PPMeTime

7 Ways to Create “Me” Time Postpartum

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links!

After having a child, it can be harder to create alone time, or what some like to call “me” time. During your postpartum period it can be even more crucial as you are adjusting to life with a newborn, or with more children. Your “me” time allows you to relax, re-set and refocus on you. When you are finished with your “me” time, you can return to your children and family refreshed and happier.

Creating “me” time can be as simple as 10 minutes to 1 hour a day or it could be a few hours one afternoon, once a week. Allowing yourself time to re-set is important for your health, just as exercising and eating healthy is. If you are a planner and have a family calendar, carve these days out in your schedule. If it’s on the schedule then you and your significant other will be prepared and it is more likely to happen.

Are you not sure what to do during your “me” time? Check out this great list I put together!

Take a Hot bath, Epsom Salts & Lavender Essential Oils. This is my favorite and the most simplest way to have some alone time. Grab your favorite book and some hot tea. Of course, if you are newly postpartum you may need to wait a few weeks until your doctor approves you to bathe. Epsom salts are a great way to relax your tense muscles from carrying and nursing your baby. Add a few drops of Lavender Essential Oil to your bath. Lavender Essential Oil can help relieve nervous tension, enhance blood circulation and much more. Plus, it just smells amazing!

Spend an afternoon at a local coffee shop or book store. Grab your favorite book, a journal, or go look for a great book to read while taking your hot bath. Every new parent needs coffee right? Treat yourself and get a fancy, specialty drink and relax. Read your book or people watch. Both can be equally entertaining 🙂 Check out some great, local coffee shops here!

Spa Day! What woman doesn’t love a spa day? It doesn’t need to be an entire day, but you can go get a manicure and pedicure or an hour long massage. If someone is wanting to get you something postpartum, ask for a gift certificate! You just gave birth and are juggling life as a mom, you deserve some pampering. Do you live in Central Iowa? Check out some great spas in the area here.

Sign-up for a yoga class. Yoga is a great way to relax and to get your body moving. It does not have to be a sweaty workout, but it can be an opportunity for you to become re-centered. Yoga is a great time to meditate too! I know whenever I leave a yoga class, I am refreshed and ready for the world. If you live in the Des Moines area I highly recommend checking out The Family Tree Yoga. They offer several great classes and workshops for pregnancy, postpartum and more. They also offer massage too! 🙂 Check out Power Life Yoga, also! They offer several locations in the Des Moines area.

Take a walk. Fresh air is truly some of the best medicine. After being cooped up in the house all day with your newborn, getting outside and taking in the scenery can be a great way to unwind. The Des Moines area is truly blessed with tons of bike trails. One of my favorite places to walk and explore is the PappaJohn Sculpture Park located right by Central Library and Ritual Cafe. You can also walk along the Des Moines River on the Principal Riverwalk. Too chilly out? Check out Botanical Blues at the Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden.

Take a class. After becoming a parent, you easily can forget to do things you love to do! Find something you want to learn or something you have always loved, and take a class. Are you artistic? Paint some pottery or canvas at Glazed Expressions! There are several places to do canvas art in the area. You can also take a cooking class! The Des Moines Public Library offers an Adult Coloring Time weekly.

Get adjusted! This seems simple and actually does not take much time at all, but can easily be added to your afternoon break before you head to the coffee shop or book store. After giving birth, whether it be vaginally or via c-section, your pelvis and entire body experiences changes. Not only from child birth, but from nursing positions, carrying your newborn, and carrying that hefty car seat! Getting adjusted regulary by a chiropractor you trust and is experienced with prenatal and postnatal adjustment is highly recommended! Check out Dr. Jennifer Thompson at Balance Chiropractic & Wellness.

Photo Credits: PappaJohn Sculpture Park, Smokey Row Coffee Shop
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Sweet Me Photography + Giveaway!

I am so excited to announce that Midwest Mom & Wife is teaming up with Sweet Me Photography!

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Sweet Me Photography offers in-home and affordable newborn photography. There are photographers available all over, but just recently Sweet Me Photography has came to Des Moines.

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Why am I so excited about this? As a mom, I know how important those first photos are of your precious baby. But, as a postpartum doula, I know how important it is for you to rest, recover and bond with your newborn. Sweet Me Photography provides boutique sessions in the comfort of your own home. No need to pack up all sorts of baby necessities and no need for you to be up moving around. Let the Sweet Me photographers take care of it all. They bring lighting, heating, props, outfits (but if you have your own, you are more than welcome to use it!), blankets, and backdrops.

Go take a shower, get some rest and let the photographers capture some wonderful photos. Every Sweet Me photographer is also trained in baby safety, so you can rest assure they are properly taking care of your newborn.

Because Midwest Mom & Wife has begun an amazing partnership with Sweet Me Photography we are offering a giveaway! One lucky winner will win Sweet Me Photography’s package one valued at $350! And there is moreANYONE who enters for the giveaway will receive $25 off any package of their choosing, just for entering!

Giveaway will end Sunday, October 2nd! Make sure you share with all your expecting friends!

Enter here!

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Hike it Baby: One Year Anniversary!

Have you heard about Hike it Baby? For those of you who haven’t, we are an organization dedicated to developing communities that get families outside with children from birth to school age. There are branches in cities all over the world! Iowa has four branches: Des Moines, Iowa City, Cedar Rapids, and Davenport. An Ames branch will be starting soon, too!

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Come celebrate Des Moines’ one year anniversary with us! We went from an inspiration to an entire branch with over 800 Facebook members and hundreds of hikes on the calendar in a year! We have some fun things planned, including an amazing giveaway filled with donations from local businesses.

When: Sunday, June 5th at 2:30pm at the Ewing Park Children’s Forest and Nature Trail. We will meet at the Ashley Okland Star Playground and hike the Nature Trail at 3pm then have time to play on this AMAZING playground. Bring your own chairs, a picnic basket, and join us!

More information can be found on our Facebook page under Events, and here: https://hikeitbaby.com/hike/hike-it-baby-des-moines-1-year-anniversary-hike-and-event/ 

Check out more information about Katy Severe, leader of Des Moines’ local chapter here!

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Bump Day 2016

Come out to Iowa Family Chiropractic on April 9th, 2016!

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From 9 am until 11 am there will be around 20 vendors sharing their business, goods, and services for new and expecting parents/caregivers and for families trying to get pregnant! Such as local midwives, doulas, photographers, places to shop, acupuncture, massage, and much more.

List of vendors include:

1. Acupunture Wellness Center
2. Farm Baby Foods
3. Willowsong
4. Roots Prenatal Yoga
5. Little Padded Seats
6. Iowa Doula Agency
7. Basking Babies LLC
8. Hy-vee Nutrition
9. Fadeaway Flotation
10. Little Children’s Boutique
11. Babydale Diaper Service
12. Central Iowa Placenta
13. Mercy Midwives
14. It Works
15. Food4Thought
16. Iowa Birth Organization
17. Kiwi Marie Photography
18. Sams Club
19. Ankeny Dog Training Academy

AND Midwest Mom & Wife and Des Moines Parent!! 🙂

Not only will the be an educational event for families to see what Central Iowa has to offer, but there will be some fun stuff too! Bring some cash & prepare to shop! 🙂

Bump Bags full of free goodies for the first 50 families, plus door prizes and giveaways.

This event is also sponsored by Fadeaway Floatation! Check out the great experience I had!

Make sure you join the Facebook event to keep track of everything!

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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The Pump and Dump Comedy Show Coming to Des Moines!

I am so excited about this fun and hilarious show coming to The Funny Bone Comedy Club! The Pump and Dump Comedy ShowOr better know as The Pump and Dump: A Parentally Incorrect Comedy Show and Night Out For Once 🙂 89C6E490-221C-4C69-9B35-9F8F0C048DC7

On Thursday, January 28th at 7:30 pm you will be able to see Shayna Ferm and Tracey Tee kick-off their SECOND nationwide tour, right here, in Des Moines! The night will include a hilarious evening full of original music, stories, games and prizes.

The Pump and Dump all started with two women comics who put together original music, comedy and prizes and a way for moms to laugh their kid-filled days away. This show was first performed in a small bar in 2012, and has sold out residency at Comedy Works in Denver since 2015. Now, they are expected to laugh their way through 17 cities and make 10,000 moms, grandmas, sisters, aunts and more the next several months.

Check out a little teaser of their show here!

Buy tickets here! Purchase them soon before they sell out!

I hope all of you mothers, grandmothers, aunts and more will take an evening out to celebrate and laugh! 🙂

If you can’t make it to the show, check out their site and super fun Kickstarter campaign to see the manys ways you can Pump and Dump it + spread the mom karma all year long.

FB/IG/TW: @thepumpanddumpshow

Drop-Off Location!

Share the Love: Drop-Off Location!

Share the Love is an awesome program that connects cloth diapers with families in need. There are so many families through-out Central Iowa, who cannot afford basic necessities. Share the Love helps with taking one of many expenses off their shoulders, diapers.

Drop-Off Location!

To be able to connect families with cloth diapers we need DONATIONS! Do you have cloth diapers at home, that you no longer use? It is okay if they are not in the best shape, we can make them work!

We now have an official drop-off location! Little Padded Seats, located in Valley West Mall, was gracious enough to offer their store as a drop-site for donations. If you come across any cloth diapers or accessories (i.e. wet bags, cloth wipes) bring them into the store and place them in the Share the Love basket! 

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Are you a family in need? Please follow this link and fill out the application. We will get you connected with diapers ASAP!

Learn more about Share the Love: Central Iowa here!

Iowa Doula Agency

Iowa Doula Agency: Iowa’s First Statewide Doula Resource!

If you have been following Midwest Mom & Wife, you know that I believe  it is very important to hire a doula!

Iowa Doula Agency

Living in Central Iowa, we are blessed to have many doulas available and the Iowa Doula Agency is Iowa’s first statewide doula resource.

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The Iowa Doula Agency’s (IDA) goal is to connect expecting parents with doulas that best fit their specific needs. It is important to know, that not one doula may be the perfect fit for every family. The IDA strives to help guide you and make the right choice for you.

Here are a few reasons why hiring a doula through the Iowa Doula Agency is best:

  1. Some women when they hear the word doula, feel that a doula is only needed if they plan to have an at home birth, an un-medicated birth , or cesarean birth. The IDA provide doulas for every type of birth. The doulas provided “are free of judgement and provide judgement-free birth information”.
  2. Reaching out and hiring a doula when you discover you are pregnant, can be the best thing for your pregnancy and birth. The doulas provided by the IDA provide evidence-based information. When you become pregnant you may not know what you want. A doula can help share all the information with you and you can work together to create the plan that best fits you.  At any point, your doula
  3. A doula encourages you to use inform consent throughout your pregnancy and birth. It’s important to remember you are in charge of your pregnancy and birth. Your doula is there to help make your voice heard.

Check out The Scope of Practice of doulas from the Iowa Doula Agency. This will give you a detailed explanation of what you can expect from your doula.

Another great benefit of hiring a doula from the IDA is you can get discounts and deals from local businesses including: Fadeaway Floatation Center, The Family Tree Yoga & Massage, Powerful Mamas, Basking Babies, Blessings Photography & Birth Services, and Balance Chiropractic & Wellness. After you contract with IDA, you will receive a welcome packet that has all the details!

Right now, IDA has seven contracted doulas! Check out their bios and introduction videos here.

Pricing varies on experience. The IDA provides a great chart, that breaks down price categories and descriptions of each category here.

Are YOU expecting and ready to hire a doula for you!?! Every second Monday of the month the IDA hosts a Meet the Doulas. This is a great opportunity to meet all the doulas, ask questions, and get more information!

Make sure you follow Iowa Doula Agency on Facebook!

 

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Babywearing Exercise Classes in Central Iowa

It is International Babywearing Week!

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Babywearing has been a blessing in my life. It has kept me sane as a parent with small children. I was introduced to it when I had Monte and fell in love even more when I had my daughter!

There are so many options with babywearing and living in Central Iowa, we are truly blessed with the amount of resources available to us, to learn. If you have not checked out our local Babywearing International of Central Iowa group, you NEED to. It is a great place to ask questions about wearing, certain carriers, support, and to just meet other like-minded parents! They offer several meetings in different locations in the metro area, so check out their Facebook page!

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Since the babywearing community has grown and lots of parents are wearing, there are fun exercise classes being created right here in Central Iowa! I am so excited to share information about these classes with you!

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Pied Piper Studios & ClubFit Studio

Created by Caeli Esser of ClubFit, she is bringing fitBaby to you at two different locations! You can check out her babywearing class at Pied Piper Studios or at the ClubFit studio. Baby wearing optional. Stayclose to your baby, while giving yourself some love. We’ll safely guide you through exercises to improve posture, give your metabolism a boost and leave you feeling energized and ready for anything (whether or not you got any sleep last night).

Locations:

  • Pied Piper Studios – 3892 NW Urbandale Drive
  • ClubFit Studio – 2614 Beaver Avenue, shared space with Livable

Times:

  • Pied Piper Studios – Sunday; 10 am – 10:45 am
  • ClubFit Studio – Monday; 5:15 pm – 5:50 pm

Prices: Check out here for details on pricing options!

Roots Healing Movement Class

The Family Tree Yoga & Massage

Enjoy great music and easy to follow moves and stretches in a supportive atmosphere. Open to all women and safe for pre/postnatal students. Baby wearing welcome.

Location: 3900 Ingersoll Avenue Suites 106 & 108

Dates & Times: 

  • 4-week session begins Wednesday 10/21 weekly thru 11/11 from 11 am – 11:45 am
  • Offered once monthly on Saturdays from 10:30 am – 11:15 am on 10/31, 11/21, and 12/12.
  • A minimum of 4 registered students are required to hold this class. You will receive an email the evening before if we do not have enough participants

Prices: $25/class for Saturday drop-ins (may be used with 4 week class pass and Monthly Unlimited Memberships), or $89 for the four-week class series. All participants receive a complimentary guest pass with purchase!

Check out other classes they offer and sign-up here!

Babywearing Dance

Uplift Fitness Studio

This class is a wonderful activity to help you be fit, give your metabolism a boost, and leave your body feeling energized all while having fun with your baby or toddler! Dancing to music is beneficial to your body, soul and your baby! Whether you have danced in the past or only dreamt of it, these 45 minute classes are open to everyone! Each class includes simple stretches and dance moves designed to give you and your tiny dancer a bonding connection and fun time together. This class is also great for expecting mothers.

Location:  300 SE Grimes Blvd.

Dates & Times: Saturdays; 10:30 am – 11:15 am & Wednesdays; 10:30 am – 11:15 am

Prices: Check here for all pricing packages and to sign-up!

Make sure you keep an eye out! I will be checking out all three of these locations and doing a Featured Post, so you know what to expect!

 

 

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Expressing Motherhood Is Coming To Des Moines

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As you’ve heard by now Expressing Motherhood is coming to Des Moines February 20, 2016 at the Stoner Theater (inside the Civic Center). Ashlen from The Kidsperts is the local producer and co-director of the play. We’re just two short months away from our submission date (October 19) and people have been asking a lot of questions about submissions and the play in general! Here are the need-to-knows of Expressing Motherhood:

  • Expressing Motherhood is a National play, founded in 2008 by two stay at home moms in Los Angeles. The play has traveled to Boston, New York, Chicago, and (this fall) San Francisco and Sioux Falls, SD. The show consists of around 10 people performing their stories about motherhood on stage. You don’t need experience to be in this play–it was made for the amateur performer (and really, there’s all a little amateur performer in all of us).
  • Submissions are accepted ONE DAY ONLY on October 19, 2015. Send submission pieces to desmoines@expressingmotherhood.com.
  • Submissions should be a specific story telling your experience with motherhood. That being said, you don’t need to be a mom to be cast, just have a story about motherhood. Monologues, skits, songs, and dances are all welcome to tell your story. Your story can be sad, funny, embarrassing, etc. as long as it captures the aspects of motherhood.
  • Submission pieces should be around 5 minutes long when read aloud.
  • Before you submit your work, make sure you are available for all rehearsals and shows. Rehearsals will be held Thursday February 18, 2016 from 10 – 2 and Friday February 19, 2016 from 10 – 2. Showtimes are Saturday February 20, 2016 at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Tickets will be on sale soon through Ticketmaster and/or at the Civic Center box office (221 Walnut St., Des Moines, IA 50309).

Read more about Expressing Motherhood on their website and find Expressing Motherhood on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram (using the hashtag #exmoshow). Also be sure to check out creator Lindsay Kavet’s new Podcast on iTunes, where Lindsay speaks with creative moms about their projects and how they balance life.

If you have any additional questions regarding the Des Moines Expressing Motherhood shows, please email Ashlen at desmoines@expressingmotherhood.com or ashlen@thekidsperts.com. Keep up to date with the latest news regarding the Expressing Motherhood show in Des Moines, follow the Kidsperts on Facebook and/or sign up for our newsletter.

About the Author

1423869052310-300x236  Ashlen Sheaffer is a proud Des Moines resident who was born and raisedhere. Ashlen wears many hats: mom, wife, daycare provider at her in-home daycare, blogger and co-owner at The Kidsperts, children’s book aut
hor, and co-director and producer for the upcoming play Expressing Motherhood play. In her free time Ashlen enjoys exploring all DesMoines has to offer, road trips, and adventuring all with the kids in tow. Ashlen is super excited to be able to share some of her family’s adventuring with other Iowans and get other families out into the community.

Follow her:

Website: www.thekidsperts.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ashlen.kidspert

Twitter: https://twitter.com/AshlenSheaffer

Instagram: https://instagram.com/ashlen_at_the_kidsperts/