Childbirth Education Classes – What I Wished I’d Known

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Childbirth Education Classes – What I Wished I’d Known

I absolutely love to learn, so when I was pregnant with my first, it was a no-brainer to sign up for childbirth education classes to help us prepare. The hospital where I planned to give birth offered multiple classes and our insurance even reimbursed us a small amount for taking a few. My husband and I signed up through the hospital for a few different classes including breastfeeding and a labor one.

Several months later, I took said childbirth education classes and found them to be okay. Pretty standard.

You see, if you’ve never had a baby, you don’t really know what to expect or what info you need to know. Only after I had my first, my son, did I begin to realize just how unprepared I was. Every hospital is different, so my experience with hospital classes may be very different from yours. The hospital I gave birth at was very new and supposed to be state-of-the-art. However, the classes were too textbook and barely skimmed the surface. I’m not sure why this was the case, but, to my dismay, it was.

In hindsight, the hospital childbirth education classes did little to nothing to prepare me.

It’s both frustrating and disappointing. It also is concerning to me for other parents who seek out childbirth education classes like this in hopes of gaining needed knowledge on labor, delivery, and their lives after they bring their baby home from the hospital. To be honest, I was lost as a new mom. I mean LOST. There are so many things I wish I was taught that would have prepared me better. Here’s a few that initially come to mind:

  • Having a birth plan and being able to assert my desires.
  • The realities of hospital birth and what that entails.
  • Preparing for what happens when your birth plan is thrown out the window.
  • Your rights in the hospital.
  • Not just the physical toll, but the emotional and mental toll it takes on you during your hospital stay.
  • The realities of sleep deprivation and how to cope.
  • Breastfeeding-so many variables I never thought of or learned that I ended up experiencing.

In saying all of this, I strongly recommend you seek out in-home childbirth education classes.

It wasn’t until after I had both my children that I began to learn about the many options available. If I could go back in time, I would have hired help in the blink of an eye. One of the amazing things about hiring outside help is that most are knowledgable about the variations of birth, including cesareans, infant care, breast and bottle feeding, and the postpartum recovery process. Some even teach childbirth education classes in the comfort of your own home like The Jacksonville Baby Company. In my opinion, having a private educator prepare me would have been much more helpful than someone who is staffed by the hospital.

Here are a few reasons why in-home childbirth education classes will likely prepare you better:

  • An in-home CBE allows you to be in the comfort of your home where you feel more comfortable asking questions.
  • The CBE facilitator is not employed by a hospital and therefore can give you more honest feedback regarding what to expect at the different local birthing facilities.
  • The facilitator can personalize the information to what you are desiring through the delivery process (natural vs medicated birth, where and how you’ll labor, formula fed vs breastfed, etc).
  • The facilitator likely has a lot of very recent experience in regards to helping women through labor, delivery, and adjusting to their lives with the new baby. This recent experience means their information and advice is up-to-date to what’s going on currently in the world in which you ‘re living.
  • They will go into more depth and will include important information regarding the realities of having a newborn.

Preparing for childbirth is so important.

In this day and age, where there are so many options for every aspect of pregnancy, delivery, and parenting, it is overwhelming. It is crucial to choose childbirth education classes where you will learn more than hospital policy and skim the surface. It’s important to dig in deep. Find someone who is knowledgable and trustworthy to prepare you for every step and not just birth, but for after birth. Ask those you trust for recommendations and do your research based on what you are hoping for through your pregnancy and delivery and choose the person you feel is a good fit for you.

I encourage you to check out The Jax Baby Company and the services they offer. They are there throughout the pregnancy and provide excellent postpartum support as well.

Authored by: Maria Inoa

Maria Inoa is a licensed clinical social worker and the owner of Full Potential Counseling. With over 12 years of experience, she specializes in working with women on building healthier relationships with themselves and others. She strongly believes that women are warriors and that every woman has worth, significance, and purpose. Maria provides in-person sessions at her office in the Ortega area as well as online sessions for the busy woma

3 Things To Do Before Giving Birth

3 Things to Do Before Giving Birth

Of all the ways you can prepare for birth, there are 3 things to do before giving birth that we think take priority. At The Jax Baby Company, we’ve worked with hundreds of expectant parents and new families. As a professional who works day in and day out with new families, I want to share some insight with you!

3 Things to Do Before Giving Birth:

Take a Comprehensive Childbirth Class

More times than not when working with individuals who have previously given birth, they say that before birth they felt prepared. However, after birth, they say they wish they would’ve prepared in other ways. It’s a reoccurring theme. Parents tell us they took a childbirth class, BUT wish they knew to take a class that prepared them for the unexpected twists (that inevitably) birth threw their way. 

“In the hypno-class I took, they said I could dial down the intensity using hypnosis, but that method didn’t work for me and after that, I didn’t know what to do.”

“I gave them my detailed birth plan, but I didn’t really get anything I wanted.”

“We didn’t really understand the process of birth or what happens after birth. I knew less than I thought I did about dilation, contractions, and pushing, but the instructor didn’t want to “scare us”. She withheld valuable information.”

They didn’t know what they didn’t know to askAnd they took a childbirth class!

Comprehensive research-based classes will teach you the process of birth, the variations of birth, assisted and unassisted tools for comfort, pharmacological options, and alternative options for pain reduction. A great class won’t focus on one way of birth being superior to another. For example “natural birth” outcomes over medicated birth outcomes.  A great class will teach you communication and decision-making skills specific to childbirth and parenting.

The Confident Birth and Parenting Class teaches all of that.

It also helps you discover what “satisfying” means to you, and that not all birth partners want to be a birth coach! We break down the science behind birth in a fun and informative way that will stick! We offer something unique for all birthing people and their partners if they have one! Anyone and everyone has the ability to come away feeling confident and empowered!

Line Up Help for After Birth

Preparing now to have help for a minimum of six to twelve weeks after your baby is born is equally, if not more important than preparing for the birth itself! While we recommend your birth plan (if you have one) be short and sweet we recommend the opposite for your postpartum plan.

To put it into perspective for you we recommend a birth “plan” be no longer than one front page. The emergency plan on the back no longer than 1/2 of a page. But each family we work with gets a 20-page outline to use to for their postpartum planning!

A detailed postpartum plan will cover all aspects of your postpartum period. From meals and chores to hands-on accurate assistance and much, much more. If there is ever a time in your life where you should be surrounded with all the support it’s now!

Employ help! Immediately following the birth of your baby and for two or three days after you have hands-on help from amazing maternity nurses.  Someone there to help you get around, initiate feedings, and change diapers. A black belt at swaddling who bringing you meals, checks on you to see how you feel, gives you your meds, and reminds you it’s been x number of hours since x, y, and z.

Imagine the peace if mind you’d feel bringing one of these angels home with you?!

THAT’S WHAT WE DO!

Our team here at The Jax Baby Co. also helps you feel human again by taking great care of your baby while you shower and get much-needed sleep. We assist with feedings, both breast, and bottle. In short, we’re like an expert parent guide or a wingman for the new parents. We offer practical help and guidance as you adjust to parenting and find what works for you!

Learn As Much As You Can About Carseat Safety & Follow the Guidelines

There are only a few things in life that are unforgiving. Car accidents often end tragically when children are involved. We love babies and families! We can’t not share on this topic! Every parent I’ve spoken with has appreciated my knowledge on this matter! While we truly believe there is no right or wrong way to birth or parent your children here at The Jacksonville Baby Company, the research shows there IS a right and wrong way to install and use carseats.

Some of the most common mistakes we see are incorrect harness position, straps too loose, chest clip incorrectly positioned, seat not installed into the car correctly, aftermarket products being used on/with the seat, and of course turning a child to forward-facing too soon. Many of these things seem harmless enough, but they can be fatal mistakes. The American Academy of Pediatrics just released a statement with new guidelines urging parents to keep their kids rear-facing for as long as possible. We want your babies to be as safe as possible whilst traveling so you can enjoy and love on them for all the days of your lives! Here is a great resource for all things car seat safety-related, including where you can find a car seat technician in your area!

May this list of 3 things to do before giving birth be as helpful to you as our classes are to expectant parents!

Happy Birth & Parenting!

From

Parenting is like a plate of spaghetti | 3 Things to Do Before Giving Birth | Jax, FL Birth

The Only Birth Class Of Its Kind In Jax That Sets Parents Up for Success

 Only Birth Class Of Its Kind In Jax That Sets Parents Up for Success | Jax natural birth

The Only Birth Class Of Its Kind In Jax That Sets Parents Up for Success

Devastated, broken, shocked, and disappointed are not words that anyone wants to use to describe their birth experience, let alone feel those things deeply as their own truth. That, however, is the reality for many parents! First Coast Doulas offers the only birth class of its kind in Jax that sets parents up for success in all birthing situations.

With celebrities like Serena Williams, Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel bravely sharing their stories, more people are realizing that their reality is unfortunately not all that uncommon.

Preparing for the gamut both during and after birth is actually very wise! Too many times birthing people fall into the “if the mind believes it the body will achieve it trap”, to later find themselves experiencing overwhelming sadness and guilt. That is no way to begin parenthood!

Classes like hypno-yada-yada, and several other method-based classes only teach about the way to have a “natural” or “vaginal” birth.

Therefore, those classes put emphasis on “natural” and “vaginal” being of superior importance over all else in birth. With one in three births ending in cesarean delivery in 2018 why on Earth are parents still being taught that there is only one way to feel good about their birth experience? Why are parents being set up for failure from the get-go?

I don’t care how science-minded you are or how hippy, crunchy, natural you are, this class IS for you! Birth can happen safely in homes, hospitals, and birth centers! This class prepares you for it all!

Since 2013 The Jax Baby Company has been at the forefront in Northeast Florida and Southeast Georgia as forward-thinking, wave-making, pioneers for birthing and postpartum families! We know that the power of a birth plan doesn’t lie in the execution of the plan, but rather the knowledge you gain and the communication your have in the process of creating it! We know how important and impactful birth is and we have been setting parents up for true success since day one.

The Jax Baby Company teaches the only birth class of its kind in Jax that sets parents up for success no matter how they give birth!

The Confident Birth and Baby Class is woo-free, science and evidence-based classes that do not focus on one way being best or right, because that is just silly and complete and utter bullshit!

So, what does the only birth class of its kind in Jax that sets parents up for success teach you’re wondering!

We teach you the stages and phases of labor, how you can recognize those while at home, how to know when you’re in labor, and how you might feel and be comforted during each stage and phase. You can learn how to feel safer and fear less! You’ll be taught tools you can use anywhere; at home alone, at the store surrounded by people, in the hospital shower, heading into the OR (operating room), during your cesarean, while squatting, lying, or doing head-stands (we joke), with pharmacological pain meds, and without any at all.

We help you get to the heart of what satisfying means to you on a deeper, much more fulfilling level! Your birth partner can discover their own personal support style so that you feel comfortable with their support and they feel empowered in their role!

Not only do we teach on birth, but we also cover the first few weeks after birth. Ya know, the time you’ve really been waiting for! Birth is one day, maybe two, but baby snuggles, pictures, adorable outfits, and all the other things like night-feedings, newborn cues, healing after birth, emotional and physical warning signs and what you can do to not only survive but thrive after birth, those last much longer!

Yes, thirve baby!

These classes help set birthing people up for success by teaching them about both vaginal and cesarean birth because both can be equally satisfying and beautiful. Both can be empowering, both ways can be the “best”, and both can be considered “natural”. Remember torandos, water, and death are natural. Natural doesn’t always equal best!

“How,” you ask?

Take a class and find out! What are you waiting for? Taking this class is the single most important thing you can do to prepare for birth and the early weeks of parenting!  This is a small investment in the big scheme of things!

Don’t take our word for it, read our reviews; on Google, Facebook, and our website!

For the next 4 weeks ONLY The Jax Baby Company is offering an exclusive package for those who read our blog! Get the Hello Sunshine postpartum package and The Confident Birth and Baby Class, an $1,800 value, for $1699. That’s a savings of a whopping $101.

The Only Birth Class Of Its Kind In Jax That Sets Parents Up for Success | Natural Birth Class Jax
The Only Birth Class Of Its Kind In Jax That Sets Parents Up for Success | Natural Birth Class Jax

Mention this blog when you book and receive this exclusive offer! Get ready to feel more prepared, relaxed, and 100% supported as you transition into parenting!

The Jax Baby Company Childbirth Education is Success Kid Approved!

The Only Birth Class Of Its Kind In Jax That Sets Parents Up for Success | Natural Birth Class Jax
“Success Kid” Photograph (c) Laney Griner / Used with Permission

Childbirth Classes and Sunroofs

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Childbirth Classes and Sunroofs

Childbirth classes and sunroofs, what do they have in common? Are you pregnant and seeking childbirth classes that are right for you? How do you choose? Is a class really necessary? I’ve shared my story in the past, I’ve had moms tell me it was helpful to them during their search for childbirth classes. Those who had a prior birth end in a way they didn’t anticipate found my story especially helpful.

I’d waited nine long months pregnant with my first.

I lovingly caressed my belly and enjoyed being pregnant (mostly). I couldn’t wait to meet him, hold him, and call him by his name. After 18 hours of labor, when I finally got to hold him in my arms, I just felt… exhausted and empty. Being awake for almost two days mostly without food will do that to you. I was frustrated at the expectations I felt by everyone to see my baby before I was even cleaned up after birth.  My hip felt bruised where he had been bumping against it during our labor.  He wouldn’t latch onto my breast. Then he fell asleep while I wolfed down two hospital-made turkey sandwiches with mayo on top.  Tired was an understatement.

This is how I started parenthood.

Exhausted, but also feeling like I should feel more, because I’d had a “good birth”.

It was a vaginal birth like I had planned for. My care provider was wonderful and respectful. My partner was super supportive and loving, and I had a perfect, precious baby in my arms.  It was good, right?  Everyone else was calling it a “good birth” so it must have been good.

Even after a few hours, when I really did connect and bond with my baby I couldn’t stop staring at him. His little nose, toes and everything about him was perfect. When I was really and truly in love…

I wanted more.

I felt like the classes I had taken still didn’t teach me that birth isn’t only about the outcome. In fact, the childbirth classes I had taken (and that many parents take) focused on “a healthy baby”, as if that were the only thing that mattered.

Of course it matters.

No one honestly thinks to themselves, “I want to have an amazing birth experience at the expense of my baby’s health.” No! We want balance. A healthy mom and baby and a satisfying experience no matter how our babies are born; vaginal or cesarean.

As one mom put it, “Sliding right through my vagina would be great, but if she really needs to use the sunroof that’s cool too.”

Oh, oh, oh, childbirth classes and sunroofs do have something in common!

Our birth experiences are about the choices we have along the way. Even then, it really isn’t about which choices we make, but how we feel about making them. My first birth isn’t the reason I became a doula, but it did change the way I write and recommend childbirth classes.

In my professional experience and in my personal opinion birth classes that are worth it should:

  • Be comprehensive and diverse
  • Cover the anatomy and physiology of birth.
  • Teach strategies to help you work through all the decisions you may face.
  • Help you determine a set role for each person who will be with your during your labor and birth.
  • Cover “natural” and pharmaceutical pain relief options.
  • Help you focus on your goals, but also approach birth with realistic expectations.
  • Teach the importance of choosing a provider and a hospital deliberately and with intention, so that the care you receive will align with your philosophy on birth.

In our classes and in The Prepared Parent Childbirth Classes taught by First Coast Doulas we cover all of those important things. We also cover topics like the importance of a special environment for birth. An environment that leaves a birthing family feeling like they really are the center of the world. That’s another check mark for a great childbirth class!

We know that birth is unpredictable and very often strays, or at least wanders a little from the written plan or idea we try to concrete into our mind.

But birth can also be more, so much more!

It’s not simply about whether or not your baby slides through the birth canal or pops the hatch to be born through the sunroof! You can learn how to have a birth centered on YOU! You’ll truly be prepared for the EXPERIENCE of birth. Even if you don’t get most of what’s on your “birth plan” your birth can still be an experience that helps you position yourself for a rewarding start along your parenting journey.

So whether this is your first baby or your last, from one mom to another—find childbirth classes that TRULY help you plan for the experience of birth!

Childbirth Classes in Jax FL | Night Nurse Jax FL

This blog was co-authored by Elizabeth Luke, owner of First Coast Doulas and Victoria McCollum, owner of The Virginia Baby Company.

childbirth classes jax fl | Jax FL Birthing Classes

Victoria McCollum is a doula extraordinaire, Supermom to three amazing boys, and a carbohydrate connoisseur who lives in Fredericksburg with her super handsome soldier.  You can connect with her on Facebook or on Instagram for birth and parenting tips, tricks and updates The Virginia Baby Company serves Northern and Central Virginia, from Arlington to Richmond to Charlottesville.

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!

 

Cesarean Birth Prep Classes

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Finally, a class for parents having a cesarean birth!

Will you be welcoming a sweet baby or babies by way of cesarean birth? Are you supporting someone before, during, and after a cesarean birth? Feeling anxious, nervous, or out of touch with what to expect on the big day and weeks following the birth? First Coast Doulas understands the diverse needs of families. Our Cesarean Birth Prep Class is the only one of its kind for parents and support persons in the Jacksonville, Florida area.

Find out what couples are saying about the Cesarean Birth Prep Class!

Our Confident Birth and Baby Class is comprehensive and encompass the wide variations of birth choices and options including non-medicated and medicated vaginal birth, cesarean birth, and newborn and 4th trimester care. This Cesarean Birth Prep Class is a break-out class that focuses entirely on the process and beauty of birthing your baby via cesarean without all the other song and dance! 

Whether this is your first or 3rd cesarean birth we have expert tips and information to help you make this experience of a lifetime that much more wonderful!

Do you want to learn more about the process? Are you aware there are comfort techniques that are available to you? Are you clear on what options you have? Have you considered your partner’s role?

In the Cesarean Birth Prep Class you’ll discover all of those things as well as the things no books tell you! We’ll discuss the first hours after birth your fourth trimester body, infant feeding, and healing and recovery. This class is a one of a kind class offered exclusively by The Jax Baby Company.

The Jax Baby Company is dedicated to providing families with support, science & evidence-based information and education, and options for the childbearing years.

We’re here to help you transition more smoothly, confidently, and in the way that is best for you and your family! Whether you’re selecting the Confident Birth & Baby Class, the Birth Partner Prep Class, or the Cesarean Birth Prep Class you’ll feel prepared, encouraged, and reassured!

Not sure which class to take? No problem, contact us and we’ll work together one on one to help you make the decision that is right for you!

Your Newborn Baby; 5 Things You’ll Want Know

Your Newborn Baby Jax FL

Your Newborn Baby; 5 Things You’ll Want to Know

As delivery day approaches you’ll have all kinds of feels. The idea of your newborn baby in your arms can be overwhelming and exciting all at the same time. As a New Family Support Specialist I want to help enhance your experience. So today I’m sharing with you 5 things you’ll want to know about your newborn baby.

1. Your newborn baby will cry.

I’m sure that comes as no shock, after all, babies cry, it’s sort of their thing. The feeling you get when you hear the sound of your baby’s cry can catch you off guard though. I mean, you know babies cry, so why all the emotions? Damn hormones! Hormones and instincts are to blame. We are wired to respond and be attentive to our newborns most of the time. Your newborn baby has very few ways to communicate with you, crying is the most recognizable one and gets the most attention quickly.

Babies cry for a number of reasons; hunger, discomfort or pain, startling, and sometimes they just cry. Yes, for no known reason. Write this one down folks! No, in fact just print this blog, frame it and hang it in the nursery as a reminder! It will be ok. You try “all the things”, and at the end of the day you remind yourself that you did the best you could and that is enough. As your baby grows you will begin to learn what cry means what. For some it’s an intuitive feeling, but for most it’s a learned art, it takes time, and that’s ok.

2. Your newborn may have a mini period and swollen breasts.

Maternal hormones from the mother’s body are responsible for these happenings. Again I say, damn hormones! In the first couple of weeks of life your newborn baby girl may shed a tiny amount of blood from her uterus into her vagina, and make its way to her diaper. This is normal and perfectly healthy. We’re talking a very small amount.

Your newborn boy or girl may have swollen breasts. Yep, boys can have boobies too! For a limited time only, usually lasting around six weeks of age your baby’s breast tissue can appear raised, swollen, or full.

3. Your newborn will have mucus, and may sneeze frequently.

Your newborn spent his entire life surrounded by amniotic fluid. Stepping, sucking, practicing acrobatics, and he was taking practice breaths of fluid. At birth most of that fluid is cleared via a good squeeze as he passes through the birth canal and is suctioned away by the provider. In a cesarean birth babies are suctioned more thoroughly because they need a little more help clearing that fluid. Some of that fluid still remains in your newborn no matter how they were born.

Your newborn will pass that mucous over the next couple of weeks and will need your help being suctioned occasionally. Hearing your newborn with mucous in his mouth and throat can be a little unsettling, but have no fear, its normal and will pass with time. Sneezing is one way your baby clears his respiratory passages. Using a bulb syringe or similar product like the Nose-Frida you will help remove what they cannot clear themselves. As long as the fluid is clear or milky like and not yellow or green there is no reason to be alarmed.

In the Family 1st Birthing Classes we cover birth, but we also cover what to expect in the first two weeks after birth. The classes are comprehensive and customized to your unique needs.

4. Your baby’s eyes may look crossed from time to time.

You could stare into her eyes forever! Don’t be surprised if one day while staring back your newborn’s eyes are crossed. In the first few months of life it’s very common. The eyes are surrounded by muscles. Majority of the time when the eyes are crossed some muscles may be a little weaker than others and just need more time to gain strength.

Your pediatrician will examine your baby’s eyes at each visit to make certain that everything is developing properly. If there is reason for concern you will be referred to a children’s eye specialist where further testing may be done.  If you are concerned or notice it happening more often absolutely mention it to your pediatrician.

Sometimes a baby’s eyes may appear to be crossed, but actually are not. This illusion is called pseudo strabismus and usually happens when a baby has a wide nasal bridge.

5. Your newborn will signal you when hungry.

You won’t hear the ringing of a little bell or get a, “Yo mom, when’s dinner?” No, no, you have a least a decade before that occurs, but your newborn will signal you when he or she wants to be fed. We all recognize crying as a sign of distress or hunger, but crying is actually a late indicator for hunger.

Catch your baby’s cues early and you can make feeding time a more enjoyable experience for all. If you wait until the late signs of hunger are displayed it may be necessary to calm your newborn before feeding her.

Early signs of hunger in your newborn include:

  • licking or smacking lips
  • opening and closing mouth
  • sucking on anything (lips, tongue, finger, hand)

Active signs of hunger in your newborn include:

  • the rooting reflex or turning their mouth towards your chest
  • crankiness displayed as breathing faster
  • squirming around, increased movement or stirring

Late signs of hunger in your newborn include:

  • crying
  • moving head from side to side
  • frantically moving around

Follow us on Facebook for more great informational blogs about pregnancy, birth, healing, your newborn, relationships, and parenting! In these early weeks of your newborn’s life it’s tough, really tough, but there are ways to feel more supported and transition more smoothly. Contact us today to learn more!

Baby Feeding Cues Visual

Cubs Celebrate World Series Win and Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp Are Born

Cubs celebrate World Series win and Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp are Born

Cubs celebrate World Series win and Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp are Born birth, pregnancy

Cubs Celebrate World Series Win and Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp are Born.

Co-Authored by Elizabeth Luke and Heather Horrell

Cubs Celebrate World Series Win and Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp are Born. What an incredible day for the Cubbies as they make history and win the World Series! Fans everywhere, including the First Coast Doulas team, watched, cheered, and anxiously held their collective breath for this long-awaited win!

Baseball aficionados and everyday Americans alike rejoiced to see Marty McFly’s prediction become eerily accurate, save for a year difference.

An incredible week indeed.

Just to see this level of enthusiasm resurrected, hopefully to create new fans and inspire family trips to the ballpark is magical and reminiscent of simpler days.

It seems baseball is the talk of the town. As a matter of fact, our town! Yep, our home group here in Jacksonville is busy renaming their baseball team. I could hardly believe the news. In fact, like many Jacksonville natives, I thought this must be a joke when I heard the name.

Then I fact checked.

Our Jacksonville Suns are now The Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp. *Crickets*. No, not crickets. Shrimp. Jumbo Shrimp. What the what?
So, will it now be, “Baseball’s never been hotter with the Jacksonville… Jumbo Shrimp?” It doesn’t flow from the tongue quite as effortlessly, but hey, maybe the motto changes too. Time will tell. Or, for another option, maybe it will be, “Shrimpin’ ain’t easy with the Jacksonville Shrimp!” Okay, I am just goofing now, but seriously, whoever has the task of the rebrand/rename/marketing surely has some work ahead of them.

Godspeed.

I’m not sure I even know this city anymore! What’s happening? Why is everything changing? (melodramatic pause).

If there’s one thing I’ve learned through supporting families and through raising my own children, it’s that growth and change can sometimes be difficult. It’s in those difficult moments that we find some nuggets of truth. We learn a lot about ourselves, our own abilities, and about growing into a new “us”. Our identities change, sometimes more rapidly than at any other point in our lives.

Just like the Cubs are now 21st Century World Series Champs. Just as the Jacksonville Suns are now the very locality specific Jumbo Shrimp. One was a forced change and one was chosen (or maybe a little of each), but both represent where the teams are now and where they are going. Their changes indicate their abilities, their values, and how others see them.

It may be a difficult adjustment and still be welcome.

This is true each time a family dynamic changes as well. This is why I love what I do and what First Coast Doulas offers. We are that guide, that support, that confidante who recognizes your new identity for all its challenges and beauty.
So, just as the Cubbies step into the World Series title and grow, and we embrace new stages in parenting our children, so too shall our Jumbo Shrimps grow!

Our city will pick fun (as us Southerners like to say) and ask, “What in the hell?,” but I bet most will embrace the new name of our baseball team in time.

Right now everyone is frantically googling, “The World Series and The Jacksonville Suns are now The Jumbo Shrimp,” trying to understand how this new change affects Jacksonville’s identity as a baseball team and as a city.

I have confidence though, that even if on the surface this name change seems silly, our citizens will look deeper. In time we’ll see it as a good thing so that we will grow, we will change, and we shall find out a lot about who we are in the process…The Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp.

If you think you might benefit from doula support or birth classes through the process of birthing a child in a town with Jumbo Shrimp as their baseball mascot, contact us Jumbo Shrimp loving doulas today!

 

When You’re Expecting Your Second Baby

When You're Expecting Your Second Baby

When You’re Expecting Your Second Baby

When you’re expecting your second baby things can feel different. You’ve done this before. It’s familiar in a sense and it feels foreign and new again at the same time. You’re wanting to welcome this baby in a unique and loving way. Even if you have most of what you need for the baby it would be nice to have some of what you want and do some things differently this time around!

But what and how?

Many families already have the necessities for their baby and they are hoping to avoid the extras, especially with two or more kids to care for. Instead of a baby shower they’re opting for smaller gatherings like a baby sprinkle followed by a sip and see after their baby is born.  In effort to simplify and enjoy life more parents are moving away from all the extra things and embracing meaningful experiences.

Experiences that will impact your family for years to come!

One experience parents are excited to take part in, especially with their first or second baby is an excellent quality childbirth class. They either want to know what to expect or they know they need more this time around. Sound familiar at all? Theses classes should answer your most important questions, teach you and your birth partner ways to manage discomfort, and help you navigate the unexpected curveballs that birth inevitably brings. In the end you’ll feel more prepared overall!

Another experience that parents (especially wise second time parents) are investing in is their postpartum experience. Postpartum and infant doulas have been around for years, but are just finally becoming more mainstream in America. These doulas come to your home and help your family at the ground level. We see to it that new parents are getting nurtitious meals and snacks while their baby or babys are also getting fed. Postpartum & infant doulas help you understand your infant’s cues and show you different feeding and soothing techniques. Doulas help families by helping them work through their options and support their choices for their families. They can also help with older siblings, catching up the dishes, and we help them get much needed sleep! Sleep and meals are the most requested!

We help you focus on what matters the most; your recovery, your family, and a smoother transition!

If you’re a expectant parent or you know some expectant parents and you want to gift them something that will fill their hearts and not clutter their homes, but will be a beautiful experience that they’ll remember forever, consider purchasing a class to help them prepare or doula support for after they give birth.

First Coast Doulas loves teaching parents and supporting them as they grow in their new role. When you’re expecting your second baby we are just as excited!

With each new addition the dynamics of the family change. We know it’s a beautiful and extremely challenging time for each person and we love providing support to the families with whom we work!

Gift certificates from First Coast Doulas are a beautiful way to say we love you, we celebrate the new life you are bringing in, and we want you to have the best possible experience!

Contact us today and let’s start planning!