Things We’ve Read: Week of December 15th, 2014

December 21, 2014

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Mom’s Toilet Paper Pregnancy Craving Explained by Doctor (Yahoo Parenting): One mom’s peculiar pregnancy craving of nibbling toilet paper has become an obsession with major health risks.

FDA Issues New Labeling Rules for Drug Information to Benefit Pregnant, Breastfeeding Women (NABP): Prescription drugs will now require labeling to clarify how medications might affect expecting or breastfeeding moms.

Pregnant women should avoid these household products (Quartz): How interaction with certain everyday products containing harmful chemicals can affect the IQ of a growing fetus.

New Study Will Make You Question Using Beauty Products While Pregnant (Yahoo Beauty): More evidence of the array of problems harmful chemicals in beauty products can cause fetuses, and why expecting moms should opt for natural and organic products while pregnant.

Are Midwives Safer Than Doctors? (The New York Times): A clinical assessment by Britain’s National Institute for Health and Care Excellence discusses the assistance of certified nurse midwives in low-risk pregnancies, compares midwifery practices and techniques to that of obstetricians, and explains how midwifery could influence the American healthcare system.

Paid Maternity Leave Is Good for Business (The Wall Street Journal): The CEO of YouTube discusses her experiences with maternity leave throughout her career, and how implementing paid maternity leave into a business can ultimately save a company time and money.

Whooping Cough Vaccine During Pregnancy (WebMD Blogs): An explanation behind what Whooping Cough is, why it’s so dangerous for babies, and why expecting moms should be vaccinated during pregnancy.

Smog Exposure During Pregnancy Linked to Autism Risk (U.S. News & World Report): A study finds additional evidence to more confidently suggest air pollution as a risk factor for growing fetuses.

FDA Discourages Unnecessary ‘Keepsake’ Ultrasounds During Pregnancy (HuffPost): The FDA gives reason as to why the new trend of Ultrasound Parties should not be done in excess during pregnancy, as well as explaining how crucial it is that a medically trained professional be operating such equipment.

9 Best Quotes About Motherhood by New, A-List Moms (Entertainment Tonight): Quotes from new celebrity moms on the joy, chaos, and overwhelming love that comes with motherhood.

Drink up – Our Favorite Holiday Mocktails!

December 20, 2014

Holiday Mocktails

One of the toughest things about being pregnant during the holidays is having to pass on all the yummy cocktails. But who says you have to miss out on all the fun? Nine Naturals has put together a list of our favorite delicious holiday Mocktails:

Mock Champagne

Ingredients: 4 cups carbonated water (chilled), 4 cups ginger ale (chilled), 3 cups unsweetened white grape juice (chilled).

Directions: Chill club soda, ginger ale and grape juice overnight. In a large pitcher combine club soda, ginger ale and grape juice. Pour into a champagne flute and enjoy. (Source: Allrecipes.com)

Cranberry Thyme Sparkler

Ingredients: 2-3 Tbsp cranberry thyme simple syrup; 2 Tbsp cranberry juice; Ginger Ale, sparkling lemonade or soda water; cranberries & a sprig of thyme for garnish, optional.

Directions: Pour cranberry thyme simple syrup and cranberry juice in a highball glass (use 3 Tbsp syrup if mixing with soda water, 2 Tbsp if mixing with already sweetened soda). Fill the glass with ice. Top with soda. (Source: Babble.com)

Classic Mulled Cider

Ingredients: 2 quarts apple cider; 2 cinnamon sticks; 2 whole allspice berries; 2 whole cloves; 1 orange, thinly sliced.

Directions: Place all ingredients in a large saucepan and bring to a simmer on the grates of the grill or over a burner. Divide among individual mugs and serve hot. (Source: FoodNetwork.com)

Almond Pear Mocktail 

Ingredients: 2 cups pear nectar; 1 tablespoons lemon juice; pear slices; 1/2 teaspoon almond extract; 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions: In a large pitcher, add pear nectar. Stir in 1 tablespoon lemon juice, 1/2 teaspoon almond extract, and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract. Serve over ice or at room temperature. (Source: Babble.com)

Enjoy!

Shoe Shopping for Tiny Feet

December 15, 2014

Style versus function is a constant battle. Here’s why you should take a step back when it comes to baby’s footwear choice.

shoe shopping for tiny feet

Article & Photos courtesy of Well Rounded NY

Once your baby starts taking their first steps the, “Yes! Now I can finally buy little shoes!” moment happens. Inevitably you’ll venture into the kid’s shoe section of the store and become overwhelmed by the amount of cuteness. Before you know it you’re splurging on tiny soles that look insanely cute, but may not help so much with their developing feet. It’s a dilemma we face with our everyday purchases too, right? Style versus function.

Los Angeles Pediatrician, Dr. Monica Asnani “encourages toddlers to go barefoot while indoors whenever possible because they can grip the floor or carpet with their toes and achieve better balance than while wearing shoes.”

So if your little is just starting to pull themselves up to stand, you don’t need shoes yet. You want to let their toes “curl, wiggle, bend, and spread to work the small muscles of their feet” – Natasha Burget, MD.

Once they’ve started the cruising-the-furniture phase, things move pretty quickly from there. Soon they’ll be ready for short walks outside, and that’s when you want to protect the bottoms of their feet, thus shoe shopping begins!

Keep in mind that not all shoes are made with your toddler’s developing feet in mind. So while those teeny Toms (that come in so many fun colors, sequins, and designs) look really cute, it’s not so fun for our little explorers when their feet start slipping out from the backs, or they’re tripping from a stiff sole. Our recommendation is to put those on the back burner for when they’ve become confident walkers! They’ll be there in no time.

So let’s talk shoes, in stages…

Cruising / First Walker: They’re going to be curious about their new shoes, so staying away from anything with laces, that they can untie, and velcro that they can quickly undo is best avoided. Elasticized backs are key at this stage too because they’ll help keep shoes on. At this stage you definitely want “a shoe with a soft, flexible sole (that you can bend easily back and forth) and a nonskid sole.” (Dr. Monica Asnani). The all leather moccasin type shoes are very popular during this stage because it’s the closest to being barefoot that they can be while still being protected. Check out just a few faves from the below that are perfect for this stage, and quite stylish!

first walker

Style Picks: 1. stitches & soles2. Li’l Aussie Shoe Co.3. hello moccs

Confident / Exploring: During this stage, they’d rather be walking than sitting in a stroller. They’re not holding onto furniture much, and they’re going for it, smiling, giggling and almost running with every rapid step they’re taking. You can still keep them in leather sole shoes because they’ll still find them just as comfortable, just beware that they’re going to wear a lot quicker now that they’re more mobile. Now you can move onto rubber soles, which opens up a whole new variety of shoes to shop for. “When shopping for toddler shoes, bend the shoe in half. The shoe should bend in the middle. If the shoe bends at the “ball” of the foot, then there is some arch support in the shoe. A toddler will walk stiffly and unnaturally in a shoe with arch support, so look for a different shoe” – Natasha Burget, MD.

P.S. Bobux has a great image below each of their shoes to show their sole’s flexibility which comes in handy.

explorer

Style Picks: 4. Bobux5. Joojos6. Tip Toey Joey

Running / Full time walker: There’s no particular age for this stage because everyone develops at their own rate, but you’ll know when they’ve reached it because you’ll hardly be able to catch up with them! You can buy those cute little Toms now, and pretty much every shoe you see out there. It’s always good to take your kids shoe shopping with you though. Have them try on a pair and walk around the store to see how comfortable they walk in them. Comfort should still be key! Last thing you want is for them to cry of blisters.

full time walker

Style Picks: 7. See Kai Run8. Camper9. Dr Marten’s

Happy shoe shopping!

This article is by Junia Montano, courtesy of Well Rounded NY. Conceived with love by former magazine editors Jessica Pallay and Kaity Velez, Well Rounded NY aims to be the singular pregnancy resource for city-savvy moms-to-be. Through reviews, profiles, expert Q&As, local guides and more, Well Rounded curates the New York City pregnancy and helps its readers come to terms – and term! – with pregnancy in the city. 

5 Pregnancy Tips: Chriselle Lim

December 8, 2014

LA fashion icon and mama-to-be opens up about her miscarriage, her growing bump and learning to let go.

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Article & Photos courtesy of Well Rounded NY and The Chriselle Factor

We’ve had a crush on Chriselle Lim of The Chriselle Factor since we first saw her flash across our Instagram feed. But after one of our favorite online style experts admitted so bravely–in front of hundreds and thousands of online fans on her YouTube channel–that she’d had a miscarriage, she totally had our hearts. Honest and heartfelt, it was a beautiful reminder of the realities of baby-making, and one that not enough of us talk about openly.

We’re beyond excited that Chriselle is pregnant once again (it’s a girl!), and have been following her growing–and oh-so-fashionable!–bump ever since the announcement. And as she’s perfected her pregnancy style (ok, it pretty much started perfect and has only gotten better), she’s also been perfecting her ability to let go of control and embrace the unexpected.

Below, this gorgeous mama-to-be gives WRNY the scoop on her wild ride, and offers 5 tips to help the rest of us learn to let go during pregnancy and beyond.

What was it like learning you were pregnant this time around, especially after experiencing a miscarriage?
I was actually surprised that I got pregnant again so fast after my miscarriage. Although I felt a lot more ready this time around, I couldn’t help but be paranoid about possibly having another miscarriage…so I took extra good care of my mind and body. After the first 3-4 months, I felt so relieved and thankful that the baby was healthy and well.

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How have you felt during the process?
My immediate emotions were thankful that I got a second chance on bringing life into this world. I was excited, but extremely nervous at the same time. I was so paranoid about having another miscarriage, that I really didn’t start to “let go” and enjoy my pregnancy until my 4-5th month! When my doctor told me that the baby looked extremely healthy, and I had nothing to worry about, that’s when I realized that it’s ok to relax and enjoy the rest of the ride!

How has talking about your pregnancy helped you emotionally?
Talking about my pregnancy not only to my immediate friends and family, but also to my online family/followers has been extremely helpful… they were the support I needed all along. All of a sudden once I announced that I was pregnant, a lot of my followers that were moms or were expecting started to share so much of their own valuable tips and insight. I was so emotionally moved by the amount of help and support that my followers wanted to give me…it gave me strength, hope and encouragement.

How have you felt physically during the pregnancy?
I’ve been very lucky with my pregnancy thus far as it has been quite a breeze for me. Thankfully I never had morning sickness or nausea, but I’ve been getting a lot more tired easily. I’ve always been a workaholic who barely got any sleep before, so being “tired” has been a blessing in disguise as I’ve been FINALLY getting the sleep and rest that I should’ve been getting before. My husband actually loves the fact that I sleep before 10pm now! I’ve gained about 25 lbs. so far, but most of the weight has been distributed all in my belly and hips!

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What changes have you had to make since becoming pregnant?
Pregnancy has brought a lot of positive changes into my life. I’ve been able to put things into perspective and determine what is a priority and what is not. Before my pregnancy, my business consumed my entire life (luckily, I married a very patient and understanding man), but as of lately, I found myself prioritizing my relationship and quality time with my family a lot more. Yes, it comes with a bit of sacrifice, but i’ve come to a conclusion that you CAN have it all…but not all at once! There is a season for sowing and there is a season for reaping. I still work every day, and am just as equally obsessed with what I do, but I’ve really learned to “shut off” when the time is right. I feel like I got more organized and more diligent with my work during my pregnancy. Pre-planning is key, and I’m so thankful I have an amazing team that helps me do that.

What’s been your favorite stage of dressing the bump so far during the pregnancy?
My favorite stage of dressing the bump so far has been NOW! I’m currently 26 weeks and I’m no longer able to hide the bump anymore, so instead I just emphasize it by wearing tighter tops and one pieces. I love being able to show off my bump, as I think it’s the best accessory that any woman can really have!

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What was the most challenging?

I think the most challenging was when I was 4 months into my pregnancy. I was at that awkward phase where I could still fit into my own clothes (without being able to zip or button them up), nor was I ready for maternity wear either. Most people couldn’t tell I was pregnant until last month, so they just thought that I gained a few extra pounds!

What’s been your go-to fashion piece or brand during pregnancy?
I absolutely am obsessed with HATCH Collection for cute one-pieces, coats and blouses. I also love the maternity jeans from A Pea in the Pod, and the BellaBands from Ingrid & Isabel!

Is there pressure, as a style expert, to always be impeccably dressed during pregnancy?
I wouldn’t call it pressure, but I feel like I have a responsibility to always look chic (especially during this time of my life), so I can inspire other women that are going through what I’m going through. Dressing the bump can be quite challenging, and it’s easy to not feel motivated to get dressed up, so I hope that my outfits inspire other women out there to feel beautiful and great about themselves no matter what size they are.

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What are you most nervous for or when baby arrives? 
I’m most nervous about breastfeeding! I’ve heard so many challenging stories from other women about it.

What are you most excited for?
I’m most excited about EVERYTHING! Just being able to watch our baby grow and develop as she gets older, and of course–I’m not going to lie–dressing her up!

What are your best tips for learning to let go during pregnancy?

  1. If you ever have a miscarriage, know that it’s not your fault. For the longest time I felt as if I had to hold myself responsible for my miscarriage, when in fact it can be caused by a number of things out of your own control.
  2. Although I appreciate all the tips and advice everyone was giving me, it’s also healthy to limit yourself from listening to EVERYTHING that you hear. Everyone has different experiences and journeys, and no one way is the right way. Limit the amount of opinions you let in on how you should live your life during your pregnancy and once you have the baby.
  3. Your life doesn’t stop. It’s only the beginning! As a single working girl, I always thought that my life would stop the day I got pregnant but truth be told, it hasn’t! It actually only got better. I still continue to work everyday, and do everything that I usually do, but with more caution now.
  4. Continue to exercise. Although I don’t do my crazy morning fitness routines anymore, I still take the time to exercise everyday! It’s something I’ve always enjoyed doing, so I continue to do so by going jogging, walking the dogs, swimming, and yoga.
  5. Gaining Weight is healthy and a beautiful thing! I was always so paranoid about gaining extra weight pre-pregnancy, but i’m now 25 lbs. heavier and I’ve never felt so beautiful! I’ve always said that the woman’s best accessory is her confidence, but I might have to change that saying now to: “The woman’s best accessory is her bump!”

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This article is by Jessica Pallay, courtesy of Well Rounded NY.  Conceived with love by former magazine editors Jessica Pallay and Kaity Velez, Well Rounded NY aims to be the singular pregnancy resource for city-savvy moms-to-be. Through reviews, profiles, expert Q&As, local guides and more, Well Rounded curates the New York City pregnancy and helps its readers come to terms – and term! – with pregnancy in the city.

Things We’ve Read: Week of December 1st, 2014

December 6, 2014

Pregnancy News Nine Naturals Things We've Read

EX-UPS Driver’s Pregnancy Bias Claim at High Court (ABC News): Peggy Young has fought against UPS for seven years for refusing her work when she became pregnant in 2006. Her case has now reached the Supreme Court for further deliberation.

A nice house and career does not protect pregnant women from depression (The Daily Telegraph): A medical review reinforces depression during pregnancy is an internal medical condition and not a direct result of environment.

Exercise may prevent excess weight gain during pregnancy (Good Morning America News): UK researchers reiterate the health importance of exercise during pregnancy, and how it can benefit mom and baby before and after birth.

Illinois Targets Mid-December for Issuing Required Employer Posting under Pregnancy Accommodations Law (The National Law Review): A new Illinois law has added pregnancy to the Illinois Human Rights Act’s list of classes that are protected against discrimination. The law allows accommodations and modifications to a pregnant woman’s position, such as assistance with manual labor and temporary transfer to a less strenuous or non-hazardous position.

Why You Should Let Your Kids Sleep In (The Presidential Brief): Surveys have shown that schools with later start times display higher attendance and boosted academic performance.

The Side of Motherhood We Aren’t Prepared to Discuss (HuffPost): Tracy Bild, a speaker and professional coach, writes on the overwhelming aspects of being a working mom and an eye-opening experience while speaking to a 6th grade class.

If we truly valued motherhood, we would actually do something to help pregnant women (The Guardian): Writer, Jessica Valenti, discusses the societal contradictions pertaining to pregnancy and motherhood, and while we deem motherhood “the most important job in the world,” society does not treat pregnancy with much regard or respect.

Mom & Dad Turn ‘Sacrifice’ of Pregnancy Into a Movie (The Stir): Experiencing her first pregnancy at 42, Dominique Debroux and husband Christopher Henze decided to make a documentary following the pregnancies of 18 expecting mothers.

12 Days Of Giveaways!

December 5, 2014

Nine Naturals 12 Days of Giveaways!

This year, the gifts are starting early! As we count down to the holidays, we’re hosting our biggest giveaway ever with a total of $2,650 in pregnancy safe prizes for mom & baby! Starting December 8th, 2014, check back daily for a chance to win a different prize (completely FREE) from one of these amazing brands: Nine Naturals (featuring your favorite all natural beauty products!), Beco, Belly Bandit, Rosie Pope, Babyganics, Guava Family, Sea-Band Mama, Kickee Pants, Credible Cravings, FitBump, Bundle Organics, and Au Lait. And don’t miss our grand prize sweepstake on 12/19 featuring a fabulous prize from all of the brands!

Happy Holidays!

How To Shampoo Your Hair

How To Shampoo Your Hair

Naturally thick, lustrous locks are one of pregnancy’s best perks! Get the most out of your fabulous pregnancy hair by cleaning it properly. Here’s how:

  • Start With Warm Water: Wet hair thoroughly with warm — not hot — water. Hot water can dry hair out and will make it more susceptible to breakage.
  • Choose An All-Natural Shampoo: Avoiding toxins in personal care products is always important, but it becomes especially crucial during pregnancy, when chemicals can potentially harm your growing baby. Nine Naturals’ Citrus + Mint Nourishing  Shampoo is not only 100% plant-based, it also smells divine. You’ll enjoy the uplifting, all-natural scents of lemon, lime and peppermint while organic jojoba seed oil and shea butter boost shine and lock in moisture, and Vitamin B5 strengthens strands, keeping split ends at bay. Our formula is gentle enough for all hair types, and, most importantly, safe for everyday use before, during and after pregnancy.
  • Think Quarter-Sized. Chances are you’ve been using too much shampoo. You want to get your hair clean, removing excess dirt, oil and everyday pollutants, without stripping all of its natural lipids and oils, which help to protect hair from environmental damage and dryness. Use about a quarter-sized amount of shampoo, and you’ll be right in that sweet spot.
  • Go gently. You don’t have to get all karate-kid on your locks; lathering too aggressively can damage its strands. Instead, spread the shampoo (remember, just a quarter-sized dallop!) between your hands and then gently massage your scalp. Next, run your hands down the length of your hair, gently and evenly distributing the remaining shampoo over its strands.
  • Rinse. (And Keep Rinsing.): Rinse with warm water for at least one minute.
  • Finish With Conditioner: Simply squeeze excess water out of your hair, and then smooth conditioner evenly over the length of your locks. Leave it in for at least one minute before rinsing thoroughly with warm water. As with your shampoo, remember to use an all-natural conditioner. Our Citrus + Mint Nourishing Conditioner perfectly complements our Citrus + Mint Nourishing shampoo. Organic sweet almond oil and shea butter stimulate hair growth and leave locks smooth and full of natural shine, while flax seed oil and vitamin B5 strengthen hair so it can hold up to the changes it’ll undergo during pregnancy. Lightweight enough for everyday use, it’s also toxin-free and safe for mamas (as well as for babies-on-board).

Teething Tactics

December 1, 2014

Make the teething process a little more manageable with these helpful products.

Article & Photos courtesy of Well Rounded NY

As new moms, we spend so much time obsessing over when baby will cut her first teeth. And then when those pearly whites finally start coming in, we wish we could go back to the gum-only days. Teething is not only uncomfortable for baby, but it can be pretty uncomfortable for us too-all that whining, drooling and not sleeping makes for a generally unhappy household.

While the process is totally natural, and duh, we want our baby to get teeth, most of us are willing to try any trick to ease the pain…for us and for the little one. Since the FDA says meds (even the holistic kind) are a no-no, here’s a few coping mechanisms that you can try until baby’s finally got a full set of chompers.

A popular teething remedy overseas, Baltic amber beads are quickly becoming the baby accessory of choice in NYC. Advocates say the beads release a pain-relieving substance when warmed by baby's body, which is then absorbed into the bloodstream. Although there's no evidence proving that theory, there's nothing disproving it either, so might as well give it a try, especially when those beads are just so darn cute ($24). (Note: Teething beads are not meant to be chewed or worn during sleep.)
There's no shortage of teethers in the marketplace, which is not a bad things since they tend to disappear as often as your "other" sock. If you want to narrow down the choices, head for healthy materials, such as natural rubber latex, like this Hevea Panda. It's biodegradable, sustainably produced, and the perfect size for baby's tiny hands ($14). Once baby gets a handle on gripping, these Zoli gummy sticks (with an anti-choke shield) give him a little more leverage to reach those tender gums ($10/set of 2). And for those extra painful days, throw a water-filled teether--like this BPA and PVC-free Green Sprouts by iPlay number--in the fridge to provide some cool relief ($3.95).
If 100% natural is the only way to go, try a wood option like these natural maple teethers. There's no toxic paints or stains, adn they're silky smooth for those sensitive little hands and mouths ($17.30). Wooden teethers are also durable and naturally anti-microbial.
Whether you're at the stage of accidental slippage, or the more purposeful throw-it-and-watch-mommy-pick-it-up, a tether for teether can be money-, time- and frustration-saving. A pacifier clip that does double duty to hold that teether tighter and a cute pacifier clip, like this Jaq Jaq Bird version, is even better ($8).
I swore I'd never be the type to wear teething jewelry, and then I became the type that wears teething jewelry. There is nothing more convenient than having your baby's teether around your neck at all times, especially when you're using a carrier. Thankfully, there are some tasteful versions out there, like these playful Chewbeads ($36.50), or these elegant (and engravable!) Momma's Jewels ($179).
There's one fool-proof sign that teething is on the horizon: buckets and buckets of baby drool. Sometimes the drip lasts months before you even see a hint of tooth, so invest in some cute bibs that keep baby dry. Cheekie Charlie makes it super-easy, with interchangeable bib-and-onesie sets like this one ($58).
Sometimes the best baby tools are already in your house, and that's true when it comes to teething. If you're in a pinch, a cold wet (or even frozen) washcloth can provide some soothing relief for baby. If you don't' already have something soft and organic, pick up a pack of these from Kate Quinn ($14/pack of 10).
Oh, mama, we know this teething process isn't easy on you either, so we think you deserve something to soothe you too! It can be hard to justify spending money on anyone other than baby right now, but think of this bathrobe as much for baby as it is for you, especially since he'll be looking at it when you're up together on those late, whiny nights ($98).

This article is by Jessica Pallay, courtesy of Well Rounded NY. Conceived with love by former magazine editors Jessica Pallay and Kaity Velez, Well Rounded NY aims to be the singular pregnancy resource for city-savvy moms-to-be. Through reviews, profiles, expert Q&As, local guides and more, Well Rounded curates the New York City pregnancy and helps its readers come to terms – and term! – with pregnancy in the city. 

Postpartum Doulas

November 24, 2014

postpartum doulas

Article & Photo courtesy of Well Rounded NY

The women of Baby Caravan break down the benefits of bringing in support after birth.

During our nine-plus months of pregnancy, we’re often so consumed by what will happen on baby’s birth-day that we can forget to plan for the aftermath. But no matter how much thought you put into your birth plan, the big event has a finite end-time, and then–hello–you’ve got a baby!

While a birth doula can be there to support you during the big day, a postpartum doula is there to support you for the many days after. From physical challenges like breastfeeding, balancing and even keeping your house clean, to emotional issues both big and small, a postpartum doula is all about helping you in your new life as a mother.

The experts at Baby Caravan are well-versed at handling this postpartum period–their very concept, in fact, is to help women in all aspects of their journey through motherhood: pregnancy, birth, postpartum and re-entering the workforce. The crew–London King, Jennifer Mayer and Emily Crocker–call themselves a “mobile unit of baby workers in NYC” and offer a continuity of care. Crocker, who is the postpartum doula of the trio, explains: “There are so many changes that happen, having consistent and reliable support is priceless.”

Below, Crocker breaks down the role of postpartum doula, and helps make the case for why this type of support is so critical for a new mom.

How is a postpartum doula different than a birth doula?
Some doulas do postpartum and birth work, but the qualifications are different. A postpartum doula has experience working with new families, helping with breastfeeding, identifying a baby’s sleeping and eating patterns, and running a household. This can be so helpful to a new family who is simply struggling to sleep and feed themselves.

Respond to this: I didn’t really want a birth doula. Why would I want a postpartum doula?
I think the concept of a doula has been slightly misunderstood over the years. What a doula simply does is provide a mother and her partner with much needed support during a very complicated, emotional and wonderful time in their lives–regardless of how they are choosing to birth. People associate doulas with home births or natural births, and our mission at Baby Caravan is to assist women in any type of birth they choose.

A postpartum doula is support in the same way, but just for a different time. Often a woman is given resources for her birth and for her pregnancy, but after birth so many women struggle with their new lives as a mother. If she’s having trouble breastfeeding, she can reach out to a lactation consultant who will visit for a few hours, but the postpartum life is much bigger than that–it can last as long as three months, or even a year. There are a lot of emotions, a lot fears, and a lot of hormones, guilt and regret associated with this period in a woman’s life. This can hit a woman like a ton of bricks, and support is the best way to combat all of these feelings. That is what postpartum doulas do. They support the mother while she supports her baby.

How does a postpartum doula complement the birthing team while providing something different than a birth doula?
We work as a team. If a woman is looking for a postpartum doula, I will come in during one of my partner’s prenatal visits and start going over breastfeeding prep and baby prep. I help them decide what items they may still need for the baby, and what is totally unnecessary. I am in touch with my Baby Caravan partner who’s doing the birth, and we make a plan with the mother after the baby arrives as to when she would like me to come in.

Often family comes in for the first few days after the baby is born. I like to come after family has visited and the house has calmed down. At this time, we get down to the nitty gritty: we process her birth, take a look at her sleeping situation, I observe her latch and make recommendations for breastfeeding, and give her time to rest.

The reasons we keep the birth and postpartum doula work separate is because they are both very specialized and we are all passionate about our roles. I couldn’t do what my partners do in birth. They have seen over 300 births and have so much experience in that realm. On the other hand, I have two boys under four and just finished breastfeeding my little one last month, so I have these fresh experiences I can pull from when it comes to postpartum. I know all the new products, even the new methods of feeding and sleeping. Working in a team, like Baby Caravan where everyone has their specialty, provides our clients with the utmost level of support.

Does the postpartum doula provide any baby or family care? How is she different than a baby nurse?
What I explained above is much different from a baby nurse. A baby nurse will help only with baby care. As a postpartum doula, I support women, I relate to them as a mother myself and give them confidence so that they can care for their baby. I do this by helping with all types of breastfeeding and sleeping questions, but also figuring out how to help her care for herself.

Walk us through what you do when you visit a new mom.
In the beginning, we sit and process her birth story. This is such an important part because a good amount of women don’t have the birth they dreamed of, and they need to work through lots of different feelings so that they can begin to move on and mother their new babies. Of course there are also women who had the birth they wanted and they want to really get into it. Processing birth is one of my favorite parts about being a doula.

After that, I help women exit the house for the first time and sit in a coffee shop and breastfeed in public (It doesn’t sound like much to most people but it’s a big deal as a new, and sometimes insecure mother). I help woman with ideas on how to partner with their partner and how to prepare emotionally and physically to return to work. We talk about how and when to start exercising and having sex (this is also a big deal for a lot of woman).

All of these things I have experienced myself, and I know how big of a deal they are. Our Baby Caravan clients benefit from tricks I’ve learned by failing myself. It really is priceless.

How does a postpartum doula balance emotional and physical care?
Physical care and emotional care go hand in hand. Helping a woman into the shower or letting her sleep and knowing her baby is in the arms of an experienced mother/professional can change her entire emotional existence. She can get a solid two-hour nap and start to feel normal and more confident, which can lift the mood of the entire family.

What’s a typical schedule like? Can a mom hire a postpartum doula for a single visit? What time period is recommended? And what are typical costs?
We have different packages that range from four hours to 16 hours. Our rates are between $40 and $60/hour depending on where you are located and how many hours you are looking for. I usually come to woman’s house in 3-4 hour appointments scheduled Monday through Friday between 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. after their partner has returned back to work. This is the chunk of the day when women are often struggling by themselves.

This article is by Jessica Pallay, courtesy of Well Rounded NY.  Conceived with love by former magazine editors Jessica Pallay and Kaity Velez, Well Rounded NY aims to be the singular pregnancy resource for city-savvy moms-to-be. Through reviews, profiles, expert Q&As, local guides and more, Well Rounded curates the New York City pregnancy and helps its readers come to terms – and term! – with pregnancy in the city.

Things We’ve Read: Week of November 17th, 2014

November 22, 2014

Pregnancy News Nine Naturals Things We've Read

This Couple Tricked Everyone Into Being in Their Pregnancy Announcement (TIME): Watch as Katharine and Kris Camilli capture a compilation of immediate, genuine reactions from their friends and family upon announcing that they’re expecting.

Meet a Woman Who Adopted Her Daughter – as an Embryo (PEOPLE): Liz and Kevin Krainman chose a different path to parenthood in the way of “embryo adoption,” where their daughter Sammy was adopted from another couple’s 2006 IVF cycle.

Coming to terms with comments on pregnancy weight gain (LA Times): A writer delves into the pressures, thoughts and emotions she has experienced during the changes of pregnancy.

Why You Should Never Touch a Receipt With Clean Hands (Yahoo Health): Why BPA is used in receipts and how wet hands could be allowing the dangerous chemical into your bloodstream.

What My Daughter’s Deadly Allergies Have Taught Me About Parenting (HuffPost): How having a daughter with a deadly disease makes one mother appreciate the fragility of life and feels that providing her daughter with a “good enough childhood” is actually a great thing.

42 Weeks Of Pregnancy Captured In One Very Eventful Time-Lapse (HuffPost): An adorable video capturing one couple’s pregnancy in a span of one minute!

What You Can Do to Prevent Premature Birth (U.S. News & World Report): Causes of preterm births and actions you can take in prevention of going into preterm labor.

In Loving Memory of a Moment Alone (HuffPost): A mom’s funny struggle to recall when she last had alone time, which leads her to find the silver lining: “At least I’m never lonely.”

Being a Father Is Good for Your Career, but Don’t Get Carried Away (New York Times): A look into the reaction toward fathers on paternity leave, and how it changes the dynamic with their coworkers and employers.