Really? Another class? After the childbirth education classes and the infant care classes, and books, and webinars on the interwebs, all in preparation to give birth, there's yet ANOTHER class that needs to be taken? In the words of a YouTube visionary, "Ain't Nobody Got Time For That." Well...we respectfully request to disagree. Why?
After the breathing, and the contractions, and the pushing--then what? The average mom will spend 5-8 hours a day feeding her baby. Yup. Like a full time job. That means that in the first 6 months of your baby's life, you will spend around 1,000 hours--that's ONE THOUSAND HOURS--feeding your baby. So why wouldn't you take a class on something you're about to spend up to 40 hours a week doing? Well, let's talk about why you would take a breastfeeding class.
You get to establish a relationship with breastfeeding professional who can then provide support after baby comes, if you need it. Reaching out for assistance after baby comes can be daunting, overwhelming, or even intimidating, especially if the people you need are strangers. Get the niceties out of the way before baby arrives, in class! A familiar face always makes things easier. And during class, you'll learn how to identify reasons why you would need more support after baby comes, so you'll have an action plan in place if you face challenges.
You get to build the breastfeeding knowledge of your support network so that your partner/auntie/grandpa/sister can better help you. We encourage you to bring your whole posse to our breastfeeding class! Whoever is going to be hanging out with you to help after baby arrives should have the same information you do--not only so they know the whys behind what you're doing with breastfeeding, but also so that they can remind you if you forget something. Sleep deprivation, hormones, and all the newness of the postpartum can give you the infamous Mommy Brain, and having someone to remind you of what you learned in class can be absolutely priceless!
You get to learn the NUMBER ONE thing you need to do to get breastfeeding off to a great start and how a lot of families (unknowingly) mess it up. Even if you don't recall anything else from class, you will leave knowing THIS one thing. We would tell you this one thing is but we have to save some of our secrets for class!!
"Learn the NUMBER ONE thing you need to do to get breastfeeding off to a great start and how a lot of families (unknowingly) mess it up."
You get learn what a truly good latch looks and feels like. Since this may be your first time breastfeeding, you may not know what to look for when it comes to your baby's latch right after birth. Or maybe your last baby didn't have such a great latch and you're trying to improve on it this time. Having your family there too will help them be able to see whether or not baby has a good latch--especially since it can be hard to get baby latched on well the first few times with only two arms.
You get to practice coordinating breastfeeding holds through the use of our weighted dolls. While this may seem sort of strange at first (or even a little creepy--darned little eyes that open and close), it can actually be a real eye-opener (pun intended) to position a doll that weighs close to what your own baby will weigh. Just don't look the doll in the eye.
Join us as we start our very own breastfeeding class, Belly to Breastfeeding, which will be available every month, starting July 6!
Isn’t summer in Florida fantastic? The beaches, the unpredictable weather, the hair-raising humidity…
Pregnancy in the southern summer can be agitating. Researching the best local resources can be even more frustrating. So I’ve compiled a list of shops, groups, meetings, and people that I personally recommend as a must visit, do, or buy during and after pregnancy.
1. Chiropractic Care
Carrying another human life inside you can take a toll on your entire skeletal system. Dr. Kaitlin Ross at Joint Venture Chiropractic will take the highest standard of care for you and your little one before and after delivery. Babies can benefit from chiropractic care as well. Click here for more information on infant chiropractic care.
2. Le Leche League Pensacola
Breastfeeding isn’t always easy. Finding a support group doesn’t have to be. LLL of Pensacola holds meetings “to help mothers to breastfeed through mother-to-mother support, encouragement, information, and education, and to promote a better understanding of breastfeeding as an important element in the healthy development of the baby and mother.” You can find their meeting schedule on their Facebook Page.
3. ICAN of Pensacola
A newest resource for cesarean birth mothers is the Pensacola Chapter of ICAN (the International Cesarean Awareness Network). ICAN is a “nonprofit organization whose mission is to improve maternal-child health by preventing unnecessary cesareans through education, providing support for cesarean recovery, and promoting Vaginal Birth After Cesarean (VBAC).” This could be a turning point for VBAC rates in Pensacola, and it is certainly a much-needed resource here since as many as 1 out of 3 moms in Pensacola have had or are facing cesareans.
Now, if you’ve ever been to Storkland, GET OVER THERE, GIRLFRIEND! You can get lost in there. Truly. Tell a trusted friend to call and check on you if they don't hear from you by a certain time. DO NOT tell your significant other (JUST KIDDING). They have EVERYTHING ranging from breastfeeding supplies, amber and hazelwood jewelry, car seats, baby wearing products, cloth diapers, and every nursery theme you can think of. Storkland is one of those places that carries many products that you can’t find it at chain department stores. They also provide gift wrapping and specialized registries. Be careful sitting in their nursery rockers, you may never get up.
5. Emerald Coast Birth Resources
A list of local professionals ranging in knowledge from birth, mental health issues, breastfeeding, caring of the newborn, and fitness can be found here. Aside from brick and mortar resources, the support of fellow mothers and credentialed professionals is essential to making your journey from pregnancy, through birth, and into parenthood as smooth as possible.
“Love, Encouragement, and Postpartum Support” is the motto of this fantastic mothering support group. Connecting with other mothers and being able to open up in a safe space can take the world’s weight off of your shoulders. Being a parent is tough cookies, you don’t have to do it alone. They meet twice a month at the Community Educational Center at Ever'man's Cooperative Grocery. AND just this week, they have added two new meetings specifically for parents of black and brown babies! See their Facebook page for more information on meetings.
7. Pensacola Therapy Services
Did you know that approximately 1 out of 7 women will experience a mood disorder such as depression, anxiety, or OCD? And mood disorders aren't just for the postpartum timeframe! They can happen during pregnancy as well. We are so fortunate to have this amazing resource in the area--the owner of Pensacola Therapy Services, Eileen Wolfe, has done extensive training with PSI (Postpartum Support International) and specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of mood disorders pertaining to pregnancy, birth & the postpartum. If you or someone you know is pregnant or with a new baby, and struggling with feelings or thoughts, contact Eileen today through her website!
8. Maternity, Birth & Newborn Photography
You always want to have the perfect photos for the once-in-a-lifetime moments.
Amanda at Finding Beauty in the Ordinary specializes in everything pregnancy, newborn, and family (in fact, she took many of our website pictures as well as the picture in the blog header!). If you desire to capture the precious moments of birth, Natalie Zepp or Cassie Ringl would be the people for you!
9. Mom-Baby Circle
Ever need a moment to just sit and have non-structured adult conversation?
Located at Old Thyme Remedies, Mom-Baby circle meets several times a month. Moms with babies and toddlers 3 years old and under are welcome to drop in. There’s no fee and it is facilitated by Belly to Cradle’s doulas (come see ME!). You can visit their Facebook Page and click on the Events tab for their next meeting time.
10. The Belly to Cradle Resources Page
Looking for a childbearing resource not listed here? Pregnancy-specific fitness options, health food stores, or a list of all the OBGYNs in town?? Then have we got the directory for you! We have worked hard to provide a robust list of all the possible services YOU might need for your pregnancy, birth & postpartum--and if you know of a resource that's not on the list, or you are a provider and would like to be added, PLEASE contact us--we'd love to know about it!
Your Doula With Pearls, Lauren
As the school year is coming to an end and the temperatures are rising, parents throughout the Florida Panhandle are cheering with excitement…am I right???
Yay!! It’s time to draw the blinds and sit through an endless loop of Caillou in the comfort of the air conditioned living room. Or is it??
While this option may sound exceptionally appealing (or like torture, depending on your feelings about Caillou), summertime survival in Pensacola, ESPECIALLY when you are pregnant or freshly postpartum, can be challenging. (I remember being 48 weeks pregnant in the third week of July 2007, and needing a commercial hoist to get myself out of the pool of my best friend’s apartment complex.) But, just because you are pregnant, or have a brand new baby, doesn’t mean that you can’t get out and enjoy the summer months. In fact, we recommend that our clients enjoy not only their pregnancy, but also their postpartum, as much as possible—which involves getting out of the house!
As a mom who is now a Pensacola native-by-proxy (the mother of all native Pensacolians), I have compiled an Insider’s Guide to activities to occupy the summer months. Long-time Pensacola residents—please forgive me. Some of this info may be redundant for you. This Insider’s Guide is looooong, so we are going to split it up into three parts--Water Play, Free Indoor Activities, and Low-Cost Activities.
This week we tackle Water Play. Living near the beach, with 1000% humidity, clearly lends itself to automatic, summer-long submersion. But there are some secrets about water play around these parts.
The Beach. The secret to beach-going at Pensacola area beaches in the middle of summer is location + timing. While Casino Beach (the part of the beach with the big beach ball tower) is beautiful, it is not as family-friendly in the way of resources (ahem, facilities, if you know what I mean, potties if you don’t) as some of the other beaches. These resources are absolutely imperative for pregnant, new, and not-so-new moms who are prone to peezing (peeing+sneezing), and their children who need to potty every five minutes. (Trust me on this--I’ve timed the frequency). I like my bathroom within line of sight of the water, since it’s likely I will spend most of my beach trip at the bathroom, heading to the bathroom, or heading back from the bathroom. Some great locations with pavilions, outdoor showers, and bathrooms CLOSE to the water are the Johnson Beach in Perdido, and the Ft. Pickens Beach past Pensacola Beach. Both require a paid pass, which is $15 for a week, or $30 for the year (just get the year pass), or FREE if you have a DoD ID card, and the pass is interchangeable for both beaches.
Now let’s talk about when to visit the beach. This may seem (once again) obvious, but it bears review. 10am-2pm is the peak of the sun’s ascent, and as a result, peak time for UV rays. ESPECIALLY if you are pregnant, or have an infant’s skin to protect, maintaining hydration, coolness and avoiding sunburn is imperative. Ending your beach visit before 10am or beginning your adventure after mid-afternoon is optimal. And of course, staying hydrated and shaded is very, very important, as is cutting it short if things start to get too hot. Those pearly white sand dunes reflect the rays and can greatly increase chances of being sunburned on the sly, so we usually don’t hang out more than a couple of hours.
Beach Going Tips:
Splash Pads: Splash pads are an awesome way to not feel guilty about only spending thirty or forty minutes playing outdoors--there is little required prep, no lugging gear across sand, and NO SAND (well, for the most part.) There are five splash pads within a forty minute drive of Pensacola.
Pools: We are super fortunate to have close family friends with a pool (and outdoor bathroom) who live close by and leave their back gate open for us (please don’t hate). But, if we didn’t have the option of a pool, my top three picks for “public” pools would be:
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