Why I am the

Why I am the Postpartum Doula For You!

You may have already heard the exciting news! I am working with the Iowa Doula Agency as a postpartum doula!

Why I am theI am so excited to support mothers after birth. My dream is for every mother to have that one BEST friend after they birth their child. An individual who will be there to support them emotionally, physically and give evidence-based support for the mother and family.

It is wonderful to have your spouse, family and friends around to help; but it is so beneficial to have an educated individual to assist. A postpartum doula’s focus is the mother.

You can be extremely prepared to have a baby. You can have freezer meals made, washed all the babies clothes, shopped for essentials, baby room prepped, and so on. Each birth and each postpartum period is different. There will be questions that need to be answered about your newborn or yourself. A postpartum doula will bring comfort and ease stresses.

I will (just a few and not limited to!):

  • Encourage mother-baby bonding
    • Help with skin-to-skin
  • Provide basic newborn care
    • Swaddle
    • Bathe
    • Change diapers
  • Provide physical help so mother can recover
    • Rest and sleep for mother
    • Healthy snacks
    • Ice packs
  • Basic household care
    • Light house cleaning
    • Errand running
    • Folding laundry
    • Meal preparation
  • Help provide sibling care

As a postpartum doula, I do not dispense medical advice, diagnose medical conditions, interpret medical diagnosis, perform medical clinical procedures, or prescribe/administer medications or treatment.

I am a resource tool! If you are concerned about breastfeeding and need to find a lactation consultation or need to find a mom’s group to socialize, I have many resources for you! If I cannot do something you need, I will help you find the perfect person to help you.

There is always a free consultation. At our consultation we will chat about what your concerns are and what you feel you may need the most assistance with. If you feel that I am the right fit, we will create a plan that we both are comfortable with!

I want to help every mother create and enjoy a special bond with their newborn. 

Have questions? Want to meet? Feel free to e-mail me at Erin@iowadoulas.com

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BabyGuyNYC: MommyCon 2015

MommyCon 2015 Must See & Do!-8

If you have not seen yet … I am giving away two FREE tickets to MommyCon Minneapolis which is being held on April 18th!

Giveaway!-2Link to blog post, to enter!

One of the rules to this giveaway is for you to comment, what you are looking forward to the most. A lot of you are looking forward to seeing BabyGuyNYC!

I was lucky to see him last year, at MommyCon Chicago and LOVED him! He is so funny and knows sooooo much.

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Those of you who do not know or have never heard of Jamie Grayson aka BabyGuyNYC, let me tell you the top 3 reasons why you should be looking forward to seeing him!

  1. He is funny and entertaining! He has a BFA in Acting and a Minor in English. Before he began his gig as “baby guru” , he acted in theaters, and traveled on a cruise ship.
  2. He knows everything baby! From strollers to breast pumps. He started off as a product demonstrator at Buy Buy Baby in New York City. After awhile, he began doing his own research about every known baby product and was even recommending to Buy Buy Baby what to sell. He also did personal shops, with expecting parents and was booked 2-4 months in advance! Everyone wanted to know what The Baby Guy had to recommend.
  3. Not only has he worked at Buy Buy Baby he has also worked at RealBirth in New York City. He worked with doulas and lactation consultants. This allowed him to give more knowledge and insight beyond the products. He is knowledgable about childbirth and the parenting process.

The Baby Guy has been featured and can be found pretty much anywhere in the baby world including:

  • “Gear Guy” for Strollertraffic.com
  • New York Times
  • Fit Pregnancy
  • American Baby
  • The LA Times
  • The Seattle Times
  • Babble
  • Cool Mom Picks
  • OH Baby Magazine
  • Drool Baby Expo
  • MommyCon (yay!)
  • Brooklyn Baby Expo
  • Big City Moms
  • And MORE!

You can follow The Baby Guy on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram!

He also sends out a newsletter, which you can sign up for here!

Make sure to check out the Baby Guy Gear Guide for more information about him, events, products, and more!

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Awesome resource for YOU!

I am really excited to share something new I have added to the Midwest Mom & Wife blog! If you look at the tab options at the top, there is a new tab titled ‘Pregnancy, Birth & Beyond’. After a lot of time and compiling all my resources, I created this resource for YOU.

When I created Midwest Mom & Wife,  one of my many goals, was to share with you my experiences and passions about: pregnancy, birth, breastfeeding, babywearing, cloth diapering, co-sleeping, and attachment parenting. Every now and then, I blog and mention these categories. If you follow my Facebook page, you know that I have a passion for these topics! I did not become familiar with these topics until after I had my son, Monte. I sure wished that there was a resource, that compiled all of these articles, book titles, local groups, local resources, etc. in one spot.

Over the past three years, I have bookmarked favorite sites and articles that have helped me make decisions regarding my pregnancy, birthing, and parenting. I have broken down the ‘Pregnancy, Birth & Beyond’ tab into six topics:

  1. Pregnancy & Birth
  2. Breastfeeding
  3. Attachment Parenting
  4. Cloth Diapering
  5. Babywearing
  6. Co-Sleeping

In each of these topics I have compiled links and resources for you to learn more about the topic. Some may include my own blog posts, resources, memberships, services, articles and websites.

Please remember, that these articles and resources, are just information for you to gather your own opinions and decisions. When it comes to these topics there is no right or wrong. The most important thing is that you have done your research and you are informed. I hope these articles and resources, help you do that!

Please feel free to contact me if you provide a service, have a great article and/or resource you think should be included. I would love to add it! I will also be adding as I learn and read more 🙂

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Top 4 Baby Must Haves

I thought I would share some of my favorite baby products, I’ve discovered since Miss Amelia has came along. Some of these I had heard of when Monte was a bit older, but decided to purchase now, because we were in NEED!

1. Rock ‘N Play 

When Monte was an infant he slept in a bassinet that was on wheels. I loved that thing. We have hardwood floors, so all I had to do was roll it around with me room to room. When prepping for Amelia I knew I was going to use it again, so I washed it all up and had it ready. Well … Amelia had different plans. She was not a fan. She did not like to be completely flat. We needed something that would fit in our room and she would sleep in. My good friend introduced me to the Rock ‘N Play and we absolutely love it! We use it every day and night! She sleeps in it, hangs out and plays in it. It’s also very easy to fold up and carry with. Whenever we are going to the grandparents house, we fold it up and throw it in the car.

2. Crane Cool Mist Humidifier

I love this! Not only during the cold season, but all year round! I bought this when Monte first got congested, a few months ago. I could tell a HUGE difference in 24 hours of how he felt. Our house tends to be dry also and it also helps with this too. I also love all the fun characters and colors you can purchase! We chose the owl because we have a lot of owls around the house, including Monte’s owl themed room. The humidifier, humidifies up to 250 square feet, has a shutoff safety sensor, and no filter is required. I highly recommend this if you are dealing with dry coughs, congestion, dry skin, etc.

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3. NoseFrida

The snotsucker. Yes, snotsucker. It’s amazing. Sounds gross, but amazing. I highly recommend this instead of the sucky bulb thing, that barely works. What you do is stick the blue end into the baby and/or toddler’s nose. Don’t stick it UP the nose, just so there is a bit suction at the tip. Take the red end and suck! Don’t worry, no snot goes into your mouth! I was a bit weary of it at first, but after my first try and seeing how well it worked, I was hooked!

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4. Wooden Teething Rings from ApplnAmos

I came across Applenamos on Etsy (one of my obsessions) while Christmas shopping. I love absolutely everything in their shop. They specialize in eco-friendly wooden toys and Waldorf and Montessori philosophies. I purchased a personalized wooden teething ring for Amelia and also a Wooden Fly Me Hand Kite. She absolutely loves both 🙂 They have so many different items from baby to toddler. If you are looking for something unique and creative, this is the place to shop. I also love that you can message them and just about anything can be personalized to your wants and needs!

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What are some of your baby must haves?

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DIY Sensory Board

This Christmas we struggled with ideas on what to get Amelia as a gift. She was only 4 1/2 months old, so there wasn’t anything she needed or wanted. I came across this idea for a Sensory Board from someone else and searched them on Pinterest. I had no idea how popular they were! When you search for them, so many different types popped up! I was so excited to do this for Amelia. It was inexpensive and creative.

We purchased everything from Menards, besides a few items we purchased at Michaels. Here is what we used for our sensory board:

  1. You need a board – Ours is 2 feet by 2 feet. You can get much larger or smaller. We thought this would be the perfect size to pull out and store away when it is not being used.
  2. Spray paint – I decided to spray paint ours pink. There are a lot of people who just leave it the natural wood color also. It’s whatever YOU want to do!
  3. Chain door guard
  4. 3 inch spring door stop
  5. Switch & plate
  6. Red paracord bracelet
  7. 3 carabeeners, different colors
  8. 3 carpet samples
  9. Sandpaper
  10. Door chain
  11. Sash lift
  12. Spiky wood chain – Michaels
  13. Colored glass rocks – Michaels
  14. Super Glue
  15. Wood Glue
  16. Screws & Drill
  17. Wooden letters & numbers – Michaels
  18. Various paints for letters & numbers – Michaels
  19. Wooden square sample

Total at Michaels – $25.86

Total at Menards – $38.50

Total = $64.36

I love how this turned out. I also love that you can do anything to create it your own. Travis and I enjoyed creating this together too!

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Babywearing International of Central Iowa

Last week was International Babywearing week. I thought I would share with you, my experiences with babywearing and about an awesome support group, here, in Central Iowa!

I have been a lover of babywearing since Monte was little. I didn’t actually start wearing him until about 4-5 months old. I was not really sure about the whole thing. I finally decided I would give it a try. I started with an Ergo. Which is still my favorite carrier to this day. I also received a mei tai for my birthday, the year Monte was born. I wore it a few times. Below is a picture of me wearing him at the pumpkin patch in the mei tai.

A mei tai is a bit more wrapping and I was a little discouraged with this carrier so I did not use it much with Monte.

The Ergo is also great because it can be used for a back carry too! We used it just recently for Monte when we flew to Dallas in May. Travis snapped him on and went all the way through security to the gate, without having to take him off.

When I became pregnant with Amelia, I told myself I would start babywearing much earlier. For many reasons …

  1. Skin to skin contact is important for babies
  2. It makes my life easier to wear her while chasing around a 2 year old
  3. She usually falls asleep immediately when I wear her

I started off with the NuRoo Pocket. Which is not a carrier BUT it’s a shirt wrap and has the same benefits as many carriers. With the NuRoo Pocket, it can only be used for  babies up to 15 lbs. I think it’s one of the greatest items to practice skin-to-skin contact, while wearing. It allowed me to get things done around the house and play with Monte and still have skin-to-skin contact.

I keep mentioning skin-to-skin contact. It is so important to have skin-to-skin contact with newborns and babies in general!

  1. Helps establish the breastfeeding relationship
  2. Helps stable and create normal body temperatures for baby
  3. Helps stable blood pressure and heart rates for baby
  4. Less likely to cry
  5. More likely to exclusively breastfeed longer
  6. And it’s just super convenient 🙂

I decided to purchase another mei tai, which I LOVE. It’s a Baby SaBye Wrap which you can purchase from Etsy. It is handwoven, beautiful and so comfortable! If I am not using the Ergo I am using this.

With the help from our local babywearing group, I feel so much more comfortable using a mei tai!

If you are interested in babywearing and want to learn more OR try out different wraps/carriers …

“Like” the Central Iowa Babywearing group on Facebook.

“Follow” the Central Iowa Babywearing blog

Request to join the Babywearing International of Central Iowa group on Facebook

They hold meetings once a month in different locations through out Des Moines. You can check out dates and locations on their Facebook page.

You can also become a member for $30 a year! When you become a member, you have access to check out a babycarrier or wrap for an entire month. This is GREAT if you are new to babywearing and not really sure what will work best for you, before purchasing your own.

 To become a member e-mail centraliowaBWI@gmail.com

What is your favorite babywearing carrier/wrap?