I just finished up the paperwork for my first assignment as a Doulas Care volunteer. As with all volunteering, I feel like I've learned so much from my experiences with an amazing family. I am so glad to know about Doulas Care and feel honored to work with them.
I want to share a little bit about what Doulas Care offers families. First, it is a non-profit organization that aims to help empower women and their families through childbirth and early parenting. What an amazing concept! I'm being sarcastic of course, it is amazing and I wish there were more organizations out that with the goal of helping women succeed during the first weeks of motherhood. I believe all women should know that they are well supported during the preparation for their baby/babies birth(s) and that they continue to have support after baby arrives home. Thank you Doulas Care for offering such an invaluable service to families in our area!
I am a Postpartum Doula, which means that I work with women during the postpartum time, or the time after they give birth. A lot of people mistakenly believe that Postpartum Doulas only help women with postpartum depression. This is not the case, although we do offer resources if this becomes an issue. With Doulas Care, I am able to help women I may not normally come into contact with in my practice. I volunteer my time so that they can offer Doula services free of charge.
If you know a women who is expecting, please consider sharing what you know about Doulas. Let her know that whatever her birthing plan, or parenting ideas there is a Doula to support her and help her family during the childbearing time. If her family is not able to afford a Doula and they live in Southeastern Michigan have them contact Doulas Care at 866-845-0003. I would love to work with them!
I love babywearing! My favorite for newborns is the Moby Wrap for several reasons. It is comfortable for mom and baby and ergonomically correct! After a few tries it is easy to use. It can be stuffed in a bag and is lightweight. You can breastfeed your baby while wearing it. You can easily check to make sure your baby is safe and comfy. If you wear it with only a little or no clothing underneath you are practicing Kangaroo Mother Care (see previous blog) and that is wonderful for you and your baby. The main reason is my favorite is because I can use the folds to be sure my baby is secure - hands free! I've even had the pleasure of comfortably wearing twins in the Moby!
For older babies I prefer the Ergo (pictured above). The Ergo is super comfortable and user friendly. It is similar to a backpack. I like to use it in place of a stroller while shopping and I have found my kids are much happier at eye level then down in a stroller.
A few things to remember while babywearing:
1. Wrap, sling or stow baby in a way you would normally carry them chest to chest, or on your back like a piggy back ride. You can also use carriers, wraps and slings to carry children on your hip. Facing a baby outward can put pressure on their spine and therefore it is not recommended you wear your baby this way.
2. Once you get baby into a carrier, wrap or sling give them a few minutes to get used to it and don't give up if they fuss a little at the start. I've found that if you jiggle around a bit and take exaggerated steps most babies will relax.
3. Like before you put your baby in a car seat try to have them diapered and fed (or feed them in the carrier of choice). This way once they are in - they're in!
4. Try to keep babies hips angled at 45 degrees, in other words their knee is slightly above or equal too their hip. Again, this is similar positioning to when we hold them in our arms and it is the most comfortable way for them to be worn.
5. Enjoy! Dads can wear babies too.
I'd love to hear comments about places you've worn your babies and your favorite products. There are lots to chose from!
Babywearing in the snow. My little one is warm and safe on my back.
Jill Reiter CPD, Author
A mother, wife and Postpartum Doula's blog.
The After Baby Lady
Shelby Township MIPhone: 586-604-1446