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Where will baby sleep? There are so many options, so how will you pick the right one...
Last year I had to have my back molar removed. (If you'd like to know how a complete lack of self-care led to me having to have a tooth removed, you can read all about it here.) This was not a fun experience at all. In fact, I am terrified of the dentist and all things dentist-related, so "not fun" is an understatement. This was an anxiety-producing, fearful moment for me. If only I had a doula that day.
"Ewww! That's disgusting!" Those were my kids' words when they saw the decayed and rotted tooth that I held in my hand. And trust me, it looked really gross. I like you guys, so I will spare you a picture. "Hold up!" you're probably thinking, "How does a blog post about self-care involve a disgusting old tooth?!" Well, this is what a complete lack of self-care looks like in my life right now - an extracted tooth. Or, I should say, looked like because never again will I ignore my own needs when they are so clearly demanding my attention.
I was recently discussing what I do as a postpartum doula with a (childless) male friend. His first response was, "Is there a market for that?" Ignoring the gaping, open mouths of the other parents surrounding him ('cause, you know, they get it), I diplomatically responded with the easiest answer, "Yes! Of course!" I went on to explain that we live in an area full of families that are perfect for postpartum support. People settle in my area from all over the country, or even from abroad, for school or work. And once these families welcome their first baby, many find themselves far from the much-needed support of family and friends. A first-time mom without a village will have to make her own.
Are you a soon-to-be mom? Are you having your first, second, third, or (bless you) more child? Do you know any soon-to-be parents? Even if you are none of these, do you have recurring nightmares about your early postpartum visitors? Well then, this post is for you. Read on if you will be visiting a newborn anytime soon. Share if you are expecting a crush of visitors after you return home from the hospital. Or use this as therapy if you are still traumatized from your own onslaught of postpartum visitors.
Let's talk about after baby. (Hopefully, you have a Salt-N-Pepa song stuck in your head now. You're welcome.) If you are expecting, I'm sure you've spent hours contemplating baby's birth. You've probably taken childbirth classes, hospital tours, and, if you're really on the ball, even written out a birth plan. And all of those things are incredibly important, but how much time have you spent thinking about what comes after the birth? Do you have a postpartum plan?
As a postpartum doula, I spend plenty of time with awesome new moms and dads who haven't quite discovered their own inner-awesomeness (that's totally a word, trust me). These are parents with great instincts and unlimited amounts of love for their new baby, yet they are often lacking confidence. One of the things I love about my job is helping these families discover their own parenting strengths and build their confidence. Because before I was a postpartum doula, I was also a new mom, standing where they are, questioning my own instincts and abilities.
"You do what?!" Since making the decision to become a trained and certified postpartum doula I've heard this question a lot. In fact, if I had a nickel for every time someone asked me this, well, by now I'd have...$3.00. OK, still, that's like 60 people. And, for the most part, once I explain what it is a postpartum doula does, I receive positive responses. (Don't know what a postpartum doula does? Head on over here: www.motherlinenc.com/services.) But there are also some blank stares, side eye, and even skepticism when I say these words.