Personalized Pregnancy & Labor Support

Tag: Pregnancy

Pregnancy and Cravings!

When you think of pregnancy, you think of cravings! Most women will have either sweet or salty cravings during their pregnancy. When I was pregnant with my first son back in 1998, I craved everything sweet. The sweeter the better! I needed Dairy Queen Blizzards, gummy bears, Nerds and of course, chocolate! If you are like me and craving unhealthy foods, such as sweets or chocolate, try not to over-indulge. Too much sugar can cause excessive weight gain and dental problem. I gained almost 60lbs during that pregnancy and got 2 cavities! With my second and third pregnancies, I craved healthier foods and gained half the weight that I did with my first pregnancy. I wanted watermelon, grapes, smoothies, salads and pineapples all the time. I ate pineapple chunks everyday with my youngest son and now he loves pineapples as well. I am not sure if there is a connection between the two, but I would bet money there is!

Why do we have food cravings?

No one knows why we develop food cravings. It seems logical that cravings might be due to something lacking in the diet, or an increased need for certain vitamins and minerals. However, this is always not the case. Pregnancy books will mention moms craving strange food combinations, like pickles and ice cream, but I personally don’t know anyone who ate anything weird during pregnancy. A lot of expectant moms have no cravings at all and just eat the same foods they ate before pregnancy.

 

Finding Balance

Having a balanced diet is so important during pregnant, so make sure to have incorporate protein and healthy fats into your diet. In addition to food cravings, many pregnant women also develop a sudden dislike or aversion for certain strong-tasting foods. For me, I hated hot dogs and hamburgers during my three pregnancies. Always talk to your doctor, midwife if you develop cravings for non-food craving suck as chalk, clay, laundry detergent or soap.

 

 

 

 

 

 

This blog is written by Lisa Raynor, a childbirth doula  and mom of 3 boys in Coral Springs, FL. Over the years, Lisa has work with many families, including first-time moms, VBAC, teen moms, high risk moms and moms working with fertility doctors. Lisa offers compassionate support to moms in Boca Raton, Parkland, Coral Springs, Ft. Lauderdale and Surrounding areas. Lisa has attended births at every hospitals in Broward County and Boca Raton. Call today to schedule your complementary consultation 954-914-3933. 

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Should I Take Maternity Photos?

The short answer is YES! Yes, you should document this beautiful journey with maternity photos! Maternity photos freeze a moment in time when your baby is safe and secure inside you, kicking and moving, and waiting to meet his/her loving parents. Below are some of the most popular types of maternity photos.

Photo by Alissa Delucca www.alissadeluccaphotography.com

Beach maternity photos have been popular for years! Expectant moms can wear a bathing suit, a skirt and bikini top or a beautiful dress.  Many moms opt for sunset or sunrise beach maternity photos, while other actually like to be photographed in the water. The choices are endless. The only downside to beach maternity photos is the weather. It could be too hot, too cold or it could rain. A great photographer will inform you of the best days and times to schedule your maternity shoot.

Photo by Erin Martin Photography www.erinmartinphotography.com

In-studio maternity photos are great for moms-to-be who prefer to be dressed up and photographed indoors. Your growing belly can still be accentuated but you’ll be covered more than a beach shoot and don’t have to worry about the weather causing any problems. Many photographers work with a hair stylist and make up artist who will complete the look for your glamorous maternity pictures. A great photographer will provide gowns and accessories to for your photo shoot.

Boudoir maternity photos have gained popularity and my clients love them. Pregnancy can be very sexy and having a boudoir maternity shoot can document this time perfectly. Boudoir photos can be done in your home where you’ll feel most comfortable.  You would provide the lingerie and accessories but your photographer will offer suggestions that will help you look and feel your best. The pictures generally aren’t shared with friends and family, they are usually something special and private to share with your partner.

 

Maternity photos can range in price from just a couple hundred to thousands. When asked about hiring a professional photographer, my answer is always YES! Yes, you should hire a professional photographer for your maternity photos. Hiring an experienced professional photographer will make the difference between pictures that are just” OK” and pictures that are breathtaking and worthy of being hung in your home for all to see! Ask local moms, your doula or your OBGYN or midwife for a reputable photographer in your area.

 

This blog is written by Lisa Raynor, a childbirth doula  and mom of 3 boys in Coral Springs, FL. Over the years, Lisa has work with many families, including first-time moms, VBAC, teen moms, high risk moms and moms working with fertility doctors. Lisa offers compassionate support to moms in Boca Raton, Parkland, Coral Springs, Ft. Lauderdale and Surrounding areas. Lisa has attended births at every hospitals in Broward County and Boca Raton. Call today to schedule your complementary consultation 954-914-3933. 

 

 

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Is Gender Disappointment a Real Thing?

boca ivf doula babyThe short answer is yes. Yes, gender disappointment is a real thing and it is more common that you think.  Think of this scenario, mom is pregnant with her 4th child and already has three girls at home. Every person she meets assumes she wants a boy… hopes she’s having a boy and even says, “this one better be a boy”.  How is this mom supposed to feel when she finds out she is having “another girl”? She might be elated, over the moon with happiness, but society might not be. The neighbors and friends might not be and there you go, gender disappointment and it’s not even their child.  There’s a chance she wanted a 4th girl and didn’t prefer a boy. But now people will make her feel guilty that she can’t give her husband a son or her daughters a brother. Or in some way her family or life is not complete without having at least one of each, one boy and one girl.

boca ivf doula

My 3 sons at Boca Regional Hospital 2005

 

I know that feeling all too well. As a mom of 3 boys myself, I felt extreme pressure to have a girl when we were pregnant with our third child. A small part of me wanted to give my husband a daughter (daddy’s little girl) but a huge part of me wanted to stay the only girl in the house and be the queen of the castle. I ultimately got want I wanted, but to this day feel like my husband would have loved to have a little girl to spoil. I think he might have been a little disappointment when we first learned the gender.  We wondered what a little girl would look like, would she have my curly hair, his blue eyes? Would she be a tomboy because of having two older brothers? We will never know those questions and that’s OK. We have three beautiful, smart, healthy boys and we are a content with that. Unfortunately, people still ask us if we are going to try for a little girl, assuming our life wouldn’t be complete without one. They are disappointed for us, I guess.

ivf boca  doula south floridaOver the years, as a doula, I have had clients confide in me that they have been a little sad finding out the gender of their child.  The truth is, to some moms they do have a preference and feel bad saying it aloud for fear of being shamed by others. With so many moms struggling with infertility and having to go to fertility specialist and spending thousands on IVF just to conceive, it seems selfish to be concerned with the gender and not just having a healthy baby.   Each situation is unique, it doesn’t mean that don’t love this child with all their heart, it just means that were visualizing something in their heart and in their head and it wasn’t going to be a reality. I tell them to talk to me openly and honestly and I don’t judge them in anyway. Once the baby arrives, it’s always happiness and joy. The gender doesn’t matter, a healthy baby is all that matters.

 

 

Coral Spring DoulaThis blog written by Lisa Raynor, a childbirth doula  and mom of 3 boys in Coral Springs, FL. Over the years, Lisa has work with many families, including first-time moms, VBAC, teen moms, high risk moms and moms working with fertility doctors. Lisa offers compassionate support to moms in Boca Raton, Parkland, Coral Springs, Ft. Lauderdale and Surrounding areas. Lisa has attended births at every hospitals in Broward County and Boca Raton. Call today to schedule your complementary consultation 954-914-3933. 

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What is a Doula?

Pregnancy is one of the most wonderful, confusing, exciting, and sometimes scary moments of a women’s life. From morning sickness, to crazy cravings (who says apple sauce on pizza is wrong?), to feeling those first flickering movements of life within you – pregnancy is an incredible experience. If you’re like many to-be moms, you probably spend countless hours online trying to learn as much as you can about pregnancy, babies, and motherhood. So, why not take a few minutes to learn about a great service that pregnant moms have relied on for decades: doulas!

                                                                     what is a doula                                                                   What is a doula?

The world “doula” is a Greek word that means “women’s servant.” Doulas are non-medical professionals who assist mothers before, during, and after birth. They offer expectant mothers necessary support throughout early motherhood including:

Educational support. Doulas are very knowledgeable about pregnancy, various birthing methods, and mother-baby care. They will help guide you according to your personal wishes about pregnancy, birth, and motherhood, so you can have a memorable experience that is perfect for you and your baby.
Emotional support. Motherhood can be difficult. Though doulas do not provide medical care, they offer compassionate emotional support. She will walk with you on your unique journey while offering support each step of the way, so you can fully enjoy every moment.
Physical support. Doulas are labor-coaches at their finest. Whether you want to go natural, or prefer some other method of labor and delivery, a doula will ensure you are as comfortable and prepared as possible.
Doulas are highly-trained and experienced in prenatal care, labor and delivery, and post-partum care. But that’s not all. Your doula is someone you can trust who will partner with you and your family during one of the most important times of your lives.
                                                               20160911_173223                                                       What Can a Doula Do for You?

Doulas fill many roles within the educational, emotional, and physical support they offer. Here are some of the benefits of having a doula during each phase of early motherhood:
Prenatal care. Your doula offers you support as you adjust to the emotional and physical changes within you. Whether you need a late-night friend to talk to, or advice on creating an ideal birth plan that suits your values and environment, your doula is your go-to support system and advocate.
Labor and delivery. As mentioned above, doulas are remarkable birthing coaches. She will help keep you comfortable, focused, and encouraged when you feel you can’t go any longer. Your doula will also offer massage, guide you to appropriate laboring positions, help you through relaxation techniques, and offer support for your partner and family.
Post-partum care. After delivery, your doula offers support for you and baby including breastfeeding guidance and encouraging a strong bond between mother and baby. If you have a c-section, your doula will offer additional support during your recovery.
Whether you’re planning your first pregnancy, or are expecting your second, third, or even fourth child, each pregnancy is unique and deserves individualized care. A doula will help make your pregnancy and birth as memorable and joyous as possible.

 

This blog written by Lisa Raynor, a childbirth and postpartum doula in Coral Springs, FL.  She is also a mom of three boys, a wife, and loves to blog about pregnancy, childbirth, postpartum care and breastfeeding. Lisa attends births throughout Broward County and Boca Raton. Call for a FREE consultation today! 954-914-3933

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Beaches, Bikinis, and Post-Baby Bodies

post-baby bodies beach

Ft Lauderdale Beach Staycation

  As a doula, I can’t always leave town for a summer vacation and often have to take local staycations, usually to the beach. After spending a week on Fort Lauderdale beach for my staycation this summer, I saw so many post-baby bodies in bikinis. Some people don’t think that the words “beaches”, “bikinis”, and “post-baby bodies” can’t go together, but as a doula and a mom, I disagree. It was encouraging and refreshing to see women proud to wear bikinis after having babies. Some women wore a one piece, but the majority of the women decided to bare it all on the beautiful South Florida beaches in really cute bikinis and looked great!


 

It was refreshing to see moms let go and have fun!


I talked to a few mom who recently had babies and was so proud when the women didn’t feel insecure about their post-baby bodies. A lot of women have stretch marks, a lot of women have cellulite a lot of women have scars, but it doesn’t make them any less beautiful! It was wonderful to see so many moms chasing their little ones on the beach now worrying about being judged for not having a flat stomach or six pack abs. It was refreshing to see moms let go and have fun!

pregnant mom south floridaSociety put so much pressure on women to get back to their pre-baby body ASAP and it’s just not that easy. It took you 9 months to put the weight on, give yourself at least that long to take it off. Your body has been through the most miraculous change and needs time to get back to the way it was. Also, some moms may never get back to their pre pregnancy clothes or pre pregnancy weight and that’s okay. Your body carried a beautiful child for 9 months, you went through hours and hours of labor, give your body time to recover before stressing about the number on the scale or the way your old jeans fit. Focus more on your baby and the weight will come off slowly, but surely.


 I actually focused on enjoying the South Florida sun and beach and not what I looked like, as a mom of 3 children! 


After my week on the beach I am proud to say that I am more comfortable in the skin that I was in as well. Some days I still wore a one-piece, other days a two-piece and sometimes  I just stayed in a sundress, but I was comfortable! I focused on just enjoying the time with my children and my husband! I actually focused on enjoying the South Florida Sun and beach and not what I looked like, as a mom of 3 children!

 

This blog written by Lisa Raynor , a childbirth and postpartum doula in Coral Springs, FL.  She is also a mom of three boys, a wife, and loves to blog about pregnancy, childbirth, postpartum care and breastfeeding. Lisa attends births throughout Broward County and Boca Raton. Call for a FREE consultation today! 954-914-3933

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South Florida Hot Spots for Pregnant Moms

beach ft lauderdale south floridaDuring your pregnancy you’re definitely going to want to check out a lot of hot spots in South Florida. And speaking of hot… South Florida is very hot! It’s a good idea to check out some of the beaches in South Florida. Walk on the pier, go down by the sand and enjoy the warm water. I personally love Ft. Lauderdale Beach and Lauderdale by the Sea. Remember to stay hydrated and wear sunscreen, you don’t want to burn your baby bump with the intense South Florida sun!

belly love maternbity spa south florida coral springsAnother great idea to beat the heat is to stay indoors!!! And what better place to stay indoors than a day spa. I highly recommend checking out Belly Love Maternity Spa in the Coral Springs/ Margate area in South Florida. Get yourself pampered and feel relaxed in this one-of-a-kind Oasis for pregnant women. You can get a 3D ultrasound and a manicure and pedicure the same day. But definitely check out their prenatal massages because they are amazing. Stay for a facial and you’ll get that pregnancy glow all day long!

Once your Pampered and beautiful head over to dinner at one of my favorite places The Melting Pot in Coral Springs. It’s quiet and romantic and gives you and your partner a chance to talk quietly.  Talk about baby names, how you’ll decorate the baby nursery, discuss hiring a doula or a baby nurse or anything else you’d like.  After dinner is the best part… chocolate fondue! The dessert is my favorite part and will satisfy that pregnancy chocolate craving that most expectant moms have!

19525_629128523854051_2563871966277126230_nShopping is a huge part of pregnancy!!! Shopping for baby items, maternity clothes and nursery items are a necessity. My top pick for shopping for babies in South Florida are Babies R Us, Buy Buy Baby and Target for your baby registry. There are other locations to shop for pregnancy but these are the most popular in the area of South Florida. There are many locations from Boca Raton to Pembroke Pines and everything in between and you can always shop online if you are on bed rest or just feeling tired. Sawgrass Mall in Sunrise, Florida is  a great place to walk around and get exercise in the air conditioning and do some shopping as well. Make sure you stop frequently to rest and to stay hydrated.

Pregnancy is only 40 weeks so make sure you check out some of my favorites spots in South Florida before baby gets here.  Also, take a childbirth class, breastfeeding class, interview doulas and baby nurses and spending time with friends and family as much as you can. These 40 weeks will fly by and your baby will be here before you know it! Enjoy every minute!

Lisa Raynor -Childbirth and Postpartum Doula

This blog written by Lisa Raynor , a childbirth and postpartum doula in Coral Springs, FL.  She is also a mom of three boys, a wife, and loves to blog about pregnancy, childbirth, postpartum care and breastfeeding. Lisa attends births throughout Broward County and Boca Raton. Call for a FREE consultation today!

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A Letter for Couples Looking to Hire a Doula from a Previous Client

Dear couples looking for a doula,

If you are looking for a Doula, Lisa comes HIGHLY recommended by not only myself, but also my husband. Since Grace is our first baby, we both had no idea what to expect during labor or delivery. I’ll be honest, my husband Joey was a bit skeptical at first about hiring a doula. Once I explained the benefits of having her there, and explained to him how comfortable I felt with her, he knew she was the perfect fit for us. From the first time I met her, I knew there was something special about her. She has been my rock throughout my entire pregnancy. When either of us had a question we didn’t know the answer to, the first thing I did was text Lisa. She always had an answer, and if she didn’t know it, she always got one for me. There is nothing I felt uncomfortable with asking her. 

My birth was absolutely AMAZING. As soon as she got there, I felt a sense of calm in my delivery room. Don’t get me wrong, of course my husband was phenomenal. However, Lisa always knew exactly what to do to make me feel better. Of course the pain was there. But she knew exactly what I needed to make me feel comfortable. I’m beyond grateful that she was there, not only as my doula, but also as my friend. I will never be able to repay her for what she has done for me, my husband, or my beautiful daughter. I’m so happy that our little Grace will have this wonderful woman in her life literally from her first breath. Thank you again, Lisa.

With love,

 Carie, Joey, and baby Grace ( Hollywood, FL)

Lisa Raynor -Childbirth and Postpartum Doula

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Push Presents in South Florida

push present south florida

Push Presents are a growing trend among expectant moms in South Florida.

If you are pregnant or know someone who’s pregnant in South Florida, you’ve probably heard the words “push present” before. A “push present” or “push gift” is a present you give to a new mom, in celebration of the new life she’s brought into the world. Unlike the gifts a new mom gets from a baby shower, a push present is a gift that’s all about her, and not her baby. A push present is generally given by the baby’s father and may be presented  before, during or after the delivery of the baby. This is definitely a very common trend among pregnant women in South Florida and all around the country.

As a doula in South Florida, I often hear my clients talk about what their push present will be.  Sometimes it’s something small and sentimental, other times it’s something huge. Not all of my doula clients have gotten a push present, but a fair share have.  This is currently quite a followed trend, so to all the dads out there: your wife may have high expectations from you. Here’s a list of some of the most popular Push Presents for moms-to-be in South Florida

push present south florida

A glider or rocking chair is a popular push present for moms in South Florida

Top Popular Push Present Ideas for Moms-to-Be

1. Jewelry

2. Massage or Spa Gift Card

3. Diaper Bag

4. Glider or Rocking Chair

5. Car

 

When I had my children, we didn’t have “push presents” but times have changed in the decade since I delivered my last son and push presents are here to stay!

 

This blog written by Lisa Raynor, a childbirth doula in Coral Springs, FL.  She is also a mom of three boys, a wife, and loves to blog about pregnancy, childbirth, postpartum care and breastfeeding. Lisa attends hospital births throughout Broward County and Boca Raton. Call for a FREE consultation today! 954-914-3933

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9th Month of Pregnancy in South Florida

pregnacy broward county doulaPregnancy can sometimes tests our patience to the max! It’s best to keep busy during your 9th month to make the time go by faster. Find activities you love to do or try some new ones. Always consult with provider before trying any new fitness activities or sports. Depending on the time of year that you’re pregnant, you can spent much of your 9th month outdoors enjoying the South Florida beaches and year round warmth. Even in winter time South Florida’s expectant moms can spend days or nights outside enjoying the beach, the sand, the sun, and the attractions of our beautiful state. If your 9th month is in the summer, stay indoors and stay hydrated during peak sun hours. Go see a movie or two and laugh a little. Bowling or painting are a safe and fun indoor activities for expectant moms.beach ft lauderdale south florida

 

The key to getting through your 9th month of pregnancy is preparation and patience. Read pregnancy and nursing books and finish decorating your baby nursery.  Now is the time to buy the final items off your baby registry. This is also the time to finalize your birth plan or like us doulas say, “birth preferences”. This is also your last chance to hire a doula or baby nurse if you haven’t done so already (the best time to do this is during the 2nd trimester, but better late than never). A doula will still play an important role in your birth and be a great asset to your birth team when hired later in pregnancy.baby nursery south florida

During your 9th month of pregnancy don’t forgot some “me time”. Take a few prenatal yoga classes, there are so many locations in South Florida. Take a childbirth education class at your hospital, birthing center or even online. Tour your hospital then have lunch with your partner, mom or doula. You’ll also want to treat yourself to a spa day. Prenatal massages are a great way to relax and unwind during your 9th month of pregnancy. Getting an adjustment from a chiropractor is a great idea as well. Your doula can offer recommendations for great prenatal massage therapist or chiropractor in your area. Eat at your favorite restaurants and enjoy every minute if this final month of pregnancy, believe or not you WILL miss it.

baby shoes south florida

This blog written by Lisa Raynor , a childbirth and postpartum doula in Coral Springs, FL.  She is also a mom of three boys, a wife, and loves to blog about pregnancy, childbirth, postpartum care and breastfeeding. Lisa attends births throughout Broward County and Boca Raton. Call for a FREE consultation today 954-914-3933!

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Exercises to Help You Prepare for Childbirth  

pregnacy broward county doulaPreparing your body is just as important as preparing your home for a new baby. In addition to choosing furniture and bedding, consider choosing some exercises to prepare your body for childbirth.  I share these exercise with all of my clients and I am happy to share them with you! As always, check with your doctor to make sure you don’t have any limitations before you attempt any of these exercises.

Tailor Sitting

What is it? This is an exercise that strengthens and stretches muscles in your back, thighs, and pelvis, and improves your posture. It also keeps your pelvic joints flexible, improves blood flow to your lower body, and eases delivery.

How do I do it? Sit on the floor with your back straight in the “butterfly position” (the bottoms of your feet together and your knees dropped comfortably). As you press both knees gently toward the floor using your elbows, you should feel a stretch in your inner thighs. Don’t bounce your knees up and down rapidly. If you find it difficult at first to keep your back straight, use a wall to support your back. Hold the position for 10 or 15 seconds and repeat the stretch five or 10 times.

You’ll find this exercise is not difficult to do, and it feels great. Your body is more flexible during pregnancy, and this exercise capitalizes on your newfound flexibility.

 

Kegel exercises

What is it? The pelvic floor muscles help support the pelvic organs: the uterus, bladder, and bowels. If you tone them you’ll ease many discomforts of late pregnancy such as hemorrhoids and leakage of urine.

How do I do it? Try to stop the flow of urine when you are sitting on the toilet without tightening your abdominal, buttock, or thigh muscles. When you’re able to successfully start and stop urinating, or you feel the vaginal muscle contract, you are using your pelvic floor muscle, the muscle you should be contracting during Kegel exercises.

You can do Kegel exercises two ways: either by holding or quickly contracting the pelvic floor muscle. To do slow Kegels, contract the pelvic floor muscle and hold for three to 10 seconds. Then relax and repeat up to 10 times. To do fast Kegels, quickly contract and relax your pelvic floor muscle 25 to 50 times. Relax for 5 seconds and repeat the set up to four times.

Squatting

What is it? Squatting is helpful during labor because it opens the pelvic outlet an extra quarter to half inch, allowing more room for the baby to descend. But squatting is tiring, so you should practice it frequently during pregnancy to strengthen the muscles needed.

How do I do it? An exercise called a wall slide is especially helpful. Stand with your back straight against a wall, place your feet shoulder width apart and about six inches from the wall, and keep your arms relaxed at your sides. Slowly and gently slide down the wall to a squatting position (keeping your back straight) until your thighs are parallel to the floor. Hold the position for five to 10 seconds, slowly slide back to a standing position. Repeat five or 10 times.

Pelvic tilt

What is it? Pelvic tilts strengthen abdominal muscles, help relieve backache during pregnancy and labor, and ease delivery. This exercise can also improve the flexibility of your back, and ward off back pain.

How do I do it? You can do pelvic tilts in various positions, but down on your hands and knees is the easiest way to learn it. Get comfortably on your hands and knees, keeping your head in line with your back. Pull in your stomach and arch your back upward. Hold this position for several seconds. Then relax your stomach and back, keeping your back flat and not allowing your stomach to sag. Repeat this exercise three to five times. Gradually work your way up to 10 repetitions.

These exercises can yield great benefits with minimal effort. The exercises require no special equipment except comfortable clothes, and a little space to do them.

 

Source: The Mayo Clinic

 

This blog was written by Lisa Raynor, a childbirth and postpartum doula in Coral Springs, FL.  She is also a mom of three boys, a wife, and loves to blog about pregnancy, childbirth, postpartum care and breastfeeding.  She has been living in South Florida for over 35 years and is active in the birthing community in and around Broward County.

 

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