Best Recipes for Lactation

best recipes for lactation jax fl | Jax, FL Postpartum Doulas

Best Recipes for Lactation

“What are the best recipes for lactation?” Inquiring minds want to know! Our team at The Jax Baby Company works closely in homes with families in a postpartum setting and this is one of the most asked questions. We decided to kick out a blog that’ll cover recipes that our clients L-O-V-E! You can skip ahead straight to the printable recipe or you can squeeze in a quick 2-minute read for a little 4-1-1 on lactation!

Lactation, in the beginning, is driven by the hormones.

In the first few days after giving birth to your baby and finally your placenta your body experiences a drop in hormones like progesterone and estrogen and an increase in prolactin. This cues milk production and happens even if the birthing person isn’t breastfeeding the baby.

After the hormonal response lactation is driven by milk being removed from the breasts. I like to use the phrase, “breastmilk more or less is primarily made at the breast!”

What does that mean? That means that removing milk from the breasts often and completely each time will help increase lactation (supply). Likewise removing milk from the breasts less frequently and not completely emptying the breasts will help to decrease lactation (supply).

I feel an ethical responsibility to mention that there are times when hormonal imbalances or problems occur and breastmilk production can most definitely be impacted. This doesn’t happen to every person or even most people. It can be different for each baby and lactating mother. This doesn’t mean you’ve done anything wrong. This does not determine if you are a good parent or not.

Best Recipes for Lactation

Begin with a healthy understanding. For some people breastfeeding comes fairly easily, but for most people, it takes a lot of work. Like a whole L-O-T of work! Be realistic in your expectations and set yourself up for the best chances at success, as defined by you!

Recipe for Success by The Jax Baby Company

First, read up on infant feeding! I recommend these books: Breastfeeding Made Simple: Seven Natural Laws for Nursing Mothers by Nancy Mohrbacher, Guilt-free Bottle Feeding: Why your formula-fed baby can be happy, healthy and smart Kindle Edition by Madeleine Morris

Next, create a solid postpartum plan. Each of our postpartum clients receives a very detailed postpartum plan. Be sure if you’re planning on your own you consider all the things; siblings, meals, sleep, and mental and emotional health to name a few things.

Also, an “optional”, but super beneficial ingredient is a postpartum & infant care specialist. I highly recommend having them start with your family within the first few days after birth. Ideally, our team meets the families we work with at home the day after they come home, sometimes same day to assist them in getting home and settled in.

Last key ingredient is to see an IBCLC during your hospital stay. Contact an IBCLC right away at first signs of trouble or concerns, don’t wait it out and see if it gets better. Pain while nursing or soreness beyond the initial latch, weight gains, and not enough wet or dirty diapers are all reasons to call.

The above mentioned is the very best recipe for lactation success, but we have one more recipe that is our clients’ all-time favorite!

Holy Balls Batman

Ingredients:

2 cup rolled oats

7 tbsp. brewers yeast (Solgar is my preferred brand)

1 cup crunchy peanut butter

2/3 cup honey

1 tsp. vanilla extract

2 tsp. maple syrup

2 tsp coconut oil

1/4 cup ground flax (totally optional)

1/8 cup of chia seeds

3/4 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips

Directions:

Start by combining and mixing thoroughly honey, maple syrup, coconut oil, vanilla extract, and crunchy peanut butter in a large mixing bowl.

Next, in a separate, larger bowl combine and mix together the flax, chocolate chips, oats and brewer’s yeast.

Once combined add your wet ingredients to your larger bowl of dry ingredients and thoroughly mix all ingredients together. This step takes the longest and requires some elbow grease!

Next, using the palm of your hands begin to roll and form the lactation bites into balls. You want them to be small enough to eat easily with one hand and not make a huge mess over your nursing baby!

Helpful Tips:

1. Sometimes, depending on the temperature in your home, it’s necessary to place the mix into the fridge for a short time (maybe 30 minutes) to cool it down before you begin to form the bites so it doesn’t stick to your hands.
2. This recipe makes a lot, once your partner tries these they are highly likely to sneak a few here and there. You may want to make your partner a container of their own or stash a few in the back of the fridge or freezer for an emergency backup supply when they’re “all gone”!
3. Use a cookie sheet as you form the balls, freeze them individually, and then move them to a lidded container within the fridge. Doing this will ensure they don’t stick together.

Happy Birth & Parenting!
~Elizabeth Luke

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GET YOUR PRINTABLE RECIPE HERE

“Help, My Baby Won’t Sleep!”

baby won't sleep Jax FL | Sleep training Jax, FL

“Help, My Baby Won’t Sleep!”

You’ve googled, “I need help, my baby won’t sleep”! You’ve hit up your go-to mommy group for best sleep tips, and you put to the test your most awesome plan. Yet here you are, still baffled by your tiny night-time boss-baby. The cutest boss-baby who ever existed, but a dictator non-the-less.

The majority of couples struggle with lack of sleep after they welcome a baby into their lives. Some studies have shown that a mother’s workload increases by 21 hours after a baby is born, compared to the dad’s increase of just 12.5 hours. We believe though that the science supports both parents are likely sleep deprived. We get calls regularly from exhausted parents who say their baby won’t sleep! It just goes without saying, a baby means less sleep, right?! The short answer is yes, but the long answer is yes and no!

Newborns babies don’t sleep for long periods, their natural sleep cycle is about 45 minutes long, therefore there will be some lost sleep, yes. Do you have to suffer through feeling like a mombie until your baby decides she’ll sleep through the night? Absolutely not!

“You hear about those poor babies being locked in hot cars and left for hours. I  wondered if those were as tired as we were. I couldn’t imagine. I contacted The Jax Baby Company and they provided a solution to our family’s sleep nightmare.” ~Donna Delaney

There’s another option for parents in the Greater Jacksonville area who need sleep, but whose babies won’t stand for it!

Parents all over the country are turning to professional baby sleep coaches to help save their sanity! When it comes to healthy sleep practices The Jax Baby Company solves the sleep deprivation issue many new parents face here on the First Coast.

From birth to 3 or 4 months old, positive sleep associations and practices are what The Jax Baby Company recommends. By about 3 months old most healthy full-term babies are ready to begin sleeping longer periods with reasonable expectations as well as guidance and structure from parents and caregivers. From 3-6 months old, sleep shaping is considered age-appropriate practice by our team. It’s usually “better” to wait until 6-12 months of age to sleep train . It can vary depending on a number of factors involving baby, parents, and caregivers. It’s also a really good idea to get the okay from your pediatrician.

Finding the right formula for your baby is key!

The Jax Baby Company helps parents figure out why their babies won’t sleep and create and implement a plan. We conduct a thorough intake call to learn more about your baby’s habits and sleep associations. Then we come and train your baby for you and provide you with a customized plan after that! We even check in on you as we hold your hand through the process!

Here are 3 common issues we see families struggle with:

  • waking several times during the night and not settling without help
  • waking up too early in the morning time
  • not enough naps or for long enough durations

3 ways The Jax Baby Company helps parents get more sleep:

  • one-on-one infant care through the night
  • sleep shaping for young infants
  • sleep training for older infants

3 things that won’t help your baby sleep longer or better and are dangerous per the AAP (American Academy of Pediatrics):

  • giving cereal in a bottle or feeding cereal before 4 months of age
  • putting the baby down to sleep on their tummy
  • allowing baby to sleep in anywhere other than the crib, bassinet, portable crib, or play yard that meets the safety standards (rock and plays and car seats are a big no-no)

3 reasons you’ll love The Jax Baby Company’s dream team:

  • you’ll get to discover what a great night’s sleep feels like
  • you will be teaching your baby a HUGE life skill; sleep
  • we have a professional, friendly team ready to support you

If your baby won’t sleep you don’t have to accept swallow that pill, You don’t have to daydream about sleep, give us a call!

Better sleep means a better quality of life!

Whether you’re ready to jump on the sleep train, you want to gently encourage good sleep habits from the start, or you just want your baby to be pampered through the night so you can sleep to your heart’s content we have you covered!

Happy Birth, Parenting, and Sleep, Duh!

~Elizabeth Luke

 

Post-Birth Meal Jax, FL | Smoothies & Tacos | Lobster & Steak

post-birth meal Jax, FL | Placenta Jax, FL

Post-Birth Meal Jax, FL | Smoothies & Tacos | Lobster & Steak

I bet you’re already envisioning your post-birth meal now! It will be the best meal you’ve ever eaten, you’ll devour it, and it shall be heavenly! If you’re like many couples they are enjoying lobster and steak dinner brought to their hospital room on a silver platter. It’s hospital room service for two! Um, yes, please! I bet you just envisioned sipping a delicious smoothie just like Hilary Duff did after the birth of her baby, a placenta smoothie post-birth meal that is!

NO?! Awe come on!

How about placenta tacos for your post-birth meal?

Did you just say out loud, “hell no“?

If you’re thinking, what the actual f*ck, then you’re probably a lot like most of the clients we work with who DO choose to consume their placenta, in dried, powdered, and in capsule form! Like you, most women wonder why anyone would ever consider consuming their placenta, but many women have found that consuming their placenta in capsule form is much more palatable than say–grilled or broiler!

Like who comes up with this shit? Why?

Let’s see,  baby name agreed on, clothes picked out, gear put together, and oh yeah, why not eat my placenta! Seriously! Is there a bunch of bat-shit crazy women sitting around a voodoo fire chanting as channel their inner cray-cray thinking of bazar shit to do after giving birth to their babies? Things like placenta smoothies, cleaning the house, and waiting hand and foot on family and friends who come by to congratulate them?

Nah girl! Believe it or not, most of these women are just like you and me!

They’re your neighbors, co-workers, your primary-care doctor, sisters, best friends, and even your pastor’s very traditional wife. Just because they haven’t told you doesn’t mean they didn’t consume their placenta with their post-birth meal, or at least within a few days of their post-birth meal! They’re just being proactive in their approach to postpartum health and wellness. These ladies want to heal naturally after birth. They’re hoping to have a good production of breastmilk, keep their mood fluctuations within the range of normal, and enjoy their babies as much as possible.

Will you join the placenta post-birth meal movement along with Hilary Duff, Kim K., Chrissy Teigen, Katherine Heigl, Alicia Silverstone, January Jones, and many other celebrity moms? Let us know!

Are you curious? Do you have questions and concerns? We know you do! Would you like a great post-birth meal and skip the damn smoothie and tacos? LMAO, we have the answers you seek! Contact us today, we will set up a complimentary phone consult to chat!

Happy Birth & Parenting!

~Elizabeth Luke

 

 

Why I Budgeted for My Doula

Why I Budgeted for My Doula | Jax Doulas

Why I Budgeted for My Doula

I’ve had several friends ask me how and why I budgeted for my doula. They heard mixed things about getting a “volunteer” doula for their birth or about hiring a doula for support after their birth. Many of my friends asked me why I chose to pay for a postpartum doula and skip a  birth doula. I asked my doula if I could share about my experience and she happily asked me to write something up to share. Here’s my piece. Take it or leave it!

Here are the reasons I budgeted for my doula:

Girl power!

Something felt really icky about having another woman, a perfect stranger be there with me for my birth, come and help me heal and rest after birth, help me learn all about my newborn, care for our home, and our baby without proper payment. You don’t have to take everything “free” offered to you! I am always preaching about checking your price tag and knowing one’s own value. There were zero ways I would ever become a hypocrite, it’s just not who I am.

We took an excellent class for our birth and had a baby without a doula!

Not only did our postpartum doulas help us with everything after we came home she also helped us formulate a plan before we gave birth to employ the help of our friends and family who were excited to come and visit!

You get what you pay for!

I’m in my late thirties. There are a few lessons in life that most people learn before they hit middle-age. Getting what you pay for is surely one of them. Those who pay pennies and expect to walk away smelling of roses are foolish.  My shoes, Subaru, coffee, and the people we’re hiring to help us during early parenting (our doulas) are all things I need to be reliable and of excellent quality.

I’ve had friends who’ve cried to me over the phone because they were exhausted and overwhelmed. They complained about no one caring, yet they themselves didn’t care enough! Those friends made the conscious decision to create a designer nursery, ask for a BOB stroller, have extraordinary baby showers, and go on a damn “babymoon” before their baby was born.

They could’ve invested in professional care for six weeks and enjoyed their babies instead of being miserable. I felt horrible for these friends, I did help them where I could, but I couldn’t help but also feel like they didn’t really want the help since they ignored my advice that would have helped them.

Hire a postpartum doula, you guys! Just do it, you’ll love it!

It just makes good sense to me!

I admit I wasn’t the first of my friends to hire a postpartum doula, it’s a newer concept down here in the southeastern part of the U.S. My best friend who lives in New York turned me on to postpartum support! When I visited her after the birth of my Godson her postpartum doula was the one who picked me up from the airport. Talk about a cool ride home! Uber has nothing on the fantastic experience I had with “our” doula! She arrived with my favorite coffee ready for me to sip. She filled me in on the flow of the house, and she made me feel like I knew her forever!

Hiring The Jax Baby Company was the best investment we made!

I hired a professional photographer for our wedding. I only take my Subaru to the dealership where I bought it because they are experts in the Subaru business, and we will send our son, Dylan to the best preschool we can budget for because those things are of importance! It didn’t really cost that much! I was able to purchase our first package of hours by putting a down payment and making 3 payments before Dylan was born!

It was really a no-brainer. In hindsight, it was a small price to pay for what my family received!

You owe it to yourself and your family (happy you= happy them) to speak with Elizabeth, the owner of The Jax Baby Company.

Our doulas were top notch. I loved that we felt like the only family they were working with even though I know we weren’t. I knew this because my boss gave birth 2 weeks before me and she hired them. The Jax Baby Company doulas have a great team set up and each of them are sweet and knowledgeable.

I know not everyone values the same things in life, but I wanted to share my personal reasons why I budgeted for my doula! Bottom line, I wanted to enjoy my birth, my baby, and my maternity leave!

Happy Birth & Parenting!

~Kristine Malone a satisfied mommy

 

Pumping for Your Exclusively Breastfed Baby

Pumping for Your Exclusively Breastfed Baby | Jax, FL Night Nannies

Pumping for Your Exclusively Breastfed Baby

How much milk should you be pumping for your exclusively breastfed baby while you’re away? How do you decide when you aren’t really sure how much milk she’s even drinking? It’s kind of an awe moment. At some point you moved past her falling asleep at the breast and being worried about her getting enough milk every time she latches on. You’ve moved past the nerves of nursing in public. Now she’s gaining weight wonderfully, has hit all of her milestones, and the two of you have found your groove! So, how much milk will you be pumping for your exclusively breastfed baby? Don’t know? Don’t worry! There are a few things to take into consideration.

First, is your baby getting any nutrients from food yet?

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends exclusively breastfeeding for approximately the first 6 months of life, continue breastfeeding until baby’s first birthday, and longer while mutually desired by mother and baby. Many solid foods contain water, especially fruits! If your caregiver reports that your baby is drinking less milk than you or the caregiver anticipated water content in foods should be considered. Also, babies are more likely to take sips of milk along with the food.

Is your baby familiar with using a bottle or cup?

When introducing a cup or a bottle there may be tears and pushback. At the bare minimum, she’ll be learning a new skill. And new skills take lots of practice. There will be some spilled milk during a process [cue the 😪] so take that into consideration. As a seasoned postpartum and infant care specialist who has helped to bottle-train many babies, I would account for at least a half ounce being lost during each feed.

Third, who will be caring for your little one?

Be sure that this person is well-versed in preparing, handling, and storing breastmilk and is prepared to make the best use of your liquid gold. What does that even mean? It means that they need to understand and be mindful not to unintentionally waste the milk you’re pumping for your exclusively breastfed baby. Prepare small increments at first. Don’t heat it unless you’re sure she’ll drink it. Don’t tilt the bottle too much, just enough and listen for an active suck-swallow pattern. One great feeding method is paced bottle feeding [[great video here]. The caregiver should be able to identify early, active, and late feeding cues, stop to burp the baby often, and also know how to recognize when your baby is full, not over full.

Finally,  whether you’re away for a few hours or a few days, here are a couple of guidelines for you to consider when trying to decide how much milk you’ll need when pumping for your exclusively breastfed baby who feeds on demand at home;

  • an ounce to an ounce and a half for every hour you’re away
  • 2-5 Oz is 8 to 12 times a day

At the Jax Baby Company, we know there are very few hard fast rules when it comes to parenting. Each family, every baby, and every person is unique. Consider all factors, prepare your caregiver, get to pumping for your exclusively breastfed baby, and do your thang girl!

Not sure how to prepare your caregiver best?

Not sure you even want a task a caregiver with this job?

Our postpartum and infant care specialist are here to help you prepare your caregiver and even come to provide the care you want for your baby while you’re away!

Next Up: Nursing Strikes

Happy Birth & Parenting!

~Elizabeth Luke

Excessive Sweating After Giving Birth | What to Expect, the 4th Trimester

Excessive Sweating After Giving Birth | Mother Helpers Jax, FL

Excessive Sweating After Giving Birth | What to Expect, the 4th Trimester

If you’re experiencing excessive sweating after giving birth you’re probably wondering what the heck is happening to you! As if the physical and emotional demands of early motherhood aren’t enough you have to deal with sticky, wet, sweaty sweat! Early motherhood sure is glamorous!

If you’ve been following us you already know we’re covering what to expect during the 4th trimester. Topics like hair loss and excessive sweating after giving birth, tips to soothe a crying baby, and spoiling versus bonding, all at the request of moms just like you!

Excessive sweating after giving birth is completely normal!

While there is no glory in that we hope you find some comfort (no matter how small) in knowing it’s the norm. A drop in estrogen and fluctuation in hormones plays a big fat part of it. Damn hormones! Additional fluids created by the body in pregnancy and the additional fluids given in labor are also responsible. Your pores and kidneys are pulling double shifts, which means, you guessed it more trips to the bathroom. Excessive sweating during the postpartum time period is not well understood and breastfeeding moms may sweat more due in part to hormonal changes associated with breastfeeding.

Here are some tips to help you manage excessive sweating after giving birth;

Pro Tip: Protect Your Investment

If you don’t already have a mattress protector on your bed, now is the time to get one. Between sweating, postpartum bleeding, leaky boobs, infant spit up, and eventually toddlers who climb into your bed at night and have accidents you’ll want to protect your investment!

Extra Hand Towels

Place a hand towel on top of your pillow to catch most of the sweat from your head and neck. Keep them right near the bed and switch them out a couple of times a day or more if needed.

Fresh Sheets & Clothing

Have your partner, family member, friends, or postpartum doula change your sheets while you’re up out of bed. Fresh sheets just make everything feel a little better! Wear light, loose, breathable cotton clothing help to keep you cooler. Likewise make your bed up with cotton sheets and a couple of light blankets, nothing heavy or made from synthetic fabric.

Adjust Your Environment

Adjust the thermostat to your comfort. Infants should be dressed appropriately for the environment they’re in, with no greater than one layer more than an adult would wear to be comfortable in that environment.  Also, a personal fan for the win! One you can aim directly at you and not on the baby.  Also, don’t avoid stepping out on the patio or opening your windows for some fresh air of it’s breezy and cool! Sunshine provides some natural vitamin D, a cool breeze can be so refreshing, and both are good for your mind, body, and soul.

The Power of a Shower

Finish your shower with cool (not cold) water. Allow enough time for your body to cool down, just as you would at the end of your workouts. With that said make sure you are completely cooled down before you hop into your bed and insulate your body with sheets and blankets.

Stay Hydrated

With excessive sweating after giving birth and caring for a newborn, it’s easy to get dehydrated. Eat fruits that are high in water content and drink water, water, and more water often! Keep a pitcher next to your bed of water and a cup with a straw to make drinking more, easier!

The excessive sweating after giving birth will subside.

You should see some resolve by about six weeks postpartum. Sometimes, especially if you are nursing a baby, it can take longer. Another glorious perk or being a mommy, I know! Hang in there and I hope these tips are helpful to you!

Stay tuned for the next blog in the, “What to Expect, the 4th Trimester” series!

Happy Birth & Parenting!

~Elizabeth

 

The Biggest Lie We’ve Been Told

The Biggest Lie We've Been Told | Jax, FL Doulas

The Biggest Lie We’ve Been Told

The biggest lie we’ve been told isn’t our fault, nor our friend or sister’s fault. Society as a whole is responsible. The biggest lie we’ve been told is that we (moms and dads) must keep up! PLEASE DON’T CLICK AWAY! I’m not picking on you at all. I bit it; hook, line, and sinker too, and so are almost all parents. We don’t want to admit it, not out loud, not even in our own heads, but it’s the truth!

The biggest lie we’ve been told (and tell ourselves) is that we must keep up!

It says Becky had a natural birth, I should too because that’s “best”. I should smile because that’s what “happy” moms do! We should be having sex because that’s what “good” wives do. HA! The biggest lie we’ve been told says we need to keep up with society’s (or your own) idea of supermom (or dad)!

Stay with me!

The biggest lie we’ve cultivated (and believe) as a society is the idea that other people’s view of us is more important than how we experience our own lives.

There isn’t anything inherently wrong with keeping one’s appearance up at all. But what cost are you willing to pay?

The biggest lie we’ve been told says we must keep up and hurry through a time in our lives we can literally never get back. There aren’t any do-overs during our fourth trimester.

I challenge you today to start by thinking about your earliest moments together with your newborn(s). How do you want to spend that short time? What’s most important to you during your maternity leave? How long do you have?  Six, eight, maybe twelve weeks? 42-85 days?

You’ve waited nearly 40 weeks give or take to see, touch, smell and experience your baby! You’ve dreamt of being a parent and now it’s finally happening! One day you’re coming home with a baby in your arms and in what feels like a blink of an eye you are getting teary-eyed about starting back to work next week!

The biggest lie we’ve been told says we should do all the things and be all the things to all people around us who we love and care about.

Guess what, you don’t owe anyone anything at all! Not your mom, your in-laws, or your church family. Especially not after you give birth!

This is your time and you deserve to experience it! And you deserve every single minute to be as smooth and supported as possible! It’s not your job to be anything at all to anyone else!

Childrearing is by far the hardest job humans can ever have.

Enjoy those moments when they’re little, tiny, and needy.  For one day they will be too big to rock, too sweaty to smell sweet, too cool hugs and snuggles, too sassy for help with their meals, too fast to catch, and too darn busy!

Invest in the best postpartum and infant care support team you can get! Invest in Y-O-U, because you deserve it!

Not just now, but future you deserves it! Poop-splosions cleaning, vomit catching (yes in your hands), broken heart-comforting, parent-teacher conference attending, paying out the ass for college you!

It’s true!

Our team of vetted, experienced, and highly-skilled postpartum and infant care specialists are here, ready to meet you where you are and spoil the snot right out of you!

You get an entire team with us! One on one support with built-in backup in case anyone is sick or has an out of town trip planned. You’re never left out to dry!

We’re here so you can experience everything that’s meant for you, just the way you want it! Do you want to spend your days snuggling, nursing, and napping alongside your baby love? Do it! We’ll make you yummy snacks and put fresh sheets on your bed when you slip away for a quick shower! Are you craving chocolate and desperate to get back into that book you started? Do it! We’ll take over, unload that dishwasher, and wear or play with your baby so you can do you Boo! Do you find comfort in being up each morning showered and in full makeup by 8 a.m.? We’ll have coffee or tea waiting on you, let’s rock this ish!

This is your journey, don’t shortchange yourself!

You have a choice. You don’t have to believe or accept the biggest lie parents have been told. We’re not saying it’s all rainbows and butterflies, but having a team of magical unicorns around through the good and the bad is pretty badass (just read our reviews)!

We’re your unicorns!

Your maternity leave can be full of great nights of sleep and a baby who’s never left to cry alone. Nevermind walking us through how to do this or that while you could be sleeping. You can have meals in bed (or at the table) that actually make you feel good instead of guilty. You’ll get answers to all your questions without Googling your entire maternity leave away! And best of all, you don’t have to give up Y-O-U or compromise the care of you little one!

How do you really want to spend your maternity leave? Flowing or forcing? Rushing or basking? How do you want to remember your maternity leave?

The biggest lie we’ve all been told as parents is that we must rush through the fourth trimester and put ourselves back together quickly like it’s a flipping race or something. But, the best-kept secret is excellent postpartum and infant care support! The Jacksonville Baby Company will help you find your new normal, on your own terms! Contact us today for the very best in postpartum care and support on the First Coast!

 

Hair Loss After Birth | What to Expect, the 4th Trimester

Hair Loss After Birth | Mother's Helper Jax, FL

Hair Loss After Birth | What to Expect, the 4th Trimester

Hair loss after birth is a thing. It’s a sucky, messy, slightly disturbing thing.

Follow us on The Book of Faces or check back often for more!

What the science says about hair loss after birth.

During pregnancy, your body produces more estrogen. This increase in estrogen makes you lose hair more slowly. So you’re holding onto more hair than you were pre-pregnancy. Your hair may even grow a little faster in length. When this happens your hair appears fuller and overall more luxurious, but you’re not actually growing more hair on your head. It sure feels that way though!

Once you’ve given birth your body takes a hormonal dump as it begins to find its new normal. Hormone production changes and adjusts since the additional hormones are no longer needed to support the pregnancy. As the hormonal changes are happening so too are the physical changes like hair loss and emotional changes like baby blues.

Hair loss after birth, or rather shedding, can be annoying and downright freaky!

Whether you seem to be losing more hair than a rapidly balding man or you’re seeing your beautiful strands come out in clumps while showering, there is hope for you! Pregnancy is a wild ride and our physical, mental, and emotional health are all affected during pregnancy. What most people don’t understand is that we take an even bigger hit during the postpartum time period, all of about a year or even two years. Wowzers!

Your body is badass, your body is prioritizing!

Similarly to your body growing your baby for nearly 40 weeks give or take and then birthing your baby, this also happens with your hair. The difference is your baby needs to be born within a relatively short time in comparison to your hair shedding which happens more slowly over the course of about a year. Understanding that this occurrence is crazy as hell, but normal will help lessen the blow, a little. There’s nothing to date that has been scientifically proven to stop this from happening, because, well it’s normal.

Here are 6 inside tips for hair loss after birth from a seasoned postpartum & infant care specialist and mom of four:

1. Patience and time. Give yourself at least the amount of time your body was pregnant to start looking for reasons it’s not back to “normal” yet.

2. Continue to take your prenatal vitamins. Not only do they support your body’s return to a new normal they can also help your body if you’re breastfeeding. Biotin and Hair, Skin, and Nail vitamins specifically seem to be helpful to most moms. Always do your own research and check with your provider before beginning supplements.

3. Brush your hair and massage your scalp often. The stimulation to your scalp is relaxing and may encourage better circulation. Visit your massage therapist for a postpartum massage and ask for some extra attention to your scalp. You could also lay on your back on the bed and put your head in your partner’s lap while they give you a few special minutes of their time.

4. Resist the urge to pull your hair back on the regular. This can actually make things worse. The occasional pony is fine, but a daily bun or ponytail can make the situation worse. Putting traction on the strands for extended periods of time can cause breakage or pull it out from the follicle where it grows. If you feel you must pull it back all the time, instead consider a loose side braid or a nice medium to short haircut cut and rock it!

5. Drink up! Your body is approximately 55-65% water! Making sure you stay well-hydrated is never ever a bad thing. Your body needs water especially when you are fighting off an illness, exercising, have a compromised immune system, are in extremely dry or hot conditions, breastfeeding, and you guessed it, during pregnancy and after you give birth!

6. Avoid prolonged use of heat from curling irons and straighteners. When using a blow dryer dry on medium to low heat.

7. Avoid chemicals and products promising a thicker head of hair for at least until your baby’s first birthday. You may just be surprised at what your body does when you give it some time.

BONUS TIP:

Beware of hair getting wrapped about your baby’s toes or fingers and cutting off blood flow or becoming embedded in their skin. Check your baby at least once or twice daily. If you can’t remove the hair or it’s become embedded in your baby’s skin seek medical attention right away.

Hair loss after birth is the pits! Pregnancy, birth, and childrearing take a serious toll on our bodies. My wish for you today is that I would love for you to love yourself just as you are, just for today. We all have things we love about ourselves, focus on THAT today.

Drop us a comment and come back in two weeks for another blog in the What to Expect During the 4th Trimester series

Happy Birth and Parentings!

~Elizabeth Luke

 

Milestones: Birth to 6-Months-Old | Baby Milestones Series

baby milestones | Jax, FL doulas

Milestones: Birth to 6-Months-Old

Parenting has been one of the wildest adventures you’ve been on so far! Late nights, early mornings, it’s all starting to run together. What day of the week is it again? But you wouldn’t trade it for anything! Now your baby’s growing and you’re wondering what milestones you should be watching for. We’ve compiled a list from trusted sources for you!

Want a printable?

We can do that too! Follow our blog because at the end of this baby milestones series we will add a free printable so you can check off the list, have a list to carry to the pediatrician’s office, and something for the baby book if that’s your thing!

0-3 Month Milestones and  Normal Infant Behaviors

In the beginning, your baby will do a lot of pooping, peeing, eating, more eating, sleeping, some crying, and more eating! That’s pretty normal behavior for a newborn. A little stretch here and a few aha moments there, but for the most part, mom and baby are still functioning as one unit! Here are milestones you should expect to see by the end of the third month of your baby’s life.

  • will focus on black-and-white or high-contrast patterns
  • focuses about 8 to 12 inches away
  • begins cooing and smiling
  • moves arms and legs to show excitement
  • recognizes some sounds (hearing is fully matured  by this time)
  • turns head towards a sound or voice
  • the scent of his/her mother’s breastmilk is recognizable
  • prefers to look at human faces
  • while lying on tummy can move head side to side
  • open and closes fists
  • will make eye contact
  • brings hands to mouth
  • reaches for things
  • beginning baby babble
  • follows the movement of things back and forth with their eyes
  • can lift and hold head up when lying on his/her tummy
  • can push up briefly while lying on tummy
  • will swipe at an object dangling in front of them while on their tummy
  • settles down or smiles in response to sounds or voices
  • calms with rocking, holding, touching, and soft sounds
  • uses different cry for different things like (hunger, pain, tired)
  • may turn toward familiar sounds and voices
  • opens and closes hands
  • uses a hand to swat (likely doesn’t have control yet)

infant milestones | Jax, FL night nanny

4-6 Month Milestones and  Normal Infant Behaviors

My oh my how your baby has grown! They’ve reached almost all of the newborn milestones, or the majority of them and are on to bigger much cooler things now! Developing new skills and mastering milestones takes a lot of work for an infant. At bigger milestones like rolling, sitting up, crawling, and walking you may seem some regression in sleep. This is normal and once your grasshopper has mastered the art they will likely find their new groove! Here are some milestones your baby should reach around the end of their sixth month of life!

  • rolls from tummy to back and back to tummy
  • is using both hands to check out or touch toys
  • rocks back and forth on knees
  • maybe begin crawling, backward crawling, and army crawling
  • uses hand and eye coordination to grab a toys
  • grasps and shakes hand toys like rattles
  • puts toys or objects into their mouths using both hands
  • can pass things from one hand to the other hand
  • likes to play with people and may cry if you stop
  • accepts entire weight with his/her legs while standing with support
  • will reach for a toy while on their tummy
  • begins to use consonant sounds like “ma ma ma and da da da”
  • begins to copy sounds
  • will take turns making sounds with you
  • makes noise with their mouth for attention (like baby babble)
  • lies on back and reaches for their feet
  • begins taking a real interest in getting to things outside of their reach
  • can transfer a toy from one hand to the other while on his/her back
  • Generally happy when not hungry or tired
  • begins showing interest in food as you eat
  • recognizes faces and things from a distance
  • begins to recognize familiar from unfamiliar faces
  • holds head up steady and unsupported

If you begin solids:

  • will open mouth or focus as they see a spoon approach their mouth
  • can begin to move the food from front to back of the mouth

When to Bring Things to Your Pediatrician’s Attention

Your baby is growing and learning things quickly. If you miss some of these milestones or arent’really sure they’ve done all of these things that’s okay! More than likely your baby will hit most of these milestones. But, if at any time you think something may be abnormal, even if you can’t explain it, but have a feeling you should absolutely contact your pediatrician. If your pediatrician is unable to answer your questions fully and address your concerns respectfully in a satisfactory way please seek a second or even third opinion.

You are your child’s advocate.

There is no right or wrong way to birth or parent your babies and there’s no one more invested in them than you! Sometimes things are easily overlooked in a 20-minute pediatrician visit. It’s ALWAYS better to err on the side of caution when it comes to your children.

Follow us on the book of faces or check back bi-weekly for our next blog in the Milestones Series!

Happy Birth and Parenting!

~Elizabeth Luke

 

milestones jax, fl | Jax, FL sleep training

 

 

 

Afterpains After Birth

afterpains after birth | Jax, FL Birth | Birth after pains

Afterpains After Birth

When we daydream about meeting our baby for the first time most pregnant people aren’t thinking about the afterpains they’ll experience after they give birth. Partly because it’s rarely talked about. However, if you’ve taken the Epic Postpartum class or our full childbirth education course you’ll have a good understanding of many terms, including after pains. Hopefully having this information in your back pocket will help you be less fearful of it when it happens.

You’ll have contractions of the uterus, often called afterpains, immediately after you give birth to the baby and your placenta!

For those who experience contractions in labor, it may be helpful to know that these contractions are not nearly as painful as the labor contractions. They also don’t last as long or come as often as labor contractions.

For those who are scheduled for a cesarean birth, you won’t have to deal with contractions in labor or immediately post-op because of the power of medicine.  However, in addition to the pain from the cesarean incision, you will have to deal with those afterpains too as the anesthesia wears off.

The afterpains are a necessary part of the process of involution, the process of shrinking your uterus back to pre-pregnancy size and firmness.

Without the contractions of the uterus, you would bleed, a lot. So much so that you would hemorrhage if doctors didn’t intervene. Your uterus pre-pregnancy is about the size of a grapefruit and in pregnancy it stretches to accommodate the baby, amniotic fluid, and the placenta.  After birth, it beginnings to rapidly shrink, but it takes up to a full six weeks for it to return to pre-pregnancy size. In the meantime, you’ll experience bleeding, afterpains, and can still appear to be pregnant.

What triggers the afterpains?

Medication given to you by your providers such as Pitocin, breastfeeding, and pumping are all ways to signal these postpartum contractions. They will periodically just happen, some very mild, others very intense. Your nurses will also come in and push on your abdomen to feel for your uterus and signal contractions. Not fun, not one little bit! Most nurses get right to it and make it as quick and as painless as possible, but they do have a necessary job to do, and that is to see to it that you are safe!

What can be done to lessen the afterpains?

Use your breathing and relaxation techniques if you find yourself wincing in pain. If you’ve not received pain medication it’s ok to ask for something if you feel you need it.

afterpains after birth | Birth Jax, FL

Remember those fundal height measurements in pregnancy? This is the reverse of that. The contractions or afterpains do tend to be much more noticeable with second, third, and fourth deliveries versus the first delivery.

Afterpains are just plain insane! But, like we teach in The Confident Birth and Parenting Class and the Epic Postpartum Class, these pains and labor pains are: P=purposeful A= anticipated I=intermitent and N=normal!

To learn more about our classes or to book a private consult contact our team today!

Happy Birth & Parenting!

Elizabeth
Parenting is like a plate of spaghetti | Jax FL Infant Sleep