Your Village

  • I Love My Self, I’m Worth A Lot

    … Don’t say I’m not, you can’t see inside of me!

    Did you ever sing that song at school or camp? I remember singing that song everyday at Vacation Bible School as a kid. I can only remember that one line from the song but after a quick search on google, I learned that the song is called the Self Worth Song.


    The Self-Worth Song

    I’m proud, I’m strong, I’m ready for whatever comes along.

    I’ve got good friends, we’ll stick together till the end.

    I like myself! I’m worth a lot! I like myself! I’m worth a lot!

    And don’t you tell me that I’m not ‘cause you can’t see inside of me.


     

    The song is geared towards kids and apparently popular at summer camps across the United States. It’s great way to get them singing and chanting affirmations to build them up.

    I think as a new parent this song can be so empowering. Becoming a new mom and parenting a newborn baby can lead you to question every shred of self confidence you have within yourself. You will question if having a baby was the right choice, if you will ever sleep for more than 2 hours at a time again, if you are truly capable of being this baby’s parent, are you a bad parent for doing or not doing something. You will feel alone and isolated at times.

    When you start to feel really low like you can’t go on another second, sing or chant these words to yourself or loud and proud*.

    Internalize it. Know that the words are true and meaningful.

    You are strong, you are a good parent. You CAN handle whatever life and your new baby throw your way.

    You have a strong support network. You have people who love you and are ready to support you in whatever way you ask.  And just like they are there for you now, you will do the same for them when they are having a baby.

    You are worthy. You are worthy of love. From other but most importantly from yourself.

    And you don’t hear the words of anyone or anything making you question if you are worthy because they don’t know your story or your journey.

    *Of course there are some silly hand gestures to go along with the words but that’s totally up to you if you want to add that on.

    .Sources

    Shrooti, S., Mangala, S., Nirmala, P., Devkumari, S., & Dharanidhar, B. (2016). Perceived Maternal Role Competence among the Mothers Attending Immunization Clinics of Dharan, Nepal. International Journal of Community Based Nursing and Midwifery4(2), 100–106.

  • How to Find a Postpartum Doula Near You

    As a mother and a postpartum doula, I firmly believe that you and any woman giving birth deserves unbiased, practical postpartum support in the comfort of you home. And I’d be willing to bet that you and any birthing woman would agree.

    Unfortunately, it’s not so simple to just believe that every family should have access to a postpartum doula. You need to know what exactly a postpartum doula does and how to find them near you.

    Where does one even start when looking for a postpartum doula?

    Google Search:

    First you are going to do a google search for postpartum doulas in your city. My favorite search term is “postpartum doula in Bowie Maryland.” Just switch out my city and state for yours. Check the first 3 pages for doulas near your city and write down the information for any doulas that interest you.

    Ask Around:

    Now its time to get some personal referrals.

    Ask family or friends if they have worked with a doula or know anyone else who has.  This is a great way to get uncensored, real-talk, experiences about working with a postpartum doula.

    Ask your OB/GYN if they can recommend professional support for you based on your needs. Your OB/GYN may have more knowledge working with birth doulas who provide labor support but they should be able to point you in the right direction.

    Ask other providers who lead parenting classes, play groups, and provide breastfeeding support. Leaders of national groups like La Leche League and Moms of Multiples might also be able to help. These professionals usually have a large network or family related resources.

    Doula Directories:

    Now, that you’ve asked around and gotten ideas from friends, family and local professionals its time to take our search back to the internet. Online directories are a great way to find local doulas who are available around your due date or who have specializations like experience working with multiples or being LGBTQ friendly.

    Two of my favorite websites for finding local birth and postpartum professionals are:

    • SistaMidwife Productions, LLC.  – search for black midwives, doulas and other birth professionals by State
    • DoulaMatch.net – search for birth doulas, postpartum doulas and childbirth education by due date and zip code. You can also narrow down the search by specialization and other services offered.
    • There are also several other website that list doulas. Check them out here.

    Birth Networks:

    Another great place to find caring birth professionals are area birth networks like the Maryland Birth Network and the DC- based Birth Options Alliance.

    Social Media:

    Last but not least, we take our search to social media. Social media is a great way to find postpartum doulas that are active and to see how they interact with moms like you. Social media is also a great place to find reviews and feedback on a particular postpartum doula. To search for a postpartum doula near you, can try searching hashtags like #marylanddoula or #marylandpostpartumdoula but with your state  (or city) in place of mine

    • Facebook– Hit the search bar and try searching for phrases like “Maryland postpartum doula.” Narrow your search by selecting Pages or Places. There may be a lot to sift through but you can also read reviews to help weed out the doulas who may not be a good fit.
    • Instagram– Search Places and enter your city. Or try searching a hashtag like #marylandpostpartumdoula  but with your state in place of mine. When you find a postpartum doula you think you might connect with scroll through their feed to get a better feel for their style. Check to see if they are on any other social media platforms to get a broader sense of their service offerings.

    HOWTOFINDAPPD.png

    Finding a postpartum doula can be a confusing process. Keep your search focused by including your city and/ or state in your search terms. If you aren’t having much luck, try searching neighboring cities, your county or you closest metropolitan area.

    And if ALL else fails reach out to a postpartum doula like me and ask if they can help you find someone who works in your area.

  • 25 Things a Postpartum Doula Does

    By now, you may have heard about birth doulas and why you absolutely must have one at your birth. But do you know what a postpartum doula is? Some might argue that a postpartum doula is even more essential than a birth doula.

    But what exactly does a postpartum doula do?

    Really, it depends on your unique needs after giving birth. A first time mom bringing home her baby will have a very different set of needs than a mom bring home her 3rd or 4th baby.

    Your pregnancy and delivery will also determine what kind of help you need after giving birth. Moms who have preeclampsia or gestational diabetes may need closer monitoring following labor and delivery. Moms who had a cesarean or tearing may need extra help with cooking and chores so that they can stay off of their feet.

    Regardless of your needs a postpartum doula can help you in the following ways:

    1. Listen to and help you process your birth story.

    2. Talk through and help you process fears you might have surrounding your postpartum recovery.

    3. Recognize risks and signs of postpartum depression and make referrals for mental health support.

    4. Coach you on how to ask for and accept help. Help you find your voice to say “no” to support that is not aligned with your goals.

    5. Recognize normal physical recovery. Make referrals when necessary.

    6. Go with you to your postpartum check-up and hold your baby so you can get the most out of your visit.

    7. Go with you on your first outing with your baby so that you don’t feel overwhelmed or alone.

    8. Hold your baby so you can take a nap, a shower, a walk, read a book, journal or whatever self-care you need.

    9. Bring you food and drink so you can stay in bed with your baby.

    10. Help organize all of the baby stuff you have.

    11. Help set up a safe sleep space in your or your baby’s room.

    12. Help set up a breastfeeding space so you have all of your nursing essentials at your fingertips.

    13. Provide hands on breastfeeding help and education.

    14. Support your breastfeeding goals without judgment.

    15. Provide evidenced based education on other feeding methods like feeding your baby pumped milk or even using formula, if that is your choice.

    16.  Model how to hold, bathe, dress, swaddle and calm your baby so you can feel confident in your new skills.

    17. Help navigate through all of the baby gear to help you find what works for you and your family without the hassle.

    18. Show you how to wear your baby for even closer snuggles and skin to skin bonding.

    19. Process your placenta for alternative healing, at your request.

    20. Help with some household chores so you can focus on your recovery, breastfeeding and bonding.

    21. Run errands for you so that you can rest and recover.

    22. Pick up groceries so you can focus on your baby.

    23. Prepare freezer meals or prep veggies and fruits for nourishing meals and snacks that support postpartum recovery.

    24. Show you how to wrap your postpartum belly for extra support as your body adjusts to not being pregnant.

    25. Work with dad, grandparents and other caregivers to strengthen your baby’s village.

    Now, don’t you agree that everyone becoming a new parent deserves THAT level of care and support after bring their new baby home?

    Postpartum doulas are an amazing addition to a new mom’s support network.Now that you know just some of the things a postpartum doula can do its time to think about how a postpartum doula can benefit you specifically.

    A great place to start is to think about 2 or 3 of the biggest struggles you anticipate facing after birth. Jot down your answers on this free worksheet. You can use it later on to start a postpartum plan or as a guide when interviewing postpartum doulas.

    Next, think about 2 or 3 (or more!) people in your current village that you can count on to support you through each struggle.

    Third, write how they can specifically help you face this challenge.

    Do you have enough coverage? You may or may not. But the reality is postpartum is more than 2 or 3 issues that arise and then go away. You are constantly experimenting and adapting to your baby.

    The early days after your baby is born might seem great but you will also be vulnerable, raw and evolving.

    Think about somethings you feel you might need help with but not feel so comfortable asking a family member or friend to do.

    If you are not so sure about who you can rely on, it may be time to consider broadening your postpartum support network. Luckily, there are lots of caring professionals ready to help you out in real, practical ways after giving birth. You deserve it!

    25thingsappddoes

  • The January Tea | Newsletter

    January 2018

    Hey, 2018, hey!

    I hope you are having the best new year yet! If you are like me you are low key VERY excited for 2018. I just have a feeling that  this year is going to be a stellar one.

    .WHAT’S NEW WITH THE PRIMA DOULA

    As the holiday season winds down and we say hello to 2018, this is the perfect time to set new intentions and make changes in our lives. I have many goals myself, both professionally and personally and one of them is to stay connected.

    I want to stay connected with you so that I can better serve you and other families like yours.

    Let’s stay in touch!

    Let me know what you need from me as a postpartum doula

    • Tell me about your new goals as a mom or dad

    • Follow me on social media @theprimadoula. I’ll follow you back!

    • Share your moment of #postpartumrealness

    Leave review of your experience working with me

    .NEW SERVICES

    This year, I will be adding several new services to support you after you give birth. I will still be providing in home postpartum care but now I will also offer the following services:

    Mother Blessing Ceremony Planning and Facilitation

    Postpartum Belly Wrapping

    Prenatal Belly Casting

    You might also notice that I have streamlined my services by creating Postpartum Care Packages. These packages combine doula care with Planning and Pampering services to provide wrap around care that meets all of your needs.

    Check them out below:

    .JANUARY AVAILABILITY

    janavail

     

    .FREE CLASSES

    janclassschedule

    REGISTER HERE

    .LEAVE SOME LOVE

    Have you worked with Prima Postpartum Services in the past?

    Did you love it or not so much?

    Either way, I want to hear about it!

    Share your experience and give feedback so that I can better serve families like yours.

    CLICK HERE TO SHARE YOUR FEEDBACK

    .ONE MORE THING

    Do you know any Maryland or Washington DC area families expecting a new baby in 2018?

    Will you do me and them a favor and forward this email along to them?

    I want to provide 5 hours of doula care FREE and I know you can help connect me to families and new moms who need some extra support.

    Thank you so much for your support and I hope this year is your best one yet!

    emailsignature

  • What’s a Doula? And Other Types of Postpartum Support

    As a new parent it is easy to quickly feel overwhelmed and exhausted.

    If you don’t have help from family or friends or you don’t feel supported by them, challenges can seem much harder to overcome. Luckily, there are many types of postpartum support professionals available to help you and your family.

    Postpartum professionals provide services that focus on mom and/ or baby in the days, weeks, months and even years after giving birth.

    The main types of providers include a Baby Nurse or Newborn Care Specialist, a Nanny and a Postpartum Doula. The difference lies in more than just the name, however. Although all of the professionals do provide support after baby is born, they all have completely different responsibilities and goals when it comes to caring for mom and baby. Understand these will help you choose the professional that is perfect for your family.

    Baby Nurse/ Newborn Care Specialist – Responsibilities include only the needs of the baby. A “baby nurse” in most states must be a Registered Nurse. Newborn Care Specialists will have specialized training in newborn needs and care. This professional may be experience in sleep training and putting baby on a feeding or sleeping schedule. This professional will also be very knowledgeable in normal newborn appearance and behavior. Perfect for moms who want quality care for baby so they can get some sleep.

    Nanny – Generally, an employee of the family in that they may complete tasks asked of them. This professional may have specialize training in caring for children newborn to school-age. Responsibilities include care of baby and/or other children in addition to some household chores such as meal prep and light cleaning. Perfect for non-first time moms who need extra support with older children.

    Postpartum Doula – Responsibilities include supporting postpartum recovery for both mom and family. A postpartum doula will have experience working with postpartum moms and will have specialized training in normal postpartum recovery, providing emotional and practical support, newborn care education and breastfeeding support. A postpartum doula may prepare nourishing food and drink for mom. complete light household tasks, accompany mom out of the house for the first time with baby or simply keep and eye on baby so mom can shower.  Perfect for first-time moms, moms who need breastfeeding support, and moms with little to no family support.

    Now these are just general descriptions of what each type of care provider entails. Remember that each care provider is also an individual and has a unique journey. When interviewing care providers ask about their education and experience. Ask about their philosophy on birth and postpartum and decide if their response resonates with you. Go with your gut when it come to choosing a care provider, this person will be in your home and will become like family.