How Hard Could It Be?

When I had my first baby, it was the first time I had ever seen a newborn in person. I’d changed maybe two diapers, ever. In short, I was clueless.

My husband, John, helped his mom run her in-home daycare when he was younger. As far as I was concerned, he would be a diaper changing pro! The rest of the stuff like holding a baby, or soothing them, well, he’d probably remember it. Like riding a bike or something, right? Never mind the fact that he was a child when he did all this (seriously, what was I thinking?)

I had family in town. My own mother, in fact, lived just a few minutes away. And this was her first grandchild, so of course she’d be over all the time and would help fill in any blanks.

So Rex came out, we all got cleaned up and tucked into bed to rest, and suddenly, my husband and I were alone with a brand new baby.

I remember thinking it was a little bit ridiculous that we were expected to be able to take care of this baby without any practice or formal knowledge, completely responsible for someone else’s WHOLE LIFE. I mean, sure, people have been doing this since the beginning of time, but WE had never done it before!

I’m pretty good at rolling with whatever comes my way, so we jumped right in.

John was great at helping with diapers. We might have eaten more take-out than I cared to, but that was ok. My mom was happy to spend her free time with her first grandbaby. But she had to work, too. And eventually, John had to return to work.

Nights were relatively easy – John was home, even if I did feel bad waking him up to help me when I felt overwhelmed, knowing he had to work in the morning. Sometimes I woke him up on purpose, just because I was so irritated at being woken up yet again, and hey, this is his kid, too. (I love you, dear!)

Days were another story.

I was tired but unable to nap

“Sleep when the baby sleeps” is impossible when you feel compelled to clean house and get the chores caught up. Or shower. Or eat.

I was bored out of my mind

Babies don’t make great conversationalists. Who knew?

I was jealous

My husband got to actually go spend time outside the house talking with other adults, even if they were just coworkers, and the only other place he went was work.

I was jealous that other people were able to take care of themselves, their children, and their homes, apparently without breaking a sweat.

I suddenly didn’t feel comfortable or confident

It took more energy than I ever thought just to pack the baby up and get him into the car, and nursing in public or dealing with a crying baby in public was just too much, so I never went anywhere. I used to be a smart, career-minded woman, an organized go-getter. How had this small person reduced me to this? Why didn’t anyone warn me?

I needed a postpartum doula. If only I had known there was such a thing.

Magical postpartum doula fairy
The postpartum doulas you hire won’t have wings, but you’ll swear they have magic sleeping baby fairy dust.

Abby says postpartum doulas are like a fairy godmother, and I have to agree.

Postpartum doulas are the women who have seen it all, so they are great troubleshooters when things aren’t going well.

They are the ones who let you sleep (or shower!) while they magically take care of the baby AND get some of your chores checked off, or get dinner started so your husband can relax, too.

The wonderful postpartum doulas I know are also the best listeners. You’d be amazed at how easy they are to talk to – so understanding, so loving and caring, and somehow they always leave you feeling content and refreshed. That’s way more than I can say for some of the friends and relatives that visited after Rex was born!

Postpartum doulas are more popular now than ever, and for good reason. Doulas of Memphis offers some of the very best doulas in the area, and they are worth their weight in gold.

Scheduling a consultation is quick and easy, and you’ll be so glad you did it.

Memphis summer tips for decorating baby’s nursery

If you’re pregnant in Memphis this summer, it can be hard to find the motivation to pry yourself from the air conditioning to do anything else besides hit the pool. While you’re poolside with your (virgin, of course) drink in your hand, you might be dreaming of what you want your baby’s nursery to look like. What IS the best way to decorate a nursery, anyway?  Pinterest is chock full of time-consuming ideas, but who has time and energy for that when it’s 100+ degrees outside? Before you invest, take a look at the things you already have.

swimming-pool-1211573_1280
Who has time to decorate the nursery when the pool is calling your name?

You know your grandmother’s old dresser that you aren’t sure what to do with? It’s beautiful, not too high, and has a lot of storage space. If it’s sitting unused in your attic, a weekend and a few coats of chalk paint can turn your forgotten antique into a meaningful way to incorporate your loved ones into your little one’s nursery. The best part? While the paint dries, grab your beach towel and take a dip in the refreshing pool water! Once it’s dry, you can use items you’ve probably already received to turn that dresser into changing table extraordinaire, with space for all of baby’s clothes, diapers, and other essentials.

decorate nursery
A coat of chalk paint on a piece of multi-purpose furniture goes a long way!

A nursery that tells your story

Speaking of grandma and incorporating loved ones into your baby’s nursery, look around for pieces of art or trinkets you may already own that tell a story to your baby. Place them around the room among the adorable decor you already have. Do you or someone in your family collect something? Create a nursery themed around that, and as you sit and nurse your baby in the rocking chair that’s been in your family for generations, you can bond with your baby by creating a tradition of sharing stories. Stories about your family that bring fond memories, bring you closer together, and connect past and present.

Consider utilizing collections that are meaningful to your family in your nursery decor.
Consider utilizing collections that are meaningful to your family in your nursery decor.

 

There are so many options out there for nursery decorations, but let’s keep it real: your baby isn’t going to remember it! Create a space for yourself that feeds your soul, is true to you, and tells your baby a story that will be woven into the fabric of their childhood. That’s where memories are created. And if you happen to find some cute baskets at Target that match…

Beach vacation with baby: Top 5 Tips

Are you planning a beach vacation with baby this summer? This year’s trip to Destin, Gulf Shores, Pensacola, 30A, or your beach of choice might be different than before kids, but don’t let that deter you from having a great time with your baby! Here are our Memphis doula Top 5 Tips for a beach vacation with baby:

Baby Beach Vacation Tip #1: The Magical Pop-Up Tent

If you’re taking a beach vacation with baby, you might ask yourself questions like:

“What are we going to do for shade?”
“What if baby is tired and needs a nap?”
“What if we need some privacy or a quiet place to nurse?”

beach vacation with baby tent
You’ll be made in the shade on your beach vacation with baby!

Enter the magical pop-up tent. A small two-person adult tent is inexpensive, portable, requires almost no setup, and takes care of several logistical problems you might have. If the sand isn’t allowing you to stake your tent, bury it around the edges a bit and it’ll hold up better than an umbrella or gazebo on a windy beach day. If your baby is tired and needs to take a nap, there won’t be anywhere 100% sand-free, but the tent provides a safe place for a snooze. If you need to change a diaper, your clothes, or need privacy for any reason, you’re all set. Don’t feel like baring all when breastfeeding on the beach? No worries- slip into your tent for a nurse and a cuddle.

Baby Beach Vacation Tip #2: Beat the Heat

beach-691392_640If it’s possible, take your beach vacation with baby earlier in the season when the water is warm and the sun is, too! Avoiding scorching temps will mean baby is more comfortable and you get more of the beach time you love. If you can’t go earlier in the season, hit the beach in the cooler parts of the day.

Baby Beach Vacation Tip #3: Don’t Salt the Rim

No babies were given virgin or real margaritas in the making of this silly photo.
No babies were given virgin or real margaritas in the making of this silly photo.

Perhaps this is common sense already, but in the interest of full disclosure for your beach vacation with baby: if you are a breastfeeding mother who plans to both get in the ocean AND nurse your baby, it’s a good idea to rinse off your breasts before latching on. You might love a salted rim on your beach cocktails, but your baby is unlikely to feel the same way! In addition to salt, a quick rinse with some bottled water will get rid of any sand lingering on your breast and make breastfeeding on the beach much more enjoyable for your baby.

Baby Beach Vacation Tip #4: Less isn’t more when it comes to dressing baby

Nobody likes a sunburn or a sandy bottom!
Nobody likes a sunburn or a sandy bottom!

It can be difficult to keep sunscreen on a wriggling baby, and the less surface area you have to apply it on, the better.  Baby bikinis and swim trunks are super adorable, but perhaps not the best choice if you plan on spending a long time at the beach. Consider a hat and a short-sleeve or long-sleeve rash guard shirt with a high UPF to keep baby protected from the sun. It might seem counter-intuitive to put pants on a baby on the beach, but some light cotton pants are easy to slip on over a swim diaper, will provide a little sun protection, and keep sand away from the diaper area. Covering up will keep baby protected and comfortable, and reduce the amount of sunscreen you need to apply.

Baby Beach Vacation Tip #5: Rethink the “essentials”

IMG_0465You can have a great beach vacation with baby without bringing every baby item you own with you. Aside from clothing, diapering supplies, and a place to sleep, your baby doesn’t need much to have a good time. It’s difficult to maneuver a stroller on sand, so consider leaving it behind in favor of a baby carrier. Some simple sand toys and the shells and other interesting textures you find on the beach will be entertainment enough. After all, the best part of a beach vacation with your baby is the time you spend together!

 

Do you have any more tips for taking a beach vacation with baby? Share with us in the comments!

 

 

 

My Nanoo was a nurse

As told by Lindsey Hanna, co-owner of Doulas of Memphis

Nursing has always been a significant part of my life. My grandmother, whom we affectionately referred to Nanoo because little Lindsey couldn’t quite get out “Nana,” was a nurse. She was like another mom to me and had a significant role in my upbringing. My mother worked when I was small, and we were able to avoid daycare because of Nanoo. She had recently retired from 30+ years working as a nurse, and all of those years were spent in the Baptist system. She was my role model and the reason I became a nurse, too.

Being a nurse runs in the family

If nursing isn’t in our blood, it’s pretty close. Nanoo became a nurse because of her aunt, but not before waiting a couple of years after high school so that she and her sister would graduate at the same time. They were roommates in a big new city, and they jumped in and graduated from Baptist Nursing School (now known as Baptist College of Health Sciences) together in 1953. Here she is in 1955, getting ready:

nurse
Fannie Zue Moore, aka “Zukie” getting ready to work as a nurse in May 1955

My turn


Nanoo was spunky and fiercely loyal to Baptist. She “guessed it was okay” that my aunt worked at St. Francis because “they ain’t no competition anyway.” When I was in nursing school at Baptist College of Health Sciences, the same college Nanoo went to, I mentioned to her that I was considering pediatrics and working at Lebonheur. She said, “That’s in that Methodist Corporation, isn’t it? I don’t want no granddaughter of mine working at Methodist!” Eventually she conceded because it was the only pediatrics hospital around. To be fair, Nanoo also said she would disown me if I ever got a tattoo. I still don’t have a tattoo, and I never embraced the Methodist rivalry, and that’s okay.

nurses
Nanoo and her sister, Gracie

Good enough for me

She was funny and sharp as a tack, and one heck of a cook. The only milk I would ever drink was Nanoo’s milk, even though she got in the same jug from Kroger as the rest of my family. The rest of my family didn’t serve me milk in a chilled mason jar with a handle, and the rest of my family didn’t pour it quite like Nanoo did. Her cooking was “never good enough,” and she was always fussing about this or that detail that didn’t turn out quite right. It didn’t matter because we loved it. Biscuits and gravy, pot roast, cheesy potatoes, peanut butter pie, muscadine pie, strawberry fig jam were the smells of my childhood.

Just like my Nanoo

Nanoo had strong hands, hands that could peel boiled tomatoes, and if you ever had an ailment of any kind, she had the tools to fix it. She taught me to sew, to cook, to can tomatoes, to crochet, and when Nanoo taught you something, you went big or went home. My first sewing project was a reversible vest with pearl buttons, my first crochet project was a full sized afghan, and it’s no wonder that to this day I can’t do anything halfway. I looked like Nanoo, and wanted to be just like her, and that meant that I was going to be a nurse…in the Baptist system, of course.

nurse
Nanoo with a hat that I crocheted for her

I worked as a nurse in restorative care for two years and labor and delivery for three years before the birth of my son, and Nanoo didn’t blame me for taking some time off to be a Mom. She patted me on the leg, which was her version of a great big hug, and said, “That’s all right. He needs you.” Nanoo was a nurse in a simpler time. Nurses had more time to sit and nurture their patients, to treat them like family. I never went back to nursing, but that nurturing spirit that my Nanoo had, fiesty as it was, led me from nurse to mom to doula.

Nurse Appreciation Week

Even though I’m not working as a nurse right now, I will never stop appreciating the work that nurses do. It will always be a part of who I am, and who my family is. If you haven’t recently, take the time to thank a nurse in your life not only for what they do, but for who they are. Show them that you see them, that you see their work, and that it matters to you. Because nurses matter to all of us. My Nanoo was a nurse, and my life will never be the same because of it.  

 

Relationships after baby: What to expect

As we grow and reach new milestones in our lives, our relationships with those around us change and evolve. Relationships after baby are no different, but oftentimes new parents are blindsided by how much their relationships change when a new baby is added into the picture. Many are surprised by how much their world shrinks compared to how things were before children. During this time of adjustment, parents may deal with extra stress, tension, feelings of isolation and loneliness, and perhaps even a bit of grief over the loss of freedom to which they were accustomed. All of these feelings are normal, but they don’t have to define you or your relationships!

relationships after baby
Your relationships after baby may change, but you’ve got this.

Relationships after baby: Spouse/Partner

For many couples, marriage and learning how to live together is a big adjustment. You learn how to balance your life with someone else’s in a way that you didn’t have to before you were under one roof- reconciling schedules, household management, meals, habits and idiosyncrasies are parts of truly becoming one unit. When you add a pregnancy and then a baby into the mix, that routine becomes disrupted, particularly in the newborn days. There’s another person to balance now and it takes time to arrive at that new feeling of “normal.”  Becoming a parent changes you, and it will change how you interact with your spouse, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Be patient with each other as you grow into you new roles. Keep the lines of communication open. Take a little time every day to connect, even in a small way. Maybe it’s not quite the same as it was before, but you’ll find more things to love about each other along the way. If you’re struggling, never be ashamed to ask for help! You don’t exist in a vacuum and there is support out there for you if you want and/or need it.

Relationships after baby: Family

When you have a baby, the dynamic of the family you grew up in shifts, too:  It’s your turn to have a crack at this whole parenting business, and your loved ones may deal with that in a variety of ways. Some may be supportive no matter what, while others seem to question every choice you make. When faced with negativity, the important thing to remember is that their feelings are about them and not about you. Respecting where they came from as parents and setting healthy boundaries at the start can free you up to enjoy your relationships with your family. Chances are your family cares about you and your baby and wants to see you succeed, and supportive family is a gift both to you and to your child!

Relationships after baby: Friends

Much in the same way that getting married can change your friendships, so can having a baby. The friends you had in college or when you were single may not be in the same place in life that you are right now. They might seem like they’re in an entirely different world, and you can’t remember the last time you got together, or when you do finally sit down for lunch you may struggle to relate to where they are right now. It’s true that some of your friendships might fizzle out, but your friends don’t have to be in the same stage as you are for you to have a relationship with them. The ones who stick around and weather each change with you? Treasure those friendships. Cultivate them. Include them in the life of your family. I promise you’re not too boring for them. They know that you’ll get your night out soon and that one day you’ll be able to invest in them more, and that’s okay.

Relationships after baby: Your baby (and siblings)

Even your relationship with your baby will change over time- after all, you’ve just met and are starting from scratch! As you learn your baby’s habits and get glimpses of his or her personality, you’ll become more responsive as a parent and will likely find more enjoyment in spending time with your baby. Some parents feel bonded to their baby immediately. Others take extra time, and that’s okay too! You may already have other children and are juggling their needs with the needs of your newborn. Children are forgiving, resilient, and know that you love them and care for them. Time with your older children will look different too, but they’ll also have their own relationships to build with their new brother or sister. Perhaps they’ll even have more chances to build stronger relationships with other loved ones.

You’ll find your way…together.

Part of what we do as postpartum doulas is help you figure out how to integrate your new baby into your existing family and relationships. We’re happy to help care for you and support you as you figure out how it all fits together.  Give us a call at (901) 308-4888 or drop us a line and let’s start a conversation about how we can serve your family!

 

Spring is coming: Getting help with postpartum depression

lion-1145040_640The old kindergarten adage is true again this year: “March comes in like a lion, and out like a lamb.” We see it around us and feel it in the air that yes, spring is coming in all of its humid, rainy glory. I love a good analogy, and this changing season has me thinking about a time in my life when I thought winter was never going to end.

I should have seen it coming, but suffice it to say that with my firstborn I was the poster child for postpartum depression and anxiety.

We had only been back in Memphis for three months before my son was born. I wish I could say we adjusted well to being parents, and those first few months were magical, but that’s simply not true. It was isolating and it was hard. Really hard.

My baby was well-cared for and I adored him, but I struggled to do daily tasks. I would fly off the handle at the most insignificant things, couldn’t cope with the lack of sleep, and couldn’t seem to make it past showering and getting dressed. I’d sit on my couch with my baby and there I’d stay, until 5pm rolled around and I had nothing to show for my day. I thought it was “just stress,” or that “this is what those first few months are like…after all, I’m rocking my baby and babies don’t keep, right?” I wasn’t crying all the time, so I couldn’t be depressed, right? My precious husband picked up my slack the best he could but while he was my safety net, there wasn’t anyone catching him. 

It was six months before I got help. Six months before I couldn’t take it anymore. Six months before my husband said, “This isn’t normal.”

I felt like I was losing my mind. I was overwhelmed and wracked with guilt. I was terrified of what people would think of me. Nothing sent me running faster than the Standard Southern Greeting of “How are you?” I didn’t know how to answer that question- what if they didn’t actually want to know? Even after I started counseling, it took me more than a year to feel normal again. There were pieces to pick up after months of going it alone.  As I was living day to day with a baby to care for,  it was hard to see any sort of growth. Some days I wondered if I would ever get better. If I would ever feel like myself again…who was I again, anyway? I couldn’t pinpoint a day where I magically felt better, but over time things didn’t seem so difficult anymore. The coping skills I learned in therapy became second nature. My relationship with my husband improved and I was doing a lot more giving and a lot less taking. That time was a lot like little glimpses of spring near the end of a long winter.

spring, postpartum depression

It may not always feel like it, but spring is coming. 

Maybe you’re in a season of your life where you’ve planted the seeds but can’t see the blooms yet. Maybe it’s still raining, raining, raining, and you can’t seem to catch a break. Some days are warm with tastes of sunshine to come, but others are dreary and gray. Nobody flips a switch and turns spring on. March has to come first, in like a lion and out like a lamb. Maybe it’s not today, but one day the flowers will come out. The grass will be green. The chill will leave the air. Spring is coming!

If you’re struggling right now, please know that there is help for you. Don’t wait! You may not hear about postpartum depression and anxiety while you’re out running your errands, but there are warrior moms all around you. You are not a failure. You are not a bad mom. It’s not your fault. You are not alone. I’ll say it again: You are not alone! 

If you want to learn more about getting help with postpartum depression and anxiety, visit Postpartum Progress and Postpartum Support International. For dads, visit http://www.postpartummen.com. If you need help locally, reach out to us and we’ll help you get connected. 

What babies and tornadoes have in common

‘Tis the season for tornadoes in Memphis, Tennessee, that time of year where we don our rain boots and do our best to “Respect the Polygon.” It’s a part of life around here, both natural and a bit unsettling at times…

…kind of like having a baby.

Stay with me here. While having a baby isn’t terrifying or devastating in the way a tornado can be, they do have a lot in common.

tornadoes, babies

Tornadoes are unpredictable

While most tornadoes follow a pattern from southwest to northeast, we can never know exactly which course they will take, how strong they will be, or what they will leave in their wake. Giving birth is similar. While most labors follow a general pattern, there is plenty of room for variation. Contractions speed up or slow down, labors stall and labors come on fast and furious. With labor comes periods of anticipation and watchful waiting. We can’t always trust that nothing will go wrong, but we can have great respect for the power behind birth. All of this is natural and normal, even in its unpredictability. You never know what kind of baby you have until they are here, and you never can be totally sure what they’ll do next. A baby who sleeps her newborn days away might all of a sudden decide sleeping isn’t her thing (don’t worry, we can help!). A routine that worked last week might need a complete overhaul as your baby hits a new milestone in his development.

Tornadoes can turn your world upside down

I’ve been fortunate to have been around tornadoes my whole life, but have never had firsthand experience with the life-altering devastation they can cause. Babies are blessings and don’t shake up our worlds in the same way tornadoes do, but one thing you can count on is that your whole life will be different. In the same way that a tornado doesn’t always pass over your city without incident, birth can sometimes be difficult and sometimes babies need extra help before they can go home. Perhaps a new baby at your home has affected your relationship with your spouse in ways you weren’t expecting. Maybe postpartum depression wasn’t part of the plan, but here you are, picking up the pieces with a little one in tow. Just as we reach out for help in the face of natural disasters outside our control, it’s important to remember that if things don’t go as planned, it’s okay to ask for help. It’s okay to see your therapist, to call your doctor, to reach out to friends and family who care about you! If you don’t know where to go, ask your doula for help and she’ll connect you with a referral to get the help you need.

You can prepare for tornadoes and you can prepare for babies

In the same way that we create safe spaces and plans of action for when bad weather arises, we can create safe spaces and plans of action for when baby comes. Sure, a “go bag” has a different meaning when you’re talking about an outing with a newborn, but the concept is the same. By taking the time to think through your plan of action for birth and postpartum, you can be better prepared for whatever your own little tornado throws your way. Babies are unpredictable both in their arrival and their behavior, but we can still create safe spaces for ourselves. In addition to surrounding yourself with friends and family, a doula can help you navigate the unpredictably of birth and new parenthood and provide you with a soft place to land. We want to be there for you and help you the best we can as you stretch, grow, and gain confidence!

 

If only I had a doula while dealing with infertility (a ProDoula challenge)

This is part 2 of a two-part blog series titled, “If only I had a doula.” ProDoula, the certification agency used by Doulas of Memphis, issued a blog challenge to write about a time where we could have used the support of a doula. Today, our own Lindsey Hanna talks about her struggle with infertility.

Lindsey and Thor, sitting in a tree, K-I-S-S-I-N-G. First comes love. Then comes marriage. Then comes the baby in the baby carriage… I remember singing that song as a child, don’t you? That’s how I expected life to go, but as things often happen that’s not how my life worked out.

infertility, baby carriage


Infertility

Even the sight of the word hurts my heart. I vividly remember every negative pregnancy test, every office visit, and every question as to why we hadn’t had kids yet. Every month my heart would break as the period didn’t come but the tests screamed NEGATIVE. I was barely keeping it together as everyone told me to “just relax” or to start the adoption paperwork and it would all work out.

In it for the long haul

After two years of trying, I was finally referred to a Reproductive Endocrinologist. Numerous tests later I finally got a diagnosis: PCOS. It explained everything, the lack of periods, the extra weight around the middle, and most of all the infertility. I thought getting the answer would fix it, and it did help that I knew what was wrong, but even then the treatments weren’t working. I felt like my body had failed me. Another test, you need to try IUI… failed. Another IUI…failed. Another test, you need surgery…

I was ready to give up

Thankfully my husband wasn’t ready to throw in the towel quite yet. IUI number three worked. It had taken another 8 months to finally see this…

pregnant after infertility

 


If I’d only had a doula

My husband tried to understand the best he could, but he never really understood how deeply it cut me each month. My mom even tried to step in and help. They both spent many an hour with me as I cried. I needed a doula to get me through not only the months, but the hours. A doula would have recommended a reproductive endocrinologist long before I thought to see one two years in. She would have sat with me as I cried so I wasn’t alone on the floor of my bathroom each month. She would have reminded me that I wasn’t alone, even though more than anything that’s how I felt. My doula would have reminded me that just because I couldn’t have a baby it didn’t mean I was a horrible wife and worthless woman. Oh, how I wish I’d known a doula for my infertility journey!

My journey through infertility was one of the hardest things I have ever had to go though and it’s still not over. A part of me wishes that I didn’t have that in my past, but another part is glad I do, because it has helped to make me the person I am. Because of my experience with infertility, I have so much more compassion for other women, no matter their situation. I’ve learned to be more careful of the words I speak, because you never know what the person on the other end of those words is dealing with.

Authored by Lindsey Hanna

If you are dealing with infertility, please know that you are not alone. Doulas of Memphis is here for you if you’d like to reach out for support and/or resources.

Why postpartum support matters

nest
Our society places a high value and emphasis on pregnancy and preparing for birth. We make elaborate pregnancy announcements with social media, throw gender reveal parties, register for and host baby showers, and renovate nurseries. We take great care to learn about birth, whether it’s through the experiences of others, the internet, books, or a childbirth class. We craft our nests lovingly in anticipation for the arrival of our little ones. But the reality is, aside from comments about how you should “sleep while you can,” nobody is preparing us for the reality of motherhood.

Reality: there’s nothing glamorous about motherhood.

Motherhood is beautiful, but it’s gritty. It’s raw. You’re recovering from birth and sleeping in the bassinet next to you is your heart outside of your body. The baby you’ve dreamed about is here, but maybe it’s not like what you expected. Every relationship you have has changed before your very eyes. Some of it’s good, and some of it takes time to grow into. For every posed newborn photo and smiling selfie there’s a restless night, not enough coffee, a nagging feeling of “Am I doing this right?” that manages to creep in uninvited. Visitors come, but it’s not always at a great time. Meals come, and while you love lasagna, you’ve had it 3 nights in a row and would kill for a salad right about now. You might have lots of family around, but they all did things differently and you’re left feeling unsure. Then it all drifts away and there’s you and this baby that is yours to love and care for. Not everyone experiences all of this, but if you’ve been there I bet you can find at least one thing that makes you go, “Mmmhmm.” Let’s all do each other a favor and acknowledge that this is deep water we travel into, and we all need help to stay afloat.

Planning for postpartum

So you’ve written your birth plan, taken your childbirth class, perhaps even hired your doula. You’re as ready as you can be for birth, but what about after baby’s here? That’s what all of this is about, right? Here are a few things to consider as part of your postpartum plan:
Visitors: Who will be visiting, and when? Do you have any special considerations?
Social media: Who will announce the birth? Who is allowed to post photos?
Meals: Will anyone organize meals for you? Do you have room in your freezer, or do you need to make space?
Household tasks: Who will help with household tasks? Do you have pets to consider?
Self-care: Who will be there to help take care of you? (Yes, you!) Do you have a strong support network or do you anticipate needing extra help?
Social network: Who can you call if you need to reach out? Who can your partner call if he needs to reach out? When can they be reached?

You don’t have to go it alone

The most important thing to remember about those early baby days is that you are not alone! If you don’t already have a strong support network, or you feel more comfortable asking for help from someone who isn’t as close to you, a postpartum doula can help! At Doulas of Memphis, our focus is on taking care of you and your needs as you adjust to a new baby. Our doulas are available to you both day and night, so we can customize our support to fit your family. Do you need more help in the morning or the evening? Are you desperate for a night of sleep? We’ve got it covered. We can take care of the little things so that you can feel rested, relaxed, and ready to take on the day.  Postpartum support matters because YOU matter!

To learn more about postpartum doula services and how we can help your family, click here.