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5 Hygiene Rules for Proper Baby Care

Updated: May 28, 2020 A baby brings happiness to the family; however, taking care of the little one can be challenging. Babies and newborns have a weak immune system and cannot take care of themselves. They love putting things in the mouth, which makes them vulnerable to diseases and infections. Hygiene is one of the most

De-mystifying Cervical Dilation Examinations

by Eva Martin, MD When I speak to women in their first pregnancies, they usually have no idea what cervical dilation is. But, ask any mom who has gone through labor, and she can tell you it’s very important. The cervix is the doorway from the womb (uterus) to the birth canal. When a woman

What are the Benefits of Co-Sleeping?

by Emma Kelley   If you are a mother or a father and you are seeking for the optimal sleeping solution for your child, then the co-sleeping or bed sharing is what you can resort to. There are a lot of advantages of co-sleeping with your baby, and I am sure that you will share

Mood Disorders and Pregnancy

by Jake McKenna Ibarra   Each year 15 to 20% of women experience postpartum depression and 10% of men can experience paternal postpartum depression. 70 to 80% of postpartum moms experience baby blues.   One in five Americans have a mental illness diagnosis with many afraid to seek treatment or confide in loved ones for

Newborn Sleep Patterns

by Jessica Begley, MPH   In the first few weeks of life, adjusted if your baby was born early, your baby may have what I refer to as a honeymoon period. During this time your newborn may easily fall into sleep and sleep long stretches. You may even need to wake your baby in order

How Freestanding Birth Centers Make a Difference

by Paula Meyer, DONA certified birth doula   As a doula, I often get approached because expectant parents want extra guidance and information regarding important childbirth decisions. However, I typically interact with them after the first trimester – after many people have already made THE most important decision regarding their birth. Wait, there’s actually a

Preparing for a Natural Birth with Birth Boot Camp

by Vanessa Stepan   Having a natural birth is not an unrealistic goal if it’s something you really desire and commit to preparing for. Just like you would need to train before running a marathon, you will want to prepare both mentally and physically for having a natural birth. Taking a childbirth course from an

What is a Birth Plan Exactly?

by Becca Gordon   Pregnant folks, have you all been told to write a birth plan? Have you seen funny mock birth plans on the internet? Does it seems strange to you to try to lay out a plan for something as unpredictable as labor? Did your hospital or birth center provide you with the

A Picture Speaks a Thousand Stories

by Jessie Salas, Photographer   My Grandpa’s Polaroid camera would be my first recollection of the love I have always had for photography. I can recall standing in my grandparent’s living room watching as he loaded the film into the backside of the contraption while sternly and lovingly telling both my sister and I that

After Birth Rituals

In America, we give birth to our baby, take pictures and head home, mementos in tow and hopeful that the freezer is packed with dinners for the next few days. We welcome visitors throughout our bonding and recovery. In this day, it is likely we “post” the step-by-step process, including the adorable yet slightly too

Baby Traditions & Celebrations… So Much More Than a Shower

How did–or how will–you celebrate the birth of your baby? Once upon a time, it was baby showers and baby showers only. In the 1950s, baby showers were a big deal event, especially in suburban communities (some developers nicknamed the said communities “fertility valley”). Traditionally, baby shower hostesses and guests, around 10 in total, dressed

Breastfeeding and Nipple Type

Breasts come in all shapes, sizes. No two are alike, even on the same woman. The same is true for nipples. Certain nipple shapes may make breastfeeding more challenging but not impossible! Here is a list of different types of nipples and some tips, tools, and resources that can help reduce breastfeeding challenges: Everted –

Breastfeeding Can Be Really Difficult

by Katie Herlihy   So, I had a relatively rosy view of what breastfeeding would be like prior to birth. I thought of it in warm sepia tones with sun shining through the window as I smiled down at my new little pleasantly plump bundle of joy. I think I had a relatively normal difficult

Conscious Birthing: What is it and how do I do it?

By Britt Fohrman   In my practice as a Birth Doula, Prenatal Yoga Teacher and Birth Educator, I am devoted to helping women prepare for a conscious birth. I used to focus more on “natural birth” but after years of attending all sorts of births, I started to see how limiting that focus was. Any

Cooking With Kids

by Leah Brooks is the founder of Young Urban Modern Chefs (Y.U.M. Chefs)   When you invite your child in your kitchen, you are giving them positive food experiences with healthy foods that will last them a lifetime. During our after school cooking classes at Y.U.M. Chefs, we give children age appropriate cooking tasks so

Bringing Your Preemie Home: 10 Ways to Have a Smooth Transition From the NICU to Home

by Parijat Deshpande   I will never forget the day my son came home from the NICU. It was a Monday, the day after his due date, and all we were waiting for was one last great blood test. At 10am, the nurse called. “He’s ready for you to come get him.” I will never

A Dirty Little Problem With a Clean Solution

Composting diapers is an environmentally responsible method with no impact.   By Mark D Siminoff, Founder of Earth Baby, LLC   It’s hard to believe that something the size of a sack of flour could generate a mountain of waste. But every year in the United States babies produce more than 18 billion diapers that

Labor and Birth Practices

by Neri Life Choma   Did you ever hear the analogy between childbirth and a marathon run? Many of us are familiar with this analogy, but I wonder what comes to mind when you hear it, or think about it: Is it the many hours of physical strains? Is it being in pain? Maybe you

Nourish Yourself – Why HOW We Eat Matters

We all know that what we choose to put into our bodies is crucial. Whether we are concerned about a specific dietary restriction, or just want to be conscious of our well-being in general, it is now clear that the food we eat is a huge part of the health equation. At no time is

Papa Sings the Blues

I’ll admit it (and have the photos to prove it)—when my wife rounded the corner at our wedding and I caught my first glimpse of her in that beautiful gown, I burst into tears. When I proposed to her behind a firehouse by a lake, I cried as I asked. When each kiddo arrived, I

Preeclampsia: DoulaSpot Q&A

What is preeclampsia? Preeclampsia is a serious disorder related to high blood pressure. It can happen to any pregnant woman during the second half of her pregnancy, or up to six weeks after delivery.   How is preeclampsia diagnosed? Preeclampsia is diagnosed by the presence of high blood pressure and, usually, protein in the urine.

Preparing for Birth With Love: Tapping into Your Sexual Energy…

…For a More Enjoyable Pregnancy and Birth   Want to have a pleasurable birth? Or at the very least, a manageable birth where love, joy and embodied power surround you and your baby? Have you ever considered that birth is sexual and that tapping into your sexual and sensual energy might help you birth your

Some Tips on Circumcision – Pun Partially Intended

“Why don’t they tell us? I would tell you! If I had an extra flap over my clitoris I’d give you a head’s up!” –Amy Schumer, Mostly Sex Stuff   By the way, even the description for this video clip from Amy’s stand-up special I found on YouTube simply says the following one-liner: “Unfortunately she

Take Care of Each Other – Some Tips on Relationship Maintenance as Parents

Parents—ever look at your spouse and think, Hey! It’s nice to see you again!?   One thing parenting does is keep you busy. On your toes. Running constantly from sun-up to…er…sun-up. And because so much time is devoted to the kids—be it newborns, toddlers, or even school-agers—that time to be a couple of adults can

The Benefits of Exercise During Pregnancy & Tips for How to Get Started

Exercise during pregnancy. Everyone seems to have an opinion, but who and what information can you trust? A sampling of advice may include “walking only”, “no impact”, “no twisting”, “stick with yoga”, “don’t get your heart rate above 140 bmp”, “and the always popular, “just do what you’ve been doing for exercise.” Well, what if

The Placenta and Milk Production

A few years back while in lactation educator training, I learned that it was the birth of the placenta that signals the body to begin the milk increasing process; and I was like “Woah” – Keanu Reeves style. Once again and continually, the placenta inspires me as a doula, mother, woman, and mammal. The cross-cultural

The Post Birth Vagina

Birth is an amazing process; a process that the female body is built to experience. The process is not simple and neither is the female body. It’s complex, it’s impressive. And often misunderstood. With misunderstanding or misinformation often comes fear. Many women fear birth as a result of not fully understanding the process (“I have

Twice the Trouble, but Twice the fun: One Nanny’s Tips for Taking on Twins

I have taken care of an only child, siblings, and twins. Twins are by far the biggest handful and that’s simply because there are two. Now you’re probably thinking, “Well, what about two or three siblings?” When you have one older sibling they are more independent, rather than two children who are the same age

4 Tips for Conquering Pregnancy Fears

Guest post by Wee Nurture   Being pregnant is one of the most exciting times in a mother’s life, but it can also be one of the scariest. Instead of focusing on what’s likely to happen—having a “normal” birth with a heathy child—expectant moms can become stressed and unable to push away fears that something

Adeline’s Birth Story

I found out I was pregnant immediately after returning from my honeymoon. We had spent several weeks in Bali gazing at various well-endowed fertility statues, whispering wishes for my future children into the ears of the stone figures in the Sacred Monkey Forest, and we had bought a carved palm leaf etching of Dewi Sri,

Five Unique Gifts for Your Baby Registry

Deciding on what to register for and where to register can take a lot more effort than you may initially think. You already know that you want to register for clothes, gear and supplies for baby, but what about special care items you may not have thought of? Caring for you and your family after

Bode’s Birth Story

With our usual work complete, and no plans for the weekend, my husband, Ravi, and I slept in on Saturday morning, October 8th, not knowing it would be our last opportunity for such a wonderful luxury. That afternoon after a walk in town, a few minutes into lunch I said to Ravi, “I think we

Breastfeeding: Getting Off to the Right Start

You’ve heard “breast is best”and maybe your doctor or friends have encouraged breastfeeding, too. Maybe you also have friends who have told you how hard it can be. Yes, it is recommended by many health organizations and yes, it can be hard! Breastfeeding is a learning curve, steeper for some moms and babies than others.

Choosing a Name for your Baby

Not to freak you out or anything, but choosing a name for your child is a huge responsibility. So much of our identity is tied up in our name. It’s the word people use to refer to us for our entire lives, and it becomes enmeshed with our entire life experience. The name we receive

Eating Disorders and Pregnancy

“You want me to gain how much weight?! My body looks disgusting…I will never lose the weight…People will judge me and think I’m worthless…I feel so alone….” Not uncommon to hear from a person struggling with an eating disorder, these comments offer a glimpse into the inner turmoil these individuals are experiencing from both their

Eli’s Birth Story

I was thirty nine weeks and four days pregnant when I woke up at 11pm with regular enough contractions to start timing them. A half hour later I woke up my husband, Ravi, and said, “Um…soooo…I think I’m in labor.” I felt bad waking him since I knew he had only gone to bed a

How I Really Afford Family Vacations

A few years back I stumbled across the reality television show “17 kids and counting” and Jim Bob happened to mention credit cards. I was in over my head in debt, I’m prone to impulse buys (and not even on good stuff) and yet I deemed it mandatory to vacation yearly. Both alone and as

How to Interview a Doula

Doulas are trained to provide emotional, physical and educational support for mothers during all parts of birth, and are considered by many to be indispensable to women wanting to have a positive birth experience. So consequently this is one of the most important decisions that an expecting family can make while planning for the birth


In the age of the “career woman,” more and more prospective mothers are choosing to delay conception for a variety of socioeconomic reasons. In spite of this widespread social and economic trend, pregnancy biologically favors the young. It is universally understood that egg quality and number decline and the uterine environment grows increasingly hostile with

Finding Sleep for Your Newborn

You probably spend many, many hours during your pregnancy preparing for labor, birth, and breastfeeding. You may have even taken an infant care class. But most of these preparatory classes do not cover in detail a topic which turns out to be the #2 concern of new parents—sleep. Considering the amount of time newborns spend

What’s the Deal With Omega 3

Many of the fad trends in foods can come off so confusing and misleading to moms. It becomes so frustrating to women, especially with the lack of information from medical professionals, as to what is really important during Pregnancy and Breastfeeding. As a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist that is specialized in this field, it is a

Optimal Cord Clamping

There are endless decisions to make when preparing for a birth, and it seems there are pros and cons on both sides of everything. Cord clamping, however, is rarely discussed, and generally done without consulting the parents. Since 1913 it has been common practice in Western medicine to immediately clamp the cord after birth, known

Parenting Styles… Ditch Labels and Trust Your Instincts

By J. McKenna In the last few years, I’ve heard a lot of talk about the various styles of parenting. What method will you use? So and so practices “attachment parenting” (( but I am much more prone to “RIE” (( Society tells us everything needs a “label” but why? Does having a label make

Sexual Abuse is a Hard Subject to Talk About

Really hard! It silences survivors… very easily! It can affect generations.  Many women (and men) live alone in their trauma. It can cause damage to the absolute core of a person… especially if done by someone who is suppose to love them, like a family member or a friend. Sexual abuse can cause physical damage,

The Importance of Mother-Baby Skin-to-Skin Contact

By Meg Heather Ford At the start of the 20th century as birth moved away from the home and care of midwives and into the hospital and realm of the trained obstetrician, a (perhaps unintended?) consequence was the routine separation of mother and baby immediately after delivery. Increasingly, science is confirming what standard midwifery care

The Fellowship of the Birth

I remember years ago—long before our daughter was even a thought in our mind—Crys mentioning she wanted, someday, to do a water birth (which, from all the things I had seen on Baby Story and all those TLC and Discovery shows, also meant birthing at home). My initial thought, back then, was one of, “Damn

The Power of the Placenta – A Look into Placenta Encapsulation

By Shasta Colmenares This beautifully designed and life-giving home for a growing baby is as perfect and individual as a fingerprint. The first time I saw a placenta in person was attending my first delivery in 2009. It was about 20 minutes after the water birth of a beautiful baby girl, that it was ‘ready’

Things I Wished I’d Known About Early Motherhood

1). Those hemorrhoids you acquired during pregnancy or child birth might not go away…ever. Ugh! This was the most disappointing fact that I learned of all, and I can’t really believe that I’m putting such personal information out on the internet for the whole world to read, but I do it so that any readers

Three Ways to Foster Healthy Eating Habits in Children

As a parent or caregiver, it is only natural to be concerned about our children’s eating habits. We worry about when they eat, how much they eat, and what they eat. How do we best provide our children with the nutrients and healthy eating habits they need to ensure long lasting health? I want to

Why Fewer Interventions Make for Safer Births

by Elon Bartlett, D.C. As a prenatal chiropractor, my professional, and personal, experiences validate my belief that our bodies know how to birth babies, and that fewer interventions lead to safer births. I was born at home in San Francisco in 1970. My mother had had a previous birth in a hospital and let’s just

Why I Am a Doula & Not a Midwife

Last year, while supporting a first time mother and her partner through a particularly intense (aren’t they all really?) and precipitous labor, I had a very illuminating experience as her doula. Upon our arrival at the hospital, my client was clearly in active labor and after routine monitoring, baby was doing fine. When the nurse

Why She Wants a Doula (And Why You Should Want one Too)

Friday night. Long week. DVR’d re-runs of the latest show you’re obsessed with play on the TV. Princess Preggers is snuggled into your arms, reminding you every few seconds to keep rubbing her belly because it’s good for the baby and good for her and…wait? Did that commercial just say I could save hundreds of

What is a Doula?

There are many modern names for a doula, (pronounced ‘doo-la’,) including labor coach, birth assistant, and birth attendant. The roots of the word itself stems from a Greek word meaning “woman servant or caregiver.” Doulas are trained to provide emotional, physical and educational support for the mother during all parts of the birth, and are considered by many to

Your Birth Plan

What is a birth plan? A friendly, short and concise list of your wishes and needs during your labor and birth of your child. Why do you need one? There are many options/choices in childbirth. If you don’t tell them what you want, they will assume their protocol will be just dandy. So what are your

The Birth of Gus: First Trimester Miscarriage

I was elated on March 29th, 2015 when I peed on the stick and two lines appeared. I wasn’t expecting my period for at least five more days but that day, I felt like peeing on the stick. I didn’t expect it to come back positive. It was only the second time my husband and

An Open Letter to My Doctor: The Heartbroken Mother

Four years ago the unthinkable happened, I was half way through my 4th sustained pregnancy and told, in a manner one would tell you the weather, I could abort or have my labor induced. That very night. I had some bleeding that brought me to the L & D floor, 20 minutes of monitoring and