Cannellini Bean Soup | 30 Minutes | FREE Printable

Cannellini Bean Soup | Jax, FL Newborn Help

Cannellini Bean Soup

This recipe for cannellini bean soup is perfect if you’re short on time, but not on love! I enjoy feeding my family, my friends, and the families we work with so much. Cooking is a hobby of mine and food might be my other love language. Recently our daughter and one of our sons each asked if I would write down some of my recipes for their favorite meals so they would know how to make them. The practice of writing down recipes is truly hard for me. I’ve always been one to just freestyle in the kitchen! I open the fridge, pull out the veggie drawer, and see what ingredients I have stocked in my house. Then, I listen to the food Gods as they speak to me! Toss in a little of this and some of that, season, stir, and taste.

I decided this would be a great opportunity to get them involved.

As our kids have grown (and some flown the nest) I’ve come to realize our days cooking together (and gathering together to share meals) are fewer and further between. It’s a hard pill to swallow, but what a great opportunity this is for us to make time to get into the kitchen together again. My daughter and I decided that my quick cannellini bean soup would be a great recipe to start with. I had her join me in the kitchen to record this recipe as I prepared it. We hope you enjoy it as much as we enjoyed making it together.

Cannellini Bean Soup | Serves 4 | 30 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 2 onions
  • 4 tomatoes
  • 2 TBsp butter
  • 3-4″ sprig fresh rosemary
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1-2 bay leaves
  • 1- 10 oz can tomato soup
  • 1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 TBsp garlic powder
  • 5 cups of kale chopped well
  • 2-10 oz cans of cannellini beans
  • 3 quarts of chicken, vegetable, or beef stock

Directions:

  1. Chop onions.
  2. In a large soup pot heat butter over medium heat and sautee onions until softened.
  3. While the onions cook down, roughly chop 4 tomatoes and slice the garlic and add them to the pot. Add bay leaves and rosemary.
  4. Next, add 3 quarts of chicken, beef, or vegetable stock [my preference is homemade stock or Better than Bouillon]
  5. Add in black pepper, salt, garlic, and tomato soup. Stir well.
  6. Turn the heat up to high and stir until just boiling.
  7. As your soup begins to boil add in the kale, turn the heat down to medium-low.
  8. Give a few more stirs, cover, and simmer for 8-10 minutes. Stirring occasionally.
  9. While it simmers drain and rinse 2 cans of cannellini beans.
  10. During the last minute of cooking add in your beans and stir.
  11. Remove bay leaves and rosemary.
  12. Taste and add salt and pepper to taste.
  13. Serve warm or store in the fridge or freezer within a couple of hours.

Be sure to print your recipe card!

This cannellini bean soup is so simple to make it’s almost fail-proof. If you try and enjoy it, check out a few other recipes we’ve shared in the past, leave us a comment, and feel free to share about us with others on Facebook and Instagram. If you’re expecting a baby or have a newborn and are in the Jacksonville, Florida area reach out to us, we would love to support your family during the postpartum time period. Not only do we cook, we also validate your feelings, help you find solutions that work, make sure you get all the rest you need, and [icing on the cake] we’re baby and postpartum support experts

Happy Birth and Parenting!

~Elizabeth Luke

Our Bodies Are Not Perfect | Preparation Ahead

our bodies are not perfect | Jax, FL Birth Classes, Birth Prep in Jax, FL

Our Bodies Are Not Perfect

Our bodies are not perfect! I feel no shame in saying that. We need glasses when our eyes are meant to see with. We’re born with ears and yet hearing aids are needed. We’re sometimes given legs that don’t walk and organs that grow outside of our bodies. Our bodies are not perfect and it doesn’t hurt us or reduce our existence to admit this.

Death isn’t something we want to think about, yet like birth, we will also all die. Some of us are faced with untimely deaths, this is reality. Spend any amount of time in labor and delivery or working with expecting parents and you realize that not every baby will survive while others beat all odds. I know, it’s HORRIBLE and absolutely heartbreaking to think about, but it’s true.

What’s crazier?

The natural birth culture that pregnant moms face in 2020 often leads to the conclusion that they really don’t accept the preventable death of babies. Say what?!

When we say things such as, “Your baby will come when he’s ready”, “It’s the way it was intended, the natural way” (hello tornados, earthquakes, and rattlesnakes are natural too), “It’s just a guess date, not an expiration date”, we’re ignoring reality. This reality slaps the faces of those who’ve lived through preterm birth, experienced infertility, have a chemical imbalance, and who’ve survived the death of an infant when a pregnancy becomes post-date and doesn’t beat the odds.

We should avoid saying these things altogether.

Seriously, STOP!

By saying these things it shows that the person doesn’t understand the emotional aspect of supporting a person through labor and childbirth. Learning to use better language, ask questions that challenge pregnant people to work through their nervousness, fear, or anxieties surrounding childbirth would be a better course of action or response.

Our bodies are not perfect and it’s totally cool because our self-worth is no way determined by our bodily functions!

Our bodies are not perfect and there’s more harm than I’m willing to assume the risk of by saying otherwise. Our bodies do amazing things and they do weird shit! We’re unique and have quirks. We’re different, and imperfectly perfect, sure, but our bodies are not perfect.

There is no one size fits all approach to childbirth or parenting.

There are just too many variables in play. If care providers step aside and believe our bodies are perfect and all babies will come on their own time every time, we will lose more babies. If they believe they can save every single baby by way of interventions every time, when there’s literally no way to do that, we fail by over intervention. We suffer birth injury and sometimes even death. When we believe inducing everyone at the same exact gestation can lead to more harm than good we lose babies. Vice versa just waiting until the baby is ready to come on his own can lead to post-date infant loss too.

Midwives and OBGYN’s are human beings, extraordinary ones at that!

They’re doing the best they can to the best of their ability, each and every time. Some may be too hands-off while others may be too intervention happy. It happens. They’re trying to do their very best, to save as many lives as they can, and deserve grace and kindness along the way.

Our bodies are not perfect and in many ways, we trade the risk of intervention for the risk of losing a baby.

Who should get to decide that? I believe whole-heartedly the parents should get to decide that, with or without their provider’s approval, but hopefully they’ve talked it through with their care providers, they trust their providers, and have been thoroughly and honestly counseled on the matter.

Our bodies are not perfect. The way of the world isn’t perfect.

Anyone who believes that it is foolish and has never witnessed or experienced trauma in birth. You cant eliminate all death in pregnancy or completely stop birth complications from happening. We can try, but we can’t stop it. There’s a balance that must happen.

Our bodies are not perfect, but nothing in life is!

We can be happy with how things go, we can be terribly sad, or grieve how things go, life isn’t perfect and that’s okay!

We can prepare for childbirth none-the-less!

How?

You can take a childbirth class that doesn’t set you up to feel like you’ve failed. Because there is no right or wrong way to birth, only different ways and ways you accept or ways you do not.

Take a class that helps you learn about birth, the variations, how to communicate your needs, and get answers to your questions. Find a class that is NOT focused on birthing the “right” way or on using the “best” method. The way you give birth is not the first act of love for your child. There is no right or wrong way it is simply the way your body needs to do things. If you start letting your physical functions determine your self-worth things get messy. Most aspects of birth are out of your control. Choose a class that teaches you how to advocate for yourself and prepares you for the worst and the best-case scenarios.

You can find the care providers that feel good to you!

Ask about their philosophical approach to birth. Ask the tough questions. How are your provider’s communication skills? It’s important to trust and feel good about your care providers. Are you treated kindly, respectfully, and with autonomy? You’re looking for woman-centered life-saving care, both are important.

You can line up support for after you give birth! You’re gonna need it, we all do! We may not all get it, but we sure do need it!

Our team is completely present for you as you welcome your baby home or come home with empty arms and broken hearts.

We’re there to lighten your load. We will nourish your body and ease your mind where we can. We listen empathetically, validate your feelings and concerns, and help find real solutions for the solvable issues. Our team is there to help you rest, sleep, and heal. Likewise, we’ll be there to commiserate and comfort you when there is no fixing the shit you’ve endured. People often overlook the period of time after birth, they fail to prepare and they regret it greatly. Don’t skip on fourth-trimester preparations!

Our bodies are not perfect, and we can still show up and slay!

Adjust your lens.

Trust your gut.

Trust your team!

Ask the important questions.

But at the end of the day, your body’s functions do NOT determine your self-worth! The sooner we all get with that reality the sooner we will be happy in this life!

Happy Birth & Parenting!

~Elizabeth Luke

Lochia and Fundal Massage at the Hospital

lochia and fundal massage Jax, FL Labor and Delivery

Lochia and Fundal Massage at the Hospital

You’re probably wondering what kind of sweet treatment and yummy foods they’ll be serving up at the hospital after you give birth to your baby! I can promise you that lochia and fundal massage are not on the list of “good times” you’ll cherish. So, what the heck is lochia and fundal massage if not a kickass Asian wrap and relaxing new mama massage technique? I’ll explain!

A “New Mama” Massage Technique it is!

Fundal massage is definitely not relaxing though! It’s more like a Medieval torture practice. I’m sorry, I typically steer clear of scaring pregnant people, and you shouldn’t really be fearful of it. While it sucks, it’s necessary! So what is it? It’s a massage or kneading on the uppermost part of your uterus. When you go to your provider’s office and they check on baby, remember how your provider palpates your growing belly and measures you? They are measuring your fundal height. Essentially measuring from your pelvic bone to the top of your uterus. This tells them about how many weeks you’re measuring.

Shortly after your baby is born fundal massage a.k.a, the dance of doom is performed by your nurses and or care providers to help get your fundus (the top of your uterus) to shrink down and return to pre-pregnancy size. Why? In short, it’s to keep your uterus contracting so your bleeding will slow down and you risk of hemorrhaging is reduced.

Fundal massage facts:

  • Nursing your baby helps your uterus contract and shrink in size faster.
  • Breathing through the fundal massage will help you relax through it.
  • Contractions after birth are known as after pains.
  • They get worse with each baby you have.
  • They will perform fundal massage after both vaginal and cesarean births.

You probably guessed it by now. Lochia isn’t a yummy wrap!

By definition, lochia is a vaginal discharge occurring after childbirth.  It contains blood, mucus, and uterine tissue. The discharge should smell similarly to menstrual blood. Any foal odor or green or yellow discharge should be reported to your care providers right away. This discharge lasts about six weeks, sometimes less. Basically lochia is the longest, most fun-filled period of your life!

There are three stages of lochia:

  • Stage 1: Lochia rubra contains blood, vernix, lanugo, and membranes. It is bright red in color because of the large amount of blood it contains. Lasting about 3-5 days after childbirth
  • Stage 2: Lochia serosa is thin and brownish or pink and contains exudate, erythrocytes, leukocytes, cervical mucus, and microorganisms. Lasting until about the 10th day postpartum. If Lochia serosa persists more than 2 weeks after birth it should be reported to your care provider because it can sometimes indicate late postpartum hemorrhaging.
  • Stage 3: Lochia alba is just lochia that has turned whitish or yellowish-white. It usually begins around week two after childbirth and typically lasts through the third to sixth weeks after childbirth. It contains fewer red blood cells and is mainly made up of mucus, leukocytes, fat (no weight loss here ladies, sorry), and several microorganisms.

Final thoughts on lochia and fundal massage…

Nope, not really! Women are pretty badass. We can menstruate, deal with cramps, power through pregnancy aches and pains, survive the heartbreak of miscarriages, battle infertility, grow an entire human, bleed three shades of post-baby cray, make milk for another human, and still manage to keep the tiny humans alive whilst having zero issues with hanging a new roll of toilet paper for the umpteenth time. Shit’s pretty clear, lochia is just another magnificent thing we do!

If you are expecting a baby and are in the Northeast Florida area we teach some very unique classes! It’s the place to learn all the things you’ll wish you’d known about if you miss out on our classes! Get in touch and lets rock this!

Also, Costco makes some pretty amazing Asian wraps if you’re hungry now. You’re welcome, friend!

Happy Birth & Parenting,

Elizabeth Luke

Butternut Squash Bisque | 4th Trimester Recipes

Butternut Squash Bisque | 4th Trimester Recipes Jax, FL | 4th Trimester Jax, FL

Butternut Squash Bisque | 4th Trimester Recipes

This creamy butternut squash bisque is warm, filling, and basically euphoria in a bowl. Believe me when I say that you’ll want to bookmark this one! Soups of all kinds are just one of my specialties! Not only can you make soup from almost any combination of food it’s also comfort food. When you’re throat is sore and your nose is runny, soup it is! Crap day, soup! Rainy day, you guessed it, soup! Give me all the soup!

Meal prepping for new families is one of the things that The Jax Baby Company loves to do and soup is one of my favorite ways to nourish a new mom.

In China, after giving birth mothers “sit the month” or zuo yuezi. The main goal is to restore the mother’s yin and yang after childbirth so the mother can care for and bond with her new baby. Moms are served soups and broths and aren’t allowed to eat or drink anything cold. I personally love making soup for new moms, but this mama loves her ice cream so if you want some of that too, we’ve got you!

I share with you my perfected Butternut Squash Bisque recipe.

Serves 6-8 | Prep Time= 10 mins. | Cook Time=60 mins.

Ingredients:

  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 2 cups diced yellow onion
  • 1 and 1/2- 2 cups of diced carrots
  • 2 whole butternut squashes
  • 5 cups chicken stock
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 bunch of green onions (optional)
  • 2 figs (optional)
  • salt & black pepper to taste
  • ground nutmeg to taste

Getting Started:

  1. Preheat your oven to 400°F
  2. While the oven pre-heats rinse and dry your butternut squashes. Slice each squash lengthwise and rub each of the cut sides of the halves with butter or oil of choice. Place cut side down onto a baking pan. Dice onions, carrots, and green onions. Keeping each separate. Slice each fig (optional) into 4 slices.
  3. Once the oven has pre-heated, bake the butternut squash on the center over rack at 400°F for about 40-45 minutes or until a fork can be poked into and pulled out of the squashes easily.

Meanwhile…

  1. Heat the butter in a pot over medium heat. Stir in the onion and cook until browning occurs or about 4-6 minutes. Then add the diced carrots and bay leaves into the pot. Stir and cook until the carrots until they’re al dente, about 3-4 additional minutes being careful not to chop up the bay leaves.
  2. To the pot add chicken stock, and salt, pepper, and nutmeg to taste. Not sure? Go light you can always add more later. Bring it to a slow boil, reduce heat, and simmer on low until vegetables are tender, about 4-5 minutes.
  3. Once you remove the butternut squash from the oven you want to carefully (don’t burn yourself) scoop out the squash and add it the pot with the veggies and stock. Stir well and cook until everything is soft.
  4. Remove the bay leaves at this time.
  5. Using an immersion blender or food processor, puree the soup mixture until smooth. Stir in the heavy cream. Heat through, but do not bring to a boil.
  6. Serve warm, top with 1-2 slices of fig, and pinch or two of green onions, and salt and pepper to taste and a dash of ground nutmeg.
  7. Go ahead and enjoy it!

This butternut squash bisque is easy to tweak to your liking.

Vegan? Omit the cream, use vegetable stock, and use EVOO instead of butter. Want to add some spice? Reach for some curry! Thinking you’d like to add-in chicken like one of my sons did? You go for it! And please, let me know what you think! We love to hear from all of you!

Looking for help after you give birth? What to rest in, nourish your body and bond with your baby during the fourth trimester? Let The Jax Baby Company care and tend to your needs so you can focus on what matters most to you!

Happy Birth and Parenting,

~Elizabeth

What’s Best for Your Baby?

What’s Best for Your Baby?

We know you want to do what’s best for your baby! You love your little sweet pea and just want to do right by them in every way. Once the decision has been made to start a family inevitably questions seem to roll in like impressive storm clouds on a summer afternoon in Florida!

If I get the epidural will it affect our baby? Who would be best to have with us when I give birth? Should I have visitors right away or make them wait a couple weeks? When do most people take their babies out after they are born?

You quickly learn that you’ll get all the opinions in pregnancy about what’s best for your baby.

No two opinions ever seem to be the same, so how do you sort through it all? How do you know what’s best for your baby? Let me let you in on a little secret, I’ll be 100% real with you. Every parent wonders, what’s “best” and without fail, at some time or another, we all wonder if we’re screwing our kids up. Truth bomb! Having a second baby? You’ll wonder if you are doing enough or the right things for your oldest, yet again!

Take some nice, slow breaths. Inhale peace and exhale doubt. You’ve got this!

We see those Instagram pics with the hashtag #momfail. There seems to be heavy judgement surrounding how we parent and rear our kidlets. Sometimes we are our own worst critics. Concerned you might be one of those parents who “fail” at raising good humans?

These wonderings are completely normal; you will have parenting wins and woes, not fails! Failing is giving up. You are not giving up, you are navigating! In the words of Chumbawamba, I get knocked down, but I get up again. That alone signifies you care and are doing the very best anyone can and what’s best for your baby and family!

So, how can we be the very best at parenting that we can be? 

Well, for starters we would do well to understand that what is best for one family isn’t best for all families. Another way we can do our own personal best is by taking great care of ourselves. After all, if we want our children to do that for themselves we must  model to our children what that looks like. Meditation, prayer, self-care, exercise, therapy, support groups, date nights, hobbies, and nutrition. A healthy mind, body and soul allow us to give to others without depleting from our own cup!

Do you need a system or something that can work in every “what is best” situation?

When you’re faced with a decision in pregnancy, childbirth, or in parenthood one way we like to help parents navigate is to say, remember to use your B.R.A.I.N. Your brain, of course, but also your B.R.A.I.N. acronym.

B= Ask, what are the BENEFITS?

R= Ask, what are the RISKS?

A= Ask, are their ALTERNATIVES and if so what are they?

I= Tune into your INTUITION. What’s your gut or inner voice say?

N= Ask, what if we do NOTHING right now? Revisit this in X amount of time.

You’re doing what is best for your baby when you do what you think or feel is best!

There’s absolutely no one more equipped for the job of parenting your children than you! We can certainly all benefit greatly from support and encouragement, without judgment or opinions along the way! An unbiased, science-based childbirth education class and A-rated support from experts in the field goes a very, very long way! The Jax Baby Company is there every step of the way to help you navigate the curveballs birth and parenting throw you, but also help you maintain complete autonomy over your body, birth, and your family!

When you get caught up in the “what’s best game”, I challenge you to stop, breathe, and focus on the single most important piece of the parenting puzzle that actually applies and fits into place perfectly. And that is that you’re always considering what’s best for your baby and that makes you an amazing parent.

You’ll win some and you’ll learn some!

In those learning moments, you become even more relatable to other parents. Welcome to the parenting club! Parenting is such a humbling experience and one day it is our hope that you’ll look back and laugh, give yourself a little pat on the back, and know that you did a phenomenal job at this parenting thing!

Happy Birth & Parenting!

~Elizabeth

The Symptoms of Postpartum | From Blues to Rage | FREE PRINTABLE

The Symptoms of Postpartum | Blues, Depression, OCD, Anxiety, Rage, & Psychosis

Maybe you’re expecting your first babe, and you’re wondering what are the symptoms of postpartum? Most first time moms wonder, and many second time moms feel lucky to have “escaped” that “postpartum stuff” with their first baby. Depression and postpartum blues, depression, anxiety, rage, OCD, and even psychosis are often used interchangeably. Postpartum simply means the period of time after a person gives birth while the rest of the above-mentioned words are illnesses or disorders. Some of the symptoms are of postpartum are alike, while many symptoms overlap and combine. Others may only experience a few of the symptoms or not recognize what the hell they feel or are experiencing.

What are the symptoms of postpartum?

Well it totally sucks, like a gut punch, a slap in the face, and a period from hell, it’s debilitating, and to top it all off, it’s isolating! In addition to everything listed below in the FREE DOWNLOAD, there are also physical symptoms like headaches, shakes, fatigue, dizziness, hunger or lack of hunger, body aches, and even vomiting.

The good news?

Postpartum illness and disorders are treatable with either therapy, medication, or both. If you feel you or someone you know may be suffering from this illness, know that it is not your fault and you are not to blame. There is HOPE and you are NOT alone. Call someone you trust and your doctor or an emergency crisis hotline right away so that you can get the help you need.

Don’t take no for an answer!

You can develop these illnesses/disorders at any time during pregnancy or during the first 12-18 months after giving birth. Keep reaching out if you feel brushed off, don’t ignore the warning signs, find a support group, a great therapist, postpartum help, and practice self-care!

Happy Birth and Parenting!

~Elizabeth Luke-

Self-Care for the Newly Postpartum Mother

What is self-care for the newly postpartum mother?

Meredith Brooks and Alanis Morisette were on to something when they sang the song, “I’m a bitch!” Think about it…

I’m a Bitch, I’m a Lover
I’m a child, I’m a Mother
I’m a sinner, I’m a saint
I do not feel ashamed.
I’m your hell, I’m your dream
I’m nothing in between,
You know you wouldn’t want it any other way.

As mothers, we wear so many damn hats that we often forget to STOP and take the time we need and absolutely deserve to care for ourselves. In the early weeks after childbirth self-care very much looks like brushing our teeth two times a day, finishing a meal while it’s still hot warm, and saying “yes” to ourselves more!

10 Ideas for Self-Care for the Newly Postpartum Mother:

So Naturally First, Say “Yes” to You

Yes, yes, yes! You deserve to say yes to you instead of do, do, doing for everyone else all the time. You have permission to take care of you! You deserve to have others take care of you! Saying yes to you also means relinquishing some responsibility and control over the things you normally task yourself with. Even if it means things are done in a way you would never do them yourself! Even if they’re not done at all. It will be okay, everyone will survive, everyone will manage! Prioritize your priorities, scale back, and step away. Think about much more how appreciative everyone will be , when you return to those duties once again.

Watch a Comedy or Binge Watch Your Favorite Uplifting Netflix or Hulu Series

The right comedy can change your day! Like sneezing, seeing others laugh is contagious. So, get a shower (and brush your teeth), climb into a comfy spot, and laugh your ass off! Need some ideas? Off the top of my head: Jo Koy on Netflix is hilarious! What’s on Your F*ck List is a quick Ted Talk that rocks!

Schedule a Video Chat

Everyone has their person! The person who lifts their spirits, who makes them smile and laugh, or who will just offer an ear without trying to fix anything! So reach out to your person, set a date (very soon), make yourself or ask your postpartum specialist to make you a warm cup of tea, grab a piece of your favorite chocolate that you’ve had stashed and enjoy! No chocolate? Oh girl, phone a friend fast!

Let the Sunlight In

If you can, just sit outside, it’ll help lift your spirits! If you can’t pull back those blinds while you’re awake and bask in the rays of the sun’s light. Read a book, listen to music or just be present while paying close attention to your breath. Allow your body to feel and breathe. Another way to enjoy the sunlight is while listening to a great audio-book or relaxing music!

Eat a Nice Dinner

Perhaps you have a feel good, comfort food meal? If you do, request that meal bprepared for you. No preference on the meal? Your postpartum specialist, family, friends, or partner can freestyle or use a recipe they pull and surprise you! Actually I love that idea, relinquish that and put the metaphoric ball in their court! Enjoy that meal all alone if you prefer or with someone you love. While I’m here I’ll just mention briefly how important healthy snacks and staying hydrated are for the newly postpartum mum! Snack, snack, snack!

Guided Meditation

Meditation can help by quieting the overactive mind, the racing thoughts. You can begin identifying with the silence that exists between every thought or action. Centering yourself is a skill that anyone can learn, once they have the intention and the experience of what it feels like. With an amazing teacher, hurdles can be overcome. The good news is anyone can meditate! Guided meditation is the perfect start!

Numerous scientific studies have found meditation to be effective in helping to treat anxiety.  One study, published in the Psychological Bulletin, combined the findings of 163 different studies. The overall conclusion was that practicing mindfulness or meditation produced beneficial results, with a substantial improvement in areas like negative personality traits, anxiety, and stress. 

Create a Banner with Positive Affirmations

Positive self-talk, notes around your home, and a lovely banner hung to remind you how amazing you are! One part of your journey does NOT define who you are as a person! Great mothers are tired, they’re short-tempered, they don’t all wear makeup every day. Your home can be a mess, some events can be missed skipped, you can say no, and kids don’t always have to be entertained for you to be a “good” mother! Create a banner, fly your flags all over your home, car, or anywhere else you need to so that you are reminded that you are amazing!

Pedicure

If you’re like most moms your feet take a beating during pregnancy and the early postpartum. They’re one of the most abused parts of your body, aside from the place where your adorable crotch-fruit made their grand entrance! Your feet deserve pampering. Ask for an extra few minutes in the chair, put on your sleep mask, plug in those ear buds and snooze! Enjoy that shit, you deserve it!

Haircut and Style

All that shedding, all that postpartum sweating = nighttime yuckiness! Get out and get your hair did! Seriously, ask your stylist to take an extra few minutes on your wash! Tell her you NEED that! Ask her to brush your hair a little longer! Then take a long slow walk down the Target diaper aisle like the sexy Wonder Woman you are!

Handwork not Hard Work

Relinquish your mom duties, close the door, and pop in a pair of earbuds so you’re not tempted to go “help out” and create some magical shit!! Paint, color in an adult coloring book, crochet, or knit! Get crafty with it! Busy your hands and free your mind. Say “YES” to you!

We hope you find these ideas helpful!

In addition to taking care of one’s self it’s important to get the medical help you need to be the healthiest you can be! Do not hesitate to reach out if you need a referral to see a medical provider or a postpartum counselor. This list was created with love and compassion for all of you new moms out there! Self-care for the newly postpartum mother doesn’t have to be tricky or hard, it just has to allow the mother to take time for herself so she can heal and give her best self to those she loves most! Also, once you’ve been cleared by your medical professional find a workout routine that is right for you! Exercise does wonders for mental and physical health!

Happy Birth and 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. 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

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!