kind of patience. Having someone to remind you of your goal and the plan you set for your childbirth does wonders. My second reason would be for guidance of different relaxation techniques. When the contractions get tough to get through you have some one to help you find techniques that work for your pain. My third reason would be to have someone help you advocate for yourself and help stay as close to your birth plan as possible given there are no extenuating circumstances. Hiring a doula goes beyond what you will pay. The moment of your child’s birth is something you will never forget and having someone in your corner before during and after is priceless.

I would hire a doula because of the support and knowledge she can offer the family and I. She takes time to make sure mother and family understand what is about to happen. She checks on everyone involved and makes sure all are comfortable. Not only is she a doula she becomes a dear friend.

So I chose to hire a doula 1 for comfort.. Having someone there other than my mom who “understands” 2. To have the ability to make my own choice with my labor, not having to be pressured into something or being too afraid to question what was going on. I’d ask you and you’d figure it out for me lol. 3. Support. Pregnancy labor and postpartum I knew whatever I was dealing with you had my back and were concerned about me and my son. 4. After having a doula I have actually been researching the thought of becoming a doula myself, I knew I wanted to stay in the Obstetrics field but now I feel I have more of a direction to look.

Hello all Mommies and future Moms, The main reason I chose to hire a doula at first is that my husband was in the Marine Corps and was stationed about 2500 miles away from any of my family. On the off chance that their flights didn’t make it in time, or Heaven forbid my husband should rapidly deploy I wanted a person who knew about labor and deliveries to be there with me. My husband knew this, but I was unsure where to find one as I was in an unfamiliar place with few resources on how to get one. That’s when the most miraculous thing happened, My birth angel AKA my doula Katy who was a fellow marine wife introduced her self to my hubby and asked if we would be interested in her services. I was ecstatic! I of course said yes. But after meeting Katy, she was not what I expected, she did no pushing to sway my birthing plan, She helped to teach my hubby what to expect, and she gave us access to any education we were inquiring about the labor and delivery and after care of a child. I had Preeclampsia and had to be induced, I was very nervous about this as that was not in my plans. Katy calmed me down and we discussed what options I still had and she reminded me that it was ok if the plan changed a little. The day came that we went to the hospital for the induction. Katy came to my house before to help me get ready. She then helped to position, distract, and even continue to educate during my labor. It was an intense 30+ hrs of induction and was nothing like I had imagined. After taking my daughter out she was not breathing well, so she went to the NICU. I was so scared and then Katy whispered in my ear that it would be ok and she had prayed for my daughter. After we got home the care didn’t stop there, she checked in on me quiet a few times and has since been full of education and tips to try. I would want a doula on our second child as well because they really do help make labor bearable and will remind you to advocate for yourself, which if any of you have ever been in labor you would know you are not in your normal state of mind. Katy shared what was and is one of the best moments of my life. So why hire a doula, you might ask? It’s simple she is everything you need.

These are just some of the reasons moms choose to hire a doula. Whats your reason?

~Katy Schmidt

The Nurturing Doula, LLC

thenurturingdoula@hotmail.com

805-791-8325

facebook.com/KSThe.Nurturing.Doula

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A letter to my “mama’s”

From the day I met you, yes all of you, I thought to myself wow! Wow, you are so strong, and so beautiful. We worked on your birth plans, your postpartum plans, and checking your car seats. You stumped me with questions, then I made sure I answered them in a timely manner. Time is catching up with us so we practice labor and birth positions. Im pretty sure you think I’m crazy because of how much fun I have with teaching you all this craziness. The day of your labor, you showed me your true strength. As we arrive where you plan to give birth. I see your nervousness. You may think you hid it well. To the untrained eye ( i.e.: spouse who you fool often) you did hide it. Distracting you was my main focus. I watched you minute after minute. Trying to stay calm and breath through the pain. I reminded you to keep breathing and I could tell you were having a hard time. There was a moment I could tell you wanted to give up. I looked at you and told you you can do this! You are doing this! You are almost done. Your baby will be here soon. You kept going, contraction after contraction. Until your baby arrived. When your face relaxed and you realized you did it! YOU did it. You brought your baby into this world, into your family. I watch you look at your beautiful baby, yes even boys are beautiful, in amazement. The look of “I grew this tiny human in my body and my heart”. Time seemed to stop for a moment. You had a smile on your face from ear to ear. Motherhood is hard, long, dirty and much more work. Labor and Delivery was hard but you got through it beautifully. You are so strong and If you ever think you aren’t you can call me and I’ll remind you how strong you are!

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I am one PROUD doula! Have a great day. Welcome to motherhood. Please give those babies hugs and kisses from their favorite doula

~Katy

The Nurturing Doula, LLC

thenurturingdoula@hotmail.com

805-791-8325

facebook.com/KSThe.Nurturing.Doula

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My doula beginning

My work as a doula began in 2013. My sister in law called me and asked if I could go sit with a friend who thought she was in labor. I said of course. As soon as i arrived she looked a little reassured but also sorry. I asked her how her contractions were she said the were a little rough but she could handle it. Lets sit down and try not to think about them, I said. She grabbed my hand as a contraction hit her like a brick. as the contraction subsided she said I’m sorry my hands are so sweaty and I squeezed your hand so tight. It didn’t hurt and your sweaty hands aren’t bothering me either, your in early labor, I’ve  been there too. It’s going to be ok and I’m right here. This went on for another couple hours. Her husband was on her way home so she sent me home, she said I’ll be ok he’ll be home soon. I left her house in this feeling of “this is what i need to be doing”! A few months later a friend of mine was pregnant and I asked her if she wanted me to be her doula. She knew she was going to need all the support she could get. So she said of course! Her birth was beautiful as are all births. however it most defininatly was my hardest. My first step in becoming a doula was attending a child birth course. I took my class on base, Marine Corps Camp Lajeune, the instructor was Jeanette a fellow doula. She introduced me to my second client. Shortly after I took my doula training. A few months after that was my second birth. This mom (shared with permission) labored for 32 hours and pushed for and hour. He was a 10 lb 13 oz sunny side up, baby boy. ST rocked her birth. She was a power house. I watched her labor, in a rocking chair, she would scrunch her face little and then relax. Late in labor she would fall asleep right after a contraction and wake up right when a new one came. This birth confirmed my passion so much I run the whole thing through my head before every birth. From then on I met with clients and drew up birth plans with them, practiced labor positions, talked about their fears and hopes and made sure the were comfortable with their birth team. Every birth is important. Every mom deserves to have a memorable experience. I try my hardest to give that to my moms. I hope you have a wonderful day.

~Katy Schmidt

The Nurturing Doula, LLC

thenurturingdoula@hotmail.com

805-791-8325

facebook.com/KSThe.Nurturing.Doula