What Is A Postpartum Doula?

postpartum doula support cleveland The Nurturing Root

Short answer; a postpartum doula is a cross between your mythical, awesomely helpful mother-in-law, and an expert baby whisperer! But seriously, a postpartum doula is a trained parenting, infant, and postnatal support professional. She provides education and assistance to families during the newborn period. This type of postpartum practitioner has a wealth of specialized experience and education, to help you adjust to parenthood. Think of a postpartum doula as your personalized parenting coach. Her goal is to help your family learn about normal newborn behavior, baby care techniques, infant sleep, postnatal recovery, breast and infant feeding techniques. There are really two avenues of support, a postpartum doula will provide. In the most traditional sense, a postpartum doula will help with a family-centered approach, or she can care for a growing family, by providing infant-focused care.

With a family-centered approach, a postpartum doula can guide, educate, and assist you through the parenting process. She may help you learn how to breastfeed with ease and confidence, answer questions you may have about feeding, diapering, bathing, grooming, and calming baby, and assist you with babywearing tips and techniques. Additionally, she may help you with meal planning and preparation, household organization, and give you access to trusted parenting and infant resources and referrals.  

A postpartum doula can also help your family with infant-focused care. Within this framework, your doula serves as a newborn specialist. She will be attentive to all of your baby’s needs, so you can properly rest and recover, after birth. Infant-focused care is particularly helpful to parents who are wanting assistance during the evening and overnight hours. Your postpartum doula will provide dedicated newborn care, so you can have the most restorative sleep, knowing a skilled professional is attending to all of your baby’s desires.

If you want personalized support, guidance, and resources to help you make the best decisions for your new family, consider hiring a postpartum doula! To learn more about how a postpartum doula provides practical support to families during the transition to parenthood, read this article.  Also check out The Relievery’s practitioner resource directory, or Doula Match, to find a postpartum professional in your area.

*This post was first published on THE RELIEVERY*

The Nurturing Root is honored to support and educate Northeast Ohio families. We provide Birth Boot Camp childbirth education, holistic newborn care classes, in-home placenta encapsulation services, and family-centered postpartum doula support. If you are looking to have a healthy pregnancy, amazing birth, and gentle postpartum recovery experience, contact us! We also welcome you to join our FREE Facebook community, Cleveland Holistic Pregnancy, Birth, and Parenting. This is a great space for families and professionals interested in a variety of natural birth and parenting topics

 

 

A New Podcast Is Delivering Strength To The Cleveland Birth Community

Delivering Strength a podcast about pregnancy and birth The Nurturing Root

Expectant and young families in Cleveland now have access to a fresh new resource for pregnancy and birth! Delivering Strength is a Cleveland-based podcast that addresses a variety of pregnancy, birth, and postpartum health topics. Delivering Strength is co-created by Dr. Candace Gesicki, a chiropractor practicing in Independence, Ohio, and Anna Marie Murphy, a marketing professional, new mother, and holistic health aficionado, living in University Heights, Ohio. Dr. Candace and Anna Marie are thrilled about the opportunity to give mothers and families resources and support, so they can have an informed and empowered pregnancy, birth, and parenting experience. Delivering Strength’s mission is to educate and empower women to become their own biggest health advocates! The podcast format includes interviews with a variety of local birth and wellness professionals and experts, and explores topics and resources important to the overall health of Northeast Ohio women and families.

The release of the Delivering Strength podcast comes at a very special time for both Dr. Candace and Anna Marie. In addition to being a chiropractor, certified in the Webster Technique, specializing in prenatal and postpartum health, Dr. Candace, is a regional director with BirthFit, a fitness-based wellness and education program for expectant and new mothers, and is a Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioner, offering acupuncture services. She is also expecting her first child in late 2017! Anna Marie’s desire to support the birth community with this podcast, was bore from her somewhat challenging journey to motherhood. Frustrated with the lack of support, concern, and resources from her obstetrician and family doctor, Anna Marie researched more integrative approaches to assist her with fertility challenges. Anna Marie intimately understands the difficulties families endure looking for support outside the scope of mainstream medicine. Thankfully, her intuition, research, and resolve paid off, big time. Anna Marie welcomed her first child earlier this year. Anna Marie and Dr. Candace’s dedication to achieving optimal wellness and supporting the birth community brought them together to create Delivering Strength.  We are so grateful to them both, for this amazing new resource!

The Delivering Strength podcast has released four episodes, as of August 2017. Listeners have the opportunity to learn more about Delivering Strength’s mission and its co-creator’s wellness journeys, hear a great pregnancy and birth story about an unmedicated hospital birth overseen by the Midwives at Lake West Hospital, and learn about postpartum thyroid concerns with Dr. Jerrica Sweetnich, an Akron-based Naturopathic Doctor. Additionally, hear all about building the most supportive and encouraging birth team. The episode we recorded with Delivering Strength, is dedicated to providing resources, facts, and information about how crucial it is to surround yourself with the best birth team. Listen to the episode featuring Alayna Spratley, Ohio Director of The Nurturing Root, here! The Delivering Strength podcast is a wonderful resource for expectant and new parents looking for a community of birth support in greater Cleveland. You can listen to all of the episodes from the Delivering Strength podcast, here.

The Nurturing Root is delivering strength to Cleveland and Northeast Ohio families with a thoughtful array of holistic pregnancy, birth, and postpartum support services. We help couples on their journey to parenthood with natural childbirth education and parenting classes, in-home placenta encapsulation services, and postpartum doula and infant care. The Nurturing Root is honored to support and educate the Cleveland birth community. Please contact us for more information!

How We Are Improving Birth For Cleveland Families

The Nurturing Root Rally to Support Improving Birth Chardon Ohio

Improving Birth is a non-profit coalition of organizations that advocates for evidence-based care, and the right for women to make informed decisions in childbirth! We are proud to share Improving Birth’s mission, which is to inform, support, engage, and empower families and community members, with strategic tools, to improve our cultural and institutional birth climate. Here are three ways, The Nurturing Root is Improving Birth for Cleveland families.

We are Improving Birth by giving families access to evidenced-based childbirth education!
It is an honor to serve Cleveland families with our extensive offering of childbirth education workshops. We teach a variety of Birth Boot Camp childbirth education courses. This curriculum is largely based on the Mother-Friendly Childbirth Initiative, which was written by Improving Birth, as part of, The Consensus Initiative From The Coalition For Improving Maternity Services. Our childbirth classes are intended to educate and empower families with facts, resources, and support, so they can truly make informed decisions for their pregnancy and birth. We offer classes to help couples have an amazing hospital birth, training to prepare families for their empowering home birth experience, and comfort measures workshops, to give pregnant couples tools and techniques, so they can stay positive and enjoy their labor.

We are Improving Birth by advocating for expectant families!
We absolutely love serving pregnant and new Cleveland families by providing doula support. We are an advocate for you and your birthing wishes! We provide encouragement, support, practical assistance, and information during pregnancy, birth, and the postpartum period. Our purpose is to support your desires and expectations in childbirth.

We are Improving Birth by providing access to trusted community resources!
There are several organizations and services supporting pregnant and new families in Northeast Ohio. As active and engaged members in various Cleveland area pregnancy, birth, and parenting communities, we are happy to offer referrals and recommendations to providers that are also Improving Birth for Cleveland families.

Please join The Nurturing Root, on Labor Day, at the Improving Birth Rally in Chardon, Ohio. We are tremendously thankful for Shauna Rich and Danielle Breach, co-owners of Mother Rising Women’s Studio, for organizing the Improving Birth Rally. It is with great excitement, that we support and participate in this empowering event.

If you would like more information about how The Nurturing Root can help your family throughout the childbearing year, with childbirth education classes, doula care, and placenta encapsulation services, please contact us here!

When your friend has a baby: 10 ways to support a new mother

how to support a new mother

When my closest friends were having babies, I was just getting married.  I was pretty clueless about most things regarding the postpartum period and since the last baby to be born in my family was my 22-year-old sister, I knew even less about babies. I hadn’t a clue as to ways to support a new mother.

My best friend, the first one of us to have a baby, had a long labor, which ended with a cesarean. When she returned home, I am sure she was incredibly sore, but she was also clearly frustrated with breastfeeding.  When I think back to how painfully clueless and useless I was when she had her baby, I shudder.  I mean, I brought her a plant.  A PLANT!  While plants are lovely and they brighten up a room, it’s also one more thing for her to tend to and it isn’t remotely helpful to her in any way.  Oh, and that’s not all.  When lunch time rolled around, she heated up leftovers for us to eat.  SHE heated up leftovers for ME. (**shudder**)  It actually makes my stomach turn to think that I was that out of touch with what she needed.

After my own postpartum experiences, coupled with lots of training on birth and the postpartum period, I think it’s safe to say that thankfully, I’ve learned a few things since then.  Here are 10 ways to support a new mother, so the next time you have a friend have a baby, you’ll know how to shower her with love (and clean laundry).

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  1. Walk her dog. She’s healing from birth and her partner deserves a break. Take Fido for a stroll.
  2. Take her children outside. If mom has other children, take them outside to expel some energy. Playground, walk around the block, bike ride, whatever. Mom will appreciate the quiet and the kids will love the fun.
  3. Fix her family a snack or bring her a meal (or 2).  Anything you can do to take some of the load off, please do. Make them a meal or a snack, and if you can, involve the kids.  The kids will enjoy the activity and mom will get a reprieve by them being entertained.  If you won’t be there long, bring a meal already prepared, but also one that is freezable, so they can enjoy it later if needed.
  4. Bring her groceries.  When I had my first baby, a friend came to visit, and with her came 2 grocery bags full of food.  Some of the food was already prepared and the rest was perfect grab-and-go foods for snacking.  I was so touched and appreciated having new items in the fridge.  We sat around the table and noshed while she held and loved on my baby.  It was incredible and I appreciated it so much.
  5. Hold the baby and send her upstairs for a long, hot shower.  It’s amazing how much a hot shower can change a person.  Even if she doesn’t need it, take the baby, and if she has one, the 3-year-old, and send her upstairs for a hot shower and some alone time.  She’ll come down feeling grateful and refreshed.
  6. Load her dishwasher and run it.  I’m placing bets that when you go see her there will be a sink piled high with dishes.  Load the dishwasher and be sure to run it.  If you’re there long enough, empty it on your way out the door.
  7. Wash a load of laundry.  It’s amazing how much laundry a 7-pound baby can produce.  Whether it’s spit up on the onesie or breastmilk leaked on her shirt, there’s bound to be a load of clothes waiting.  Wash a load for her.  If there’s a load that’s been done, fold it.  Laundry is one of those things that can get out of hand fast. Helping her stay in front of it will take a lot of burden off of her.
  8. Take out the trash.  On your way out the door after your visit, take the trash with you.
  9. Sweep.  Dog hair, cheerio crumbs, dried up play-doh pieces.  It’ll take 5 minutes and will make a big difference.
  10. Bring her something for just her.  Bring her something that will make her feel good.  Ok, so maybe that plant wasn’t all bad.  I love plants, but whatever it is, make sure it’s something that will make her feel warm and pampered.  Maybe bring some great shampoo, bath salts, or handmade soap for the shower she’ll take during your visit.  Whatever it is, make it special.

There are endless ways to support a new mother, these are just a few.  The bottom line is make her life easy, make her plate lighter, and let her know you love her.  Having a baby is hard, and sometimes the postpartum period is even harder.  New moms are all too often left unsupported in our hustle-and-bustle culture, but we were never meant to do it alone.  Be a good friend, show up, and give her what she needs.  When she has a friend have a baby, she’ll remember how you made her feel, and she’ll pay it forward.  Little by little, maybe our culture will begin to shift.

 

Why You Should Consider Hiring a Postpartum Doula

postpartum doula Baltimore

 

Postpartum mothers need support, especially in a culture that unrealistically expects women to bounce back so quickly after giving birth. As a society, we can be so hard on new mothers. Culturally, new moms often receive messages that there is shame in needing help. This is a huge shift from 100 years ago when mothers had a tribe of women lending their love and support when a baby was born. Moms may experience feelings of guilt for letting the laundry pile up while they nurse and bond with their baby and some may feel inadequate for hanging onto baby weight, choosing different parenting philosophies than their families, or needing more time to adjust to motherhood. In this social media/Pinterest age where everyone seemingly has it so together, modern mothers are under an immense amount of pressure to do it all and to do it all well.

A new mother has just gone through an intense physical and emotional experience and needs time to rest, heal, and get to know her baby and growing family. A postpartum mother needs support, nourishing foods that promote health and healing, and she needs to be able to sit and feed her baby as long as she needs without feeling guilt over the pile of dishes in the sink. But how is a veteran mother supposed to rest after having her baby when she has a home and other children to tend to and no real support network to help? And how is a new mother to rest when she’s navigating the physical and emotional demands of her new role as a mother?

A postpartum doula is a trained professional who not only brings support to the whole family after the arrival of a new baby, but she also brings with her a wealth of knowledge related to baby care, breastfeeding, and postpartum health. A postpartum doula can fill the gaps, so the family has more freedom to do what is most important, be together.

Perhaps you’ve had a cesarean and your partner doesn’t get much time off of work to help with the house and the other children. You have a lot to tend to, but are healing from major surgery and your baby is nursing or wanting to be held around the clock. What’s a new mom to do? A postpartum doula can come over, do a few loads of laundry, play with and look after your kids, fix lunch and prepare and easy dinner you’ll be eating later that night.

Maybe you’re a first time mom, you have no experience with babies, and you’re feeling a little lost. A postpartum doula can come over to help you feel more comfortable caring for your baby. The doula may show you how to give baby a bath, she may teach you some breastfeeding positions to make nursing more comfortable, and she may give you pointers on calming a fussy baby. A postpartum doula also comes with a list of vetted resources to help meet all of your postpartum needs whether it is a lactation consultant or a therapist specializing in postpartum mood disorders.

Maybe you’re really struggling and are finding the lack of sleep is really effecting you. A postpartum doula can come lend a hand and tend to baby overnight, only disturbing you if you choose to nurse.

Happy mother and daughter with her babysitter

 

 

 

The Nurturing Root provides

 

 

 

postpartum doula services to mothers and families in Baltimore, Annapolis, and the surrounding counties. As postpartum doulas, we can help and support your family in a variety of ways to suit your needs:

  • Clean and fold laundry
  • Support the overall transition with a new baby by providing education on baby care, baby sleep, diapering, etc.
  • Provide a list of local resources to help make your postpartum experience a peaceful one
  • Breastfeeding support
  • Preparation of healthy snacks & meals for your whole family to enjoy
  • Sibling care
  • Errand running
  • An ear to listen
  • Overnight assistance
  • Light housekeeping, including sweeping, mopping, dishes, etc.

If you are an expecting or new mother in the Baltimore, Annapolis area and are looking for postpartum support, our postpartum doulas at The Nurturing Root would be honored to serve you as you transition to a larger family.