Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Breastfeeding - Milk Supply

So the phone rings. I check the caller id and it’s no one I know but I pick it up anyway. I don’t ignore the unknown numbers anymore. It is often a mom looking for breastfeeding help and more often than not it’s about milk supply.

“How do I know my baby is getting enough? My baby wants to nurse all the time. My baby is fussy even after nursing. My baby has been on a great schedule of nursing every 2 hours but now wants to nurse all the time. Am I producing enough for my baby? Do I have a low supply?”
After talking with these moms and delving a little deeper into their breastfeeding relationship it often can be explained away to a growth spurt, a baby that wants to be a cluster feeder, or maybe the mom has an oversupply. However, on rare occasion it really does appear that the mom’s concerns are quite real and she needs help increasing her supply. So how exactly do you go about increasing your supply? There are many positive ways to go about it.

  • NURSE FREQUENTLY for as long as your baby wants to nurse. Plan to spend the next day or two doing little else than nursing and resting. If you have a sleepy baby, wake him and encourage him to nurse.

  • OFFER BOTH BREASTS AT EACH FEEDING. Let the baby nurse on the first breast as long as he is actively sucking and switch when he comes off the first breast on his own. Then you can burp him and offer the second breast. If he doesn’t stay active, try breast compression to keep him nursing longer.

  • TRY BREAST COMPRESSION. Once the baby is latched on well, breast compression may help the milk flow more quickly to give him positive reinforcement and keep him actively feeding longer.

  • ALL YOUR BABY’S SUCKING SHOULD BE DONE AT THE BREAST. Avoid pacifiers and bottles. Drinking from an artificial nipple requires a different type of sucking than nursing at the mother’s breast. If you have to supplement temporarily, there are many alternatives to the bottle. Pacifiers can interfere with extra time at the breast which is so essential to building your milk supply.

  • GIVE YOUR BABY ONLY HUMAN MILK, IF POSSIBLE. Avoid all solids, water and juice. If you baby is currently being supplemented with formula, DO NOT abruptly stop. Cut back on them gradually as your supply increases. Keep in contact with your health care provider to monitor your baby’s weight gain while your supply increases and supplements decrease. On a daily basis you can count your baby’s wet diapers and bowel movements. You should expect these to stay stable as you decrease the supplement.

  • DRINK PLENTY OF LIQUIDS AND EAT A WELL BALANCED DIET. Try to have a glass of water with you each time you nurse and eat a wide variety of foods in as close to their natural state as possible.

  • GET PLENTY OF REST AND RELAXATION. Sounds funny but the more rested and relaxed you are the faster your milk will increase. Cut back on the non-essentials and use your energy to make milk for your baby. If someone asks what you did today, you can say “I made milk, what’s your super power?”
If you have any other questions regarding milk supply or another question about breastfeeding, please don’t hesitate to call. I’m Sarah Alberts, the Sioux Falls La Leche League leader, and that’s what I’m here for. I love helping women and babies in their breastfeeding journey. You can reach me at 605-271-7578 or salberts0909@gmail.com. Elegant Mommy provides a place for us to hold meetings every second Thursday of the month at 6:30. We would LOVE to see you there!!!

*All information above is found in the Womanly Art of Breastfeeding.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Large Families Part 3 - Meet the Roth's

Who does your family consist of (names & ages)?
Mike and Terra
Arianne age 12
Noah age 10
Gracie age 7
Zachary age 3
Sierra 7 months

What does your daily routine look like?
Our summer routine is a lot less hectic than our school days routine. We wake up, eat breakfast, get ready for our day (dressed, teeth brushed, beds made and chores done) and then we attempt to pick up our house or do laundry, or catch up on whatever task needs to be done. In a house with this many people there is ALWAYS laundry to be done. We try to play in the afternoon – Swimming, board games, video games, or playing outside are some of our favorite things to do.

Do the older children help with the younger children?
Yes, they are great helpers. Arianne has just started babysitting a little bit, and she is a great help when I need her to watch the baby so I can cook dinner, or take Zach to the bathroom, or run downstairs, etc. We have also let her start “watching” Zach while I make quick runs to the grocery store, since it’s only a few blocks away. Noah and Gracie will entertain Zach for me when needed and are always willing to snuggle with Sierra, run and grab a diaper, or an outfit, or whatever I might need. They are happy to help out.

Have you ever had any hard feelings with the older children?
Yes, at times. Zach is often jealous of the attention Sierra requires. Sometimes he just wants his mommy and he just can’t have me at that exact moment. Arianne told me once when Sierra was first born that she was afraid that I would forget her because I was so busy with the two younger ones. At times we have behaviour that isn’t the greatest from the older three and those are the days when, if possible, we just stop and play…it doesn’t matter if the laundry is stacked to the ceiling and you wouldn’t be able to see the sink because of the dishes, or the lawn is so tall we can’t find the weiner dog. Growing up is hard…I think a little jealousy towards the younger ones is pretty normal.

Do you feel that having a larger family brings you closer together?
I do think that is true. They all love to play with their dad, and there is no age limit to wrestling him down to the floor and tackling him. It’s been fun watching the progression as we have added to our family. Soon dad won’t stand a chance when little Sierra gets in the middle of the action too. We also eat as many meals together as possible, and most nights we take time to pray together before bed.

Do you have any tips for families teaching their children to work together?
We make sure everyone has a task and a goal to work towards, and we try to make things fun. We’ve tried to teach the kids that working together makes things get done faster and then we can play.

Tell us a few of your favorite stories of the kids interacting.
My favorite days are the ones where I go downstairs and see all 5 of the kids playing together in one room. Usually we have an elaborate plot, and everyone is a character and watching Sierra giggle and Zach belly laugh and knowing that the older 3 are genuinely enjoying playing warms my heart.

When we first moved into this house, Zach was 17 months old. There were stairs and we had no baby gate. Gracie spent one entire day teaching Zach to go up and down the stairs safely. It was very sweet. This summer, she has also taught him how to ride her little bike (with training wheels of course) and enjoys taking him outside and playing “jail” with him.

The older three love to draw and work on art projects. There is never a shortage of paper scraps, origami creations, and drawings laying around my house (which makes me nuts btw! Haha)

Tell us the funniest story of someone making a comment about the size of your family.
We constantly get the comments from people about “how busy” we are. (Yes we’re busy, but isn’t every parent?) How “brave” we are for taking the kids places (what do you expect me to do? Leave them home in cages?!) And of course the old tried and true, “You do know how that happens, don’t you?” (You’re kidding!! I thought it was the tap water, so I’m only drinking bottled now…) But my very favorite reaction is when Mike and I are out with just the two little ones and someone asks us about our family. Their eyes get wide by the time I get to “…and Arianne is 12.” At least people don’t ask me if I’m babysitting anymore – or maybe that’s not such a great thing. lol

By Terra Roth

Friday, June 24, 2011

Large Families Part 2 - Meet the Voelker's

I always pictured myself having a large family. I feel blessed to have the 5 children that I always hoped for. Some days it is exactly as I imagined: Forts made with old sheets, nutritional snacks at 10 am, art projects all over the kitchen table, and bedtime stories with kisses and hugs. Other days I actually think to myself: What have I done? Why did I think I could do this? I have been encouraged and reassured by many moms that have the same struggles that I have faced. How do I get it all done? How do I gain control of time and resources to make our home peaceful and productive? How do I work with these 5 children to impress on them that they are part of a team that depends on each other?

I’ve read a few books over the years and listened to a lot of moms talk about how they maintain their home so that they don’t loose their minds. I am always trying new things to try piece together routines and strategies to keep an orderly home. It is an ongoing joke at our meal times when I say, “I have a new plan…THIS is how we are going to get organized.” They don’t even look surprised anymore. I’ll share a few things that my husband and I think are important in balancing the demands of life with keeping a home that in general is a place of peace.

One wise mom said, while showing off her exhaustive list of chores for her large family, “These are the chores for all of the house and for all the people that live in the house. We don’t get everything done everyday, but it is our goal. When we have a goal, we have something to aim for. If we didn’t have a goal nothing would get done.” So I have goals and charts for my house. I mapped out my house on a 4 week calendar. I took into account little things and big things like: cleaning the bathroom, emptying the central vacuum canister (we forget because it is in the garage) changing sheets, wiping down appliances, etc. I also schedule my laundry- a certain type of laundry is done each day.

On my chart each day there are a few chores. Each day at breakfast in addition to their personal chores we work through who is going to do what chore from my master chart. This process allows for our children to learn how to strategize and how to be a team player. In our family the girls ages 13 and 8 are a team and the boys ages 10 and 5 are a team. The 1 year old is on my team. Lucky me! We work in teams. This usually works well and is of course more helpful when husband is home to help with the boys. Another very wise mom told me this: “Give the chore to the youngest able.” Now that takes some time to think about, doesn’t it? We catch ourselves giving chores to the older children who will do the task well, but we forget that these same children were given that task at a much younger age and asked to complete it.

In addition to my daily/monthly chore chart, I have Zoning Sheets, which by the way do not have stickers and checkmarks, it is a goal sheet not a reward chart. I do not want a running tally of what we accomplished and what we did not. These Zoning Sheets consist of “problem” areas of our house. If you don’t know what I’m talking about you are not invited to my home…ever: The entry from the garage with shoes and backpacks, the living room floor with puzzles and legos, the hallway upstairs with underclothes and random personal belongings, the coffee table with books and snacks, office floor with magazines and playmobil, the front entry with coats from last season etc. I took pictures of the problem areas in my house when they were in peak condition and divided the pictures in two groups and made two pages of pictures. These are used in what I learned at Target as “Zone Cleaning”. A couple of times a day we Zone Clean. Each team gets a chart and I set the timer and we clean the zones on our sheet for 10 minutes. It doesn’t all get done- but it is better than it was before the timer started and the kids know that they don’t have to clean for an undetermined amount of time. That my dear friend is key! I learned this technique from the Fly Lady.

Usually when I read about “home organization” or “how to plan your life so it isn’t crazy” I am turned off with how formal it all seems. When I read: “Have a monthly meeting with your husband about the calendar and the finances,” I wonder if they are for real. Guess what I’m about to tell you? The times that we have “synced” our calendars and “reviewed the budget” are the times that we are both on the same page. We do this about every 6 weeks. We know its time when we get to an event that the other knew nothing about. We each have our own calendars- his is his phone- mine is a spiral notebook type with the month at a glance with additional pages for each individual day.

Plan for fun times too. It is our goal to do one new family activity a month and for our kids to get a “date” with one parent once a month. Usually twice a year we make lists of new things we want to try. These are not extravagant and sometimes they end up being sandwiched in with an errand or two…but the kids don’t mind at all. Alone time with each child is a gift that is priceless. One thing that we realized later than sooner is that if there is something expensive that a child wants to do, try to make it happen. We realized that not ALL the children want to go to everything the other children want to go to. This freed us up to take one child to a play that we would not otherwise have been able to afford for the whole family.

One question I get asked a lot is, “How do you get your children to help so willingly and with a generous spirit?” Well for one they have caught our kids on a good day! But we also have taught our children the basic principle that if you don’t work and contribute to our family then you don’t eat and you don’t play. We could do a better job of the work before you play concept but we have conquered if you don’t work you don’t eat concept. We are a family and everyone needs to work together for the good of the group. If Aiden doesn’t help zone clean Aiden doesn’t get to come to the table for dinner. I should assure you none of our children have ever missed a meal. We modeled this after the farmers and their families. If you didn’t help in the garden there was not food to eat.

A sign I saw at my friend’s house says, “Dull women have immaculate homes.” I want you to know that I am not dull. I hope that my children will never say, “You could eat off my mom’s floor.” I do hope that I have shown my children that it is possible to live in order and peace and how to work together even with very difficult people. They will take this with them and be able to use it wherever they go.

By Krista Voelker


This is our goal chart. It is helpful to me because I know what I “should” be doing each day. If I get it done, great; if not, I don’t allow myself to accumulate chores – we move on to the next day. It is helpful that 3 of my children are of ages to be really helpful

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Time for Gratitude - Summertime!!

So, yesterday was the first official day of summer. My kiddos have been outside literally as much as possible since it's been nice enough. We’ve gotten out the kiddy pool, sprinkler, sandbox toys, and bubbles – oh, so many bubbles. Our neighbors even got a big trampoline and just set it up in their yard…I’m sure it will prove to be hours and hours of fun for the neighborhood children, including ours.

The other day as I was watching Vienna (3 ½) run through the sprinkler, something occurred to me: This is *exactly* what I have been waiting for my entire life - well, my adult/parent life, that is! As soon as Vienna was born, I envisioned her as a 3-5 year old, involved in some summer activities (like the swimming lessons that we started this year), but mostly just playing. I can’t even tell you how much I love that Vienna and Porter (18 months) both would rather play outside than be inside. If given the choice, they would live outside, I think.

I’m all for the structural play, learning, etc. that many parents, daycares, and experts subscribe to. We, too, do a lot of educational playing, flash cards, learning computer games, etc. But I think that we need to let our kids be kids, too. They don’t always have to have a planned activity. I also think they don’t need as many toys as they have (mine are no exception – we’ll save that for another post, though – ha!). Insert summer. The time to be outside, enjoying all that life has to offer!

I discovered recently that I love summer – especially with kids! I *love* being outside with them, playing with them, watching them, and capturing their loving and carefree innocence on camera. I love that I can just open the door, let them outside, and they will be entertained for hours! I love that I can make memories with them just by being there with them. I also love that though I’m not perfect, or even close to it, that our kids adore hanging out with their mommy (and daddy)…I’m trying to treasure each and every moment that we have together, and I can’t think of a better place to do it than in our own back yard.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Large Families Part 1 - Meet the Johnson's

Having a super-sized family in a small family world is interesting to say the least. We get stopped wherever we go by well meaning people who comment on our family size. We understand it is an oddity to see one mother leading 6 children through the grocery store or park, but we are upsetting the norm, and offering an easy target for comments. Being out during the day with a large family when other kids are in school makes us stick out even more.

In an attempt to make errands and basic life easier I have found working as a team really makes even the most mundane task doable. Every member of our family has a job, down to the baby, whose only job is to make people smile and add comic relief - think drooly baby grins!!

I integrate our large group into any setting by always giving everyone some task to make them feel special. At the grocery store, carrying our reusable bags, which are super light and have handles, is a perfect task for the 2-4 yr range. The 12 yr old is team leader and toddler coordinator, and the 5-11 age range is cart picker, list holder and label readers.

This obviously takes some organizational time before the shopping trip to coordinate everyone but we have been known to tackle a shopping list in 15 minutes from car to checkout. That is, when people aren’t stopping us in every aisle to say how brave I must be to take all those kids to the store!

By Niki Johnson

Friday, June 17, 2011

Support for Mama and Baby Immediately Following Birth

After a baby is born is such an important time. We always hear about bonding between the mother and baby, but what does that really mean, and what does it mean to support it? Well, let’s look at bonding for a minute. Mommy and baby have been together for 40 weeks now (give or take). Mommy knows what baby feels like inside…what his kicks feel like, how he likes to roll around, how often he gets the hiccups, and even sometimes his sleeping patterns or what songs will help him settle down when she sings to him. Baby knows what mommy feels like from the inside…she is warm, is his protector, rocks him gently asleep as she is walking or active, and even startles him with her growling tummy or other loud noises. He knows her voice and is comforted by it. She has loved him from the moment she found out she was carrying him.

After he is born is the one and only chance they have to meet each other for the first time and connect in the way a mommy and baby need to. He needs to smell her and hear her voice. She needs to look into his eyes and talk to him. Her body warmth will warm and comfort him after he has made the journey into the big, cold world. No more free nourishment, constant protection, or tumbling freely in a pool of warm fluid. From now on baby has to work for everything, and it is so important for him to know where he can go and whom he can trust to meet his needs.

It is care providers’ and birth teams’ responsibility to make sure baby and mama get what they need to build that ever-important bond. Immediately after his emergence into the world, the baby should be put on his mommy’s chest – no rough handling or whisking away to the warming table across the room. Any assessments that need to be done should be done from her chest. Mama’s birth team should quietly allow mommy, daddy, and baby to get to know one another for as long as they need. Skin-to-skin has been proven to provide the best warmth for baby. Allow mommy especially, and later even daddy the ability to provide that warmth. Allow mama to initiate breastfeeding as soon as she and baby wants, and do not insist upon nipple shields or sugar water if baby doesn’t latch on right away. Gently help mama and baby, and don’t push it.

Above all, birth teams and care providers must respect the wishes of the mother and give her the respect she deserves whether or not all of these things can and do happen. If any of these things cannot happen for any given reason, they absolutely must talk to her. She deserves and has the right to know what is going on with her and her baby at all times.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Breastfeeding: Sore, Cracked, and Engorged - What worked for me

When I had both my babies, I was one of those mamas that had crazy engorgement and sore/cracked nipples. With my daughter Vienna, it was uncomfortable, but other than an infection that developed in one of my nipples I don’t remember it being that big of a deal. Not so with my son, Porter.

I had Porter at home on Christmas morning 2009. He nursed “like a champ” immediately after he was born – in fact he was still attached to me via his umbilical cord the first time he latched on. Right away, though, I knew he was different than Vienna had been two years earlier. He just felt different.

Vienna was one of those super-easy babies that nursed long, often, we never had any latch problems, she never had any stomach issues (other than once when she was six weeks), and she was just – easy. I nursed her to calm her, and she never had any times where she just wouldn’t calm down. With Porter, we learned quickly that he wasn’t quite as easy-going. He nursed pretty well until my milk came in – when it came with a vengeance. I was so engorged that my husband thought my breasts looked plastic. They were so full – and yes, they hurt! Well, the first night after my milk was in, we started to have some problems. Porter woke often, would eat for about five to ten minutes (tops), then go to sleep for about half an hour. He would then wake again and be *starving*. So, I would have to calm him down first (nursing didn't calm him), he would eat for about 5 minutes, get frustrated for a little while, might cry for a bit and then would fall asleep. It was a very exhausting cycle. This went on for several nights, by which time I was more engorged than ever, my nipples were so sore and cracked that I wanted to cry every time he tried to latch, and I just wanted him to nurse for a longer time, be satisfied longer, and get some sleep.

Luckily, my husband is amazingly supportive and wanted to help. So, he started doing some research online. Based on what he found, he suggested that I pump a little before I nursed so the baby could get a better latch which would in turn allow for a longer feed-time, and longer satisfaction, which would lead to more sleep for all of us. Thank goodness he cared enough to take the time and figure that out for me! I was so tired that I couldn’t think very straight, and having him give me that kind of support was just what I needed. I don’t have a fancy breast pump because I’ve never needed one since I stay home with the kids. I just have a little single handheld pump that was just perfect to take the edge off for me, and it gave my breasts enough “give” that Porter could get a good latch. That did it! He latched well, nursed for longer periods of time, had less frustration, and stayed satisfied longer than half an hour.

After all that, it took about a week or so for my nipples to fully heal, but with the help of Lansinoh ® Lanolin and Soothies® breast pads, the healing process wasn’t quite so bad.

I’m sure that there are more suggestions of what to do with sore/cracked nipples and how to deal with engorgement, but this is what worked for me personally. We’ll continue talking about breastfeeding here (among other pregnancy, birth, and baby topics), in the hopes of bringing useful information that can help you make the right decisions for you and your family.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Meet Evie - Elegant Mommy's new blogger!

I am so excited to be writing this post. I had been thinking about starting my own blog, and when I saw that Shelly (Owner of Elegant Mommy) was looking for a new blogger-slash-online “face”, I jumped at the chance and got the job. Imagine my excitement when we chatted about the job and I learned more about what she was looking for – someone to blog about pregnancy, birth, breastfeeding, etc – the *exact* same things I would have been blogging about myself!

My name is Evie DeWitt, and I am Elegant Mommy’s new blogger. I am a doula in Mitchell, South Dakota, and have a passion for anything and everything related to pregnancy, birth, babies, and the like. I live in our home with my wonderful husband and two precious and amazing children. My daughter is 3 ½, and my son is 18 months. As time goes on, you’ll get to know me more and more, but to begin with, here are a few things to give you a picture of me.

  1. I have found my life calling in being a mother.

  2. My family is super duper important to me

  3. My 2nd calling in life is helping women and families learn about their choices in pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding, etc. I am a doula and plan to begin my Childbirth Education training in the near future

  4. I believe in a natural and holistic approach to life, health, and medicine, but I’m not even close to perfect on that – we eat hot dogs and mac-n-cheese and the delicious cookies and caramel rolls that my mom and grandma taught me how to make – full sugar and all.

I began my passion for pregnancy and childbirth - though I didn’t really know it at the time - when I was pregnant with our daughter and went through her birth. I knew I wanted a “natural” birth, but honestly didn’t even know exactly what my idea of “natural” was or what I really wanted it to be. Because I wasn’t educated enough, I had a very medical and intervention-rich hospital birth. With my next pregnancy we had to research other birth options because there was an issue with my insurance. So, hubby and I decided on a homebirth. I had prenatals with my CPM across the border in Minnesota, and my mom and husband were at home with me when I gave birth to our son on Christmas morning a year and a half ago. It was amazing. I’ll share more of the information I learned from these experiences in the coming weeks and months, but suffice to say that it changed my life for the better!

As for this blog, I am honored to be a contributor and I am so excited to share what I’ve learned and to help bring all kinds of information to help you make the right decisions for your family. I am passionate about making sure women and families know that as long as they are making educated choices for themselves and their families, that they are doing the right thing. I am not here to tell people what they should do. I will tell anybody who will listen what I would do, but I would never presume that my ideas and opinions are right for everyone. For our family, we will only homebirth from now on unless there is a medical reason not to. I am SO thankful that we have trained doctors and the technology to handle issues if any arise. We will also continually educate ourselves on what choices are right for us – whether or not to vaccinate, what to eat as a family, how we diaper (we recently switched to cloth, by the way), how to school our children, and how we live as a family. I look forward to making the journey with you.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Attachment Parenting

This blog brought to you by the letters ‘A’ and ‘P’, and the number ‘4’.

Shelly asked me days ago if I’d like to write a guest blog on attachment parenting. I said sure and daily have promised to sit down and write it. And now, finally, I am sitting down and have nothing I NEED to do. Except restart the load of cloth diapers in the dryer, but meh…. I am sitting down and relaxing for the first time in days it seems like.

You see, I am a mother of 4 wonderful children who are incredibly demanding of my time now that school is out. One of which is a 5 week old baby who refuses to believe she can be happy with life anywhere other than my arms or a sling. Which is fine with me, there’s a very real chance she is my last baby, so I’m soaking up the cuddle time before she starts telling me I am the meanest mommy ever and rolls her eyes when I ask for a hug. Ha.

“Why don’t you let her cry for a bit? It’s good for her lungs.” “You’re spoiling her.” “If you don’t make her learn to soothe herself you’re setting yourself up for a very needy bigger kid.” These are some things I hear when people ask how we’re doing and I respond with the truth. “She’s a very good baby. As long as she’s being held.” Such silly things people believe about babies. I believe we need to nurture our children in all areas of life if we want them to grow up to be productive members of society.

In order to raise compassionate human beings, we must treat them with compassion. This means no violent parenting. No spanking, no yelling, no belittling, age and “crime” appropriate punishments, etc. It means meeting ALL of their needs so that they feel safe, secure, loved, wanted, and respected. This is why I practice attachment parenting. Because these are the kind of little people I want to raise.

Don’t get me wrong, I totally fall off the AP wagon from time to time. When it’s 8pm and I’ve had a baby nursing for the past 3 hours, my 6yr old daughter has asked me 20 times to read the same book and has asked the same question eleven billion times in a row (all in the same breath, of course), my 8yr old has spilled yet another glass of whatever he’s drinking all over my (clean) tablecloth and floor, and my 10yr old is whining about how unfair it is that he can’t have a cell phone. (As if.) These are the moments when I ask myself “WHY DO I DO THIS?” My mother likely would have shooed me off and told me to find something to do with an irritated tone to her voice and annoyed expression on her face. And sometimes I do, but I try not to.

My biggest downfall is yelling. Yelling is engrained in my DNA, I’m pretty sure. It seems to be the only way one side of my family can communicate. I catch myself saying in my head “I sound like my mother”. I’m sure I don’t need to emphasize how we often feel when we realize we’re mimicking a less than desirable parenting trait passed down from our parents. I struggle with it daily. However it’s a battle I’m determined to win.

Despite my super hero cape being frayed and faded, I know that my beliefs are the right choice for our family when people tell me what loving, well behaved, respectful, well mannered kids I have. Except, it seems, at monthly La Leche League meetings. I don’t know what it is about LLL meetings, but my kids seem to feel that’s their time to act like hooligans. I like to think it’s a test of my conviction to not yell at them and basically act a fool myself because they aren’t listening. Now I’d better go dry those diapers and get to bed. Morning comes fast and nobody makes a bowl of cereal quite like Mom.

Jessica Tebben
DONA doula-in-training