Breastfeeding does not always go as we had planned. When we were pregnant we envisioned a baby cooing at us and latching on without effort while we blissfully relaxed and enjoyed our new little one. The reality for some moms is a crying baby who simply cannot be consoled and who will not take the breast, despite every effort.

Perhaps it’s 3am and you are having difficulties getting your baby to stay latched to your breast and nurse well. Or maybe you thought everything was going great until you had a visit with a public health nurse. You were told that your baby is not gaining enough and that you need to supplement and you feel completely deflated.

You or your husband may do a quick search online to figure out how to get help with breastfeeding as soon as possible. A whole bunch of local websites come up, but you see each person has various letters behind their names such as IBCLC, CLC, CBE, CBS, CLE, CBC, LLLL and you have no idea what any of that means. It is overwhelming enough to be trying to feed and care for your new baby and now you must do research to navigate which person you want assisting you. Who is qualified to do this, and do they know enough to assist with the intense struggles you and your baby are currently facing?

Ever wonder what a postpartum doula shift looks like? While every family has different needs and goals, this is what you can expect from our typical postpartum shifts*. When your doula arrives for any of her shifts, she checks in with the family to see how everyone is doing and what the goals/expectations are for the day.

Day shifts

Our day shifts are typically booked for 4-6 hours at a time and have the most variety to them.

  • Newborn/infant care (baths, diapers, feeds, burping, putting to sleep)
  • Meal prep
  • Light housework (laundry, vacuuming, dishes and assist with meals)
  • Freedom to shower, rest, run errands together, catch up on whatever
  • Postpartum physical and emotional support
  • Makes sure the the family (especially the postpartum mother/parents) are eating, drinking, showering, and resting. 

Spring is in the air – finally – and Earth Day is coming up this weekend (Sunday, Apr. 22). Sometimes in the haste of our busy lives, making ecological choices takes a back seat to convenience when we are running around between work, family and other obligation. But loving Our planet doesn’t have to be hard, even when you’re short on time. Here are five easy ways to make a difference without missing a beat.

As a doula, I love working with dads to create an amazing team who’s number one goal is to support the labouring woman.

My favourite thing about doulas and dads working together, and something I tell all my clients, is when you hire a doula, the dad's biggest job is to love and support their partner, and the doula will take care of the rest. Let your doula be the expert in the birth process so you can focus on being the expert on your partner which, you already are because you know her better than anyone in the world and can support her in a special way that only you can.

But of course, I’m not a dad, so instead of writing on this topic myself, I’m going to hand it over to my fantastic husband Levi, a real dad who has personal experience working with doulas in the hospital and home birth setting.

I was pretty excited when Kaitlyn asked me to write a blog about weight gain and pregnancy. The topic of how much weight a woman should be gaining over the 40 weeks of her pregnancy, or the amount of calorie increase you should eat per trimester are both fairly common, but not much else is ever really said about it. So what a perfect occasion to discuss all about it!

Edmonton Placenta Encapsulation

Why “out of sight; out of mind” is not a safe option for placenta encapsulation.

It’s time we get serious about safety when it comes to placenta consumption in Edmonton.

Why are Edmonton Moms Eating Their Placentas?

Placenta pills are definitely not for everyone, but the placenta is considered to be rich in nutrients and hormones, and for this reason many parents are choosing to consume it. The placenta is anecdotally thought to replace lost nutrients, balance the milk supply, reduce postpartum recovery time and lessen the baby blues. We’ve had clients give us incredible feedback and Heritage Birth Services is proud to provide the service of placenta encapsulation to Edmonton families.

I was very excited to be invited to share with a bit about the work I do as a physician to help women have healthier pregnancies and healthier babies. My particular focus of work is called “preconception care” (PCC), which means that I generally work with women before they conceive. The idea is that there are certain things couples can do before conception and in early pregnancy (often before they’ve seen a doctor or midwife!), that can make a big difference in the health of their children.

It’s interesting looking at traditional cultures where the idea that you would prepare your body for pregnancy was quite common. The amount of time and methods used varied depending on the culture, but the idea that a woman would prepare herself for pregnancy was not unusual.

I’ve been a postnatal coach for a few years now. And even though I’ve been in the fitness biz for a really long time, the decision to focus on supporting moms wholeheartedly, after my own personal struggles, fueled a passion I didn’t truly know was there. I’ve now taken multiple courses, seminars, webinars and am constantly learning from other coaches that are committed to bringing better knowledge and options for training to moms.

As a postnatal professional, I see other coaches feed off the insecurities and lack of support that is out there for moms all the time. Too often, the focus on “lose your mommy tummy” or “get your body back”, rather than telling moms, it’s OK to look different right now. You ARE different! You’re a mom, it’s a process and there is a safe, healthy and better way to approach postnatal training.

One of the hardest parts of new motherhood, we find, is after gestating this perfect tiny creature in your womb for nearly 10 months it's over faster than you're given the chance to catch up with. You trade your aching hips for aching shoulders and arms for propping up a feeding baby; trade in restless nights full of bathroom trips for sleepless nights and inconsolable teeny cries; trade in "how are you feeling?" and "can I get you anything"s for "how is baby doing" and "is baby sleeping through the night yet?" (Seriously, let's all promise to never be those people). It can be a tough transition and often wrought with confusion as we fail to get a good grasp on what just happened and the magnitude of which our lives have so drastically changed.

Do you still have some last minute Christmas shopping to do? These are some of our favourite local companies that have amazing gifts for new and soon-to-be moms!