This week, we’re exploring the idea of doing more by actually doing a little less. Ready Made Meals make life easy (well, easier) for new parents by saving time, and precious energy, while helping them fill up on nutritious, home-cooked meals.
Here’s a News Flash: Family dinners don’t always have to be prepared by your family. Enter: The World of Ready Made Meals.
Here in the Triangle, there are quite a few options for “prepared meal kits” that are both pretty good quality meals *and* reasonable in cost. Over the years, our past clients have tried nearly all of them. Here are some of our favorites … Read More
This week, we’re encouraging parents to lean into their support networks, and hop aboard one of the best ways those supportive friends & family members can lend a helping hand, without being physically in a new family’s space.
True Story: The best gift you can get a new parent is a fully prepared meal. Meal Train is a free, online tool where your friends, family, and community members can rally around you and show their love for you with food.
Is it actually Heaven? Maybe. Read More
Having a newborn at home often means having a newborn in one arm (if not both) nearly around the clock. That leaves even the most simple tasks, like cooking or heck, even microwaving, feeling nearly impossible. So, what’s a new parent to do?
How does one hold a baby, feed that baby, and care for their own nutritional needs at the same time? Over the coming weeks, we’ll explore our best tips and resources for expectant parents that will help them feed their bodies, without adding to the stress of postpartum.
This week, we’re talking all about the art of the Freezer Meal. Read More
As birth doulas we often tell clients they don’t have to become pregnancy and childbirth experts; and yet, it’s hard for those of us who are research lovers to resist the urge to purchase even one pregnancy book. There are so many “new” new-things that comes with pregnancy and childbirth, it’s natural to be curious and to see out information. But then, you stare at the shelf at the library or the bookstore and ... BOOM.!
So. Many. Books. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by all of the options on the shelf and by recommendations from well-intentioned friends.
Do you want the encyclopedia of pregnancy and childbirth, or are you more interested in a more broad approach to this new phase of life?
Here are FIVE book recommendations about pregnancy that we think are *actually* worth a read … Read More
If you're currently pregnant and nearing your due date, you may be understandably concerned about the upcoming forecast for Hurricane Irma's path towards North Carolina. While there's still a lot of time for the path to shift a little, it's looking more and more certain each day that the Triangle region may be in for some stormy weather at the very least.
As doulas, we know that this often correlates with a rise in the number of labors we attend, and in fact, science confirms this for us! The combination of the low pressure systems that come with a hurricane and the stress of any natural disaster do tend to send pregnant people into labor and/or rupture membranes.
So, what should you do if you're approaching your due date AND you're in the path of Hurricane Irma? Our birth doula team has a few suggestions. Read More
Transitioning into life with a new baby is exciting. It’s also so. much. change. for your older children.
Suddenly, they’ve gone from the center of your world, to sharing their limelight with this entirely new person. And yes, eventually, they’ll build a beautiful partnership with each other and a love that will last a lifetime between the siblings. But until then, Big Siblings will often flex their “Big Kid Independence” in the light of hearing (more than) their fair share of “Not Now”s, or “Just a Minute”s while you tend to your newborn.
Enter: Busy Bags. Read More
Thanks to several local university graduations and celebration events around town, Mother’s Day in the Bull City can be a fun, but often crowded weekend. This week on the blog, Emerald Doula Vanessa is sharing her best suggestions to help you celebrate the favorite moms in your life, without the hassle of long waits and out-of-towners… Read More
There are a lot of reasons why pregnant people and new parents hire doulas.
In birth, it’s often because we offer a deep well of information when you need it. Providing evidence-based information about your birth options, interventions, and suggest labor positions you might try. We often bring a lot of hands-on comfort, too- massage, counter pressure, reassuring touch, etc.
As postpartum doulas, we offer a lot of practical help. Folding laundry, tidying the kitchen, cutting up fruit and vegetables as quick snacks, or prepping tasty, nutritious meals. Postpartum doulas also sometimes take over baby care so tired, exhausted parents are able to nap, shower, visit with friends and family, or just have some alone time.
Sometimes, though, the magic of our work as doulas isn’t in what we actively do. Sometimes, the magic comes from just simply, being. Read More
As postpartum doulas, we see the emotional labor of a family become one of the hardest parts of a family’s life following birth. Sometimes that’s because life with a newborn is so chaotic that things just slip through the cracks. But more often it’s because the Birth Giver has historically been the Do-er of the emotional labor in that family, and in the days following labor, the sleeplessness, the feedings, and the sheer physical recover that has to happen for a Birth Giver, they are simply unable to continue with the burden of that “invisible work” any longer.
How can partners help with this burden? Read More
As birth doulas, we often hear from clients in their last few weeks of pregnancy who excitedly report on their prenatal visits with their providers. Often these reports include some measurement of cervical dilation that occurred in those visits.
Cervical dilation is measured from 0 centimeters to 10 centimeters (with 10 centimeters being a “fully dilated” or “complete” cervix) and is assessed through a vaginal exam by your midwife or OB.
But, did you know that your dilation isn’t the only indication of labor progress? Read More
If you’re currently pregnant, or have children already, you might be familiar with a common possible Labor Sign known as “nesting”; or the (often uncontrollable) urge to organize and clean all. the. things. in your home prior to your baby’s arrival.
While you’re organizing the spice cabinet by height and alphabetizing the soups in the pantry, you might also channel some of that urge into a different form of nesting- Postpartum Nests.
What are Postpartum Nests?
These are little strategically placed bundles or baskets of needed essentials in and around areas of your home (where you’ll care for your baby or your own body).
What goes into each nest depends on which nest, and which location, we’re talking about. We advise clients to break these nests into three categories: Bathroom/Physical Recovery Nests, Infant Feeding Nests, Infant Care Nests, and (maybe most importantly) Snack Nests.
Let’s take a closer look… Read More
This week’s blog post comes from Emerald Doula, and resident foodie, Vanessa. Vanessa is, in addition to being an incredible doula, an amazing home chef. She can make nearly any meal Instagram ready (and her InstaStories back up that claim!). Today, she’s sharing some of her favorite recipe links to help pregnant people consume the fabled “6 Dates A Day” for a possibly easier birth … Read More
Being a parent is hard, no doubt about it. Taking care of yourself, especially now that you are a parent can seem like a difficult task when so many demands are made on you every minute of the day.
The truth is, self-care can look like lots of different things and can be done when you have 10 minutes before the baby wakes up, or just a couple minutes while you put your feet up, or the moments before you drift off to sleep at night. It can’t, and doesn’t always have to be, a day at the spa that we WISH we could schedule more often.
Postpartum Doula and EmDo Co-Owner, Suzanne Lee, shares her quest to find those enjoyable self care avenues that which can do quickly and which help make for a lighter part of the day.
In that journey, she’s discovered a few really great apps that might make a difference for you, even if you’re squeezing in these fun moments between the more trying, stressful times … Read More
Most often as birth doulas, we’ll talk about and share ways in which we support the birthing person during pregnancy and birth. That’s fair, though, right? Birthing people are doing a good portion of the work, and will need that support as they move through the process.
But did you know? Birth doulas also provide a lot of support specifically for partners, too!
How? Find out more … Read More
The holiday season is a really special, beautiful time of year when families gather near one another. For those of you with newborns, this might also be the first time your extended family and friends will have the chance to meet your family’s newest arrival.
But, between the sparkle and dazzle of holiday cheer, and the (sometimes lengthy) visits, it can be hard to balance their expectations with your little one’s needs, without leaving your newborn or yourself, feeling overwhelmed. Here’s our best advice for finding balance … Read More
Tennis Ball massage, counter pressure, aromatherapy, these are all commonly suggested comfort measures we recommend and see often as birth doulas within a labor room.
But did you know, there’s so. much. more comfort to be had? Often, that comfort comes from possibly surprising sources!
Birthing people are amazing at their ability to creatively cope in labor. Each time we support a Triangle-area family, we witness a birthing person lean into their instincts and find comfort in ways that we would never (or could never) have thought of ourselves!
Here are our top three, maybe surprising (but maybe not!), comfort measures which birthing families have taught us over the years … Read More
Receiving gift certificates towards doula services is a really special way in which your friends and family can support your growing family. And while baby socks are sweet, gifting money towards your doula fund is a smart way to give something that truly lasts beyond the first growth spurt! Plus if this isn’t your first baby, asking for doula support instead of gifts helps avoid repeats of stuff you’re already planning to reuse or might not need this time.
Even better, our gift certificates can be used towards any service we provide, including doula support, lactation and infant feeding services, placenta services, and classes like our Spinning Babies® Parents Class, Childbirth Education, Newborn Care, or Modern Grandparents classes. So YOU get to choose how to maximize the generosity of your friends and family.
But, (you’re saying to yourself), doula services can’t be added to a typical registry list. That’s true. But, remember… we live in the future. Embrace the technology that’s so readily available to us these days, including a service called “Baby List”.
This site enables you to register for all kinds of things, from your more traditionally purchased items like carseats and baby clothes or services, like, ahem… the support of Emerald Doulas.
Here’s a step-by-step guide for setting your registry if you haven’t already … Read More
Meet IBCLC and mindfulness educator, Lorraine Rocco, who joined the EmDo family earlier this spring. Lorraine brings her experience as a former Labor and Delivery Nurse, calm, easy-going presence, and deep well of knowledge to our clients at many points along their infant feeding journeys. She is the perfect compliment to our already existing goals-based practice and shares our vision for supporting families in feeding their babies in whatever ways feel right for them. Read More
We’re hired by families across the Triangle just like yours to encapsulate their placenta following birth. Often times, birthing people have questions about our process, and about placenta encapsulation, in general.
Today we’re discussing our top three most commonly talked about topics with a fun game of “Two Truths and a Lie”. Except (Spoiler Alert!) we’ll make this easy for you and tell you which is which as we go along! Read More
Have you ever wondered what's in a birth doula's Bag of Tricks?
Today, let's take a peek inside of one of the Emerald Doula's birth bags and see the collection of everyday objects we bring with us to each and every birth we attend. Note: This doula bag is representative of only what *this* specific doula carries with her (In this case, you're looking through the bag of EmDo Co-Owner, Ashley Rankin Collins). Read More