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
 

Changing Parental Leave Policies

Recently Twitter announced their new parental leave policy. Starting on May 1st, all Twitter employees based in the United States will be eligible for 20 weeks of PAID parental leave! This means guaranteed maternity leave and paternity leave for ALL employees. However, the chances are slim that if you’re working in Iowa you’re also working for Twitter. So what do these changes mean for you? 

Well hopefully it means that brighter days are in your future. You see, Twitter is only the latest in a long line of prominent companies like Facebook, Microsoft, and Netflix who have also introduced new leave polices for parents in the last year.

WHY THE CHANGE?
With the recent announcements, a lot of people are wondering, “Why are these companies changing their policies?” The biggest reason companies cite is they understand the importance of having both parents available at home to care for and raise a new child. By allowing for both partners to take maximum time off there is time for the family to bond as a whole and for both parents to put time, effort, and work in to raising this new human. The time parents are able to spend with their children greatly impacts the development of the parent/child relationship, the health of the child, and the bond of the family and the parenting partners.

US GOVERNMENT POLICIES
At this point in time, parental leave policies are largely at the discretion of the employer, often something you work out in your contract. Currently the governmental policies that are in place in the United States are the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA). FMLA requires that employers give employees up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave from work in order to take care of a family medical event, such as the birth of a child. PDA states that if an employer provides disability insurance to other employees they must also provide disability insurance to a pregnant woman. However, both of these acts are decades old and do not apply to every company or business in the United States. If a company has less than a certain number of employees, they don’t have to provide the benefits of FMLA and PDA.

THE PROBLEM WITH THE CURRENT SYSTEM
The lack of progressive parental leave policies in the United States can be associated with many common problems that families have during their postpartum transition.

-Postpartum depression
-Issues with a partner
-Difficulty bonding with baby

These are just a few examples of problems that could be solved if new parents felt more supported in their decision to take an extended period of time away from work to bond with their new baby and get acclimated to their new 'normal'.


If you are looking for more support during your postpartum transition consider hiring a postpartum doula. All of our doulas will provide your family with unbiased, judgment-free support as your family adjusts during your baby’s first year of life. For more information about postpartum services check out our website or contact Iowa’s premier full service doula agency for more information.

Authored by: Victoria Cartland
Edited by: Kaity Klotzbach

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!

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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

 

 

 

Fuller House - Building Your Village

“It takes a village to raise a child.” It’s an adage we’ve all heard before, but what does it look like in our modern society?
 

  • Single mothers living or working together, helping each other with childcare and everything else that parenthood encompasses
     
  • Single parent moving in with their parent(s) to have a more stable environment
     
  • Moving into the same neighborhood as family to ensure you'll have backup when needed
     
  • Calling on everyone from family, neighbors, friends, and coworkers for support
     
  • Hiring a professional postpartum doula

Fuller House was recently released on Netflix and follows the story of DJ Tanner as she navigates being a recently widowed single mother. It is clear to viewers that DJ is nervous about what her life will look like when her family all returns to their regular lives, leaving her alone as a single mother of three young boys. While toasting to family at the going away party DJ realizes that in the morning everyone will be gone. She goes on to say, “But we’ll be fine; there are lots of single moms. I can do this. I just want you all to know I love you so much.”

Feeling Overwhelmed

As DJ’s family prepares to leave her youngest son, Tommy, gets an ear infection. When family members offer to help, DJ says, “No, this is my responsibility.” As she rushes off to take care of her baby her father asks if she’s okay. DJ replies, “Yes, I’m fine! Why does everyone keep asking me that? I have to get to Tommy!” As her family stands in the kitchen, they can hear Tommy crying on the monitor and DJ trying to comfort him. This scene was heartbreaking for me; I cried as DJ said “It’s okay Tommy, Mommy’s here. I’m sorry but I’m having a tough day too. It’s just everyone’s leaving and for the first time we’re going to be all on our own. It’s okay, I know. I just don’t know if I can deal with all of this. I just hope I can give you the beautiful life you deserve.”

Family Steps Up

When DJ comes back downstairs she is surprised to find her family and best friend still in the house. When she asks why people haven’t left yet her father, her aunt, and her uncle all say they’re going to stay and help her. Finally, her sister Stephanie steps in to say, “You guys, sit down, we’re going to have a little talk… You guys did your share for us. Now it’s time for me to step up…I am clearing my schedule and I am moving in with my sister…” Looking at DJ she says, “You are entirely too stubborn to ask anyone for help! You do everything for everyone else. You need me right now.” Finally DJ responds and says, “The truth is I have been so scared about how to make this work by myself. I love you guys so much.”

How can I get that?

Not everyone has family and friends that live close enough to step in to help. Even if your family does live close by it doesn’t mean they are in the position to do what Stephanie and Kimmy did for DJ. It is possible you have the fantastic support of family to help out after baby arrives, but that typically only lasts for a short time.

So how can you get the support DJ has? You can hire Northeast Iowa Doulas for all your postpartum care needs! Our professional postpartum doulas can meet every need your family has. We offer anywhere from daytime shifts, overnight care, all the way up to 24-hour live-in care. With each of these services we tailor the work we do to provide support where it is most needed and desired.

When hiring Northeast Iowa Doulas for your overnight care needs, you can be sure that everyone in your house will receive a full night of sleep. This will help ensure you will be well-rested and ready to care for the baby the next day. No more ‘mombies’! Even if you are planning to breastfeed; your postpartum doula will bring baby to you when it’s time to nurse and then take care of baby’s other needs so you can go right back to sleep. Sounds amazing, right?

Cooking, light housework, sibling care, validation in your parenting choices, a full night’s sleep; the possibilities are endless. All of our doulas will provide your family with unbiased, judgment-free support as your family finds its groove. This means we provide 100% unconditional support for all parenting choices. This is your baby and only you and your partner know what's best. Our job is to help you find a parenting style you like and become confident in it.

For more information about postpartum services 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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