Maryland

  • What They Don’t Tell You When You’re Pregnant…

    I don’t know who needs to hear this but…

    You deserve to thrive postpartum.

    Yup, I said it. And I wholeheartedly believe it. And you should too.

    I really mean it though. You should believe this deep down at the core of your being. Let me elaborate.

    You have spent so much time preparing your body and mind for pregnancy and birth.

    Changing your diet and excersizing more

    Reading all of the books and blogs and creating a birth plan

    Curating a registry and preparing baby’s nursery

    Celebrating with friends and family at your gender reveal and baby shower…

    All so that your baby gets the very best from the start.

    But I have to remind you of one thing. I have to let you in on something that many pregnant women overlook.

    I’m sure your birthing books and pregnancy classes have mentioned it.

    And other mothers speak about it in hushed tones with looks of pity or shame in their eyes.

    I have to tell you about this one huge thing that many new moms just like you say they feel unprepared for.

    They wonder “why didnt anyone tell me?”

    They wish they had done things differently earlier on. That they had done more to prepare.

    But I dont want you to think like them.

    I want you to know the whole truth BEFORE you give birth. So that you can truly prepare your mind.

    The truth that exsists no matter how you birth your baby. Whether you have a vaginal birth or a cesarean birth. Whether you have a birth with little or lots of complications. Whether this is your first or fifth birth. Whether you are planning a home, birth center or hospital birth. Whether you chose to hire an OB, midwife or choose to birth unassited.

    No matter how your birth story unfolds. There is one truth that exsists after you cross the threshold from maiden to mother.

    That one basic truth is that you deserve to thrive postpartum.

    Pregnancy and birth are just the beginning of the journey. Postpartum is when the real work of motherhood begins.

    You deserve a thriving postpartum.

    You deserve to rest and recovery after you give birth.

    You deserve judgement free support that allows you the time and space to recover from pregnancy and birth. You also deserve this time and space as you learn to care for and bond with your baby.

    Despite what some might say or think, it is possible to do more than just survive postpartum. Take the time to prepare for this time while you are pregnant and take the fear out of postpartum. Embrace a thriving postpartum mindset and take charge of your journey to motherhood. There will be so many unknowns, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t stay ready.

    With a thriving postpartum mindset you will:

    Get a strong start towards your infant feeding goals

    Learn and bond with your baby with ease

    Maximize the growth and changes in your brain

    Strengthen your momfidence (mom confidence)

    Discover the new version of yourself and level up with ease

    Discover and embrace your new identity as a mother

    Stay connected with your partner

    Strengthen communication and intimacy

    Find and embrace your village of support

    Process your birth story and let go of birth trauma

    Reduce complications as you recover from pregnancy and birth

    Make time for self care

    Get as much restorative sleep as possible

    Let go of fears of postpartum depression

    With a thriving postpartum mindset your baby will get the very best YOU from the start.

    I know its a lot to take in but I know you can handle it. If you start planning now while you are pregnant, you will feel ready and confident with a toolbelt of resources at your fingertips.

    Don’t be that mom that vows to do things differently next time around. Do what you feel you need to do THIS time so that you have the best postpartum possible.

    And if you’re not sure where to start, contact me and I’ll be happy to help.

    Plan Ahead For A Thriving Postpartum
  • Try Focusing on Postpartum|Black Maternal Health Week 2019

    If you are a black woman like me, you might be scared as hell to have a baby in the United States. If you haven’t read the statistics, yet, let these paint a picture for you:

    Black women are three to four times more likely to experience a pregnancy-related death than white women (Creanga, Syverson, Seek, Callaghan,2017).

    Black women are more likely to experience preventable maternal death compared with white women.

    Black women’s heightened risk of pregnancy-related death spans income and education levels.

    Yeah. Not looking so great for black women, regardless of how wealthy or educated we might be.

    These stats are definitely scary, but I also want to assure you that while the statistics surrounding black maternal deaths are very real, they are not the norm.

    But something has to change. And fast. We cannot risk losing one more mother. We can not risk one more black mother dying during or after childbirth. #notonmywatch

    The Black Mamas Matter Alliance created Black Maternal Health Week to bring together those working to raise awareness and change to the current situation of birthing for black women in the United States.

    This year they are calling for us to decolonize the research and data and push for policies that are meaningful to Black maternal health. They are making space for deeper conversations on how to make actual change on a higher level. And pushing for more support of black voices in research surrounding maternal health.

    But what can you do as a black mother in the thick of your pregnancy or postpartum. Here are three ways you an hold space for yourself (and any others mothers you know and love) today and everyday.

    RESPECT THE ENTIRE JOURNEY

    We’ve seen an increased focus on prenatal care and improving birth outcomes. But maternal health does not start or end with birth. Maternal related health issues can start during pregnancy and last well into the first year postpartum (and even beyond!)

    You had a gender reveal, pregnancy photography and a lovely baby shower. Keep that same energy after baby is born. Rally your family and friends for support after giving birth. Be intentional and prioritize your physical recovery, emotional adjustments and caring for yourself and baby. And also celebrate this transformative journey you are on!

    HOLD YOUR CARE PROVIDER ACCOUNTABLE

    As I said before there is a lot of focus on improving prenatal care and birth experiences. But what about after your baby is born? Is one check-up, 6 or 8 weeks later going to be enough for you?

    The current state of medical postpartum care is pretty minimal. But changes are coming. The ACOG recently put out new guidelines redefining postpartum care, however many are slow to embrace and implement the changes. Know what kind of postpartum care that you deserve and demand it.

    Listen to your intuition and get a second opinion if you feel unsatisfied with the first. You are not at the mercy of your care provider, they are here to serve you.

    KNOW THAT YOU DON’T ALWAYS HAVE TO BE STRONG

    Black women are revered for their strength, perseverance and ability to somehow get it all done, even when we’re doing it on our own. I want you take that “strong black woman” cape off for a moment and really understand these three things:

    It is ok to be scared or feel vulnerable with all of the new things you are experiencing

    it is ok to take the time you need to rest and recover after birth. You deserve it.

    it is ok to ask for and accept help from family, friends, professionals and your community…

    …especially during pregnancy and postpartum when you are literally pushed to your limits.

    You have the strength of your ancestors who endured so much behind you. They lived through hell in hopes of changing the future for future generations. They suffered so that you wouldn’t have to.

    Honor their journey and your own journey but doing things they couldn’t do while pregnant or postpartum.

    Rest.

    Be vulnerable.

    Be selective with your care provider.

    Call on community.

    Because the truth is, even though we did not create this system or situation, we cannot afford to wait for someone to come save us. We must save our selves.

    Reference

    Creanga, A.A., Syverson, C., Seek, K., & Callaghan, W.M. (2017). Pregnancy-Related Mortality in the United States, 2011-2013. Obstetrics & Gynecology, 130(2), 366-373. Retrieved 4 April 2018

  • 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

  • 9 Fun October Activities Near Bowie, Maryland

    It’s officially fall!! Calendars read October, everything is dusted in pumpkin spice and kids are antsy to go in a hay ride.

    Here are 9 Bowie area activities that are perfect for getting the family out of the house and exploring our beautiful state:

    9fallfun

    1. Montpelier Farms – Upper Marlboro, Md – Enjoy pumpkin picking, hay rides, a corn maze, and more Fridays- Sundays through November 2, 2017

    2. Macaroni Kid Bowie Trick or Treat and Movie Event at Waugh Chapel Town Center – 10/27 5:00 pm, Movie starts at 6:30 pm

    3. Great Jack O’ Lantern CampfireOct. 21, 2017. Display of hand-carved pumpkins, hunt for glowing Jack O’ Lanterns, hot cider, haunted Halloween tales and more. Free. 7-8:30pm. Darnall’s Chance House Museum, Upper Marlboro.

    4. Flick or TreatOct. 28, 2017. Outdoor family-friendly spooky movie night and light snacks (while supplies last). $5; ages 12 and under $2. 7pm. Riversdale House Museum, Riverdale Park. 301-864-0420

    5. Queen Anne FarmThrough Oct. 31, 2017. Pumpkin patch, maze, hay ride, animals and more. 18102 Central Ave, Mitchellville. 301-249-2427

    6. Patuxent Wildlife FestivalOct. 21, 2017. Live animals, children’s crafts, tram tours and more. Free. 10am-3pm. National Wildlife Visitor Center, Laurel.

    7. 9th Annual American Indian FestivalOct. 21, 2017. Celebrate the cultures of Native Americans featuring live performances of traditional and contemporary music, dancing, drumming, singing, and storytelling and more. Free. 10am-4pm. Patuxent River Park, Upper Marlboro.

    8. Farm FestOct. 28, 2017. Family-oriented, charitable Western event involves cowboys, cowgirls and their horses coming together and performing routines and stunts to show support for worthy causes. Local performers, vendors, pony rides, and more. 10am-7pm. Free. The Show Place Arena, Upper Marlboro. 301-952-7900,

    9. Family Fall Festival – October 28, 12 pm – 2 pm. Join Waugh Chapel Towne Centre on S. Main Chapel Way for our annual Family Fall Festival.

    This is just a handful of actives in the Bowie, Maryland area. Check out Annapolis, Baltimore and Washington D.C. if you want to explore a little further.

    Did I miss a local event? Let me know about it in the comments!

  • Breastfeeding Basics: Create a Cozy Nursing Nook

    One of the easiest ways to support and enhance your breastfeeding experience is to keep the oxytocin flowing. Create a cozy, comfy space in your home designated for nursing. I like to call mine the nursing nook. Make sure you pick a location that you won’t mind spending 7-9 hours of your day in for the next 6 months.

    breastfeedingnookblog

    1. Seating – you’ll need the seating of your choice keeping in mind that it will need to encourage good posture to support you while nursing. Rocking chairs, armchairs, sofa and couches are all good options. A footstool or something that mom can prop her feet up on will really support optimal posture while breastfeeding.

    2. Pillows – Nursing pillows are very popular and convenient. There are different designs available that are shaped specifically to make supporting baby or babies while nursing without putting strain on moms neck, back and arms. However, a nursing pillow isn’t absolutely necessary. 3 or 4 “bed” pillows that can be folded, smooshed and washed (pee, poop, puke happens a lot) can do the trick to help lift  and support baby at the breast . You might also find you want an extra pillow there to support your knees or arms.

    3. End Table – Something with more than 1 shelf will work best but if 1 shelf is all you have available then 1 shelf is all you need. This is where you will keep books/magazines/ iPad/iPhone/ the remote/ your choice of entertainment. After days spent staring at your tiny offspring in amazement you will eventually need some entertainment to keep you away.

    4. Baby Log – You might want to use an app or you can use a clock, timer and physical log (or both), but it is a great idea to start and keep a log of your baby’s feedings and wet or soiled diapers. This log can be as detailed or general as you like but some basics to keep track of are start and end time of each feeding on each breast, and how many wet and soiled diapers your baby has each day. This can help to reassure a new mom that her baby is feeding enough and can help a pediatrician, midwife or lactation consultant  should any issue arise.

    5. Supplies and Snack–  bottled water, baby-safe hand sanitizer, nursing pads (cloth or disposable), coconut oil or nipple cream , cloth diapers/burp cloths and paper towels are all good items to stock your nursing nook. A sectioned basket can wrangle all of these items without easily becoming disorganized. Diapers and wipes may or may not be stored here as well. Don’t forget your non-perishable snacks such as nuts and dried fruit in stock.

    Tip: Keep your breastfeeding routine flexible by keeping all of your supplies in a basket, box or caddy that can be moved if needed.

    Although breastfeeding is proven to be natural and optimal for newborn mothers and babies, it  can certainly come with lots of challenges. By creating a routine that works for you, you can increase your chances of success.

  • Maryland Postpartum Doula

    Attention DMV Mommies!!!

    As a Postpartum Doula working towards certification, I am looking to provide complimentary services to new mothers in Maryland:

    I am looking for 2 mothers under age 20 to provide 16 hours of postpartum care FREE of charge (that’s 4 postpartum visits or a $192 value )

    I am looking for 2 mothers who are pregnant to provide 8 hours of postpartum care (2  postpartum visits – $96 value)

    I am looking for 4 new mothers to provide 8 hours of services FREE of charge (2 postpartum visits – $96 value)

    You must live in Prince George’s County, Maryland, be willing to complete a Postpartum Doula Evaluation form and pay a security deposit of $50 which will be refunded upon commencement of services.

     

  • What is a Postpartum Doula?

    what is a postpartum doulaA Postpartum Doula provides non- medical, mother focused support following the birth of a baby.  This support typically includes emotional and practical support that will help ease a woman’s transition to mothering. The doula serves the mother with reverence by holding the postpartum space and nurturing mama-baby and family as they adjust to a new normal.

    A Postpartum Doula assists the new mother physically, offering non-medical solutions for normal postpartum recovery, some doulas even make their own herbal remedies and use essential oils for healing.

    A Postpartum Doula supports mama-baby feeding, sharing her knowledge of breastfeeding and other methods of feeding. She can also connect you to other lactation services such as support groups and lactation professionals.

    A Postpartum Doula mothers the new mother, keeping the home while mama-baby bond and learn the dance of breastfeeding. She may provide household tasks such as light cleaning, assistance preparing a safe space for baby, grocery shopping, meal prep, mama and baby’s laundry.

    A Postpartum Doula also supports mama emotionally as she processes her birth and adjusts to the changes as she transforms into a confident mother. This can include talking about mama’s birth story (many times!) or just being a listening ear for her to share her triumphs, joys, challenges and disappointments. This could also be watching baby so mama can nap, shower or do something that is nurturing just for her, or watching older children to mama-baby can have some quiet bonding time. A Postpartum Doula may also accompany mama-baby as they make their first trips out of the home to doctor’s appointments, running errands or just taking a walk around the block.

    A Postpartum Doula is always listening and observing. She is there holding mama’s hand as she takes her first steps into motherhood. She is always educating, supporting, praising, empowering. She is also a great source of referral. She knows what a normal postpartum mama and baby look like and knows when to refer mama to the appropriate resources if there are signs of postpartum depression.

    Of course, this is only a basic description of a what a postpartum doula does. Each woman who chooses to serve women in this capacity brings her own unique talents to this nurturing profession. One this is for sure, the doula is there to support and empower the mother in order to make her matrescence as blissful as possible.