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Filtering by Tag: newborn

Postpartum Sex 101

Chelsea Gonzales

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In the weeks after giving birth, you probably aren’t going to be thinking too much about having sex. Your newborn and a distinct lack of sleep are both responsible for this—but really, it’s just as well, all things considered.

You see, just as you might imagine, intercouse is not usually very comfortable immediately after giving birth. This is true if you gave birth vaginally, of course, but can even be true for those mamas who’ve had c-sections. On top of that, postpartum bleeding can make intimacy quite difficult, and your care provider will probably want you to wait awhile before jumping back into things anyway.

Still, the time will come when you and your partner are ready to get back into the swing of things, so to speak. It’s good to know when you can do so, and what to expect when you do.

Wait It Out

First and foremost, you will need to allow your body to heal a bit. Failing to do so could lead to infection. In most cases, six weeks should be plenty of time. However, in some cases you might need to wait longer. Therefore, it is always a good idea to get permission from your care provider.

Tone Up

While you’re waiting for your time to arrive, you might as well make use of your time by toning up a bit down there. Doing kegels every day will help strengthen your pelvic floor, making sex more enjoyable for both you and your partner when the wait is over.

Not sure how to do kegels? Check out this article to learn how.

Know What to Expect

Even after waiting a full six weeks or more, your body will still be healing. Because of this, and because of hormone fluctuations and physical changes in your body, sex will likely feel different. When you consider what your body went through to bring a baby into this world, this isn't at all surprising. Still, this change in the way sex feels does come as a surprise to some women.

If you go in knowing that things will feel different, at least for a while, and that you might even experience a small amount of discomfort, you’ll be much better off.

Get Protection

Women can and do get pregnant immediately after giving birth. This is even true for breastfeeding mamas. Therefore, unless you want two babies back to back, and unless your care provider has given you the go-ahead to get pregnant again, you will want to ensure you have some sort of birth control before hopping in bed.

Relax and Warm up

Having sex for the first time in weeks or even months might make you feel a bit uptight. This isn’t fun for anyone. Help yourself relax by having a glass of wine beforehand.

On top of nerves, hormone fluctuations can cause women who have just given birth to be quite dry down below. A bit of lube can solve this problem in a jiffy. Add in plenty of foreplay and you should be good to go.

Communicate Your Needs

Don’t be embarrassed to communicate your needs to your partner. If you need to go a bit slower than usual, let them know that. If something hurts or is uncomfortable, put a stop to it. Remember that you can stop at any point if you need or want to.

Preparing for Your Postpartum Care

Chelsea Gonzales

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Gathering baby stuff before your little one arrives is tons of fun. For this reason, most new mamas get everything set up for baby with time to spare. Unfortunately, not many new mothers think much about themselves during their preparations, and this can leave them without the tools they need to ensure a pleasant healing process after baby arrives.

If you are currently expecting, trust me when I say you don’t want this to happen to you. Lucky for you, I’ve compiled a complete list of items you’ll want to gather in order to ensure a healthy postpartum healing process and a smooth transition into your role of new mother.

 Padsicles — Giving birth is magical. However, it is also physically taxing and can leave a woman feeling quite sore down there. Padsicles are one of the most effective remedies for sore lady parts. To make your own, simply follow these instructions.

 Herbal Sitz Bath — Another great option that is both soothing and healing is an herbal sitz bath. A DIY sitz bath recipe can be found here, and the relaxing bath experience can be shared between mom and baby to promote healing and bonding.

 Motherlove Nipple Cream — A good nipple cream is a must for anyone who plans on breastfeeding. One of my personal favorite products is the Motherlove brand nipple cream. It is organic and 100% safe for baby, meaning you can rest easy when using it.

 AfterEase Tincture by WishGarden — The perfect solution to after-birth pains, this tincture is easy to use and completely natural. It is definitely something you’re going to want to have on hand during the first few weeks postpartum.

 Peri Bottle — After giving birth, toilet paper is less than pleasant. Save yourself some pain by keeping a peri bottle on hand. It’s much nicer to use when you’re sore down there, and you’ll be sure to get everything nice and clean.

 Witch Hazel Wipes — Another great option for getting clean and soothing sore spots are witch hazel wipes. These wipes are moistened with a lovely blend of witch hazel and aloe extracts for a soothing cleansing experience.

 Extra-Large Pads — In the first few days after giving birth, extra-large pads are a must. In fact, many women prefer to invest in Depends or mesh underwear to use during this time in order to preserve their panties. Whatever you choose, make sure the product is very absorbent, and be prepared to use them for 2–4 days.

 Organic Pads — Even after the first few days of incredibly heavy bleeding, you can expect to continue bleeding for quite some time. During this time, tampons will be off limits due to risk of infection. Therefore, a good stash of pads will be necessary. I personally prefer organic pads for this, as they tend to be gentler on sensitive areas.

 Mother’s Milk Tea — Establishing a good milk supply is key in a budding breastfeeding relationship. For this reason, you might want to keep a box of Mother’s Milk Tea on hand. This amazing product will help bring your supply levels up should you experience any issues.

There you have it, mamas! Once you have baby’s stuff all set up and ready to go, go ahead and check off these few things for yourself as well. You’ll be happy you did.

Want someone to help you during your first weeks with the new addition? I’d love to offer my assistance! Please contact me today for information on my postpartum doula services.

3 Overnight Postpartum Doula Myths: Debunked

Chelsea Gonzales

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While the idea of hiring a daytime postpartum doula has become a bit more accepted in recent years, many people are still hesitant to jump on the overnight postpartum doula bandwagon.

It seems there are a number of misunderstandings about this particular set of caregivers that cause some new parents to shy away from looking further into their offerings. This is seriously unfortunate, as it means a large number of individuals are missing out on high-quality care simply because they don't fully understand what an overnight postpartum doula can do for them.

Today I am going to clear up some of these misunderstandings by debunking some of the most common overnight postpartum doula myths.

Myth #1: Overnight Doulas can hurt a nursing relationship.

Many people are under the impression that because a nighttime doula cares for the newborn in order to allow new parents some sleep, she keeps the little one from nursing during the nighttime hours. This couldn’t be further from the truth.

Most doulas actively support nursing mamas by bringing baby to her for feeding times and helping her find comfortable feeding positions. Many doulas even have training in lactation support and are able to provide helpful nursing tips. Additionally, overnight postpartum doulas are alway happy to help nursing mothers stay hydrated and well-fed by bringing water and snacks to her bedside.

So while an overnight postpartum doula is happy to bottle feed if that is what the parents request of her, most are also incredibly supportive of breastfeeding, and some can even help mother and baby establish a solid nursing foundation in those first few nights.

Myth #2: Hiring an overnight Doula is essentially paying someone to sleep.

If you think that overnight doulas are in your home to sleep, think again. Nighttime postpartum doulas understand that while they are in your home, they are at work. Additionally, they tend to take their job quite seriously.

Because of all of this, there is no need for you to provide your doula with a room or even a bed. While they may nod off occasionally when baby is sleeping soundly and all chores are finished, they are not in your home to sleep and will do so after their job is finished.

Myth #3: Daytime postpartum doula services are more valuable than nighttime services.

Most new parents are working with a limited budget. This means they must pick and choose which services, gadgets, and other baby-related things to pay for. For some parents, this means they must choose between a daytime postpartum doula and a nighttime postpartum doula. In many of these cases, the parents choose the daytime doula simply because they feel her services will be more valuable.

While I won’t deny the value of a daytime postpartum doula’s services, I do want to point out that an overnight postpartum doula is just as helpful. In fact, in some cases, I would say an overnight postpartum doula is an even better value than their daytime counterparts.

For instance, a new parent who must return to work shortly after having a new baby will need to have a good, solid nighttime schedule in place to ensure everyone is getting enough sleep when the schedule returns to normal. An overnight doula can help tremendously in this effort, making the return to “regular life” a much more pleasant experience.

There you have it, friends—three of the most common overnight postpartum doula myths debunked. I hope that this newfound knowledge helps you understand the enormous value of hiring a nighttime doula. Not only that, but I hope you share this knowledge with friends and family in an effort to make overnight postpartum doulas as common as diapers and wipes in the homes of newborns.

After all, we all know that new parents can use a break from time to time.

Helping Your Postpartum Doula Help You

Chelsea Gonzales

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Many people enter parenthood feeling pretty overwhelmed. One of the biggest areas of concern comes along when the sun goes down. After all, we all know how precious sleep is, and newborns don't always seem to understand this fact. For this reason, a good number of new parents are making the decision to hire an overnight postpartum doula.

An overnight postpartum doula can provide an enormous amount of help to those families who are struggling with nighttime issues. They wake with baby and rock, change, and burp the little one as needed. If the newborn is bottle-fed, the doula will even take care of the feeding.

For sleep-deprived parents, this service is pretty incredible. However, it is still an investment. Therefore, many people wonder how they can ensure they are getting the most out of their investment.

For this reason, I have compiled some tips for those who are considering hiring an overnight postpartum doula. I hope these tips help you understand how you can get the most benefit from your doula.

 Hire Wisely

First and foremost, it is essential that you hire the right overnight postpartum doula for your family. Every new parent has different needs and wants, and every doula offers a slightly different set of services. Therefore, it is crucial that you interview potential doulas to find one that best suits your needs.

Additionally, it is important to keep in mind that your overnight postpartum doula will be in your home and caring for your infant. This means you will want to ensure you hire an individual you feel comfortable with.

 Communicate Well

Doulas of all kinds are typically amazing at anticipating needs. That is why they are good at what they do. This is especially true of overnight postpartum doulas, who can’t wake their clients to ask what their needs or wants might be.

That said, doulas are not mind readers. For this reason, you must communicate your wishes whenever possible. This doesn’t mean you should be demanding or rude, but it does mean you need to let your doula know if she isn’t meeting your expectations based on the contract you both signed. After all, she is there to make your life easier, but if she doesn’t know what you need, she cannot do that.

Rest Easy

It can be really difficult to hand your newborn over to someone else. It can be especially difficult to go to sleep after doing so. However, the primary reason for hiring an overnight postpartum doula is to get some much needed shut-eye. This is why I recommend interviewing a few different doulas and choosing one who both meets your needs and puts you at ease. If you don’t feel you can trust your doula for any reason, it’s time to find a new helper.

Assuming you do trust your doula, you need to find a way to relax while your little one is in her care. Diffusing lavender oil, taking a warm bath, and making sure your room is cool and dark are all great ways to induce sleepiness, should you feel restless.

By following these simple steps, you can ensure you get the very most out of your overnight postpartum doula investment. Considering the many baby-related expenses likely coming your way, it is good to know you are getting the best bang for your buck.

Want to learn more about my overnight postpartum doula services? Please have a look around the site for information on what I offer.