Baby Nurse or Postpartum Doula?

Baby Nurse or Postpartum Doula?

A question we get all the time... " What is the difference between a baby nurse and postpartum doula? I noticed in the Philadelphia area there a few different options for help after having a baby."

I thought I would answer this question today!

A baby nurse(also called a newborn care specialist, NCS) is a non-medically trained person, who is hired by the family to care for the needs of the newborn after birth. They feed baby, bathe baby, change diapers, do the baby's laundry and care for the baby's room.Often they do overnights or live with the family.

A postpartum doula is hired to care for the entire family and is specifically trained in being able to attend to the needs of the mother, as well as the baby, nurturing the the entire family and helping them through the transition their bodies are going through as well as the needs of a new baby. They focus on educating and encouraging as well as the more practical side of things. They encourage the mother, providing emotional support which enables her to more easily care for her baby. They are trained in breastfeeding support, pumping and bottle feeding.They help create a relaxing atmosphere by making delicious meals and tending to light house work including both the baby and entire family's home. They also do overnights or live with the family, as well as work day time hours.

Philadelphia Doulas Prenatal Series: It Takes a Village Baby Consultants

Calling all Philadelphia New and Expectant Parents, It Takes a Village Baby Consultants™ would like to help you prepare for your little bundle of joy. It Takes a Village  Baby Consultants™ is a hands-on baby- consulting firm located in Philadelphia.

What is a baby consultant? They offer specialty services for new and expectant parents either in the comfort of your home or in an intimate group setting. Their services include but are not limited to, sleep consulting, infant massage, basic baby care, nutrition, and developmental guidance.

I met this mother-daughter team who work in the fields of health care and early childhood education while at the Expectant Parents Bootcamp at Please Touch Museum this past fall.

Joanna said,
"our primary goal of It Takes a Village Baby Consultants is to educate and support growing families. We want to be there to help parents to trust their instincts and be active participants of the care and development of their child.” According to their website, this mother –daughter team understands that “It takes a village to raise a child” and that with the changing climate of our society, we are losing the “village”.

Philly parenting services, It Takes a Village
They want to be there for families first as a resource then as a member of their “village”- professionals that they can go to with all parenting questions related to their newborn up to age three. If you would like, they can come to “your village” to do a workshop on any topic related to children under age three. Check out their website, or give them a call at 215 460-8096


Philadelphia Doulas Lending Library

Main Line Doulas maintains a lending library covering topics from conception to pregnancy to birth to postpartum to the early childhood years.
This library is available free of charge for all of the Main Line Doulas and our clients. 
Here is a partial list of what is available. Please ask your doula if you would like to borrow one of these books.

Pregnancy, Childbirth and The Newborn by Simkin, Whalley and Keppler
Ina May's Guide to Childbirth
Ina Mays Guide to Breastfeeding
Your Baby and Child by Penelope Leach
Your Amazing Newborn by Klaus and Klaus
Expecting Miracles by Chana Weisberg
The Girlfriends Guide to Pregnancy by Vicki Iovine
Breastfeeding Made Simple  Mahrbacher Kendall-Tackett
Dr. Mom's Guide to Breastfeeding

Hypnobirthing The Mongon Method by Marie Mongan
The Complete Book of Pregnancy and Childbirth by Sheila Kitzinger
Nutrition for a Health Pregnancy by Elizabeth Sumer
For a Blissful Baby by Reddy mullins
Natural Health After Birth by Avviva Romm
Mothering the new Mother, Women feelings and Needs after Childbirth Sally Placksin
Strategies for the C-Section Mom Knight
The Essential C-Section Guide

Sacred Pregnancy Ann Daulter
The Aware Baby Solter
The No-Cry Nap Solution, Elizabeth Pantly
The Baby Name Survey Book, Lanksy
1,2,3 Magic
Loving without Spoiling Samalin
Birthing from Within, Pam Elngland
Your Baby's First Year, AAP

The First Twelve Months of Life Frank Caplan
Super Baby Food, Ruth Yaron
The Fussy Baby Book, Sears
Baby Minds, Linda Acredolo
Kid Cooperation, Pantly
Parenting is Heart Work, Turaksny and Miller
Spiritual Mothering, Hunt

The Mother of all Toddler Books, Ann Douglas
Conquering Postpartum Depression, Rosenberg
Vaccines, Avviva Romm,
Secrets of the Baby Whisperer, Tracy Hogg
Awakening your Child's Natural Genius, Armstrong
Oops! We Forgot the kids, Doyle Roth
I'm Not in the Mood, Judith Reichman, MD

Child of Mine, Feeding with Love and Good Sense Satter
The Art of Roughhousing, Cohen
The Preschool Years Galinsky
Your Three Year old, Ames
How to talk so kids will listen and listen so kids will talk, Adele Faber
Connection Parenting, Pam Leo
Siblings without Rivalry Adele Faber
Healthy Child, Whole Child, Stuart Ditchek
The Big Book of Happy, Michelle Kennedy

The Pocket Parent, Reichlin
I Love You Rituals, Becky Baily
The Secret of Parenting Wolf
How to get your kid to eat, but not too much,  Satter
The Birth Partner, Simkin
The Nursing Mothers Companion, Higgins
Your Week by Week Pregnancy
Becoming Attached
The Joy of Signing

Nutritionist Consultation Service

 1 hour consultation with a nutritionist to create a plan specific to your wants and needs. Our nutritionist is very familiar with the needs of the mom during the postpartum period. Eating the right foods nurtures your body during this important, life changing period, helping you to feel your very best, as well as help you reach your weight loss goals. The dietician will create a meal plan based on your individual tastes. Your doula will be in attendance at this meeting so that she is fully aware of the outcome of it. Your doula will then help you implement the plan that you and your dietician decide on by encouraging you in health eating, shopping and food preparations

Music Therapy Assisted Childbirth Doula Care

We are pleased to be able to now offer Music Therapy Assisted Childbirth support.

Using Music during Pregnancy, Birth, & Postpartum 

Music can be used therapeutically for many purposes.

Below, you will find examples of how music can help you during pregnancy and labor.


• Promote wellness via lowering physical & psychological stress

• Decrease anxiety

• Identify psychological barriers/fears towards labor

• Pair music therapy techniques with birthing techniques

• Prepare labor ‘playlists’

• Write/record songs for baby

Labor & Delivery:

• Comfort Techniques

• Breathing and relaxation support

• Encouraging movement and positioning for labor

• Advocacy- reminding and encouraging you & your partner to use the

resources you identified as helpful for your birth

• Emotional support


• Help cope with traumatic birth experiences

• Lower emotional & physical stress

• Provide relaxation for breastfeeding

• Increase parent-child bonding

• Foster positive familial relationships

• Identify signs of postpartum depression

• Develop coping strategies for postpartum depression


Here is a list of some of the different kinds of music experiences you may encounter using music therapy during pregnancy and labor:

• Receptive music listening & discussion

• Song writing (original or ‘song parodies’)

• Lyric discussion

• Music and imagery

• Music and relaxation

What is included in the Main  Line Doulas Package:
·      (2) 1 hour prenatal sessions
·      Birth Planning Assistance (musical & educational)
·      email, text, & phone support
·      Labor support (from active stage until 1 hour postpartum)
·      Initial breastfeeding support
·      (1) 1 hour postpartum session
·      Personalized musical support & bonding for you & baby throughout pregnancy, birth, & postpartum
·      Music therapy assisted autogenic relaxation training exercises

Philadelphia Prenatal Health Series: Mama's Wellness Joint


Philadelphia moms and moms-to-be looking to stay healthy in both body and spirit, check out this great center right in your backyard!  It’s called Mama’s Wellness Joint and is located at 1100 Pine Street in Philadelphia.  According to their website, at Mama’s Wellness Joint you can find a “supportive community of health, love, birth, and beauty.”

One of the many benefits of prenatal yoga is better sleep! According to a study out of San Jose University, mom's who practice mindful prenatal yoga get more sleep in the second and third trimester. (

Mama’s Wellness Joint offers a variety of classes including Prenatal Yoga, Mama’s Movin’, Kids Yoga, Mommy and Me Little Babies, and more.  For dads who want to get in on getting healthy, they also offer Men’s Yoga.  What’s nice about this studio is that on top of their regular classes, they also have a New Mama’s Support Group that runs the first Wednesday of each month.  For more info or to sign up for a class you can give them a call at 267-519-9037 or visit their website at     

1100 Pine St, Philadelphia, PA 19107

Philadelphia Doula Resources for Pregnant Moms Series: My Fabulous Mama

Philadelphia moms and moms-to-be rejoice!  There’s a new maternity and baby boutique headed your way. This shop has been wanted and needed by pregnant moms for a long time now in Philadelphia. It’s called My Fabulous Mama and will be opening its doors to all fabulous mamas this November at 1610 South Street in Philadelphia.  This new locale could be your one stop shop for fashionable maternity and nursing wear as well as baby apparel, gifts and toys.

My Fabulous Mama will be hosting a celebratory open house this weekend on Saturday, November 9th from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.  There will be snacks for the kids and treats for the adults.  They will even have giveaways throughout the day.  In the spirit of giving back, My Fabulous Mama will be donating 5% of all retail sales through November 17th to local public schools, Friends of Chester Arthur and Stanton Elementary.

Main Line Doulas will be at the open house around noon, so come say hi and welcome this wonderful new shop into the neighborhood. 

Here’s a list of just some of the brands you can find at My Fabulous Mama (full maternity and baby collection will be available in Spring 2014!):  

Baby Steps
Kicky Pants
Sippy Babes
Wee Drool (coming Soon)
Jasper Hearts Wren (Spring)
Paige Lauren (Spring)
Masala Baby (Spring)
Nununu (Spring)
Fit Bump 360 (Coming in the Spring)
Cake Lingerie
Simple Wishes
Earth Mama Angel Baby
3 Girls Holistics
Ripe Maternity
Maternal America
Momo Maternity,
Carriwell (Spring)
Ingrid and Isabel (Spring)
Leota Maternity (Launching in the Spring)
Citizens of Humanity (Spring)
Japanese Weekend (Spring)
Belabumbum (Spring)
Seraphine (Spring)
Wee Gallery
Eco Kids
Melissa and Doug
Plan Toys
Alex Toys

Philadelphia Doula Prenatal Health Series: The Yoga Garden

The Yoga Garden
903 South St.
Philadelphia, PA 

Hey Philadelphia preggies! Get ready to get healthy and find a connection between you mind, body and spirit.  Whether you have been practicing yoga since you were very young or just want to try something new now, The Yoga Garden, located on South Street in Philadelphia offers so many wonderful classes at all levels of yoga.  Specifically for new moms or moms-to-be, The Yoga Garden offers prenatal yoga, which helps to prepare women for the changes that pregnancy will present, help prepare moms-to-be for their labor and delivery and will also create a connection between mom and baby.  

Once your baby arrives, The Yoga Garden also offers a “Yoga Babies” class.  This class is a full 90 minutes so that moms can attend to their new babies as needed and still have time to do yoga.  It’s a chance to get out and meet other new moms and take care of your baby while still taking care of yourself.  According to their website, this class is designed “specifically to address the needs of your postpartum body & being.”  

The Yoga Garden also offers many other classes at their studio, including Gentle Yoga, which incorporates a lot of relaxation and deep breathing, a perfect pause for new moms!  For more information, check out their website or give them a call, 215-238-0989.  For moms in the Main Line area, The Yoga Garden also has a 2nd location at 131 N. Narberth Ave, Narberth, PA 19072 offering many of the same wonderful classes.  You can give them a call at 610-664-2705.

Lulus Casita Grand Opening class discount!

Lulus Casita in Ardmore is having their grand opening tomorrow! And I just found out that if you register for any of the expecting parents classes that Main Line doulas will be teaching there tomorrow only, you will receive $10 OFF!  So come check out the festivities going on all day tomorrow including my free class, Planning for the Postpartum Period and get $10 off all other expecting classes being taught in this cozy environment. Now you can skip the sterile hospital classes and opt for classes at the cozy Casita! I can't wait to sit down with you and share all I know about being well prepared for the postpartum time tomorrow afternoon. 

Philadelphia Doula Prenatal Health Series: Fit4Mom/Fit4Baby If you live in Philadelphia and are pregnant or thinking about getting pregnant in the near future, you may want to check out Fit4Baby.  The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) say that exercise is just as important during pregnancy as any other time of life.  Fit4Baby is a prenatal fitness program that focuses on pregnant moms and works to safely prepare and strengthen the body for all the changes it will go through during pregnancy.  There are other Fit4Mom classes that include dads, nannies, and other family members (see for more details).

Fit4Baby classes are an hour long and include strength training, cardio, balancing and stretching exercises.  They take place in the evening and are good for any stage of pregnancy, so even if you work during the day, you can still make the class in the evening.

Classes in November will be held on Thursdays, Nov. 7, 14, and 21 from 6:30-7:30 p.m. at the Unitarian Church at 2125 Chestnut St, Philadelphia, PA 19103.  For more info call 610.731, 6525.   

Doulas Nurturing Philadelphia moms and babies

Serving Philadelphia and the surrounding areas.

We nurture you, so you can nurture your baby. 
Helping you build the foundation that will last a life time. 

Imagine this: You've just given birth to your precious new baby. You've waited so long to have him in your arms. He's here! It's exhausting having a new baby, but you've planned ahead to help make the transition as smooth as possible.  You hired a professional, experienced doula to nurture you and your baby during the first weeks postpartum.

Your doula brings you breakfast in bed, you and your spouse enjoy your fresh squeeze kale, strawberry and orange juice, eggs and waffles. You then spend some time drinking your coffee and cuddling your baby and feeding him while your doula gets a load of your laundry in before you hand him over to experienced arms you can trust while you take your shower in peace and quiet. When you finish in the bathroom, your doula asks you if you'd like her to teach you how to bathe your little one and get him dressed for the day. You feel so great, as what used to scare you, you now realize you've just learned how to do! Your little guy is now freshly diapered, dressed and ready for the day ahead which will include mommy and daddy kisses and cuddles. The smell of his newborn head is unlike anything else, it's bliss.

Your doula goes home while you enjoy every minute of the day in baby bliss, counting his little toes, looking into each others eyes and experiencing the joy that comes with having your sweet baby in your arms. You look forward to seeing your doula again at bed time so that your little angel can have all his needs met throughout the night, brought to you for all feeding and you can get the sleep you so desperately need.


OB/GYNs and ACOGs new definition of "Full Term Pregnancy"

Today the ACOG has released NEW guidelines for what they consider to be a "term pregnancy". 
This is something that has been debated for years.

For many years, the ACOG(American College of Obstetrics and Gynocology) stated that term pregnancy was from 37-42 weeks gestation. Babies born before 37 weeks were considered premature and babies born after 42 weeks were considered post term.  Their new guidelines released on October 22, 2013 are redefining this standard. The new guidelines define term pregnancy as 39 weeks gestation.

We at Main Line Doulas are excited to see these new guidelines put into place and here's why: Many women are having nonmedically indicated, elective medical inductions(artificially starting the process of labor, either naturally or more commonly with prescription medications in the hospital) before their baby is naturally ready to come. Statistics show that their outcomes aren't always as good as their counterparts born at 39 weeks. According to a committee opinion article put out by the ACOG in April 2013 they say,

"Morbidity and mortality rates are greater among neonates and infants delivered during the early-term period [37-38 weeks] compared with those delivered between 39 weeks and 40 weeks of gestation. Nevertheless, the rate of nonmedically indicated early-term deliveries continues to increase in the United States. Implementation of a policy to decrease the rate of nonmedically indicated deliveries before 39 weeks of gestation has been found to both decrease the number of these deliveries and improve neonatal outcomes"

 This means that many babies being born with symptoms of prematurity could have been avoided.

 These guidelines will help stop babies from being born too early. A recent trend has been for the patient to request an induction that is not medically necessary. It is understandable that at the end of pregnancy, many women are extremely uncomfortable and ready to meet their new babies. By defining "term" pregnancy at 37 weeks, women and OB/GYNS are given the impression that babies born at 37 weeks are fully developed and ready to be born with the same outcomes as their peers born at 39-40 weeks, even if their body hasn't given them signs that it ready to start labor. This may give women the false impression that it is okay to induce labor before it naturally begins, as early as 37 weeks.

The March of Dimes has been rallying against inductions before 39 weeks for some time now. March of Dimes is an organization that has been protecting the health of babies and children, leading cutting edge research, offering community programs and providing education to communities to help save babies lives. They help moms to have full term pregnancies and are there with support for those who don't. Over the past year, they have started a campaign in television commercials, billboards and in-hospital posters highlighting the importance of delivering your baby at 39 weeks or later unless there is a medical problem. This campaign has lead to a reduction in premature babies. Hopefully these new guidelines will increase this reduction greatly.

So here are the new definitions:
  • Early Term:  Between 37 weeks 0 days and 38 weeks 6 days
  • Full Term:    Between 39 weeks 0 days and 40 weeks 6 days
  • Late Term:   Between 41 weeks 0 days and 41 weeks 6 days
  • Postterm:     Between 42 weeks 0 days and beyond

What will this new definition mean for moms and babies? Doctors will be taking these new guidelines into consideration before inducing labor. Both doctors and patients will now have a better understanding of the healthiest time for a baby to be born and will wait the appropriate time for non-medically indicated inductions.

 "Healthy babies are worth the wait!"

Non-medically indicated Early-Term deliveries:

Philadelphia based Free Newborn Photo Session!

Philadelphia based newborn photographer, Sweet Potato Photography is offering 5 lucky moms and baby's a FREE newborn session!! Including free digital images! There is no catch, she just wants to expand her portfolio.
Contact her right away to get one of these spots:

Philadelphia area hospitals we serve!

 Philadelphia area hospitals we serve!

Philadelphia is only two blocks from us! We moved to Merion because we have the train a block from us so that we can easily go into the city via train or driving. I feel so blessed to live in an area that can serve SO many hospitals. Most doulas have a rule that they need to be able to get to the place they are serving within 45minutes to 1hr at the most and we have that rule too. Living just outside of Philadelphia allows for that very easily as we can serve families as far out as Reading or as close as Queen's Village or Center City.

Here is a list of the hospitals within 45-60 minute drive of Bryn Mawr, PA. I will use Bryn Mawr since it is more towards the center of the Main Line:

(under construction)
Lankenua Medical Center
Bryn Mawr Hospital
Paoli Hospital
Hospital of the University of Pennsylvani
Pennsylvania Hospital
 Jefferson Hospital
Delaware County Memorial Hospital
Childrens Hospital of Philadelphia(Yes they do have a special delivery unit!)
Hahnemann University Hospital


Ardmore's new parent/child cafe, Lulu's Casita!

I first learned about Lulu's Casita just outside of Philadelphia, in Ardmore just about 2 months ago. While I was at the Bryn Mawr Starbucks doing a doula consultation(my first back after having Ezra) I met a man who told me his wife Jessica was due with their second child in January. Of course we started talking, and I found out that his wife is also opening a new cafe, Lulu's Casita "where little ones play and parents stay". I was so excited to learn more! Jessica and I got together at Narberth playground of all places and had a wonderful time telling each other about our businesses. I am so excited that Main Line Doulas will be offering our child birth classes through Lulu's Casita.

So that brings us to today.... I got to bring my kids to come check it out BEFORE it opened. How exciting! The soft opening will be the day after tomorrow. So they were still working out the kinks. Not all the toys are there, no food or decorations yet. But the main stuff was put it. And my kids LOVED it. I am so so excited as a mom to have this new space available to me to meet friends and family at.

Here are some pics of my kids enjoying the space...

Ball Pit!

Dress Up!

Live Births on The Today Show!?!?

Wow... first reactions here... when I first heard that The Today Show was doing a new series where they would be going to live births and show them on the air live, I thought, wow pretty cool. This is going to be very different from A Birth Story, because it will be much happier. It won't have all the dramatic music that A Birth Story has. And it will  normalize birth a little more(uuhh, we've been doing it for millions of years!!)

But I just turned it on and I was a little uncomfortable for mom. How long in advance did they get her permission? If it was during labor, than I'd say that would be a hard informed decision to make during labor and very hard for her to think about the benefits versus the draw backs. The camera person/reporter was LOUD and in this womans face as she was pushing her baby out and touching her baby for the first time. She said to the woman as she is touching her baby for the very first time, "Turn around and say hello to the camera for us!" and this poor woman turns around  and looks into the camera and says HELLO. Instead of taking in the moments, this loud person is narrating the events. I think the idea of this new Born Today on The Today Show is a great idea... but maybe they will be able to find a way to treat the birthing family with a little more respect and dignity about the huge event she is accomplishing in these moments.

So calling The Today Show and reporter Janet Shamlian...

Can I please come in and teach your staff how do this series in a more respectful, beautiful way? At Main Line Doulas, we help families create a more intimate environment in a pretty sterile setting and we are pretty darn good at it. I'd be happy to teach your reporter to know exactly what to expect and how to best narrate it in a way that your viewers will enjoy AND show respect for the birthing mom and baby.

FREE CLASS: Preparing for the Postpartum Period NEXT Sunday Saturday at Lulu's Casita in Ardmore

I am so excited for the Grand Opening Fiesta of Lulu's Casita in Ardmore, across from the old Milkboy on Cricket Ave.

Main Line Doulas will be there hosting a FREE intro class:

Preparing for the Postpartum Period

We will tackle questions like:
  • What will the immediate days after birth be like?
  • How can I have a smooth transition into this new phase of my life?
  • What can I do NOW to prepare for after baby is born?

Expectant Parents Bootcamp at Please Touch Museum

Main Line Doulas is excited to be participating in this year's 

Please Touch Museum of Philadelphia

Expectant Parents Bootcamp!


Saturday, September 21, 2013

10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

Expectant Parents Bootcamp is a must see event for expectant mommies and daddies! We will conquer some of the most exciting and pressing new mommy and daddy questions and help you prepare for the amazing and exciting changes your family is about to experience! Bootcamp Expo will feature vendors specializing in all things baby! From baby gear to childcare experts, you won’t want to miss our Expo area for free advice, giveaways and more!

Registration Fee: $50/person or $90/couple. VIP Hour included!

Click on the link below to register:

Yay for my placenta pills...

Doula hat OFF, newly postpartum mom hat ON:

I just wanted to take a brief second while my 10 week old baby Ezra is sleeping to mention how much I love my placenta encapsulation pills. The Main Line Doulas placenta encapsulation specialist, Brittany Welding did my placenta and I could not be happier with the results. I took them the first 6 weeks.... and then yesterday, I realized I had been feeling a little down the last few days. I started taking them again yesterday and today. My energy is back, and my anxiety has dissipated!!!

Okay... baby is crying... I better stop writing... I just had to sing the praises of my placenta pills:-)

Paoli, Bryn Mawr, Lankenau, Riddle Hospitals!

Paoli, Bryn Mawr, Lankenau, Riddle Hospitals!

The Main Line Doulas Team is so excited about running in the BabySteps 5k Run on Saturday to support the NICU's of Main Line Health System including Paoli, Bryn Mawr, Lankenau, Riddle Hospitals!!!!! We hope to see everyone there!

The event is being held at Rose Tree Park in Media, PA at 8:30am on Saturday Sept 7th!

You can register on site and all proceeds go to support the important work of the Main Line Health NICU's.

Kim kardashian placenta episode

I love that Kim Kardashian is really exploring the benefits of placenta encapsulation in the episode of kardashians tonight!

Sitting down for a family dinner, Kim brings up the idea of consuming placenta. She asks the family chef if he has ever cooked up a placenta before. He hadn't.

"My wife did that," he said. "And it's supposed to be good, too. (It helps) with postpartum and it's great for menopause."
"There's cookbooks of different ways you have to cook it," said Kardashian.
The other family members weren't interested in it except for Kourtney. 
"Why would you not take it? That's the question I want to know," said Kourtney. "I didn't know... I'm so upset... I want to have a third child just to eat the placenta."

Bryn Mawr, Lankenau, Paoli and Riddle Hospital NICU 5K

Main Line Doulas is excited to be invited to the Baby Steps 5k annual charity run benefiting Bryn Mawr, Lankenau, Paoli and Riddle Hospital NICUs, (the Main Line Health System NICU's.) 
It will be on September 7th, 2013 at 8:30am at Rose Tree Park in Media, PA

My brother and sister were NICU babies so this charity event hits very close to home and we feel honored to have our team of doulas taking part in the event!! Past and current clients: Come out and let us see how big your babys have grown and say hello to your doulas!!

If you'd like to register for the event, please send me an email at with your NAME, AGE, ADDRESS, EMERGENCY CONTACT, and TSHIRT SIZE. For each person to join the MLD team, we will be donating the registration fee on YOUR behalf, so you participate FREE!! And if you aren't one of our clients yet, this would be a great chance to come meet some of our doulas and get prepared for your upcoming birth!

Narberth Little Gym hosts the SPCA!

What can we teach our children to do when dogs are jumping or chasing them?? 

The Little Gym of Narberth camp is hosting a visit from the SPCA this week to teach our children how to respond when being chased. They are practicing, "standing like a tree" as well as stressing the importance of asking permission to pet dogs. I am thrilled my kids are attending this week with such an important theme!

Benefits of a Postpartum Doula

The presence of a postpartum doula can
  • reduce the incidence of postpartum depression,
  • increase the rate of successful breastfeeding, 
  • strengthen all relationships in the family as they make this transition together
For more information about the benefits of a postpartum doula, please go to the DONA (Doulas of North America) website to read their position paper on this topic:

Paoli Hospital's Big Latch On!
Come join us in the Potter Room as we celebrate the Big Latch On at Paoli Hospital!

This event is hosted by Nursing Mothers Alliance and sponsored by Dr. Josh Rabinowitz and the Advocare Newborn Network, in association with Main Line Health's Nursery and Lactation Committees.

Registration will begin at 9:45 am with The Big Latch On happening at 10:30am. Please feel free to stay & mingle with other moms or ask questions of the Nursing Mothers Alliance breastfeeding counselors until 11:30.

Directions and Parking Information:

Parking is complimentary and it will be most convenient to park in the lot directly in front of Medical Office Building 1 (MOB1), which connects to Main Hospital Building. Enter at MOB1 and follow the hallway straight down until you reach the hospital atrium and signage for The Potter Room and this event.

For more information, contact:

The Nursing Mothers Alliance:

Phone: 610-251-9405 (warmline - leave voicemail for response)


(im)patiently awaiting the arrival of my baby...

Personal Blog Alert(doula hat off, pregnant mom hat on): Well it's Sunday evening. My due date has come and gone a few days ago now, it was this past Thursday June 27th. I am now almost 40+4 weeks. My sweet little guy is happy inside and will come when he's ready... even though I've been ready for weeks!!!!!! Ahh!!!
"Oh wow you look you are ready to go! When are you due??" says every stranger I come into contact with in public... "a few days ago" I respond with a sad face....
When I first got pregnant, I told everyone that my due date was July 5th. I did this to avoid that crazy feeling that I'm having now, the impatient feeling like I just can't wait another minute to hold my sweet little baby. But I'll go back to my doula hat for a second here.... a due date is only a rough ESTIMATE of when they THINK baby COULD come... unfortunately that knowledge doesn't stop me from feeling "done" and feeling crazy and feeling like I've had enough of back aches, and hip pain, and nausea and heart burn and contractions and groin pain and and and.... And although this knowledge isn't stopping me from feeling done, it it stopping me from taking any risky actions like a medical induction. (unless of course there was a medical problem requiring a medical induction! But being past my "due date" isn't a medical problem)

There is a great article about due dates called The Lie of the EDD: Why Your Due Date Isn't What You Think that explains where they came up with the EDD and the many ways in which in can be inaccurate.

Please read this article to learn more about the myth of the due date now:

In the mean time, I will be (im)patiently await the arrival of my precious little guy.

Kim Kardashian wants to eat her Placenta!

Tonight on the season premier of Keeping Up with the Kardashians I was excited to see the mention of the consumption of placenta.

Here is what Kim said,
"Why would a normal human want to eat their placenta?" Asks Kim Kardashian.

"There is whole cook books on eating placenta you know..." Says the doctor.

"I really wanna do it." Says Kim (while Kim's mom signals with her hand and facial expression that she is looney.)

So What Are The Benefits Of Placenta Consumption?

Many believe that by consuming the placenta it can:
  • Increase energy
  • balance your hormones, using your very own hormones
  • Replenish iron levels
  • Help the uterus to return to its pre-pregnancy state
  • Reduce bleeding
  • Increase milk production 
  • Make for a happier, more enjoyable postpartum time

But there is an easier and taste free way to do it! Placenta encapsulation. This is a process, often done by a professional which includes washing, preparing, steaming, dehydrating and pulverizing your placenta into a powdered form which is then placed in capsule form so that it is taste free and odorless. For those of us who think the placenta is gross, or maybe we just don't like the idea of consuming it, this process is a whole lot more palatable!

I am just so excited that more and more women are finding out about the amazing benefits of consuming their own placenta after birth! We love doing placenta encapsulation and have a wonderful specialist who will do this process for you. Please contact us with any questions about our services. 

Philadelphia area's newest birdies....

The Philadelphia area really has a stunning assortment of birds. My husband pulled me outside randomly yesterday to just listen to the beautiful sounds. Well, today, I was looking out my office window and see a red robin fly into the tree. I watch to see what she is doing, and sure enough I see 3 little tiny beaks poking up from a branch where a nest is hiding. The momma is feeding her little babies! I had no idea there was even a nest there, just a few feet away from me all this time! They sure do hide well. I've been watching momma bird alternate all day long from feeding, to warming them, to gathering more food. I just love watching their little beaks poke up when mom first arrives back over to the nest. I look forward to my new little one coming so soon now. I'm sure all the new mom's can relate to feeding and comforting their newest little ones as well.

This video isn't of the little ones I found, my view is actually much prettier, but my view is so well camouflaged that I really can't get a good shot of them. 

Bryn Mawr Hospital Maternity Family Fair 2013

Bryn Mawr Hospital Maternity Family Fair 2013


What a lovely day yesterday at the Bryn Mawr Hospital Maternity Family Fair! 
  • A beautiful fashion show with some great moms to be, children born at BMH and labor and delivery nurses. 
  • An awesome meet and greet with Drs. Jocelyn Craparo and Catherine Bernardini from Bryn Mawr Women's Health Associates. 
  • Art's and Craft's for children run by one of the awesome labor and delivery nurses. 
  • Mickey Kent, IBCLC ran a table for BMH educating families on all the breastfeeding resources available.
  • Babies R Us was there with a ton of awesome give-aways! 
  • And of course Main Line Doulas was there talking to mom's about the amazing benefits of birth and postpartum doulas. It was wonderful to meet so many wonderful pregnant moms!

Great job on a wonderful event!

Bryn Mawr Hospital Mom and Baby Community Day!

Mom & Baby Community Day with Fashion Show 
sponsored by the Bryn Mawr Hospital Obstetrical Unity Council
May 4th from 10am-2pm
Bryn Mawr Hospital, Warden Lobby
130 South Bryn Mawr Avenue
Lower Merion,PA 19010

• Fashion Show featuring obstetric nurses, patients,
and children from Bryn Mawr Hospital
• Car Seat Checks performed by the Montgomery
County Health Department. Call 610.278.5119 to
reserve your time slot. Space is limited.
• Information on pregnancy wellness and nutrition,
newborn care, breastfeeding and more.
• Learn more about Nemours duPont Pediatrics
• Tours of Labor and Delivery/Maternity and FCMN.
• Meet and greet doctors from obstetrics, anesthesia,
NICU, and some nurses.
• Arts and crafts for the kids.
• Meet a representative from Babies R Us with FREE
gift bags and registration information.
• Raffles for a pack n’ play, car seat, homemade
quilt, a thirty-one bag, embroidered onesies, gift
cards from local businesses.
with Fashion Show

Refreshments and so much more!

To register for this event, please call
or visit

"Can I Afford It?" Suze Orman on Doulas

Financial analyst Suze Orman hosts a show called Can I Afford it? On this show, people call in asking if various things they want to buy are things they can afford or if they would be good financial decisions.

Today a caller named Bethany asks if she can afford a birth doula.

Suze's response: "You cannot afford to NOT get a doula, it is a NEED not a want."

Watch the clip here:

Changes in our Bodies During Pregnancy

A friend on facebook just posted a video titled 2 People Describe The Same Person To a Forensic Artist and this is What Happened

This is a beautiful reminder of seeing the beauty in our bodies. Pregnancy is time when our body's are making dramatic changes almost daily as our babies grow inside us, stretching not only our uterus and abdomen, but also changing our skin, changing our taste buds, sense of smell, the size of our feet and so much more. This can be a time of excitement as we watch our bodies change or it can be a time of fear as we worry that we are too small or too big, gaining too much weight or not enough. Many of us criticize ourselves constantly.

It's the only time in a women's life that near strangers feel it's acceptable to comment on our size, "Wow you are getting huge!!!" "Are you sure you aren't having twins??"  Or maybe you are hearing, "oh you are already six months along, you look tiny." You could be wondering if you will ever look pregnant the way you had imagined and you worry. Any of these comments can  make us question our body and our baby and our ability to carry our child. 

It can be hard to look past our own insecurities but let's try. Our belief about our body is important. If you are celebrating you pregnant body, than I celebrate with you, celebrate your ability to see the truth about your body as beautiful and powerful as you grow this precious baby. If you are struggling through this process and maybe feeling insecurities about the way your body is changing, that's okay too. Maybe take this post as reminder to make a conscious choice to change our thought process surrounding the changes are body's are going through.

One conscious choice you can make to help celebrate your beautiful changing body is a belly casting session. A belly cast is a 3 dimensional mold of a pregnant moms belly. The belly cast is made to be a piece of art for your home, as well as a memento of your beautiful pregnant body. A piece of art to help you celebrate the incredible changes your body has gone through during the short period of time as you carry and grow your precious baby inside you. You can do a series of 2 or 3 so you can document the growth of your belly, or you can wait to get one done towards the end to capture the true fullness before baby comes out.

Don't pass up this invitation to celebrate your body. Click here for more information to book your belly casting session:

King of Prussia Babies R Us Comfort Measures Class

Did you know of any particularly helpful comfort measures for childbirth before having your baby? I love teaching Comfort Measure for Childbirth where you can learn tons of neat little tips and tricks to stay comfortable during your baby's birth... come check out the class tomorrow night at the King of Prussia Babies R Us...

Prenatal Acupuncture in Bryn Mawr!

I'm loading you all up on the wonderful resources the Main Line has to offer pregnant ladies this week: Marlene Burke is a licensed acupuncturist right at the Bryn Mawr Wellness office on Haverford Road specializing in fertility treatment as well as issues related to pregnancy. I "met" Marlene a while back via our mutual friend and chiropractor Cara Hillwig on facebook and it was so great to meet for "real" tonight.

 Marlene taught an informative class on acupressure for childbirth. We learned of a number of acupressure spots to both encourage labor as well as ease pain and help comfort and relax mom during birth. My favorite one was the point in the fleshy part of the shoulder, that feels so good. Our clients are certainly going to greatly benefit from the knowledge gained tonight. Thank you Marlene for teaching this class!!

Check out her facebook page here:

Bryn Mawr: Belly Pilates

I am so excited I just met another wonderful resource for our prenatal and postpartum moms. Kelly McBride is the energetic and compassionate owner of Belly Pilates in Bryn Mawr and is the only Certified Master instructor of Pre/Postnatal Pilates in the Philadelphia area.

Diastasis Recti
Defintion from
diastasis rec´ti abdo´minis separation of the rectus muscles of the abdominal wall, sometimes occurring during pregnancy.

Usually you can tell if you have a diastasis recti if the separation in your muscles is more than 3 fingers width.  Do you have any separation?

I was able to speak to her about my own diastasis recti. My separation is about 4-5 fingers! I look forward to learning more with her to practice some really important exercises I can do after baby is born to help repair my abdomen. She was extremely knowledgeable on diastasis and very enthusiastic about her work with moms. She is located right in Bryn Mawr/Rosemont area just down the street from Villanova University and offers both group and private classes.

Diastasis is just one of the many things Kelly works with women on.  Please check out her website to learn more about how pilates can help both during the prenatal time as well as postpartum:

The Impact of our Birth Experience

Happy Birthday Corey!

My entire family gathered around the dinner table last night to spend time together and to celebrate my brother Corey's 23rd birthday. My mom called me on Friday and invited us over(last minute as always, but luckily I always know the call is coming way before she ever calls me and we plan accordingly). I came early so I could spend some time with my sister and keep her company while she prepared a delicious dinner for us all. 7 home made pizzas! Everyone kept popping their heads into the kitchen, as none of us could wait much longer. Finally we all piled onto the dinner table, we had a full table. Did I mention I am the oldest of 8 kids? Yes, my mom had 8 babies(3 of which were triplets!) And now 4 grandkids. We all enjoy our favorite pizza, and as we begin to finish, we ask my mom the question that we know she loves to hear....

"So mom, tell us about Corey's birth!"

"Well," she says. "This was my first time at Pennsylvania Hospital, I wanted to use their birthing suites, but they were full and I was in the hallway......" 

She's thrilled we asked, just as she is with every single one of our birthdays, every single year... So 8 babies, that brings us to a March birthday, three June birthdays, three July birthdays and my September birthday. That's a lot of birth story telling. And she never ever tires of it... In fact, I am sure she would love to write out Corey's birth story so I can post it on here for you all.

We love telling our birth story's don't we moms? Any time someone wants to listen! There was a study done by reknowned doula, Penny Simkin, telling us that the impact of a woman's birth experience is life long. Click here for that article:

Now that you know that your upcoming birth experience is going to be a memory that lasts a lifetime(and may be told over and over and over again if you're kids are as sweet as us and willing to listen;-), think about how you can put some thought into your birth. Who is going to be there? What do you want the atmosphere to feel like? Would you like some support during your birth? Do you want pain medication during birth? Do you want to hold your baby right away or have them go to the nursery? Thinking about and planning for these and many other questions will help guide your choices and forever shape the story you will be telling for years to come.

As my mom told Corey's birth story for the thousandth time last night, there were about 10 times where I had to interject and say, "mom, you really could have used a doula at that point huh?"  Hiring a doula to help you plan for this event as well as be at the event to gently guide you to assist it all happening has been shown to create more positive memories and stories.

Don't wait another day, call us up to allow us to help you start planning for your birth story. Our birth story's really do stay with us for a life time. 

Baby Nurse vs. Postpartum Doula

 Baby Nurse vs. Postpartum Doula

A question we get all the time... " What is the difference between a baby nurse and postpartum doula? I noticed in the Philadelphia area there a few different options for help after having a baby."

I thought I would answer this question today!

A baby nurse(also called a newborn care specialist, NCS) is a non-medically trained person, who is hired by the family to care for the needs of the newborn after birth. They feed baby, bathe baby, change diapers, do the baby's laundry and care for the baby's room.Often they do overnights or live with the family.

A postpartum doula is hired to care for the entire family and is specifically trained in being able to attend to the needs of the mother, as well as the baby, nurturing the the entire family and helping them through the transition their bodies are going through as well as the needs of a new baby. They focus on educating and encouraging as well as the more practical side of things. They encourage the mother, providing emotional support which enables her to more easily care for her baby. They are trained in breastfeeding support, pumping and bottle feeding.They help create a relaxing atmosphere by making delicious meals and tending to light house work including both the baby and entire family's home. They also do overnights or live with the family, as well as work day time hours.

Babies R Us King of Prussia Class

Comfort Measures for Childbirth seminar this Thursday at the King of Prussia, PA Babies R Us.

Bring your birth partner and come prepared to learn all about ways to stay comfortable during your upcoming birth, including relaxation techniques, positions to make labor easier and quicker and massage techniques. Don't miss this class!

February 28th 2013 at 7pm
Comfort Measures for Childbirth
Babies R Us King of Prussia Classes

Celebrating Renoir's Birthday and Beautiful Mom Curves

Merion's own Barnes Foundation(three blocks from our home until it moved to Center City 6 months ago) along with The Philadelphia Museum of Art hold some of the most beautiful paintings in the world including the art of Peirre-Auguste Renoir. What does this have to do with babies and mommas? My favorite subjects of his are babies, children and mommas. And today is his birthday! He has created the most beautiful, inviting scenes of moms and babies. His paintings of women's nude bodies has given me the ability to see my body in a more beautiful light. Every time I look at his bathers, I am reminded of the beauty of my own curves.  So this morning I am taking time to sit down with my 5 yr old and 3 yr old to discover their own favorite Renoirs.

Take a moment today to discover Renoirs work by searching Renoir in google images. I guarantee you will enjoy it. 

Here is Ivy's pick:

Mother Nursing Her Child by Renoir

Intimacy in the Philadelphia area Hospital Setting

Intimacy in the Philadelphia area Hospital Setting

I thought today I would address this frequently asked question:

"We don't want a lot of people at our birth and we want this to be a time of deep connection. I'm not sure a doula would be right for us."

It sounds like you are looking for a really intimate birth experience. Have you chosen a home birth? No? You will be at a hospital? Okay, well at a hospital there are going to be a lot of people there, we can't change that. There are nurses, doctors, anesthesiologists, students, custodial workers and more. What we can change is the level of intimacy you experience while at the hospital. As a doula, I help create that space.

 How do we help create an intimate space in a literally sterile environment? Before the birth, during our prenatal appointments, we discuss how you would like the environment to feel and what we can bring to help make it feel more intimate and less sterile. When we arrive at the hospital, I help you get all of your belongings set up, set mood-lighting, go find sheets, towels, pillows and a rocking chair. When hospital staff bounce loudly into a room in the middle of an intense contraction and time of quiet intimacy, I help soften that barrier between staff and mom and dad helping them to best navigate how to answer questions and ask questions of staff. Just the calming presence of a doula can really help signal to the staff a higher level of respect for the laboring mother and her partner. Main Line Doulas has experienced a ton of respect from the Philadelphia area hospitals and their staff and really work well to provide that intimacy that our clients are looking for in their birth experience.