Test Your Knowledge on Car Seat Safety

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On the “Car Seat Safety Checks & Education” page of our website we have a little “test your knowledge” section and the short yes or no answers are given at the bottom of the page. Here we will give you the best answer for each of those questions about car seat safety.

1. Yes or no, children should ride in the back seat until they are 13 years old?

2, Yes or no, installing a car seat correctly with either L.A.T.C.H. or the seatbelt is equally safe?

3. A child’s car seat is okay to move up to 1 inch left-to-right and still be properly installed, yes or no?

4. You should always use L.A.T.C.H. and the vehicle’s seatbelt to install the car seat if your vehicle is equipped with L.A.T.C.H., right?

5. On a rear-facing car seat, should the handle you carry the car seat with always be locked in the up position while the baby is riding in the vehicle?

6. As long as the child is properly restrained is it safe for the child to ride in the front of a vehicle in a rear facing car seat with airbags installed?

7. Should the harness on the car seat be checked for tightness each time the child is put into the car seat?

8. Is it safe for a child to ride rear facing after they are one year old?

9. If a child reaches 1 year old and can walk unassisted, they should be turned forward-facing.

10. The harness/shoulder straps should go through the back of the car seat at or just above the shoulders of the child riding in a car seat.

So, how confident are you feeling right now?

Don’t worry how many you get correct. Remember, you are here because you care. You’re here to learn. You know what they say, when we know better, we do better.

Now it’s time to check those answers!

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car seat safety jacksonville florida

  1. The answer is yes! All child passengers 0-13 years old are safest when riding in the back seat of a vehicle and properly restrained
  2. Yes! When the car seat is installed correctly it is equally safe to use the vehicle’s seatbelt or L.A.T.C.H. according to the car seat’s manual and vehicle manual.
  3. Yes! The child’s car seat can be installed correctly and still move up to an inch, but no more than that, from side to side at the belt path.
  4. No! You should use one or the other to install the car seat, never both.
  5. The answer to this question is no! “Always” is the key word here. The position of a rear facing car seat’s carry handle while being used in a vehicle depends on what the car seat manufacturer says.
  6. No! It’s NEVER safe for a child in a rear facing car seat to ride in the front seat of a vehicle with air bags installed.
  7. Absolutely, positively, yes!
  8. Yes, it is! Not only is it safe for a one-year-old to continue to ride rear-facing, but it’s also best for children to remain in a rear-facing car seat for as long as possible until reaching the maximum height and weight limit allowed by the car seat manufacturer.
  9. Not at all, no! The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) issued their recommendation and states that the safest way for a child three years of age and younger to travel is in a rear-facing car seat. For those concerned about a child’s legs being cramped, uncomfortable, or injured in a crash, the AAP determined that children are NOT at an increased risk for leg injuries rear-facing rather than forward-facing.
  10. Yes and no! The position of the harness/shoulder straps is determined by which way the child passenger is facing, rear-facing is at or slightly below the shoulders and forward-facing is at or just above the shoulders. You should always refer to your car seat manual to tell you where those straps should be.

Meeting parents where they are in their journey is super important to our team at The Jacksonville Baby Company.

So, naturally car seat safety and safe sleep are two of our top priorities. If you are expecting a little one soon, have one or two already, or even have older kiddos under 13 years of age consider contacting us to set up a time for one-on-one education, support, and assistance with selecting and installation of your car seat.

Happy Birth and Parenting!

Elizabeth Luke


owner and founder of The Jax Baby Company

Enjoying Your Baby | The Gift of Time

enjoying your baby jax, fl

You’re looking forward to enjoying your baby! Imagine for a moment you are at the beach, walking along the shoreline, feet in the sand, wind in your hair, and your growing baby bump leading the way. You stop for a moment, close your eyes, breathe in the ocean air, and feel the sun on your skin. You’re thinking of how incredibly grateful you are and you’re envisioning what life will be like with your newest addition; tiny toes, wrinkly skin, and all the precious moments that are to come–and pass so quickly!

In addition to looking forward to enjoying your baby, you also have some slight worries or concerns, nothing major, just some normal parent jitters. You quickly move past those jitters back to happy thoughts of warm snuggles, and newborn noises and smells!

It’s what you are craving, it’s what you’re dreaming and obsessing over: enjoying your baby!

Some of the very best experiences happen when people purposefully make time for one another, to slow down and be in the moment. For a newborn that is normal, but for parents slowing down and being in the moment takes practice. To your newborn you are their entire world. The sun rises and sets on you. One day life will be very, very different. They won’t always look to you with such desire and love in their eyes. Babies don’t keep! Before you know it, they’re no longer newborns, but infants, no longer infants, but toddlers, no longer toddlers but teenage dirt bags who will soon fly from the nest– and you’ll never get that time back! It’s gone forever.

Enjoying your baby does happen spontaneously, but it’s rare when it happens that way!

Life happens, work happens, car troubles happen, other priorities happen, meals, laundry, cleaning, and appointments happen. More times than not you have to invest financially, mentally, and emotionally in the time to be present.

It’s safe to say you’ll never regret enjoying your baby over doing those things, right?! Of course, it is.

Enjoying your baby means making the time, now, not later! Later is now!

Everybody eventually longs for the gift of time whether they’ve realized it yet or not. This is especially true for parents and grandparents. Just ask your elders about when they gave birth or adopted their babies, what they regret and what advice they might pass on to you!

Think about it!

Time can feel as though it’s standing still or as though it has rushed right by us. There are songs about time, “Cat’s in the Cradle” by Harry Chapin and “7 Years” by Lukas Graham come to mind. Sadly, time is something you realize the value of AFTER it has passed.

“Where were you when I was pregnant, I really wish I had was someone to do exactly what you do, I wish I had more time with my babies” they say. “I was so sleep deprived I barely maintained; I didn’t really get to enjoy it!” They see the value now that time has passed, and they tell others hoping to spare them from letting it slip away– the most valuable commodity in this life is time.

When you make the time, you’re not only enjoying your baby you’re imprinting upon your newborn! Bonding, and unrushed, tender, and sometimes silly moments, is time spent imprinting. These moments are crucial for both the newborn and the parent.

Lucky for you The Jacksonville Baby Company knows the importance of enjoying your baby! We provide the service that allows you to reclaim your sleep so that you feel rested, and your time so you can actually start enjoying your baby more!

Each member of our team is hand selected and has received the highest level of training by the owner, Elizabeth Luke. Our team is adult and pediatric CPR and first aid certified, fully vetted, follow American Academy of Pediatrics and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines.

We provide skilled one-on-one, hands-on help and support 24 hours a day 7 days a week! During the day, during the night, on the weekends and weekdays, while out of town for work or play, while in-town for work or play, we have you covered!

From infant feeding and development to sleep, solids and everything in between we are the experts in newborn care in the Northeast Florida area! Since 2013 we’ve provided first coast families with excellence, professionalism, and reliable support!

Packages for the First Six Weeks

  • Hello, Sunshine | $5040
  • Sweet Dreams | $7420
  • Transitions | $7980
  • Milestones | $11900

Want to try it out? Single shifts are great for just that!

Want more or something a little different? Custom contracts can be written to suite families specific needs!

Not sure what you may want or need? Contact us today we’re happy to help you decide so you can start enjoying your baby more!

Prioritize Sleep Over Things

prioritize sleep over things

Prioritize Sleep Over Things

I’m just going to say it, I sure hope you prioritize sleep over things like baby gear, photoshoots, baby showers, and gender parties. And I hope you do it now before your baby makes their debut! Sleep is as important as eating nutritious meals, exercising, and annual checkups. So, you think you need that brand new (fill in the blank)? Unless that blank is a full night’s sleep or a brand new carseat you likely can do without it! Newborns are exhausting! They’re tiny adorable squishlets that will turn your life and your sleep upside down and inside out.

When You Prioritize Sleep Over Things the R.O.I. is HUGE

Parents who hire us to help them overnight from the start report a substantial difference in quality sleep for themselves saying, “We feel like ourselves again,” and “I can think more clearly”, They also see more consistent sleep and shorter periods of sleep regressions long-term from their babies!

Babies are the O.G. minimalists

Warmth, nourishment, love, and security, a basic assortment of clothing according to the season, a safe carseat, two to three nice stretchy swaddles, some burp cloths, and place to sleep and you are done! Of course, there are other things you will actually end up “needing” for your newborn, but you catch my drift here. Tucking away some cash for quick trips to CVS or Target and a prime delivery from Amazon and you’re good to go mate!

I’m not here to tell you how to spend your cash, but why waste it?

There are so many things you will inevitably end up not needing when you know for certain you’ll need sleep! I mean you won’t know exhausted, depleted, and out-of-touch with reality until you experience it for yourself, but why do that to yourself when you could be enjoying this time with your baby? Why not humbly take the advice of those who have been there?

Exhaustion is not a badge of honor that new parents must wear!

Prioritize sleep over things and you’ll be setting your baby up with a solid foundation for sleep, establishing safe sleep habits, and practicing good sleep hygiene. There are parents out there right now enjoying 10, 11, and even 12 hours of blissful, restful, restorative sleep while we help them overnight with their babies and even beyond our time working together.

There is zero guilt in good sleep!

Trust me when I tell you sleep is a need and no one should feel guilty for getting it! If you know someone who would guilt you for sleeping and setting your baby up for good sleep, I urge you to consider giving no fucks about what they think! Do they pay your bills, are they giving you a kidney, do they sleep in your bed, or make decisions that affect you day in and day out? If you answered no, I don’t really see why they need to know what happens in your bed or your home over night.

What Families Are Saying About The Jax Baby Company

“I don’t know how we would’ve done it without you guys here.”

“I regret not hiring you all sooner.”

“Nothing can prepare you for the exhaustion you experience after you have a baby. I don’t know why we waited to contact you all.”

“It’s easy now to see how people end up with postpartum anxiety and depression, not sleeping wears on you mentally and emotionally. I don’t think we would’ve survived it without you.”

“We will be hiring you all right when we find out we’re pregnant with the next one.”

“Why didn’t our doctors tell us about you all?”

“We’ve only ever heard of a night nanny on t.v., but we didn’t know you all really existed until we started Googling for help.”

If you or someone you know is expecting a little one soon or have a new baby and you’re in the thick of it, give us a shout! Our calendar typically fills about six weeks out, but we do occasionally have nights here and there for those needing some immediate and occasional relief.

Happy Birth and Parenting,


Setting Up Your Baby’s Nursery | Tips from Baby Experts

Setting Up Your Baby's Nursery

Setting Up Your Baby’s Nursery | Tips from the Baby Experts

As you begin setting up your baby’s nursery these tips from a seasoned mom, experienced infant care specialist, and infant sleep coach should be a big help. Babies have pretty basic needs, I believe in safety first, and I am a minimalist. So naturally, my recommendations will follow the K.I.S.S. method. Keep It Simple Silly!

Sleep is the magic word when we’re talking about the first year after welcoming a baby into the family-everyone wants it, but not many get it! The Jax Baby Company helps parents get the sleep they need, and we can help you too!

setting up your baby's nursery

“…A newborn has only three demands; warmth in the arms of its parent(s), nourishment with love, and security in the knowledge of their parent’s presence.” Quote adapted by Elizabeth Luke, from the original words of Pamela K. Wiggins to be more inclusive to all families!

Original quote, “… A newborn baby has only three demands. They are warmth in the arms of its mother, food from her breasts, and security in the knowledge of her presence.”

What to Consider When Setting Up Your Baby’s Nursery

First, consider how your nursery will function and flow. Newborns sleep between 16 to 18 hours a day. That’s a whole LOT of sleep and that’s a good thing because parents, especially the birthing parent will need this extra sleep to heal, recover, and make milk (if lactating). However, majority of newborns don’t start off as great sleepers. In fact, they’re notorious for being noisy and unpredictable buggers.

Setting Up Your Baby’s Nursery

An Adult Bed

Safe sleep for everyone comes first! Newborns begin life sleeping near their parents, a caregiver like an infant care specialist, or both alternately. It is recommended by the AAP that infants sleep in the parents’ room, close to the parent’s bed, but on a separate surface designed for infants (flat, no incline), for at least for the first six months of life to help reduce the risk of SIDS. With that in mind, the nursery should be conducive to sleep, not just for the baby, but also for the parents and caregiver.

Sleep for everyone! Doesn’t that sound lovely?

If it doesn’t yet, it sure will when you’re about 3 weeks in! First, I highly recommend putting an adult (twin, full, etc.) bed in the nursery for the parents/caregiver for at least the first 3 to 6 months of your baby’s life. Not an option? Then a bed in a room as close as possible is the next best thing. Still not an option? Then a comfortable raised cot or air mattress is another option that can work. This helps maximize sleep for all adults caring for your infant which is of more importance than most parents realize until they’re in the thick of it. Well rested parents and babies are our specialty!

Somewhere Safe for Baby to Sleep

Many products labelled for sleep are NOT safe for your baby to sleep in! You read that right! In the first few months your newborn can sleep in a bassinet, after that they’ll need to move to a crib or pack-n-play as it is no longer safe as they begin to roll onto the sides and their tummy. Remember nothing in the sleep space, no bumper, blankets, or toys, only your baby in a sleep sack or swaddle and a pacifier, that’s all.

Sound Conducive to Sleep

Most parents fall into two categories of belief; being quiet not wake their newborns or not adjusting sound for their newborns so they get use to normal sounds of their home. It’s true babies can learn to adapt to the sounds of a normal functioning home, but you’re going to get your best sleep when recreating sounds from the womb because when baby sleeps better you sleep better. Womb sounds = home for the last 40ish weeks for your newborn. For this reason, a white noise machine is amazing!

Place the sound machine nearest your baby’s sleeping space, either just below the crib on the floor or on a table nearby. I recommend if you have a sound machine with a red-light function to place it on the changing table so you can use that light at diaper changes. Crank up the white noise too, don’t be stingy with the volume. With the nursery door closed you don’t want to hear anything that is going on elsewhere in the home. Not only will this help your baby it will help you get more restful sleep while in there, even if you are getting brief periods of sleep.

Lighting is a Concern When Setting Up Your Baby’s Nursey

You need blackout curtains, trust me! Your newborn’s circadian rhythm is controlled by an area of his brain that is affected by daylight and darkness. Distinguishing between the two is essential in creating healthy sleep habits. From day one, dark for sleep and lots of natural light and outdoor time for awake time is essential. A tabletop nightlight with adjustable brightness to minimize light in the room is the way to go. Dimmest safe light possible for diapering and feeding and complete darkness for sleep. Big bonus if the night light has a red light setting. Again, this helps you and your baby get more restful sleep. Make sure you can’t see anything in the room, no light!

A Video Baby Monitor

A video baby monitor is great for so many reasons, but my number one reason I like a video monitor is that it allows a parent or caregiver to check in on the baby without interrupting their sleep! It’s a great way for us as postpartum and infant care specialists to help parents and other caregivers identify what their babies are doing throughout their sleep cycles so that they can support their little one as they learn how to sleep longer stretches of time.

Changing Essentials

Diaper changes and the inevitable clothing changes you’ll do through the night with a newborn require you have the essentials easily at hand. When setting up your baby’s nursery make changing diapers and clothing easy peasy, especially for nighttime. I recommend a dresser that doubles as a changing table with a changing pad and diapering essentials such as a diaper pail, diapers, wipes, diaper cream, hand sanitizer, a burp cloth, swaddle, and one or two easy on onesis/sleepers, kept all right there within an arm’s reach.

High Contrast Mobile & Artwork

Newborns don’t have the best eyesight. They rely mostly on smell in the beginning. You can help them develop their eyesight using high contrast artwork or mobiles hung in the nursery. Most newborns love to look at the ceiling fan because they’re usually high contrast against a light-colored ceiling. Hanging a mobile above the changing table or above a comfy chair (not above the crib or bassinet) and artwork within eyesight of the crib or bassinet will be well-loved and enjoyed over time. You can even switch out art easily if you use these or these, easy open frames!

Comfy Chair

A comfy chair is nice relaxing place to feed, snuggle, and interact with your newborn. You could include a light throw blanket for you and a wall rack for reading materials for both you and your baby. This cozy space can be a nice part of your baby’s bedtime routine! Setting good sleep habits from day one is important for better sleep.

The Final Touches as You’re Setting Up Your Baby’s Nursery

A few final touches and your nursery will be complete. A side table to hold little things like a breast pads, pump parts, bottle, and a pacifier during feeds. In addition, it’s nice to have a charging station, a bottle making-breast pumping station, somewhere like a mini fridge or small cooler bag with ice packs to store your milk and bottles. I also always love it when there’s a live plant in the nursery. It just brings a little bit of the outside in, and some plants help create healthier air quality in homes. Just be sure it’s safe for kids and animals if you have any pets in your home.

Good Sleep Hygiene

As you get ready to welcome a little one, be it the first or third I know sleep and healing after birth is on your mind! I can’t stress enough how important a strong foundation is for good sleep hygiene, for you and your baby! Time and time again clients who have us with them from the start experience better sleep overall. Their babies get off to an excellent start because we are there to assist them with safe sleep, good habits, and allow parents to get the rest they so greatly need to function during the days and eventually overnight when we are not there.

Want Your Baby to Be a Good Sleeper?

Duh! Who doesn’t?! All babies and children hit big waves at some point when it comes to sleep. A solid foundation is the key to a faster, more confident passage through those big waves and back to smooth sailing! Being the parent of a newborn is amazing, but those first few months can often also be described as traumatizing, defeating, and lonely! The Jacksonville Baby Company will get you and your family off to the best start! Consider how much sleep means to you when setting up your baby’s nursery. Check out our reviews on Google and Facebook and contact us today!

setting up your baby's nursery

Happy Birth & Parenting.

Elizabeth Luke

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 video demonstrations on how to do cesarean scar massage, because let’s face it, videos showing techniques are so much easier to follow. Please, take time to read through this first because understanding why and when are as important as how, and we cover things in this blog the videos don’t.

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 lying 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 counterclockwise. 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 our 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!

Link to video demos:

From dr.annielinville on IG: C-section abdominal and scar massage!

From health2mama on IG: Watch the full video on IGTV

From the.vagina.whisper on IG: CESAREAN SCAR MASSAGE

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

Fighting A Clogged Milk Duct & Mastitis

clogged milk duct, jax florida, breastfeeding

Fighting A Clogged Milk Duct & Mastitis

A clogged milk duct is not fun and mastitis is even worse. You don’t have to fight alone. If you’re breastfeeding a baby you’ll most definitely find this information helpful, if not now eventually, so bookmark this page, email to yourself, or save it somewhere now before it strikes!

Why me?

While there is usually a reason for clogged milk ducts or mastitis, some people are just more prone to them than others, sorry! I will share this tidbit with you, but you should (like with all supplements) 100% make sure your provider approves it for your safety, sunflower lecithin is a nursing mama’s breastfriend! See what I did there? There are several brands targeted towards nursing mothers and they work well, but honestly, most are created pretty equally in my opinion.

Long hot showers

Sounds like a dream, right? Finding time to shower with a baby, especially a newborn is the struggle every mother knows, but fighting a clogged milk duct is another reason for long hot showers. Let the water make direct contact with your breasts, especially the breast with the clog.

Epsom salt basin soak

You’re basically soaking the affected breast(s) in a basin filled with the warmest water you can stand and Epsom salt. Before you start, think of your comfort. How can you achieve this in the most comfortable way possible? You’ll need to soak the breast for 10-20 mins each time. Remove your bra and massage gently before, during, and after. also, be sure to rinse your breast thoroughly afterward.

Warm compresses for clogged milk duct

Warm compresses, as warm as you can handle without burning yourself or your baby will help with the discomfort and loosen up the duct making it easier for the clog to break up and pass. There are several products on the market, here’s a budget-friendly one.

Start with the affected breast first for clogged milk ducts

Most babies feed more aggressively and remove milk more thoroughly at the beginning of the feeding so start with the side you are having problems with. If it’s too painful switch to the affected breast immediately after let-down.

Massage while feeding baby or pumping

Get behind the clog, massaging gently but firmly towards the nipple as you nurse your baby. Think outside of the box use your fingers, but also other items may be helpful such as an electric toothbrush, vibrating toy (yes that kind), or a small massager.

If you have a clogged milk duct in addition to massage and warm compress, if you can aim your baby’s chin or nose in the direction of the clog when nursing or pumping!

Some moms have reported a better result with this, but no studies can confirm or disprove it either way. You do you boo!

Nurse or pump more often until the clogged milk duct is relieved

Engorgement or inadequate milk removal can cause clogged ducts and mastitis, so naturally, if you’re facing this miserable situation removing the milk every two hours, completely will help some. Don’t skip feedings and don’t wear restrictive bras! if you’re sleeping on your boobs, stop! Sorry, I know you were looking forward to belly sleeping after giving birth, but not all moms can get back right back to it.

Cold immediately after feeding, more fluids, and you guessed it, rest

Dem boobies are sore! Give them some respite care with some ice packs or cool packs! Increase your fluid intake, and add more rest to your routine. Rest is something your body needs anyway! Not sure how you’ll get more of that? We offer overnight care and daytime help for those needing more rest!

Dangle Nursing

I left this for last because it can be a tricky beast! If you can accomplish this and you desire to try some nursing gymnastics gravity can help you move the clogs down and out! How do you “dangle nurse”? Think “lean over baby”. You can do this on a bed, or on your hands and knees on the floor, BUT whatever you do, do it safely!

Here are a few helpful pieces to the clogged milk ducts and mastitis puzzle:

  • It’s more common with tongue ties and lip ties
  • Probiotics are helpful when fighting mastitis

If your breast is warm to the touch or visibly red you need to see your provider right away as it could turn to mastitis quickly which is painful and dangerous if left untreated.

Happy Birth & Parenting!

Elizabeth Luke

22 Questions to Ask Before You Give Birth

22 Questions to Ask Before You Give Birth

If you find yourself wondering, what should I ask at prenatal visits?

Don’t worry! We have compiled a list of great questions to help you! After all, pregnancy brain is alive and real, and giving birth is kind of a huge event in the life of a person! Here are 22 questions to ask before you give birth!

As with everything in parenting, feel free to pick what you want and leave the rest!

Keep in mind the more questions you ask the more information you can gather, but there are rabbit holes. If you like the list in its entirety I suggest asking a few questions at each visit. Reflecting on the answers and revisiting those of most importance to you. What’s important to each parent will vary!

22 Questions to Ask Before You Give Birth

  • Who can be with me in labor?

We are living through some crazy times right now. COVID has ensured stricter policies have been put into place. Many hospitals are only allowing one support person. Some are requiring your support person(s) to show proof that they’ve received their COVID vaccine.

  • At what point should I come to the hospital?

Most doctors follow a 4-1-1 or 5-1-1 rule meaning contractions coming every 4 or 5 minutes apart, lasting 1 full minute long, for the duration of at least a full hour before you come in. Everyone is unique and your labor may require you to come sooner while others may require them to come in a little later.

  • Do I need to bring anything special?

For the most part, you will have everything you need provided to you at the hospital, but it never hurts to ask what’s provided and what isn’t. That way if you want some of your favorite creature comforts you’ll be prepared. Likewise, you won’t have to bring things they’ll have there for you!

  • What can you do to help me avoid tearing/episiotomy?

Maybe you’re not fearful or at least a little nervous about tearing during birth, but if you are this question is even more important. There are a number of things that can be done to support your perineum during the second stage of labor. You’ll likely want to find out what your provider will do to help minimize tearing where he/she/they can.

In addition to those questions here are several others to consider:

  • What is your preferred method of induction?
  • What are some reasons you may want to induce?
  • What is your cesarean rate?
  • How many weeks are you comfortable waiting for me to go into labor on my own?
  • What steps would you take if I go past that number of weeks?
  • For what reasons might I need a cesarean?
  • Will I be able to move around in labor?
  • Can I labor in the shower?
  • If my labor is long can I eat?
  • How will the hospital help support me in my chosen method of feeding our baby?
  • How do you feel about circumcision?
  • Do you support our choice to leave our baby’s genitals intact?
  • What are some ways you would support us in making hard decisions?
  • What if I want to use another way to feed my baby in the hospital
  • Will the hospital send a lactation consultant to my room?
  • What situations might limit me from breastfeeding my baby?
  • What if our baby needs to go to the NICU?
  • Who will be there if you don’t make it in time?

Now, when should you ask these important questions you wonder.

Some questions will lead to more questions, others will lead to a satisfying smile and a nod. When you ask is up to you, but some questions may help you communicate with your provider your needs and help you understand if you and your doctor are on the same page!

The same page becomes pretty important as you move closer to your due date.

Bring it up whenever you feel comfortable, but I would certainly do so by the beginning of your second trimester. When The Jax Baby Company team was supporting parents through labor we would discuss many of these topics with parents a few times before they gave birth during our prenatal visits. In our Confident Birth & Baby Class we cover what is science and evidence-based, what’s not, and how to communicate with your providers no matter what you want or need. So, taking one of our classes before discussing it with your doctors can actually be super beneficial and may help you nail down what you would really like from your birth experience.

Often, parents are relieved to hear that many of their preferences like optimal umbilical cord clamping, skin to skin, and movement/position changes in labor- are almost all universal, standard practice now among hospitals and providers. It’s important to ask though! A great childbirth class doesn’t glorify a certain type of birth, it helps you get a clear idea about pain control, preferences, and communication. Did I mention how important communication is?

Every birth is unique and beautiful in its own right!

The Jax Baby Company wants you to have the experience that is right for YOU, in the moment, not someone else’s experience. I think we can almost all agree that none of us can control the process of birth, but we can all adjust to our expectations, even when we don’t want to. If there are specific things you are worried or anxious about, we can discuss them in our one-on-one class. We can talk about what would happen if they occur and it may ease worry to walk through the scenario together. That’s one of many benefits of taking a private class!

If you found “22 Questions to Ask Before You Give Birth” helpful, please share it with others and leave us a comment. We would love to hear your thoughts!

If you’re specifically looking for a midwife you can also check out this list.

Happy Birth and Parenting!


How to Wake Your Newborn Up While Nursing

St Augustine, FL | Wake Your Newborn Up While Nursing

How to Wake Your Newborn Up While Nursing

“Is he nursing well?” “Don’t be afraid to wake your newborn up while nursing!” Everyone knows a baby’s gotta eat! No one knows the struggle of trying to wake a newborn to breastfeed better than a new mom! The doorbell rings, the baby wakes! The dog barks, the baby wakes! Remove the Velcro on the swaddle and, you guessed it, the baby startles and is awake!

But, try to wake your newborn up to take a boob and that little booger is lights out faster than an MMA fighter on a bad night! Because weight gain is something both you and your baby’s pediatrician will monitor closely in the first several weeks of life these tips will come in handy for moms who are breastfeeding.

Here’s are 6 tips on how to wake your newborn up while nursing!

Strip that baby down!

Get down skin-to-skin, just a diaper on your baby and bare chest for you, belly to belly is best! Doing this facilitates bonding, helps to regulate your baby’s temperature, and helps to get the love hormone, oxytocin flowing! The presence of oxytocin means the milk ducts are contracting, your body is relaxing, and feelings of love are deepening your connection to one another. For a newborn being naked with air moving around him is foreign, for that reason it’s a great way to wake your newborn!

Get your baby excited!

Do some breast compressions using your hand to express a little milk onto your baby’s upper lip or into their mouth. Sometimes this is enough to rev up baby’s engine and get her suckling again!

Tickle your baby’s naked feet.

There’s likely no other place on a newborn as sensitive as their feet. Try tickling their feet, sometimes just one stroke can be enough to engage your baby’s grasp reflex and get them interested again. This grasp reflex in the toes lasts only until about 9 to 12 months.

Stroke your baby’s head, cheek, and back.

Your baby’s adorable naked body is nearly irresistible and it’s a good thing because you have all the kisses and cuddles to bestow upon them! While you’re soaking up the smell of your sweet newborn gently stimulate their scalp, back, and their cheek with gentle strokes. Try gently stroking your newborn in different areas to see what she responds best to!

Try for a lap burp!

Move your baby away from your warm familiar body and place them in a seated position on your lap and try for a burp! You don’t have to actually get the burp, sometimes your don’t even need to pat his back. This position puts the baby in a upright, alert position and encourages wakeful moments.

Wipe your newborn down with a wet wipe.

Now we’re pulling out the big guns. I know it sounds a little–mean, but I promise it’s not! A temporarily fussy, but well-fed baby is better than a quiet baby not making gains at weight checks. A cool (not cold or hot) cloth or wet wipe used to wipe down your newborn’s body works wonders. On the plus side, you can use this as an opportunity to give your baby a bird bath and now your multi-tasking.

Tried all the things?

Not sure you’ll never wake your newborn up while nursing? Convincedyour baby is competing for a World Record in sleep? Sometimes you can do all the things and nothing works. Exclusively pumping is the next best thing, ya know, if you want that option! If not, thank goodness for infant formula!

Don’t forget to get your PRINTABLE HERE!

Happy Birth & Parenting!

How to Wake Your Newborn Up While Nursing | breastfeed St Augustine, FL

Why Moms Suffer Postpartum

moms suffer postpartum

Why Moms Suffer Postpartum

The reason that many moms suffer postpartum is threefold. I’ll be addressing an important topic that many people give very little thought to, the time period after giving birth. If while reading you feel like I’m talking to you in particular, it’s because I am! I have a heart for new parents and you are no different! The Jacksonville Baby Company knows and understands the postpartum culture in the United States well. Before you close this tab be sure to share this with your friends and in all your mom groups. Moms don’t need to suffer postpartum!

The first reason moms suffer postpartum: women aren’t a priority, we’re a minority.

Ouch, that stings a bit to say and to hear, I know, but it’s absolutely the truth. Among other things women are often paid less and our bodily autonomy is often encroached upon or threatened. Women are nurturers, often the peace-keepers of the family. It’s not uncommon for us to think of others before ourselves.

The focus always seems to be on our babies rather than on us, the mothers, the givers of life!

The “baby” shower, the birth of the “baby”, even bringing “baby” home. Everyone is there to celebrate and care for the baby, who will be there to care for and celebrate you, the mother? Who will make sure you are healthy and happy? You’ll endure approximately 40 weeks of rapid change, constipation, birth, bleeding, engorged breasts, stitches, staples, hair loss, night sweats, guilt, emotional exhaustion, and survive sleepless nights for days on end.

Study after study has proven that having skilled support and planning can help reduce perinatal mood disorders. So why aren’t more people investing in it?

Secondly, and to be frank, moms suffer postpartum because they’re choosing to make care after birth take a back seat while they prioritize other things.

Another reason moms suffer postpartum is that they prioritize other things more. Yes, more than getting off to a supported start after birth! They value things like, vacations! Moms suffer postpartum because parents value pricey baby gear that is mostly going to collect dust or get minimal use at best, maternity, newborn, and family photos, professional organizers, interior decorators, catering, game systems, hunting, boating, and tickets to exclusive events.

I understand that each family’s priorities will be unique to them, but can’t help but be saddened by the fact that we see so many moms value having a dream wedding over support postpartum. It isn’t until they suffer postpartum that they realize the true value and necessity of professional postpartum support.

I don’t want you to look back and say, “Hindsight is 20/20!”

Wouldn’t it be nice if others made you numero uno, nurtured you the way you need it, and thought about you in your biggest time of need; after you give birth?

The last reason why moms suffer postpartum; we simply aren’t proactive in our postpartum care.

Until you demand postpartum support and become proactive instead of reactive about your own wellness no one else will. Until you believe that having professional, skilled, hands-on support for yourself and your baby is a crucial part of your motherhood journey, no one else will either.

Professional postpartum care must become common place for all to feel a positive and lasting impact in our society.

What about those who truly can’t afford this type of service? I believe that once those who can afford it and those who choose to budget for it lead the way access to this service will become common place. So, for example. Formula. Formula use to be a status symbol for wealthy folks. So that began the formula trend. Poor communities gained more access or sought out the means to get the formula because it’s what the wealthy did. It was a status symbol! Now it’s those who are most educated and have the ability and access to it that breastfeed for longer and are typically more successful.

Every mama wants to get off to a great start!

It’s simply not enough to want it! You have to act on it! You need to lead the way to make the biggest impact! Do it for your babies and their babies. Do it for the women in your community. Do it for yourself, you are worthy!

Do you want to get off to a great start? Do you want someone you can turn to for help with breastfeeding, bottle feeding, and even pumping? Are you thinking about the long nights ahead? Are you hoping someone will help you recognize early signs of trouble? Do you want someone to help get your baby use to the safest and healthiest sleep habits so you can sleep? Are you curious about caring for your body while you heal after birth? Are you looking for more than just a warm body who can do what you ask? Are you seeking someone who knows what to do, knows what “normal” is, and knows when you need to call the pediatrician? Does it matter if this person is skilled and experienced?

If you answered yes on repeat then take action! Walk the walk!

As one of our (super fun) clients said, “When I heard about the support your company provides I couldn’t be the askhole . . . You know, the person who asked for advice and help and then didn’t take it.”

Now that you know why moms suffer postpartum, will you prioritize this special time in your life? Will you be one to normalize needing support? For those of us who can hire and offer professional postpartum support, we should! We should be the ones to lead the way so that we can bring about change for ourselves, those who are disadvantaged, and for future generations. We owe this to our daughters!

So, what do you do?

#1: Prioritize & Budget for Professional Care By 30 Weeks

We typically book 6 weeks out with minimal last-minute availability. Booking early is recommended.

#2: Seek Out Professional Postpartum & Infant Care Support not a Nanny

Hire someone who can fill the position, not someone you have to train up! For the postpartum time period, a nanny won’t have the experience, training, or knowledge that a PP & IC Specialist does, period.

#3: Talk About It and Tell Others

Literally, nothing changes if you keep others in the dark about your postpartum time period. Don’t be embarrassed or scared to admit you needed help or received help. We ALL need help during this transitional period.

In closing, get in contact with us!

We have you covered, but only if you prioritize yourself. From a thoroughly written, fully customizable postpartum plan to helping you keep your home running smoothly, we’re on it! We are down in the trenches with you helping you figure out how to best utilize the resources you already have available to you. We will help you meet the physical and emotional demands new motherhood entails and make you look and feel better doing it.

The Jacksonville Baby Company takes the guesswork out of postpartum. The only thing left for you to do is prioritize it!

Cheers to a Support Postpartum Transition (if you prioritize it)!

Elizabeth Luke

  1. Aber C, Weiss M, Fawcett J. Contemporary women’s adaptation to motherhood: the first 3 to 6 weeks postpartum. Nurs Sci Q 2013;26:344–51.
  2. Kassebaum NJ, Bertozzi-Villa A, Coggeshall MS, Shackelford KA, Steiner C, Heuton KR, et al. Global, regional, and national levels and causes of maternal mortality during 1990-2013: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2013 [published erratum appears in Lancet 2014;384:956]. Lancet 2014;384: 980–1004.