Dear New Mama, Everything Will Be Okay

dear new mama

Earlier this week I came across this Facebook post from one of my former Blissborn students and friend who recently had her second child. It is so real, so heartfelt, and so honest that I felt its important to share because I know many moms can relate.

Read the full post here.

She begins her post as follows:

Hey there pregnant friends or friends who will be pregnant in the future.
In case you ever feel alone or like what you’re going through isn’t normal or relatable, it is. And that’s okay.

The post goes on to tell that new moms tend to get lots of advice and feedback from experienced moms, but this is to be taken with a grain of salt because while its coming from the heart of most friends, it can sometimes create more anxiety.

Keri goes further to remind new moms:

Don’t listen to any negative things people say….. On a whole, you’ll gain more love than you can possibly imagine. Things change, but it really is for the better. It’s hard to imagine now, but it really is so good.

Many moms feel like they aren’t sure if they are “doing things right.” And many moms have a long sigh after birth.

 

 

I wasn’t sure if I liked my baby. He didn’t have a name, I didn’t know him, I didn’t know if I loved him, although I knew I would, I wasn’t sure before I met him.

The post goes on to talk about how pregnancy and birth affects marriage, as well as physical changes, and emotional trials when having a second child.

Wrapping up everything beautifully:

You are loved and beautiful and working so hard growing a tiny human inside you without a break ever. You are creating a masterpiece with everything you have to give. And that masterpiece will be perfect. And everything will be okay. Even if you can’t see it now, even if it seems far away or unreachable. It will be.

More From Dayspring Doula

Oopsie Doodle

I made a boo-boo.  Yep, I’ll admit every ONCE in a while (ah hem) I lack perfection. Yesterday was a prime example. I had recently renewed my domain but unfortunately in trying to save a buck and wait for a coupon code, I had not renewed my hosting. And of course, I didn’t have a recent backup.

forgot to backup and now that page is gone

I’m working to restore the pages of my website first, then the blog posts. Most of the content is there, but the pictures & formatting have gone poof (I did have a backup, but it was 6 months old, which on an active blog is an eternity!) Please be patient with me as I work to get it all back online, I suspect it will take a couple weeks and I’ll most likely only go back about a year in the blog posts.

If you are looking for something specific, please let me know and I’ll see if I can pull it up for you, otherwise, feel free to see if its available on Wayback. Thanks for understanding!

Birth Affirmations for 2017

These beautifully made affirmation cards are newly updated for 2017 using birth affirmations influenced by my Blissborn Natural Birth students. Watercolor backgrounds are my own art.

These lovely little pocket sized (2.5×2.5″ with rounded corners) affirmation cards in a set of 10 are perfect to carry around, place as reminders on your bathroom window or car visor, give as gifts, or use to inspire yourself.

Sneak Peek of Affirmation Cards

birth affirmations hypnobirthing affirmation

Order Here Now

Order Early

Last year’s set of cards sold out very quickly, so do not wait on ordering if you are interested. PREORDERS ONLY will also receive a sticker sheet featuring the same affirmations but in postage stamp size 🙂 To ensure these are a unique product, they will not be mass produced and are a limited run.

Inspiration

Inspired by the “love tokens” shared by Blooma Yoga on Facebook, these little affirmation cards can be used as a pick-me-up for yourself or someone you think could use a bit of encouragement.

If you are a birth professional, I do have these available at a volume discount price, please contact me for details.

Actual product may vary slightly including slight variations in included assortment of affirmations. Anticipated shipping is mid-October.

BEHIND THE SCENES: WHAT BLISSBORN CLASSES REALLY LOOK LIKE

behind-the-scenes-what-class-looks-like-twitter

You may have already heard about the amazing births that are happening locally using deep relaxation techniques. The nurses at both Sanford and Essentia are all the chatter about the really great results students are having after taking one of my Blissborn classes.

Moms & dads are also reporting they have had a much better overall experience after working through the Your Birth Experience guide with me and creating their ideal birth vision.

Student review after conclusion of class- “I really loved the positive message I received from hypnosis each week. I left each class feeling confident and at peace with myself and my pregnancy.”

Student Blissborn review after conclusion of class- “I really loved the positive message I received from hypnosis each week. I left each class feeling confident and at peace with myself and my pregnancy.”

BEHIND THE SCENES IN CLASS

Here’s a quick little video that highlights a group Blissborn class. Don’t forget to click like 🙂

Student review after conclusion of class- “Took the mystery out of giving birth and replaced it with understanding.”

Student Blissborn review after conclusion of class- “Took the mystery out of giving birth and replaced it with understanding.”

 

However, some people are still a bit skeptical and since I’m a private educator, I do need to charge for my classes vs the “free” classes at the hospital. While these hospital sponsored classes are known to be absolutely amazing,  they are in fact limited in scope and given class sizes not always able to be fully personalized for the students attending.

 Students get to try out less traditional methods of pain relief, including a TENS unit.

Students get to try out less traditional methods of pain relief, including a TENS unit.

DAYSPRING DOULA CLASSES ARE DIFFERENT

Whether its via consultation, Your Birth Experience, or Blissborn hypnobirthing, ALL of my classes are focused on mom & dad. Early in the class or workshop we discuss what YOUR goals and objectives are, then create an ideal birth vision, followed by the specific childbirth class that fits you best. Simple.

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Check out my class descriptions here, then schedule a time to meet.  We can figure out what type of class is going to work best for you. The best part is that we can do this in person, via phone, or online. You can take classes with me from anywhere & you set the schedule.

LOOKING FOR MORE TIPS?

 

Student review after conclusion of class- “The instructor showed a lot of knowledge and inspired confidence.”

Student Blissborn review after conclusion of class- “The instructor showed a lot of knowledge and inspired confidence.”

 

HOW TO HIRE A DOULA- A CHECKLIST

how-to-hire-a-doula-checklist-1

Once you decide you might be interested in hiring a doula, its important to chat with a few to ensure that your ideas of what they offer align with yours, as well as a good personality fit, and overall approach.

Trust is the biggest factor to consider.  If you feel like she is someone you can trust, someone you can depend on, and someone who can provide the level of support you need, then you’ve found a good match!

Printable Questions for the Doula Checklist

Use the following printable “How to Hire a Doula Checklist” to get down to the most important aspects of her experience, beliefs, and services. This should help guide you to selecting a doula that is right for you.

how to hire a doula

The Doula Interview Should Answer All Your Questions

I’ve also got a few other questions below you may want to ask to drill down further, but the checklist includes the key points, if your potential doula doesn’t by default in conversation cover things like fees, be sure to bring it up, but if being a doula is actually her JOB (compared to just a hobby) she will offer her pricing info upfront in a professional way to ensure you understand both your responsibilities and hers.

Same rings true for things like feelings about epidurals, it should be something that would come up in the conversation about birth philosophy, if it doesn’t then be sure to clarify that point if its important to you.

  • Why did you become a doula?
  • What is your training? Are you certified?
  • What is your philosophy about birth and supporting women and their partners through labor?
  • Tell me about your experience as a birth doula.
  • When do you try to join women in labor? Do you come to our home or meet us at the place of birth?
  • How would you work with and involve my partner?
  • How do you feel about the use of pain medication during labor?
  • Which labor-coping techniques do you think tend to be the most helpful?
  • What does your fee cover? How many visits or hours?

Want to learn more?

6 EASY THINGS TO KEEP IN A TODDLER DIAPER BAG (BESIDES DIAPERS)

 

stuff to keep in your toddler diaper bag

When baby is little, mom’s quickly realize that they absolutely DO need something bigger than their cute clutch they used pre-pregnancy for managing all the “baby stuff”.

Usually mom is gifted a super nice diaper bag at a baby shower or goes online to find something ultra trendy. It gets filled up with pacifiers, bibs, extra onesies, napkins, scraps of paper, and who knows what else in addition to, of course, diapers.

Stuff to Pack In a Toddler Diaper Bag

To get you started here are a few things you may find to be nice additions to your diaper bag as your baby gets a bit older. Time to swap out the cutesie baby stuff for messy toddler time!

plastic grocery store bags

Whether its bits and pieces of treasures found at the park, a dirty shirt from spilling that leak-proof sippy cup, or coloring sheets from the library toddler time, plastic grocery bags will certainly come in handy.

extra shirt for mom

By default we bring along extra clothes for baby, toddlerhood isn’t any cleaner, but mama should plan to start packing a shirt for herself as well. Gone are the days when you can get away with the “I’ve got a newborn so who cares” look that is so tres chic that first half year. Plus, on the off chance that a girlfriend calls you up for coffee while you’re out running errands, you don’t want slobbery cheerio hand prints on your shirt to slow you down from accepting that offer!

small fun toy not used other times

Reserve a special, really loved toy to keep only in the diaper bag for emergencies. Then if you get delayed at the DMV or end up having that coffee date afterall, your sweetheart will be entertained for at least 15 seconds.

granola bar & cheerios

The bar is for you, mama. Get a kind you like, but if in a warm season I’d like to recommend against the chocolate coating. Get a small, sturdy lidded bowl to keep cheerios in so they don’t get crushed (fyi, these might also be for you, just depends on the day!)

hair brush & bobby pins

Have you figured out a theme yet, here? I discovered that it was also useful to include a small bottle of hairspray in the trunk just in case. Oh, and you can use the brush to spruce up your kids’ hair so they don’t look too straggly when you haul them to that coffee shop.

playdoh

Buy a party package of playdoh, the little ones, and you won’t feel too bad about letting it get gross and throwing it away. I learned this tip when my kids were closer to preschool age, but go ahead and bring the playdoh in to a restaurant & let your kid play with it. Then just ball it up and leave it there to be thrown away when you leave.

What stuff do you have in YOUR toddler diaper bag? Comment below!

stuff to keep in your toddler diaper bag

 

Personalized Birth Experience

 

fearless birth fargo

Recently, I’ve noticed that expecting moms are wanting more.  More than just the basics, she wants something special, she wants her own personalized birth experience. After all, she’s spent a lot of time seeking out the perfect accessories for the nursery, the cutest outfit to bring baby home in, planning her meals for after baby arrives, and so on. So of course, she wants her birth to be just as special.

How do we offer this new personalized birth experience? Its almost impossible to create a great birth plan birth without having had birth previously or experienced being with moms as they give birth.  This is why working with a professional can come in handy.

Not all moms are interested in having a doula attend their birth. But ALL moms want to have the best possible experience and outcome. Working with a doula or birth educator (like myself) to create a personalized birth experience plan can be the best of both worlds, especially for moms on a budget. I offer free birth planning consultations and birth planning workshops. Why?  Because I am passionate about helping moms have a better birth. Contact me to setup a time to chat.

Here are some things to consider as you plan:

  • Where do I want to give birth?
  • Who will be with me?
  • What do I want to remember about my baby’s birth?
  • When do I need to go to the hospital?
  • Why is it important to create a plan?

Hypnobirthing Classes Online

blissborn online hypnobirthing class

Childbirth Classes Online

I am pleased to announce that I am now available to offer hypnobirthing classes online.  As a Blissborn Natural Birth educator I will guide you through the materials, answer your specific questions, and help you create the perfect birth plan.

You can order just the materials and study on your own, or you can schedule LIVE instruction privately online. You’ll get all the materials shipped to you, so that you have hard copies of the books, CD’s, and supplies. Everything you need to be successful with your hypnobirthing classes online.

Hypnobirthing Classes Online

Order Birth Hypnosis Materials Only

If you’d like to just order the materials and study on your own, that,s totally an option.  The live class only costs $275 and includes your materials, but if you don’t need the personal assistance then you can go here to order your kit to use at home for just $250.

Schedule a Private Online hypnosis Class

For the best success, you’ll work with me directly via online communication.  We’ll setup several live meetings where we can actually chat with each other and interact.  I’ll walk you through the materials in the same way that I would as if we were sitting next to each other in the regular classroom. We’ll spend time interacting to create your own birth affirmations, overcome fears, and learn all about childbirth. Your questions will be answered specific to your own situation.

 

5 Ways Dads Can Help During Birth

AKA – what does dad do during labor?!

And no, he doesn’t HAVE to catch the baby. So then exactly how to involve dad with labor and birth?

5-ways-to-involve-dad-with-birth

 

Understand how birth works & what to expect

One of the biggest things I can think of to help dad be more involved during labor & birth, is for him to attend a childbirth class with mom so that he knows how birth works.  Some dads are really good about reading the baby books and asking their wife questions.  Many are decidedly squeamish when it comes to details, and even though they know the logistics of how baby arrives, most come to me pretty anxious because they know their wife knows more about whats going on than they do.

Know what mom wants (before she even knows what she wants)

Dad is an expert on mom.  While a doula can support mom continually with her labor, only dad has the intimacy and knowledge to truly understand her. You know how when she says “sure” but really means “no way in hell”?  Or when she gives that certain look that means “you better not be thinking what I think you’re thinking.” Instead of sitting on the sidelines, a doula can guide dad to have the confidence he needs to help mom before she even knows she wants help.

Ask for help

If dad isn’t sure what to do, he should ask.  Ask mom.  Ask the nurse. Ask the doula. If dad did take a birth class, hopefully he can remember that mom is supposed to change positions, eat light snacks, and rest between contractions. He can ask mom if she wants to try getting in the shower or if she’d like a sip of water.  Or he can ask the provider “what can I help with?”

Keep an open mind

Don’t freak out!  And don’t become impatient.  You know how mom used to be a year ago when her “monthly visitor” would come?  Emotional? Wishy-washy indecisiveness? The hormones flowing during labor and birth can often seem similar, sometimes not at all.  Most couples discover that birth isn’t at all like what they’ve seen on TV. Keep an open mind, don’t be too rigid in your preconceived notions, and go with the flow.

Simply be present

Sometimes all you need to do is just be there. Just telling mom you love her and support her is all she needs. Think of it like those helicopter parents, they want to help, but sometimes there’s just not much to help with.  Hold the space and be present. Turn off your cell phone. Take time to savor the experience and just BE.

4 Steps to The Ultimate Birth Plan

Time after time I am asked the following questions:

Do I really need a birth plan? quickly followed by What do I put in a birth plan?

Its actually quite easy, here’s the four steps to a killer birth plan (read on for the details!)
1.  IDENTIFY YOUR OWN DESIRES AND NEEDS
2.  UNDERSTAND THE BIRTH PROCESS
3.  PREPARE FOR THE EXPERIENCE YOU WANT
4.  COMMUNICATE YOUR ULTIMATE BIRTH PLAN WITH PROVIDERS

First of all, what is a birth plan for? It is typically referring to a document that is used as a list of preferences a mom (technically both parents, but we know who is really running the show) wants during her labor and birth. Usually it will include things about pain relief, interventions, and how to care for baby after delivery.

Here’s the problem with simply using a birth plan checklist– it assumes you understand the items on the list and assumes the person reading the document will do what it says. To counter this problem instead of allowing your birth plan to be simply a document, turn it into a tool. Not just a tool for communication, but also a tool to understand how you can achieve YOUR goals.

Four Steps to the Ultimate Birth Plan Tool

1.  Identify your own desires and needs

Creating a birth plan that is based on a generic template might cover most of the bases for many people’s expectations. But you are not “many people” and, lets face it, you don’t want to be typical, you want to be special. I do, too. Envisioning your ideal birth is a great way to help you understand what your own desires and needs actually are. Once you know what is important to you, the document can be built around your wishes instead of just a random birth plan template.

2.  Understand the birth process

It might sound a little silly to some, but ask most moms after they had their first baby and just about every single one will tell you there was something that happened during labor or birth, or just afterwards, that she hadn’t expected. Taking a childbirth class will help to prepare you for various situations as well as helping you to understand how work really works (hint, its not usually like you see one TV.)

3.  Prepare for the experience you want

Here another big one folks, I see it time and time again. I meet with a client and she shows me her birth plan, then when I ask questions about it she doesn’t know what something means or how it applies to her. A friend or sister suggested she do XYZ or she read about how awesome ABC thing was done by a celebrity and assumes thats the best thing to do. Instead, use what you know about birth and your needs to figure out what steps need to be taken so you can reach your “goal achieved”.

4.  Communicate your ultimate birth plan with providers

The last part of a birth plan is to actually make up that written document that you can share with providers. And I don’t mean just handing it over to the nurse when you check in at the hospital when your contractions are already just 4 minutes apart. And I’m not talking about only talking to your doctor about it.  Communicate your wishes with your partner, sister, mom, doula or whomever else might be attending your birth, as well as your chiropractor and other providers who can help give complementary support to your plan.

Use your birth plan as a tool to equip yourself for birth, its worth so much more than being a checklist!