The IKEA Doula

Memphis is buzzing with excitement over the Grand Opening of our very own IKEA. The iconic blue building with yellow letters beckons with the promise of inexpensive home goods, plenty to look at, and delicious, inexpensive meatballs. ikea-1376853_1920-1

Let's face it, though. IKEA can be equal parts awesome and overwhelming, and a trip with kids requires a strategic battle plan. Enter: The IKEA Doula.

You know the drill by now: Doulas provide families with physical, emotional, and informational support during pregnancy, childbirth, and the postpartum period. We joke among colleagues about wishing we had a "Life Doula" to support us through difficult-to-navigate situations. Why should IKEA be any different?

Your IKEA Doula provides physical support during your trip.

Parking is a breeze with your IKEA Doula. She'll drop you off right at the entrance and meet you inside. Having trouble juggling your list, coffee, cart, and purse? Don't worry, your IKEA Doula can help! Need someone to watch your things while you take a much-needed potty break? We got you. Need one grownup to push the stroller so you can push the cart? Hold your spot in the food line because your toddler has to go potty RIGHT NOW even though they didn't when you asked them ten minutes ago? We'll even help you remember to sit down on the display couches and help you stay hydrated while you attempt to walk the entire store.

Your IKEA Doula provides you with the emotional support you need to make it through the store in one piece.

Feeling overwhelmed? Wondering why you decided to even do this opening week? Need help keeping your goals in mind? This is where your doula shines. She'll remind you you're not alone, there's nothing wrong with sitting down for 30 minutes to regroup, that it's okay to not know which color you want right now. If you're exhausted, she won't judge you for taking a nap in one of the micro-apartments. It helps them look more realistic, right? She'll listen as you process how this piece will fit in your room versus that one, and won't tell you that you're overthinking and to "OMG JUST PICK SOMETHING ALREADY. IT'S A COFFEE TABLE." Your doula knows it's never just a coffee table and will listen and validate all of your feelings.

Your IKEA Doula is fully equipped to give you the informational support you need for a successful trip.

If you've never been to an IKEA before, your doula can help talk you through the process. If you need a list-making ninja, she'll make sure you've got the best list for you. She'll help you take measurements so you can know if that couch will indeed fit in your living room, and will help you locate every item you need in the warehouse part of the store. She'll help you find item number and help you make sure you haven't forgotten anything.

There's no such thing as an IKEA Doula, but don't you wish there were?!

Alas, this magical creature called the IKEA Doula isn't real, but if you're pregnant or a new mom in Memphis, you can get this kind of support through this beginning stage of parenthood! Experience that same magic in the form of birth doulas, postpartum doulas, overnight doulas, childbirth education, and lactation support.

P.S., if you want your postpartum doula to take Baby's First IKEA Trip with you, we totally do that. We'll even let you call us your IKEA doula while you're there ;)

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!

[embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D_cnLeVrwag[/embed]

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

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.

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.

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!

[embed]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6KBAkMF_fHo[/embed]

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