Why the cheapest car seat is usually a waste of money

Yesterday, I hopped onto a video stream to talk about this cheap car seat I’d been holding on to for the last month. Check it out! And if you need help with car seats, schedule your appointment with me today!

 

Veronica Jacobsen, BA, CD(DONA), CLC, CPST, LCCE, FACCE

DONA-Certified 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.

Why I became a doula and a Lamaze Educator

how to become a doula

When I was pregnant with my first child 10 years ago, I went through the normal pregnancy rites– picked a doctor and stuck with her because she was “nice”, took the crappy hospital classes that were nothing more than an L&D nurse reading a bunch of PowerPoint slides to us, and filled my baby’s room with a bunch of crap stuff, most of which I barely used. I went to the brand-name hospital. I assumed that, since I wanted a med-free vaginal birth and was planning to breastfeed, it would all end up being a breeze. I read all the books, felt smugly informed about my choices, and figured that was about it: Decide what kind of birth you want, get all of the baby items, and that’s about it.

Yeah, no.

I’m not one for regrets or guilt. Most of us do the best we can with the information and resources we have. After my daughter was born, I realized that maternity care, birth, motherhood, and breastfeeding were a hell of a lot more complicated than people want to admit. So, I kept reading books about birth. I scoured the internet for clues to why pregnancy and birth aren’t straightforward issues. I had a friend, also a new mom, who encouraged me to read, who loved to talk about the many “why”s floating around in my head. She slowly encouraged me to dig into evidence based birth and parenting practices, and helped me make choices that made parenting and breastfeeding easier for me an my daughter.

That summer after my daughter was born (she’s a fall baby), I was sitting with my best friend from college when it hit me like a thunderbolt: I had to become a doula. I had to become a childbirth educator. I spent weeks on end, while my daughter was down for her afternoon nap, scouring the internet, looking for information on becoming a doula and a childbirth educator. I connected with another woman who was a doula and childbirth educator in my area, and she proved to be a wonderful friend and fantastic mentor.

I chose to certify as a doula through DONA International; I’m a huge fan of doing things the right way, and I loved that DONA had been in existence the longest. It was important to me to have an in-person training, too– the smaller organizations either only offered online trainings or I would have had to travel to other parts of the US for training.  At the same time, I started looking at the different options I had to become a childbirth educator. I don’t know if it was their focus on normal birth, or that they specifically mentioned the roles that doulas play in improving birth outcomes, but my heart was always set on becoming an LCCE.

Pregnancy, birth, and parenting is a journey. I’m always honored to be asked to walk even a small portion of the path with families. This morning, while visiting a new mom in her home and holding her sweet daughter, I at once felt so grateful to do what I do– to support and educate new families. It is my calling. I’m exactly where I am supposed to be.

Veronica Jacobsen, BA, CD(DONA), CLC, CPST, LCCE, FACCE

DONA-Certified 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.

Real Mom Confessions: Body Image Edition

Real Mom Confessions

It’s now the end of summer vacation for the kids, and I’m happy to say we all made it through in one piece. Coordinating care for the kids wasn’t too bad; I had lots of help from my husband and mother-in-law.  I’m now trying to get back into the swing of things around the office, figure out my schedule, and cook up lots of other wonderful things here at BabyLove Headquarters.

As I type this, I’m wearing a pair of jeans for the first time in…10 months? A year? It’s not just that jeans aren’t very comfortable, but I didn’t have a pair that fit me until last week. Why? Well, for the myriad of usual reasons, my weight has inched ever-upward since last fall. I had to face reality when I was at my last check with my doctor for my anxiety meds and saw the number on the scale.

I’m not sharing this just to bitch or complain, but I have had a lot of thoughts about this issue as I struggled with my own response to my weight gain. Weight and health are such a complicated issue, and I’m not a doctor or even weight loss expert (obviously!), but maybe some of what I’ve come up with will resonate with you, too.

First, yes, my weight gain jumped up a little after my first pregnancy; it didn’t help that the resident I was seeing during my pregnancy didn’t blink once as I gained 89 pounds during my first pregnancy. By the time I was pregnant with #2, I was lucky to have a great midwife who WOULD speak up if I started to gain too much weight as my pregnancy went along. I think I gained something like 34 pounds before I gave birth to my son. By the time I was going back to work, I had mostly lost all of the pregnancy weight; the milk I was pumping while I was gone was 75% fat. However, once we quit breastfeeding, my weight started the slow, irritating creep upwards, up to where I am today.

With a pre-teen daughter who is just starting to understand body changes and body image, I don’t want her to buy into the seduction of thinness and body shame. I’m trying very hard to dress and act and speak in a very body-positive way. I don’t want her to see me “dieting”. I absolutely, under no circumstances, want her to label entire groups of food as “bad”.  I think it’s OK to talk about “sometimes” and “almost never” foods, but beyond that–it’s important to me to have kids who have a positive relationship with food. To that end, I try not to telegraph my own complicated relationship with food. When I eat a salad or lots of veggies, I try to emphasize how my body feels better when it gets fresh fruits and veggies. Instead of it being something I have to do, it’s something I enjoy doing. So that means a rigorous, strict diet plan is totally out.

I’m aware that I could be trying to get more exercise, but that has it’s own challenges: namely, time and money. We did the whole gym membership thing for a year; we had no time to use it and it cost us an annoyingly significant chunk of money. I have other excuses, too: child care, my asthma, my wrist injury…all of them add up to me not formally “exercising”. I am trying to be more active throughout the day and count the steps with my phone, and I do notice some things have started to get easier. I’m going to try to keep up the extra movement as the Fall rolls on.

Beyond that, I’m trying to practice self-acceptance. My blood pressure is far better than it was a year ago. I’m making some better choices. My mental health is DEFINITELY better than it was a year ago.

My old pants may not fit. I may not look as svelte in pictures as I used to. This is my mommy body. This is the container that carries me. I’ll try to like myself a little better, take each day and each choice as it comes, and maybe, just maybe…you can find the courage to do the same. Comparing my body to yours and trying to make a value judgement about either one of us is just plain silly, right? Right.

Now, pass the veggie tray and box of chocolates. Ahem.

With love,

Veronica

Veronica Jacobsen, BA, CD(DONA), CLC, CPST, LCCE, FACCE

DONA-Certified 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.