5 Facts You Should Know About Newborn Sleep

After I delivered my firstborn, I received around-the-clock attention from doctors and nurses. But, when it was time to leave the hospital and go home, I remember asking my favorite nurse, "Will you come home with me?" and I truly meant it!

I had so many questions and I was overwhelmed by my lack on answers.

One of the most pressing questions with a new baby is how to handle sleep. Everyone has heard stories about how once you have a baby, you will never sleep again, among many other myths and wives' tales about infant sleep. As a child sleep consultant, and a mom who chose to prioritize sleep, I discovered that sleep is a learned skill.

Here are some facts about sleep that can help you navigate this new world:

Fact #1: Newborns should NOT be sleeping through the night.
A newborn's circadian rhythm* is not developed, nor are their stomachs large enough to go without eating for more than a few hours at a time. It is completely normal for your baby to have his days and nights confused and to sleep/wake in frequent but random patterns. To help them develop this rhythm, you can start to organize their sleep by keeping it light during the day and by maintaining normal household volume; while keeping it dark and minimizing activity during nightly feedings and diaper changes.

*Circadian rhythm: The physical, mental, and behavioral changes that roughly follow a 24-hour cycle, and respond mainly to light and darkness.

Fact #2: Newborns do NOT have the skills to self-soothe or cope. They must learn these skills from their parent(s) or guardian.
Newborn babies don't have many ways to communicate with us, so they typically cry when they need something or are unhappy. They also spent the last 38-40ish weeks being cuddled and rocked to sleep. Meeting your baby's needs by creating a routine that includes holding, comforting, feeding, and placing her on her back to sleep will make her feel secure and happy so she can continue to develop properly and will eventually learn healthy sleep habits on her own.

Fact #3: Newborns need A LOT of sleep.
New babies need 16-20 hours of sleep each day. This sleep starts off as approximately two-hour stretches followed by 30-60-minute periods of being awake. As baby grows and develops in the first six months of life, the frequency of waking and sleep will slow and baby will spend longer stretches during the day awake, and longer stretches at night asleep. 
Eventually, baby will stay awake most of the day with a few naps in between and will stay mostly asleep throughout the night with a few short periods of being awake.

Fact #4: Babies show cues and meet sleep milestones that can help you establish routines.
Between the ages of 6-8 weeks, baby begins to show more signs of being aware of his surroundings, and has begun to learn facial expressions along with other social cues. Watching for these things can help you determine what your baby's needs are. Around this age is a good time to establish consistent routines surrounding bedtime such as putting baby to bed at the same time each night.

Fact #5: Every baby is different and we can help you navigate what works best for your family.
Despite the facts about sleep it is important to understand that every baby is different! Every baby reaches milestones at different times and every baby needs different things from their parent(s) or guardian. Our individualized sleep consulting services will instill confidence in you and help you to learn to read you baby's cues while also establishing some solid routines that work best for your baby, and your family.

***Stay tuned for an announcement about our NEW newborn sleep class that is scheduled launched early this summer!***

As a mom of four children, I too went through these struggles and found myself unsure and worried at times. With the right tools and support, I was able to find a solution that works best for our family, and I am confident you will too. If you find yourself needing some extra support, knowledge, and guidance, please don't hesitate to reach out as I would love to help.

Authored by: Audrey McCoy, Certified Child Sleep Consultant- SleepWell Baby
Edited by: Kaity Klotzbach


For more information about the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) safe sleep recommendations click HERE
To schedule a FREE 15-minute phone consult with Audrey McCoy, please contact her at
audrey@sleepwellbaby.ca

Northeast Iowa Doulas | Celebrating National Nurses Week | Meet a L&D Nurse/Patient Educator

It's National Nurses Week!

In celebration of National Nurses week we are featuring some of the best nurses Eastern Iowa has to offer. As this special week comes to a close, we are so excited to introduce this wonderful nurse to you.

Tracey Huinker is a registered nurse (RN) and works at Allen Women's Health in Waterloo. She works in the clinical setting as a patient educator and also works as a labor and delivery nurse at Unity Point-Allen Hospital on an as-needed basis. 
I have known Tracey for several years now and she is one of the most kind and nurturing women I have ever met. She is such a joy to be around, and her smile lights up the room. 

If you haven't had the opportunity to meet Tracey yet, you're missing out!

NEID-Kaity: How long have you been a nurse? Where did you attend school?

Tracey: I started my college education with a Bachelor's Degree in Women's Health Promotion at UNI. After being a sexual health educator for a year, I decided I wanted more direct care with patients and went back to school at Hawkeye Community College for my RN degree. I still can't believe it, but in July, I will have been a nurse for 11 years.

NEID-Kaity: What inspired you to become a nurse?

Tracey: I would say "technically" my internship through UNI really sparked my interest in a career in nursing. Although, I think subconsciously, my mother played a huge role! She was a labor and delivery nurse for years and continues to practice as a women's health ARNP.

NEID-Kaity: How did you become interested in this line of nurse work?

Tracey: Besides my mother, I really think my internship in college drove me to birth work. Part of my internship was attending a variety of childbirth classes, because many childbirth educators at that time had Health Promotion degrees. I remember being so fascinated by everything! I probably attended 10-15 classes, and they all covered the same basic material, but I remember learning something new at each class. I just LOVED it! 
Now I really appreciate how birth can transform women and hopefully give them strength to conquer other challenges in life.

NEID-Kaity: What do you enjoy most about being a L&D nurse and working in the Women's Health Clinic?

Tracey: My roles in the clinic and L&D are very different, but I love them both! I feel like working as a L&D nurse really "fills my bucket", I guess. Welcoming new babies (and parents) into this world is such a pleasure and honor. In the clinic setting, I have the privilege of sitting down with women one-on-one during their pregnancy for educational sessions. I really enjoy getting to know clinic patients throughout their pregnancy and helping them develop a plan for their birth and for when they bring baby home from the hospital. Of course, the best is when I have the opportunity to care for my clinic patient during their labor!

NEID-Kaity: What do you find to be the most challenging part of your job?

Tracey: Although pregnancy, birth, and parenthood are all amazing and can bring so much joy, not everyone is so fortunate. We encounter a lot of tough situations as nurses and sometimes there's not a lot we can do about it. I think sometimes the most challenging part of nursing is just not having the answers for families when they ask, "Why me?"

NEID-Kaity: More expecting parents in the area are hiring out the professional support services of a birth doula and/or postpartum & infant care doula. How do you feel about that?

Tracey: Doulas are amazing! We know that women and families who choose doulas, often have healthier outcomes at their birth and a more positive perspective of their experience. Having worked briefly as a birth doula myself, I definitely appreciate how hard it is to be in that role! It is a demanding profession which requires a vast knowledge of the birth process, a strong work ethic, and a deep dedication to their clients. As a L&D nurse, I love working and learning alongside doulas!

NEID-Kaity: What is one thing you always say to your patients?

Tracey: I think the one thing I always tell patients is to trust their intuition. Each pregnancy and birth is so unique that it really can boggle your mind if you constantly compare pregnancies or birth stories looking for the "right answer" or what is "normal." 

NEID-Kaity: What advice would you give an expecting parent as they are approaching their due date?

Tracey: Oh those last weeks! (I remember them all too well!) I try to encourage patience, but I know that is really easier said than done. I guess I also encourage moms to enjoy those last weeks, if at all possible. Enjoy every last little twist and turn of baby, every last hiccup they do. Soon this pregnancy will just be another memory tucked away.

NEID-Kaity: What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?

Tracey: Well, I'm a wife and mother of three, so my free time is usually spent in the sand box or playing dinosaurs! I guess I would also say I'm a political junkie and I also enjoy running....you know...during all my down-time away from the kiddos! :-)

NEID-Kaity: What is your favorite food?

Tracey: Just one?? Hmm....let's just say sweets. Any form. :-)

NEID-Kaity: Please share a favorite memory with us about a time at work.

Tracey: Oh wow, I have definitely been blessed with many great memories from my patients and great co-workers! I think the best, though, is being able to care for a family with their subsequent births. 
Having formed that relationship during their first birth and being able to jump back into it with a second delivery is just so great. Having that connection with a family really helps create a peaceful, beautiful experience for everyone.


Thank you so much for taking the time to be interviewed, Tracey. We appreciate the knowledge, experience and expertise you offer new and expecting families in the Cedar Valley and are so grateful to have the honor of working alongside you. 
Happy National Nurses Week!

Northeast Iowa Doulas | Celebrating National Nurses Week | Meet a Children's Health Nurse

It's National Nurses Week!

In honor of this special week, we are featuring some of the fantastic nurses in Northeast Iowa

Meet Brenda Carradus. She is a registered nurse (RN) at Child Health Specialty Clinics in Oelwein, specializing in Iowa children and youth with special health care needs.

Brenda has touched the lives of so many Eastern Iowa families and has made such a positive impact in her community. Her co-workers say she is friendly, loving, caring, and has a great sense of humor.

We are so excited to introduce Brenda to you today!

NEID-Kaity: How long have you been a nurse? Where did you attend school?

Brenda: I have been a nurse for 40 years and attended school at Clinton Community Junior College.

NEID-Kaity: What inspired you to become a nurse?

Brenda: I have always enjoyed science, psychology, and health-related classes and felt becoming a nurse would challenge me in these areas.

NEID-Kaity: How did you become interested in this line of nurse-work?

Brenda: I had been a school nurse for 11 years and thought this line of nursing would allow me to focus more on the special needs of children and families.

NEID-Kaity: What do you enjoy most about being a nurse in this specialty field?

Brenda: Interaction with families and community partners.

NEID-Kaity: What do you find to be the most challenging part of your job?

Brenda: Helping families be the best they can be by accepting the challenges and jumping the hurdles. 

NEID-Kaity: What is one thing you always say to your patients who are expecting or who currently have small children?

Brenda: "Focus on the day and be patient. Time flies and children grow quickly."
"Enjoy the little things and don't be in a hurry for the next stage in life."

NEID-Kaity: What advice would you give to any new parent or soon-to-be new parent?

Brenda: Don't expect everything to be good all the time. Parenting is the hardest and most frustrating job you will ever have; it can also be the most satisfying. 

NEID-Kaity: What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?

Brenda: I enjoy spending time with my grandchildren, doing yard-work, and DIY projects.

NEID-Kaity: What is your favorite food?

Brenda: Dark chocolate...Is chocolate a food group yet? :-)

NEID-Kaity: Please share a favorite memory with us about a time at work.

Brenda: The best memories I have are when I see families we have discharged, sometimes a year or more later. They greet me like an old friend and tell me how well their child is doing. Success stories are wonderful!


Thank you for your time, Brenda. We appreciate you taking time out of your busy work day to be interviewed. It is very clear that you love the work you do, and the families you have the opportunity to work with.
Thank you for all you have done and all you continue to do.
Happy National Nurses Week!

How I Slept Through the Night, Even With a Newborn!
(Guest Blog)

"Sleep when the baby sleeps!” Yeah right. Every new and seasoned mom has heard this tidbit of knowledge when bringing home a new baby; I’m no exception. Even on baby number three well-meaning friends and family told me this. Sure it’s a great idea, but hardly practical. My husband didn’t get paternity leave, and all our family lives out of town. So I was right back to the same household duties that I had pre-newborn baby: 

-laundry to do
-suppers to make
-lunches to pack
-dishes to wash
-homework to help with
-a dog to walk

You get the picture.

I had all of this work to do while caring for and breastfeeding a new daughter while recovering from her birth. I was fortunate to not have anything major to recover from, but even an ‘easy’ labor and delivery are no joke! Add to that returning to work on the horizon, and the sleep deprivation and stress adds up fast.  

I attended an event looking for a chiropractor for my baby, and met Kaity Klotzbach, owner of Northeast Iowa Doulas. She told me all about postpartum care, and I’ll be the first to tell you I was hesitant. I was concerned what people would think, or even what the doulas would think of my parenting choices, but I’ll also be the first to tell you I was SO wrong and it was SO worth it! Not only did Kaity match me up with Kelly, a postpartum doula who was perfect for our family, but they all supported every decision I made without making me feel bad or wrong about it. I’m terribly sad I didn’t know these magical people existed 10 years ago when I had my first baby! 

I was breastfeeding and using a co-sleeping crib, which was going well - but I usually went to bed much later than my kids, and got up much earlier. This was because I was trying to get all the other household tasks done while I had longer uninterrupted breaks. Having an overnight doula allowed me to go to bed and wake up at reasonable times, because she took care of many of the light household chores for me - folding laundry, washing dishes, and meal prepping. On a couple occasions when my daughter was fussy and just wanted to be held, Kelly stepped in and kept her happy until she needed to nurse again, allowing me to sleep. After one particularly rough night, I woke up that morning surprised {and admittedly a bit panicked} to have slept in quite late - only to find my doula had gotten my other two kids up and fed and ready for school! 

Getting a full night of sleep, even a few nights a week, made me feel so much happier and healthier - physically and emotionally. Our overnight postpartum doula took immense stress off me, allowing me to actually enjoy bonding with my new baby and having extra quality time with my other kids and husband! This was going to be our last baby - but knowing what I know now about postpartum doula support, another baby would be a breeze!

Are you ready to get more sleep during the night so you can be well-rested and ready to take on the day ahead? Take the next step by contacting Northeast Iowa Doulas at (319) 361-6984 or info@northeastiowadoulas.com to learn more. You and your entire family will be so happy you did!

Authored by: Trish Morfitt, Waterloo, Iowa
 

World Doula Week - #postpartumdoulasdothat

IMAGINE THIS...

Your baby is just a week old and sleep deprivation has taken over. Your partner is getting ready to return to work and your family and friends are getting ready to go back to their regular lives. You have received wonderfully prepared meals, gifts and well-meaning advice. Now for the first time since baby was born it’s just you and the baby. This can be a very exciting time but can also be a tough transition and sometimes new mothers are left feeling lonely and isolated. Nobody is around to hold baby while you go to the bathroom... A million questions run through your head.

“How are we going to do this?”
“How am
I going to do this?”
“Is baby getting enough to eat?”

“Are we ever going to sleep again?”
“Will I ever eat a hot meal again?”
“What is the best way to soothe my baby?”
“Why does my baby have her days and nights mixed up?”


And the list goes on…

Just about the time self-doubt starts to sink in, your postpartum doula walks through the door for her scheduled shift and greets you with a smile. She is ready to help out where needed and make this an amazing day. She asks how everyone is doing and if she can get anything for you. You express to her that you’d love to take a hot shower and maybe take a nice long nap, since those are few and far between these days. You gently place your baby in your doula's arms and she lets you know everything will be taken care of. “Take your time” she says as you disappear into the bathroom for some much needed time to yourself.

When you wake up from your nap you walk out of your bedroom feeling like a human again and return to find baby asleep next to your doula. The dishes are done, baby’s laundry is folded, and what is that wonderful aroma coming from the kitchen? Yes, your postpartum doula already has dinner cooking in the oven.


The above scenario is what you can expect when you hire a postpartum doula from Northeast Iowa Doulas. While many well-meaning family and friends offer to help take care of baby, your postpartum doula will take care of your whole family. Our primary focus is mom’s physical and emotional recovery from birth, followed by any newborn care that is needed or desired, followed by any household tasks that we can help out with. Whether that means taking some time for yourself, catching up on some much needed sleep, preparing meals and snacks, running errands, helping keep the house tidy, or even just having one person who validates all your parenting decisions that you can feel safe talking to; your postpartum doula can do it all.

In addition to helping around the house your postpartum doula from Northeast Iowa Doulas is also trained to help you adjust during this time. This means knowing what can be expected physically and emotionally during your postpartum transition, teaching you how to recognize baby’s feeding and sleeping cues, and recognizing when some additional attention is needed. Each of our postpartum doulas are trained in recognizing the signs of postpartum mood and anxiety disorders such as the postpartum depression, postpartum anxiety, and postpartum psychosis. Should our doulas feel that additional help is needed we have a fantastic list of local resources to refer our clients to when something falls outside the scope of postpartum doula care.

By hiring a doula from Northeast Iowa Doulas you can be sure that you will receive only the best professional doula support that Iowa has to offer. For more information about our postpartum services click  here or contact us today for more information.

We look forward to hearing from you!

-----------
For more great #WorldDoulaWeek blogs from doulas across the country, visit http://louisvilleareadoulas.com/blog/2016-world-doula-week

Authored by: Victoria Cartland
Edited by: Kaity Klotzbach

 

 

 

The Northeast Iowa Doulas Difference

Northeast Iowa Doulas prides themselves in providing only the most professional, reliable, and experienced doulas to families in Northeast Iowa and beyond.  In order for us to achieve these results we have worked tirelessly to set ourselves apart in the Cedar Valley and the Corridor areas. We offer the best trained, highly educated and qualified doulas who will provide your family with unconditional, unbiased judgment-free support.


Our Certifying Organization
Each of our doulas are trained and certified, or pursuing certification through ProDoula. Being uniformly trained through the same organization ensures the very best continuity of care for the families we serve. Being part of ProDoula also allows us to be connected to an international network of professional doulas, whom we can turn to for advice or support at any time. Finally, ProDoula encourages members to continue their education where they provide ample opportunity for us to do so. Once we have completed a training through ProDoula we are encouraged to repeat that training as often as we like, at no additional cost. New trainings are being offered all the time and we make sure to take advantage of every single learning opportunity we can. We are proud to be affiliated with such an amazing certifying organization.


Continuing Education
Continuing education is very important to us at Northeast Iowa Doulas. Whether this is through additional training, workshops, mini training sessions within our agency, or attending meetings hosted by other professionals, we are continually gaining more knowledge in order to continue serving our clients to the best of all our abilities.


Something for Everyone
Northeast Iowa Doulas offers a wide variety of services your family may find beneficial during this journey. From private or group childbirth education, birth doulas, placenta encapsulation and postpartum support; we have something for everyone. We do it all!


24/7 on call Availability & Guaranteed Support for your Birth
When you choose Northeast Iowa Doulas for your professional birth support needs you will receive a team of two doulas who will go on call for you and your partner 24/7 from the moment the contract is signed up until after your baby has arrived. You have unlimited access to your doula team anytime you have questions, worries, fears or even if you just want to talk. This model of care guarantees you will have support during your birth from someone you and your partner know well. She is also someone who knows the two of you and is familiar with your birth preferences...no more back up doula that you never even got to meet. We’ve got you covered!
 

Unwavering and Unbiased Support for ALL choices
Finally, we will unconditionally provide your family with support that is completely free from judgment, opinion or bias. This means no worrying about someone judging you about the choices you make regarding pregnancy, birth, and parenting. The only agenda your doula has is to support you in your choices; period. Whether you choose to breastfeed or bottle feed, or whether you plan use attachment parenting or scheduled parenting or anything in between; the choices are yours and you can rest easy knowing that your doula will have your back each step of the way.

In Conclusion
By hiring a doula from Northeast Iowa Doulas you can be sure that you will receive only the best professional doula support, childbirth education, and placenta encapsulation services that Iowa has to offer.

For more information about the wide variety of services we offer please click here or contact us today for more information.

We look forward to hearing from you!

Authored by: Victoria Cartland
Edited by: Kaity Klotzbach

 

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