Give the gift of sleep

Sleep. The #1 item on the wish list of new moms everywhere.

Maybe coffee is a close second, but sleep is a commodity that’s hard to come by when you are doing the up-and-down nighttime song and dance that is having a newborn in the house.

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Family is gone. Dad’s back at work. Now it’s you and this baby who hasn’t gotten the memo about days and nights yet. Yawn.

What if you didn’t have to spend those early days exhausted? What if there were some modern fairy godmother to bibbity-bobbity-boo you right off to dreamland? Good news, that totally exists, and it’s called a postpartum doula.

For new moms, postpartum doulas are as close to a fairy godmother as it gets. In addition to being great with babies, postpartum doulas are trained in normal postpartum recovery and carindg for moms. A lot of time, that care looks like facilitating sleep.

All the newborn grunting keeping you up? Can you believe nobody prepared you for how loud sleeping babies are?! Are you having trouble sleeping because you keep checking to see if everything is okay? Are you worried about your partner getting rest because they have a demanding job? Is baby fed and changed, but restless because of gas? In addition to normal newborn wakings, all of these are common reasons for moms to be short on sleep.

If you want more sleep at night or a chance to get a nap in the daytime, our postpartum doulas can help.

You can sleep easier knowing that your baby is in expert hands with our professional doulas. If you’re nursing or pumping, we can help facilitate sleep by minimizing the time you have to spend awake at night. We can give the baby a bottle or bring baby to you to nurse. We’ll take care of all of the burping, changing, and soothing back to sleep. If you are utilizing the help of your doula in the daytime, you can take that much-needed nap (and maybe even a decent shower!) while your doula looks after the baby and helps keep your house running smoothly.

Stocking stuffers, baby showers, or just because…there’s never a wrong occasion to give a mom the gift of sleep.

Choose one of our online gift certificates, or contact us and we’ll be happy help you with a custom amount. We have a variety of packages and price points to choose from!

 

Prevent Diaper Blowouts

In addition to making sure you have the correct fitting diaper for your baby, there are other tricks to prevent diaper blowouts.

Check out our latest Time Out for one of Abby’s favorite tricks for stopping blowouts in their gussets!

So what’s with the snaps and velcro?

There are two basic kinds of cloth diaper covers: snaps and aplix (aka Velcro). Both kinds are made of a material called polyurethane laminate (PUL). It is waterproof to prevent leaks onto clothing, and there are one-size diapers on the market with an adjustable fit that can accommodate your baby as they grow. For a standard one-size diaper cover, there are snaps that adjust the rise of the diaper.

prevent diaper blowouts
Left: Cover with snaps, rise snaps set on smallest setting.
Right: Cover with Velcro, rise snaps on largest setting.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And the poop stays in how?

Prefolds, flat diapers, and skin-safe diaper inserts typically go inside of a PUL diaper cover, but there are absolutely zero rules against simply placing a PUL cover over a disposable diaper! In addition to the absorbency of the diaper, the waterproof layer keeps clothes dry, the gussets keeps those poop explosions at bay, and elastic in the back keeps messes contained as well.  If your cover becomes soiled, you can wipe any solids off, wash in the washing machine, and line dry. Line drying is important because PUL can delaminate with excessive heat.

prevent diaper blowouts
Left: Inside of PUL diaper cover
Right: Double gusset (aka poop containing magic)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Another fun perk to keeping a diaper cover or two handy is that even if you don’t cloth diaper, you can use them for those diaper emergencies when you’ve run out of diapers but can’t make it to the store right away. A cotton kitchen towel will get you through in pinch. Here’s what each kind of cover looks like on the baby:

He's a bit furry, but he'll do ;)
He’s a bit furry, but he’ll do 😉

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How much does a diaper cover cost? Where do I buy?

Cost for a one-size PUL diaper cover can run anywhere from $5-$20, depending on source, quantity, and quality. If you’re Facebook-savvy, there are co-ops and resale groups dedicated to cloth diapers. Cotton Babies is a larger retailer based out of St. Louis, and there’s always trusty Amazon. If you like shopping local as much as we do, Over the Moon Diapers is Memphis-run and accepts online orders with an option for local pickup. For clothing that’s special to you or to save the hassle of a messy car seat on a long trip, utilizing a diaper cover is a cost-effective (and cute!) way to prevent diaper blowouts.

Did you find this trick to helpful? Do you think you would ever purchase a cover like this for yourself or as a gift? Let us know in the comments!

5 Things I Know About Online Friends | Guest Blog

In this day and age our relationships look a little different than they used to. Our circle is wider, more extensive, and we no longer have to rely on only our jobs and local hangouts to meet people and strike up friendships. A lot of us are meeting our partners online, so why would our friendships be any different?

Never underestimate the power of online friends!
Never underestimate the power of online friends!

I am no stranger to online friendships. For the past several years, most of my closest friends have lived in my computer! It can be hard at times, but I consider myself a bit of an expert at this point. So here are 5 things I know about online friends:

1. They’re just as real as face-to-face friendships.

Sometimes people can make you feel like your online friendships aren’t as legitimate as face-to-face ones. But they are! Remember, that’s not just a computer you’re talking to, there’s a real person behind that profile. And isn’t the most legitimate type of friend one that makes you feel supported and loved, no matter where they live?

2. There are tons of different ways to communicate with online friends.

IMG_1998You have a plethora of options with which to communicate, depending on your personality and preferences. Do you like to Facebook chat while you’re feeding the baby? Maybe you like seeing their face, so Skype or Google hangouts are more your style. Or if talking on the phone with little ones is a challenge, the voice message feature can be the best of both worlds. You can post funny stuff on their Timeline. And have you seen the new Snapchat filters today?!

 

3. Your online friends don’t care if you’re a hot mess today.

You can talk to them without a bra. Or in only a bra. Or with your hair a mess. Whatever, your online friends don’t care! They’re just happy to hear from you. You never feel like you have to impress them.

4. Online friends are there whenever you need them.

Even if they aren’t always online, having their profile readily available at all times makes it really feel like they are always there. When you’re up feeding the baby again, you can send your BFF a message because you know she’ll see it soon. And sometimes you might abuse this just slightly by treating your messages like your own personal journal… but it’s all good, because you know they’ve got your back.

5. Any time spent face-to-face with your online friends is the sweetest time ever.

On the rare occasion that you do get see your online friends face-to-face, it’s the best. They are SO happy to see you, because it’s been months or even years since you last hung out. Online friends know how to cherish time together because it’s so rare. They never take you for granted and you always part looking forward to the next time you can hang out!

We all need friends and support people in our lives. That need is even greater as mothers. We need people we can complain to, laugh with, cry with, love, and be loved by. They say it takes a village – it’s okay if your village is a virtual one.

Authored by: Brooke Duke, owner of Expecting Baby Doula Services. Brooke is a doula in Ames, Iowa. Check her out at www.expectingbabydoula.com.

 

Dads and Breastfeeding

You might not think about dads and breastfeeding going hand in hand, but behind many breastfeeding mothers there is a supportive dad who makes all the difference in the world. In a lot of ways, dads are the unsung heroes of breastfeeding.

dads and breastfeeding

To the dads who bring water, snacks, and extra coffee, we see you. We appreciate you.

In those early days when your baby is exclusively breastfeeding and there’s not much for a dad to do in the way of feeding, you support breastfeeding by making sure mom is nourished, hydrated, and well-rested. Breastfeeding a newborn is hard work, and the little things you do to make sure moms have what they need to stay on top of their milk supply are so important.

To the dads who wake up at night, change diapers, and bring baby to nurse, we see you. We appreciate you.

When tiny tummies nurse through the night, you’re there to make life a little bit easier. Maybe you can’t do it every night, but whenever you can you try to give her a rest. You know she’s trying so hard and you feel like it’s the least you can do. You’re eager to help and share the load, and if and when she’s ready, you’ll give the baby a nighttime bottle so mom can get more than 3 or 4 hours of sleep. Thank you for setting an example for other men in your life.

To the dads who validate, cheer moms on, and encourage them not to give up on their worst day, we see you. We appreciate you.

Breastfeeding doesn’t always come naturally to everyone, and sometimes there are bumps along the way. You’re there for her through tears, cracked and sore nipples, lactation visits, small wins, big wins, and everything in-between. You see how determined she is to succeed and it inspires you. You want her to feel confident and supported. You lift her up when things get tough, and maybe you even call in a postpartum doula to be there when you can’t. You support her at home and out in public. You want her to be confident, comfortable, and you’re there for her no matter what.

You know bonding is about more than milk, and you find new ways to fall in love with your baby every day.

We see you. We appreciate you. Thank you.

Do you know a dad who supports breastfeeding? Share this with him and remind him how special he is to you. We’d love to hear your stories in the comments!

#worldbreastfeedingweek

Add a manual pump to your breastfeeding toolkit | Video and Tutorial

When it comes to pumping breast milk, it’s the age of the electric pump, but adding a manual pump to your breastfeeding toolkit is a good idea that makes for a great companion to your snazzy electric! In our YouTube series, Time Out with Doulas of Memphis, Abby gives the run-down on the handy (pun intended) manual pump!

The most common misconception surrounding the manual breast pump is that it is labor intensive. This is not true! Pumping with a manual is simple and yields a surprising amount of milk, and is convenient for date night, outdoor events, and times when you don’t want to be chained to an outlet. Manual pumps are easy to store and take along with you, and eliminate the need for an extra pumping bag. They are also easy to rinse and clean on the go.

If you’re a stay at home mom who only has the occasional pumping need, a manual pump could very well be the only pump you need! If you’re an exclusive pumper or a working mom who pumps full time, a manual pump is good to have for outings when you need to keep things light and simple. If you air on the side of discretion, it’s easy to throw on a nursing cover, pump, and go!

Photo Tutorial: How to store a manual pump for easy travel

Taking a manual pump with you is a breeze! You’ll need:

Gallon ziploc bag
Bottle
Cap
Pump body with valve and membrane attached
Pump handle with diaphragm attached
1-2 extra breast milk storage bags

manual pump
For easy travel that takes up minimal space in your bag

In your gallon ziploc back, place the storage bags in first and then the remaining parts on top in a row.

Your parts should only take up the bottom half of the bag.
Your parts should only take up the bottom half of the bag.

Next, squeeze out any air and fold the bag over.

This takes up WAY less space than simply putting the entire pump in your bag.
This takes up WAY less space than simply putting the entire pump in your bag.

Finally, slide the bag into your purse and enjoy your outing!

manual pump in bag

 

If you haven’t already, subscribe to our YouTube channel and comment with more Time Out ideas!

Have you ever used a manual pump? How did it compare to your expectations? Comment below and share your experience!

#worldbreastfeedingweek

 

 

Time Out with Doulas of Memphis | YouTube: Intro and Self Care

Exciting news: Doulas of Memphis now has a YouTube show, called Time Out with Doulas of Memphis! We’ll be taking a series of “Mommy Time Outs” and discussing and answering questions about Things That Matter. First up on the list of Things That Matter? YOU! Our first episode is a quick intro and then we dive in to talking about self care.

Self care doesn’t happen in a vacuum, and it isn’t about elaborate massages, pedicures, or hours upon hours of “me time.” Here at Doulas of Memphis we believe that self care can’t happen on a large scale until it happens on a smaller scale. Take a Time Out with us and watch the first episode of Time Out with Doulas of Memphis!

Do you have ideas for more Time Outs? We want Things That Matter to you, so drop us a comment either on this blog or on our YouTube video to leave suggestions and feedback! Also, don’t forget to subscribe so that you can take a Time Out with us next time!

And don’t forget to take a time out for yourself this week!

‘Til next time,

Abby and Lindsey

Postpartum GO!

Pokemon GO is sweeping the nation, and many of us are reliving our childhoods, channeling our inner nerds, and enjoying the chance to catch ’em all in the real world. We also couldn’t help but notice that Pokemon GO has a lot in common with postpartum doulas! Introducing: Postpartum GO!

Pokemon Go
Like Pokemon GO, but for moms.

When you’re a mom playing Postpartum GO, you aren’t catching Pokemon. You’re catching the day to day tasks of parenthood. Diapering, breastfeeding, bottle feeding, nap time, playtime, bedtime, bath time, meals, laundry, dishes, showers, actually putting the clean clothes away, etc. You throw your Pokeball and catch those tasks, checking them off the list until it’s time to do it all over again. Sometimes you miss, and that’s okay too. It’s all part of learning how to play the game.

Sometimes, you feel like your life with a newborn is full of nothing but Pidgeys, Rattatas, and Zubats. You wish you could catch some new Pokemon already! Lucky for you, your postpartum doula is your Great Ball or Master Ball. With her help, you can catch bigger Pokemon and take on more tasks.

Maybe you’re feeling confident about newborn care but struggling with keeping up with household tasks, or maybe its the other way around. Adjusting to a new baby while recovering from birth can feel overwhelming at times, and your postpartum doula is there to take the stress out of the game. While you relax and enjoy bonding with your baby, your doula can help keep your house running AND is there to answer all of your baby questions, bounce ideas off of, and be another grownup who understands and isn’t there to judge or give her opinion. She helps you level up at this newborn gig, and it’s not even considered cheating!

In the game of Postpartum GO, gym battles are the challenges you overcome in early parenthood. Sleepless nights, teething, colicky babies, figuring out exactly how long it takes you to go somewhere, ever-changing, routines. Each stage brings a new challenge. Your postpartum doula is your Potions and Revives.

pokemon goYour postpartum doula is there to help you revive after a long “battle” so that you are refreshed and ready for the next one. Babies are fun and adorable, but they deplete your energy reserves fast if you aren’t careful. Your doula is there to help you balance things out. She’ll make you a special Potion called a Home-Cooked Meal or a Warm Cup of Coffee. She’ll mind the baby so you can take a nap and Revive. She can even come and give you the Lucky Egg of a Full Night of Sleep. You can wake up to clean dishes, folded laundry, breakfast, and all the energy you need to catch the day’s tasks. Talk about feeling like you’ve Leveled Up!

At some point, you’ll want to venture out with your baby and try out new Poke Stops and visit some Gyms.

If you’re unsure about outings with your baby, your postpartum doula can help you prepare. What do I need to pack in a diaper bag? How long will it take? Where will I nurse my baby in public? What if there isn’t a changing table? Each Poke Stop will have different considerations, and your experienced doula can help you think it through, and she’ll even go with you if you want! She can also help you get connected to new moms and start experiencing the magic that is a Play Date. Like a Gym, Play Dates allow you to interact with other moms, find your tribe, and build community. They help you feel less alone. If you’re pregnant or a new mom in Memphis, you can join our “gym” on Facebook! Who knows, maybe you’ll bump into a stranger and leave with a friend.

Nobody starts as an expert in game of Postpartum GO, but with time, patience, and the help of your postpartum doula, you’ll be a master in no time! Let us help you catch ’em all.

 

Do I need a doula with VBAC experience?

doula with vbac experience

 

VBAC, or vaginal birth after cesarean, is increasing in popularity and is a viable option for many women who have experienced a prior cesarean. Many VBAC hopefuls seek out the support of a doula and in turn might ask the question, “Do I need a doula with VBAC experience?”

The short answer is no, but more important than the desire for a doula with VBAC experience is the reasoning behind the request. While for some this may be strictly personal preference, which is valid in its own right, others ask for this because they feel that a doula with VBAC experience is more likely to possess certain qualities that are important to them. Attempting a TOLAC, or trial of labor after cesarean, often comes with a wide range of emotions and special considerations for the birthing woman, and it is important that her doula is well-equipped to support her. If you’re looking for the best doula for VBAC in Memphis, be on the lookout for these qualities:

1. Is your doula educated about VBAC and equipped to support both vaginal and cesarean birth?

Even if your doula has not attended a VBAC, she should be aware of what the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists’ current recommendations are surrounding TOLAC and VBAC. Staying current on this information is part of ProDoula’s certification process, and all Doulas of Memphis doulas are educated on this topic. Our doulas have also been trained by ProDoula to support both vaginal and cesarean birth without judgment or bias. We’ll never speak to you negatively about your previous births, or even about cesareans in general.

2. Does your doula support your goals for a VBAC? What if those goals change?

During your pregnancy and labor, your doula is your biggest cheerleader on your road to a VBAC. She is there to listen, validate concerns, and to help you navigate the many choices you must make. Most women who are undergoing a TOLAC will go on to have a succesful VBAC, but this is not always the case. Our doulas will encourage you and support you unconditionally, even if your goals and plans change. Your goals are important to us because they are important to you, and we’ll never define you by your mode of delivery!

3. Will your doula be able to tune in to your physical and emotional needs during labor?

VBAC often comes with more challenges than a normal vaginal delivery, both physically and emotionally. It is far more important to have a doula who can stay attuned to your needs than it is to have a doula with VBAC experience. You want a team of doulas who is fully focused on you and what you need in the moment, not on achieving a certain outcome. We want you to feel supported at all times, whether you need extra encouragement or physical support. It’s always about you and your needs!

The best doula for VBAC in Memphis is knowledgeable, supportive of your goals, and attuned to you. At Doulas of Memphis, we are committed to providing The Gold Standard for labor support in Memphis. Contact us today and tell us your story!

 

 

Doulas are like Grizzlies Fans

Everybody knows that Memphis Grizzlies fans are a special breed. Grit and Grind, All Heart, and Believe Memphis are more than slogans; they tap in to what makes us proud to call Memphis home. If you’re not already familiar with what a doula is and what we’re all about, we’re here to tell you how doulas are a lot like Grizzlies fans!

No age limit for Grizzlies fans!
No age limit for Grizzlies fans!

Let’s break it down:

Doulas and Grizzlies Fans provide unconditional support.

Grizzlies fans aren’t fair-weather fans. Whether they’re faced with injured players like Marc Gasol and Mike Conley or celebrating a big win over the Cavs, Grizzlies fans show up for their team no matter what. In the same way, doulas are there to support families unconditionally through pregnancy, birth, and the postpartum period. We’re on call and ready to show up no matter the outcome. Instead of sitting in the stands, we’re courtside offering physical help, practical suggestions, and the encouragement you need to make it through.

Doulas and Grizzlies Fans work with awesome grandparents!

Not every baby’s grandparents can dance like the Grizzlies Grannies and Grandpas, but we sure are glad to have them around. Grandparents who are supportive, involved, and ready for fun are worth their weight in gold! Much like Grizzlies fans cheer the Grizzlies Grannies and Grandpas on from the stands, doulas love grandparents and come alongside them to support new parents. With a doula on your team, your mom or dad can focus on the excitement of welcoming a grandbaby while knowing their baby is in great hands!

Doulas and Grizzlies Fans are there for all of the highs and the lows.

Grizzlies fansBasketball games, birth, and those early days of a new baby come with a wide range of emotions: anticipation, excitement, nervousness, uncertainty, celebration, relief, etc. These emotions can be felt before, during, and after a game, and Grizzlies fans are present for all of them. Between Tony Allen with a great defensive stop, the playoffs, and anticipation of the upcoming draft,  there’s never a dull moment for Grizzlies fans. Doulas similarly are there to ride the emotional roller coaster with families through the time surrounding welcoming a new baby. The important difference, however, is that doulas are able to remain unbiased and emotionally unattached…to you and your family. The Grizzlies are a different thing altogether ;).

Even after the game is over, Doulas and Grizzlies Fans continue the support at home.

True Grizzlies fans are fans all year round. When they aren’t cheering the Grizzlies on in The Grindhouse, they’re supporting their team from home. They are engaged on social media and eagerly await the next game or new season. Doulas are there for you inside the birth room and inside your living room. Postpartum doulas help you as you adjust to the long game of parenthood after you’re finished with the big event of giving birth. They can help you draft your playbook for those newborn days, work alongside you, and support you as you get to know the newest player on your team!

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Doulas and Grizzlies Fans are both parts of the bigger picture.

The Memphis Grizzlies don’t exist in a vacuum and neither do the fans! In addition to fans coming to games and tuning in from home, the Grizzlies have a larger support network. There are coaches, managers, the FedEx Forum, the mascot Grizz, The Grizz Girls, The Grizz Line, The Grizz Grannies and Grandpas, marketing experts, media gurus, and many other support staff that work to help the team be the best they can be and to ensure that fans can have the best experience possible. That’s what doulas do. We exist in the context of your support network that includes friends and family, OBGYNs, nurses, pediatricians, and lactation specialists. You are the star of the show and we work with your team towards a common goal so that you can have the best experience possible for you.

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…