Go to SLEEP!

FINALLY! Baby is asleep and you have a magic window to rest. The sleep you’ve been dreaming of since you dragged yourself out of bed (again) is within reach…. but sleep eludes you. Is there anything more frustrating?

Be gentle on yourself! You’ve done a wonderful thing by trying to sleep and prioritizing yourself/your rest over the dozens of other things that you may feel also need to be done. Remember to have healthy, realistic, sleep expectations for yourself and your baby. If possible, rearrange your daily routine to provide as many opportunities to rest and shut your eyes as possible. Let go of anything that absolutely does not need to be done; this is one time in your life that procrastination can be positive!  Ask for help from your family, friends, and professionals to alleviate your responsibilities and take the baby so you can sleep. You can also safely nap together with your baby to maximize your rest; for more information, check out La Leche League’s Safe Sleep Seven.

Try some of these parent-tested tips to help you go to SLEEP:

Shut off all electronics – phone, tv, etc. and Shut your door
Lay down – give your body the opportunity to enter into a relaxed state
Eye mask – darkness triggers sleep associations
Ear plugs – tone out baby/house sounds and trust someone will wake you if you are needed
Patience – you may not fall asleep every time, but allowing yourself the opportunity to shut down and recharge is essential. With Patience and Practice, you will eventually fall asleep

Need some additional help getting your baby to sleep? You may be interested in the Sleep Solutions Session!

Sleep well!

This post originally appeared on the Great Bay Doulas website in September 2015
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How To: Make Your Own Baby Wipes

Easy, cheap, and gentle on baby’s skin! Who wouldn’t want to make their own baby wipes? I’ll tell you how to do it in 5 steps.

I call these “Sister-In-Law Wipes” because my SIL gave me the recipe at my baby shower and her SIL gave her the recipe at her baby shower…. Even if your baby only takes a short cat nap, you’ll still have time to make these wipes (and a cup of tea for yourself!) – it’s that fast and easy to do.

Step 1: Boil 2+ cups of water


You’ll only need about 1.5 cups for the wipes, but if you’re going to boil water, you might as well make yourself something caffeinated. I’m into Chai lately as, like most new parents, I can never finish drinking my beveridge while it’s hot and chai tastes good both hot and cold.

Step 2: Prepare The Paper Towels

I find the Bounty Select-A-Size works well for these wipes as they’re tough, yet not scratchy, and don’t leave a lot of lint on baby’s behind, however, any Select-A-Size paper towel brand should do. (Note: DON”T cheap out on buying a quality brand paper towel or your wipes will fall apart. You’ll be saving money just by making your own wipes!)

While your water is boiling, take your paper towel roll and cut it in half. Once cut, pull out the cardboard tube. This can be a bit annoying since some paper towel brands glue the inner towel to the tube. Take your paper towel and place it in a plastic container.

Step 3: Make Your Mixture


In a small bowl or measuring cup, add 1 tablespoon of Dr.Bronner’s Lavender Castile Soap with 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Pour 1-1.5 cups (depending on how wet you prefer your wipes) of boiling water over the soap/oil mixture and stir to combine.

Step 4: Pour

20140519_161259 20140519_161325

Pour the mixture all over your paper towels. I like to put the lid on the plastic container and then move it around to help the towels absorb the liquid. Remove lid and let the wipes cool.

Step 5: Use!

You have now transformed your paper towels into baby wipes! Congratulations! My husband pulls the wipes from the center; I pull them from the outside in. Whichever method you prefer, make sure you keep the lid on the container securely after each use so the wipes don’t dry out. Also, make sure you keep plenty of paper towels/wipes in-home so if you have a blowout diaper, you don’t run out! Happy diapering Mommies and Daddies! 20140519_161438

Tips for travel: These wipes are just as easy as store bought wipes for traveling. Just rip a bunch off the roll and put them into a travel case or plastic baggie. Voila!

1T Dr.Bronner’s Lavendar Castile Soap
2 T Olive Oil
1-1.5 Cups Boiling Water
1 Roll Select-A-Size Paper Towels
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How To Create A Special Breastfeeding Bag For Siblings

Baby is showing signs of hunger, so you grab your bottle of water and an easy-to-eat snack, sit down and get ready to nurse. Just as Baby is opening up a wide mouth for a great latch…”MOMMY! I need you!” And so it begins.

While you may have done a lot of Sibling Preparation before Baby arrived, things are almost always more difficult in the moment. For older siblings, feeding times can be challenging. It may seem to him/her that you are always nursing and that your time spent skin-to-skin means you love Baby more. Sibling may use this time to try and get your attention or test boundaries, and not always in positive ways. After all, even negative attention is still attention.  So, how do you reassure Sibling of your love while trying to feed a hungry baby, maintain a good latch, and keep your older child from climbing the walls (sometimes literally)? You can try a Breastfeeding Bag (or box or basket)!

Sounds too easy doesn’t it? The trick lies in keeping the bag a novelty. It can only come out during feeding and must be put away (preferably out-of-reach & sight) until the next time Baby eats. So here’s how it works:

Find a bag or box or basket. It can be plain, or to make it really “special”, you can have your older child decorate it! Fill it with a hand full of items your older child is interested in and can use with minimal help from you. For instance, a toddler may like dolls, trucks, a new book, magnet board, or No-Mess Markers & Paper. An older child may enjoy legos, a water paint set, stickers, play-dough, or a puzzle.

Make a ritual of it and keep things positive. “It’s time for Baby to eat! Let’s go get your special bag! Would you like to help me carry it? What’s inside today?”  Then allow your child to discover and enjoy the items in the bag as you nurse Baby. Once a week, or every few days, remove a few items from the bag and replace them with something new. This can be a great job for Dads! The items do not have to be big, fancy, or expensive; you can even use toys you already have. Another great option is to swap and rotate toys with other friends. The point is to keep the bag’s items novel and exciting (“special”) by minimizing their time out for play.

You can interact (“Wow! It looks like you’re really enjoying that toy. Will you show it to me?“) or just let your child play quietly while you focus on breastfeeding Baby. You can also remind Sibling of your love during these play times (“Mommy is so glad you are having fun! I love to make you happy!” or… “You’re taking good care of your toys. Do you think we’re taking good care of each other?“) Providing play items in a “special bag” and rotating the items often may help Sibling to feel included, excited for nursing sessions, and taken care of.

Remember that managing two (or more) children requires an enormous amount of practice and patience, especially during feeding times. Be gentle on yourself and your older child as you are in this transition. If you need additional hands-on support, tips, techniques, or sibling behavior assistance, you may be interested in my Postpartum Package. The Breastfeeding Bag can be a great tool to help involve and occupy older siblings during feedings as well as give you an opportunity to focus on nursing Baby. You may even be able to have a sip of your water and a bite of your snack. Good luck!

PS. If your family has tried the Special Breastfeeding Bag, what items did you put in? What was a hit / miss (or mess)? You can post your comments here. Thanks for sharing!


Posted in Breastfeeding, Postpartum Doula Support, Sibling Support | Tagged , , , |

How To: Deal With A Blowout Diaper

It’s one of the things most new parents fear…. and it’s also inevitable. The Blowout: poop forcefully exploding it’s way out of your precious baby’s bottom, past the point any diaper can contain, and onto baby’s back, clothes, and everything else it comes in contact with. So…what do you do? How do you begin to manage such a mess? Read on!

Step 1: The Discovery

Usually blowouts are discovered in one of three ways.

  • By listening – there is no mistaking the sound.
  • By seeing – telltale yellow on baby’s clothes.
  • And/or by feeling – suddenly you notice warmth (or cold if you move baby away).

Telltale yellow on back of baby

Step 2: Assessment

How bad is the situation? Take a deep breath and calmly observe where the boundaries of poop are. Then come up with a game plan and call in back up if available. Have the diaper pail close by as well as wipes (many wipes!), a fresh diaper, a towel or other clean place to put baby post clean up, and a new change of clothes. Once materials are at hand, proceed.

Step 3: Waste Removal

This is the toughest part – trying to peel away the poopy clothes without spreading the mess. Remove socks and pants if on. Then, carefully guide baby’s hands out of the shirt (attempting to keep them towards the center of baby’s body will help). Once hands/arms are free, gather the shirt material and, with two hands, flip the front of the shirt over baby’s head. You may end up getting poop into baby’s hair…it’s okay. You’ll deal with it in Step 4. Lift baby’s body into a sitting position and remove the shirt from the area.


Guide hands/arms out of shirt


Flip shirt over baby’s head


Lift baby into sitting position

While keeping the baby in a sitting position, wipe off as much poop as possible from baby’s back and gather the wipes into a pile to throw into the diaper pail.

If needed, put a clean wipe or cloth over the pile of wipes/clothes to keep mess contained once finished cleaning off baby.


After the baby’s back/body has been wiped down, then you can move onto actually taking the diaper off and cleaning as usual (well…you’ll probably need more wipes than usual, but the procedure is the same).

Note: Sometimes drastic measures need to be taken. I have seen/experienced cutting clothing/diapers off of children to keep poop out of baby’s hair and/or to reduce spreading poop. Sometimes it’s just not worth trying to save something like a white onesie…Do what you have to do!

Step 4: Additional Action

Usually after a blowout, two things need to happen. Laundry and a bath. Gather poopy clothing/items, wash off as much poop as possible in the sink and pretreat with a stain remover; put into the laundry (on as warm a setting as fabric allows) as soon as possible to minimize staining. Collect your bathing items and put baby into bath for a thorough cleaning…you may feel like you need a bath too.


Step 5: Completion

Congratulations! You’ve successfully dealt with a blowout diaper. You’re probably realizing that this will happen again (it will…), but now you’re experienced and know how to handle the situation. So, go wash your hands and celebrate!


Clean and happy baby!

Tips on minimizing your risk of a blowout diaper:

  • Change diaper frequently
  • Pull diaper tabs tightly to reduce gaps where poop can escape
  • Try various diaper brands (especially if using cloth) to get the best fit for your baby
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Every New Parent’s Dream

In-Home Postpartum & Breastfeeding Support

Imagine coming home with your newborn baby for the first time; the nursery is organized, the laundry is folded, lunch has been prepared for you, and best of all, someone is waiting to help you take care of your little one and answer any questions you may have. No, this is not a dream or a service reserved only for the rich and famous; Postpartum Doula care is a growing profession and available for any woman who wants it.

Postpartum Doulas care for the entire family as a unit; they provide education, companionship, and assistance with daily tasks so the family can focus on transitioning and adjusting into their new roles. They can also help parents achieve the confidence and skills needed through practical suggestions and competent demonstrations. The role of the Postpartum Doula changes every day in order to ensure the family’s needs are being met.


In addition, Postpartum Doulas provide personalized, long-term,  breastfeeding education and assistance in the privacy of your home. They undergo thorough lactation education and training as part of their certification; they are able to educate parents about understanding milk production, newborn feeding cues and satiation, evaluate latch and breastfeeding experiences, as well as provide constant encouragement and support. Postpartum Doulas also guide partners to become actively educated and supportive of the breastfeeding mother as well as feel included in the feeding process through tips and suggestions. Many parents find that having a Postpartum Doula’s assistance helps ensure breastfeeding empowerment and success for their family.

New parents are dealing with a multitude of changes and demands during the first weeks and months of their baby’s life. Postpartum Doulas help ease and enrich families’ early parenting and breastfeeding experiences. After all, what parent doesn’t feel like they are living in a dream after having a nap, a long hot shower, a hearty meal, and the education, confidence, and skills to feed and raise their baby?

To find out more about the benefits of postpartum care and in-home breastfeeding support, visit: www.KoruCareDoula.com


Posted in Breastfeeding, Calming, Postpartum Doula Support, Sibling Support | Tagged , , , , , , , , , |

Testimonial #5

“Krista entered our life after the birth of our twin boys.  As soon as she walked into the house, there would be a calmness, that was so very welcome after the typical chaos that had become our life.  She made herself comfortable, which made us comfortable, from the very first visit,  and would just come in like she had always been there.  She taught me things that may be common sense, but that I didn’t know….like how to put the boys to sleep with their feet propped up, how to swaddle properly, and how to determine if the babies are still hungry..Best of all, Krista gave me some freedom, as I was able to leave the house for an hour or a few, and I felt completely at ease knowing that she was with the boys.  Most of the time when I returned they were sleeping peacefully!  She also was able to detect a possible infection in me and the boys that no one else had determined that made a huge impact on all of us.  I used her services for a couple of months prior to hiring a FT nanny, and I would have kept using her if I hadn’t .  She is a blessing for us new mamas, who are overwhelmed, tired, and at times, frustrated.” ~ T.S., Second time mom of twinsGetty_100412_BabyFeet

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Breastfeeding During Cold & Flu Season

As we approach Cold & Flu Season, many mothers wonder how their babies will withstand the constant exposure to coughs, sneezes, and germs; especially if there is an older sibling in the house and/or Baby is attending daycare. It’s a valid concern; newborns, and children under the age of five, have not reached their full strength immune response* which means they are more vulnerable to illness than older children and adults. The good news? Breastfeeding helps fortify a baby’s immune system by providing immunoglobulins (otherwise known as antibodies), or, as I like to think of them, germ fighters.


So how does it work? How does the act of breastfeeding lead to protection against germs? As Dr.Jack Newman, world renowned breastfeeding specialist, puts it: “The mother synthesizes antibodies when she ingests, inhales or otherwise comes in contact with a disease-causing agent. Each antibody she makes is specific to that agent. Because the mother makes antibodies only to pathogens in her environment, the baby receives the protection it most needs-against the infectious agents it is most likely to encounter in the first weeks of life.*”

In other words, mothers make antibodies specific to the environment that Baby is exposed to (such as Baby’s home or daycare) and pass those germ fighters onto Baby through breastfeeding. Numerous studies have confirmed that exclusively breastfed infants are at a reduced risk for developing stomach viruses, diarrhea, respiratory illnesses, ear infections, and allergies!

What about if the mother gets sick? Will Baby be okay? In almost all cases, the answer is yes! Again, because the mother’s body will make antibodies as she works through her illness that will then be given to her baby through breastmilk. To learn more, read the article Breastfeeding and Illness.

What if the mother has to be put on medication? All too often healthcare providers misinform their breastfeeding patients and tell them to stop nursing if on medication as it could impact their baby. Dr. Thomas Hale, leading expert and author of the book “Medications and Mothers’ Milk: A Manual of Lactational Pharmacology “, has devoted his career to educating providers and parents about this topic. He has studied and found that in most cases, breastfeeding should continue even while on medication. He has collaborated with many authorities, including the American Academy of Pediatrics, to create an online database for providers and parents. They can search specific drugs/medications to learn their impact on Baby and breastfeeding; it’s called LactMed.

 Krista with Dr.Thomas Hale, 2011

There are many things to consider and be concerned about with a new baby; but breastfeeding shouldn’t be one of them! Continue to provide nutritional, emotional, and immune benefits for your baby through breastfeeding – especially during Cold & Flu Season – to help reduce the risk of infant illness.

*For more detailed information, read Dr.Newman’s article,How Breastmilk Protects Newborns
Please note that the information in this Blog is not meant to replace the advice/care from your healthcare provider.



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Client Testimonial #4

“Working with Krista was a natural and ideal situation during one of the most exciting, sensiitive and vulnerable times for our family.  We originally worked with Krista for her lactation knowledge and breastfeeding support, and quickly she became a perfect fit for caring for not only our baby, but also for me as a new mother on a temporary basis.  with Krista’s natural yet straight-forward and educated approach, she was able to help me overcome severe breastfeeding challenges which otherwise would have caused me to give up breastfeeding all together if it weren’t for her.  She was never pushy, but instead always kept in mind what my goals and feelings were as a brand new mom.  She literally had such a calmness about her that our baby took to her immediately.  She was a supportive, non judgmental and crucial part of helping my husband I ease into the shaky ground of parenthood.  It was nice to just have her around as a third party with no emotional ties to us as a family.  Krista offered unbiased advice and helped me figure out how to incorporate how I thought I wanted to try to perfect my mothering skills immediately and eased me into a more realistic way of learning about my baby.  I would highly recommend Krista for her educational, supportive and encouraging services!”

~ R.S., First Time Mom

Snuggle time with Krista


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Client Testimonial #3

Grandparent Greatness

“Caring for two babies at the same time and making sure the older sister was happy could be quite a challenge. The way that (Krista) showed me calmly what to do helped me for the entire two weeks that I was visiting. She was so positive and reassuring. It removed any tension and self-doubt that I might have otherwise had.” ~ B.R.S., Visiting Grandmother

I love working with family members and/or friends who may come to visit my postpartum families. Giving all those who come in contact with babies the guidance, tips, techniques, and support they need is a lovely part of my job. Click here to learn more about my Grandparent Greatness Session and how it may help your family.

Posted in Testimonials |

Postpartum Doula Support For Families With Siblings

Koru Care Postpartum Doula Services takes care of all family members - including siblings!

Koru Care Postpartum Doula Services takes care of all family members – including siblings!

“If Mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy!”; the same may be true for older siblings! Having a content Big Brother/Sister definitely makes the day easier, but it can sometimes be a challenge during such a big transition. So, how does my work as a Postpartum Doula help make happier siblings?

First, I try to educate parents about the age appropriate needs/abilities of their older child and newborn so proper expectations can be met and interventions (if needed) can be put in place. Second, the parents and I discuss what they feel are priorities for themselves, their sibling, and their baby; this helps me to understand how I can shift my roles throughout our time together so I can help parents achieve their intentions. Third, we designate “special times” for people to have during the day; these are important for everyone to feel calm, consistent, and connected. Perhaps being present for naptime is a priority or sharing a meal together? Dropping off/picking up from school? Ten minutes to share the best and worst parts of the day? Whatever it is, it’s a good idea to set aside these times each day.
In this picture, you can see the various combinations of time sharing; Mom with Sibling, Mom with both children, Me with Sibling, Me with both children, and Sibling with Baby.
To learn more about my daily work with families who have older siblings, check out my Facebook Album: A Day In The Life: Sibling Edition 
What “time sharing” activity do you/would you do with your older child to make them feel connected and content?



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