Philadelphia: How to Take Care of Baby His First 7 Days

How to Take Care of Baby His First 7 Days

During the first few months, a baby undergoes developmental changes. However, a baby cannot do this all by himself/herself; he needs the help of a caregiver to fully meet his/her needs.  A baby’s developmental ability is greatly affected by three main factors, namely nutrition, health, and relationships. Thus, it is essential that parents in Philadelphia hire a doula who is knowledgeable of these ideology.

Doulas are not only involved during pregnancy and postpartum but also in basic newborn care. Philadelphia is one of the leading cities in the United States that provides training and certification to doulas, making sure that high standards for education and practice are met. Hence, the best doulas in Philadelphia are expected to be versed on the following concepts of newborn care:

Physical Development.

The first development that occurs in a baby’s life is the physical form. This is characterized by the change in baby’s size. Doulas serving Philadelphia are aware that shortly after a baby is born, a baby normally loses weight, falling between 4 to 8 ounces. However, this weight should be regained within 10 to 12 days. Nonetheless, by the end of the first month, the baby’s length increases by 1 to 1.5 inches.

Cognitive Development.

 This development is defined as a baby’s ability to think, learn, and remember. When a baby is born, his brain can be compared to a ‘tabula rasa’. His brain is composed of billions of neurons (brain cells) and trillions of neural synapses (brain cell connections). These connections are formed faster when someone interacts with the baby. Thus, it is essential and best for parents to make sure to find a doula in Philadelphia that interacts in a positive manner. The very reason for this is that babies are fast learners and can mimic anything introduced to them.

Emotional and social development.

In this stage, a baby undergoes a basic conflict between trust and mistrust. In order for a child to develop trust, one of the factors that should be considered is the presence of a constant caregiver. This constant caregiver can either be one of the parents or a doula. This should be someone who can provide the needs of the baby. Since a baby cannot talk, the best way for him/her to communicate his/her needs is through sounds or facial expressions. When baby’s needs are achieved by the constant caregiver, eventually the child overcomes mistrust and develops the milestone of trust.

Language development.

Language development is similar to cognitive development. A newborn listens and absorbs both the basic and distinct sounds of language. Although a baby cannot mimic or say the same spoken words, those words will be embedded in his/her subconscious. This process forms a baby’s speech foundation. On that account, it is important for a doula to frequently communicate with the baby to hasten and fully develop his language skills.

Sensory and motor skills development.

All newborns have all five senses, but these are not yet fully developed when they are born. As they grow up, these skills are gradually built up. The important function of a doula is to assist the baby in developing his/her motor and sensory skills by stimulating him/her according to the child’s developmental capability. For example, a baby’s vision is believed to be developing, but is said to be the weakest during the first months. Therefore, it is important for a doula to watch for dangers such as falls.

In a nutshell, besides the parents, doulas are important caregivers of newborns. They provide a milieu rich in stimulus, comfort, and warm affection that enhance many areas of a baby's development.

4 Tips on How Mothers Can Improve their Sleep While Taking Care of Newborns

  4 Tips on How Mothers Can Improve their Sleep While Taking Care of Newborns

One of the serious challenges that new parents face is constant sleep deprivation. The ugly truth is a good night sleep does not come easy to mothers who have newborns. They wake up in the middle of the night to fed babies, calm them and change their diapers relentlessly.

On a serious note, sleep deprived mothers may face serious health consequences if they do get little sleep or not at all. The health impacts of sleep deprivation are but not limited to: diabetes, obesity, heart disease, accidents and poor performance at work. Peruse the following tips on how new mothers can help improve their sleeping habit while bringing up newborn.

1.      Involve your partner. 

New mothers need to recuperate from birth, and this can be done by getting good quantity and quality time of sleep. Get your partner involved by taking turns in caring the newborn. You can also outsource several household tasks to your partner such as taking up the majority of the chores or assigning him to feed the baby while you are taking a short, light sleep.

2.      Sack out when your baby sleeps. 

This is a no-brainer. When your baby is taking a nap, leave whatever you are doing and hit the hay too. Take advantage of the circumstance, and spend time wisely. Don’t be bothered when you have never done the laundry, swept the floor or washed the dishes, because when your newborn is up again, you have to get up too. Additionally, never use the free time in making phone calls or catching up several episodes of your favorite TV program – all these can wait.

3.      Seek the help of a doula. 

A postpartum doula is similar to a newborn care specialist but so much more. The best place to look for doula is Philadelphia area. Finding a doula in Philadelphia is beneficial and remedying for first time mothers or new parents. Doulas not only support the newborn, but certified doulas in Philadelphia also teach mothers how to bathe, feed and calm the baby. Hence, doulas not only provide support but also education. Also, by accepting the help of doula, you can get added hours of sleep.  As of 2014, Main Line Doulas has 18 doulas serving in Philadelphia. To find a doula in Philadelphia, click here.

4.      Modify the atmosphere.

 A sleep-conducive environment is one that is dark, cool, quite and cozy. When your baby hits the sack, create the best sleep environment for you – turn off the radio, shut off the television, put cell phones on silent mode, or play relaxing background music.

Getting a good night sleep is not only for newborns, but mothers also need it as much as their babies do. Sleep deprivation seems to be a standard feature of motherhood. But sleep deprived mothers should never underestimate the aftermath of constant lack of sleep. It brings serious consequences for their health and also, for their families. Mothers lose their ability to function at their best and they tend to commit mistakes and worse, cause accidents. It goes without saying that sleep deprivation put you, your baby and your family at risk.

Plymouth Meeting Whole Foods Class

Comfort Measure for Childbirth Class, Plymouth Meeting Whole Foods
I am really looking forward to the FREE class tonight at the Plymouth Meeting Whole Foods. The topic is Comfort Measures for Childbirth and it will be at 7pm in the community room in the produce section. Register here for free:

5 Things Pregnant Women Should Do For Healthy Pregnancy

5 Things Pregnant Women Should Do For Healthy Pregnancy

by Aliza Bancoff, founder of Philadelphia area doula practice, Main Line Doulas

Pregnancy is probably the best and the most wonderful thing that can ever happen to women. While pregnancy can be a very exciting experience to every parent, it can also be one of the most intrepid undertakings. To keep up a problem-free pregnancy and a healthy baby, there are 5 key ideas expectant mothers should take under advisement:

1.      Consume a healthy diet. 

Fruits and vegetables are surely good for expectant mothers. However, certain foods are must-haves when trying to conceive, to achieve maximum nutrition for the health of the mother and the baby. The best pregnancy diet contains the following superfoods:

  • Whole grains include cereals, oatmeal, brown rice and whole wheat pasta.  Whole grains are rich in folic acid, which is necessary for baby’s brain development; fiber, which helps in digestion; and iron, which plays a role in red blood cell production.

  •  Beans. Beans of any type are good sources of calcium, which is necessary for the development of bones and teeth; zinc, which strengthens the immune system; folate, which prevents neural tube defects; and iron, which plays a role in red blood cell production.

  • Salmon. Salmon is rich of omega 3 fatty acids that are crucial for baby’s brain and eyes development.

  • Eggs. Besides a dozen of vitamins and minerals, eggs contain choline, a nutrient that helps in improving brain functions.

                     Note: do not eat raw, undercooked eggs.

  • Berries. Berries are known to be rich in antioxidants. But for pregnant mothers, berries provide potassium, folate, fiber and vitamin C.

2.      Take supplements. 

Not all vitamins and minerals can be obtained from regular diet. Hence, taking prenatal vitamins along with healthy meal plan is the best way to bridge any gap of nutritional deficiency during pregnancy. There are three most recommended supplements when a mother is pregnant, and these are folic acid (to prevent neural tube defects), iron (to reduce preterm birth risk), and calcium (to build strong teeth and bones).

3.      Perform light exercise. 

Pregnancy is no exception for mothers to get fit and stay in shape. Light exercise does not only relieve body discomforts but also helps diminish sleep problems. Equally, light exercises are found to be beneficial to babies by enhancing their brain activity and strengthening their cardiac functions. Best exercises for pregnant women are swimming, yoga, brisk walking and stretching. Make sure to talk with your doctor about the best exercise for you.

4.      Avoid hazardous activities. 

There are certain things mothers should avoid during pregnancy. These activities not only exhaust their energy but they can also be detrimental to baby’s health. Pregnant women should steer clear of the following practices:

-         Smoking and alcohol drinking

-         Consumption of illegal drugs

-         Taking unprescribed medications such as aspirin (it causes bleeding)

-         Eating uncooked meats and fish high in mercury content (e.g shark, swordfish)

-         Drinking too much coffee

-         Cleaning animals’ feces, cat litter

-         Eating food high in preservatives

-         Taking vitamin A supplements

-         Performing procedures that involve X rays and microwaves

-         Lying on water bed and electric blanket

-         Utilizing pesticides, fumes and house cleaning products

-         Taking long baths, saunas

5.      Consult a doula. 

Find a doula in Philadelphia. Philadelphia has one of the largest seats of doula. Doulas are trained and experienced professionals in childbirth and postpartum. Most doulas are mothers themselves. They do not take medical responsibility, but their primary role is to enhance pregnancy experience. Hence, doulas do not replace the roles of doctors, midwives or nurses.  Main Line Doulas has many doulas serving Philadelphia. Click the link below to find a doula now.

Re: Last minute whole family doula support

Re: Last minute support

I want to write a quick open letter to our website visitors about the last minute support that Main Line Doulas offers. This week we were able to serve 3 last minute clients, yay! We pride ourselves on meeting families were they are at.

As a postpartum doula and the director of our wonderful team of doulas serving Philadelphia and beyond, it is my passion to help families during this beautiful transition. Adding a new child is never easy, but it's always worth the new adjustments.

For those reading this and finding themselves feeling overwhelmed or exhausted or struggling, please reach out. Send us a text or give us a call. It's truly an honor to be able to support families at such an important time in their lives.

Not everyone has the proper support they need and deserve. This can create an unexpected crisis for families. It's one of my goals that Main Line Doulas educate the public about all of the  available options for support so that expecting families can make the best decisions for their family.

In an ideal world, Main Line Doulas will meet with expecting families months in advance, begin a service agreement and participate in a postpartum planning session. But sometimes families don't know about us before they have their baby, or maybe they just didn't think they'd want or need a postpartum doula until now. If you fall into either catagory, please do not hesitate to reach out to us. We are here for you.

Feeling like you need support? Send me a text at 484-802-6100 or email me at and I'll check our availability.

It would be an honor to provide experienced support, by your side.

Aliza Bancoff
Founder and Director
Main Line Doulas

Here are a couple great articles on the topic of social support for new moms:

Psychology Today:

Building a Support Network: