Providing Professional Doula Services to Families in Greenwich, Westchester and NYC

Postpartum

 

The baby (2-16 or so, weeks old) is sleeping.

She is in your room with you in a bassinette, it is 11pm, you are exhausted and ready for as much sleep as she will let you get!

Your brush your teeth and your head hits the pillow hard! You are expecting a good 2.5 hours and you need it badly!

Your eyes quickly close to the hum of your sweet bundle’s breath and you're there. Your body and mind are finally at rest. You are in recovery mode. I mean you might even have a dream, you’re so asleep and then… she sighs and moves (a tiny bit). You’re up! All the way up! You’re standing over her, ready for action… she is asleep. It is 11:23pm, you get back into bed.

OK… You are filled with gratitude for that sweet little girl and you are back to sleep. Ahhhh…

You don’t know how you are able to hear her move her mouth but somehow from a full on sleep, her tongue moves off of the roof of her mouth and her pucker wakes you like a 5 alarm fire! You bolt out of bed. You are standing over that bassinette staring at a …sleeping baby! You make your way back to bed. It is 11:41pm. You drift off to sleep with thoughts about whether or not your husband needs a hearing check…

At 11:57, she is screaming! At least you thought so, because in the .2 seconds it took you to whip the covers off and RUN 1 step to her bedside… she fell back to sleep.

You chug some water, rub your face and let you weak and exhausted body melt back into bed. You pull...Read more

 

“DON’T TALK TO ME”, I snapped!

I need 20 minutes of quiet to just chill!

I’m completely fried.

I have to decompress… Oh my gosh, my mind is spinning. There’s electricity raging through my body and I have to drive this car and get this kid and I home safely!

It was a bowling event with the Girl Scouts. Erica was in 2nd grade. There were millions of them! Kids EVERYWHERE! The noise, the lights, the music, the worry that I might lose one of them, the incessant questions that started with Rannnndyyy???

As much as I loved being a leader and being involved in scouting with my girls…. That shit can also blow your mind!

Now think about a newborn…

The smells, the sounds, the lights, the people, his parents nerves, the dog, the sister, THE GRANDMA!

The kids mind is blown and he needs to decompress!

He cries!

You bounce him! (adding more stimulation…)

He cries more!

You walk him into another room! (adding even more stimulation)

He cries continuously!

Dad takes him! (adding more stimulation)

He looses his mind!

You try a bath…. (stimulation OVERLOAD)

He screams his fucking head off!

You cry! (adding more stimulation!)

So what can we do for an over-stimulated baby?

                       -       Relax (well, try to anyway) your baby used to live INSIDE you. He shared your body with you and he responds...Read more

 

Northeast Doulas has been facilitating a discussion group for pregnant and newly postpartum women for many years. This group has offered tremendous support, education and an opportunity for friendship to so many women in our community.

After a short break, THE GROUP IS BACK!

This group meets at Hudson Valley Hospital Center on Thursday nights from 7:00-8:30 and is facilitated by the owners and staff of Northeast Doulas. You do not have to be delivering your baby at Hudson Valley Hospital in order to attend! Home birthers and patients of any other hospital are welcome to benefit from this group!

The group is open (and FREE) to pregnant and newly postpartum women with babies up to 3 months old. Many moms have started playgroups with the other moms for the 3 month+ gang.

The group is casual and it is ok if you are late or need to leave early. Take what you can get!

This is what’s so cool about the group;

1)  The group is facilitated by seasoned Doulas with tons of experience that you can benefit from!

2)  The group is a perfect opportunity to learn and connect with birthing and parenting philosophies!

3)  The group’s only requirements are an open mind and a judgment free attitude!

4)  The group gives you an opportunity to make life long friends who are experiencing exactly what you are!

5)  Women come to this group...Read more

Dr. John H. Kennell was a pediatrician and staff neonatologist in the 1950's. We are so grateful that he was the kind of man who really listened to his patients! His research and life's work played a huge role in mothers and babies staying together in the moments and hours following birth. Prior to his work, mothers and babies spent their first 12-24 hours apart with very little visitation between them. At 91 years old we say good bye to this great visionary, we thank him for his contribution to our empowerment as women and we wish for him eternal peace.

What a fantastic legacy you leave behind, Dr. Kennell.

Rest well!Read more

 

~ It’s 2am. I have to pee. I’m not pregnant. I haven’t had a sip of anything since 6pm. I wonder if I can wait till morning. I can’t. I get up. I go pee. I come back to bed and I’M WIDE AWAKE!

~ My 2 year old cries for me during the night. I bring him into our bed. My husband goes to the couch. We play musical beds all night. None of us are sleeping well.

~ I had a baby 6 weeks ago. I sleep for 30 minutes at a time. I’m exhausted. My baby sleeps all day. She saves all her a wake time for the middle of the NIGHT!

~ My son is 10 years old. He is stressed out about taking tests at school. He is losing sleep over it. It’s breaking my heart…

~ My 3 year old is terrified at night. Nothing has happened to warrant this fear. She starts to cry as soon as she gets her pajamas on. From the monsters under her bed to the “bad man” in the closet to the nightmares…. We are exhausted and at our wits end.

~ My little one (8 months old) was sleeping 11 hours a night and then his teething got real bad. He seems to be in constant pain and is miserable all night. He will only sleep if I sit in the rocking chair and rock him all night…

HELP! WE ARE EXHAUSTED AND LOSING OUR MINDS!!!!

These are just a few of the stories about lack of sleep that we hear regularly at Northeast Doulas.

I spend a great deal of time searching for great resources for our clients. So...Read more

So, you have a baby and then a few minutes later a doctor or midwife says, “Ok, give me a little push now” and you think “WHY? Is there another one in there??”  There isn’t (unless there’s supposed to be), but now it’s time to delivery your placenta.  The placenta is grown for a specific purpose, and now that this baby has been born, your body is ready to expel it.  So what next?!

 Currently, the standard protocol (in most places) is that the placenta is discarded as medical waste.  Your other option is to take it home with you.  Why would you take your placenta home?  Some people bury it, some people make it into a smoothie and some people encapsulate their placenta for ingestion.

Why would you ingest your placenta? LOTS of reasons!  It can be a great way to increase your milk supply, decrease your risk of postpartum depression and increase your energy levels after having a baby… just to name a few.  How do you ingest your placenta?  The way we’re seeing the placenta most commonly ingested is through the process of placenta encapsulation – dehydrating your placenta and turning that into a powder that becomes your placenta pills.  These are taken like any other vitamin.   How do you find someone to encapsulate your placenta?  Most people search on the internet, ask a friend or their provider for a referral.  And most are surprised by the number of options.  Who is going to encapsulate your placenta?  And WHERE is she going to do it?  At Northeast Doulas,...Read more

I don’t like to eat a cupcake from a bake sale when I don’t know who made it! I haven’t seen their kitchen and don’t know if it’s clean enough for me to consume something prepared there. Never mind my placenta!

We all have a standard of cleanliness that we live by. The people closest to me will tell you that my standards are extremely high. A sponge in my sink can easily gross me out after a small handful of days but for someone else, it my not occur to them for weeks to replace it.

The idea of someone coming to the hospital to pick up the placenta (which is an organ, by the way) that I just birthed, bring it to their home (which I have never seen) dehydrate it, crush it and encapsulate it, is well beyond my comfort zone.

What I do know for sure is that ANYTHING prepared for sale, for human consumption MUST be prepared in a Board Of Health approved kitchen OR the kitchen of the person consuming it.

Some IMPORTANT things to consider when contemplating

PLACENTA ENCAPSULATION FOR INGESTION

1)   How will your placenta be transported? The only acceptable answer to this is that YOU will transport it to YOUR home. I am not certain of exactly what the legal repercussions are of driving your car with someone else’s body organs in it is, but I’m sure they are not good. There is a standard for transporting body organs and most encapsulation...Read more

 

Attachment Parenting on a Schedule

I only breastfed for a few months, I fed on a schedule, my children slept 8-10 hours a night at 3 and 4 weeks old and no child of mine ever slept in the bed that I make love to my husband in. And still… We are attached. Incredibly bonded and attached.

I ran a tight ship around here. There was a schedule for everything and we stuck to that schedule. Modifications were made to the schedule when necessary and those modifications were quickly maintained. This was our choice for our family; it was never open for debate or discussion. It was our decision to make and we made the right one for us.

That being said, my confidence level hovers around the 10+ mark on any given day and I don’t seek the approval of others, ever. I make decisions with my partner; Jerry Patterson and we act on that decision. Together, as a team.

If you are the judging type and I hope for your sake you are not, judge away.  It will have no impact because I have the advantage of watching it in action for two days shy of 21 years and I wouldn’t change a single thing.

Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t think there is a right or wrong way to do anything as powerful as parenting. I simply know what my family needed.

The part that I have a difficult time with, is the assumption that “scheduled parenting” creates less of a bond or a disconnect. The bond I have with my girls can only be compared to the bond between...Read more

A Postpartum Insurance Policy

You just gave birth. Your hormones are raging. Your life just changed forever.

What if I tried to sell you an insurance policy that could insure a more positive transition for you? What if it was your own placenta and eating it was part of that policy? Ladies, let me introduce you to…

Placenta Encapsulation For Ingestion

As a kid, I remember my hippie mom and her friends talking about placenta lasagna and placenta stew. I remember thinking, I’m not sure what placenta is but I’m steering clear of stew and lasagna for a while, just in case. I had no idea that they were talking about growing an organ in their uterus’, passing it through their vaginas and then EATING IT!!!! I always thought they were weird but this took the cake!

BUT….

My mind has been changed. It’s amazing what a little education can do for someone... So, let me share what I’ve learned!

First of all, we are mammals. MOST (not all) mammals ingest their placentas after giving birth. Of the ones that don’t, most are water mammals. Whales for example do not. When a whale is just about to give birth, the cord and the baby separate, the “calf” is born and when the placenta is born, it falls to the bottom of the sea and the mother is not able to ingest it.

Marsupials, particularly kangaroos don’t ingest their...Read more

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