Q & A – The Belly to Baby Expo

Twice a year Green Bay Doulas brings 50-70 of their best resources under one roof for an amazing event called the Belly To Baby Expo.  I sat down with Emily Jacobson the creator of the expo for some Q & A.

 

Q: What is the Belly to Baby Expo?

A: It’s a grassroots effort to bring local businesses and community resources to expecting mothers and their growing families in the Green Bay Area. It’s run by volunteers and the host, Green Bay Doulas.

 

Q: When was it started?

A: In September of 2012 in the Streu’s Pharmacy  parking lot, we had 17 vendors and about 25 people attended. Now we see upwards of 400-500 families pass through the doors each expo. Former locations included The Art Garage, Rasmussen College, St Mary’s Roller Rink, The Marq- Lineville Rd and the fall expo will be at The Meadows Conference Center. 

Q: Why was it started?

A: I lived in Madison for 10 years and did my initial doula training there. When I moved back to Green Bay in the summer of 2012, I realized unlike Madison, no one knew what a doula was or let alone the resources that are available to them outside of the hospitals. If newly engaged couples had wedding expos, why didn’t they have baby expos? I’m not one to sit back and hope someone would create such a thing, I went ahead and did it.

 

Q: Who should attend?

A: Everyone should attend. Those thinking about growing families find they learn ahead of the curve about local resources including those looking into adoption or medical professionals. Those who are currently expecting find cute crafts, baby gear, and an array of  professionals who can support them during their pregnancy. Those with children already find great resources from breastfeeding support to crafters and perinatal health professionals and a chance to meet other mothers, exchange stories perhaps even make a new friend or two.

 

Q: What should we expect?

A: Expect to have fun, and meet new people, all while supporting local businesses! We have amazing raffle prizes from local and national companies. New this year we will be hosting a free prenatal Yoga class before the expo. We also have added a lactation and quiet lounge for those mothers who need a break or to feed their child with less distraction. 

Q: What is so special about the Belly to Baby Expo?

A: Money raised by the vendor fees provides fee assistance to families in the Green Bay Area for bereavement and other support services through Green Bay Doulas, Green Bay’s premier doula agency. It’s another way beyond our annual diaper drive – No Child Wet Behind we can give back to our community.

 

We hope you will join us for the 11th Belly to Baby Expo and if you can’t make this one, you are in luck, the next one will be March 2018.  We hope to see you there!

Adoption: Answering Common Questions

November is National Adoption Month, which is a topic near and dear to my heart, as I was adopted at just 9 weeks old from the Milwaukee area. Growing up I actually had a lot of friends who were also adopted.  Believe it or not, we were often asked the same common questions and I thought I would share those in hopes of bringing awareness throughout the month to many of our readers.

What are the different types of adoption?

There are actually three different forms of adoptions!

Open Adoption:This is where your family may have access to the biological families information or even remain in contact with them.

Closed Adoption: In this case, records are sealed about personal information on the biological family. Once you reach adulthood you can do a records request to see if the biological family would be interested in meeting. Sometimes this information is available and sometimes it’s not. In my case my request was denied, but I was able to get a ton of paperwork about my biological family and medical history. That was informative, but what was most significant and even more special were the papers my parents filled out as they waited for my adoption to be finalized, what they did with me, my milestones, things I never knew existed on paper.

Domestic vs International- Simply means were you born in the USA or adopted from overseas?

Was it difficult to family trees or family related school projects and activities?

Sometimes yes, and others no. My family was my family. I tailored all of my presentations to my family. My grandpa was of syrian descent and my grandmother german. I knew I was german and hungarian, but that’s about it.  When you don’t have the information it’s hard to go off of, but I did my best with the info at hand.

And of course, my friends always wanted to know…

Do we really have two birthdays?

Sorta! We celebrate our birthdays and also my “gotcha day” growing up. I called this my special birthday, but others call it a Gotcha Day. Gotcha Day is the day we came home with our parents.

How do you explain adoption to children?

My mother always said it best. “You grew in my heart not my belly.” My outlook on being adopted is different then others may feel. I’m a firm believer that I was meant to be with my family and just needed a way to get there. So, yes, I grew in my mothers heart.

What local support is out there for children who are adopted?

The Post Adoption Resource Center of Brown County is a great place to start! 

Also having playdates with other children and classmates who were adopted as well was probably the most beneficial part to me as a child.

So on this national adoption month do you know someone who’s adopting, was adopting or has adopted? Reach out, let them know you are glad they are in your lives!

So the all important question,

How do we, as doulas, support adoption?

Before Baby: We are available before baby is welcomed as Antepartum Support Doulas. We can help create an amazing space in the home of the family adopting the newest addition by setting up furniture, the nursery and helping you talk through feelings and emotions. We can also provide support to the biological mother or surrogate by talking through or going with her to doctor appointments and supporting her emotionally.

Throughout Labor: We support the biological mother or surrogate on her journey to birth in whatever capacity she may need, whether that’s physically or emotionally.

Once Baby Is Born And The Postpartum Period : We help with the transition when parents bring home baby with the use of postpartum care. Working with them to set up a routine or settle into their new parenting roles. We can also aide in the support of the biological mother or surrogate once home helping them with self care for healing both physically and emotionally. We can assist with general recovery, lactation support to either stop or pump, an ear to listen, and our extensive list of referrals. We have even encapsulated for a surrogate who was planning on pumping for the baby.

If you would like to hear more about the support doulas can provide during the adoption process I would be more than happy to answer questions! Feel free to contact us at info@greenbaydoulas.com

Understanding Postpartum Doulas VS Night Nurse

If you are a Shameless fan like we are, you saw in the season 7 premiere that Debbie hired a night nurse so she can get some sleep. Typically a night nurse or night nanny is someone who takes care of the baby in the evening so the parents can get some sleep. But, what if I told you there was such a profession where a trained professional came into your house who

1- Was an expert in newborn care,

2- Knew how to support a mother in recovery from childbirth,

AND

3- Took care of the family as a WHOLE!

 

Enter the Postpartum Doula!

 

A normal daytime shift (averaging 4-8 hours) can look like a number of things, but is not limited to:

An unbiased ear to listen to concerns

Meal prep

Sibling support

Nap for mother

Self care for mother

Breast/bottle feeding, formula feeding, basic lactation support

Light housework

Extra hands for errands or doctors appointments

Cesarean support

Newborn and baby care

Just to name a few!

 

And the support of overnights (10 hour shift) while parents rest:

Breastfeeding support

Bottle feeding support

Meal prep

Light housework

Baby care

And sleep for both parents!

 

What you can expect with a Postpartum Doula? Personalized care! Families often seek support for high needs babies such as colic or silent reflux, special needs, support during teething, transitioning back to work, sleep regressions and sickness, and adjusting to adoption and multiples! The goal of a Postpartum Doula is to support the parenting approach that fits your lifestyle best. Every family’s needs are different which is why we have a postpartum planning session with each family to learn about the family dynamics, feeding style, parenting style and how best to support your family during the first year of a new addition.The beauty of a Postpartum Doula is that they help the family as a whole offering their expertise by lending a hand and helping a family transition into their new roles as parents, siblings and even furbabies!

While postpartum care is typically seen as a luxury item for many families, it’s simply about having a plan and making a budget. You may consider sitting down and discussing a postpartum plan even before your beautiful bundle arrives so that you can be as prepared as possible entering into this new chapter! Everyone plans for the arrival, but what about the weeks and months after your little one is here, Postpartum Doulas are happy to help!

Why make the investment? One of our clients explains it best so we’ll share his quote with you, “My wife is home all day with the baby and when she’s well rested she’s a better mother and wife and that’s what is important to me!” Utilizing a postpartum doula can be different for each family.  Whether it’s full time, part time or as needed; we want you to thrive during this time, not just survive.

If you are interested in more information about Postpartum Support please contact us today at information@greenbaydoulas.com or (920)246-0200

Top 10 Questions to Ask When Looking to Encapsulate Your Placenta

Top 10 Questions to Ask When Looking to Encapsulate Your Placenta

 

IMG_2034Placentas! It’s becoming more mainstream to encapsulate your placenta. The word has gotten out about the benefits and how women are loving their postpartum recovery these days. So you want to jump on the encapsulation train -where do you start and who even does it?

 

Here are some questions you should be asking your encapsulator. This blog isn’t about convincing you to encapsulate, it’s about finding the right person to do it. I’m here to equip you with the questions you need to ask and the cheat sheet to make sure you are getting the best professional service you can.

Top 10 Questions to Ask When Looking to Encapsulate Your Placenta

Top Ten Questions to Ask Any Placenta Specialist:

  • Who are you trained through?
  • Can I see your current Blood Borne Pathogens Certificate?
  • What is your process?
  • Where do you encapsulate?
  • What do you add to the placenta powder?
  • What type of capsules do you use?
  • How long does the process take?
  • What is your safety/sanitizing protocol?
  • How many capsules should I expect?
  • What are my other options beyond pills?

 

Answers:

 

  • Who are you trained through?

 

      • Make sure it’s reputable organization with an IN PERSON training, meaning a real placenta was used and it was hands on 2 day training, vs just online. Ask to see their certificate, or if they are stillIMG_0666 certifying, ask to see their manual as proof! (The photo is from our Green Bay In-Person training held Aug 2015)
      • Green Bay Doulas are certified Postpartum Placenta Specialists trained through ProDoula

 

  • Can I see your current Blood Borne Pathogens Certificate?

 

      • Anyone who touches your placenta needs to have this, if they don’t ….RUN! This means they will follow OSHA standards of properly handling your placenta, and know how to properly sanitize and discard soiled items.  

 

  • What is your process?

 

      • Day 1: Clean placenta, steam with lemon and ginger root, cut and put on dehydrator, leave for 18-24 hours.
      • Day 2: Take placenta and turn into powder and fill pills

 

  • Where do you encapsulate?

 

      • Placentas should only be prepared in the home of the person who birthed it. This way you are in control of the placenta, you know in fact without a doubt it is your placenta you are consuming.
      • If this is not possible, or is not offered in your area, ask to personally see their area where they encapsulate. Where will your placenta be stored? Next to their family veggies? Is their house clean? Is the area easily cleared of pets, children? Since they are preparing something for consumption in their own kitchen then delivering it to you, each state has laws on if they also need a food handler’s license or caterer’s license? Do you feel confident, this person will properly handle your placenta, return your placenta to you and that it indeed is not someone else’s? If you can’t, then keep looking.

 

  • What do you add to the placenta powder?

 

      • Placentas should be steamed with lemon and ginger root in the water, but nothing should be added IMG_2034to the pills, no essential oils, no fenugreek, NOTHING! Just your placenta.

 

  • What type of capsules do you use?

 

      • Non-colored veggie size 00 should be the response, if they don’t know… walk away. Some capsules can contain gelatin which is a meat byproduct, and so not good for those who are vegetarian or vegan or don’t eat red meat. They should not be colored or flavored as it is just adding more chemicals/dyes to the pills, we want to keep them as authentic as your placenta!
  • How long does the process take?
    • Once the placenta is in view, about 24 hours, 2 hours for 2 consecutive days as dehydrating takes up most of that 24 hour time period. Again another perk of in home encapsulation you know when it will be finished.
    • If it takes more than 24-36 hours for you to get your placenta completed…start asking questions.

 

  • What is your safety/sanitizing protocol?

 

      • OSHA’s Bloodborne Pathogens Standard, 29 CFR 1910.1030. including but not limited to proper protection for encapsulator such as shoe covers, apron, gloves, hairnet, eye wear, mask. All
        equipment gets washed in a hot soapy mixture then sanitized with a proper 1:10 bleach ratio then air dried.

 

  • How many capsules should I expect?

 

      • Each placenta is very different but you can expect 80-200 pills and are usually consumed in the first 6-10 weeks postpartum, don’t hoard your pills, USE them!

 

  • What are my other options beyond pills?

 

    • We don’t recommend raw smoothies because surface bacteria is a good possibility when choosing this route, but you can put the powder into a smoothy once
      processed.
    • Salves can also be made from the powder, and are used on everything from bumps, bites and scrapes and scars, especially cesarean scars, but not intended for nipples or perineum area.
    • Tinctures, are a way to extend the life of your placenta pills, as 1-3 drops equal a pill. Think of a placenta extract ….this can last for a few years even! So if you love how your pills make you feel, or have a past history of postpartum depression- get a tincture as well.

I’m hopeful that this information will lead you to the right placenta specialist for your needs. At Green Bay Doulas we have three Postpartum Placenta Specialist’s ready to assist you and answer any other questions that might come up. If you’d like to know more about our process and procedures please feel free to contact us at information@greenbaydoulas.com or (920) 246-0200 anytime!

 

Authored by: Emily Jacobson

Birth Is NOT Equal

As a doula, my job is to support my clients, however they choose to birth. Imagine this: some people are offended when YOU have a different birth from what THEY think you should. You’ve all heard it, Oh, honey natural? Are you a crazy hippie? or “Natural is the only way to go, an epidural will mess up your baby for life.” Here is the thing, it’s not their birth.

Imagine this, because we here at Green Bay Doulas support all birth, one might think that means our clients don’t know their options, actually it’s the opposite our clients know EVERY option. This dedication to supporting all births means we don’t support a certain clientele, we are versed in it all, and ready if your first road leads to a road they didn’t intend on (which happens). It’s not that you are a failure, it’s a new normal, and you are supported as you start this new normal, or if the road you started on is the one you finish on!

What about the mother who needed to be induced for cholestasis?

What about the mother who has scoliosis and therefor unable to get an epidural?

What about the mothers who’s a victim of sexual assault and the thought of a baby at her breast causes extreme anxiety that she chooses formula over breastfeeding?

What about the mother with such high blood pressure, an epidural actually saves her from a stroke?

What about the mother with placenta prevea and has a family centered cesarean?

What if your plan was to have an epidural and the birth was so fast you have it in the car and now you feel robbed of your birth experience?

What if your plan was an all natural birth and you near pregnancy to find you have a footling breech baby who just won’t turn?

We encourage you to be educated about every choice. This isn’t about natural child birth vs medicated. It’s about birth and it’s your story to tell, not anyone elses. Don’t let anyone tell you that you didn’t do it right, didn’t take the right class, didn’t read the right books, didn’t pick the right apps to download. When you know better you do better, and hiring a certified doula can help you navigate the right doctor, hospital, childbirth class to take, books to read, and even apps!

A doula’s goal is a happy mom, healthy bond. The Green Bay Doulas are proud to set this standard of non-judgemental, unbiased, all encompassing care in Northeastern Wisconsin for labor and postpartum support. Won’t you call us today for your complimentary 30 min consultation and lets talk how we can support your birth.

-Emily Jacobson