Three simple ways to get organized this year

3 simple ways to get organized this year

As a mom of a toddler, getting and staying organized is always a chore especially during the month after Christmas due to the influx of games and toys. Here are some tips for easy ways to get organized this year.

3 simple ways to get organized this year

 

Three simple ways to get organized this year

Use a planner

The first thing you need to get organized in the new year is a planner. In the past, I used the reminder app on my iPhone but that wasn’t an effective system for me. Last year, I used these pages in a notebook. They had everything that I needed. It was a pain to print these out at the library, though. At the end of last year, I received this planner. This planner works better for me because it fits into my purse. I love that it has a lot of space to write notes. Since this planner does not have all the sections the other one did, I color code using colored pens. For example gold for blogging, light blue for mom/ social stuff, red for meals, dark blue/ black for work, green for workouts, and orange for personal stuff such as appointments.

I wrote a whole post about managing time, read it here.

Purge

Donate clothes that you and your children do not wear or have outgrown. Store away clothes that your children have outgrown if keeping for future children. If the clothing is not in perfect condition or my child never wore, I donate because I do not want to use up space storing these clothes.

Do you have shoe boxes that you are not using? Recycle or use to organize.

Go through your toys and donate or throw away toys that are not used, broken or have been outgrown. My son had lots of cars and plastic car tracks but he received newer more age appropriate cars for Christmas and wood tracks.

Rotating toys is another way to keep your child’s toy selection fresh without buying more toys.

Often times, bathrooms collect lots of unused items. I’ve received a lot of bath products that I have no intention of using. Or we empty out a bottle and forget to throw it away. Check to see if your sunscreen is expired. I threw out one of my hand towels that had a rip in it and replaced it with a nicer one from Target.

In the kitchen, my plastic container drawer was filling up. I save plastic containers from yogurt and sour cream. I recycled all of the containers without lids and lids without containers.

Contain

Toys, puzzles, books, and games can cause a lot of clutter. Our games were stacked on a shelf. I wanted to make Hezekiah’s books more accessible to him so I bought some zippered envelopes (similar to these) from the Dollar Tree. Each game and puzzle has its own envelope that he is able to open and close by himself. I also bought a large basket from Value Village to hold all of his games and his reusable stickers and sticker pad. This basket fits perfectly under his table.

I used a basket from Target to hold my games and a wood crate to hold extra books (both of these are shown in the photo above).

As you are purging and organizing look for containers that can be used for another purpose. I used a spice bottle as a paint brush holder on my son’s table. These little bottles have so many uses.

children's table

How are you getting organized this year?

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Be, don’t do

Do you judge yourself or overwhelm yourself with the amount of things you expect yourself to do each week?

I’m realizing lately, that I judge myself more than anybody else does. I let labels stick to me and define me. I compare myself to others which is silly because I don’t know anybody who is going through what I am going through.

I’m trying a new thing where I don’t put pressure on myself to do certain things like getting up early. We’ll see if this works better than trying to go to bed by 10:00 pm and trying to get up at a certain time (early= 6:00 am), failing then feeling guilty.

Just be yourself

 

Yes, I am a Compassionate Entrepreneur, business owner, blogger, and work at home mom (not to mention all of my other responsibilities) but I am a mom first. I need to let that sink in. Being a mom is not the easiest but it is rewarding. Putting motherhood first does not make me lazy. My son is only two and I am so blessed to get to spend so much time with him. I know that not everybody gets that and I shouldn’t feel guilty about it.

I want to excel at everything I do… being a mom is the most important.

Be a mom to your child. Love him. Take care of her. Relax. Have fun.

But also, take care of yourself. Sleep when you can. Make time for yourself. Spend time with friends. And reach out for help when you need it.

My blog is full of practical tips but my heart is for women (moms) to connect to my words not just learn something.

Best books for 2 year olds

Best books for two year olds

Some days my son just loves to read and is constantly bringing me books to read to him. We are still enjoying many books from my list of best books for 6-18 month olds.

When we moved into our new home, I set up a reading area for him with a little chair and a sling bookshelf. I recently put a crate in the living room as an overflow for his books that get left out. He has the option of reading alone or reading with me and he does both.

Best books for two year olds

Best books for two year olds


We’re Going on a Bear Hunt (Classic Board Books) by Michael Rosen This classic board book is a story of a family adventure. I think toddlers love the fun, repetitive words in this book.

On the Night you Were Born by Nancy Tillman This book is about the uniqueness of each child. My son loves the paintings of the animals.

Hezekiah reading the Jesus Story book Bible
Hezekiah reading the Jesus Story book Bible

The Jesus Storybook Bible Many parents agree that this is the best children’s Bible out there. I teared up just reading the introduction. I appreciate the artwork in this Bible and I love that each story points to Jesus. This is a must buy for Christian parents.

Ready, Set, Go! by Nina Laden We found this book in a Little Free Library while waiting for pizza in Seattle. This is a very short board book that we love to read because I added hand motions for each of the pages.

Mirror Me! We’ve had this book for awhile but my son is just now getting interested in following the directions on each page. The mirrors in this book…

Are You My Mother? by PD Eastman Another classic that children still love today. A baby bird searches for his mother while meeting several different animals.

Go, Dog. Go! by PD Eastman My son loves dogs so it is not surprising that this book is on the list. The simple, silly words in this book are entertaining and memorable for little ones.


Duck for President by Doreen Cronin  This funny book is a New York Times Best Illustrated book and it follows Farmer’s Brown’s duck who is tired of doing chores and picking espresso beans out of his feathers.

Bulldozers There are many board books about bulldozers available. My son loves trucks of all kinds and it is fun that he recognizes bulldozers when we pass construction sites.

My First Trucks My son checked this book out from the library at least five times. This book taught him the name of the different types of trucks.

Christmas in the Manger by Laura Goodwin We read this book a lot last month (December) and I didn’t mind because it only has a few words per page.

Forever by Emma Dodd This is a cute book about parent and child polar bears and the love that parents have for their children.

Books from the dollar tree The Dollar Tree has a lot of board books that can be used for stocking stuffers. I used books such as “Miracles of the Bible” and “God Made Me” for this quiet time basket.

Bob Books by Bobby Lynn Maslen These small books were created to teach children reading skills. some of the books are focused on just two letters while others feature short stories with simple words and pictures.

Best books for two year olds

What are your favorite books for two year olds?

 

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The Motherhood Journey: 2016

The Motherhood Journey 2016

It’s a new year and I am looking forward to a new year of blogging consistently and growing as a mom. I can’t believe my son turns three this year.

This last year was not an easy year for me but there some good things that happened. this past year I started several new jobs including working at a home for teen moms. This last year I found community through church and through mom groups. This year I started a business with Trades of Hope. Through all the hard times I’ve held onto hope.

This is what the year looked like in my motherhood journey.

The Motherhood Journey 2016

The Motherhood Journey 2016

Babywearing: My son is getting older so I haven’t worn him much lately but babywearing (or toddler wearing) was necessary in so many situations. For example, stores that don’t have carts, long hikes, the zoo, and when he wanted to be held but I was cooking.Check out our photos from the photo shoot fundraiser for the local babywearing library. I encourage you to join your local babywearing group for help with carriers and to try the different types.

Bravery: As a mom going through big life changes and uncertain times, God helped me be brave. Read about how I went from fear to pursuing my dreams.

Flourish: I learned how to flourish and what things are important and necessary for feeding the soul. I love that this is an area where we can continually grow. As moms, it is so important that we take care of ourselves as we take care of our little ones.

Fun: As a mom including fun times for your children is so important, especially if you work from home. I have greatly improved with my time management but also need to make sure my son is having a good time. One of the ways I did this was by creating a quiet time basket to keep him occupied while I did work or had my own “quiet time”.

Top 4 posts on the blog this year

  1. Why I chose The Tiny Potty Training Book to Potty Train My 18 Month Old

It has been almost a year since I potty trained Hezekiah and to be honest he still has accidents occasionally. I don’t regret potty training him “early” though. We saved a lot of diapers and my son gained a lot of independence. Potty training is not easy and I don’t know how I would have done it without this book and the support I had.

2. Tips for helping your child adjust to a sibling

I still only have one child but most of my friends have at least two kids so I had lots of sources. In the future, these tips will be very helpful.

3. How to have dates after baby

Going on a date when you have a new baby can seem impossible for some couples. In this post I give some ideas to make it happen.

4. The truth about postpartum depression, anxiety and baby blues

This was a guest post but I am glad that it was so popular since this is an important topic.

What four words described your year as a mom?

Mom and son photos in the snow

I finally got some professional photos of my son and I. The last time we had photos of the two of us was the babywearing fundraiser and Hezekiah has grown so much since then. My son was grumpy and it was freezing out but the photos turned out pretty good. Photographer Laurin Crosby set up this cute hot cocoa stand at a park near our home in Spokane Valley, Washington.

Preparing for postpartum (printable worksheet)

There are so many things to think about when you are about to welcome a new baby into your family whether this is your first child, you’re adopting, or you already have children. I created this worksheet to give families a place to have all of the information they are going to need in the weeks after giving birth. I suggest working on this worksheet during your third trimester of pregnancy so that you are prepared for a restful postpartum.

preparing-for-postpartum with printable worksheet

Preparing for Postpartum with printable worksheet

Meals

In the weeks following the birth of your child, you and your partner are not going to have much time to spend on meals. Having a plan for meals will reduce stress and allow for more time bonding as a new family. Nutritious and nourishing meals are so important during this time. In the weeks leading up to your birth, you can make extras of some of your meals to freeze. There are several websites that allow you to create a sign up so that friends and family can help you by providing meals. Another option is to be prepared to order from local restaurants that have delivery. This is another way that friends and family can help you if they don’t like to cook.

Snacks are so important for nursing moms, so ask somebody to pick up some healthy snacks next time they are at the store. I recommend snacks that are easy to eat while in bed.

20 one handed snack ideas for breastfeeding mamas from Paula Kathlyn

Tip: People can buy disposable baking pans from the dollar store. I suggest buying these so that you don’t have to coordinate returning the dishes.

Support People

Who is going to help you after the birth of your baby? Do you know who you can turn to when you need help? Usually, your partner will take some time off of work to be there for you and the baby. Sometimes family members will come over to help. If you don’t think your family visiting is actually going to be helpful, feel free to ask them to wait. You need this time to rest, heal and bond with baby; breastfeeding is established during this time. The time my husband had off work overlapped with the time my mom was in town to help out. Looking back, I wish it would not have overlapped.

Postpartum doulas are another great resource. Their job is to help new moms. I recently went into more detail about the role of postpartum doulas. Read that here. If you need help finding a doula, check out my doula resource page,.

Breastfeeding

If you plan on breastfeeding, being prepared definitely helps but most women need some kind of help with breastfeeding after they give birth. It is worth it though. When I was pregnant, I attended several classes and read a couple of books about breastfeeding. It wasn’t easy but I felt confident and knew what to do.

I had at least two incidences where I needed to call a “professional” for help. There was a breastfeeding hotline that I called in the middle of the night and another time I called a La Leche League Leader to find out if a prescription I had was safe to take while breastfeeding. These are the phone numbers you need to have on your refrigerator or in your phone.

Another way to prepare for breastfeeding is to make a basket with all of the things you will need while nursing. Here are some ideas for things to include: water bottle, nursing pads, snacks, a breastfeeding book (I read this one), nipple cream (this is the one I used and I loved it), and burp cloths.

The Best Baby Shower Gift for Breastfeeding Moms: The Breastfeeding Basket

More breastfeeding resources on The Motherhood Journey.

Your other children

Have you arranged childcare for after your baby is born? If you already have regular childcare, I encourage you to take advantage of it and continue (even if just once a week) even though you aren’t working.

Besides childcare, you can prepare activities to keep your children occupied while you breastfeed or put your baby down for a nap.

The Nursing Box – toddler + new baby help

How to Keep a Toddler Busy While Putting Baby To Sleep

http://www.teachingandmuchmoore.com/2012/04/mommy-tip-for-nursing-moms-and-freebie.html

Comfort

I suggest investing in some comfortable clothing. Minimal clothing is best to keep you in bed and make breastfeeding easier. Open cardigans and robes are great for keeping you warm and allow for skin to skin with your newborn.

Chores

The new mom should not do any chores for at least two weeks. Write out a list of chores for your partner, postpartum doula, family and other visitors and post it on your fridge so that your support people will know how to help you.

Did you do anything to help you prepare for postpartum? Is this list missing something?

 

 

 

The Simple Gift Guide for Babies (0-2)

simple gift guide for babies

The Simple Gift Guide for Babies

When it comes to deciding which toys and gifts I want my son to have, I do a lot of research. We try to be minimalistic (partly due to not having much space). I encourage people to get my son non-toy gifts and practical items instead of every baby toy they see. I prefer toys that do not require batteries, are active, not passive and eco-friendly, if possible. I hope this list inspires you to give your child simple gifts that versatile and encourage creativity.

simple gift guide for babies

Gifts for baby's first Christmas

First Christmas

Clothes: practical and needed for a growing baby. We get most of our clothes at the thrift store.
Rubber duck: fun for bath time. At almost 18 months, my son still loves his “duck duck”.  You can get a dozen for $6.50 at Oriental Trading.
Socks and baby leg warmers: baby socks always go missing and with the weather getting colder these are especially necessary. We love baby leggings because they add another layer under his pants and baby socks aren’t usually very long.
Eating utensils and bowl: Hezekiah starting eating solids around this time so we needed these. We started out with Nuby spoons. Since we did baby led weaning, we needed spoons that were easy for him to hold and not flat like the rubber spoons. When he was older we started using these Re-Play kids utensils made from recycled plastic. I’ve seen these at Wal-Mart and they are also sold on Amazon.
Sea Snax: we figured since he loved eating paper, this was a healthy alternative and he liked them at first.
Zoo membership: a great gift that you can use all year. If you do not have a zoo near you, look for a children’s museum or somewhere that classes for babies.
The Runaway Bunny: I chose this book for Hezekiah because I love JJ Heller’s “The Boat Song” which is based on this book. Lori Sutherland who teaches my Mom’s class at church described Runaway Bunny as “a beautiful story of the balance of high love and high control in mothering… And a picture of God’s love for us as expressed in Psalm 139.” I love that perspective of this classic book.

Gifts for baby's first birthday

1st birthday

Utensils: my friend bought Hezekiah the Re-Play spoons and forks mentioned above and we love them.
Swim diaper: if your child has a summer birthday. These will make going to the pool easier.
Blocks: I recommend this mini block and roll from Hape toys.
Pottete potty: this travel potty can be used on its own using liners or can be placed on top of a toilet. Ours came with a package of ten liners and a storage bag.

I Would Tuck You In by Sarah Asper-Smith: I first read this book while interning for Alaska airlines magazine several years ago. I fell in love with this cute book. All of the animals featured in the book live in the Pacific Northwest (that includes Alaska). My favorite quote is “If you were a porcupine, I would still hold you close.”

Pat the Bunny by Dorothy Kunhardt: a classic touch and feel book that is interactive. He loved it.

The Little Blue Truck by Alice Schertle: We both love this book. It is full of animal sounds and rhyming words that flow so easily.

Cars: there are so many options and toddlers (especially boys) love cars. We have these Little People cars and these B. cars.
Puzzles: The Melissa and Doug ones are great. This wire puzzle rack is perfect if you have a lot of puzzles like we do.
Shovel and pail: another good one for summer birthdays. I was thinking we would spend a lot of time at the beach.

Gifts for baby's second christmas
2nd Christmas

Toothbrush: toothbrushes are a great minimalistic gift for children of any age. My son loves brushing his teeth so we can can never have too many toothbrushes.

Bubble bath: Toddlers love bubbles and there are several natural brands that make bubble bath that is safe for babies (Burt’s Bees, Honset Company, Poofy Organics shampoo and body wash, Every day Shea).
Toy vacuumI want to get my son a toy vacuum hoping it will help him not be afraid of the real one. I also want to give him an early start “helping” me vacuum.
Boots: With the weather getting colder and wetter, boots have become a necessity. We looked at our local Value Village with no luck but ended up having some gifted to us on Buy Nothing.

Balls: My son already has a kiddie pool filled with ball pit balls (we got these balls on Buy Nothing) and a little basketball. I would also like him to have a soccer ball and a football.

Shape sorter: shape sorters are great toys for teaching toddlers shapes, colors and fine motor control.
Baby Doll: both boys and girls can enjoy playing with dolls. Baby dolls help with speech skills because it gives you an opportunity to talk about the parts of the body and different actions.
Underwear: depending on when you are planning to potty train, these are a must have.
Pajamas (2 piece sets): another necessity as the weather gets colder. Two piece sets are easier for potty training.
Really Woolly Bedtime Prayers: a cute book with simple prayers for toddlers.
The Way Mothers Are by Miriam Schlein: This book shows a mother’s unconditional love for her child. “So you don’t think I love you just when you are good, and stop loving you when you are naughty, do you? That’s not the way mothers are. I love you all the time because you are mine.”

Gifts for baby's second birthday

2nd Birthday

toddler with Trades of Hope turtle backpack
Backpack: Some toddlers love to carry their own stuff and we hope to lighten our load whenever possible. My son recently got this Trades of Hope turtle backpack made from fabric scraps by women in Guatemala. It is perfect because one of his new words is “turtle”.
Lawnmower: My husband and I both had a lawnmower like this that we loved as toddlers. This is a great outdoor toy that gives little ones the opportunity to be like daddy or mommy.
Magnetic letters
Beach ball: Hezekiah had a beach ball that he loved when he was younger but it didn’t survive our move.

Tool set: most toddlers love to imitate their parents. If you or your husband works with tools often, your child will love to “help”. I like this simple tool set from Learning Resources.6
Melissa and Doug magnets: Keep your toddler occupied while you cook or clean in the kitchen. My son has the dinosaur ones and loves them.
Reusable sticker set: Another fun gift from Melissa and Doug. These stickers come with five scenes and matching reusable stickers. My son has the animals and the vehicles.

What gifts would you add to the list?

 

 

Managing my time as a busy mom

This week I am writing about my life as a work at home mom and my recent journey to make time to do the things I need to do as well the things I want to do each week. As a mom, I am getting busier and busier (I have started working several jobs within a month’s time). When I started this blog I was feeling stretched thin and like I needed to budget my time more wisely so not only do I do a lot of writing but I have been busy making sure the blog looks good and functions properly. I work part time, have recently started volunteering and go to two moms groups . I cut some things out and took the steps detailed in this post. If you are feeling overwhelmed, I hope some of these tips help you.

How I manage my time as a busy mom

managing my time as a busy mom

I recently started doing direct sales with Trades of Hope. I never thought I would do this but I love that Trades of Hope is empowering women out of poverty all over the world by selling their beautiful products. I love being able to work from home and get a chance to get out of the house for home parties. I love not having to worry about full time childcare for my son. I love having a flexible schedule which allows me to do things that I love (like meeting up with friends or doing ministry).

I also work as a weekend house parent at a home for teen moms. This is a dream job for me and with my flexible schedule this is perfect for me right now. I’ve mentioned before how I want to become a postpartum doula to help teen moms.

Tips for managing your time as a busy mom

For the longest time, I fought against making a schedule for myself. I was afraid that it would stifle my creativity but I wasn’t getting anything done. It is hard to have a schedule with a child who can be very unpredictable. He likes routines but a strict schedule does not work with him. Toddlers are unpredictable– as I was writing this I had to pause to change his poopy diaper (now that he is not in diapers he still needs help with going potty).

Routine

Creating a routine is a good start to managing your time. The routine below was created several months ago and our life has chnaged quite a bit since then. After reading Creating Family Rhythm on The Complete Guide to Imperfect Homemaking, I created a routine for my son and I. This was based on our natural rhythm. I used three note cards to write out my routine, one for morning, and one for evening. Think of all of the things you want to do each day and write them on the appropriate note card or section of paper.

Routines are perfect for stay at home moms who don’t need a very strict schedule.

For example, morning is when I wake up until lunch (usually around noon). I put a star next the things that are top priorities.

  • Hezekiah potty
  • Eat breakfast and take vitamins
  • shower and stretch
  • Bible/ prayer/ journaling*
  • look at to-do list
  • exercise

I wrote this order based on what felt natural but later I changed another order made more sense. Showering right after breakfast made sense because Hezekiah would be messy after breakfast but now that I am starting to workout more, showering later makes more sense.

image

Afternoon for me is lunchtime until dinner time

  • lunch- dishes- check email
  • nap* (H potty)
  • play outside
  • blog (create/ write)
  • chores (organize)– dinner

I originally wrote this routine several months ago and so much has changed but it is helpful to see the process.

Afternoon routine

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My evening routine begins routine begins with dinner and mostly consists of getting my son ready for bed.

  • dinner
  • H bath– brush teeth
  • turn on fan
  • puta away toys
  • read toddler Bible
  • bed
  • chores (me)– make breakfast

Evening routine

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Schedule: weekly time map

Several months ago, Cindy Vanhoff from Reclaimed Spaces talked to my MOPs group about organization. We took a quiz to help us figure out what we needed to organize the most. For me, it was my schedule. As I mentioned above, I wasn’t get much done but I felt so busy.

My goal with managing my time is to have things done on time and for my days to flow smoothly and be well planned, to get more done in less time, to actually have time to do the things I want to do (not just take care of my son). My biggest desire is to use my time more efficiently and it has happened. I have found time that I didn’t know existed.

Creating and using a time map has given me more time each day. She had us start out by adding our weekly commitments. Right away, I discovered that I was not giving myself enough time to get ready in the morning.

The most important part of creating a time map was figuring out which areas I was not giving myself enough time to complete.

Shortly before creating my time map, I decided to have a scheduled day to do laundry and diaper laundry. Before I started doing this, I wouldn’t wash the diapers until I was almost out (sometimes i would be completely out of clean diapers before I realized). Now we are done with diapers but still have plenty of laundry.

Click here to download an editable time map.

time map

Plan your week

Each week, I use this weekly planner to plan out the week ahead. Every Sunday, so that day I go grocery shopping so I plan my meals for the week and figure out what I need to buy for those meals. As I’m planning my week, I plan a day to run errands (bank, appointments, non grocery shopping, etc). Other weekly things to plan are date night (if you are married), family time, personal time (this is so important to me), one on one time for each child (since I only have one child this doesn’t really need to be scheduled), a day of rest (for me this means no chores or errands, I try having my rest day on Saturdays).

Scheduling my time and planning my week help me work at home, take care of my son and have a life. Life with a toddler is not easy and sometimes things don’t go as planned. If you have anybody to help you, I encourage you to take advantage of that.

I encourage you to pursue your dreams even if you are a mom, even if you are a single mom solely responsible for providing for your family. There are opportunities out there to provide for your family and make a difference (for me that is Trades of Hope and being a weekend house parent).

Cloth Diapering Resources

cloth diapering resources title photo

Parents choose to use cloth diapers for many reasons. Cloth diapers are better for the environment and better for baby’s sensitive skin. Some people choose cloth diapers because of the way they look– there are some adorable cloth diapers out there. The biggest reason we chose cloth diapers is because of how much money is saved compared to using disposable diapers. If you are wondering where to start with cloth diapers, these resources will get you on track.

cloth diapering resources title photo

Cloth Diapering Resources

Facebook Most cities have local groups for parents who use cloth diapers. These groups are a great way to buy and sell diapers as well as ask questions specific to your area. I am in this group for the Spokane area and this group for the Seattle area.
Introduction to Cloth Diapering class at Mother’s Haven in CDA, Idaho
Store with cloth diapering classes
Dirty Diaper Laundry This blog focuses on cloth diapering and features video reviews.
Reviews
The Real Diaper Association organizes local advocates and activists for cloth diapers.
GroVia This website covers the basics of choosing cloth diapers, washing cloth diapers, and the differences between the various types of diapers.
Cloth for Every Bum Their mission is to give free diapers to low income families and teach them how to use them.

 

How postpartum doulas help new moms

how postpartum doulas help new moms

Last week, I had a guest post from Katie of Milk and Nectar share about being a birth doula. Now I would like to share about postpartum doulas and what they do.  After birth, mothers need to be supported and have time for rest so that they can focus on taking care of their newborn.

How Postpartum Doulas Help New Moms

how postpartum doulas help new moms

The transition to motherhood is hard and sometimes lonely. I want to be there to help. I believe that some postpartum depression can be prevented if women had more support and less pressure as new moms.

Postpartum is not easy. New babies are great but this is also the biggest change a woman goes through. Not to mention the pressures and expectations from people around her. Hormones and emotions play a big role during this time.

Support is so important during the postpartum period. The right kind of support is even better. A lot of people want to help new moms but they don’t know how. Meals are always appreciated but new moms need space and privacy. I had plenty of support after the birth of my son but my biggest regret is having my mom and husband there at the same time. I would have received another week of help if my husband would have taken the next week off.

As a postpartum doula, I want to encourage the bond between parents and their baby. If the family has other children, I will help the whole family by offering suggestions for sibling adjustment.

The role of a postpartum doula is to take care of new moms so that they can focus on their new baby. Sometimes this includes encouraging the dad in his new role and giving both parents confidence in caring for the baby. This should be a time of relaxation and bonding not stress.

As a postpartum doula, here are some of the ways I will support the mom: When I arrive, I will make sure she is comfortable in all aspects (breastfeeding, body, boundaries, feels supported emotionally) and I will ask her what she needs most at the time. That could be rest, help with breastfeeding, food, water, a chance to take a shower… etc.

I encourage moms to limit visitors because they can be emotionally exhausting. The most important thing with visitors is that the mom knows her limits and communicates what she needs with others (i.e. privacy so that she can breastfeed). Visitors can be difficult in the beginning because being a new mom can be overwhelming and exhausting.

My presence as a postpartum doula will allow and encourage the mom to stay in bed. I will bring her food and drinks and make sure that she has all of her supplies (nipple salve, diapers, etc)  close to her. In the first couple of weeks moms do need fresh air and sunlight but they should not feel obligated to run errands (except appointments). I can go grocery shopping and/ or order food for the mom.

postpartum doula gift certificate

To be honest, after having my son I was not very good at resting but if I would have had a postpartum doula during the day taking care of me, it would have been easier. Rest and spending time in bed may sound boring but if you find things that are relaxing and nourish your soul, rest can be relaxing and beneficial to your ability to care for your new baby.

I want to be available for emotional support and encouragement, answering questions and helping the mom find resources that will help her become the best version of themselves.

The biggest way that postpartum doulas support families is by offering practical household help including laundry, tidying, meal prep and sibling care.

Postpartum doulas help make the transition to motherhood easier. After meeting immediate needs, I will ask how I can help smooth out the next couple of days or couple of weeks. Sometimes postpartum doulas only come once for a few hours and sometimes they come repeatedly. The role of a postpartum doula is to meet the needs of the families she is working with and that looks different for everybody.

We help parents come up with solutions to any problems they may be having. I can help moms with babywearing and breastfeeding. I do have some experience with elimination communication so if a family is interested in EC, I would love to support them.

A lot of the information in this post is inspired by Bear Mama Medicine’s guide for a healing postpartum.

If you are interested in hiring a postpartum doula to help you transition to motherhood, check out my postpartum services or doula resources.

If you were to have a postpartum doula, what would you most like them to do for you?