Check out this terrific visual graphic showing the size of a newborn’s stomach at birth, three days, one week and one month old! Seriously, this so wonderfully represents how tiny a newborn’s tummy really is, especially at birth. They do not need much breast milk to feel full…for about 45 minutes…and then it digests and they may want to eat again. In any case, don’t stress new moms! The majority of breastfeeding moms have plenty of milk to give their newborns. You can read more about breastfeeding tips and view the original source for this photo here.
I was talking with a very wise friend of mine the other day about my attempt to de-clutter my life. She suggested only keeping material things around me that bring me true joy. She is right. This simple concept has been immensely helpful in getting rid of things.
Several years ago, I unexpectedly left my successful government job to care for my firstborn child. I’ve had at least one professional job, at all times since I was twelve…until my son needed me. Just like that, I went from a 40+ hour/week money-earning Health Education Consultant to a 24+ hour/day cuddle-earning mom. That. Was. Weird. and HARD. Not only did I have to adjust to being dependent on someone else for income for the first time in my adult life, but I also had to adjust to a baby being dependent on me for…everything. My wardrobe went from a sharp Banana Republic girl to throwing on whatever Target ‘boyfriend-style’ tee seemed clean paired with yesterday’s jeans. And the shoes went from fun to functional, if I even wore shoes that day. That meant leaving the house.
For over four years, my staunch button-up collared shirts, fancy slacks, tailored skirts and gorgeous shoes (Oh, the shoes!) patiently hid out in my closet, waiting to be coordinated into what was once a very strong part of my identity. I enjoyed dressing the part of a business professional each day. My job that used to be helping with infectious disease control had now morphed into managing TWO tiny humans. My daily triumphs now included keeping the children clean, fed and alive. Those were also my challenges. 🙂
Last summer, I made the decision to train as a skilled Birth Doula and Childbirth Educator. I love being a professional mom, but I also missed that sense of accomplishment and challenges my ‘day job’ brought me. I missed talking to people my height and using words containing more than one syllable. I also missed helping people – grown-up people and families.
Last week, I took a long hard look at my closet and realized that I was never going back to the person I was in my pre-kids life. I think I kept my professional attire around as a safety net, just in case I needed it. I finally realized I’m not her anymore. I’m now a successful doula!!!! As much as I once loved these clothes, the likelihood of me wearing much of this business-y apparel in my present profession is not only impractical, but more importantly, no longer entangled with my personal identity. Can you imagine me offering counter-pressure to a laboring momma in heels and a pant-suit?!? The memories associated with many of these clothes are that of my former life. Do they bring me joy? They used to, but they don’t anymore. My own transformation into motherhood and now in seeing other women transition into motherhood has offered me more happiness and joy than any of my clothes ever did. My new work uniform, which consists of my company logo t-shirt, yoga pants and tennis shoes now bring me the most joy and more confidence than I’ve ever had in a job…aaaaand they are a lot more comfortable.
So, I challenge you to take a look around your home. What items bring you joy? When looking at something, think about the memories this item recalls. What emotions do you feel? If it’s not joy, then maybe it’s time to be enjoyed by someone else.
Next up, sifting through the rest of my wardrobe. Watch out jeans – I’m coming for you! Oh, and in case you were worried, the shoes are still safe. A lady can never have too many pairs of shoes.
FREE EVENT for all expectant parents!
Decoding Doulas: Birth Support for Every Expectant Mother!
Expecting a “bay-bee”? Did you know that many local healthcare providers are now recommending their patients seek out doula support?
Join Jenny Bare, of Bay Bee Birth Services for this FREE casual monthly 1-hour information session that breaks down what doulas can do for your birth experience, on either of the following dates:
- Sunday, March 22nd at 3:00pm
- Sunday, April 26th at 7:00pm
Location: I am super excited to be hosting this event at Yoga-Treat on the Concord/Walnut Creek border! They offer so many great classes (including childcare options) for families! The building is located behind Trader Joe’s.
Yoga-Treat (In the Oak Grove Shopping Center Plaza)
2956 Treat Blvd, Suite B
There is a lot to consider when having a baby, including who you wish to support you during your labor and birth. Numerous women and their partners find enormous reassurance and report a more positive birth outcome by having a doula (pronounced “doo-luh”) by their side.
This session will cover the doula’s purpose and Scope of Practice, how doulas and dads/partners work together, general doula fee ranges, what the research says, common misconceptions, and helpful guidelines when making birth decisions. Finally, you’ll gain some tools to assist you in finding the right doula for you; including key interview tips and where to search in your area.
Whether you’ve already considered hiring a doula for your child’s birth or if you’re simply curious, come check out this informative session. You may be surprised to learn that doulas are just as diverse as you are!
Bay Bee Birth Services is a new sponsor for Hilarie’s Helpful Hints and the featured March business!!! Hilarie and her team provide information about a wonderful array of activities for over 2,500 families and mom’s-to-be in the Greater Bay Area including infant massage, baby-and-me yoga, music classes, gymnastics, toddler cooking classes, day trips, ticket discounts, playdates and much more! Later this month, I’ll be hosting my first informational class about doulas. More information about that here! – Jenny
Last month I gave birth to our second son and had the pleasure of having Jenny Bare as my doula. I had a home birth and may have not been able to stay at home if it wasn’t for her. My blood pressure was high when my midwife first arrived and I had a very short period of time to get it down to be able to give birth at home. Of course having contractions and bringing your blood pressure down at the same time is quite challenging. Thanks to Jenny talking me through it and performing the rebozo technique on me, I was able to calm way down and give birth at home. I’ll never be able to thank her enough for this. She is warm, gentle, calming, and very knowledgeable.
She helped with my son’s latch right after birth and was immensely helpful to my midwife too. The assistant midwife was unable to make it because my labor was so fast, so Jenny had to step in. Thank goodness she was there!
Jenny has about a million resources for everything and anything related to pregnancy, childbirth, and postpartum. She has been so helpful since my son was born too. Checking in with me frequently and always just being a positive and encouraging force in a time that can be challenging. She is just wonderful!
I encourage anyone who is thinking about having a doula at their birth to give Jenny a call. She really will make your experience a beautiful one!
Birth photos courtesy of: Shannon Stellmacher. Copyrighted 2015.
My husband and I chose Jenny Bare as our doula for the labor and delivery of our son at John Muir Medical Center in December 2014, and we could not be happier with our decision.
From the very start, Jenny presented herself professionally with clear and constant communication with us. She presented many resources that helped us as first-time-parents figure out what our preferences for what sort of birth we wanted. She did not push any sort of agenda on us, but listened to us with insight and empathy and offered helpful tailored advice. She was able to identify what sort of coping-style I had, personality-wise, and met my needs perfectly– often even before I was able to articulate them myself.
During my labor, she worked smoothly with the nurses and OB smoothly while still advocating for our birth plan. Her constant support (including physically supporting me in various positions during contractions) not only got me through twenty-five hours of active labor without an epidural, but freed up the hospital staff to focus on monitoring the baby and other vital medical functions.
Without her empathetic, positive, and practical support, I know we could not have had the positive birthing experience that welcomed our little one into the world. Jenny is a wonderful person and I highly recommend having her by your side before, during, and after your birth.