Tongue Tie, Lip Tie, and Skull Anatomy

OK, so today I’ve decided to tackle the topic of tongue tie using pictures. Tongue tie and lip tie cause more than just issues with the tongue, including things like sleep apnea, TMJ, migraines, recessed chin, and torticollis.

So, it’s a long video, and I get sidetracked once to talk about flat heads, but I think (hope!) you find it helpful. And sorry about the dog who needed to go pee. And yes, there is a pressure canner behind me. I had to re-process spaghetti sauce I made from tomatoes from my garden yesterday.

I hope it makes sense! Enjoy!

 

Links:

Anatomy of the head

Dr. Laura at Acu-Chiropractic

Veronica Jacobsen, BA, CLC, CPST, LCCE, FACCE
Birth Doula, Certified Lactation Counselor, Child Passenger Safety Technician, Lamaze Certified Childbirth Educator, Fellow of the Academy of Certified Childbirth Educators

Opening BabyLove in September of 2011 has allowed me to build a space where all families can come to get good information in a caring, welcoming environment. I have found that not only do I love teaching more than ever, but I also really love running a business. Hopefully my passion for every aspect of BabyLove shines through.
I live in Richfield with my husband, and I am a mother of a two great children. When I can steal a few free moments, I love to go on adventures with my family, cook, garden, thrift, can, and craft.

Childbirth Education: Is it still relevant?

Childbirth classes Twin Cities
Wisdom from a dad about vaginal exams. He’s so right!

It’s no secret childbirth education class attendance has gone down in the last decade. The reasons are a combination of many things:

  • Hospitals cutting back on options for families as cost controls put pressure on small departments
  • Reliance on online resources by families
  • Doctors and Midwives actively discouraging patients from taking classes
  • The rapid inflation of class prices
  • Too many years of big, impersonal, boring classes that leave parents unlikely to recommend childbirth classes to others
  • The resurgence of named “method” classes

Again, as one of the few area independent educators (only?) who started my career teaching for hospital programs, I’ve had a very different experience with the role of childbirth education in the community. I’ve watched the attitudes flip, where moms are scared to take classes, or think the information is so obvious that they don’t need to spend any time in a classroom. And as much as I love doulas and I know they are evidence-based, there is a limitation to both the training and scope of practice that means that doulas aren’t meant to take the place of education. Once parents actually GET into my classes, there are a few things they are all pleasantly surprised about:

First, the ability to ASK questions and discuss a wide spectrum of topics with an educator who is neutral and can address things like evidence-based care and best practices. Asking those questions on social media and message boards don’t help parents get facts….just a lot of opinions, which can make it all seem relative, useless, and a waste of time to figure out. Instead, I find that when classes are run in a way that allows for conversation about topics between parents, with the guide of an educator, help parents sort through the opinions, and put other ideas and experiences into context.

Second, good classes are structured in a way that leads to many “AHA!” moments for parents that can’t happen when trying to get information from a book or online. Those moments are what then spurs other questions, helps pull together the larger picture, and inspires confidence. Part of what I LOVE as an educator is when I hear parents coming up with gems of wisdom that prove to me that the process of sitting through 8, 12, or 15 hours of classes is valuable, helpful, and worthwhile.

Third, and I’ve had this conversation with educators who have been teaching longer than I have– what we’re missing in the Twin Cities is the importance of having families from all walks of life and circumstances sitting in the same room. As is the case with so many things, the “boutiquification” of pregnancy and birth in everything from strollers to childbirth education is further separating us from each other, leading to a more fractured, less inclusive, less diverse experience. That leads to an echo chamber of sorts, and parents don’t have a chance to hear that there are other ways to see things, and other families might be facing different situations.

Finally, I want to point out that every doctor and midwife SHOULD be supporting the process of evidence-based childbirth education. Evidence-based. NOT outcome-based. If we are going to reverse current trends in the US of poorer outcomes for mothers and babies over the last 10 years, we can ONLY do that by bringing childbirth education attendance rates back up. It’s so very hard to put into words, but I’ll try: Even with the best care providers, there’s a limitation to the amount of time they can put into educating and giving resources to families. As a childbirth educator, my role in the community isn’t just to educate, but to help encourage families to have healthier pregnancies, find providers appropriate to their situations, and catching a myriad of things that otherwise fall through the cracks. It might not make sense, but I know my BabyLove families get it.

I’ll be headed to Kansas City next month to be inducted as a Fellow of the Academy of Certified Childbirth Educators. I’m honored to join a group of smart, caring, passionate women (maybe men? Hmmm…) who feel as strongly about the importance of childbirth education as I do. It’s not flashy, it’s not trendy, but I know that childbirth education is as vital in 2014 as it was when Elizabeth Bing first started teaching in the 1950s. And hopefully, class attendance will reverse trends.

That’s what I have today.

Warmly,

Veronica

 

Veronica Jacobsen, BA, CLC, CPST, LCCE, FACCE
Birth Doula, Certified Lactation Counselor, Child Passenger Safety Technician, Lamaze Certified Childbirth Educator, Fellow of the Academy of Certified Childbirth Educators

Opening BabyLove in September of 2011 has allowed me to build a space where all families can come to get good information in a caring, welcoming environment. I have found that not only do I love teaching more than ever, but I also really love running a business. Hopefully my passion for every aspect of BabyLove shines through.
I live in Richfield with my husband, and I am a mother of a two great children. When I can steal a few free moments, I love to go on adventures with my family, cook, garden, thrift, can, and craft.

Finding Day Care

Finding Day Care

When I was in college one summer and then for a year after I graduated from college (thanks, recession), I worked in day cares. I worked for one not so great place over the summer, and then for a really awesome company after college. I also had the not-so-awesome experience as a mom of finding day care for my daughter, as I went back to work when she was only 6 weeks old (Thanks, employers who unenrolled me from short term and long term disability once you found out I was pregnant so I’d have no choice). Finding good providers is really hard, but there are some really amazing resources out there. I’ll give you my 2 cents first, and I’ll also link a bunch of things to this post to help you sort through your options as well.

First of all, if you’re looking for a space for a newborn, start calling early. Because Minnesota has strict 1:4 ratios for babies in centers, those spaces for good centers fill up quickly. For home day cares, the rules are a little more confusing; the limits on the number of children under the age of 1 depends on the type of setting and the licensed capacity.

Second, make sure you go visit the places while kids are there before you put your name on any waiting list. I’ll link to other resources below, but some things, I feel, are VERY important.

  • Is the place clean? Are there spills and stains all over?
  • Is there food from previous meals all over the floor?
  • Are there toys all over the floor, to the point that it’s impossible to walk without tripping on them?
  • Does everyone have a runny nose? (Yes, I know kids get sick, but TRUST ME– that’s a sign that toys and surfaces aren’t cleaned properly or often enough.)
  • Is it loud? Chaotic? With lots of fighting? That’s no good. Chaos equals injuries, sad kids, and sick kids.
  • Do they have the babies sleeping in safe surfaces?
  • What do they feed the kids for meals?
  • Are the babies held when being given a bottle? (Bottle propping a really, really big no-no.)
  • Is the TV on?
  • What do they do for older kids to sleep? Do they rock babies? Do they rub backs for older kids? Or do they expect ALL kids to fall asleep on their own?

Third, make sure you check references, and, in the case of in-home providers, call the county licensing department to find out what kind of complaints they have on file. Here’s a list of things you should be asking.

Minnesota has some really amazing resources out there for families. Child Care Aware Minnesota has a checklist, including a pdf of the checklist, that’s very detailed that you can use to help you make sure you’re asking all of the relevant questions. To locate options, there’s Parent Aware.

It’s important that you make sure you are totally at peace with your choice. I can tell you from my own experience that there’s nothing worse as a mom to find out that your child hasn’t been well taken care of. Hopefully these tools will help you dig through the options and you can find the right fit for your family.

Anything to add? Share below!

Warmly,

Veronica

Veronica Jacobsen, BA, CLC, CPST, LCCE, FACCE
Birth Doula, Certified Lactation Counselor, Child Passenger Safety Technician, Lamaze Certified Childbirth Educator, Fellow of the Academy of Certified Childbirth Educators

Opening BabyLove in September of 2011 has allowed me to build a space where all families can come to get good information in a caring, welcoming environment. I have found that not only do I love teaching more than ever, but I also really love running a business. Hopefully my passion for every aspect of BabyLove shines through.
I live in Richfield with my husband, and I am a mother of a two great children. When I can steal a few free moments, I love to go on adventures with my family, cook, garden, thrift, can, and craft.

What’s it like to own your own business?

BabyLove was a recipient of a 2014 SCORE Awards Honorable Mention from the SCORE Foundation
BabyLove was a recipient of a 2014 SCORE Awards Honorable Mention from the SCORE Foundation

Running the day to day operations of a business with a physical location for the last 3 years, I’ve learned a lot of lessons. I’ve also made a lot of mistakes. But since our society glamorizes owning a business, there are a few things I think everyone should know.

First of all, you don’t really ever get time off.  Forget the on-call aspect of being a birth doula, having a business means that emails get returned as soon as possible, you need to answer the phone even while sitting in the school pick up line, and that sometimes dinner doesn’t get made until after you talk to a parent. Want to go on vacation? Even then, you’ll find yourself worrying about the business just as much as you will worry about the well-being of your kids. And nights and weekends are often spent working on things you can’t work on during weekdays and evenings, such as web site maintenance and general repairs.

Another interesting aspect of being self-employed is having to make all sorts of strange financial decisions no amount of Home Ec would ever prepare you for.  You’ll get 3 calls a day from companies trying to convince you to use them for credit card processing, you’ll get 15 emails a day about advertising “opportunities”, and for some reason you’ll get a ton of emails every day telling you your website doesn’t work on mobile devices…despite the fact that it does.  If you’re smart, you’ll learn that if you want to get ahead, you’ll teach yourself to do as much as you can and you’ll be very careful about who you hire things out to. When hiring outside help or getting bids on projects, get some referrals from business owners you trust, but the more legwork you can do, the better potential for savings. Case in point? When getting quotes for signage, one quote was twice as much as the lowest quote…and the sales rep told me a permit would cost $300. In reality, a permit was $35.

You’ll also be inundated by all sorts of inappropriate questions, such as “How do you make any money”, and “Are you turning a profit?”  I’ll admit, I’ve been caught off guard by how flat-out rude some people can be. It kind of makes me want to both call them on it and ask them how their personal finances are going.  The economics of running a business are way more complicated than a lot of people expect, which is something that not everyone takes into account.

Everyone will have an opinion on how you could be doing better.  If I hear, “Do you have a website?” or “Are you active in social media?”,  one more time….I might lose it. Of COURSE I have a web site, and yes, I’m on every social media channel I can manage.  I know a lot of business owners are scared of social media, but it’s important to be willing to make a few mistakes in the attempt to reach as many families as possible. Sometimes a suggestion or request can make a lot of sense, but one of the different aspects of running BabyLove versus other types of businesses is that since it’s such a niche, one-time, intimate industry, things that work for coffee shops or stores won’t always translate very well to my business.

Finally? DO NOT start your own business if you’re entirely dependent on your paycheck from your full-time job to make ends meet.  Being self-employed can be exhilarating, but it’s also scary as hell. Two weeks of government shutdown can cause things to stagnate. A really long, difficult winter can cause sales to slow. Things happen, and even if you think you’ve made a solid sale, they can still back out without explanation.  One broken printer head can throw off your budget for weeks.

In the end, I am thankful every day for a very supportive husband, really awesome mentors, great friends who pitch in, and for kids who are pretty patient when it comes to coming in with me during the summer. I love every aspect of BabyLove– the teaching, the support groups, the marketing, writing this blog, and being a resource for local families. Without the support of families, BabyLove wouldn’t be here.

Watch for details on BabyLove’s 3rd birthday bash coming up soon!

Warmly,

Veronica

Veronica Jacobsen, BA, CLC, CPST, LCCE, FACCE
Birth Doula, Certified Lactation Counselor, Child Passenger Safety Technician, Lamaze Certified Childbirth Educator, Fellow of the Academy of Certified Childbirth Educators

Opening BabyLove in September of 2011 has allowed me to build a space where all families can come to get good information in a caring, welcoming environment. I have found that not only do I love teaching more than ever, but I also really love running a business. Hopefully my passion for every aspect of BabyLove shines through.
I live in Richfield with my husband, and I am a mother of a two great children. When I can steal a few free moments, I love to go on adventures with my family, cook, garden, thrift, can, and craft.

Thrifting and consignment: a little work, big savings

thrift and consignment

OK, so first of all, I’m by no means an expert on this stuff. I have, however, become quite adept at finding good deals on previously worn clothes.  It took me awhile before I figured out how to find clothes for a really good price. It’s gotten to the point where, with the exception of one store, I can’t bring myself to shop retail. So, moms, if you’re looking for maternity clothes or to replace clothes for your post-baby body, I have some tips for you on how to do so with as little frustration as possible.

First, know that there’s a huge difference between thrift and consignment stores. There are only 2 thrift stores that I like to shop at now; they do a good job of sorting out the clothes by size, color, and their prices aren’t crazy. Some places charge almost as much for clothes as consignment stores would for the same item, and I frankly don’t have the time to spend in places that have inflated prices. And while the challenge with both consignment and thrift is the digging part, thrift stores can have lower quality items, too (though I have scored things that would have cost over $100 new at thrift stores for less than $5).

Consignment stores, though, are more careful about their inventory. As Crystal mentioned yesterday, there’s a process each place has to go through items to be consigned. They can be more likely to have high-end, well-made items, but the price does reflect this more often than at thrift stores. I also have found a handful of consignment stores I love more than some of the others; some have better selection on things like coats, shoes, and dresses than others. You’ll find a few places you like and will learn to check in with them every so often to see what’s new and what’s been recently marked down.

With that out of the way, here are my tips:

  • Have a general idea of what you need. Do you need dress pants? Jeans? Dresses? The stores are broadly labeled to reflect types of clothing, so go to that section and find your size. Now, this is important: Grab anything that catches your eye to try on. You never know what will work and what won’t.
  • One easy way to scan a rack is to know what lengths, cuts, and washes that you prefer. By looking at the cuffs, you can usually weed out some things if you know you don’t want skinny jeans, etc.
  • Most places arrange shirts and dresses by color. If you know you have a few favorite colors, focus on those first. No use wasting time on looking at yellow shirts if they make you look like a lemon.
  • Need shoes? Even though my daughter is horrified every time I do it, just try them on in the aisle. With shoes, though, pay attention to the amount of wear on the soles.
  • Now, this may be controversial, but unless I really love an item, I will not buy anything that’s a Target brand or from Old Navy second hand. You rarely save any money on those items in most stores. The exception here is maternity clothes, because we all know that Old Navy and Target have good maternity clothes.
  • Finally, be realistic. Just because something is a good deal or a great find, don’t buy something that will be hard to work into your existing wardrobe. Also, keep fabric care in mind. I don’t know about you, but no way would I ever buy something that’s dry clean only.

Those are my thoughts! It can take awhile to get the hang of second-hand stores, but the savings and the treasure hunt make it worth it!

Have any tips you want to share?

Warmly,

Veronica

Veronica Jacobsen, BA, CLC, CPST, LCCE, FACCE
Birth Doula, Certified Lactation Counselor, Child Passenger Safety Technician, Lamaze Certified Childbirth Educator, Fellow of the Academy of Certified Childbirth Educators

Opening BabyLove in September of 2011 has allowed me to build a space where all families can come to get good information in a caring, welcoming environment. I have found that not only do I love teaching more than ever, but I also really love running a business. Hopefully my passion for every aspect of BabyLove shines through.
I live in Richfield with my husband, and I am a mother of a two great children. When I can steal a few free moments, I love to go on adventures with my family, cook, garden, thrift, can, and craft.

Advice from a pro: selling your clothes

belliestobabies
Today’s post is from my friend and fellow entrepreneur Crystal Pollard. She’s the brains and brawn behind Bellies to Babies in Richfield. The costs of buying new clothes during and after pregnancy can be offset by both buying from and selling to consignment stores. Tomorrow, I’ll talk about my tips for buying consignment clothes. Today, Crystal talks about how to get the best deal when you bring your clothes to a consignment store.
A few pointers to successfully sell your clothing to a second hand store:
-Call ahead or check out the website to find out their requirements. Do the items need to be on hangers, or just nicely folded? Do they take baby separates, or just outfits? Do you have to make an appointment before bringing items in? How old can the clothing be? Do you get paid on the spot, or when the item sells? It helps to educate yourself on the stores process before lugging in your clothing.
-Wash and fully dry your items before bringing them in.
-Make sure they are free of odors, pet hair, garage sale tags. Some places might still buy your clothing from you, but you will get more for items that are in tip top shape.
-Ask the place you’re bringing your items into if there is something specific they are looking for. Sometimes you can get more for bringing in certain items they are low on.
-Find out if you get more in store credit than cash payout. Sometimes it’s more worth it to trade in.
-Don’t hover. Shop around the store while they go through your items. Or see if you can stop back. But, really, don’t hover. It will go much quicker if you let them do their job without standing over them.
-Know that you don’t have to accept their offer. If you don’t like it, you can take your items elsewhere.
-Yes, you can get more for your items if you sell them in a garage sale, Craigslist or Ebay. However, remember that it takes a lot of time and effort to sell on your own, as well as meeting with strangers who may or may not show up.
-By selling your items to a store, you may not get as much as selling on your own, but you get to save time and effort.

 

Veronica Jacobsen, BA, CLC, CPST, LCCE, FACCE
Birth Doula, Certified Lactation Counselor, Child Passenger Safety Technician, Lamaze Certified Childbirth Educator, Fellow of the Academy of Certified Childbirth Educators

Opening BabyLove in September of 2011 has allowed me to build a space where all families can come to get good information in a caring, welcoming environment. I have found that not only do I love teaching more than ever, but I also really love running a business. Hopefully my passion for every aspect of BabyLove shines through.
I live in Richfield with my husband, and I am a mother of a two great children. When I can steal a few free moments, I love to go on adventures with my family, cook, garden, thrift, can, and craft.