Babywearing Has…

Babywearing has been an incredible tool for me as a parent as well as a birth worker. We started wearing our baby when she was a week old… and we were still wearing her when she was 3.5! I also love wearing babies as a postpartum doula – it’s such a great tool for comforting, bonding, daily activities, travel, and everything in between! I absolutely love it when families ask me for help to wear their babies, and they love it too! The benefits (for everyone) are endless!

We love our local babywearing chapter, Babywearing Twin Cities. We have met so many amazing friends through meetings, tried and checked out different carriers, gotten tips and help for wearing our daughter, and learned so much from this group! I’m so happy we have such an incredible resource in our area! Their purpose is “building the bond between babies and caregivers through baby carrier education and support.”

This year marks the 10th year of International Babywearing Week and the theme is “Babywearing Has…” so I thought I would highlight some of the amazing things that babywearing has done for our family over the years! Here are some of my favorite photos!

What has babywearing done for you? Here’s some of what it’s done for us…

Babywearing Has…

… let us hike together as a family. In state parks, nature centers, and on vacation in places like Canada, Colorado, and the North Shore.

babywearing colorado

babywearing north shore

… kept us calm during sickness and doctor visits.

babywearing          babywearing

… helped us exercise our civic duty!

babywearing vote

babywearing vote

… taught our child to love live music.

babywearing concert

babywearing concert

… accompanied us on road trips, through airports, and to landmarks.

babywearing mt rushmore

babywearing lighthouse

 

… let us enjoy activities like farmers markets, running errands, and taking walks together!

babywearing farmers market

babywearing walk

… provided endless snuggles and fun!

babywearing snuggles

babywearing fun

AND

… made our daily lives, activities, and experiences even better.

tandem babywearing

babywearing pool

babywearing museum

babywearing

Contact me, check out my services or learn more about me!

doula du nord

 

Happy Birthday Dr. Suess! Read Across America Day

For the past twenty years, books and reading have been celebrated on March 2, Dr. Suess’ birthday. Read Across America was created by the National Education Association to encourage all children to love reading, and what day could be more fitting than the birthday of a beloved children’s author? Dr. Suess’ books are cherished by many, both adults and children alike. Almost every adult you ask can name a Dr. Suess book, I’m sure!

How can you celebrate Dr. Suess birthday and Read Across America Day? Here are some ideas:

Read Dr. Suess books

Did you know that Dr. Suess wrote and published more than 60 books in his lifetime? That is a lot of books! These books include Green Eggs and Ham, The Cat in the Hat, and Oh, The Places You’ll Go! among many, many more. Do you have a favorite Dr. Suess book or memory? Let me know in the comments!

Watch a movie or TV show inspired by Dr. Suess

There are a number of films based on Dr. Suess books such as The Lorax, The Cat in the Hat, Horton Hears a Who, and of course the holiday favorite, How the Grinch Stole Christmas. There is also a show called The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That that my 3.5 year old loves that is available on Netflix or the PBS Kids video app.

Do a Dr. Suess craft or activity

Handprint One Fish Two Fish, Red Fish Blue fish craft
Print some Dr. Suess coloring pages
Make an ABC book
Make playdough Green Eggs and Ham
Mix up some oobleck to go along with Bartholomew and the Oobleck
Do a Truffula Tree color matching and fine motor skill activity
Make a game to match baby animals with their mothers for Are You My Mother?

Eat Dr. Suess themed snacks

One fish, two fish Goldfish crackers
Hop on Pop-corn
Strawberry banana skewers for Cat’s Hat
Truffula tree seeds with Skittles or colored cereal, such as Trix
Red and white striped pizza
Green Deviled eggs (add food coloring or avocado to the yolk mix)

Make learning fun

Practice stacking apples like Ten Apples Up On Top
Sort, count, graph and make patterns with colored Goldfish crackers
Talk about words that rhyme
Plant a tree!
Talk about size to go along with Horton Hears a Who – big, bigger, biggest or small, smaller, smallest
Dress up like your favorite Dr. Suess character
Get moving with Dr. Suess inspired Yoga

Most of all, have fun together! How are you celebrating Dr. Suess’ birthday or Read Across America day?

12 of the Best Snacks to Eat While Breastfeeding

If you’ve ever fed a baby from your breasts – whether that looked like exclusively breastfeeding, pumping, or a combination – you know that it makes you hungry. Really hungry. First, your body likely recently grew and birthed a human being. Maybe more than one! That is hard work and you did a great job. Now, your body is working hard to produce milk to feed that human being. No wonder you feel hungry all the time!

In order for you to feel your best and to create milk for your baby, you need to eat. And you need to eat well. Sometimes that can feel extremely difficult, but it’s so important! Many of the best breastfeeding snacks are ones that are easy to eat one handed and easy to keep stocked near where you will be pumping or breastfeeding.

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What Does an Antepartum Doula Do?

Have you heard of an antepartum doula, or a “pregnancy doula?”

Pregnancy can be tough for a multitude of reasons. Maybe the pregnant person has a young child at home, or are simply overwhelmed. Maybe they are the one in charge of handling everything during the pregnancy, or their partner/support person is away for some reason. Maybe they’re dealing with horrible morning sickness or other symptoms, or even suffering from hyperemesis gravidarum, HELLP syndrome, or preeclampsia. Maybe they’ve been placed on bed rest, are pregnant with multiples, or have a pregnancy-related illness/injury. No matter the reason, pregnancy can take its toll!

Fortunately, pregnant people who are dealing with a high-risk pregnancy or complications during pregnancy generally have their medical needs met, with lots of monitoring and support from their medical team. But there are many areas in which pregnant people in these situations don’t get extra help and support.

It can be hard for a pregnant person to relax when they are on bed rest, lacking support, or not feeling well – there are so many things to deal with that they need to learn to “let go.” What if they have another child to care for during their pregnancy? What if they’re doing it all alone? Maybe they’re struggling with their pregnancy not going how they had expected, or don’t have the best resources for their current situation. An antepartum doula can help take away some of this pressure and stress and make it easier for the pregnant person and their family to cope.

Emotionally, it can be difficult to deal with or “come to terms with” the fact that this pregnancy is possibly not going as expected, or is proving to be more difficult than imagined. Helping the pregnant person feel that they are supported and in control can greatly improve their experience with pregnancy, birth, and postpartum. Having a non-biased person who will listen to the highs and lows, celebrate the good days and offer support and encouragement on the difficult days, and talk through the fears and concerns that the pregnant person and their support person have can be incredibly helpful during this time.

Physically, and practically, antepartum doulas can make a huge difference in the pregnant person’s life, as well as their family’s. Small things that others might forget – running errands, taking care of the pets, lending a hand with other children, taking the trash out – are all tasks that the antepartum doula specializes in. Preparing freezer meals, organizing the nursery, helping to prepare a plan for birth and postpartum, and other similar tasks can help the pregnant person and their partners to relax and feel more in control. This can be especially important in high-risk pregnancies where the birthing person needs to stay in bed or control their stress levels.

Support is crucial in pregnancy, and especially in high-risk situations. An antepartum doula can provide specialized, non-biased support to families going through these situations during the pregnancy and beyond!

Contact me to learn more about the antepartum/pregnancy services I offer or view my services here.

Quotes for International Women’s Day

In honor of International Women’s Day, I put together a list of some of my favorite quotes that celebrate and empower women. As someone who supports women as they add to their families, as well as a mother, daughter, and friend, I believe we should celebrate and empower women everyday. I am thankful to know many incredible, strong, brave women who strive everyday to create equality for all. We have accomplished a lot but there is still much to be done.

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The Value of a Postpartum Doula

Basically everybody who has kids knows the value of having help in those first few months after bringing  baby home. Your family and friends love to come over and hold the baby or drop off a meal – but the first few weeks can feel like an endless whirlwind of visitors. Entertaining guests plus adjusting to life with a new little one can be draining and stressful! This is when you will be most thankful for your postpartum doula.

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Affirmations for a Positive, Powerful Birth

Birth is a time of intense feelings, both physical and emotional. There are big changes happening in your body as you prepare to welcome your baby into the world. It can feel overwhelming and scary, but having some positive sayings or mantras can help you to feel more prepared and confident. There are so many birth affirmations on Google and Pinterest, and I used Canva to create some of my own. Some women print them to display in the room while in labor, others read them as inspiration and motivation during their pregnancy. Having positive phrases that remind you of your strength and power will definitely help you stay positive!

Here are some of my favorite birth affirmations:

birth affirmations
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Oh Baby! Newborn Gift Guide

A newborn gift guide might seem kind of silly. I mean, what do they really need? They eat, sleep, and poop…right?  Although this is true, there are useful things that you can give to newborns – or at least their parents – to make everyone’s lives that much easier! This newborn gift guide will help you find what parents and babies REALLY want!

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Best Gifts to Buy for New Mamas (Or for Yourself!)

New mamas are dealing with a lot: feedings, recovery, sleep deprivation, and the wonder of their perfect new little one. You can make their days a bit brighter or easier with these products. They’re great for Mother’s Day, birthdays, the next baby shower you’re invited to, or holiday gift exchanges. Plus, they also make great treats to pamper yourself!

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