Why Doulas Love The CUB

As doulas we are told to have our tips and tricks with us in a birth bag. But the reality is I only have a change of clothes, some snacks for myself, a phone charger, a water bottle and the CUB.

 

We stumbled upon the CUB about three years ago in a Pinterest board and haven’t looked back.  Here is our the top reasons why the doulas of Green Bay Doulas love the CUB.

Starts Conversations

When we bring a CUB to a clients house, the older siblings love to play on it, which helps to get everyone comfortable with it and us. Who doesn’t love a new toy?  Nurses and Doctors stop, look and ask lots of questions, all conversations end with “well that’s wonderful, we need some of those!” Wausau Aspirus Hospital currently has one for their labor and delivery unit after we supported a client while using a CUB.

Stability

Unlike a birthing ball which can put pressure on the sacrum, and requires some balancing, our clients like that it is more stable than a birthing ball, but still offers movement if needed.  When we would use birthing balls on the bed for gravity based positions, it would be hard to find the right size, where if our clients are using the CUB we can use both or just one chamber and the belly fits right in there to let them just layout and rest while feeling supported.

Versatility

From end of pregnancy to in the laboring room on the floor (sitting), in the bed (hands and knees) or even in the shower on its side on top of a chair so they have a perfect height to learn against, we can set the CUB up to support our clients when needed.

Ease of Use

It takes seconds to inflate, seconds to deflate, folds up small and it’s lightweight. Also, it’s easy to sanitize or dry off.

Affordable

For the benefit it brings it’s a great tool for all families. I was so excited when I heard the CUB was coming to the USA. No more international shipping! It can be also used well beyond pregnancy and labor, as I said the kids love it, and provides a great alternative to a couch or chair while providing support.

 

If you are ready to join the Green Bay Doulas and experience the CUB you can at https://www.the-cub-usa.com/

 

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

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.

 

 

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

Green Bay’s Fitness Secret

 

Health clubs, fitness centers, machines, dance classes, yoga, where do you start?

How do you stay fit?

What if the workout you’re doing in your first trimester isn’t as doable during your third trimester?
There’s no need to feel defeated if you aren’t able to be as active as you were pre-pregnancy, or even a month ago because we have a secret and we are so excited to share it with you!

 

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Brooke McMillan is the owner of Pure Barre – Green Bay, which is one of over 350 locations in the USA & Canada, the website states thatEach Pure Barre class is 55 minutes and begins with a warm-up in the center of the room, on the floor, and then standing with light weights to work those arm muscles. We’ll then move to the barre to work your thighs and your seat. After the seat work, you’ll do a series of ab exercises, followed by a cool down. While the flow of class is always the same, we are always changing the music and exercises, so you never experience the same class twice!

 

“I took a class a few weeks ago at 18 weeks along, and I was impressed with how fast the class went, how low impact it is but man could I feel it the next day. Yes did I feel like a fish out of water sometimes? Sure, but that’s where it makes you want to come again, learn the technique and keep going. I had to modify a few things but I was able to complete the class, and if I can do it, you can do it. Great music, great atmosphere and it’s ok to look at the gal next to you with this look of ‘How did I get myself into this?’ because we are all in it together, you feel the burn, you push yourself and you keep at it.” – Emily J.

 

They have packages for new clients, teachers, monthly and yearly packages and even a class on just learning the technique. Here are some great blogs from the Pure Barre blog so check them out.


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Now that we got this HUGE secret off our chests, we are excited to invite you to experience it first-hand!

On May 2nd, at 7:00pm we are having a Pure Barre class with the Green Bay Doulas. This is the perfect opportunity for you to come and experience the class, meet your doulas, and ask any questions you have!

This class is open to all mothers, expecting mothers, new mothers, and those who just want to come and join us.
***Space is extremely limited so please email greenbay@purebarre.com to sign up.

JOIN THE FACEBOOK EVENT

Date Nite with the (4)

Check out Emily and Brooke talk about Pure Barre: YouTube Link HERE 

We are excited to let you in on the secret and hope to see you May 2nd. As always we are here to help you find the secrets of Green Bay that support you during your pregnancy and after so please reach out and we hope to hear from you soon!

-The Green Bay Doulas

 

Photo Credit: http://hauteofftherack.com/10-reasons-to-try-pure-barre/

Why not having a Postpartum Doula sucked: My personal postpartum story.

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When I was expecting my first child I was already a certified doula in both birth and postpartum. Unfortunately, I was the only one in my area who was. I knew I would need help, but there was no one to take on the full role of a postpartum doula.

As my guess date approached, I filled my freezer with meals, I got everything set and ready. My husband gets a week off, we can do this! My plans for a homebirth went to the wayside after 4 days of prodromal labor and a baby who was in a less than favorable position to be born at home. We welcomed our baby girl born via cesarean birth and once home from the hospital my husband needed to return to work. The four unexpected days in labor plus the hospital stay had used up all of my husband’s time off.

Here I was, 3 day old newborn, unable to move as I was recovering from a cesarean birth with my front door unlocked hoping anyone would walk in and have a meal for me or allow me a minute to shower. I sat wishing for even a moment of help just to stand up and go to the bathroom.

Now I’m sure you’re asking why not reach out to your family? Where were your friends? Simple answer of today’s generation; I didn’t want to inconvenience anyone, but would I have called up a postpartum doula in 30 secs? You bet! As for family, not everyone has that luxury. My mother had passed away four years previous, my in-laws lived 90 minutes away and were coming in a few days. I needed the help now! Their attention was going to be on my baby and I needed the focus on my well-being AND the baby. All of my friends were amazing, brought me a meal almost everyday, checked in via Facebook, but they had their own families to worry about too!

With all that said here are my thoughts on why I really could have used a postpartum doula:

*She’s NOT judging my messy house! In fact she would do my dishes, fold laundry and help with the small things that would make my life easier. She can rifle through my cupboards and not judge why the glasses are here and plates over there.

*She’s doesn’t have an opinion about my parenting skills she’s helping me own them, breast, bottle, pacifier, swaddle, babywearing, cloth diapering, disposables- I don’t need to explain myself to a postpartum doula- she’s there unconditionally

*I breastfed and even though I have education in it, I still needed my friend to help me with checking latch because seeing and doing are two different things. When you’re sleep deprived you question yourself more often than not.

*She’s someone to ask me how I was doing, and then ask about baby second.

*When I got a UTI infection I needed a friend to come with me and carry my baby to the doctor’s office because I couldn’t lift or move my body to get my baby in and out of a car. My doula would have been there to do that and I wouldn’t have had to ask I friend to drop everything for my boring doctor appointment.

*A NAP! I could have gotten a nap or two knowing someone was watching my baby so I could catch up on sleep and not worry, when will this person have to leave? How long are they staying? Will they have to bring their kids too?

*I don’t have to play house guest with a postpartum doula. I can stay in my bed shirtless cuddling my baby knowing someone is there if I need something.

*Remember those freezer meals I prepared, she’s willing to go into my basement, grab it and throw it in the oven for me.

*Resources- endless resources! She could refer me to any local resources I may need.

Those are a few of my own personal reasons, now as a postpartum doula who will hire one next time around, here are the things I know I can look forward too.

*My future postpartum doula will play with my other children to allow me to bond with my newborn OR hold my newborn while I play and spend some much needed time with the older children.

*I WILL hire an overnight doula- she can spend the night! And when/if my “3rd shift baby” needs a play pal there she will be so that I can rest knowing my doula will get me when baby needs a feeding or maybe bottlefeed for me so I can grab a few extra hours.

*She will help my husband get a break

*She can run some errands for me or come with me to help me acclimate to two children in a grocery store.

*She will help me keep my house in some order or at the very least presentable!

*She will be there for me, however I need her and whenever I need her.

As a society we need to start being ok with asking for help, we need to understand the saying of it takes a village is actually true and not some wives tale. Our parents are retiring at a much later age than our grandparents did, we as a generation are transient and move to different cities now, where our families aren’t readily available. We have little to no time off from work where all industrialized nations have almost a year of maternity leave PAID! We wonder why our postpartum depression rates are so high, and yet still refuse to take care of ourselves. It’s time to start the conversation, to talk about postpartum doulas and why they are worth it, because mama YOU are worth it!

– Emily Jacobson