Breastfeeding your Baby

Breastfeeding is a critical aspect of the first few months of your baby’s life. In fact, it’s so important that the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends breastfeeding exclusively for the first six months and then continuing to breastfeed as long as mom and baby mutually agree. Even though breastfeeding might seem like a natural process, there are plenty of things you can do to ensure that your baby gets all the nutrients he or she needs from breast milk. Here’s what you need to know about breastfeeding your newborn:

Breastfeeding is not always easy, but it can be.

Breastfeeding your baby can be challenging and can be difficult, but it is worth it. If you are struggling to breastfeed your baby, there are several things you can do to get help.

  • Talk with other mothers about their experiences breastfeeding their babies and how they overcame the challenges of breastfeeding.
  • Ask for help from a lactation consultant or another expert who can teach you how to breastfeed successfully.
  • Contact local hospitals, maternity clinics and birthing centers in your area for assistance in finding a lactation consultant who will work with you one-on-one at a private location (such as your home) if needed.

What you eat and drink can affect your breastmilk.

You may be surprised to learn that breastfeeding is a process of digestion, just like eating and drinking. But it’s true! Just like the food and drink you consume, what you eat and drink can affect your breastmilk.

Breastmilk is made from the nutrients in your blood, so when you eat certain foods or drinks they will affect how many nutrients are available for your baby to use. For example:

  • If you eat a lot of meat, eggs or other high-protein foods then your body has more protein than it needs right now – so some of that protein will go into making breastmilk instead of staying in your body where it would help keep you healthy. That means less protein for you (and potentially weaker hair) but more than enough for your baby!
  • When we eat too much fat our bodies make less fat for our babies because there’s plenty already around – this means that if you eats lots of junk food or fast food you won’t be getting all the vitamins you need either!

“Breast is best” is a myth that can cause a lot of harm to moms who want to breastfeed but aren’t able to.

You may have heard that breast is always best for your baby, but this isn’t always the case. It’s important to remember that breastfeeding isn’t always possible for every mother and child, and not everyone chooses to breastfeed. If you want to try breast milk but aren’t able to get it from your own body, there are several options available like local milk banks.

If you do choose to breastfeed, here are some tips on how:

  • Find support from other breastfeeding mothers in your area or online (there are also apps for this).
  • Make sure that you’re well-nourished before trying anything new with your diet—you’ll need all the energy you can get!
  • Don’t let anyone make you feel bad about taking breaks when needed; sometimes moms need time away from their babies so they can recharge their batteries too!

If your baby isn’t gaining enough weight, you need support, not blame.

It’s natural to feel sad, frustrated, and angry when you’re not able to breastfeed your child. But remember that breastfeeding is not always easy. It doesn’t always go exactly as planned, and it can be tough work for both mum and baby.

If you find yourself in this situation, please don’t blame yourself or your partner or anyone else around you – instead seek support from others who know what they’re talking about. The most important thing is to look after yourself!

Breastfeeding moms often don’t know how much milk they’re producing, but doctors usually tell them that it’s “not enough” if their baby isn’t gaining weight. I’ve seen many women feel like failures in themselves when they hear these messages from health professionals. Support groups can help you learn how to express milk by hand and find ways of increasing production with things like breastfeeding positions that work better for you.

Your baby’s tongue might be tied.

While infants can’t tell you how they feel, there are some signs that your baby might be suffering from tongue tie. If your baby has trouble latching on to the breast or feeding for long periods of time, it could be a sign of tongue tie.

In addition to having difficulty breastfeeding, another sign that your infant may have a tongue-tie is fussiness during feedings. Babies with a severe case of tongue tie often cry at meals because their jaws hurt from trying to suckle on their mothers’ breasts. A more subtle symptom is noticing that your infant tends to arch their back when nursing; this is thought to occur due to pain in the jaw muscles and upper back region when they try using their tongues while breastfeeding. 

If you suspect that your baby has a tongue tie, see a doctor or pediatric dentist. Treatment is usually as simple as cutting a small piece of tissue under the tongue to release tension and make breastfeeding easier for both you and your infant. If your baby was born with a severe case of tongue tie, they may have trouble feeding for several weeks before it resolves itself. Babies who cannot breastfeed due to their condition are often given supplemental formula to help them gain weight and develop properly.

It’s normal for it to take time for breastfeeding to get going. It can take weeks or months depending on a variety of factors.

It’s normal for it to take time for breastfeeding to get going. It can take weeks or months depending on a variety of factors.

Your baby may be too sleepy at first, or they may not latch on properly. Some babies are fussy while they’re learning how to breastfeed correctly and might need lots of encouragement from you. If your baby seems uninterested in latching on, try rubbing their back gently, or holding them skin-to-skin (with your shirt pulled up) with their head nestled into your chest—this usually stimulates the let-down reflex (when milk flows into the breast), which can make them want to nurse more eagerly.

If it’s hard for you both at first, don’t give up! The longer you keep trying and practicing different positions and techniques with your little one as well as talking with other moms who have made breastfeeding work for them will help build confidence in yourself and increase bonding between parent and child–and that’s something worth waiting for!

Breastfeeding is often portrayed as a magical or natural ability, but the truth is that most women need some help with it, especially in the early days.

Many women think that breastfeeding is a natural ability and that you either have it or you don’t. This can make it seem like a big deal when your baby doesn’t latch on right away. But the truth is that most women need some help with it, especially in the early days.

It can take weeks or months to get breastfeeding right, and even then there may be challenges: sore nipples, painful gas pains from improper positioning, and difficulty maintaining supply after returning to work or school… The list goes on! If you have questions about how to make breastfeeding easier for yourself and your baby—or if things aren’t going as well as they could be—you might want to seek out some outside assistance from experts like lactation consultants or peer counselors at local hospitals or community health centers.

Breastfeeding is hard work, but with good support, there is no reason why most women can’t do it successfully

Breastfeeding is a skill that takes time to learn. If you are struggling with breastfeeding, don’t be afraid to ask for help! A lactation consultant can help you figure out how to make breastfeeding work for you and your baby. You can also get support from a breastfeeding support group or from women who have been there before you. These groups are made up of volunteers who want to help other mothers learn how to breastfeed successfully, so please take advantage of their wisdom!

It’s important to remember that breastfeeding is hard work, but with good support, there is no reason why most women can’t do it successfully. If at any point you feel stuck or confused about how to get started or continue breastfeeding your baby, don’t be afraid to reach out for help! You can always call your local La Leche League chapter or contact an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) through the United States Lactation Consultants Association website.

An Achievable Sleep Survival Guide for Mama and Baby

Most new mothers find getting adequate sleep to be a challenge. Getting up constantly is disruptive to quality sleep and you’re not alone if you’re feeling exhausted and irritable. This survival guide will help you get more quality sleep and offer some coping strategies to make the temporary sleep loss easier to bear.

Getting More Quality Sleep:

  1. Understand your sleep cycles. The quality of sleep is more important than the number of hours you get. Most people need 90 minutes to 2 hours of uninterrupted slumber to enter into restorative deep sleep. New moms need methods to provide adequate rest when they’re frequently getting up to care for their babies.
  2. Use naps to supplement your nighttime sleep. Until your baby sleeps through the night, naps can help you survive. Take a nap when your child falls asleep during the day. Feeding your baby before a nap may help you both sleep longer.
  3. Enlist your partner’s help. Even if you’re breastfeeding, your partner can take a turn with night feeding if you pump and refrigerate your milk. You can also get more rest if your partner brings the baby to you at night for breastfeeding so you don’t have to walk around as much.
  • Seek out additional support. The first weeks are often the most demanding, so think ahead to arrange the support you’ll need. Your parents or other loved ones may be able to move in temporarily or you may be able to exchange mutual assistance with other parents in your neighborhood. Consider hiring a postpartum doula to help you and baby.
  • Ask someone else to cover the first nighttime feeding. Having someone else do the first nighttime feeding is a great way to get some hours of unbroken sleep. Even if you takeover later in the night, you’ll have gotten some much needed rest.
  • Work towards a consistent schedule. Rest assured that this is temporary and look forward to getting back on a regular sleep schedule. You and your family will rest better when you have regular bedtimes.

Coping Strategies for Temporary Sleep Loss:

  1. Meditate. Meditation provides some of the same benefits as sleep. If you have trouble falling asleep or there’s no time for a nap, try some quiet deep breathing.
  2. Eat a healthy diet. You can improve your sleep by avoiding excessive caffeine or alcohol. Drink lots of water because dehydration can be tiring. A balanced diet will also help provide the energy you need.
  3. Do gentle exercises. If your doctor says it’s safe to exercise, a gentle workout may help you sleep better. You can find resources online or at your local library.
  4. Take a shower. A simple shower may help you feel refreshed fast. A few minutes under the shower and a change of clothes can help you feel more awake.
  5. Reduce other potential sources of stress. As a new mom, you have a lot going on in your life, so try to minimize any additional stress. Older children may be able to pitch in with more household chores. Postpone any big decisions until you can think more clearly.
  6. Talk with your doctor. Sleep deprivation can have serious effects on anybody, and new mothers are already dealing with many hormonal changes. Consult your doctor if you need help managing all the changes. Your doctor can give you recommendations to keep you and your family happy and healthy.

Being a new mother is a joyful and enriching experience. Work at getting the quality sleep you need and look forward to many happy years with your new baby.

How to ensure great nutrition during pregnancy

It’s easy to get caught up in the hype about pregnancy. You may have heard that you need to eat for two people and gain twice as much weight, or that caffeine is bad for your baby. While some of these myths are just plain wrong, others are based on outdated information or misinterpreted studies from years ago. It’s important to know what is true and what isn’t when it comes to nutrition during pregnancy so you can make informed decisions about your health during this exciting time!

Pregnancy is a time to take care of yourself.

Pregnancy is a time to take care of yourself. You may not feel as hungry, but that doesn’t mean you don’t need to eat. Eating well will help you feel better, keep your energy up, and make sure your baby gets all the nutrients it needs before birth.

  • Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables
  • Eat foods rich in calcium and iron
  • Choose low-fat dairy products like milk and cheese

The important thing is to follow a sensible and varied diet. This will help ensure you get all the nutrients you and your baby need for good health. Choose foods from each of the main food groups to make up a balanced diet:

* starchy foods such as rice, pasta, potatoes, barley and oats

* wholemeal or wholegrain versions of these foods where possible

* vegetables and fruit (at least five portions per day)

* milk and dairy products such as cheese and yogurt

Popular myth debunked: chocolate isn’t bad for your baby.

Myth: Chocolate is bad for your baby.

Fact: It’s not as if you’re eating an entire Hershey bar every day—and even if you were, it wouldn’t be harmful. A moderate amount of chocolate (about 2 ounces) is fine during pregnancy and has many benefits:

  • It contains antioxidants, which may help reduce the risk of certain diseases (such as cancer) in both you and your child.
  • Chocolate provides magnesium, iron and calcium that can boost energy levels and protect against muscle cramps or restless leg syndrome that can occur during pregnancy. Chocolate also contains potassium — another important nutrient for pregnant women — so it may help prevent high blood pressure in moms-to-be by lowering sodium levels in their bodies.

Popular myth debunked: caffeine is bad for your baby.

One popular myth that’s been busted is that caffeine is bad for your baby.

While it’s true that caffeine is not an essential nutrient, and while it can cause some unpleasant side effects like jitteriness or insomnia in some women, the evidence suggests that moderate amounts of caffeine are safe when pregnant. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends limiting intake to less than 200 mg per day (about two cups of coffee).

If you’re pregnant and you’re trying to kick a coffee habit, we suggest making the switch gradually by using one fewer creamer in each cup you drink over a few weeks until you’ve cut out all dairy from your morning brew.

Popular myth debunked: You need to eat for two people and gain twice as much weight.

Let’s dispel this myth once and for all. Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need to eat for two people or gain twice as much weight during pregnancy. You only need to eat a balanced diet that includes all food groups.

A healthy pregnancy diet should contain foods from every group of the food pyramid and emphasize fruits, vegetables, whole grains and low-fat dairy products (including milk).

Popular myth debunked: It’s okay to skip meals or not eat when you’re pregnant.

In a word: no.

Many pregnant women have the idea that they should skip meals because they’re eating for two and their body has other things to worry about. This is a myth, though. Eating regularly is important for your health, especially during pregnancy. It’s also good for your baby’s development and can help prevent some conditions like constipation and heartburn. While it might be tempting to skip breakfast or dinner once in awhile, this won’t help with nausea or constipation, so it’s best just to eat at regular times every day instead of skipping meals altogether.

Healthy eating during pregnancy isn’t just about the mother-to-be. It’s also about maintaining healthy habits and giving the child the chance of having a healthy life, too.

Healthy eating during pregnancy isn’t just about the mother-to-be. It’s also about maintaining healthy habits and giving the child the chance of having a healthy life, too. Your diet should include plenty of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean protein sources, low-fat dairy products and plenty of water. This will give your growing baby all the vitamins he or she needs to develop properly inside your uterus. If you eat well throughout pregnancy, chances are your child will grow up to be healthier than his or her peers.

When you’re pregnant with your first child—or even if you’ve had several children already—healthy habits can help set up lifelong good eating patterns for both parents and their offspring. A great example is breastfeeding: By nursing your newborn from birth until at least six months old (and ideally longer), you’ll be giving him or her all he needs for proper growth in those early years before solid foods are introduced into his diet.

Eating well during pregnancy can lead to better health in later life for your child and even his or her kids!

If you’re pregnant, eating well can help your baby in more ways than one. Not only will a healthy diet provide essential nutrients for your growing baby, it may also help to reduce the risk of certain diseases later in life. In fact, studies show that good nutrition during pregnancy could lead to better health for future generations as well!

When you eat well and get enough nutrients, it helps keep your body healthy—and that includes protecting your developing baby’s cells from damage and disease. This is especially true if you’re eating foods rich in antioxidants or vitamins C and E (or both). These are important antioxidants which have been shown to have anti-inflammatory effects on the body; they help protect against heart disease by lowering blood pressure while also fighting cancer cells through their scavenging action on free radicals in the body. Vitamin C deficiency during pregnancy can lead to low birth weight babies while pregnant women who take folate supplements during their first trimester have been shown to decrease their risk of having children with neural tube defects (malformations involving brain development).

It’s important to eat a well-balanced diet during pregnancy. This will help you to give your baby the best start in life and make sure that you get all the nutrients you need for yourself.

From First Trimester to Birth, Here’s How to Safely Support Parents

Guest Post from Emily Graham |Mighty Moms

If you have a loved one who is expecting during the COVID-19 pandemic, you may be wondering how you can possibly provide love and support for a loved one when you have to keep your distance?

Well, we’re here to tell you that socially distanced and safe support for expectant and new parents isn’t as complicated as you think. Here are a few helpful links and tips to make it even easier for you, all broken down by the many phases of pregnancy.

Doula Regina Coley can give you postpartum support and assist you as you deliver your child. Complete this form to learn more.

First Trimester

Oooo the excitement! The stress and nerves, too. If your friend or loved one just found out she’s expecting, here are some gifts and ways to provide the support she needs:

  • Get her a Costco membership. This way she can stock up on plenty of midnight snacks.
  • You could also surprise her with a gift subscription to a natural household essentials box.
  • Plan a video chat, or schedule regular ones, to check in and see how she’s feeling.
  • Morning sickness is common right now, so maybe send her foods and teas that help.

Second Trimester

By now, your friend may be getting used to being pregnant during a pandemic. What a champ! These are some of the best ideas for showing her you care over the next few months:

  • This is when many women begin showing, so she’s going to need cute new clothes.
  • Converting her existing wardrobe will be easy if you send her a top-rated belly band.
  • By now, she may be even feeling up for a socially distanced outdoor meetup.

Third Trimester

It’s happening! This is when the baby really starts to kick and mom starts to get serious about getting ready for his/her arrival. These supportive tips will help you be there for your friend:

  • We know you want to touch her belly, but you do need to keep COVID-19 risks in mind.
  • That being said, now is the perfect time to plan a virtual baby shower for your friend!
  • Guests and loved ones can always ship some of the most useful and used baby gifts.
  • You could also drop off quick and simple freezer meals ahead of her actual due date.

Birth and Beyond

Congratulations are definitely in order once the baby arrives! Of course, your friend will need support now more than ever before. So here’s how to give it without putting anyone at risk:

  • Connect them with Tiny Feet and Heartbeats Birth and Baby for postpartum support and lactation consultations.
  • Before you head to the hospital, remember that most hospitals are limiting visitors.
  • You may not be able to send flowers or gifts either, but you can send gift cards.
  • A contact-free meal train is a thoughtful way to help out parents once they’re home.
  • If your loved one is planning a move to a larger home, research how they can safely sell their home during the pandemic. 

Pregnancy can be a time filled with joy, hope, and wonder. But like everything else this past year, the experience may be a little different for your loved one. She may be feeling more stressed or worried, or she could even be feeling a little lonely. Put the suggestions above to good use and show her you care at each step in her pregnancy journey. She’ll be so happy that you did.

Photo Credit: Unsplash          

Packing Your Hospital Bag? Make These Your Top 7 Items

Guest Post courtesy of Josh Moore

For many parents-to-be, it’s tough to know what to pack in a hospital bag. Bringing home a tiny human is daunting as it is — so what do you really need in your hospital bag and what won’t see the light of day until you’re back home? Consider making these must-haves, courtesy of Tinyfeet & Heartbeats, part of your baby bag!

What to Pack for Mom

An adorable hospital bag is a must, but what should moms put in their new bags to pamper them throughout labor and postpartum?

1. Skincare Essentials

It’s not something most expectant moms think about, but the hospital can be a cold and dry place. Regardless of the season, hospitals are typically a bit chilly, and that crisp air can take a toll. Consider bringing along your favorite moisturizer for the body and face so you can feel comfortable before and after the baby arrives. And if you’re inhaling or exhaling through your mouth while breathing through contractions, lip balm will be a must-have — pack an extra just in case.

2. Comfortable Clothing

Many moms don hospital gowns without thinking about it. But packing a cute delivery gown in your bag, plus some comfy nursing jammies, breastfeeding-friendly bras, warm socks, and even a fuzzy robe can keep you feeling like yourself.

Though most moms agree that the hospital’s mesh undies are a great postpartum solution, you may also want some full coverage briefs to wear on the way home. Grab a handful of extra-large pads, too.

3. Suitable Labor Snacks

Hospitals have varying policies, but as Evidence-Based Birth notes, eating during labor is often encouraged these days. Of course, not every labor leaves time for nothing. Just in case you feel peckish, pack some snacks that are easy to eat. Think apples, bananas, granola bars, and even applesauce pouches (like the kind toddlers love) for a quick energy boost.

Then, ask your labor support team for frequent water refills. Hydration is especially important if you’re skipping an IV and aiming for natural labor and delivery.

4. Nursing Comforts

Ideally, the hospital’s lactation consultant will provide you with nursing essentials like nipple cream and nursing pads. Still, many mamas like to bring a nursing pillow so they can relax while breastfeeding their new addition. Plus, cloth nursing pads might be more comfortable and sustainable than the single-use ones that nurses hand out.

What to Pack for Baby

Though you’ll be the star of the show at first, eventually, the arrival of your baby will rock your world. Add these newborn must-haves to your packing list for those unforgettable moments.

5. Snuggly Hospital Fashions

A going home outfit is important, sure, but cozy newborn clothes are a must. Newborn gowns or sleepers are ideal for these first days since they offer easy diapering access — and sizing is generous enough that if your OB’s guess is off, your little one will still be comfy. Bring a few receiving blankets to keep your baby cocooned on the way home, too.

6. Those Sweet Photo Props

Let’s be honest: Standard hospital photo sessions often leave parents a bit disappointed. Unless you’re hiring a birth photographer to take snapshots of your fresh little one (or even if you are!), some cute photo props can help make your DIY pics memorable. A special prop can also help make a sweet birth announcement, even if you have to ask your doula to snap a quick pic!

7. Your Car Seat Manual

This one might sound silly — and the car seat itself won’t fit in your bag anyhow — but car seat safety is a crucial consideration when you’re bringing home a new baby. Depending on your baby’s length, weight, and proportions, your infant or convertible car seat might need some adjustments.

Consult your user manual to ensure you’ve adjusted your baby’s seat properly — or ask a nurse for help if you’re unsure!

Bringing your new baby into the world is just the start of a long and joyful journey. But to start off on the right foot, it helps to have the right ‘stuff’. Of course, preparing for birth and the postpartum period goes beyond packing your bags. Visit Tinyfeet & Heartbeats for more about getting ready for baby and motherhood!

Photo via Unsplash

Preparing for Natural Childbirth

Before you go into labor, your preparation for a natural birth begins. In fact, they may begin even before you conceive! Preparation means arming yourself with knowledge through research and knowing your options. Here are some tips on how you can prepare for natural childbirth.

You Can’t Know Too Much

As you research the stories of women who had terrible birth experiences, you will probably find this common thread: ignorance. These women lament how they “just didn’t know” or that “no one told them” what to expect. This is why it’s vital to learn everything you can about the birth process, and from a variety of sources.

If you already know you want a natural childbirth, then look at books and websites that are supportive of this choice. Learn about the physical process of birth – how it happens, what happens, and so forth. Also, read up on the immediate hours following birth, an area many women forget about in their research. You will want to make sure those precious hours are protected so that you can give your baby the best possible entrance into the world.

Avoid Frustrating Confrontations

You may not have the option of surrounding yourself with naturally-minded healthcare professionals during your pregnancy. If this is the case, you might want to perfect the “smile and nod” method of interacting with traditional OBs. Just remember that your doctor is not infallible, and you still have a choice. After you “smile and nod,” just go home and research what he or she said yourself and make your decision.

Everything from glucose tests to labor induction can be questioned, researched, and opted out of. It might help to bring copies of your latest research and respectfully explain to your OB why you have chosen to forego a particular procedure or method. Some OBs have ended up supporting women who’ve done good research to back up their choices.

Learning to Cope

Going in prepared is key to coping with your labor experience. Understand natural pain relief exercises you can do and visualization exercises during labor. One of the most important things to remember is that your body is designed to give birth – those sensations you feel that can seem so overwhelming are your body doing its job! Try to relax and let it do its work.

Work with your body rather than tensely fighting against it. Some midwives describe this as “welcoming” or “embracing” the pain, as a welcome sign that the baby is on its way and the labor is moving along.

Have a Birth Plan

Begin by writing out your entire plan, then tweak it, taking out unnecessary points and emphasizing important ones. This plan may end up being viewed by you alone, or you may have it reviewed by your OB. If you are in a situation where you see multiple OBs, such as at a military hospital, you can bring this plan along for each OB to review. The important thing is for you to know your plan thoroughly and share it with whom you think needs to be in on it.

One resource I highly recommend is The Mama Natural Week-by-Week Guide to Pregnancy and Childbirth by Genevieve Howland. Anyone who books me as a doula will receive a copy of this book during our first prenatal session in addition to other goodies hand selected just for you. We also work through the creation of your birth plan together and I educate you about the process of birth so you can make informed decisions and have the birth of your dreams. SCHEDULE YOUR FREE CONSULTATION WITH ME  

Birth Education Classes

Attending birth classes can go a long way toward relieving the anxiety and doubt that so many women and their partners have about labor and delivery. These classes tend to build confidence in your ability to give birth. Birth education is also an important tool in making informed decisions and having the labor and birth you want.

Here are some tips and suggestions as to what you can expect at a birth education class, and how you can find the right class for you.

What Happens in the Class?

Usually, you will attend the class with your partner if possible. Some couples say the classes brought them closer together.

Classes last anywhere from six to eight weeks. During this time, you will learn some of the following.

* How the process of birth works. Many of us are surprisingly ignorant of how a normal birth happens. Childbirth classes will help explain this. This helps take the surprise out of the labor process – it can be very powerful, and if you don’t know what’s going on, it can be frightening.

* You will likely learn relaxation and coping techniques.

* Interventions and hospital procedures are explained and discussed.

* The class will probably offer opportunities for you to ask questions, share fears and experiences, and/or assure others.

* Your partner will learn how best to support you during labor.

* If your class is in the hospital (which they usually are), you will probably take a tour of the birthing facility. Make sure you take the opportunity to ask questions.

How to Find a Class That’s Right for You

If you are not planning on a hospital birth, you may not want to take the local hospital’s classes. Or if you choose an alternative birth in the hospital, it’s a good idea to take the class to find out the hospital’s policies regarding interventions and such. Here are some tips for finding the right class for you.

* Lamaze classes are helpful for women seeking natural childbirth that is facilitated by controlled breathing. You’ll learn about body positioning, labor support, pain relief techniques like massage, and breastfeeding.

* Bradley classes are another form of a natural birth method designed to teach women how to relax and “embrace” the labor. Bradley classes also offer students education in nutrition, exercise, and other prenatal care. Breastfeeding is also part of Bradley education.

* If you choose a conventional hospital birth, your local hospital will probably offer classes on site as part of your plan to birth in their facility.

If you’re interested in our childbirth education classes, check the upcoming classes and register online HERE:

Is a Home Birth Right for You?

While the concept of giving birth at home is certainly not new, its resurgence in modern society is rather recent. If you’ve heard about the “home birth movement” and want to learn more, or perhaps are considering a home birth for yourself, you may have lots of questions. It’s important that one of the first questions you answer is, is a home birth right for me?

Here are some tips, options, and so forth to help you decide if this is an appropriate option for you.

“It’s a Baby, Not an Emergency”

Have you heard this one? Maybe you’ve read it on a bumper sticker! Regardless, the above quote is something midwives and other homebirth advocates often cite. Why?

The basic premise behind home birth is the belief in birth as a normal, healthy process that only requires medical intervention when true problems arise or are present. The basic concept of home birth is that normal childbirth does not warrant a screaming trip to the ER. So understanding this important, basic concept behind home birth – and deciding whether or not you agree with it – is a good first step toward deciding if home birth is for you.

Who Is a Candidate for Home Birth?

Home birth suits women who have low-risk, healthy pregnancies (which is the majority of pregnant women). Some midwives and naturally-minded advocates of home birth stretch the meaning of “low-risk” a bit so that it’s beyond the medical definition of the term.

For example, obstetricians generally categorize all pregnant women over the age of 35 as “high risk” simply due to their age. But some midwives have attended home births where the mother was a first-time mom and was over the age of 35. So it pays to get various opinions about your risk level as you are being evaluated.

Where You Feel Secure

Some women feel more secure surrounded by the latest medical equipment and technology, with lots of hospital staff on hand. Others may find this intimidating, preferring the privacy and relative peace of home.

Still, other women feel more secure having control over their birth experience, which may be best accomplished in a home birth. Some moms don’t feel like they can relax in their own home; they can’t stop the feeling that they need to clean up or do something. Take some time to consider where you feel the most secure, and what would be stressful and what would be relaxing.


Home births do require some preparation. Of course, you will have the usual prenatal visits with your midwife or healthcare provider, but you will also need to prepare your home for the event. Making meals ahead and freezing them is important, not only for your family but for the midwives who may be staying in your home for some time during the labor.

You will probably be advised to sterilize washcloths and towels by baking them in the oven in paper bags, and you may need to invest in some olive oil or other natural lubricants. If you want aromatherapy, candles, special music, etc., you will need to get those things together and ready. You will also need to make sure your local ambulance and emergency services can find you, and you might even want to alert them as to the pending home birth.

5 Self-Care Tips for Busy Moms

Moms are constantly pulled a million different directions, finding themselves far too busy to get done what they need to get done, let alone worrying about self-care.

The busier moms find themselves taking care of themselves less and less as they get busier taking care of their families. We’re here to help; we’ll provide you with simple tips to get in your much-needed self-care to get you back to feeling your best. It’s natural to put your kids first, but you can’t neglect yourself completely; you’re important too.

1) Get in Activity Daily
It’s good to keep yourself active. However, depending on the age of your child you may get more than your fair share of activity. Physical activity can help your body release endorphins which can improve your mood and increase your energy.

Do whatever activity you enjoy that gets you active. You could walk around the park with your stroller, do yoga in your local studio when you can, use a workout video; do whatever will get you active each day.

2) Stay in Touch with Those Close to You
Taking time to nurture important friendships and relationships is a crucial part of your self-care. It’s not always easy to pay them a visit, especially when they live far away, but there are other, simple ways you can still put the effort in to show them you care.

You could call them for a few moments when you’re doing dishes or taking a walk once or twice a week and keep in touch. You could write them a card or letter, send them a gift, or something along those lines to let them know you’re thinking of them.

3) Prioritize Sleep
It’s tempting to try to make the most out of the time your kids are asleep, but it’s important to get sleep yourself. The Director of UCLA Sleep Disorders warns mothers of the risk of limiting their sleep:

“We know from research studies that chronic lack of sleep has adverse health consequences: people who consistently sleep less than six hours experience increased appetite, which causes weight gain and increases the risk of depression, cardiovascular disease, and type two diabetes.”

Sleep is a crucial part of your mental and physical health. Getting the appropriate amount of sleep each night is one self-care treatment you can’t afford to miss out on.

4) Eat Right
Eating right is a great self-care routine to instill. You can experience both short term and long-term effects by eating healthier regularly. It’s tempting to go for the quicker, unhealthy option for yourself, but eating right is better for your body and sets a positive example for your kids. It’ll help to provide you with more energy and better overall health.

5) Prioritize Your Health
We always make sure to carefully note each checkup and appointment for our children, knowing the exact month to return for yearly checkups, but we rarely take as much are with our own. Your health is important; take special care to make appointments for your yearly checkups and don’t miss any regular exams.

As a mom, you probably struggle to find time for yourself. You put your kids before yourself, which is commendable, but it leaves a void in your self-care routine, resulting in your neglecting yourself. We hope these few, simple tips will help you find a way to squeeze in some self-care time during your hectic life.

You are important, and your needs deserve to be valued. You can easily improve your mental and physical health by integrating these simple self-care tips.

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