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Advice for New Parents from Your Doula

birth in north carolina postpartum support

When new parents ask me for advice on how to best navigate the brand new season they are starting for themselves, I draw on my experience as a Labor and Postpartum Doula to help reduce their fear of the unknown, but I also, authentically, share what I've learned on my own personal journey as a first time mom to instill confidence and strength for those moments you just can't be completely prepared for.

6 weeks ago, my husband Levi and I welcomed our very first baby into the world!

Even as a doula, with the education to prepare me for all things involved with labor and delivery, my birth was very much the same as every first-time mom’s birth in the way that: it was my first time experiencing labor myself!!

It was chaotic, messy, crazy, yet so beautiful, so perfect, and so...ours.

Out of that experience of excitement, discomfort, and total focus on getting through my labor, we got the most perfect thing we have ever laid eyes on: our tiny human, Jude.

Over the past 6 weeks as I've recovered physically and adjusted to this new role in my life, I have learned so many things. So many that sometimes I feel like my brain is going to explode!

Being knowledgeable in newborn care and what to expect during the postpartum period had prepared me for a lot, but holy moly there is still so much to learn! I have discovered that it is so different when it is your own self and newborn that you are caring for!

For one thing, WCD Postpartum Doulas are rested and not running on the little bit of sleep we as new parents are living life on. Lack of sleep changes things, for that I am certain.

This morning at the ripe old hour of 3 am while I was breastfeeding our sweet little Jude, I was doing everything I could to keep myself awake because wowza is it hard to stay awake at 3 am when you've had to wake up from a very lovely, deep sleep!

I was reflecting on the past 6 weeks and what they have looked like for my new little family of 3.

  • That insanely scary car ride home from the hospital with our most precious cargo when we realized that all drivers in Wilmington need to go back to Driver’s Ed or just not drive anymore.

  • There have been poop explosions.

  • Jude peed in his eye during a diaper change.

  • Pee on the wall {goodness, you’d think we would have a better handle on controlling the diaper situation by now!}

  • Fast food and carry out dinners.

  • Rocking our baby into the wee hours of the morning because he won’t stop crying and we don’t know why.

  • Lots of googling.

  • Even more laundry.

  • Figuring out how to give our little human his 1st bath. {Check out Jude's bath time video!}

  • Learning how to do a mean {and by that I mean really great!} swaddle.

  • Our baby’s first smile.

The list could go on and on!

While I was reflecting, one common thought kept coming to mind: for us this parenting thing really is all about working as a team.

When I stopped feeling like I must do it all, and realized that I am one member of a two-part team it made things so much easier. I can let my husband change diapers, make dinner, do laundry, figure out how to soothe our baby, and genuinely accept his help in taking care of this tiny human.

Because our tiny human is his tiny human, too!

I have noticed that by stepping back and letting Levi rise to the occasion, not micromanaging or trying to change the way he chooses to be Jude's daddy, has taken so much pressure off of me to do everything perfectly. Not to mention the bond they have developed!

At the end of the day all we’re trying to do is love each other and keep our sweet baby happy and healthy.

Speak life, choose joy, and keep marching, people.

If your husband or partner is your teammate, go up to them, give them a high-five, a smack on the hiney, or do whatever it takes to let them know that you are grateful that the two of you are in this together.

And then treat yourselves to ice cream because ice cream makes everything that much sweeter.

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