One more term down in midwifery school. I have officially been a student (BS, LPN, RN, BSN, and now MSN+DNP) for a VERY long time. I’m so thankful to have the opportunity to be in school for something I love and am so passionate about. I start clinicals next April, so less than a year from now…if I squint my eyes, I can see the light!
Being a doula has taught me to trust women- to listen to them and believe in their bodies…it has shown me patience, intense joy, and deep sorrow. Being a doula inspired me towards midwifery with the hope of making the world a better place. A path sometimes I can’t even believe I get to be on.
I hope everyone is enjoying their summer and hopefully more time with friends & family spent outdoors.
So when should you give your newborn their first bath?! Well…first off, it’s up to YOU! You are the mom, you get to decide. Remember that!
St Joseph’s Women’s Hospital waits 8 hours from the time of delivery.
Tampa General Hospital waits 24 hours from the time of delivery but you have to ask
And if you have your baby at a birth center or at home, you can decide.
Some known benefits to delaying the first bath:
- Vernix (white cheesy substance on a new baby) contains lots of antibodies that can fight infection- some say it’s the baby’s 1st vaccine
- Increased breastfeeding rates since your baby will most likely be doing skin to skin most of the first day
- Helps the baby to experience lower stress
- Helps the baby maintain its blood sugar levels easier
Personally, I would wait at least a few days to let all the vernix really sink in but that’s just me. I’m clearly not bothered by fluids and blood, especially if it’s mine.
This blog post is mainly a reminder that YOU are the mama! You get to decide what is best for you & your new baby.
Baby Harvest getting her 1st bath at home a few days after getting home from the hospital.
She LOVED it!
I just wanted to take a moment to explain why I chose the three words that are found under my logo.
- Educate– One of my goals as a doula is to educate women in all aspects of their pregnancy. I am constantly texting with past doula clients about breastfeeding issues that arise or new things I’m learning. I love keeping up to date on new evidence based research on everything regarding birth. Then passing that info on to new moms.
- Empower- This is probably the most important word thus why I put it right smack dab in the middle. In a recent midwifery school presentation we were discussing the word empowerment and how vital it is to new moms during their postpartum period. We can educate all day long, but in order for someone to make a decision they have to feel empowered. Active listening and gentle encouragement can go a long way for a mom who might feel pressured in many directions. My goal is to empower the mom from the soul- to get to the root of what they desire and go from there.
- Support- This is where the idea of a doula comes in. I am your support person or sometimes I like to say “your birth-y best friend.” I am here to unbiasedly support you and your desires. I am on your side.
Cesarean rate reduced by 50%
Length of labor reduced by 25%
Epidural use reduced by 60%
Increased skin-to-skin time with infant
Some of the things I can provide are massage, acupressure, music, aromatherapy, help with relaxation and visualization, advice on optimal fetal positioning, suggestions for labor positioning, hot/cold packs, assistance with staying hydrated and nourished, Rebozo techniques and help with backache relief measures.
As your doula I can’t make decisions for you, but can equip you with the education and encouragement to advocate for yourself. As a nurse and student midwife, I am extremely comfortable in the birth setting and can help put you at ease. During our prenatal visits we can talk about your fears and questions, and I’m always available via the phone. Sometimes during birth things come up that we haven’t discussed and I always encourage moms to say to the provider “hey can you give my birth team and I five minutes and we will get back with you.” This way we can regroup and decide how to proceed.
Photo credits | Mary Catherine Hamelin Michele Dye
The word doula originates from the Greek word for “a woman who serves.”
Sometimes there is confusion between a doula and a midwife. To break it down simply a doula is a support person in birth whereas a midwife is the medical provider.
Another way to describe a doula is “a woman experienced in childbirth that provides advice, information, emotional support, and physical comfort to a mother before, during, and just after childbirth.”
Photo credits | Mary Catherine Hamelin Michele Dye Connie Ardiff