Doulas Are For Scheduled Caesareans

She had waited until the last few weeks of her pregnancy to decide that she would hire a doula. She had scheduled a consultation with the perfect doulas. Then at her doctor’s appointment, she found out that her baby was still breech and she was trying to decide if she would prefer to schedule a caesarean. She and her doctor discussed the risks and benefits of trying for a vaginal birth versus a scheduled caesarean birth.

She went home that afternoon, her head swimming. She wasn't sure what she should decide. Her husband wasn't sure either; he wanted her to do what she felt was best. And what about the doulas? Should she just cancel her consultation?

The next morning she called the doula agency office. She explained her predicament and was surprised to learn that doulas support planned caesarean births. She kept her appointment, and when she hired the doulas she met with, they helped her go over the risks and benefits of her options. They talked about what her gut feeling was about her baby's birth, and she ultimately decided to have a scheduled caesarean delivery.

The night before her caesarean was scheduled, the doula on call phoned her, and they went over the items in her hospital bag. She talked about her fears and about how excited she was to meet her baby! The doula was able to go over what the process would look like from start to finish.

On the big day, her doula met her in the hospital parking lot. The doula helped her partner carry up the bags and kept the mood light and happy. The doula helped her get settled while she was being admitted. While they waited, the doula gave her the most amazing hand and foot massages ever! The three of them talked a lot about hopes and dreams for life as parents!

They had already been informed that it would not be possible for the doula to join them in the operating room so when it was time to go they hugged, and the doula wished them well. She promised to be waiting in the recovery room.

The nurses and doctor were excellent during the birth. The doctor explained what was happening every step of they way and soon a nurse was holding her beautiful baby boy close to her so she could see and kiss him.

In the recovery room, her doula was waiting. She couldn't help but grin with pride when her doula congratulated her. It was so reassuring to both her and her husband to see a familiar and comfortable face.

Together, she and her doula got her new baby latched, and he had a few good swallows. The doula helped them get back into their postpartum room. With help, she was able to get settled in for some rest while her husband enjoyed some baby snuggles. They said their goodbyes.

The doula visited the first day that they were home from the hospital and was so knowledgeable about how to care for the incision. She also knew lots of tricks for staying comfortable. They sipped tea and talked about the birth and what was to come.

It was an incredible roller coaster of an experience from the beginning! In the end, she felt empowered and supported. She knew she had made the right decision to trust her body and her baby. And while she could have done it without the doula, she couldn’t imagine her birth experience any other way!

Is It Colic?

It is normal and healthy for your baby to cry. Crying is a way your baby communicates with you telling you that he is hungry, needs a diaper change, wants to be held, is uncomfortable or is tired. It’s a very effective way of communicating that there is an immediate need.

When babies cry for more than 3 hours at a time, 3+ days a week, it is sometimes said the baby is "colicky." Colic used to be considered a condition that some babies either had or didn't have. Now, these crying bouts are thought to be part of an infant's healthy development.

All babies go through a time when they cry more, usually between three and eight weeks. This stage often starts at about two weeks of age and intensifies by week four. The crying may be intense and seem impossible to soothe.

On the bright side, the crying bouts can come to an end as quickly as they start. You may notice a steady decrease or sudden ending to this stage, usually around three to four months of age.

Some Babies Cry More Than Others

 

Doctors and scientists have suggested that babies who cry more, the ones people call colicky, have sensitive temperaments. These babies have increased difficulty self-soothing. They take longer than others to settle into their natural rhythm. Totally normal.

This crying, formerly known as colic, was thought to be caused by gas, bowel pain, allergies, and other upsets but these have not been shown to correlate to these normal, intense crying bouts. On the contrary, the excessive crying can cause babies to swallow air and then cause tummy pain and gas. (This is not to say that all excessive crying doesn't have an underlying cause that can be remedied. You should discuss crying that's hard to soothe with your family doctor or pediatrician, just to make sure!)

How You Can Help Your “Colicky” Baby

 

Every baby is different, and what works for your baby today may not work tomorrow. We have a few suggestions about how you can soothe your baby, or at least feel like you are doing all that you can.

  • Cover all the bases: change baby’s diaper, feed baby, check that baby is not too warm or too cold, does baby have a fever?
  • Swaddle your baby.
  • Hold your baby.
  • Reduce stimulation: keep the lights low, use a white noise app, try to be in a calm space like the nursery
  • As suggested above, use white noise.
  • Soothe your baby with motion. You can try rocking, putting baby is a swing or going for a car ride.
  • Try a warm bath.
  • Use a pacifier or your clean finger and allow baby to be soothed by sucking.
  • Remember that your baby’s crying is not your fault.
  • Never shake your baby.

If you feel particularly stressed out and unable to remain calm (which is normal when your baby has been crying a lot), put your baby down in a safe place such as their crib or let someone else care for your baby. Medications and remedies for colic should be discussed with your family doctor or pediatrician before use.

It’s Normal to Need Help     

Caring for a baby is hard! Pregnancy and birth drained you not too long ago, you're probably not getting the sleep you need, and your baby has needs around the clock.

Ask for and accept help whenever you can. Whether you have family or friends assist you, or you choose to hire a postpartum doula, real help can make a big difference. A postpartum doula can assist you with your baby, care for older children and help around the house, and even offers overnight care so that you can get the rest you need.

When your baby cries for long periods of time, and you are unable to help them settle, it is extremely stressful. This time will pass but until them, remember to make time to care for yourself.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Getting Multiples on a Schedule



Two (or three, or more!) of everything- how exciting! Until, of course, you start to consider that there will always be multiple babies to feed, bums to change, naps to facilitate, and bedtimes to prepare for.

Almost every book and every expert on twins, triplets, and multiples suggests that having your babies on a schedule is key. Many parents get more rest and feel less overwhelmed by feeding, changing, and putting multiples to sleep on the same schedule. If this kind of routine-based parenting is for you, here are five tips for getting your babies on a schedule:

1.       Hospital to Home
If your babies had an extended hospital stay, you’ll get off to the best start by sticking to the schedule they were already on. You can ask the nurses for a written record of their current schedule for feeding, changing, and sleeping.

2.      Sleeping Together
Letting your brood sleep together will help them snooze more soundly, while also encouraging them to wake together. On a safe sleep surface (link: http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/hp-ps/dca-dea/stages-etapes/childhood-enfance_0-2/sids/ssb_brochure-eng.php#safe-sleep), place your twins, triplets, or multiples side by side. This practice is appropriate until one or more of them have learned to roll over – once that happens, opt for separate sleeping solutions instead.

3.      Let Sleeping Babies Wake
Forget that saying about never waking a sleeping baby. If one of your babies is awake and needs to be fed, changed, or otherwise attended to, wake the other ones as well. This prevents you from going through the whole routine again an hour later, when the next one calls.

4.      Bedtime Routine
Have a bedtime routine that is calm and familiar each evening. For many families that routine involves bathing, feeding, and, finally, bed.

5.      Be Flexible
Take it as it comes - life happens! Your babies’ schedule is meant to make your life simpler, not deprive you of social interaction. It’s okay to deviate from the routine now and then. Also, if your babies have a different schedule in mind some days, just roll with it. Just try to give your babies the same things at the same times - so if one wakes up or feeds early, wake or feed the others, too.

 

 

Over time, your twins, triplets, or multiples will have different needs. Your schedule will need to evolve to meet these dynamic requirements. Always pay attention to their cues, even if they go off-schedule - feed babies that seem hungry, put sleepy babies to sleep, etc.

If you follow your intuition, trust yourself, and roll with the punches, you’ll soon find you have the tools to navigate through anything. A solid schedule will help you get there.

 

 

What You Need to Know About Your High-Risk Pregnancy

 

Having your pregnancy labelled as high risk can be very scary. You may have questions such as “Does being high risk mean I must give birth by c-section?” or “How will my experience as high risk be different than normal?”

What Is a High-Risk Pregnancy?

A pregnancy will be labelled high risk if the health of the mother and/or the baby is thought to have an increased chance of complications. While these two little words can induce some anxiety, “high risk” is just a way for a primary care provider to ensure their patient gets the special attention and care they need to have a safe pregnancy and birth experience.

Having your pregnancy labelled high risk does not always mean that you will have problems, only that you are at an increased risk of developing complications.

 

 

Why Would My Pregnancy Be Considered High Risk?

Your pregnancy may be considered high risk if you:

  • Have pre-existing or newly-diagnosed health problems, such as:Diabetes, Cancer, High Blood Pressure, Kidney Disease, Epilepsy, HIV, Hepatitis C, Rubella, Toxoplasmosis, Syphilis, etc.
  • Other health problems such as Heart Conditions, Asthma, Lupus, or Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Smoke, or use alcohol or drugs
  •  Are under the age of 18
  • Are over the age of 35
  • Are pregnant with twins, triplets, or high order multiples
  • Have a history of multiple miscarriages
  • Are carrying a baby who has a medical condition or syndrome
  • Experienced complications during a previous pregnancy, such as Preterm labour, Pre-eclampsia, Eclampsia
  • Birth of a previous baby with genetic problems
  • Are taking medications that may have adverse effects on you or your baby during gestation

 

Your doctor will use a formula to determine if your pregnancy should be considered high risk, using the information they have about your health and pregnancy.

How Will My Prenatal Care Be Different If My Pregnancy Is Considered High Risk?

 

If you have been seeing a family doctor or midwife, you may be transferred to an obstetrician to ensure you receive the specialized care you need. You may need extra ultrasounds and testing, and more frequent visits to your obstetrician. Additional genetic testing may also be offered. Depending on the reason your pregnancy has been labelled high risk, you may be asked to reduce your activity levels, change your diet, or make other adjustments to your lifestyle.

You may need to give birth in a specific hospital that offers the care you need. You should talk to your primary care provider about how your plans for birth may change.

What Can I Do to Have a Healthy High-Risk Pregnancy?

One way you can contribute to a healthy pregnancy is by improving the health of you and your baby.  This may be achieved by:

·       Attending the recommended appointments and tests

·       Eating a healthy diet

·       Taking all medication and supplements your doctor recommends

·       Following your doctor’s suggestions for activity and/or bedrest

·       Avoiding both first and second-hand cigarette smoke

·       Abstaining from alcohol and illegal drugs

A high-risk pregnancy doesn’t have to be scary. Always ask your questions as they arise. Get clarification from your primary care provider on anything you do not understand. Sometimes, the difference between feeling fearful and feeling safe is having more information.

Hiring a doula from Family Doulas of Ottawa is also great way to ensure you have someone to call with your questions and concerns throughout your high-risk pregnancy. Doulas provide that extra layer of support and guidance, including being in attendance during labour and birth, so that you never have to feel alone.  With the right network behind you, you can go through your high-risk pregnancy feeling informed and empowered.

 

Camping

When people think about heading out of the city to go camping they imagine the city lights fading and the serenity of the outdoors. Peace and tranquility. Filling up your cup and refreshing your soul.  

Then night falls, and instead of that quiet you hear bullfrog choruses, thunder, and the roar of the campsite two sites down where everyone has refilled their red plastic cup a few too many times.

Much like camping, having a newborn is portrayed as blissful and peaceful.  A new family comes together to coo over the darling baby who sleeps serenely in their arms.

The reality is often different. 

Instead of having a quiet baby your newborn is constantly crying and you aren't sure what to do. Instead of feeling confident you are questioning if parenthood is really for you. Just as you do when you're camping, you think that maybe things would be better if you could just go back to the idea rather than the reality. 

Luckily, your experience is normal. Having unwavering support can help new parents as they transition into their new roles and help them feel confident. A doula can help you catch a nap. You can have a meal and enjoy spending time with your partner knowing that Ottawa Family Doula is there in the postpartum period to give you personalized support as you understand your baby's needs.

A doula is like going camping with an experienced outdoors-man (or, in this case, woman) who wants you to feel confident enough to do it again. Maybe to even enjoy it, with the faults and all.

And soon when you are ready your family can venture out together to the campground and create your own unique memories under the stars with confidence.  For more camping with baby ideas, check us out on Pinterest and take a look at the board "Get Outside!"

This post is part of a series that explore the idea and the reality of life and parenting.

Camping with my daughter

Camping with my daughter