Nervous about labor? Join me on a 30 minute conference call!

Nervous about labor? Wondering how you will handle the intensity of contractions and birth of your baby? I'm going to make it really simple. Sign up now for Comfort Measures for Childbirth, the abridged version.

Join us on a 30 minute call on Tuesday November 17th at 1pm EST to discuss relaxation techniques and comfort measures for childbirth. I will talk for the first 30 minutes and then we will open it up for Q and A after that. Don't worry, you'll be on mute the whole time so you can be doing other things while you listen if you need to. And if you can't make it, the recording will be available afterwards.

Just $24!

Click here and you will get a link to the conference call shortly before start time!

BONUS: Sign up by Sunday 11/15/2015 and get our exclusive PDF, Comfort Measures for Childbirth FREE with registration, a $25 value.

Postpartum Kale Fritatta

Postpartum doulas make delicious nutrient dense whole foods for clients
 What better way to nurture the newly postpartum mom as she is physically and emotionally recovering than to help her build a new foundation of health for her own body and her baby. During pregnancy, as moms, we want to do everything to take care of our growing baby. So we take our prenatal vitamins and we paste the list of unsafe foods during pregnancy on our refrigerator door. We skip the sushi, pass on the glass of wine, we eat our fruits and vegetables because we know that by nurturing our bodies, we are nurturing our baby and setting them up for a foundation of healthy living.

As a postpartum doula, I love cooking delicious and nutrient dense whole foods meals for new families. When I train new doulas through International Doula Institute, many student doulas are often surprised that meal planning and cooking are included in the scope of practice, but when I explain why, they realize that it's actually a no brainer.

As expecting moms, we get praise everywhere we go, strangers congratulate us, hold the door for us, tell us we are glowing and ask what we are having. Yet once we give birth, instead of telling us how we are glowing, they look down at the baby, give the baby all the praise.

This is why making sure that mom is eating healthy meals is so important.  The nutritional needs of the newly postpartum mom are something to be very aware of. The Ayurvedic tradition considers the postpartum period a time of physically rebuilding the body and they say that it actually builds the foundation for the rest of the mothers life.

Postpartum Recovery Recipe

This is a delicious meal to make as your first breakfast home from the hospital. Is it very restorative.

 Kale Frittata

Part one:
Half a bag of frozen chopped kale
Half a cup of frozen onion(or fresh, I just prefer frozen because fresh onion hurts my eyes!)
1 tbsp butter or olive oil
1 tsp-ish of salt
1 tsp-ish of garlic

Part two:
6 eggs
2tbsp half and half, milk or cream
1/4 cup shredded cheese

1)Preheat oven to 350.

2)Combine all ingredients in  Part One into a frying pan. Let cook for 10 minutes until tender, stirring frequently.

3)In a separate bowl, combine Part two ingredients: eggs, cream and cheese, mix well by hand.

4)Then pour eggs into the frying pan and mix together very quickly.

5) Place frying pan into the oven for 5 minutes or until firm.

And Voila, it's done! The whole thing only take about 20 minutes to make. I like to serve it with a sweet potato for added nutrition and sustenance.

Carnitas Recipe

newborn doula newborn care carnitas recipe

Thank you to our wonderful postpartum doula, Cathy lee, for this great recipe that is very easy for the newly postpartum mom.

It's November already...

I cannot believe that November is already here! November in my home means the start of

crock potting on the regular. It also means this year planning Bobby's first birthday! People

were not kidding when they said it goes by fast. I have always been a big fan of the crock pot

since I am usually pretty busy but adding a baby into the chaos of life, the crock pot has become

even better. Sometimes I make a meal in the crock pot that is just for that night specifically,

other times I like to throw something in there that can be used in at least two meals. So this

blog post I will share with you a recipe for delicious, healthy carnitas that can be used two ways

and cut your time in the kitchen down!

Things you will need:

 4 lb pork shoulder

 4 garlic

 1 tablespoon salt (use 1 Tsp if your are cutting down on salt)

 1 teaspoon cumin

 1 teaspoon chili powder

 1 teaspoon pepper

 1 teaspoon oregano

 ¼ teaspoon cinnamon

 ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper(optional)

 1 teaspoon of chipotle powder (totally optional)

 juice of 2 limes(if using artificial lime juice, just use a tablespoon)

 ½ cup orange juice

 12 ounces beer (regular or root beer)

 ½ cup salsa (or taco sauce, but my favorite is less chunky salsa)

** If you are in the first few weeks of nursing, do not worry the beer cooks out!

-First up dice up the garlic. Leave some cloves a good size to shove into the pork shoulder. Take

the pork shoulder and cut random slits to make pockets for some cloves of garlic. Shove garlic

in the pockets you make.

-Liberally rub salt, cumin, chili powder, black pepper, oregano, cinnamon, and cayenne all over the

pork shoulder. Place pork shoulder in the crock pot and sprinkle the diced garlic around.

-Add all the liquids into the crock pot, cover and  set crock pot on low for 8 hours.

After the 8 hours you can shred the shoulder in the crock pot, on a cutting board, or personally in a

kitchen aid mixer (for a minute with the dough hook attachment.)

How to eat the carnitas

With your fingers or a fork because they are that tender! Kidding, serve up the carnitas with

some tortillas & fresh lime juice. Feel free to make a side of Minute Rice for a side.

Now how to use your leftover carnitas for another meal night? My personal favorite is to throw

it on a bed of egg noodles and veggies! Cook up some noodles and steam up a quick thing of

veggies and dinner number two is done!

*Carrots, broccoli, green beans, corn, and peas all steam up quick and easy!

If you are not a fan of pork, substitute the pork shoulder with large chicken breast. About 5

large chicken breast are equal to a 4lb pork shoulder. The chicken will shred just as easy and be

just as delicious!

If you tried the recipe, send your thoughts or how you served it! I love hearing the feedback

and getting new ideas!

Happy slow cooking!

-Cathy lee

Exton Babies R Us Expo

Main Line Doulas is excited to be participating in the annual Exton Babies R Us Baby Expo! See you on Saturday December 12, 2015 1-3pm in Exton. It will be a great event for first time moms/families as well as experienced expecting moms!

Celebrities and their Doulas

A doula is not only for those super hippie earthy crunchy types of people. New moms hiring a doula in Philadelphia has been gaining popularity for some time. And Hollywood is doing it too. Doulas are often hired by super stars. So what exactly is a doula? Well, the word doula originates from the ancient Greek word meaning, “woman who serves” and that is exactly what a doula is, a woman who serves hardworking women through their glorious pregnancies. They are trained professionals that provide informational, emotional, and physical support.

So, who exactly hires a doula?

Well any pregnant motivated individual would benefit greatly with a doula. That is why doulas are trending amongst many celebrities. Here are some women that see the value in hiring a doula.

Alanis Morissette hired a doula:

 Multiple Grammy Award-winner, as well as singer/songwriter. This talented women expressed to WebMD Magazine that, “I have an amazing midwife, and I’m using a doula. But we have a backup plan: I’ve called all the doctors and we’ll be ready if something should happen”. Luckily, the deliver went smoothly thanks to the help of Morissette’s doula and midwife.

Kelly Ripa hired a doula:

Actress, TV producer, and the co-host of Live! With Kelly and Michael. She was also named by The Hollywood Reporter as one of the most powerful people in the media in 2012. On Live! She said that, “We used a doula with the second pregnancy…we did breathing exercises, we focused on things, and we focused on getting Mark (her husband) out of the room.”

Rebecca Minkoff hired a doula:

 Designer known for her luxury hadbags, apparel, and accessories. On she empowers women to be “free to focus on welcoming your baby into the world”

Molly Sims hired a doula:

This model and actress told FitPregnancy, “I have a doula, Lori Bregman, creator of Rooted for Life, to help me during birth”

Alicia Keys hired a doula:

Incredibly talented Grammy Award-winning actress told The Sun that giving birth, “was bliss and a real miracle to be part of… And I really believe that (a) new day started the day Egypt (Alicia Keys’ son) came into the world”

Nicole Kidman hired a doula:

Kidman is a lovely Academy Award-winner, superstar, and wife of musician Keith Urban. On The Opera Winfrey Show, she described her birth as “extraordinary” and “easy”.

Idina Menzel hired a doula:

She was the star of the Broadway musical Wicked and a Tony Award- winner. Her husband, Taye Diggs of the show Private Practice said on Jimmy Kimmel Live! That the doula “basically told us everything that was going to happen before it was going to happen, because regardless of all the books that you read, for me personally, when I’m in the moment, I forget everything.”

January Jones hired a doula:

She was famous for playing Played Bety Draper in the TV show Mad Men. Jones said that, “I have a great doula who makes sure I’m eating well, with vitamins and teas, and with placenta encapsulation”. Yes, you read right, Jones even got her placenta encapsulated. Now that is dedication!

Tia Mowry-Hardrict and Tamera Mowry-Houslely had doulas:

Together, these sisters starred in the hit TV show, Sister, Sister. Now Mowry-Hardrict is staring in Instant Mom. She told CBS Los Angeles that, “I had to go right back to work two weeks after giving birth.” As for Mowry-Housley, she is the author of the book Mama Glow and said that, “I taught her (Mowry-Hardrict) about all the lifestyle changes she should make to ensure a healthy baby and delivery… I helped her with tools in relaxation, meditation, and even breastfeeding support. She had a great birth.”

Alyson Hannigan hired a doula:

 Actress on How I Met Your Mother, Hannigan told Celebrity Baby Scoop blog that, “I had a midwife, her assistant, and doula”. For her second birth, she said, “It will be the same this time”.

Erykah Badu is a doula herself:

Badu is a singer, songwriter, actress, and a doula herself!!! She explained to that, “I had all my children naturally. I had a very wise doula and midwives giving me the freedom to continue living my life. By the time I had my third baby, childbirth seemed a very natural part of me.” As you can see, Badu was so inspired by her support that she became a doula! What an amazing woman.

Emily Deschanel hired a doula:

 Deschanel is an actresses from the show Bones. In a FitPregnancy interview Deschanel told the reporter that, “I am a total hippie, so we will co-sleep and breastfeed. My mom breastfed me for more than a year and I can’t imagine doing it any other way.”

Jamie-Lynn Sigler hired a doula:

Sigler is famous for her role as the teenager Meadow Soprano on The Sopranos. She revealed to People that, “My doula told me, ‘Let’s prepare our minds for the level of pain we’re expecting and double that and what we want to do if that happens’ But I wasn’t scared of childbirth, I think because of my doula.”

Lisa Loeb hired a doula:

This singer/songwriter and actress posted a guest post on Celebrity Baby Blog on People, Leon stated that, “My doula, who is one of my best friends, came over to the house at 3 a.m. to confirm I was indeed going into labor and we caravanned to the hospital.”

Joely Fisher hired a doula:

 This gifted actress is a star of Til Death and Desperate Housewives. She explained to Ellen that, “I decided to have her (her baby) at home and to have a lot of friends around, and of course my father was there” she continued to describe her list of people she invited to the birth. These include, “the doctor, the doula, the midwife, the butcher, baker, and candlestick maker.”

Diane Far hired a doula:

 Famous for the shows Numb3rs and Rescue Me, Far told People that her doula, “guided me throughout my pregnancy” and she also said that, “I was afraid to not be in a hospital, but I wanted to labor at home under the guidance of a doula as long as possible”.

So as you can see, so many beautiful, independently minded women are hiring doulas to assist their pregnancies. So what is stopping you?

Works Cited

Roth Port, Dina, and Sherry Huang. "Celebrities Who Love Doulas." Parents Magazine. Marideth Corporation, 1 Jan. 2014. Web. 5 July 2014. <>.

Bryn Mawr Hospital Maternity Fair 2015

Saturday Oct 24th, 2015 was the date of the Bryn Mawr Hospital Maternity fair and boy was it fun! Thanks to all the families that came out to this nice event. And thank you to the other vendors for help making this such a great day. A special thanks to LifeCycle WomanCare(also known as The Birth Center) as we had our vendor tables next to each other the whole day and had a fun time chatting! Thank you to Bryn Mawr Hospital and Main Line Health for inviting us.

Growing as Doula All about Newborn Sleep with Erica Desper

What is the number one question I get from clients?


 "Can you help us get our baby off to good start with healthy sleep habits?"  
Yes we can! And we are always continuing our education on this subject. Last night, expert sleep coach Erica Desper of Confident Parenting spoke to our doula team on that very topic. Please learn more about Erica's sleep consultations here:

Left to right: Erica Desper, Doula Mary, Founder Aliza, Doula Brittany, Doula Cia, Doula Wendy and Doula Samantha

What a FUN event we had last night!! Here are so pics from our fun night together, growing as doulas continuing our education. Thank you ladies for your AMAZING DEDICATION to your craft.

That's part of what makes us the very best doula practice in the entire greater Philadelphia area.

Postpartum Doula Mary and Birth and Postpartum Doula Cathy

Doula Wendy with her sweet baby Sammy

Erica Desper, Sleep Coach at Confident Parenting

Parents Magazine Interview

Aliza Bancoff, Founder of Main Line Doulas and International Doula Institute interviewed for September 2015 Parents Magazine on coping with Pregnancy Anxiety.

"When I was approached for the article, it was a real privileged. I am so happy that this topic is receiving such wide coverage and I hope that this will give more expecting moms the opportunity to learn about the value in creating a postpartum plan." says Bancoff

Click here to learn more about the Main Line Doulas Postpartum Planning Sessions


Main Line Doulas partners with Babies R Us to bring you the Baby Expo

Main Line Doulas is honored as always to be participating the the annual King of Prussia Babies R Us Baby Expo! See you on Saturday July 25, 2015 from 1-3pm. It will be a great event for first time moms/families as well as experienced expecting moms!

Meals to Freeze as you Approach your Due Date

So, your due date is slloooooooooooooowlllllllly approaching..... In a past blog post I wrote, I talked about the fun things to do in Philadelphia to try to pass the time. This blog post is also about passing the time.... and this time we are cooking. So you get to pass the time and do something super productive in the processes, have a bunch of meals in the freezer, ready to pull out when you have your newborn and can't cook.
Doula Louise cooked this beauty for a client the other day.

Here are 4 great recipes you can make and freeze:

1) Herbed summer squash pasta bake


2) Slow Cooker Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal

3. Stewed Beef, Tomatoes and Okra

4. Sweet Potato and Black Been Empanadas

By the way, did you know that our postpartum doulas cook meals for you along with all their other tasks????

Click here to learn more about our postpartum doula services!


Main Line Doulas interviewed for WHYY's The Pulse Story on Birth Support

Listen in today to WHYY's The Pulse about the evolution of childbirth support! Reporter Taunya English interviewed our team member, DawnStar and client Colleen as they share their story of support.

To listen via podcast, click here:

What if Your Baby isn’t Healthy? Getting to Acceptance and Hope

When you find out you’re having a baby, you are usually scared and excited all at once! Whether the baby is expected or not, it’s scary but exciting to become a new mom/dad. Many parents start to think about what that child will be like as a baby, growing up, and even what their future might be like when they are an adult. Sometimes you really want a girl or a boy but often people say “I don’t care if it’s a boy or a girl, I just want it to be healthy!” Sometimes they are lying- they secretly want a boy. Or a girl. But usually they really do mean they want the baby to be healthy. No one wants an unhealthy child. But what if the child is “unhealthy”? What if the child is not “normal”? Then what?
Often parents don’t find out their child has special needs until months or year after he or she is born. Sometimes parents find out while pregnant, however, such as if the baby’s condition shows up on a test or ultrasound. Sometime parents find out when the baby is born with some defect right away. Whenever you find out about a “difference” about your child you were probably not expecting it. Whether you find out there is something “different” about your child sooner rather than later, it’s still usually surprising, and often devastating. New parents aren’t expecting any problems usually, and when they find out their precious new baby is going to not be healthy or normal, they are usually very disappointed. Which makes sense, considering it’s not the ideal and it’s usually quite unexpected.

Surprised to go through the Stages of Grief
Many people might not expect to go through all the stages of grief and loss like you would if you lost a baby to miscarriage or stillbirth, or infant due to SIDS, etc, however often the reactions and feelings are quite similar to someone’s who lost a child. Parents might be shocked and confused why they are feeling such loss when their baby didn’t pass away, and they might feel bad knowing other people have lost their children but they at least have one even if the child has special needs. You might feel guilty because you know you love your child, yet by being upset about their condition you feel like you are denying him/her to an extent. Parents go through grief because the loss is not of a child, but of an expectation. They feel their child may never live up to the parent’s expectation of their potential that they had hoped for, and that is why they must grieve. Grieving is important, so we can get to Acceptance and Hope.
The Kubler-Ross stages of grief and loss, so often noted for bereavement, can be applied to this situation as well. The stages include Denial and Isolation, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, and finally Acceptance. Often parents don’t believe the child’s condition- whether it be mental health, cognitive, developmental delays, medical fragility, sickness, deformity, genetic conditions, etc to be real at first. They might want to see several doctors, they might try to get all the information they can online or from specialists to try to explain it away or find a way to change the situation. Parents often isolate themselves, feeling no one understands my child or what I’m going through, or it’s too hard to explain why my child looks or acts different. They might feel shame that their baby is not “beautiful” in the expected ways of the world or that their child is not “normal”. Parents might feel jealous and upset seeing everyone else’s “perfect” children and so keep themselves isolated so as not to feel that way by seeing other babies. Often parents will be angry- perhaps at God- why did you do this to me?, to my baby? Or at the doctors- why didn’t they tell me? Or why didn’t they do anything? Or even at themselves- I should’ve taken more prenatal vitamins, I shouldn’t’ve rode that roller coaster while pregnant, etc. 

The Bargaining stage might look like parents going after every kind of intervention and help their child can get such as taking the child to every doctor, specialist, early interventionist, treatment clinic, etc to try to make whatever is “abnormal” about the child go away.
Parents are often grieving which can cause some depression, and postpartum depression can play into this as well, and when they feel they should NOT be grieving, or that they are “bad parents” in some way, or blame themselves for situation, it just causes depression to worsen.
What we want is to get to Acceptance. And Hope. Whether child lives or dies, is healthy or unhealthy, is not up to the parents for most part. Parents can, and should, get as much help as possible for themselves such as mental health therapy, support groups, reaching out to family and friends. Parents should get help for their child as well such as Doctors, Early intervention, etc. too, however it’s important to not worry so much about getting that child to “normal” in comparison to peers, but rather to get that child to be as healthy or as functional as possible for him or her. Develop a “New Normal” or Adapted Expectations. What that will be for your baby will vary greatly from child to child. Everyone is different and everyone develops in their own pace. Some people develop faster and further than others. Children, especially babies, have so many milestones to reach, but instead of focusing on what they “should” be doing or what their peers are doing, if you have a special needs baby, just focus on being happy that you have that child, that you were blessed with someone who needs some extra love and help from you, and embrace the special needs parents identity and community that comes along with it. You will find that you will feel less grief and depression, but rather much hope and acceptance, and even get to the point where you will celebrate difference perhaps. Your child will be happier for it, and you will too.

Patience Domowski, is a doula with Main Line Doulas. She is also a licensed clinical social worker and does behavioral therapy and private behavior consultation for children and parents with special needs such as autism, ADHD, anxiety, and depression. She also works with babies 0-3 with developmental delays in Early Intervention.

10 Places to Go When You are Past Your Due Date in Philadelphia

Philadelphia area doulas list 10 places to go when you are 40 weeks or more pregnant.

Are you going crazy waiting for baby to make his/her big arrival? Sick and tired of hearing, "When's your due date?" "Are you having twins?" "Are you gonna have your baby right here?"  Here are some suggestions from your doulas of 10 things to do while you are waiting! 

1. Indulge at Village Treats in Narberth

 After growing and carrying your baby for OVER 40 weeks, you most certainly deserve to indulge a little. 
Come enjoy this neighborhood hub of deliciousness before your little one arrives. Or even better, plan it for tomorrow. It'll give you something to look forward to in case you don't go into labor tonight.
My favorites: 
Their homemade donuts are made from scratch....every day! Made with pure ingredients including 100% canola oil, real butter, farm fresh eggs, flour, sugar, vanilla extract and Hershey's cocoa. And you can pick your own donut toppings!
Hot Belgian waffles.... a la mode. Village Treats serves up Philly's own Basset Ice Cream(they have like a thousand flavors but I tend to stick with Rocky Road most days)

Brownie Ice Cream Sundae.... with hot fudge and whipped cream. Heaven.

If you want to visit their website, click here:
They can be found in Narberth down the main strip, right by Mapes and Swan Dance:
take a walk through king of prussia mall236 Haverford Avenue, Narberth, PA 19072

2. Take a walk through King of Prussia Mall

This one's a two-fer. You'll work on walking that baby out AND you could use an excuse to buy just a few more cute onsies. So what are my favorite stops on this walk? 

If you are having a girl, you've got to stop at Layla's Boutique. My gosh are their items precious. I haven't been there in a while so I just called and spoke with the manager. She reminded me that they also carry communion/baby dedication wear. Wanna grab that perfect newborn girls photo prop? This is the place. Take a sneak peak at their layette items before you visit on their website: And to find them in the mall, walk the upper level of the court by Neiman Marcus and you'll find it eventually!

A couple other favorites for baby clothes at the mall:

3. Hike Historic Valley Forge National Park

You'll notice this one's almost the same as the one above it.... for good reason. Walking is great for you! But this time the focus is on the less materialistic and more on the beauty surrounding you. I find that Valley Forge Park does a great job at centering me. A walking meditation is not only good for the body, but it's good for the soul. And the more relaxed you can feel before your baby's birth, the better.  So go enjoy some of those beautiful views before your baby's arrival.

To plan your hike, click here: or just show up, it's pretty self-explanatory.

To learn more about walking meditation, click here:Walking Meditation

4. Visit Marlene Burk Acupuncture of Haverford 

Go get stuck... with a needle that is.  Acupuncture has been proven to help the body prepare for labor and believe it or not, many women find it to be very relaxing. Marlene's bed side manner is super professional, giving you peace of mind that you are in good hands. And she has these really cool pads on her table that allow you to be well supported so you can really rest your big belly, mind and body to get the most out of the appointment.  From Marlene, "Preparing the body for labor is another benefit of acupuncture.  These particular services are scheduled very specifically around the projected time of delivery."
To read more, go to Marlene's website,

Marlene's office is located inside Main Line Counseling and Wellness Center on Haverford Ave in Haverford. 

600 Haverford Ave.
Suite 201
Haverford, PA 19041


5. Eat at El Limon Mexican Food in Ardmore or Conshohoken

You've heard the old wives tale a million times.... eat spicy food to go into labor! And what better way to grab some spicy food then the most authentic Mexican place in the area. El Limon, located in Conshohocken is now opening a second location in Ardmore. So whichever spot is more convenient to you, grab a friend and go get a great lunch. Just don't get jealous of the FREE margaritas being consumed by everyone else in the place.

My favorite:
Asada Tacos Supreme
Grilled Chicken Burrito topped with mole sauce

You can find them on the main drag of Conshy at 103 Fayette St, Conshohocken, PA 19428(across from Light Parker Kids) or right next to the McDonalds on Ardmore Ave and Lancaster Ave in Ardmore in the former Subway location.

6. Plan a visit to Your Best Friend's House

Next week. Because you know that whenever you plan a nice relaxing event with your best friends, somehow the plans always get messed up. So, that would be a good thing in this case.... Am I being clear enough here that we need the BABY to come mess up your plans???

7. Take a Swim at The Haverford Area YMCA Pool

Give your back a break! Go for float in the Haverford YMCA therapy pool.... therapy pool meaning WARM, comfortable for mom and baby. Not a member? Just grab a friend who is a member and you get in FREE, totally free! Not once, not twice, but three times a year. And if you want to say Hi to your doulas, come on a day we are teaching a class!(such as on May 23rd when we are teaching a Big Sibling Prep Class)
For more info about their programs go to

And to get there, put 891 N. Eagle Road Havertown, PA 19083  into your GPS! If you're a long time resident of Haverford, you'll know that Y is located in the old bubble gum factory location.

8. Get Local Organics at The Bryn Mawr Farmers Market

Grab some local organic fruits and veggies at the Bryn Mawr Farmers Market. Not only will you find some amazing produce, but many of the vendors also carry great breads(including a gluten free one!), local honey's, milk, eggs, coffee and more. Pick up a pineapple while you are there, word has it they are supposed to help encourage labor to start. Why not grab a bag of coffee for post delivery??

For more info go to their website, 

9. Go Out for Date Night at Frankie's Fellini Cafe for Eggplant Parmigiano 

 Date night's are always fun. But this one serves a greater purpose. Eggplant parmigiano.  Don't like it? Order it anyway. One restaurant in Cobb County Georgia, Scalinis Italian Restraunt, claims that over 300 babies have been born shortly after eating their eggplant parmigiano. In fact, their walls are lined with photos of all the little cuties. My own doula texted me on my due date and told me her Scallini eggplant story. She was living in Georgia at the time and went for dinner their on her due date. Just hours later, she went into labor. So, what did I do? I went to Fellini's(then at their Ardmore location) and had an early Due Date dinner. Just 6 hours later, sure enough I went into labor. So, is their anything scientific about this? Not really. But it's certainly a fun place to go when you are over 40 weeks pregnant in Philly. 
Fellini's is right across the street from the Berwyn stop on the R5 train at 678 Lancaster Ave, Berwyn, PA 19312

10. Get a hair cut at Hair's to You in Bala Cynwyd

Who knows the next time you'll be baby free so go get a trim before the big L-Day. You'll feel good about yourself and get it out of the way for at least another 6 weeks(ha, who am I kidding, I get there every 6 months and there's never judgement). The owner, Paige, is a mom of a young one herself, so she understands the struggles of getting out with a baby, and she gives you the royal treatment at every visit.

You can find them directly across the street from  Hymies Deli at 333 Montgomery Ave, Bala Cynwyd, PA 19004
For more info go to
Give them a call at 610-949-0111 for an appointment. Sometimes they can even squeeze you in on the same day. 

I hope you have fun in the days/weeks before your baby comes. And don't fret, babies arrive exactly when they are supposed to. I know, I know, easier said then done!

In the comments below, let us know how you passed the time when you were "overdue".

Phoenixville Trial of Labor Movie Premiere

Movie Premiere and Mini-Expo: Trial of Labor
Ninety percent of American women who birth their baby by cesarean will have all future babies by surgery. The new feature-length documentary film Trial of Labor provides a voice to four California women fighting those odds, planning Vaginal Births After Cesarean (VBAC). This film premiere will benefit the International Cesarean Awareness Network (ICAN) of Pottstown, that works on a daily basis to support women’s choices in childbirth and promote VBAC in the greater Pottstown area. The event will include a Q&A session with a panel of experts, refreshments and a Mini-Expo of birth and woman related service and product providers!

Main Line Doulas is always honored when we are invited to work with women as the have a vaginal birth after a cesarean and we are happy to support this wonderful cause. We hope to see you there!

  • Date: May 23
  • Time: 1-4pm, Film starts at 2pm.
  • Location: Phoenixville Area Middle School
Advanced Tickets are $12 each or $20 for a pair. Tickets at the door are $15 each.  For all of the details on the event, check out our website at or on Facebook

Sibling Adjustment and the New Normal

Philadelphia, PA 3/30/15

My specialty is helping families adjust to their "new normal" now that baby (or babies) has arrived.  I draw from my many years of experience as a nanny before becoming a postpartum doula to see places where adjustments can be made with the older children to make the transition more seamless. It isn't easy especially since each child and each family relationship is so widely different.  We as doulas don't often have a great deal of time to spend getting to know the family before we start setting up plans to help with the adjustment.  But our postpartum planning session done during pregnancy at least gives us a head start. Often, I use the phrase "let's throw it at the wall and see what sticks!"  This is my way to say that there is many ways to try to help kids adjust and I never know what is going to catch on with a particular kid. 

There is one thing that I do find to be a constant, kids need and love their parents.  They may or may not like the new baby or the commotions surrounding the event but the fact that they still need parents to remain the same as before is evident.  Kids need their parents to keep the structure and discipline that they have been teaching to remain tact.  This is not the time to let all your hard work go down the tubes.  This is the time to reinforce all the good things you have already taught your child.

If you find yourself saying "No!" more than "that's the way to do it!" It is time to step back and reevaluate what behavior you are reinforcing in big bro / big sis. 

Once you can get the routine back after the birth and hospital stay and the older child back on the right track then you can start encouraging big bro / big sis to help with the baby.  Kids are natural helpers and this is the time where they really shine. Ask the older one to tell you what jobs he or she would like to have to help you out.  I think it helps to let them think they are helping you rather than taking care of baby because it helps them to feel good that you (their hero) need their help.  They may not want to take care of the baby, they may even be afraid to hurt the baby, but you needing them is a very different story.

I don't like to compare kids in a family but it is inevitable to see your robust two or three year old as practically independent compared to the new little one.  The older child can do so much for himself that we can fall into the idea that they need us less than the little one.  This is not true.  Big brother or big sister need us just as much only in a very different way.  They need the routine of life to stay as close to normal as possible. This is way easier said than done in the sleep deprived state all new parents operate in but all efforts need to be made so that the transition from small family to larger family can be a content adjustment time for every one. 

Written by Postpartum Doula Cia
For more information about how postpartum doula Cia can support your expanding family transition, please call 484-802-6100 or register here:

Happy Birthday Baby! Big Sibling Prep Class

Havertown, PA
May 2015 date to be announced.

Happy Birthday Baby Havertown PA Sibling Prep Class

Becoming a big brother or big sister is a huge event in your child's life. This parent/child class will provide a combination of preparation and celebration of this exciting transition.  It is geared toward children age 2-7 and is great for the first time sibling as well as for those becoming a sibling again! Class activities will include reading a book about becoming a big brother or big sister, completing a fun arts and crafts activity and then the children will get to use a demonstration doll to learn how to hold and diaper the new baby! We will also talk about how to create a home activity for your big sibling to use during the newborns endless early feedings.  Each child will receive a certificate of completion.

Taught by postpartum doula Aliza Bancoff of Main Line Doulas, the Philadelphia area's premier source for pregnancy, birth and newborn education and in-home support.

Healthy Kids Day 2015 Haverford Area YMCA April 25th, 2015

Haverford Area YMCA
891 N Eagle Rd, Havertown, PA 19083

Main Line Doulas is excited to announce that we will be participating in the Haverford Area YMCA Healthy Kids Day 2015 event on April 25th from 10am-1pm

This FREE family event will encourage kids and families to get moving and learning during the summer months and help families live healthier lifestyles!

Research shows that without access to quality learning activities and physical activity during the summer months, kids can fall behind and obesity rates rise. So this event will be focused on kick-starting behaviors to get the summer off to a great start.

Main Line Doulas will host a children's craft about Becoming a Big Brother/Becoming a Big Sister! It will be geared toward children age 2-6. Our doulas, experts in sibling adjustment, will talk about becoming a big brother and big sister and create a fun craft they can bring home to foster continued discussions in the home. 

There will be many other wonderful vendors at this event and it is open to the entire community.

Philadelphia doulas answer the question, "Should I use a seatbelt while pregnant?"

Sometimes mom's have fears about seat belts during pregnancy and may ask the question, "Couldn't the seat belt crush my baby?" or "what if the airbags hit my baby?"

The question of whether to wear a seat belt during pregnancy is pretty cut and dry: Protect the mom and you protect the baby. So should you wear a seat belt? YES.

The American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology conducted a recent study, "Fetal outcome in motor-vehicle crashes: effects of crash characteristics and maternal restraint"

According to their research, " Proper maternal belt-restraint use (with or without airbag deployment) is associated with acceptable fetal outcome (odds ratio = 4.5, P = .033). Approximately half of fetal losses in motor-vehicle crashes could be prevented if all pregnant women properly wore seat belts."

For more detailed information please review the study here:

The AJOG says, "These results strongly support recommendations that pregnant women use properly positioned seatbelts."

So how can we make sure that a seat belt is properly positioned?

Pull the seat belt across your body. Make sure the lap belt goes under your belly, against your hip bones. Place the chest belt between your breasts. Never put the chest/shoulder belt under your arm.

Doulas help family with after birth complications

Last week, we had the privileged of serving a family with an unexpected complication post delivery. A gallbladder attack requiring surgery.

Usually birth goes smoothly, you give birth and go home 1-2 days later. Sometimes a surgical birth called a cesarean section is required and you are left with  a beautiful baby but the extra challenges of recovering from a surgery in addition to the intense transition of getting to know and care for your new little one. And sometimes, you have an uncomplicated delivery, but then afterwards things happen that you didn't plan for. Main Line Doulas has experience jumping in to help.

For more information on Gallbladder and gallstones please visit here:

I have changed all names locations and details from this story for privacy.

John and Melissa's Story

I received the call after business hours, the family left a voicemail, "Hi, I am calling because I saw your car recently at the Radnor Library. We live in Radnor, recently delivered our baby girl and my wife Melissa was diagnosed with severe gallbladder infection and will need to have it taken out. She was just admitted to hospital in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Hospital and I am staying with her with the baby but will have to go home to be with our other children. Do you service Philadelphia? We were wondering if your postpartum doulas could help?"

I immediately called them back and spoke with the dad, John. I talked with John as he sat in the hospital with his wife and new baby. I conducted a consultation in which I learned more about their family, the other help they have and how they felt we could best help them. Based on this information, I then made some suggestions. John, a resident physician at a different local hospital could not miss too much work, so we came up with a plan to give him peace of mind knowing his wife and baby were being well supported while she was getting the surgery and the 5 days after of recovery before she would be allowed to go home.

The plan was to have two doulas during the day each do 10 hour shifts with two hours between each shift that John would be able to be with Melissa.

During our shifts the postpartum doulas cared for all the needs of the baby, while facilitating bonding and breastfeeding with mom and her bundle of love. We navigated breastfeeding issues including latch and nipple shield use. Mom was in pain and could not physically hold her baby without help, so we helped hold the baby during feeds. We were there to facilitate bonding and breastfeeding which are so important in those first days and weeks.

We spent 5 days with this family in the hospital, around the clock. Once they went home, we had just a few more shifts and family and friends took over from there. I felt truly honored to be able to serve such a wonderful family as they went through an unexpected complication with grace and dignity and went on to have a successful breastfeeding relationship. 

If you are experiencing an unexpected complication after birth, please give us a call at 484-802-6100.

We can help. 

We provide experienced support and peace of mind when you need it most.