The Mamas and The Papas
Most of my prenatal clients have dreamy, lofty goals for their little ones. You can see it clearly as mama holds her belly when she walks around a tight corner, or when she instinctively responds to a kick or internal prod. When mamas drift into savasana, I can see them swim away into the daydreamy world of what their baby will be like.
This is an experience of unconditional love that I get to see on a daily basis. When mamas return to Mom & Me with their babies, I get to see baby gaze back with dreamy milk-drunk eyes with a big "THANK YOU."
I also hear about wobbly pelvic girdles, stretch marks, and having to pee 18 times a night. Or baby waking more than sleeping, spitting up at inopportune times, and "draining the life out of me." But that's not my focus tonight, kittens.
My focus is our instinctive capacity to love this little beast, and our drive to care for it no matter what. Despite the blowout diapers, fatigue, razor sharp baby nails, and the high-pitched screams of terror we return to a state of infatuation with this little perfect nugget.
My request, my plea, my wish for the world, is that we all retain that sense of love for our babies, no matter what. Regardless of the turns life takes, the surprises that baby throws our way or the divergent nature of their path from what we have planned for them, let use love them unconditionally, forever.
"There are many paths up the mountain, but there is only one mountain." ~ Swami Kripalu
Delivery: Not Just for Babies!
First, let me be clear: babies are birthed and pizza is delivered.
Now that THAT is out of the way... step into my time machine as I bestow upon you the wonders of grocery delivery.
Imagine a weekly (or bi-weekly) box of fresh produce and pantry items that arrives at your doorstep.
Imagine that it contains only things you like.
Imagine that it costs the same as a trip to the grocery store.
Good news for you! My time machine is just a figment of my imagination. The beauty of doorstep groceries is a modern convenience, and it is perfect for new mamas and those on bedrest.
Some things are more fun with babies, like bath time and navel gazing. Some things are a little more challenging, like loading up groceries, figuring out who to carry in first (baby or ice cream), and grocery carts (in general). While I'm a HUGE proponent of getting outside of your own house once a day once you're healed, I'm not sure grocery shopping will be the blissful experience it once was.
Here are my favorite delivery services:
Door to Door Organics (Colorado and a few other states)
- Set your "likes" and "dislikes" so you never end up with parsley unless you want to.
- Order weekly or bi-weekly and forget about it.
- Log on a week before and "customize" your fruit and/or veggie box with items that you need or want; add any pantry items or dairy/meat etc.
- Hold, cancel, or change box sizes any time (no fee).
- Affordable at $25 for a bitty box and up.
- Easy refunds on any damaged or icky produce (this has happened to me only twice in two years).
- Routine prescriptions are mailed to your home with no additional charge (but you need to set them up at least two weeks in advance).
- All sorts of toiletries and other things you might need.
- Schedule regular deliveries if you know you'll need shampoo or tissues every so often.
- Shopping list feature allows you to bookmark items you buy frequently so you (or your partner) don't have to snoop around the internet for the right shampoo.
- Free shipping on most orders and regular discounts via email.
- A combination of healthy snacks mailed once a month.
- After your first box, you can customize and include allergies/preferences.
- Just like a road trip, where you want the snacks everyone else brought? In a box.
- Nuts, pasta, toilet paper, birthday gifts... whatever else you could possibly need can probably be ordered via Amazon.
- Wish list keeps items you like in an easy place.
- Recurring orders will save you a bit, if you have a dried coconut habit like I do.
Take your trips out of the house to visit the library, a coffee shop, or the zoo and leave the shopping to the Internet. At 2am. Or whenever you are most shoppy!
I don't get any kickbacks from these companies, but I've noticed many mamas who have really appreciated the support of these online and delivery services.
Perhaps you're nearly as confused as I was about what a “midwife” does (versus what a “doula” or your “mother-in-law” might do to support you during labor). Let me spell it out for you in super plain English.
Homebirth Midwives: Are able to practice well-woman care, like pap smears and exams, and attend the births of healthy women carrying healthy pregnancies. They do not prescribe prescription medication, nor do they offer medical pain relief methods or procedures. Most often their care includes visits to your home before and after baby is born. Appointments with home birth midwives tend to be longer and more frequent than with other birth attendants.
Certified Professional Midwife
This woman has trained for years in both an academic and practical setting and then passed two grueling exams: one on paper, another eight-hour practical exam. It is the only credential that requires experience delivering babies both inside and outside of hospital settings. Legally, CPM's can practice in 26 states (although each state sets the standards for who may or may not practice in a medical setting like a hospital or birth center).
Registered Midwife (in Colorado)
This woman has trained for years in a variety of settings, from academic to apprenticeship. She must register with the state of Colorado and is the only birth professional permitted to attend home births. They must either take a training program through a recognized school or provide proof of equivalent experience and education.
Hospital Birth Midwives Somewhere between a homebirth midwife and an OB/GYN, a hospital birth midwife frequently works with healthy women carrying healthy pregnancies, but is also trained in the medical model and may offer medical interventions like pharmaceutical drugs and minor surgical procedures. Hospital birth midwives work in a medical office and do not travel to your home before or after baby is born. Their appointment times are often longer than the appointments of an obstetrician seeing a healthy pregnant woman.
Certified Nurse Midwife
This individual (the majority of whom are women) has a bachelor's degree in nursing and then a post-graduate degree (two years) in labor and delivery. She must practice within the scope of an obstetrician, meaning her philosophy of care is supervised/directed by a physician.
There are a whole host of organizations that offer credentials to midwives, and that is because there did not used to be a single organization. Each state had to define their own rules regarding midwifery care. Your midwife may carry a credential that is not listed here, and she may still be an excellent caregiver.
Regardless of the midwife you choose, you should know that your midwife is NOT a DOULA, or a person who is dedicated as a labor support person. Midwives provide perinatal health care, but will not arrive at your labor as soon as it begins. Typically, you make several phone calls to your midwife as your labor progresses and s/he evaluates when to meet you at your house/hospital. Some home birth midwives are also trained as doulas, but they will not perform both functions at once. In the event you need or choose to transport to a hospital, your home birth midwife may serve as a doula depending on her training and scope of practice.
Clear as mud? Great. Have a conversation with your provider about what services they offer and whether you'd like to invite a doula to assist you or work with the assistance of a family member/friend.
Interested in learning about whether a doula is right for you?
I'm one of those people who loves making your life easier (and I believe in you). I am an experienced registered prenatal yoga teacher and a lactation educator.
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