Mothering The Mother


Since time began, women have supported other women in pregnancy and childbirth. A girl was schooled in childbirth at a young age as she bore witness to the labors of her sisters, aunts and mother. Birth was not seen as a set of procedural steps, but as a journey that turned a Woman in to a Mother. Breastfeeding was a normal part of life and a learned process through observing others.

As our society began to embrace technology and extended families to move further away, birth moved out of our community, the care away from Midwives and the support and education became little to non existent. The rite of passage that celebrated the triumph of labor and the inauguration of Motherhood was gone, and pregnant women were seen as  patients that needed to be saved from themselves.

Women have now recognized the emotional void in conventional birth. We have acknowledged that this time in our lives is sacred, transformative, and should be handled with compassion and reverence. Our society hasn't quite caught up with our hearts- so in walks the Doula.

A Doula provides women what we once provided to one another- guidance, knowledge and a loving hand. Doulas hold the sacred space for the woman and partner, no matter what the location, to facilitate a beautiful experience.

Being a Doula is a calling.
Dedicating ourselves to Families a Privilege.
Supporting a Woman as she births a new soul into this world, humbling.
No, it never gets old.

Preparing for The Big Day!

What to Pack?
 
As a Doula one of the most common questions posed to me is "what do we pack for the birth?". Sounds simple, and it should be, but each person is different so every answer is unique. Here are a few helpful hints to get you started.

Where's Your Mind At? Bring items that can relax as well as bring your mind into focus.
  • Music Mix- calming and energizing tunes. A great site for this: www.pandora.com
  • Focal Points- Some Mothers use visuals to help guide them through labor. This can be as simple as a tile on the ceiling to a printed labyrinth. I once unpacked a onesie so that the mother could visualize bringing the baby into this world.
  • Relaxation Scripts- Partners may read relaxation scripts throughout the pregnancy and have this tool during labor to calm Mama.
  • Scents- Aromatherapy, Naturally. Choosing a soothing scent such as lavender, chamomile or sandalwood has been found to relax. Steer clear of chemically manufactured scents and spend the extra few dollars on essential oils. Just a few drops goes a long way, so use sparingly and on something that can easily be removed from the room such as a handkerchief.
How Does Your Body Feel? Physical comfort measures help release tension from muscles and distract from  less pleasant sensations. When a woman can relax her body and mind, she is able to release herself and birth her baby with more ease.
  • Comb- Combing through hair and massaging the scalp can be heavenly. I have  given women combs to hold tines inward on the palm and instructed to squeeze their fists during a contraction. The sensation of the comb can assist in distracting from the labor pains.
  • Lotion Potion- Massage is awesomeness and never better than when in early labor. A non greasy unscented lotion to rub feet, legs, arms and hands in a downward stroking motion can help a woman envision bringing her baby down the birth canal. Chapstick is also a great moisturizer for lips parched by deep breathing.
  • Rice Sock- Easily made, you simply fill a sock with uncooked rice or flax and knot at the end. This can be microwaved and used as a heating pad.
  • Nourishment- A laboring Woman expends an incredible amount of energy. A hiker on a day long journey wouldn't go without food or drink, so why would a Mother who is burning even more calories? Protein bars, honey sticks, liquids and breath mints are some popular choices.
The Typical Essentials Both Mother and Partner What would you bring on a weekend trip?
  • Toiletries, for Mama and Partner
  • Cozy Socks
  • Nightgown (you can wear your own clothes and forgo the paper gown)
  • Change of clothes and bathing suit, Partner
  • Elastic waist pants, night nursing bra and loose shirt for journey home.
  • Baby's going home clothes!
  • CAMERA and Cords
Packing early and placing in the car at 38 weeks can free up time and worry.
It is important to remember that no matter what is packed, Mom will birth her baby and no suitcase in the world will matter at that miraculous moment!
 
Awesome Partner and Family To Do List Before the Birth
  • Pay bills early or have scheduled to be paid for the next month
  • Have dinners in the freezer
  • Install carseat and have checked by your local Fire Department
  • Assign a friend the task of caring for your pets or transporting pets to daycare. Personally, we have used Camp Bow Wow.
  • Assign two close friends/family members to care for your children. A back up plan is essential for childcare and will be a great relief. Pack kid's bags early.
 
Gifts That Can Really Help in Those First Months

  • House cleaning- even better- deep housecleaning before arriving home! Nothing like coming home with your little one to an impeccable house.
  • Gift certificates to favorite pick up/delivery restaurants
  • Dog walking service We love Fellow Mama's Biz Peak City Puppy!
  • A meal train ready to go when arriving home. We have used Meal Train

Last Mama in The Woods

 
 
Last Mama in the Woods is inspired by the book Last Child in the Woods. Let’s turn this nature deficit around and get some sun on our faces! This group is also peer to peer support for Mamas who are just learning how to navigate the world with a Lil’ One and would like the company and support of a fellow Mama. 
First Meeting Oct 1st, 10am Sara Duke Gardens
(Charlotte Brody Discovery Garden)




Eating for Two?

 
"I'll have a burger" says the Vegetarian 
"I could eat an entire field of Kale! "
"An extra scoop or three of ice cream wont hurt. I'm eating for two... right?"
 
 
 
Let's Demystify Cravings and Diet During Pregnancy
 
Eating for Two
 
Pregnancy is an important time to learn about body acceptance and embrace the curves and changes that come with this amazing time. A woman is creating a life, and that takes extra calories, but how many?
 
According to the Mayo Clinic here's approximately where the weight goes
  • Baby: 7 to 8 pounds (about 3 to 3.6 kilograms)
  • Larger breasts: 2 pounds (about 1 kilogram)
  • Larger uterus: 2 pounds (about 1 kilogram)
  • Placenta: 1 1/2 pounds (about 0.7 kilogram)
  • Amniotic fluid: 2 pounds (about 1 kilogram)
  • Increased blood volume: 3 to 4 pounds (about 1.4 to 1.8 kilograms)
  • Increased fluid volume: 3 to 4 pounds (about 1.4 to 1.8 kilograms)
  • Fat stores: 6 to 8 pounds (about 2.7 to 3.6 kilograms)
The average woman needs to consume an additional 300 calories per day. Remember to keep those calories up postpartum as you begin to nourish your baby with breast milk!

Cravings!

 

When you think of pregnancy cravings, what comes to mind? Perhaps the stereotypical scenario of a Partner making a midnight run for pickles and ice cream? We all have coveted foods that quell our needs for salt, sugar, etc, but what does it mean when you begin to desire foods that you've never thought of as yummy, or even items that are inedible?

 I was recently brainstorming with a Lamaze class about body and emotional changes in the pregnant Mother when the topic of cravings was brought up. As one Mother neared the end of her list, she mentioned rootbeer and that peaked the interest of everyone in the room. What was it about rootbeer that seems so refreshing and at times even immediately necessary to the Pregnant Woman?

Cravings can stem from a number of sources. Perhaps the idea of something cold sounds refreshing, the ph balance calms an upset stomach, or according to Dr. Ruben Mesa of The Mayo Clinic, cravings can be linked to emotional problems, such as stress, obsessive-compulsive disorder or a developmental disorder. . Some cravings have a biological purpose;  PICA is a disorder characterized by the intense craving of non nutritive substances like dirk, clay or ice. An example of PICA is an extreme ice craving which has been linked to anemia. Interestingly, the desired food or source may or may not be rich in the deficient mineral.

I have been unable to find any researched about the craving of rootbeer, but I have a few theories. 1.Rootbeer is made with a lot of sugar, which is used to fuel the body. 2. It's a yummy alternative to sworn off caffeine-laden soft drinks 3. The cold and pH balance is refreshing and easy on the digestive tract 4. Sassafras, a key ingredient, was once used to alleviate pain.

Whatever the reason, most cravings, even if odd, are safe and will subside postpartum. If a Mother begins to crave inedible objects, it is advised that she seek medical advice.