Postpartum Lifehacks

Postpartum advice

I was reminded this week by some moms that I don’t always share all of the tips and tricks I’ve figured out over the years with every single class. Some I’ve figured out on my own, some other moms have shared with me. So, to make your post-birth recovery easier and less stressful, I offer the following tips and tricks:

The magic of prunes:

This one my midwife shared with me when my son was born.  The stuff they usually tell you to take to deal with constipation is, in my experience, pretty useless. So, to really get things moving along, do this: take 5 prunes, put them in a glass of water, and let them soak overnight. In the morning, drink the water the prunes were in and eat the prunes. Is it kind of weird? Yes. Does it work? HECK YES.

Calm the curlicues:

This one a mama shared with us at Mama Cafe. As your hairs starts to fall out after baby is born, you will often end up with little tufts of wispy hair around your hairline in the front. Wide cloth headbands are the secret to tame them until they grow out. As a bonus, headbands hide greasy roots.

Don’t chop your locks too soon:

Again, one I learned the hard way (and had a 2 hour appointment with the owner of the salon having to fix what the stylist did). While it’s tempting to chop your hair after baby is born, realize that your cut won’t always work well if you get a drastic haircut before you’ve lost the extra hair.

Forget the Tucks:

While the tub of witch hazel pads you get postpartum are nice, they are pretty thin. Instead, buy some witch hazel at the store (usually found in the first aid aisle), and get some cotton rounds (by the cotton balls, but they are flat circles) and put some witch hazel on the rounds to place on your pad instead of the pre-made ones.

Protect your sheets:

Milk leaking while your sleeping, baby’s diaper leaking during a feeding, spit-up….all of these can interrupt your night when you realize you’re lying in a puddle. To avoid middle of the night sheet changes, use lap pads (like these) under you and change them out as needed. Those same lap pads are amazing for the changing table, too.

Cushion your bum:

After a vaginal birth, you need to take a couple short tub soaks every day. If you needed a lot of stitches or ended up with hemorrhoids, the hard tub may hurt to sit in. Take a towel (either a small bath towel or a hand towel) and fold it up and sit on it whilst soaking in the tub.

Control the visitors:

One of the worst things to happen in the first few weeks is to have an endless stream of visitors. Mom won’t get enough sleep, baby may not get enough to eat, and baby is exposed to more germs. Set up strict visiting hours 2-3 days a week for a couple of hours in the early evening for your coworkers, friends, and Aunt Lucy to drop by. HELPFUL visitors who want to come cook, clean, or grocery shop are welcome any time, but if they say they want to stop by to “see the baby and drop off a little gift they bought for the baby,” they need to come during visiting hours.

Have a peace offering:

If there are older siblings who are about 3 1/2 or younger, you can convince them that the new baby brought gifts. Don’t ask me how that is supposed to have any logical explanation, but if there’s something super special your other children would like, but it, wrap it up, and have it ready for the first time they see the new baby. Everyone will have gifts for the baby–this helps older kids feel less left out.

Those are what I figured out over the years. Have any hacks to share? Add them below!

Warmly,

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.

Pregnant again? Consider birth classes!

Refresher Classes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As a mom of two kids, I can tell you that in a lot of ways, baby number two was a lot less stressful than baby number one. What was harder, though, was that I knew that there were things I wanted to do differently with baby number two than I had done with baby number one. Now, because I had become a doula and childbirth educator after the birth of my daughter, there were a lot of things that I learned and discovered that most parents wouldn’t have been aware of. I knew I wanted a different birth (word to the wise: when 4 OB residents come in while you are laboring and they all want to take turns to check for dilation…tell them no.), and I knew how to have a healthier pregnancy. I’m happy to say things did go better for the most part, and I know it helped that I had been teaching childbirth classes for a couple of years before my son was born.

For families who had a previous birth that didn’t go as planned, I do think it’s a good idea to take some kind of childbirth class, and I think it’s really important that the classes be evidence-based rather than a method. Often, births don’t go as planned when something unexpected arises and the family wasn’t given enough information to make a choice, and then there was a negative result from that choice. I find that when repeat families come through classes, they end up processing their previous births during class, which is fine. To me, it’s a sign that I’ve created a space that’s welcoming enough that they can feel comfortable talking about the things that bother them and to ask questions.

BabyLove used to offer a refresher childbirth class, but the attendance was really low (as has been the case with every refresher I have ever taught, even in the hospitals). Now, I have a couple of really good options for families looking for a refresher. The Ready For Birth™ classes are both shorter formats than the Lamaze classes, and they don’t cover newborn care or breastfeeding, which is usually not as much as a focus after baby number one. Although, I will say, for moms who didn’t make their breastfeeding goals with previous babies, taking the full-on Better Breastfeeding! course can be hugely helpful. The Ready for Birth™: Express Childbirth Prep is one Saturday, and is 7 hours long with a one hour lunch break. The Ready For Birth™: 3 Week Series meets for three consecutive weeknights. Both cover everything from pregnancy, labor, birth, and postpartum care. Now, with repeat moms, they usually know what to expect for postpartum, but we do talk about how to juggle a new baby along with the needs of the older children.

If you’re pregnant again, and you want to have a different birth this time, I encourage you to think about taking a few weeks or a weekend to focus on your baby and to prepare your mind and your body for what’s going to happen. If you’re not sure what class would be the best option for you, call or email me, and I’ll be happy to talk to you!

Warmly,

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.

Class Spotlight| Ready For Birth: Express Childbirth Class

One of the realizations I came to while in New Orleans is that parents really do need a one day option for prenatal education.  The Weekend Lamaze Series has been the compromise between time and content, but the reality is that it won’t work for everyone.  The (now defunct) Condensed Childbirth Prep was another compromise, but the feedback was that the Friday evening/ Saturday day combo just didn’t work for most families.  Thus, the Ready For Birth: Express Childbirth Class was born.

I’ve taught an express class when I taught in the hospitals.  There’s a weird thrill to get through all of the information in one day, and it requires more creativity to keep families from nodding off somewhere around 2pm.  While the pace does create challenges for retention of information, it’s still better than not attending classes at all.

What you WILL notice, though, is that the class will have at it’s heart a positive, interactive tone with the focus on helping each family calm fears and answer questions with the most up to date information available.

The Ready for Birth: Express Childbirth Class will be held on a Saturday, every other month, run from 9am-5pm with a one hour lunch break.  During class, we will cover:

  • Healthy pregnancy
  • The start and process of labor and birth
  • Informed choice
  • Labor interventions, including induction, pain medications, and cesareans
  • Hands on practice of comfort measures and relaxation techniques
  • Postpartum
  • Breastfeeding Basics

It’s the ideal class for families who don’t know where to start about all of the choices they’ll need to make about birth, and it’s also a great refresher class.  Because baby care and breastfeeding will not be covered in the Ready for Birth classes, it’s best to also take the Ready for Baby: Newborn Basics (coming to the schedule soon!) and Better Breastfeeding classes, too.  Finally, if you want even more practice for a med-free birth, then you can also attend the Labor Skills Intensive Workshop.

The very first class is coming up December 7th, so if you JUST realized you need to take a class– sign up now!!! There’s still time to get ready for your baby.

Warmly,

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.

BabyLove Featured Family, Part 2: Heather, Brandon, Baby F, and Brother B

Johnson FF

Today we bring you the second half of this family’s thoughts on adding baby number 2 into the mix.  Brandon was so kind to share his thoughts; if you missed Heather’s thoughts on Monday, make sure to check them out here.  

  • So far, what has been your biggest joy in becoming a father again?

It has been a lot of fun to see our 2 year old son interact with his new sister and watch him embrace the big brother role. It was really exciting and surprising for Heather and I to find out that it was a girl this time around!

  • What has been the biggest challenge you’ve faced since your baby was born?

Sleep:) It has been challenging to adjust to two little ones who don’t always want to sleep. In addition, I try to help out Heather during the nightly feedings/changes and still get enough sleep to make it through the workday at the office. Our main focus is to maintain our son’s nightly routine and so far that has been a success.

  • How has your relationship with your wife changed since the birth of your 2nd child?

Our daughter’s birth has helped us communicate better and has helped us to cherish all these moments – our son is 2 already and the past few years can seem like a blur at times… We try to spend as much family time (reading books, playing with toys, going for a walk, etc.) as possible on weekends and after work on weekdays. We have found that Boston seems to have adjusted well to his new sister and I think a big part of that came from Heather and I continuing our family meals (when possible) and him seeing us both interacting with him similarly to when it was only the three of us.

  • Did you feel that your childbirth classes prepared you for this birth? How so?

Absolutely, the classes were a great refresher for us. In addition, we learned a lot about water birth – something that we had planned to do for the second birth but had not done for the first. The classes also helped us realize the things that happened at our first birth that we really wanted or really didn’t want to happen at the second.

  • What is one thing you think all parents should know before the birth of their baby?

Everyone will give you advice or use the ‘we did it this way and it worked out ok’ lines, but trust your instincts. We have done things (elimination communication, water birth, co-sleeping, etc.) that our parents, family, and/or friends have disagreed with or questioned us about, but having done a lot of research and seeing the positive results with Boston we feel confident that we are doing what’s best for our family. Knowledge is key, so research and don’t just assume that a ‘fact’ is accurate – there are many different parenting styles and a lot of ‘misinformation’ online and in the media. Lastly, remember at the end of the day that you and your spouse are on the ‘same team’ and striving for the same goal(s) – lack of sleep and other stressors can cause frustration between you and your spouse, but keep your focus on what’s really important and how you can communicate and work together to be the best parents that you can 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.

Frequently asked questions about BabyLove

FAQ Picture

We’ve been open now for just over 18 months (HOORAY!), and we thought it might be helpful to post some answers to various questions that have come up recently.

  • Why don’t you sell products at BabyLove? – We get this a lot.  We have a couple of reasons.  Our main reason is that we feel that it would take away from our education if we also sold specific products.  So, for instance, when we teach our Cloth Diaper and Babywearing class, we know it might be really easy to then have the different carriers and diapers to sell right there, but we pride ourselves on having classes that discuss various products without making recommendations that we would profit from.  Also, parents are inundated with the message that parenting is about having “things”, and education just isn’t the same if it’s wrapped in a marketing pitch.  When you come to us, you’ll know FOR SURE that we get absolutely NO compensation from any company, and our integrity isn’t up for sale.
  • Why don’t you do an evening Mama Cafe?-  We did try evening Mama Cafe for awhile, but it didn’t really catch on.  We are always looking at new ways to serve our community, though, so stay tuned– we’re cooking up some new ideas!
  • Why don’t you have a Refresher Class anymore?- As a result of ridiculously low interest, we felt there were better ways to use that time on our class schedule.  We realized there was a need for something closer to a “crash course”– so we created the Condensed Childbirth Prep Class.  For families who really just want a Refresher, we still have it as a private class.  We’ve had a good number of 2nd and 3rd time mamas take our Lamaze classes, too, and we love having them there to share their experiences with new parents.
  • What happened to your VBAC class?- We still offer it, but as a private class.
  • The weather is really bad! How will I know if class is canceled?- We’ve already had an interesting winter, but we’ve only had to cancel class once and Mama Cafe once.  If a class is canceled, we will email or telephone everyone in the class to let them know.  If Mama Cafe is canceled, we will try to spread the message via social media.  Whenever in doubt, call or email us.  

Any other questions you want answered?  Let us know!

 

 

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.