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None of that sh*t matters

Posted by on Aug 12, 2017 in Postpartum | 0 comments

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As I stood on the hill and heard the shrieks of pure joy float upward and knew my son was down in the melee, it hit me.

 

None of that sh*t matters.

 
I had been helping a new mom earlier who was trying so hard to make everything perfect for her new baby.   I was happy to be able finish up with her and make it to the last day of my 9 year old’s week-long soccer camp.  To celebrate the last day, they had what the coach called, “Dover’s Biggest Water Balloon Fight”.  My boys and I had stayed up late the night before filling a rolling cooler with more than 100 water balloons.  Soccer camp was made up of 2nd graders to 8th graders and was coached by volunteers from the Dover High School teams.  And now they were ALL down on the field getting soaked by the water balloons and HAVING A BLAST.  And when the Dover Fire Truck pulled up alongside the field and started spraying all the kids with water, I broke down crying.

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THIS.  This is the sh*t that matters.

 
It didn’t matter which kids breastfed for 2 years or 2 hours.  It didn’t matter which kids had brand name baby clothes and which had hand-me-downs.  It didn’t matter which stroller you bought or whether you changed their diaper before the feeding or after the feeding.  It didn’t matter which kid ate pureed organic vegetables and who started with rice cereal.

All that mattered was that they showed up each day, played hard all week, worked together and then had some fun.

 

And here were one hundred Dover kids in front of me having good old fashioned FUN.  There were no phones in the water fight.  There was no talking, no worrying.  Just laughter and squeals of joy in the warm sunshine. Just kids being kids and enjoying it.

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Sometimes I get wrapped up in my explanation of what I do, of what a postpartum doula “is”. But today I realized that the simple way to explain it is that I help moms enjoy the newborn stage.

Because so many of us don’t.  Personally, after my daughter was born, I got so wrapped up in the perfect way to feed her, change her, put her down, pick her up, calm her, etc. etc. etc. and that I barely enjoyed a single moment.

My experience led to my work as a postpartum doula and now that is what I do.  I show up and help new moms enjoy it.  

I help ease the transition, answer their questions, empty the dishwasher so they can just snuggle their baby, make them a sandwich so that they can fuel their amazing body, hold the baby so they can take a long shower.  Laugh with them about the breastmilk that’s dripping everywhere.  I shoulder some of the burden so that they can enjoy their newborn baby.

As I stood on the hill trying to hide my tears behind my sunglasses while I watched a water balloon fight, I realized these were tears of gratitude.  I’m grateful to live in the kind of community that organizes soccer camps that end in fun.  A community where the fire department shows up to spray the kids with water. A community that will continue to care for the babies (and moms) I help today. I’m grateful that my son is healthy and can play outside on a perfect summer day.  I’m grateful that I am postpartum doula and can help new moms enjoy their babies.

Because it’s a lot of fun when you do.

 

 

 

postpartum doulaDarcy Sauers is the owner of Dover Doula and a mother of three kiddos ages 13, 11 and 9.  She’s a postpartum doula and certified lactation counselor who is passionate about helping new moms enjoy their first few weeks home with a new baby.  Contact her to discuss how a postpartum doula can help you thrive, not just survive those first 12 weeks.

A new mom needs friends who “get it”

Posted by on Jul 7, 2017 in Postpartum | 0 comments

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When I’m working with a new mom, I absolutely love it when around week 2 or 3, I come into the kitchen to see this pile on the counter.

 

I always smile, because I know this new mom has friends who “get it”.

 

 

She has friends who have recently had a baby and realize that the best gift for a new mom (besides a Dover Doula gift certificate 😜) is dinner.

 

After you have a baby, there are two distinct categories of friendly gift givers.

  1. Friends who had a baby within the past year
  2. Friends who haven’t

 

The friends in Category 2 usually send lovely outfits or well meaning baby products that, one day, you may eventually use and cherish.

 

Your friends who recently had a baby will show up with food.

And you will hug them and cry with gratitude as you give a “crazy eyes” nod toward the piles of gift boxes piled up in the corner full of outfits that still have tags. They will nod and rub your back as they also pull out a package of witch hazel wipes for you.

 

I still remember the day my daughter was probably about one week old and the doorbell rang at 5:00pm. I was tired and hungry, I was in pain from my c-section, my nipples were bleeding and I could barely see straight because I was so, so tired. As I walked to the door, I was expecting to see the UPS guy with a gift from Category #2. But it was one of my friends who had had a baby 8 months earlier.

 

She said “hi” and brushed passed me right towards the dining room table. She had her 8 month old on one hip and a pile of Tupperware containers in her other hand. She proceeded to put down an entire meal onto my table. Roasted chicken, warm rice and a green salad.
It was enough food to feed me, my husband and my mom who was there helping out that day. My friend stayed until the food had all been plated and then she quickly left saying “call me tomorrow” over her shoulder.

It’s been thirteen years, but I still remember the feeling I had as I slid into the chair and started to cry.

 

It was the smells and tastes of a simple, healthy, warm meal (did I mention in was February?). The feeling that I had a friend who knew exactly what I needed that day at 5pm. The feeling that I had a friend who cared enough to somehow cook an entire meal for us when she had her own baby and family to deal with. It was a feeling that was a mixture of contentment and hope. A feeling like an exhale.  A feeling like, “It’s going to be ok”.

 

 

Dover Doula has postpartum doulas who helps new moms in their homes in the first 12 weeks of a baby’s life.  Our postpartum doulas offer physical, emotional and informational support to new moms.  We help out with light household chores and care for baby so mom can nap or shower.  We also wash out tupperware containers when they are ready to return to friends who “get it”.  

Do you need help during the Witching Hour?

Posted by on May 31, 2017 in Postpartum | 0 comments

Ask any mom what the most challenging time of day is and I bet 9 out of 10 of them would say “evenings”.

Dover Doula is now offering Witching Hour Support Packages for new families!

Erika Gagnon, DONA trained postpartum doula, IBCLC and mother of 4, will come to your home from 5pm – 9pm (or later if desired) to help new families during this rough time of day.

We get it!  Everyone is tired, there needs to be dinner, bath times and bedtime routines.  The house is a mess and everyone is crying.  Dover Doula is here to help!

As your postpartum doula, Erika will:

  • help care for your baby and older children so you can rest, shower, have a break, etc.
  • help with light meal preparation
  • help with bath time and bedtimes
  • tackle some household chores like tidying the kitchen, folding the laundry, etc.
  • offer tips on making the witching hour easier
  • listen to you
  • answer any questions about newborn care, feeding and development

Contact me to schedule!


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Prenatal Yoga Help for Sciatic Nerve Pain

Posted by on Jun 17, 2014 in Yoga | 1 comment

Prenatal Yoga Portsmouth NHIn addition to being a Postpartum Doula, I also teach Prenatal Yoga at ChildLight Yoga in downtown Dover, NH.

 

One of the most common physical complaints I hear from students in class is that they have pain down the back of one or both of their legs.  Sciatica is a common discomfort associated with pregnancy and there are several great yoga poses you can do to relieve the pain.

First, it helps to understand what causes Sciatica during pregnancy.   Usually, it is because of swelling of and around the the piriformis muscle.  In simple terms, the Piriforis muscle starts at the Sacrum, goes through the muscle of your butt/pelvis and then connects to the top of your femur or thigh bone.  During pregnancy, as your body begins to create more fluid and everything in the pelvic area begins to swell, the piriformis muscle can tighten and put pressure on the Sciatic nerve.  This pressure on the nerve can cause pain, numbness and tingling down the leg.

So, by stretching the piriformis muscle, you can alleviate the pressure on the nerve and help to relieve your symptoms.

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Pigeon Pose:

 

Begin on all fours, with your knees directly below your hips, and your hands slightly ahead of your shoulders. Slide your right knee forward to the back of your right wrist; at the same time angle your right shin under your torso and bring your right foot to the front of your left knee. The outside of your right shin will now rest on the floor. Slowly slide your left leg back, straightening the knee and descending the front of the thigh to the floor. Lower the outside of your right buttock to the floor. Position the right heel just in front of the left hip.
 The right knee can angle slightly to the right, outside the line of the hip. Look back at your left leg. It should extend straight out of the hip (and not be angled off to the left), and rotated slightly inwardly, so its midline presses against the floor.

Join one of Darcy’s Prenatal Yoga classes at the ChildLight Yoga studio in downtown Dover, NH.  Click here for more info or to register.
Darcy Sauers is a certified Prenatal Yoga teacher and a certified Yoga Birth Method instructor.  She is also a DONA certified Postpartum Doula and Certified Lactation Counselor.  Darcy teaches prenatal yoga classes and Yoga Birth Method workshops and private sessions in the Seacoast area of New Hampshire.  She is the owner of Dover Doula and a member of Great Bay Doulas.  Darcy lives in Dover, NH with her husband and three children.  For more information on  her upcoming classes and workshops, please visit www.doverdoula.com.  She can be reached at 603-988-5945 or darcy@doverdoula.com. 

How to Build your Milk Supply

Posted by on Jan 23, 2014 in Breastfeeding | 0 comments

How to Build your Milk Supply

Building up a stash of frozen breastmilk for your upcoming return-to-work can seem daunting, but it doesn’t have to be!

Your body makes the most milk in the mornings, so take advantage of that when building your freezer stash.  After your first feeding of the day, watch the clock and pump at the halfway mark between your first and second feeding.

For example, if your baby generally nurses every 3 hours:

  • Breastfeed at 6:00 am when s/he wakes
  • Pump at 7:30am
  • Breastfeed at 9:00 am

 

By pumping in the morning when your milk is most abundant, you will still have enough for your next feeding.

If your baby generally nurses every 2 hours:

  • Breastfeed at 6:00 am when s/he wakes
  • Pump at 7:00am
  • Breastfeed at 8:00 am

Pump both sides for no more than 10 minutes or so and freeze whatever you get in 2-4 ounce containers.  Label with the date and amount.

You might not produce much the first day or two, but if you stick to this schedule every day, soon your body will adjust and you will notice a big increase in the amount you pump.

Remember the 5-5-5 rule:  breastmilk stays fresh for 5 hours at room temperature, 5 days in the fridge and 5 months in your freezer.

 

Darcy Sauers is a Certified Lactation Counselor and provides private, in-home lactation counseling to new moms in the Seacoast area. In addition to her extensive training, she breastfed her three babies and experienced all sorts of issues, problems and joys.  She is now committed to helping new moms with meeting their breastfeeding goals.