I Don’t Want A Doula

Things I hear on a daily basis: “I don’t want someone else in the room with my partner and I” “I just can’t afford a doula, maybe next baby we can plan better” “I really wish I would have hired you, even just to have that support before I had the baby.” and  “I don’t want a doula, I’m getting an epidural” 

 

This got me thinking about how our role as doulas is to offer our clients options. Options in hospitals, doctors, laboring techniques, and inductions. Options in pain management from hydrotherapy to epidurals, options in navigating vaginal birth after surgical birth and even surgical birth itself. Options in community resources from photographers to chiropractic care, massage to hair dressers, and even dog trainers!

 

SO WHY NOT OFFER AN OPTION IN THE LEVEL OF SUPPORT MANY WISH TO RECEIVE?

 

One of the cornerstones that Green Bay Doulas was built on is to listen to the birthing community, and be and bring the change that they long to see.

 

We listened to the desires of our community, and we are excited to announce Everything But the Birth: Your personal concierge through pregnancy. You are matched with your perfect doula who will become your best friend and confidant for your pregnancy. She will help you navigate questions, comments, she will celebrate with you, and lift you up when needed. She will help you navigate your options with her insider knowledge. She will provide a prenatal planning session where you discuss what to expect, help you build your birth plan, and teach your partner or friend/family member some hands on approaches to help support you during labor. She will also provide a postpartum visit once you are home and settled with the new baby.

 

So how is this different from a labor doula?

 

We don’t attend your birth.

 

This option will bring the support you desire throughout pregnancy, without the larger investment. But what happens if along the way you decide you’d like birth doula support during your birth? You’d just need to make that decision by 34 weeks, and your initial payment is applied to your remaining balance. We work in teams of two when supporting laboring clients so we want to make sure your entire team is at your prenatal.

 

Photo: Timeless Touch Photography

Our goal is to make doula support accessible to every laboring family, surrogate, and individual. We want you to have access to the knowledge we have and feel supported, secure, and empowered to make the best choices for your family. This is the very heart of Green Bay Doulas, to give our clients options to decide what support option works best for their family.

 

Contact us today to get started!

CHOOSING A PROVIDER

You’ve found the courage to look at the pregnancy test.  There it is.  The BIG FAT POSITIVE. The plus that you’ve been hoping for. The smiley face that you’ve waited weeks, months, or even years to see. The word PREGNANT is the first sign of proof – you’re having a baby!

It’s time to call the doctor. Or maybe the midwife? With so many providers and options, how do you know which to choose? It’s important to find the right provider for you.  This is your birth. This is your baby. This is your body. And you should find a provider that aligns with your birth philosophy and individual needs.

Keep reading as we discuss a few of the big ideas to consider

Does your Birth Philosophy align with that of your provider?

I’m not going to lie. This is a big one. Really figure out what birth is to you before selecting a provider.

Some women believe birth should be managed and monitored to ensure safety of baby and mom. Others believe birth is a natural process and should be treated as such, rather than a medical emergency. Some people want to make their own decisions regarding their pregnancy, labor, and delivery.  Other women just want someone to tell them what they need to do.

Most of the complaints about a provider or an experience boils down to this question.  Having a birth philosophy that aligns with that of your provider can help ensure a positive experience and outcome for you.

How secure does the hospital culture make you feel?

Some people find comfort delivering in a hospital, regardless of pain medications used. They like knowing that should anything happen to them or their baby, doctors and nurses are ready and waiting to do everything they can to remedy the situation.  Other women become anxious or intimidated when in a hospital setting, maybe because of a previous experience, or even because of their birth philosophy.

If being in a hospital is stressful for you, look into midwives who do homebirths or deliver at birth centers. 

Have you had a previous Cesarean Section?

If you’ve had a Cesarean Section, some doctors may require you to have another Cesarean. If you would like to try for a Vaginal Birth After Cesarean (VBAC), find a doctor that is comfortable with this.

What (if any) Pain Management options are you interested in?

  • Nitrous Oxide – some providers are uncomfortable with the use of Nitrous Oxide. It is not available at all hospitals
  • Hydrotherapy – not all hospitals have laboring tubs; no Green Bay hospitals the have capabilities of water birth.

The provider I choose will deliver my baby, right?

Unfortunately, the only way to guarantee that the provider you choose will actually be there to deliver your baby is to schedule a Cesarean Section or induction. If your provider is on call – Great! If not, however, the doctor on call may say and allow different things (some may not be comfortable with the use of Nitrous Oxide, for example).  It is a good idea to get to know the other providers in the practice to help you pick a provider AND a PRACTICE.

You should also consider your insurance and location (are you willing to drive 45 minutes or more to the hospital?)

So when you set up appointments to meet with doctors and midwives, ask these questions. If you want to ask the Facebook Hive for suggestions, explain your birth philosophy and needs first to get better suggestions, rather than a slew of names that might not be the right fit for you.

Better yet, ask someone who knows all of the providers and who can give you a few tailored options to choose from.  The Green Bay Doulas are knowledgeable about the birth culture in Green Bay and have worked with many of the areas providers. You can also join the “Green Bay Birth and Postpartum Options” Facebook group for more information and a safe place to ask questions about providers and options available to you.

 

-Melissa is originally from Buffalo, NY and came to Green Bay in 2013. She holds both her bachelors and masters degrees in Viola Performance from the College-Conservatory of Music in Cincinnati, OH, and an Artist Diploma from Ball State University in Muncie, IN. In her spare time you can find Melissa running around with her pup Louie, taking road trips with her husband and daughter, cooking, and playing board games.

 

Winter Safety Tips 

It’s that time of year… time to become bears and hibernate until it is warm again. No? Okay so maybe we cannot hibernate but we can stay warm. We of course know what it takes to keep us toasty and comfortable but a baby may be a little bit more difficult. No worries, check out these tips!

IN THE CAR:
Coats in carseats are dangerous, it greatly increases the babies risk of injury in an accident, but there are other ways to keep your little one warm. Dress you baby in thin layers and tuck a blanket around them once they are correctly secured into their seats. On cold days a fleece sleeper can be used for extra warmth. For more information on winter and car seat safety guidelines from the AAP 
OUTDOORS:
If out and about in the frosty a good rule of thumb is to add an extra layer to what makes you comfortable (reasonably, maybe more if you are a polar bear.) If playing in the snow, ensure you add a waterproof snowsuit with attached feet.
Also, stay aware and watch for signs of discomfort and cold, such as tear filled eyes ( not necessarily crying), shivering, or cold skin. It’s okay if you need to cut your outdoor time short in order to warm up!HOME:
The extra layer rule is also good here. Even though you maybe tempted to bundle baby up, remember the “ideal” temperature is 68-72* F. You can always check by placing your hand on babies tummy or back, they should be warm but not sweaty. Keeping your baby from overheating and using a zip style sleeping sack or a footed sleeper, rather than blankets which can cover baby’s face, are a few of the suggestions made by American Pediatric Associations for the prevention of SIDS.Hopefully these tips will help you and baby enjoy the upcoming winter and holiday season.
-Guest Blog by labor doula Heather Phillips, affiliated doula with Green Bay Doulas and owner of About A Baby Doula & Birth Services

Fall​ ​Family​ ​Fun

Fall​ ​Family​ ​Fun:​ ​Activities​ ​that​ ​Emily’s​ ​family​ ​does​ ​each​ ​year:
Fall is my favorite time of the year and for most of us also the busiest! From getting
back to school, to fall activities and Packers Games, there is never a dull moment. I’m
the type of person who works hard to play hard, so I’m always out and about. Here are
my family’s top 6 fall activities!

Blasers Acres
This is my “quick, we have a morning free or an afternoon, any day of the week and I
wanna enjoy this crisp fall air” go to place!
Petting Zoo, pumpkin bowling, hay slide, corn box (sand is overrated by this time of year) and corn maze. I can grab my pumpkins, apples, seasonal veggies, decorating gourds and corn stalks. They also have a hay ride that runs at select times.
When:​ ​Now​ ​through​ ​ ​Halloween
Where:​ ​ ​2556​ ​School​ ​Ln​ ​Suamico,​ ​Wisconsin,​ ​WI​ ​54313
Cost:​ ​Free​ ​Admission,​ ​corn​ ​maze​ ​is​ ​$4.00

 

Delzer’s Pumpkin Farm
When my husband and I met in Madison we went to all the pumpkin patches, corn mazes and Halloween activities we could. When we moved back to Green Bay I wanted to make sure we still had a pumpkin patch to visit and I found Delzers. I can’t say how much I love this place! You pay a fee when you arrive and receive a punch card, each activity takes 1-2 punches. From haunted hayride, to tracker train pull, haunted granary
and the corn maze. If you have leftover punches that equals $1.00 to put towards the pumpkin patch! This will be our 5th year and it’s one we look forward to!
When:​ ​September​ ​30th​ ​-​ ​Halloween​ ​11am​ ​to​ ​4pm​ ​on​ ​Saturdays​ ​and​ ​Sundays
Where:​ ​9581​ ​Delzer​ ​Cir,​ ​Oconto​ ​Falls,​ ​WI​ ​54154
Cost:​ ​$7​ ​/​ ​Ticket​ ​(2​ ​years​ ​and​ ​under​ ​is​ ​FREE)​ ​-​ ​Includes​ ​4​ ​Punches​ ​(Hayrides​ ​are​ ​2 punches​ ​/​ ​All​ ​other​ ​activities​ ​are​ ​1​ ​punch)

 

15th​ ​annual​ ​Spooktacular
Another great indoor activity for all ages, from live performances to a pumpkin carving
competition, decorate your own pumpkin and other crafting stations, balloon animals and face painting.  Come for an hour or stay for the day. The photo ops were impressive!
When:​ ​Saturday,​ ​Oct.​ ​7th​ ​2017​ ​ ​9​ ​a.m.​ ​to​ ​3​ ​P.M.
Where:​ ​ ​Lambeau​ ​Field​ ​Atrium
Cost:​ ​Free
Note: Those who attend the event are also encouraged to bring new or gently-used winter coats to Lambeau to donate to the Coats for Kids program.

 

Bellevue’s Trick or Treat Trail
Walking in the woods of Josten park on a beautiful fall day just can’t get any better, or can it? There are local businesses and resources set up through the trail for your littles to get some treats! Photo ops, pick your own pumpkin and so much more. Registration is required so don’t wait on this event, it’s one of my favorites. Learn more and sign-up for the event here
When:Saturday,​ ​October​ ​21st​ ​(registration​ ​ends​ ​Friday,​ ​October​ ​20th​ ​4:30​ ​P.M.)
Time: 10:00am​ ​-​ ​12:00​ ​P.M.
Where:​ ​Josten​ ​Park​ ​(sign-in​ ​at​ ​shelter​ ​upon​ ​arrival)
Cost:​ ​Free

 

Sweet Street at Shopko Hall

Sweet Street is an indoor halloween focused event where weather dependent activities
aren’t even a problem. It’s the largest and most popular Halloween events in Northeast Wisconsin. You are able to see local resources and participate in kids activities like: bounce houses, box maze, fire trucks, petting zoo and live performances, all while your child trick or treats to each booth.
When:​ ​ ​OCTOBER​ ​27,​ ​2017​ ​11:00-8:00​ ​P.M.​ ​and​ ​ ​OCTOBER​ ​28,​ ​2017​ ​8:30​ ​-​ ​4:00 P.M.
Where:​ ​Shopko​ ​Hall
Cost​ ​ ​$5.00​ ​advance​ ​or​ ​$6.00​ ​at​ ​the​ ​door.

 

It’s a Magical Halloween at Heritage Hill
Every year is a different theme with two things I love, history and candy! Explore the buildings, go to story time in the church, enjoy a bonfire, apple bobbing and lots of spooky fun. Plan accordingly, there are shuttles and street parking. It’s a lot of walking so come prepared, but oh so worth it! This year witches and wizards are taking over the park!
When:​ ​Saturdays​ ​October​ ​21​ ​&​ ​28​ ​ ​@​ ​3-8​ ​P.M.
Where:​ ​Herritage​ ​Hill​ ​State​ ​Park
Cost:​ ​ ​$7 admission, Children 3 and under are FREE. Members free for Traveler level and above

 

 

 

We hope to see you out and about this fall season celebrating family and creating memories. Happy fall everyone!

 

Emily Jacobson is a certified doula and owner of Green Bay Doulas. Her certifications include; Labor Doula, Postpartum & Infant Care Doula, Certified Newborn Care Specialist, Certified Postpartum Placenta Specialist, and Certified Childbirth Educator. 

Plane Ticket For One Please!

I took a vacation this summer and I didn’t take my family. Having young children is hard and you start to lose your identity between all the drop offs, pick ups, activities, kids birthday parties, doctors appointments, household chores and juggling a career. Not to mention growing with your partner through all of these changes as well. I needed a break. I needed some respite. I needed to reconnect with me. Who am I? Who have I grown into as I settle into my 30’s?  I heard everything from: “How will your husband survive?”, to “You must not breastfeed if you aren’t taking your baby!”, and “You’re leaving your children?!”

Yes, I took a 4 day trip out the country to have some me time. This is the hardest (and most rewarding) time in our lives with young children, being an entrepreneur, a wife, maybe in that 

order sometimes… In 10 years when I look back, it will just be a skid mark in my life’s story… but how many of us feel like we are drowning at times? How many of us take the time for self-care? In the last 5 years of my life, I’ve gotten married, moved back into my childhood home,  I’ve carried two humans over 40 weeks each time, I’ve had a cesarean, a VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean), I’ve breastfed a total of 3 years and counting. My body has new curves, my clothes fit differently, my taste in food has only gotten spicier, my circle of friends has shifted and evolved, and who have I become in all of this?

I took a trip to Canada, to the land of nice people. True story, my friend literally got into a “you go first, no you go first” match with a pedestrian who was in the middle of the street, while trying we were waiting to make a right turn! Her husband took their children up to their cabin for the time I was there. Two mothers, with a total of 4 kids under the age of 6, without children or husbands for 4 days…. what do you do?! You go to the movies!  You get your nails done! You spend over 2 hours eating at an all you can eat brunch buffet with live jazz music and chat with other adults! You stand in line for almost 2 hours just to get on the elevations at the CN Tower, in Toronto.  You go to Niagra falls and eat a fancy dinner, 77 floors above the falls in a revolving dining room, where your waiter is French and you can order escargot, and drink wine. You sleep in. You sleep without having anyone waking you up. You take long showers, and sit on the patio for hours talking, without worry, without judgment, and reconnect with yourself.

One thing doula work has taught me is the art of unbiased support. Imagine if we all lived our lives with non-judgmental mindsets. There would be no more ‘mommy wars”. Instead, when I got on that plane I would have heard: “Good for you taking some time for yourself.”, “Enjoy your vacation!”, and “Send lots of pictures!”

As mothers with young children I want to give you permission to enjoy life, don’t get caught up in the judgment. Take time for you and forget the double standards. Taking a break from all the responsibility is healthy, it’s normal, and we need to do it more often!

When I touched back down in Green Bay I was refreshed. I was reconnected, but who am I kidding– my checked luggage was filled with souvenirs for my kids, 100 oz of pumped breastmilk, and Kinder Eggs. Take time for you, get to know yourself again, and enjoy the chaos that is having young children.

 

Emily Jacobson is a certified doula and owner of Green Bay Doulas. Her certifications include; Labor Doula, Postpartum & Infant Care Doula, Certified Newborn Care Solutions, and Certified Postpartum Placenta Specialist.

 

 

Freezer Ready Meals

Preparing for a new member of the family we get asked all the time, what is the number one thing you suggest we do now? We always respond with a quick… MEAL PREP!

Meal prep is perfect for quick dinners with a little prep work, you can save time later and still have an amazing meal with minimal effort.  This round of recipes are all quick freezer ready meals for the crockpot, casseroles in the oven, and one pot meals. Easy for those who also want to make something for a friend as the best postpartum gift you can give!

Teaming up with local food blogger Ashley Lecker of Cheese Curd in Paradise for some of her favorite and easy meal prep ideas. If you love these ideas, she does regular meal planning on her blog, giveaways, and I have to say I’ve never had a bad meal when she’s suggested it. Ashley has been featured in Taste of Home, Wisconsin CSA, Festival Foods, Reader’s digest,  featured in various sponsor recipes for national brands and her blog has 25,000 views monthly.  Enjoy these 5 simple recipes and stay tuned for more meal prep ideas!


CROCKPOT

Tex-Mex Chicken

Instructions

Place chicken breasts in the slow cooker and sprinkle taco seasoning over the top. Layer the other ingredients evenly over the chicken, except the cream cheese.

Cook on high for 4-6 hours or low for 8 hours.

Remove chicken from slow cooker, shred and return to slow cooker. Add cream cheese, stir, cover and continue to cook on high for 30 minutes.  Stir well and over rice with desired toppings.

Freezer modification: Place all ingredients in a freezer-safe zip lock. When you are ready to make it, thaw and follow preparation directions.

 

Pesto Ranch Chicken

Ingredients

2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts

1 cup prepared pesto

1 package Ranch Dressing Mix

1/2 cup chicken broth

Instructions

Place chicken breasts into crockpot. Mix pesto, ranch dressing, and chicken broth into crock pot. Stirring gently to combine all seasonings. Cover with the lid and cook on high for 3-4 hours or on low for 6-8 hours. Tip: Sprinkle some feta on top!

Freezer Modification: Place all ingredients in a ziplock and freeze. To cook, thaw and follow prep directions.

Teriyaki Chicken

Ingredients

2 1/2 lbs chicken breasts

3/4 cup brown sugar

3/4 cup soy sauce

½ cup pineapple juice

1 tsp minced garlic

1 tsp minced fresh ginger

1 medium onion, chopped

Instructions

Place chicken breasts into crockpot. Sprinkle onions evenly over chicken.  In a medium bowl mix all other ingredients. Pour over the chicken.  Set temperature on low for 6-8 hrs.

Serve with rice.

Freezer Modification: Place all ingredients in a ziplock and freeze. To cook, thaw and follow prep directions.


Casseroles

Million Dollar Spaghetti Casserole

Ingredients

1 – 1 1/2 lb Italian Sausage

1 (28oz) crushed tomatoes

1 1/2 tsp sugar

1 Tbl Italian Seasoning

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp onion powder

1/2 tsp salt

1 cup cottage cheese

8 oz cream cheese softened

1/4 cup sour cream

2 Tbsp parsley

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1 lb spaghetti

2 cups mozzarella cheese

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350.

Cook spaghetti according to package directions. Drain and set aside.

In a large skillet brown Italian sausage. Drain fat from skillet. Stir in crushed tomatoes, sugar, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, salt and onion powder. Simmer 7-10 minutes. Set aside.

In a large bowl, combine cottage cheese, softened cream cheese, sour cream, parsley and garlic powder.

In a lightly sprayed 9×13-inch pan, place half of the cooked pasta in the bottom of the dish. Spread cream cheese mixture over noodles. Top with remaining noodles. Pour meat sauce over noodles and top with mozzarella cheese.

Bake uncovered for 45 minutes. Allow to cool for 10-15 minutes before serving.

Freezer Modification: Prepare casserole in a freezer friendly pan with a cover. Thaw before baking and follow baking instructions.

 

Meatball Sub Casserole 

Instructions

Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees. Spray a 9×13 baking dish with cooking spray and set aside.

Cut biscuits into 8 pieces and spread evenly into the baking dish. Pour marinara sauce over the biscuits and stir to evenly coat. Evenly layer meatballs over the biscuits and sauce. Sprinkle with cheese.

Bake uncovered for 35-40 minutes or until bubbly and biscuits are cooked. Remove from oven, garnish with chopped parsley, and serve.

 

 

King Crown Burrito Casserole

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9×13 casserole dish and set aside.

In a large rimmed skillet, brown beef with onions, peppers, and garlic. Drain excess grease. Add corn, beans, and tomatoes. Add seasonings and allow beef mixture to cook for a few minutes.  Spread beef into the casserole dish and top evenly with cheese. Arrange tater crowns over the casserole.

Bake 35-40 minutes, or until hot and bubbly.

Freezer Modification: Prepare casserole in a freezer friendly pan with a cover. Thaw before baking and follow baking instructions.

 

Chicken Bacon Ranch Tot Casserole

Instructions

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9×13 casserole dish and set aside.

Mix cream of chicken soup, ranch packet and sour cream. Gently stir in the chicken. Spread chicken mixture evenly into the casserole dish. Top evenly with grated cheese and follow by topping with chopped bacon. Evenly arrange tater tots on top of the casserole.

Bake uncovered in the oven for 30-40 minutes or until hot and bubbly.

Freezer Modification: Prepare casserole in a freezer friendly pan with a cover. Thaw before baking and follow baking instructions.


One-Pot

 

One Pot Chili Mac

Instructions

In a medium to large pot, brown the ground beef. Drain excess grease and add remaining ingredients besides the pasta.  Lightly simmer for 5 minutes. Stir in the pasta, cover and cook till pasta is tender stirring a few times to avoid sticking while the pasta cooks. Season with salt and pepper, if desired.

Serve immediately. Top portions with sour cream and grated cheese.

 

 

One Pot Chicken Feta Alfredo (source: Plain Chicken) 

Instructions

In a large rimmed skillet or medium pot cook the pancetta and drain the fat. Add remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Cover and reduce to a simmer. Cook 15-20 minutes.

 

 

 

 

 

One-Pot BLT Tortellini Skillet

Instructions

Place pasta, cream, water and garlic powder into an oven safe skillet. Simmer 8-10 min until the liquid has reduced and thickened.

Add spinach, cheese, 1/2 cup tomatoes and gently stir until cheese melts. Season with salt and pepper (remember you will add bacon at the end so careful with the salt).

Top with remaining cheese and Romano.  Broil for 3-5 minutes. Watch the pasta carefully because it will burn easily and you want a nice light brown top.

Remove from oven and top with remaining tomatoes and chopped bacon.

 

 

Skillet Sweet and Sour Meatballs with Pineapple (Source: All Recipes) 

Instructions

Open pineapple, drain, and  juice. Set pineapple aside. Add water to juice if needed so it equals 1 cup; and pour into a large skillet. Add 1/3 cup water, vinegar, soy sauce, brown sugar and cornstarch; whisk until smooth.

Cook over medium heat until thick, stirring constantly. Add the pineapple, meatballs and green pepper.

Simmer, uncovered, for 20 minutes or until heated through. Serve with rice.

 

One Pot Baked Ziti 

Instructions

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.

In a dutch oven or other heavy bottom pot, add the olive oil and cook the beef and sauce till no longer pink. If there is a heavy amount of grease, drain a bit from the pot. Add the garlic and gently stir in the uncooked pasta and marinara sauce. Cook for 1-2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper if desired.

Add the water and the cream. Stir well. Bring to a slow simmer and cook for 6-7 minutes or until pasta begins to soften. Top with cheeses and cover. Bake for 15-20 minutes. Remove from oven and serve with a crisp green salad and crusty bread.


Also, check out this great article from our friends at Groom & Style, called Awesome Recipes That Freeze Well try these recipes out and let us know which ones were your favorite! If meal prep seems daunting, the postpartum doulas here at Green Bay Doulas are professional preppers! From making the grocery list, getting the items, and assembling them. We can help you get a leg up and fill up that freezer! 


				

Let’s Talk Anatomy: Pelvic Floor

A huge thank you to Jeanette Knill, PT for guest blogging for us on this important topic!

I am a Physical Therapist that specializes in treating women with pelvic floor disorders (PFD) which means most of the women I see in the clinic have UI or pain in the pelvis, especially during intercourse.

Here are some research findings related to UI:

  •    Nearly 30% of the female population in the US has a problem with urinary incontinence.
  •    It takes the average woman up to 7 years before she tells her healthcare provider that she has a problem. Why? She is embarrassed or thinks it isn’t a problem because many of the women she knows also pee in their pants.
  •    Kegel exercises are only part of the solution to help you regain continence.

Let’s talk anatomy: The pelvic floor muscle is the bottom of the body. In a female, it is the muscle structure that supports the uterus, vagina, bladder and rectum. It controls when we use the toilet and is important in sexual satisfaction. This muscle is like a hammock. It attaches in the front to the pubic bone and in the back at the tail bone. The sides attach to part of the hip bone and a hip muscle (obturator internus) on each side of the body. Other hip muscles that attach near the pelvic floor muscle are the gluteal muscles (your butt) and the piriformis muscles. The low abdominal muscles attach to the pubic bone, just above where the pelvic floor muscles attach. Your low abdominal muscles and hip muscles are very important in the function of the pelvic floor.

Usually, the first recommendation for women who report UI is to do Kegel exercises, tightening the pelvic floor muscles like you are trying to stop pee or gas from escaping. Why gas? Remember I said the pelvic floor is a hammock from front to back. When you tighten the muscle in the front-around the urethra (where pee comes out) you also tighten the muscles in back around the anus (where gas and poop come out). The person next to you knows when you pass gas but you can hide pee in a pad! Thinking about stopping gas can send a stronger signal to the brain and gets a better contraction. Do not tighten your butt cheeks when doing a Kegel exercise.

Some other Kegel tips for success: When you tighten your pelvic floor it is a squeeze and lift. Imagine you are sitting on a grape and you want to pull it up into your vagina. Silly, right? I bet you just did it!

But…it isn’t just about Kegel exercises. Strength at the low abdominal and hip muscles are also important. Crunches are not an effective way to strengthen the low abdominal muscles. Planks and challenging the muscles with leg movements are more effective. Hip exercises that work your “butt cheeks” are beneficial. Stay tuned for future blogs that will highlight the best way to strengthen your abs and butt.

-Jeanette Knill, PT, works at Bellin Health Generations clinic as a physical therapist specializing in the treatment of pelvic floor dysfunction.

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