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Cesarean Scar Massage | Why, When, and How

cesarean scar massage, c-section scar, c-section scar massage, reduce scaring in cesarean, facia release, healing cesarean scar

Cesarean Scar Massage | Why, When, and How

Cesarean scar massage is the topic of the day, and it’s an important one! Several of our clients and a few friends have requested this so I will thoroughly cover why, when, and how. No matter how you feel about your cesarean or the scar it leaves behind this blog is for you! I’m not here to tell you how beautiful you are, how powerful your body is, or how to love the scar left behind. What I am here for is to explain the possible benefits of these massage techniques, when you should start it, and give you guidance on how to begin this massage in a way that works well for you. Also, I’ll include a video to demonstrate how to do cesarean scar massage, because let’s face it, a video showing techniques is so much easier to follow.

This is part one (1) of a two (2) part blog series!

Part 1: Why and When to do Cesarean Scar Massage

Part 2: How to Do Cesarean Scar Massage on Yourself & Video ( coming in the next week)

Before Beginning

Before you start cesarean scar massage you should be cleared by your OBGYN to do so. You can use this blog to discuss what level of massage is appropriate for you specifically! Do not massage until your incision has fully healed and become a scar. If you massage your cesarean scar prematurely you could cause problems like tearing, reopening, and infection.

Why You May Want to Do Cesarean Scar Massage

It’s well known that massaging scar tissue and the surrounding areas can help increase blood flow, loosen up nearby tissues, and flatten bumps that incisions can leave behind. It may also help relieve some pain and itchiness and may help you regain sensation/feeling. Some woman report that they felt doing these massage techniques helped them experience less discomfort with stretching of the abdomen in subsequent pregnancies. Sometimes adhesions and scaring under the skin can be so severe they can cause lower back and pelvic pain. Bottom line, as long as you are cleared to do so by your medical provider cesarean scar massage can’t hurt when done correctly, can be a relaxing part of your self-care routine, and may be helpful to you!

When Should You Start Cesarean Scar Massage

This will depend on a number of things and can vary from one person to the next. Generally speaking most people can start some of these massage techniques about 6 weeks after their cesarean birth. But, remember to discuss each of these techniques with your OBGYN and make sure you have their go-ahead before beginning. You should plan to keep your scar out of the sun for at least the first year and scar massage will not be helpful for scaring more than 2 years old.

How to Do Cesarean Scar Massage

Generally, the first 2-6 weeks after giving birth is the toughest! You’re sore, exhausted, and likely caring for and learning all about your baby(ies). You need not worry about anything additional during this time and will need more support and hands-on help! Around two weeks post-baby your incision is healing nicely and by six weeks or more you may be cleared by your OBGYN for many things like these massage techniques, light exercise, lifting, use of tampons, and sexual intercourse.

You should NOT do cesarean scar massage until you have explicitly been given the go ahead to do so by your healthcare provider.

General Rules:

  1. It can be slightly uncomfortable, BUT should never hurt
  2. Begin gently and over time increase the intensity
  3. It should last about five to seven minutes total; aim to do this daily!
  4. It’s best to do these yourself unless the person is licensed to perform these techniques

When you first begin cesarean scar massage you’re only working with the skin of your abdomen, not the muscles. Please keep that in mind!

Begin each time by laying flat, legs out in front of you. Get comfortable. I think it’s nice to use a lotion or oil to avoid friction, but that’s totally up to you. Make sure you’re breathing and not holding your breath throughout the process. Start with a very light massage to the abdomen in a clockwise direction avoiding your cesarean scar at first. After a few passes change directions to counter-clockwise. If the oil/lotion dries apply more to your liking.

If you haven’t intentionally touched your cesarean scar now is a good time to do so. Place your hand gently on top of it. Rest there for a couple of breaths. If putting your entire hand on it feels like too much, place two fingers there and work up to your entire hand. Just rest there.

Feel what you feel.

Feelings vary, all feelings are valid, all feelings are normal, and there are no right or wrong feelings.

After a couple of minutes and while remembering to breathe, use a feather and gently stroke around your cesarean scar. Then, move lightly back and forth, up and down, and in circles on and around the scar. Next time, do the same with a clean makeup brush, like a brow brush, blush brush, or similar.

Wash, rinse, repeat daily for a week or a two depending on your comfort level.

Remember, it should never hurt. Continue to breathe throughout the massage, don’t hold your breath! Increase the intensity over time!

That’s it! High five! That’s all you need to do to start!

In Part 2: How to Do Cesarean Scar Massage on Yourself with Video I will demo how to do the following massage techniques:

  • Light as a Feather (explained here in this blog, Part 1)
  • Up & Down Technique
  • Side to Side Technique
  • Piano Fingers
  • Circle Technique
  • Rough Material Technique
  • Opposite Direction Technique
  • Pinch and Roll Technique

I hope you find these blogs super helpful. As always we would love to hear from you in the comments and if you have a request for a blog we are happy to put something together for you if it’s within our area of expertise! Also, check out the search feature for topics!

Happy Birth & Parenting,

Elizabeth Luke

Planning for a Cesarean Birth | FREE BIRTH TEMPLATE

Planning for a Cesarean Birth Jacksonville Florida, Smiling mom holding baby after cesarean birth, Jax Florida Cesarean with The Jax Baby Company

Planning for a Cesarean Birth

Planning for a cesarean birth? You’re not alone! In fact, in the United States, cesarean birth rates account for 28-39% of all live births. In Florida, the rates are around 36.5%. That’s higher than the World Health Organization’s recommended of 10-15%. Overall vaginal births are safer for mothers and babies than cesarean births, but a planned/scheduled cesarean is safer than an emergency one. There are a number of reasons one would plan for a cesarean birth, from medically necessary to convenience to professions and time off, to anxiety and sexual abuse. The decision to have a vaginal birth or cesarean birth is a very personal one that should be made by the pregnant person and her provider because there are many things that should be taken into consideration.

Take it from an professional

From a professional who teaches birth classes, someone who has supported many couples giving birth, and who cares for new families as they bring their babies home from the hospital, the actual planning for a cesarean birth is one of the most beautiful things about a cesarean birth to be completely honest!

So, what does planning for a cesarean birth look like?

When planning for a cesarean birth you want to cover all your bases. From the date you give birth to the Obstetrician who’ll be performing your surgery, from options and atmosphere in the delivery room to recovery room, from healing and recovering at home to lining up support for all aspects of life after birth via cesarean.

Did you know there are classes you can take when planning for a cesarean birth?

There sure is! And, some providers are even requiring parents to take a class to prepare them for cesarean birth and recovering after giving birth! Yes, requiring! Our Cesarean Power class goes over the birth process itself, how to prepare before you give birth, and how to prepare for the fourth trimester, including the healing and recovery process and tips for success. In addition to all of that, we provide you with a certificate keepsake to share with your provider and frame if you so choose along with our Fourth Trimester Plan and our Cesarean Birth Goals template! You can grab the Cesarean Birth Goals template for free here!

So, if you’re planning for a cesarean birth be sure to consider all of your options and learn what those options are so you know and don’t forget to plan for after birth! Let us know if we can be of help to you via classes, consults, and of course support for when you come home so you can heal, get adequate rest, and enjoy your baby more!

Happy Birth & Parenting!

Elizabeth Luke & The JBC Team

5 Things Everyone Should Know About Cesarean Birth

5 Things Everyone Should Know About Cesarean Birth | Jax FL Birth

5 Things Everyone Should Know About Cesarean Birth

There are 5 things everyone should know about cesarean birth! Cesarean birth just doesn’t get discussed as much as “natural birth” or vaginal birth. If it does, it is often in passing or in such a way as to incite fear! As your friendly, neighborhood doulas, we wanted to take a minute and talk about some aspects of Cesarean birth so that whether you are planning a C-section or not, you at least have a little more information on them, because let’s face it, birth is rarely black and white!

  1. Cesarean birth is birth, but it’s also major abdominal surgery

First and foremost, Cesarean birth is unequivocally birth. There is no “right” way to birth. That said, it is also major abdominal surgery. As such, the recovery can be fairly difficult for the majority of the population.  The body needs more time and more gentleness as it recovers from surgical birth (ß—see, surgery and birth!). Just think: the doctor has to cut through multiple layers to get to the prize! That is no easy feat and your body knows it. So, please be gentle with yourself for at least six weeks following B-day!

  1. It could take all day

If you are looking forward to cesarean birth because you are happy to schedule your baby’s birthday and you are arranging it to coincide with visits from the grandparents, this may be a little disappointing.  Yep, that 9:00 AM appointment could actually turn into a 9:00 PM birth. C-sections don’t guarantee that you’ll get to adhere to the itinerary! Emergencies happen all the time which means that your non-emergent birth time could get repeatedly pushed back depending on the hospital’s load and facilities. It isn’t likely, but it does happen often enough that it’s worth being aware.

  1. It can be just as scary

This doesn’t apply to everyone (I mean, really, when do birth scenarios ever apply across the board?), but Cesareans can induce fear and panic even in the coolest cucumber. So while you may enjoy the feeling of control that C-sections provide, you may also notice yourself shaking and trembling when the doctors explain the procedure or when you enter the stark room. This is normal. See point #1!

  1. You will feel

Yep. Even with the anesthesia, you actually will still feel! Before you panic, read on.  As weird as it is, most people report that they were not completely numb; however, the sensations were not painful. You will most likely feel the pressure and the pulling as the surgeon works, but it doesn’t hurt, even if it is unsettling.   This could partly be due to the fact that we can see what it is going on (partially) and therefore our brain expects something, so we perceive the sensations and partly because the epidural and spinal do not always completely block proprioception.

  1. You still need support

A good portion of people think that a C-section is the “easy way out”. Not only is this patently false, it is dismissive to those people who know that it’s false!  We often hear from people who’ve had Cesareans that they were so surprised that it wasn’t easy at all and they didn’t count on needing validation, emotional support, and practical help from outside their close family and friends. As a matter of fact, they felt relieved when they found out that C-sections are just as deserving and demanding of birth and postpartum help as vaginal births are. So, ensure you line up the perfect support team so that you feel at ease during and after the birth. See points #1, #2, #3, and #4

As usual, if you have further questions or would like to add a point to this list, leave it in the comments! The Jacksonville Baby Company and its team members support all parenting styles, choices, and needs! If you are planning for a cesarean birth our Cesarean Birth Prep Class is just for you! If you’re hoping for a vaginal birth and to avoid a cesarean birth, but want to be prepared for either, The Confident Birth & Baby Class is just for you! We hope you found these 5 things everyone should know about cesarean birth helpful!

Birth Methods Suck

 birth methods suck | childbirth classes jax fl

Birth Methods Suck

I’m gonna come out and say it. Personally and professionally I feel that birth methods and childbirth education that focuses on a single “method” rather than the individuals needs/desires suck.  Their inflexibility notwithstanding, they generally come with top-secret, super miraculous teachings that all but guarantee you’ll have the best birth. Not only is this misleading, I believe it creates more problems than it seeks to solve, even if unintentionally.

As the Jacksonville community and as previous First Coast Doulas clients know, we believe there is no one right or wrong way to birth or parent. Why would we believe there is one “right” way to approach childbirth education and coping with birth or parenthood?

We only argue that pineapple does go on pizza!

One of the biggest problems with specific childbirth education or birth methods I see is in their lack of flexibility and how that translates into real-world application.

If you have a stringent process or step-by-step “how-to”  for learning something that is completely unique and dependent on the person, their circumstances, etc.  how do you accommodate for individual and large-scale changes? While the information regarding the biology of pregnancy and childbirth are fact-based, and thus, simple enough to teach, the information dealing with helping people wade through those facts, their options, and their effects is entirely based on the individual family’s needs, goals, and values.

These birth methods employ a precise way to learn and apply that learning in handling pregnancy and birth with no room for deviation by the student or by updated hospital or care provider policy. Meaning, a method easily becomes too dogmatic and not realistic for our humanity of shifting expectations and requirements.

So what happens when a person learns a birth method in the hopes and anticipations that it will totally, or at the least, mostly work and then it doesn’t?

Well, unfortunately, they’re left with no Plan B and only a few ways in which they can deal. This is especially true the more obscure and branded the method is since oftentimes, the education component is lacking and the method built up hopes and dreams by the very nature of its superiority and its uniqueness.

While the birthing person may logically know what a contraction is, they may not know why and how it happens nor do they know all the various ways in which to alleviate the pain associated with them. They were counting on that one thing that no longer serves them.  Which leads to my last point…

Disappointment and guilt.

Parents become wrecked with guilt when their birth experience ends up disappointing, or worse, became traumatic. Parents feel guilty that they failed at the method; the one tried-and-true answer that has worked for everyone else, everywhere (or at least, that is what it feels like). They feel guilty that they invested time, money, and confidence. They feel guilty that they didn’t do it “the right way”.

This is even more pronounced when the birth plan is drastically changed from a stringent list, and it’s not fair.

It’s not fair because this guilt is unwarranted and can be prevented with comprehensive education that inspires expectant parents to fully understand the birth process, to learn multiple ways to deal, to explore all their options, and to make a Plan A and Plan B, and even maybe a Plan C.  Will it prevent feeling disappointment? No, nothing can ever be 100% and that is the point here. But, when you give yourself flexibility and adaptable ways to approach something as unpredictable as birth, you are increasing your chances of feeling successful, and thus, less guilty.

The solution is to put your family’s individual needs first and be a prepared parent!

Learn a bit of biology and birth physiology. Learn about effective communication and relationship building with your providers and birth team. Learn about the multitude of ways to deal with anxiety, fear, and pain. Learn about ways to research options and about differing techniques used in decision-making.

Skip the birth methods and focus on putting together all the pieces in a way that works for you! Remember there really is no right or wrong way, only different ways!

 

You’re a Rock Star Even if Nobody Tells You

you're a rock star | best doulas in jax florida

You’re a Rock Star Even if Nobody Tells You

We’ve got to get something off our chests.  It’s a secret that shouldn’t be. It’s something that doesn’t, for some reason, get said enough or only gets said when the “right” conditions are met.  And it’s a shame.

You’re a Rock Star! Yes, YOU!

Birthing a baby and parenting said baby until they run your refrigerator out the door, is hard work no matter what. Even for us folk who seem to be floating on cloud 9 in the best breeze, there are days that are just hard. And you’re a rock star for showing up.  Giving birth to this tiny human is also an incredible feat, no matter the mode of delivery.

Society at large seems to place a higher value on certain types of birth though.

We’ve even noticed that the professionals with whom so many new parents place their trust have demonstrated public preference to birth and are biased in what they deem worthy of public merriment. As care providers and professional support persons in a position of authority, this behavior implicitly ascribes a morality to this value and as such, shames different choices and outcomes. And while it may be unintentional, many parents end up feeling like shit about their birth.

“I don’t know why it bothers me so much, but it does. I did all the things. I took an eight-week childbirth class, hired a well-known doula, read articles, and I joined a moms group for women who were and had birthed naturally. In the end, it was just me, all alone. Noone cheering me on and telling me, ‘You’re a rock star’, or ‘You rocked your birth’ after a 12-hour labor turned cesarean. I was heartbroken, it would have just felt good to know others saw how hard I tried. Instead, I felt like I let my doula and closest friends down.”

Our birth experiences shape us, whether we like it or not. How we feel as we enter parenthood matters! Words matter! Hearing, “You’re a rockstar” matters, and not hearing it matters too!

When the most popular doctor, midwife, or doula in town always posts and shares the “best” births on their social media platforms, and you notice that they always say, “Congrats to this Rock Star mama who had a non-medicated vaginal birth” but doesn’t mention the rock star parents who labored for hours and chose to pursue relief via pharmaceuticals, or the parent who chose a cesarean birth from the get-go, it hurts.

We get it.

We hear you.

Having a “natural” birth (which is a misnomer, by the way) is definitely something to be proud of and it is worth celebrating. No doubt, at all. But choosing an epidural or opting for a cesarean birth is an equally valid choice and one that deserves the same frequency and intensity of accolades.

This isn’t simply a matter of target market or ideal patients/clients on the part of the midwives or other birth professionals in regards to their statements/behavior online and off, because

a). not all of their patients/clients want the same things for their birth that the provider wants

b.) a provider and/or doula shouldn’t necessarily “want” anything other than a healthy, safe, and happy experience and outcome to begin

c.) they are all held in esteem in the greater health community and because of this, have influence and

d.) even if, by some chance, all their clients/patients did want a completely drug-free/intervention-free, vaginal birth, there will always be some who, for their safety and health, cannot and will not birth as originally intended.

The consequences of feeling like one “failed” at birth are very real and entirely damaging.

Not to mention, it isn’t a test to pass. By saving our “You’re a rock star” for specific people, we are effectively setting people up to believe that birth is a test of their abilities and ultimately, of their parental devotion and/or suitability. By always exclusively referring to these “mamas” (another issue for another day), we do a disservice to all those parents who need and want validation and…shared joy in their hard work.  Because let’s be clear here: non-medicated vaginal birth is hard. Medicated vaginal birth is hard. Cesarean birth is hard. Birth is hard.  So what are we saying?

There is no right or wrong way!

YOU’RE A ROCK STAR. With capital letters.  Unequivocally.  All-day, every day!

P.S We recommend surrounding yourself with people who will tell you you’re a rock star without any strings. It doesn’t have to be us-we just want nothing more than your fully knowing your power.

Happy Birth and Parenting,

The Jax Baby Company Team

Authored by: Heather Horrell and Elizabeth Luke

Private Childbirth Classes in Jax, FL

private childbirth classes | Jax FL | Best Birth Classes in Jax., FL

Private Childbirth Classes in Jax, FL

Considering private childbirth classes means you’re a dynamic individual!

When preparing for birth it’s much easier to know what you want when you are aware of what is available to you. You need an educator that is as forward-thinking as you are. Someone that can lay out all of your options, knows the ins and outs of the local birthing facilities, and presents the information in a way that allows you to explore what is best for you and your family. That’s exactly what you get with The Jax Baby Company!

When attending The Confident Birth & Baby Class with The Jax Baby Company you can expect to learn about:

  • pregnancy & common ailments
  • the stages of labor & birth
  • comfort measures
  • your rights
  • how to navigate labor in a way that works best for you in the moment
  • the physiological process of birth

You’ll also learn:

  • how to work with your body to feel more comfortable
  • positions that are helpful during birth
  • when those positions are most helpful

What’s better than that?

How about also learning tips and techniques from someone who works intimately with families giving birth and during the first six weeks after birth. Information to prepare you for what you can expect based on your birth choices, and how to care for your postpartum body, are also included.

The private classes we teach are the perfect place to explore how you will define a satisfying birth experience.

We provide you with information on un-medicated vaginal birth, various options for pharmacological pain relief including epidurals, and what to expect if you choose or require a cesarean. All the information is presented in an unbiased and judgement free manner. Regardless of your desires for your birth experience, gathering knowledge of the most common options and variations will help you feel prepared should your plans change along the way.

All of this in the comfort, privacy, and safety of your very own home.

Overall, these amazing classes will help you find what works best for you. You will complete your class feeling prepared with tools to navigate the unpredictability and intensity of your baby’s birth. Using research based information and proven techniques, you can expect to feel safer and less fearful of the birthing process. Are you ready to meet your baby?

Authored by Lacey Park agency owner at Chinook City Doulas, serving families in Calgary!

Delayed Cord Clamping

delayed cord clamping | Birth Classes Jax, FL

Delayed Cord Clamping

Delayed cord clamping is a term that you’ve likely heard of or read about if you are expecting a baby in the near future. At birth babies are attached to their placenta via their umbilical cord. The placenta is attached to the wall of the woman’s uterus. Once the baby is born the cord is clamped. This stops the flow of nutrient rich blood containing iron from the placenta to the baby. When the baby’s cord is clamped matters.

Some of you just thought, “So what’s the research say?” We got you!

The World Health Organization (WHO) says that, “delayed cord clamping (performed approximately 1–3 min after birth) is recommended for all births, while initiating simultaneous essential neonatal care.” Furthermore they say that early cord clamping (less than one minute after birth) is not recommended for pre-term and full-term babies unless they the baby needs to be moved immediately for resuscitation.

I especially love that they also address the fact that keeping the cord unclamped for a 1-3 minute period also helps to prevent and treat postpartum hemorrhage in the birthing woman.

Postpartum hemorrhage (PPH) is defined as a rapid loss of blood after giving birth. PPH can happen anytime immediately following birth up to 6 weeks postpartum. The most common causes of PPH are poor contractions of the uterus, separation of the placenta or pieces of retained placenta, or a tear in the uterus. Some women are at higher risk for PPH. Women birthing more than a singleton baby, are of advanced maternal age, who are birthing via cesarean, and those who have had labor augmented with medication are at greater risk. So, it may be important to you to note that delayed cord clamping can help prevent and treat PPH.

Even more exciting, yesterday the American Congress of Obstetricians andGynecologists (ACOG) released their latest statement and the results show the following benefits:

In preterm infants:

  • improved transitional circulation
  • better establishment of red blood cell volume
  • less need for blood transfusion
  • reduces the incidence of brain hemorrhage
  • reduces the risk of necrotizing enterocolitis (intestinal disease)

For term infants

  • increases hemoglobin levels at birth
  • improves iron stores for several months
  • helps prevent iron deficiency during the first year of life

ACOG also states that in most cases, delayed cord clamping doesn’t interfere with the immediate care the infant receives including the first breath and immediate skin-to-skin contact. Delayed cord clamping alone does not affect whether or not a woman can have her placenta encapsulated. Majority of women who are planning for or who need to have a cesarean birth can also consider delayed cord clamping.

So, if you’re in the midst of creating a birth plan or preference sheet, delayed cord clamping just might be something you want to include. In addition to taking a great childbirth education class be sure to talk with your provider if you have questions and make your wishes known to your support person(s) and your entire birth team.

Fun tid-bit of the day; delayed cord clamping is also known as optimal cord clamping! From us to you, happy birth and parenting! ~Elizabeth Luke

What Do Miss Universe Pageants and Birth Have In Common

What Do Miss Universe Pageants and Birth Have In Common Sometimes?

I want to preface this by saying that First Coast Doulas respects and supports all types of birthing experiences from elected cesarean births to un-medicated home births and everything in between! This blog is written for those who had their hearts set on a (fill in the blank) birth and ended with something other than their heart’s desire.

What Do Miss Universe Pageants and Birth Have In Common

Being center stage waiting for the title of Miss Universe to be announced has to be nerve racking. Your competition has been narrowed way down; you are a finalist! Competition to your left, competition to your right, when it happens…

Steve Harvey announces you’re the winner!!

Then, as fast as you received the crown, it’s taken away in a blink. The wrong winner was crowned! You were Miss Universe for a moment in time.

What do you do?

What any winner does! You hold you head high, smile, and think to yourself, “What in the exact hell just happened?” You were announced the winner of the pageant and then crash, the crown was gone. The crowd stopped cheering; your heart sunk into your stomach. You’ve never felt anything quite like it.

Now, imagine your perfect birth is unfolding just as you planned. It’s really happening you think to yourself! Your partner and birth team are there to support you and keep you and your baby safe.

Sometimes though, things don’t always go as planned. Birth is one of those times. You really just never know!

Everything can change very quickly and you could find yourself thinking, “What in the hell is happening? This isn’t the way it’s supposed to be.” First Coast Doulas is there to help you get answers, know your options, and navigate the changes that are taking place .

Before you know it, you’re left with all of these feelings inside. Feelings you aren’t sure what to do with. You have pain, a beautiful new baby, a partner who just doesn’t understand.

You have people telling you, “No one gets an award for a (fill in the blank) birth. You did the best you could” and, “At least you have a healthy baby.”

What do Miss Universe pageants and birth have in common?

Sometimes we do everything right-we’re set, all is going perfectly. We’re in the home stretch and shit gets real, real quick! Your crown is snatched right off your head and you’re hurt, you’re angry, and sometimes you don’t even know what you feel.

You wonder, “what happens now?”

You are left to piece it all together, all while being a new mother. You have this precious little life depending on you and perhaps more children at home.

Your crown isn’t taken away by not having a (fill in the blank) birth. It’s taken when your choices are taken from you and when people feel like it’s not necessary to allow you to process the vast change that has taken place.

First Coast Doulas allows you that space to be angry, to process without judgement or guilt.

First Coast Doulas understands these feelings and emotions. We know that although you may have this beautiful healthy baby in your arms, you may feel lost or loss. We are here to help you process your birth experience. For better or worse. We listen with open ears and a loving heart who knows your feelings are valid and real.

We’re here when you bring home the crown and when it’s snatched right off your head.

The postpartum support we provide families is a huge part of recovery for the mother and helps the entire family unit bond. Our postpartum support relieves tension that can arise when no one else is understanding what you are going through.

Let First Coast Doulas help you recover your crown!

 

FC Doulas Postpartum Support;

While we can’t diagnose or treat, (we are not medical professionals), we are trained to identify signs of postpartum blues, postpartum anxiety, postpartum depression, and postpartum psychosis by:

Listening/Processing Birth Experience

Assistance with Breast or Bottle Feeding

Connecting You with Resources As Needed

Assistance with Mobility

Mother-Baby Bonding

Help with Pain Management/Relief

Meal Prep/Cooking

Easy Snack Prep for Mom

Light Housekeeping

Sibling Care

 

 

Steve Harvey Announces The WRONG Winner of Miss Universe 2015

Paige’s Breastfeeding Journey

In honor of World Breastfeeding Week we thought it would be great for mother’s to share a bit about their breastfeeding journey. As new mothers we all face challenges, sometimes breastfeeding can be challenging. Today I sat down with Paige Schicker who graciously shared her story because she feels sharing her story could help mothers by hearing multiple experiences. So they know they aren’t alone and to show them there are other options if they can’t breastfeed.  She believes the more women know, the better their chances are of succeeding.

Paige is the mother of one sweet 5 month old baby girl (picture below), wife to a hard working and loving husband, owner and local photographer at True Era Photography who specializes in portraits, weddings, and lifestyle photography.

birth in jacksonville

 

We opened the interview

FC Doulas~ Can you tell us why you wanted to breastfeed?

Paige~ I took a Bradley Method class while I was pregnant and learned a good bit about the benefits of breastfeeding. I also did a lot of research on my own, and knew that I really wanted to give it a try. Breastmilk is the perfect food for baby; I wanted her to have the best start.

FC Doulas~ Before trying to breastfeed did you think it would be easy or hard to breastfeed?

Paige~ I knew breastfeeding wouldn’t be easy. It’s a very natural thing, but it doesn’t always come naturally to mom or even baby.

FC Doulas~ Did you expect challenges?

Paige~ I expected it to take a while to get the hang of, but I had no idea how challenging it could actually be.

FC Doulas~ What challenges did you face?

Paige~ Well, after a traumatizing labor/birth, complete exhaustion from losing 2 full days of sleep and pushing my body to the limits to get my baby out, and then the end result being a cesarean birth anyway (after 38 hours of labor), I don’t think my mind was in the right place. The several hours following her birth are a blur, I don’t even remember the first time I breastfed her, I was so out of it. But after several frustrating attempts, I asked for the lactation consultants at the hospital. Baby would just scream when I tried to latch her, and it was the most excruciating pain. I compared the pain to contractions, that’s how awful it was. I cracked, bled, and dreaded every feeding.

FC Doulas~ How did you overcome those challenges?

Paige~ We tried everything. After two lactation consultants took a look inside her mouth to check for any lip/tongue ties (and giving us the clear), I started to believe it was my fault it wasn’t working. No matter what hold I tried, my baby got extremely frustrated trying to latch, and even once she did she would let go and cry. Recovering from my surgery, trying to catch up on a little bit of sleep, and being well, depressed that my birth didn’t go as I had envisioned, I just couldn’t continue.

Yes, I gave up. I struggled through a lot of guilt within myself for doing so. Two months later, being in a better place mentally and physically, I wanted to try to relactate. A lot of people don’t know this is even possible (I didn’t until someone mentioned it). I had another lactation consultant come by my house to help, and with just one quick look inside baby’s mouth she noticed both a tongue and upper lip tie. Finally, an answer! It wasn’t me. It wasn’t my failure, or my baby’s. It was an issue that was overlooked. Had it not been, would have made all the difference. So I reached out to fellow moms via a wonderful Facebook page called Human Milk 4 Human Babies, and over the last three months have received several generous breastmilk donations!

We wrapped up the interview with;

FC Doulas~ What do you want other moms to know about breastfeeding?

Paige~ It’s ok if you can’t do it! The guilt I went through was horrible. You hear “Breast is best”, and it is, but when you make that decision to stop, it can make you feel like you are depriving your child, or not giving them what they need, that you are a failure, or a bad mom. Don’t think that way. Sometimes you just have to do what’s best for you and your sanity. There are amazing moms out there who are more than willing to donate their breastmilk to other moms in need; it’s such a great option. But even if you switch to formula, or supplement, it’s totally fine! Don’t let anyone shame you. Other than that, if you are having difficulty breastfeeding, absolutely get help! Figuring out the issue right from the start (or very first latch!) can make all the difference!

We hope that Paige’s journey can be an inspiration to all of you, at very least we hope you find solidarity here.

Be sure to like First Coast Doulas and True Era Photography on Facebook and follow us on Instagram @fcdoulas and @trueeraphoto

 

#worldbreastfeedingweek #liquidgold #doulagit2quit

Will Your Doula Be Right For You?

During pregnancy you are sustaining an incredible amount of physical and emotional change. There is never a time in your life where you will experience a more rapid change happening within your body. Your partner, if you have one is on this wild ride all his/her own. This is one of the most beautiful, most vulnerable times in your life and you are looking for a Doula who can attune to your needs. Those needs can and will look differently for each woman and her partner.

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That could mean you want a Doula who listens more than she speaks and validates your feelings.

You may want a Doula to help you and your partner form a plan so together you can easily navigate your birth experience with confidence.

Your partner may need a Doula who points him/her in the direction of evidence-based information and the you, the pregnant woman may just want someone to remind you to trust your intuition and vice versa.

Sometimes women know and readily admit, along with their partner, that while an amazing father and partner, during the last birth her partner was clueless and spaced out despite having taken a great childbirth education class, which left her feeling alone and him carrying the guilt bag with him for far too long.

One woman may want a Doula to help her communicate more effectively with her care providers or family and help her family of three transition to a family of four, provide comfort techniques, and educate her and her partner about birth and common interventions and procedures she may encounter.

Our clients know they can cry, moan, poop, fart, curse, ask their providers for an epidural, birth by cesarean, ask not to be touched, birth on their back, birth on all fours, create a birth plan and throw it out the window, leak amniotic fluid all over the floor, pee on themselves, walk around nude in labor, choose formula or breastmilk, disposables over cloth, babywearing or stroller pushing, yell at us during a contraction, hell they can leak milk from a third nipple, and NONE of that effects the level of compassionate support we provide or cause us to judge you or your partner or be disappointed in them, EVER!

We have no hidden agenda, our mission is to instill confidence and security in your growing family while helping you finding your path in birth and parenting.

Heather and I are a rare find on the First Coast! We are a dynamic duo, we are the right Doula for our clients, and neither of us have what it takes to pass judgment on you or compare you to anyone else. We have experience and training ranging from all natural, out of hospital birth to cesarean birth and VBAC, and everything in between. We meet you where you are and support you along your journey from pregnancy through postpartum.

It isn’t about what’s in our Doula bag or how much money we have to spend on fancy marketing and advertising, it isn’t about our experience or training, because it’s about YOU and we know it!

We connect, attune to our clients, and support. No ifs. No ands. No buts.

We provide continuity of care from pregnancy consultations, through childbirth education classes we build a foundation from the ground up. Our relationship from pregnancy through birth and into the postpartum period our support is just a natural progression of things.

Who wouldn’t choose Doulas who they have know can attune to their needs, are reliable, compassionate, and professional? Our clients are smart cookies, they know what sets us miles apart from the rest!

Contact us today and let’s do this!

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