How Can We Help You? (Part 3 of 4)

Have you ever been so tired you couldn’t stand up long enough to shower?  Too tired to cook dinner?  So exhausted you fall asleep standing up while waiting for the Nespresso to brew?

If you’re a new parent, the answer is a resounding “YES!” Now for my next question – would you like to get some sleep?  Even one full 8-hour night?  I’m sure you’re saying “YES!” again!  Well, help is on the way.überforderung

The Baby Mavens offer overnight care.  Yes, that’s right, we will care for your newborn(s) overnight while you sleep.  ALL. Night. Long.  Maybe you already knew that, but you weren’t sure what an overnight shift might look like.  Here’s an example, but remember every family is different, so your needs may be very different!

I arrive at 10 pm to find mom and dad semi-comatose on the couch with their 3-week-old baby between them.  He’s asleep for now, but due to eat soon.  A quick check in with the parents and I learn that things are mostly going well but that mom’s PPD is causing her extreme anxiety.  She, along with her physician, have decided that breastfeeding is causing her far too much stress, so she is no longer nursing. Both parents seem relieved with this decision. She is going to continue pumping as often as she feels up to it, but at this point, we will be using up the freezer stash and transitioning to formula.  Mom happily reports that she is going to bed and will see me in the morning. Both parents retire for the night.

I move baby into the bassinet and tackle the dishes in the kitchen.  After the sink is clean and the dishwasher is running, I prepare a bottle of Expressed Breast Milk for the baby who is now awake and ready to eat.  He hungrily downs all 3 ounces and of course needs a diaper change afterwards.  Then, I re-swaddle him and settle him back into the bassinet.  With a little bit of shushing and swaying he falls back to sleep.

I gather his laundry from the nursery and start a load of his clothes.  There are towels in the dryer which I fold and put in the linen closet.  Now I settle in on the couch next to the sleeping baby.  I doze off as I listen to his sweet little baby sounds. At about 2 am he awakens me looking for his next meal.  I quickly get a bottle prepared and feed him. This time he’s so sleepy it takes a little prodding to get him to take more than an ounce; he keeps falling back asleep. Once he’s all settled back into bed, I go downstairs and move the laundry to the dryer.  Now I rest some more myself.

4:30 am and baby is stirring, but not really awake yet.  I stick the bag of breastmilk in a cup of warm water and run down and grab the laundry so I can fold it after he has his bottle.  He wakes up and has his bottle and another diaper change.  He’s bright-eyed and wide awake.  “No, my little friend, it’s not wake-up time yet!”  It takes a bit of shushing and swaying to get him back to sleep.  I finish folding the laundry and quickly put it away.  The dishwasher is done, so I put the dishes away as silently as I am able, so as to not disturb the parents or the baby. All bottles are washed, the Diaper Genie is emptied, and I am able to close my eyes once again…

5:50 – my silent alarm goes off and I wake up, careful not to wake the baby.  I fold my blanket to the back of the couch and fluff the pillows the way they go.  I run into the powder room and brush my teeth and hair before greeting the parents for the day. I meet Mom in the kitchen at 6:00.  She’s feeling refreshed and ready to take on the day!

So, I ask you again, how can we help you? #TheBabyMavensDoThat

 

*Lauren

 

 

 

Advertisements

How Can We Help You? (Part 1 of 4)

Parents often ask us what a typical shift looks like, or how specifically we can help them during their 4th trimester.  We can’t really answer this question, because every family is unique, and every day in every family is different.  Today I would like to share with you a recent “Typical shift” which I had. Watch for further posts in the series, too. Maybe one of these makes sense for you or your family? Maybe you envision something entirely different? How can we help you?

SHIFT A:

Daytime support for  first-time new mom with a 10-day old baby girl.  

9:00 am – Arrive and “check in”, asking mom how she is feeling after her C-Section, and how baby is doing.  Find that mom is healing fairly well and that mom and baby seem to have established a pretty good nursing relationship. Mom is both anxious and tired, but not overly so. I ask mom how I can best support her over the next 4 hours. “I am not sure. How does this work? I guess do whatever you think needs to get done. I don’t usually get off the couch because she nurses a lot.”

9:30 – Mom and baby are settled on the couch, nursing and watching the Today Show. I make mom a cup of tea, then start washing some of the adorable outfits baby received for her Naming Ceremony over the weekend. I sit with mom while the laundry is going and we discuss some of her anxieties.  Baby has not yet had a bath, so perhaps I will be able to help with that before the shift is over.

10:00 – “Do you have a dinner plan?” I ask, “Maybe I can get something started for you?” Mom says ok, maybe I can make some type of soup on this dreary winter day. After rummaging around the fridge and pantry, I declare that it’s a Vegetable Barley Kind of Day! Mom thinks that’s a great idea and texts her wife to please bring some some crusty sourdough bread and a salad, which will go perfectly with the soup at dinnertime.

11:00 – Baby is nursing like a champ. Again. I get mom another cup of tea and we talk about baby wearing.  Mom has used the Moby successfully but is hesitant to try the Ergo.  Baby is under 8 pounds so she would need to use the Infant Insert.  We will try that the next time I come.

12:00 – By  now the laundry is done and folded and the soup is simmering away in the Crock Pot.  I make mom a turkey sandwich and cut up some melon for her.  I offer to hold the baby so she can eat and mom happily agrees. (YAY! I get some baby snuggles!) 

12:30 – Mom decides that her wife would be disappointed to miss out on the first bath, so we postpone that.  A better use of my time is for me to keep snuggling the wee one while mom gets a nice hot shower for herself.

1:00 – Mom is all showered, the kitchen is tidied up, baby’s laundry is put away in the nursery.  I hand mom her water bottle & a freshly diapered girl who is ready to nurse. I head out the door, feeling satisfied that the rest of the day should go smoothly for mom.

So there you have it – 4 hours of a typical or maybe not-so-typical shift of a postpartum doula. How can we help you?

*Lauren

Spring! Let’s go to the playground!

Could it be true?  Has Spring finally arrived? I think it’s safe to say that in fact, Spring is here.

You’ve all been cooped up much of the winter, and UGH that snow.  Even when it was a “nice” day – there were puddles and potholes and frost heaves, etc.  Not to mention the germs and flu that lurked in every destination.  BLECH. Better to just stay put. Let’s face it this Winter kinda sucked here in Massachusetts!

But now the weather is fairly mild and dare I say:  Pleasant even! Spring is a great time to get out and explore with your baby. Playgrounds are finally clear of snow (albeit somewhat muddy still) – try your little one on the swing, get a little exercise, bring a blanket and some bubbles, or just sit on a bench and observe the big kids running and playing.

At a loss for ideas?  Here are a few of The Baby Mavens favorite playgrounds:

Endicott Park in Danvers – barnyard animals, a nice playground with several play structures for all ages, picnic tables, walking trails through the woods (not for strollers, sadly), plenty of grassy areas to run around and, this is important – a bathroom! Free parking weekdays, $3 for non-residents on weekends ($1 for Danvers residents).

Lt. Ross Park in Peabody (also known as Cy Tenney Park!)- nice handicapped-accessible play structure with rubber ground cover as well as sandboxes and older wooden structures which offer creative ways to play. Plenty of free parking.  This park has baseball fields so it can be busy in the evenings and weekends. And, there are some of the nicest porta-potties I have ever seen. It’s adjacent to the bike path, which offers a great (stroller-friendly) opportunity to stretch your legs and take in a little scenery.  There are ponds along the path, and many types of animals may be observed such as turtles basking on logs, birds, frogs, caterpillars and even an occasional snake!

Another great spot is Ipswich River Park in North Reading!  In addition to a grassy area with walking trails, there is a small play area with a sandbox, swings, climbing structure, and a big track you can walk around, a skateboard park for your older children, plenty of picnic tables (many in the shade!) and lots of open space to run.  Also – they’ve got bathrooms there as well!

Lynch Park in Beverly is a beautiful waterfront park with a NEW play structure and a NEW splash pad! There are also plenty of picnic tables, two beaches, lots of grassy areas to roam about in, and a beautiful Rose Garden. Non-Residents of Beverly pay a parking fee of $8 on weekdays and $20 on weekends (yikes!) but this park is worth it.  The downside?  The public restrooms don’t open until Memorial Day. {You used to be able to use the restroom in the Beverly Recreation office building [first floor, to the right inside the door], but I don’t know if that is still an option!}

There’s also a great toddler playground on the North Side of Lake Quannapowitt in Wakefield, across from the Gingerbread Construction Company.  This small, fully fenced park has nice baby swings as well as a structure geared for younger kids. After you push your little one for a bit, you may want to tighten up your sneakers and take a lap around the lake (3.25 miles) or maybe you’re more interested in getting some muffins across the street – either way, this is a great spot to stop!

So, why not pack up your baby and head outside to enjoy the season? A good dose of Vitamin D will feel great, and the fresh air will do wonders for you and baby, too!

If you’ve got a brand-new baby at home and an active toddler, consider taking your postpartum doula with you to the park. She can help with the baby while you spend some much-needed playtime with older brother or sister.  When baby is ready to nurse, we will hand him/her over to you and keep an eye on your older child.  Yes, The Baby Mavens can help in this way, too! We can even drive your car if you’ve had a C-Section and haven’t been cleared to drive yet!

*Lauren

I bet you are EXHAUSTED!

When you start announcing your pregnancy, and your belly starts growing people will for sure start to comment “get some sleep now while you can!”, and “you won’t sleep again for 18 years!”. Helpful, right? None of those comments will begin to prepare you for the sleep deprived, shell shocked, zombie-like state you may be in during those first weeks and months after giving birth. As if putting your body through the trauma of giving birth, and adjusting to the hormones wasn’t bad enough. Now you are lucky to get an hour or two of sleep at a time. There is not enough coffee in the world to help you now. (Not to mention the advice that people will give you about drinking coffee if you are breastfeeding!)

Tired young couple yawning in bed

Take a deep breath new Moms and Dads! There is help, and relief out there!

The Baby Mavens offer OVERNIGHT newborn, infant, and baby help. Your Maven will come to your home at night, usually a little before you are hoping to “go to bed” for the night. She will bring your precious new baby into a guest room, or even the living room, and get this- SHE will get up with baby when he wakes to be fed. If Mom is breastfeeding, she will come to your room and gently wake you. Mom feeds her baby, gives him a kiss goodnight, and goes BACK TO BED. Your Maven will burp, change, swaddle, and get baby back to sleep. And if your darling baby is bottle fed, and you WANT to sleep, that’s what you do. Just keep sleeping. THROUGH the night. The WHOLE night.
Imagine waking up the next morning, feeling refreshed, and ready to take on the day. Haven’t you thought, just once- “If only I could get just ONE night of sleep!” Well, you can! Call The Baby Mavens today. We even offer bundles and packages so that you get a discount by booking a few nights together.
When you are having a tough day, you can say to yourself: “My Baby Maven is coming tonight! I can get through this, I get to sleep tonight!”