Much like doctors and therapists, doulas have a scope of practice that needs to be respected in order to keep all clients safe and happy. Unfortunately, the doula field isn’t quite regulated yet to find out if a doula is acting as a professional or not. This causes much of the population to be confused about what a doula actually does, and often gets us confused with midwives.
When doulas don’t act in scope, it can be dangerous for all parties involved. A doula acting in scope always has a great list of referrals for things that are not quite within our reach, and we at the NY Baby Co. are always happy to give that to you! But how would you know if a doula is acting in scope or not? Today, we want to give you a straightforward look at exactly what is in scope and out of scope for a doula.
A doula acting in scope always…
A doula acting out of scope will…
We highly encourage all who are looking into hiring a doula to check and double check to make sure the doula they are hiring is a professional acting in scope, as all families deserve the BEST, and we want you to have the tools to get there. We assure you that NY Baby Co. is solely comprised of nonjudgmental, professional doulas who always act in scope. Give us a call today at 518-712-9767 to find out more information or set up a consultation!
What is it that makes us so ravenous post baby? Maybe it’s the extra calories we need for breastfeeding. Maybe it’s the sleep deprivation lowering our energy and causing us to crave carbs. Maybe it’s that caring for a baby doesn’t leave us much time to sit down and we often wait until we are starving to eat!
No matter what the reason, we can all admit that caring for a baby is exhausting! Today on the blog, we have compiled a list of quick grab and go snacks you can keep in the fridge while caring for baby to get you the macros you need to get yourself through the day!
Does it still feel impossible to have snacks on the go? Do you feel a little like you’re drowning as far as staying on top of your own self nourishment? Give us a call at 518-712-9767 so we can talk about scheduling a shift where a postpartum doula can custom prep your snacks just for you!
Oftentimes, when talking about labor we recognize the norm of a long labor. But we don’t always realize that there is another situation in which a baby comes quickly. This instance is known as precipitous birth.
Precipitous birth is defined as the birth of a baby within three to five hours (or less) from the start of contractions. While this may sound like a dream birth to some, it can often be quite terrifying, as contractions are usually more intense and efficient and many parents do not make it to the hospital in time. It is also a difficult time for processing, as parents often can’t make sense of what happened and go into a state of shock, prolonging recovery and affecting emotional well being.
This also calls into question whether or not your doula may make it to you. While it doesn’t happen often, sometimes we do not make it in time for a precipitous birth, as we do require a two-hour window to get to the client from the time we are called to their birth.
What happens if my doula doesn’t make it?
If your doula does not arrive to you in time for the birth of your baby, it can be unsettling, but rest assured there is still a lot we can do for you. Here are a few:
While there isn’t really anything a doula can do to lessen the possibility of this outcome, it is best to let your doula know if you have experienced precipitous birth in the past, so that we can prepare for the possibility. This is also why we encourage communication with us anytime there is a development or change, so we can talk about what time would be best to come and support you. The bottom line is, with precipitous birth, unpredictability can often take over, but no matter how it turns out, we are here to support you and process with you however you need.
A day in the life of a postpartum doula…
We are often lumped in with nannies or cleaning services, but the support we give extends far beyond that, as does our training. We support families during the first year, and even sometimes more than that! It all depends on each family’s individual needs.
Our day starts as soon as we walk into your house. YOU are our first priority. What are the immediate needs? Have you had breakfast? Do you need to rest? Are you feeding your baby okay, or do you need some gentle assistance and guidance? Oftentimes, clients greet us with a list of things they want us to take care of, as soon as we walk in the door, and we gladly check everything off! But the bottom line is, postpartum support never has a wrong appearance…we are there to support the needs of our clients, and these needs change minute to minute.
As we tackle items on the list, they may include light meal prep, doing dishes, storing breast milk, organizing toys, doing laundry or even running errands. Oftentimes while doing things around the house we are followed by curious older siblings, who are looking for someone to talk to them and pay attention to them, and this is one of the parts of our job we love to do!
Sometimes, we may feed baby or put baby to sleep. Many parents want us only to tend to baby as their main goal is rest. Sometimes, we even wear baby (with gear provided by the clients) while accomplishing chores on the list. We are the ultimate multitaskers.
We also make it a goal to sit talk with the parents while we are in the home. We find out how postpartum life is going, and gauge if there may be anything going on in the house that could benefit from resources or referrals. There are many experts in the area we network with if a situation is out of our scope of practice. However, a huge part of having a newborn can often be isolation, so sometimes our job is simply keeping parents company. Often times this can include talking about birth stories, validating a decision a parent is unsure about or knowing when a recovery related issue may need to be assessed by a care provider.
In addition to daytime shifts, postpartum doulas are commonly being hired for night shifts. While chores don’t usually get done during this time, it can be helpful to give parents a full night’s rest without worrying. Babies are able to be cared for in the manner that the parents wish, and we are trained to tend to all philosophies. Oftentimes, we come in to get babies on a schedule, but we are also trained to soothe babies back to sleep and work with their unique schedules. In the instance of breastfeeding moms who don’t wish to pump, we can even bring baby in to nurse, and then leave the room, saving mom the added stress of putting baby back to sleep after the feeding. If timing allows, we may even be able to prepare coffee or breakfast in the morning before we slip out the door!
Does this sound like a dream in the making? Call the NY Baby Co. at 518-712-9767 today to request more information or request a consultation for postpartum care.
Do doulas affect birth outcomes?
Our short answer is NO, but hear us out!
For years, newspapers and blogs have broadcasted that hiring a doula can make you less likely to require pain medication, lower your chance of a cesarean birth and lower your risk of postpartum depression. We don’t want to negate anyone’s experiences, but we want to make it clear that doulas do not have anything to do with outcomes.
While it is our goal to support our clients while helping them to the birth they want, we do recognize that there are road bumps that can derail this from happening, and our main goal is to make sure that our client is aware of the process, supported and as comfortable as possible.
There are so many factors
The truth is, one human being, even with sufficient training, cannot affect a birth outcome. Perhaps the support we provided did help a client hang on a little longer before getting pain medication, and it is highly possible that our presence may have lessened the stress of being a postpartum parent, and prevented a client from feeling depressed. However, a doula is not a guarantee to make sure these things don’t happen, and even if these things do happen, we are trained and have a huge desire to support our clients!
In fact, sometimes our clients want these things to happen. Many of our clients go into their births knowing that they want pain medication or have planned a cesarean. We don’t affect outcomes here, because we support ALL of our clients’ choices without question. Our clients will always have the last word and the final decision, along with their provider when it comes to their birth.
Sometimes special situations, variations of normal and risk factors arise that make certain outcomes not possible. We aren’t trained to change that outcome…no one can! We are however trained to support every family through whatever turns their birthing and postpartum periods may take.
We specialize in ALL outcomes
Much like we can’t control the weather, we can’t control the road bumps that arise in the birth and postpartum period…every experience is different! We are trained to understand that and work with any outcome!
The NY Baby Co. does not keep track of our clients’ birth outcomes. This is because support is our main goal and we believe that every client’s birth outcome is worthy of support. No matter what outcome a client finds themselves in, we will always be ready to hear, attune and validate. We will always stand behind the fact that we give 100% to all of our clients, regardless of outcome.
Are you finding it difficult to get your needs met as a parent? You are absolutely not alone! This is a common part of parenting, and especially for those who are not so willing to admit they need help in a society where do-it- yourself is still in (Why is that, anyway?) it can be a hard thing to put into words exactly what you need when someone asks you if you need help.
“Just let me know if I can help with anything.”
When our friends offer this phrase, we should absolutely accept their offer! Sometimes, people don’t know exactly how to help, and are looking for any way. Verbalizing our needs can be helpful to make sure people are truly helping us in the way we need. While it can be hard, as their offer is such a blanket statement, we highly encourage you to accept! Today, we have compiled a list of things to ask for help with, so you don’t have to think about it.
Of course, this is just our list, and if there’s anything else that you think to add, by all means, do it! And when your postpartum doula is over for a shift, rest assured that they will find plenty to add without you even having to say a word, thanks to good old attunement.
Ugh…we said it! The dirty M word. The thing no mother ever wants to experience.
Reality check? Mastitis does happen to breastfeeding moms, and is most common during the first month of breastfeeding, but can happen at any time during the breastfeeding journey. The two main causes of mastitis are clogged ducts and bacteria entering the breast due to cracks and cuts.
What are the Symptoms of Mastitis?
It is typical that the flu-like symptoms will come on first, and then the actual breast symptoms will follow. However, mastitis makes it very difficult to care for a baby, so it is best to call your provider, as antibiotics are often necessary. There are many antibiotics that will be safe to take while breastfeeding, and there is no need to stop breastfeeding during mastitis, as it actually will help in your recovery. Eating more cultured yogurt or drinking kombucha while on the antibiotics will be a great way to prevent thrush, a yeast infection of the nipple or breast.
Ways to Prevent Mastitis
Upon recovery from mastitis, you may notice that baby is fussier at the breast. This can be due to antibiotics, but can also be because milk supply can lower at first, as the infection is healing and clogs are opening back up again. Continued nursing should allow this to be overcome in no time. If there are any further concerns, a call to your provider or an IBCLC is suggested.
A day in the life of a labor doula…it’s so far beyond hip squeezes and water fetching!
It’s not always a day. Sometimes it’s a night. Sometimes it’s our anniversary, or a child’s birthday. We have to say no to faraway trips, or drinks with friends. We never know when we are going to get that call, but we are always prepared for it.
Then, that day comes…and it’s not always a day. Sometimes it’s midnight, thirty minutes after we fell asleep for the night, when a client decides they need us sooner than they thought. Regardless, we are prepared. We grab our packed bag and grab five dollars for Starbucks…the little things fuel us during a long process!
We get into our car and feel thankful the big snow storm held off. We rejoice finding a parking spot, and pace ourselves as we walk into the hospital ready to go, regardless of what was going on in our lives. The pause button is hit on our family as we prepare to support yours, and we wouldn’t have it any other way as you deserve our complete energy and commitment.
We don’t know what we are going to find behind the door of that labor and delivery room, but we are prepared. Sometimes, parents appear calm and ready. Sometimes, we are walking into a situation that was not ideal for the client. Sometimes, we walk into chaos. We attune and adjust, with our hands and our hearts.
Sometimes the work is easy and flawless. Sometimes it is difficult. Every birth is different and support looks different for everyone. Sometimes, it’s being the presence to tell a father he can go to the cafeteria and recharge with food and rest. Sometimes, it’s just sitting in the room and holding space while a client gets rest after a long awaited epidural. Sometimes, we are face to face with a client who swears they can’t do this, encouraging them that they are doing it and they will do it. Sometimes, we are sitting with a client whose birth plan has become completely derailed, supporting them and talking to them as they cry for their baby, who is in the NICU, knowing that while we can’t bring their baby, we can stay with them so they aren’t alone.
When it is mutually decided that the family has settled in after the birth and is ready to bond alone, we leave the hospital. We have seen huge things, we have witnessed life, and supported all the people involved. We take the situation, put it in our bag along with everything else, and walk out into our car. Slowly, the things we need to do with our family come flooding back, but first, we look at our needs. Sometimes we have only spent two hours at the hospital, but sometimes we have spent twenty-four.
We may stop at our favorite sushi place on the way home, as a well deserved treat. We walk in the door to our two energetic children who have been waiting for us to come home, so excited to play with us and show us their new game. We sit down with them for a good twenty minutes, and then our partner turns to us and urges us to go eat and rest. It’s then in our room that we process. We may call a fellow doula to rejoice, cry on a partner’s shoulder or just take some deep breaths as we add another job well done to our journey of supporting clients, and prepare to receive the next call…
Today on the blog, we are indulging in the celebrity world as we take an imaginary babymoon over to the United Kingdom and visit the Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton. Kate has earned a lot of media attention from the very start, but has also been a fabulous role model for her family, keeping their lives as normal as possible throughout all the hype, and we can all respect her for that!
Kate recently gave birth to her third child, a boy named Louis, on the 26 th of April. As usual she met us on the front steps of the Lindo wing to dazzle and charm us. A lot of jaws dropped and criticisms spewed as the duchess stood in high heels and perfect hair and makeup only seven hours after giving birth. While this isn’t completely realistic, as not all of us have our own hair and makeup crew, the duchess has been a fabulous icon for new parents.
Kate Middleton is our definition of a fierce parent. She has chosen the same care providers for each birth she has had, as she knows what she wants and can trust in the team she has if a birth does not go quite as planned. She respects tradition, but still has no problem setting boundaries so her family can have a normal life. She also makes decisions as they are right for her family without care for anyone else’s thoughts, and we even read lately that she recycled her daughter’s old baby outfit for Prince Louis' first official photos. We also cheer her on for seemingly having so much support in her life and seemingly having such a grasp on the needs of her and her family. Way to go, Kate!
However, the duchess doesn’t seemingly have the perfect fairytale story. The media loves to portray things in a way that grab our attention, and we know that this past pregnancy the news came out a little earlier than the duchess wanted due to her severe morning sickness, also known as hyperemesis gravidarum. While we deeply feel for Kate, as we know this condition is never easy, it is a display to us of her humanness. No matter who we are looking at, every parent struggles along the way, and even in the light of the media, Kate handled her struggles with grace and overcame them. As doulas, we can understand the recognition this deserves, as we pride ourselves on getting to play the part of the
support person and watch parents do this every day.
And so our message today to our readers and parents out there is this: While we can’t grant you the title of duchess or duke, we hope you can knight yourself with the support you deserve and march to the beat that is right for you and your baby, just like one of our favorite parenting icons!
It's everywhere these days. No matter what we do in our lives, we are bound to be judged. Sometimes the judgment is blatant criticism. Other times it's a passive aggressive "Well I personally wouldn't ____ because ______." But no matter what, there is almost no denying that parents are one of the most common victims to judgment nowadays.
Breast-feeding, bottle-feeding, medicated birth, unmedicated birth, whether to circumcise or not, whether to let baby make their own schedule or sleep train. As if it isn't hard enough to come up with a decision we feel comfortable with, we now have the added layer of worrying about what other people are going to say.
We hate judgment....it feels downright awful to be judged. Why is this? Because when another person judges us, it causes us to feel isolated. As human beings, we crave support and acceptance. However, sometimes we may also catch ourselves easily judging others. Sometimes we really do mean well, and it just comes out the wrong way. But that doesn't excuse it, and becoming nonjudgmental is something we can all strive to do in our everyday lives. This is important because when we free ourselves of judging others, we also open up space for people to come in who will respect us and not judge in return.
So how do we go about this? Here are four fool-proof steps to make your life a little more positive!
Stop using the word "should."
It seems like such a harmless word, right? But the truth is, when we tell someone what they should do, we are isolating one decision as better than the rest. We are asserting ourselves as more capable and knowledgeable, and in turn, telling people what to do with their lives. If a friend asks for some advice, by all means, throw out some options, but the word "should" immediately locks the other person into the judgment dungeon, and none of us wants to be there!
Acknowledge your inner judgment demon.
Have you ever caught yourself offering someone nonjudgmental support and being kind, but then going home and venting to another person because the voice in your head tells you that their decision is just wrong? It's totally okay! The judgment demon is a powerful one. It is so important to become aware of this demon. You may never be able to get rid of this inner voice, but being able to label your inner thoughts as judgments will often help them stay on the inside, which is where we want them to remain.
Realize that every life is different.
So you've become aware of your judgment demon. The next step? Evict that tenant! He's taking up space in your head and not paying rent. When we become aware that our thoughts are in fact judgments, we can dismiss them very easily. When we see the need for someone doing something differently than us, and develop empathy, it can often be helpful in realizing that sometimes other lifestyles just call for different choices. We then realize, that others aren't making decisions to hurt themselves, they are simply doing what was best for them at that given time in their lives. After thinking about it, we can realize that people don't want to do things that are "wrong." It is all about perception, and especially as parents, we should never have to justify why we do what we do.
Free yourself out of the bubble.
After you have accomplished these first three steps, you will come to realize that it actually feels nice to not judge anyone. You can use that space in your brain to think about something else. The amount of friends that can be made is endless, because suddenly, what others do with their lives doesn't matter quite as much as what kind of people they are and how they make you feel. The judgment bubble is a difficult one to burst out of, but those of us in recovery, have not looked back. The world is so much brighter on the outside, where we don't have to put seriously thought into the fact that others "should" be doing the same as us. Even moreso, we can even agree with differing opinions and be happy the others are happy without having to debate or fact-bomb.
Looking for some nonjudgmental support in your life? The birth and postpartum period is the perfect time for this! Give us a call at 518-712-9767 for your free consultation, where you can see just how well we can support you and your family through a period of time where absolutely no one should be judging anyone!