Friday, September 29, 2017

How A Postpartum Doula Will Soon Save Your Day (Cape Not Included)

There’s a reason they say it takes a village. Because as a new parent – it really does.
Photo Credit: Klose Up Photography

Being a new parent isn’t easy, that’s been pretty well established. In fact, if you talk to any new parent, they will likely not hesitate to tell you that as AMAZING as it is to bring a new baby into the world and into your life, navigating through those first few days and months is anything BUT easy! Even the most experienced parents struggle with figuring out how to juggle it all: the sleeping, the feeding, the diaper changing, soothing, swaddling, the shushing, (lots and lots of shushing), oh, and wait: I also have to tend to my partner, too? It can seem almost impossible to keep it all together, no matter how many times you watch those viral videos of dads cooing their babies to sleep or double tap on those #motherhoodunplugged Instamom photos. 

So, what is the answer? Is there an answer; a solution? Or are we just left to dwell in the mucky, murky somewhat glistening waters of new parenthood? 

Ok, ok, perhaps we’re sounding a bit dramatic here, but the truth is, as rewarding and surreal as this baby adventure is, it can make you feel down right nuts!!! Before motherhood, many of us started each day in control, accomplished a million things easily, and had good energy levels (probably encouraged by loads of caffeine). Nearly every move throughout the day – we dictated. As a new parent … well, a lot of that changes. 

On top of that, the problem many families face is that even when they succumb to the idea of seeking out help, especially those first few weeks and months, finding that help can be a challenge. As Dr. Harvey Karp, founder of “Happiest Baby on The Block” and creator of the SNOO Smart Sleeper®, often points out, “We used to live in an age where our parents, or close family members were our neighbors, we had that village. But that’s just not the case anymore.” Most families in today’s societies do not live near their immediate family members, nor do they feel comfortable reaching out to their neighbors to ask for help, and friends, well even many of those have families of their own that are struggling to “keep it all together.” So where does this leave us modern day millennial mamas? Well, it leaves us feeling defeated, frustrated, tired, guilty, and often, sadly enough, even clinically depressed.

So again, we ask, what is the answer? What are your options? Do you want the good news or bad news first?
Photo Credit: Klose Up Photography

Let’s start with the bad news. Here’s the deal, YOU. CAN’T. DO. IT. ALONE! Let’s rephrase can, in fact, we know  most humans are capable of AMAZING feats, and MAMA’s, you are especially known to exhibit some serious super human powers,  but at what price; your mental health, your physical health, your child’s health, your relationship?

The good news? There are options, there are resources… and they’re pretty much a click away. As we mentioned above, we know that every day, all around the world, millions of mothers are taking phenomenal care of their newborn babies all on their own. We admire, commend, respect, and are truly inspired by them. But, if you live in the Los Angeles, or Orange Country area, we want you to know you have options, you have resources and we promise you, there is no better investment as a new parent, than the one you will make when you hire a postpartum doula

If in between the hormonal tears and the lack of sleep, you realize that your new baby isn’t going to just easily integrate into your existing life and your expectations of balancing it all – because you’re awesome – have fallen short, it’s ok to ask for help! Here at The Pump Station & Nurtury, we have an amazing team of postpartum doulas just waiting to meet you and pass along their knowledge and baby expertise. We’re here to lean on- to guide, educate & empower you so you can experience a new level of internal joy with your precious bundle. I mean, if you don’t believe us, just check out this screen shot from one of our doula’s daily logs.

And that’s just one day! Imagine the comfort of knowing that a trained professional who truly cares for the wellbeing of you AND your baby is available to help you day and night, as you begin your parenting journey? Can you feel the stress just dissipating away? 

Moms, look, you are still able to leap tall buildings in a single bound. But you don’t need to prove you’re a superhero to ANYONE! That perfect mom you see sashaying down the lane with her quiet, beautiful baby just cooing away in her pricey pram … she isn’t doing it alone. She’s got a village behind her. And chances are, she’s leaning on a doula to help prop her up. 

Click here to see just some of the resources and wisdom our amazing doula team can bestow upon you.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

10 Reasons for your Baby to do "Tummy Time"

By Marilee Hartling, RN, MFT
Did you know that Pediatricians and physical therapists are concerned that babies are spending too much time on their backs when they are awake? Parents are encouraged to get their babies to spend at least 30 minutes a day on their tummies while they are awake. We call this "Tummy Time". Parents sometimes forget how important it is to have their infants spend time on their tummies!  However, it's often difficult to get babies to play in this position. Babies generally resist "Tummy Time" and may protest loudly when parents turn them over. Babies who have not been put on their tummies from the very beginning may experience this as an unfamiliar position and babies don't particularly like positions that are unfamiliar.

 The Top Ten Reasons for your Baby 
to do "Tummy Time"

l. "Tummy Time" gets babies off of their backs and provides a break for the posterior occipital area (back of the head). This lessens the chance that your baby will develop positional plagiocephaly (a flat or asymmetrical head), which might require helmet therapy.

2. "Tummy Time" lessens the chance that your baby will develop acquired torticollis which involves neck muscle shortening when a baby's head maintains primarily one position. Sometimes babies may need some physical therapy for a while to correct this condition.

3. "Tummy Time" promotes the development of strong head and neck muscles by allowing your baby the chance to hold his head up against gravity. This paves the way for your baby to push up, roll over, sit up, and crawl later. "Tummy Time" is related to faster achievement of these developmental milestones.

4. "Tummy Time" is great for stretching and giving the abdominal organs a sort of "massage" which then stimulates normal bowel functioning and can help to eliminate baby gas.

5. "Tummy Time" enhances posture and coordination.

6. "Tummy Time" helps to develop your baby's visual system including tracking.
As your baby lifts his head while on his tummy he looks to both sides. This helps the coordination of 2 eyes together as he follows movement and looks for interesting toys positioned in front of him.

7. "Tummy Time" helps to develop your baby's throat and mouth area muscles as your baby looks up and moves his head. These are some of the muscles needed for speech and language development later.

8. "Tummy Time" reduces any tightness in the head and neck muscles. For your baby's brain and nervous system to function at their best the head and neck muscles need to be as free as possible from tightness.

9. "Tummy Time" helps babies to develop both near and far vision. We call this "visual organization" which begins while they are on their tummies. "Visual organization" is especially important later on when your baby grows and finally goes to school. He will need this organization as his eyes switch back and forth from blackboard to desk.

10. "Tummy Time" simply promotes good health and prevents problems related to motor development and learning later. Prevention of problems is always better and easier than trying to fix problems after they happen.

Learn how to get your baby to LOVE "Tummy Time".  We will give you ideas and activities you can utilize at home, some of which we will actually practice during the workshop, to make sure your baby gets enough "Tummy Time" throughout the day. Our "Tummy Time" activities are enjoyable for both babies and parents. You and your baby will have fun! For more information about "Tummy Time” or to ask questions about the content in this blog, contact: 
Marilee Hartling, RN, MFT at (323) 655-5580 or visit