The Best Ideas for Expecting Moms Who Want to Save Money

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The Best Ideas for Expecting Moms Who Want to Save Money

Are you looking for ways to stretch your budget?  As you prepare for your little one’s arrival, it doesn’t take long to realize motherhood is an expensive journey.  Read on for some practical tips to help make the most of every penny you spend.

Well-Chosen Maternity Wear

While it’s obvious your body will undergo a variety of changes throughout pregnancy, finding comfortable and affordable clothing can be more of a conundrum.  One of the best ways to stretch your wardrobe and budget at the same time is to invest in maternity clothing that can carry over after your baby is born.  For instance, high-waisted maternity leggings can flex with your body’s changes, and they are a versatile addition to your wardrobe.  Consider pairing them with other flexible garments, such as a soft nursing shirt, and also add some button down shirts, wrap dresses, and elastic-waist skirts to your wardrobe. 

Gear That Grows Up

All moms are amazed at how quickly their babies grow, and many of the sweet things you purchase can quickly lose usefulness.  However, there are numerous baby gear items that can grow with your little one, so you can savor using them much longer.  What Moms Love recommends multi-functional baby products, like a bouncer and swing combo chair, play table that becomes a desk, and a riding toy that becomes a scooter.  It’s a great way to enjoy those items longer.  

Furniture for the Future

Outfitting your nursery is exciting, but purchasing baby furniture can quickly add up.  Rather than buying pieces you’ll need to swap out after a short time, invest in options that can grow with your child.  Convertible cribs provide a safe sleeping space for your infant through the toddling years, and some incorporate a changing table which can work as shelving or storage later.  Along those same lines, there are changing tables that convert into dressers as your youngster grows, and some thrifty moms simply restyle a dresser to meet their needs.  

Dollar-stretching Decor

Putting together a pleasing palette in the nursery is big fun, and there are all sorts of appropriate combinations that evoke cheer.  In order to create a space you won’t need to change frequently, HGTV recommends a color scheme that includes a neutral backdrop.  By using quiet colors on the walls, you can change things up later with ease.  Think in terms of creamy white, pale sage, or light tan.  By avoiding hues associated with specific genders, the environment will be more flexible long-term.  You can test drive colors with clever paint apps you simply add to your smartphone.  

Another idea is to avoid strong themes throughout your baby’s room.  Stick with an appearance suitable for older children, like geometric designs, travel themes, or decor inspired by nature.  Avoid things that won’t be appropriate in just a couple years, like cartoon wallpaper, ABC’s, and nursery rhymes.  

Earth-, Baby-, and Budget-Friendly

When it comes to making affordable choices, little can beat those that are gentle on your baby and kind to the environment.  A calming tincture from Compassionate Care Doula can help with sleep (yours as well!) and teething. Another idea is to DIY your own products, since it gives you the opportunity to control the ingredients that touch your baby’s skin.  You can make your own laundry detergent from baby-safe ingredients, as well as gentle baby wipes and baby wash.  

With future generations in mind, some moms elect to go with eco-friendly diapers or cloth diapers.  Using a diaper service can also cut your environmental footprint.  They do bulk laundry loads meaning less electricity and water goes into washing the cloth.  If you’re on the fence about whether a diaper service is a worthwhile choice, study the pros and cons before making your decision.  

Welcoming a new life into the world is an amazing experience.  There is a lot to do in preparation, and with a few clever strategies you’ll be ready without blowing your budget.  Look for flexible clothing and decor that will adjust as life changes, and choose products that are gentle and smart.  Your baby will be here before you know it, and with your good choices you’ll be ready to savor every moment.  

For breastfeeding support, self-care and meal preparation tips, and advice on reducing postpartum depression, contact the experts at Compassionate Care Doula today at 631-268-4119!

Written by Jenna Sherman. Thank you! For more information from Jenna, you can follow her on Parent-leaders.com or jennasherman@parent-leaders.com

Insurance Payment or Reimbursement for Birth and Postpartum Doula Services

There has been some talk amongst child-birth professionals as to whether or not doulas are able to apply for payment from insurance companies. Some people are supportive and some disagree. There have been some cases where doula services were reimbursed for full or partial payment by the insurance company to the client.
What I have discovered is that you can submit a letter to the insurance company requesting that these services are covered or at least reimbursed. I have secured an NPI number and know the CPT codes to help you find out if you qualify. There are over twenty insurance companies who have paid or reimbursed for services. Upon request, I can send you the information. Your Doula must be certified, have a tax ID number or a social security number, and an NPI number.
You may need to write a letter explaining the need for doula support. You can site the decrease in cesarean rates, which will lower costs to the insurance company. Doulas can help shorten labor. Parents supported by doulas have less incidence of postpartum depression. Hiring doulas and having childbirth education helps parents to opt out of the use of pain medication. The maternal and infant mortality rates are high in the United States, especially in the African American communities. These communities need and would benefit from doula support. There several real-time statistics that can support these findings. According to the “WHO” The World health organization, recommends that Doulas attend all births globally”. **March 23, 2016, International Doula Institute
ACOG The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecologists says, ” The recommendations also suggest that women benefit from continuous emotional support and the use of non-pharmacologic methods to manage pain. Support offered by trained labor coaches such as doulas has been associated with improved birth outcomes, including shortened labor and fewer operative deliveries. In addition to considering use of medications or epidural anesthesia to manage pain in labor, practitioners are encouraged to offer women coping techniques, such as massage, water immersion in the first stage of labor, or relaxation techniques. Recognizing that the complete absence and elimination of pain is not what all women value, use of a coping scale rather than pain scale is recommended to evaluate the multifactorial experience of labor.
“Techniques such as an epidural can relieve pain but may not ease anxiety or suffering,” said Tekoa L. King, CNM, MPH, ACNM liaison committee member and lead author. “Providing emotional support and coping mechanisms have proven positive outcomes, therefore, it’s recommended that providers consider instituting policies that allow for the integration of support personnel in the labor experience. This strategy may be beneficial for patients and cost-effective for hospitals due to an association with lower cesarean rates. It is important that midwives, ob-gyns, and other care providers collaborate to support women both emotionally and physically over the course of labor.” **American College of Obstetricians and Gynococlogist January 25, 2017
As a final consideration, you may attach a letter from your practitioner. You may find that your practioner can also be very supportive of doulas.
Compassionate Care Doula will help you find out if you are eligible for payment or reimbursement of payment for my services.
If you have any further questions or interest in summiting information for doula care please contact me at Compassionatecaredoula123@gmail.com I can provide you with the information that I have. Happy Birthing Dawn

Here is the Best Parenting Advice for Every Age and Stage

Becoming a parent is rewarding, but many parents also find themselves at a loss at certain stages. As your child grows, you must learn new ways to manage behavior and keep them safe. Fortunately, there is plenty of great advice out there for both new and veteran parents.

Compassionate Care Doula offers birth and postpartum services, as well as childbirth education. Sign up for one of our birth education classes today.

Enjoy the Early Years (and Maintain Your Sanity)

Welcoming a newborn — and caring for a baby — can be exhausting. But there are ways to make things easier and ensure your child is getting an excellent start.

How to Establish a Routine for Your Baby
12 Ways to Bond with Your Baby

Enter Toddlerhood with an Eye on Preschool Progress

The toddler years can be both enjoyable and anxiety-inducing as your little one learns to push boundaries and develop a sense of self. While your toddler or preschooler will likely begin to resist naptime, they need energy for all the learning that’s taking place.

How to Prepare Your Toddler for Preschool
Best Ways to Help Children Fall Asleep at Nap Time

Boost Confidence and Skill-Building in School-Age Kids

Elementary-age children are undergoing many changes and challenges in their young lives. Building both lifelong skills and a sense of confidence are necessary steps for parents.

Building Independence in Elementary-Age Children
6 Life Skills Kids Need for the Future
7 Ways to Help Your Child Develop Positive Self-Esteem

Give Teens Some Space (with Healthy Limits)

Many parents struggle to connect with their teens, but safety is also a concern. Appropriate boundaries can help contribute to a happier household from tween age and on.

10 Strategies to Limit Your Teen’s Screen Time
Setting Healthy Rules and Consequences for Teenagers

Don’t Neglect Yourself


When you’re raising children, it can be easy to forget about the things you’d like to do. However, you need to set aside some time for yourself whenever possible.

Winnie’s Best Hobbies to Help Exhausted Parents Unwind

Zenbusiness Recommends Finding a Good Work-Life Balance

Parenting is, understandably, fluid throughout your child’s life. Some periods of life are downright frustrating, while others are full of pure joy. However, with the right tools and perspective, you can remain an effective parent no matter what stage your child is in.

Photo via wordpress

Written by Jenna Sherman

Thank you Jenna ,

she can be reached at jennasherman@parent-leaders.com

Amazing Apps to help you in Your First Year of Parenthood

Are you expecting your first baby? First-time parents go through a major adjustment period when they welcome a new little bundle of joy to the family. You’re over the moon about your new baby, but it can all get a little overwhelming. Do you need some extra advice? Here are a few of our favorite apps that are great for first-time parents with a new baby.

Ready, Set, Baby!

A great app for first-time parents is the Ready, Set, Baby! app that will teach you everything you need to know about your baby’s first year of life. You can access instructions on how to nurse your baby, cut your little one’s fingernails, rock your baby back to sleep in the middle of the night, or set up a car seat. You’ll be able to use these resources when and where you need them, without stressing about all the things you don’t know yet. You can also watch videos or read helpful articles about giving your baby the best care. 

Mommy Saver: High Contrast Baby Visual Stimulation


Do you need a quick break from your little one? With the Mommy Saver app, you can steal a few moments of calm by giving your baby a sensory experience. They’ll see high-contrast images, interesting movements and shapes moving across the screen, and classical music to give them a full sensory experience. Your crying baby will instantly be calmed, and you can have some quiet time knowing that your little one is getting a brain boost

Baby Tracker Breastfeeding App

If you’re breastfeeding your baby, it’s important to track how long you’ve been feeding and how much you’ve nursed on each side. The Baby Tracker Breastfeeding app takes all the stress out of breastfeeding, and you’ll know exactly how much your little one has eaten. You can also record bottle feedings, milk pumpings, and solid food feeding all in one place. You can even keep track of your baby’s weight and make sure they’re meeting their growth targets.

Milestone Memories

Cherish the time you have with your new baby, and track your baby’s growth with the Milestone Memories app. This is the best app for keeping all your memories in one place, and you can snap pictures at each and every stage of your little one’s development. You’ll be able to document all the exciting firsts as your baby learns to roll, crawl, eat, and walk in the first 20 months of their precious lives. With a great checklist to help you snap the best pictures, you’ll have memories of all the best moments of parenthood.

Angi App

As a new parent, your priority will be protecting your child. If you need to make safety modifications to your home or property, the Angi app can help you connect with local professionals. For example, you may want to keep your yard secure by installing a new fence, which averages $4,500 depending on which materials you use and the size of your property. When considering fencing companies, always review customer feedback and ratings and insist that they’re licensed and insured. 

Technology Is a Lifesaver

As you embark on the adventure of a lifetime, your smartphone will be a lifesaver. You’ll use it to track your baby’s growth, remember feeding times, soothe your baby with music, and capture beautiful memories and pictures. You may also use your phone to read an e-book or watch Netflix after your baby has fallen asleep on your chest in the baby room, and you don’t want to move. 

Make sure your current smartphone has the speed and power to operate these apps effectively. With an up-to-date phone, you can access all the technology and apps you need every day, wherever you are.   

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Being a first-time parent is exciting, but you’ll have days when you’re exhausted and stressed. Take the guesswork out of parenting and download the apps you need to enjoy every moment of your new baby’s life.

For prenatal and postpartum birth services, reach out to experienced doula Dawn Oliver at Compassionate Care Doula.

Article written by Jenna Sherman jennasherman@parent-leaders.com

Thank You! Jenna!

6 Ways to Use Smartphones Apps During Your Baby’s First Year

Having a baby will definitely keep you busy, but thankfully, you have a few more tools at your disposal these days. With the help of technology, you can keep tabs on your baby’s growth and milestones while snapping pictures and tracking progress using tablets, smartphones, and apps. Curious to learn more? Compassionate Care Doula offers the following tips to help you get started.

Make Good Use of a Smartphone

A new baby can make life hectic. Fortunately, technology can help. If you have a baby on the way, it might be time to upgrade your smartphone. Consider the water-resistant iPhone 12 with its state-of-the-art cameras and amazing video technology to record all your baby’s activities and milestones. If you prefer Android, try the HTC U12+ with its intelligent, interactive edges that allow you to do more things with one hand – essential when you have a baby. Whichever phone you buy, load it up with apps that are aimed at making life easier for first-time parents. And don’t forget to pick up a case that will help protect your device from any drops or accidents.

To Monitor Your Baby

Nowadays, you don’t need to purchase an expensive baby monitor. Instead, you can download an app on two devices and monitor your baby with live video and audio — you simply leave one of the devices near the baby and use the other device wherever you go. Cloud Baby Monitor and Baby Monitor 3Gare two highly-rated apps that allow you to easily and safely monitor your baby whether you are at work, out of town, or just out of baby’s sight.

To Put Your Mind at Ease

New parents constantly worry about their baby’s health and wellness. To make things a bit easier on you, use an app like WebMD Baby if you are concerned about your baby’s symptoms, behavior, or growth. This app includes hundreds of articles, videos, and physician-approved tips about caring for your baby. It also allows you to track habits, growth, and development, as well as capture photos and videos of important milestones.

To Help Your Baby Sleep

According to research published in the Pediatrics journal, if your baby doesn’t sleep through the night at 6 months old, it’s perfectly normal. However just because it’s normal, it doesn’t make it ideal. White noise, sounds from nature, lullabies, and other sounds can help your wee one get to sleep and stay asleep. Sound Sleeper is a highly rated app that is appreciated by many new parents. Also, consider sound machines and other sleep aidsto help your baby snooze.

To Log Your Baby’s Activities

Apps can allow you to track and log your baby’s nursing, feeding, and sleep times, as well as diaper changes and even the little one’s moods. These apps help you identify trends and develop routines. With tracking apps, you can share information with your partner, nanny, and pediatrician. Baby Connect andBabyTime are two apps that are well received by new parents.

To Track Your Baby’s Milestones

Based on the best-selling book, The Wonder Weeks app helps you track your baby’s development during their first 20 months of life. Also try Sprout Baby, another milestone-tracking appthat features monthly developmental updates and allows you to store photos and details about your baby’s growth and development.

To Keep a Photo Timeline

Of course, you can use any photo editor to enhance pictures of your new baby. However, the Baby Pics app allows you to capture milestones, make collages, add “firsts” stickers, and more. You can share it with friends and family, as well as order prints and photobooks.

Apps are essential for parents as you try to decipher your baby’s milestones, track sleep and feedings, and capture beautiful photos. Whether you’re pregnant with your first baby or your little one has recently arrived, upgrade your smartphone and add apps designed to make life easier for new moms and dads.

Written by Jenna Sherman Parent-Leaders

Jennasherman@parent-leaders.com

Photo via Pixabay

Healthy Choices For All Ages: How To Help Your Kids Stay Safe And Fit

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Healthy choices can include many things; depending on your age and needs, those choices can be something as small as learning how to say no when someone is asking for too much of your time or energy or something as big as making the decision to say no to substances. This will extend into just about every part of their lives, from their physical health to their mental well-being, so it cannot be overstated how important it is. 

Compassionate Care Doula wants to help you and your family to thrive, so read on for key tips.

Driving tips

Driving can be just as scary for parents as it is for the teen behind the wheel, but with a little preparation, State Farm notes you can help your child learn how to be safe on the road. Think outside of the driving test; not only does your teen need to understand the rules of the road and how to safely operate the car, they also need to learn how to keep an eye on other drivers and how to keep distractions inside the car to a minimum. 

Make healthy eating easy

Healthy eating isn’t always easy, but for young people, it’s essential in keeping their minds and bodies feeling good. Talk to your child about how to make healthy choices when it comes to their nutrition because these lessons will last a lifetime. Help them pick the right foods by making them easily accessible at home and in their lunchboxes, and make it a point to allow your kids to play a role in what your family eats. 

Get moving

Staying active is one of the most important factors in maintaining a healthy weight and preventing disease. Regular exercise also helps people cope with mental health issues like depression or stress, and it’s a great way to get your family together as well. Wellness Mama suggests looking for group activities, like sports or outdoor games, that you can all do together when the weather is nice. When you show your kids how to get moving and make it fun, they’ll be much more likely to keep doing it.

Limit bad habits

Bad habits can encompass many parts of life, but for young people, those habits can become lifestyle choices. When it comes to caffeine, inactivity, and not getting enough sleep, it’s beneficial to help your child find better alternatives. Creating a sleep routine that allows them to relax and get to bed at a decent hour can work wonders for their mood and ability to function during the day, while limiting caffeine and staying active can help them feel better all around. 

Take an active leadership role

Children learn by observing the behavior of the adults around them; especially their parents. That’s why it’s imperative to set a good example and show good observable behavior near your children. For example, when a child falls and hurts themselves, they look to the nearest adult to see how to react. When the nearest adult panics the child will cry, but when the nearest adult is calm the child will be, too.

That’s why leading by example and showing your children that education is important is a wise thing to do. Earning an online business degree, for example, is a great way to go back to school since classes can be done at your convenience. You can also pick up podcasts or read books that expand your horizons. The key is to share with your kids about how your choices are helping you grow, and let them see the positive results. 

Showing your children how to make healthy choices can be a long and frustrating road if you don’t have a plan in mind, so think about the best ways to approach these topics without coming across as forceful. When kids feel the freedom to make their own choices, they are much more likely to stick with them.

Connect with Compassionate Care Doula for more tips and advice to help with your parenting journey.

This article was written and submitted by Jenna Sherman

Thank you Jenna

Your Newborn Needs You to Practice Self-care

Breastfeeding mothers typically receive consistent, practical, and somewhat staid advice: Eat right, rest as much as possible, drink plenty of water, try to get some exercise, don’t smoke or take medications without advice from your doctor, use a lactation consultant if possible and take care of your nipples. It’s all good advice worth following, but your emotional well-being also makes you a good mother – not just your breast milk. Since your mood can affect your ability to successfully breastfeed, you have an obligation to your baby, and yourself, to engage in self-care in these early weeks and months of breastfeeding. Compassionate Care Doula services wants you to be able to fully enjoy this time with your baby, so we’ve collected the following advice.

Make the time and then take the time

Since you may be feeding your baby every few hours, it can seem as though all you’re doing is sitting or lying down. However, that focused attention and dedication is not the same as relaxing. Ideally, you should set aside some time each day, to decompress. A bubble or Epsom salt bath is one way; in a pinch, settle for either a warm or yes, even a cold shower – this study published in the National Library of Medicine found that cold water can decrease cortisol levels, a hormone that when released, can increase stress. By contrast, that warm bath or shower is linked to better sleep.

Let’s face it, some babies make it easier to steal those 20 or 30 minutes to savor in a soothing bathtub. If you’ve been blessed with a more high-maintenance version, don’t despair. Take your baby with you in the bath; it provides a wonderful bonding opportunity, you can breastfeed, and many times a bit of warm aquatic therapy helps ease baby’s discomfort as well. Ensure the water temperature is ideal for your baby, and that you didn’t add any fragrances or other potential irritants. Take extra care if your baby’s umbilical cord if its still attached or has just recently dropped off.

If you’ve received any gift cards for self-care services, such as a massage or other spa or salon services, use them! It can be tough to separate your role as infant caregiver and host of a “baby buffet,” so the occasional reminder of your separate identity and femininity can boost your self-esteem. At home, you can use tools that guide you into practicing mindfulness, such as meditation and yoga, to help you cope with the demands on your time and on your body.

Finally, give your breastfeeding effort the patience it deserves. If you’re struggling, understand that you’re not alone, and the effort of feeding an infant every few hours is itself a feat. You also don’t have to go through this alone. Postpartum packages that include breastfeeding assistance from Dawn Oliver of Compassionate Care Doula can also provide insight and guidance to make chest feeding more comfortable.

Sort the stress right out of your home

One not-so-obvious tactic to employ prior to baby’s arrival is to sort, organize and declutter your home. Doing so opens up your space and even cleans out any negative emotions or feelings. Allow yourself to be a minimalist, and get rid of any items you haven’t used in months (or longer). If you can’t bring yourself to donate those plate settings that you never use, then weigh the benefits of renting a small storage unit for those and other largely unused or seasonal items.

If you didn’t have the foresight to do this ahead of time, or if your baby made an unexpected arrival, consider hiring someone to do this for you. Or, make good on the many offers you’re likely to receive such as “Just let me know how I can help!” You need help, so let them know!

Magical entanglement

The umbilical cord may have been cut, but you and your baby are still wonderfully and mysteriously intertwined. If you are tempted with any guilty thoughts as you make time for self-care, remember that what you do for yourself, you are also doing for your baby.

Gif by FX

Thank you! Blog post written by Lacie Martin she can be reached at Lacie@raisethemwell.org

Practical Ways for Work-From-Home Parents to Contain the Chaos During the Pandemic

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If you’re currently working from home as a result of the pandemic, no one needs to tell you just how stressful it is to juggle work and family life. With the kids stuck at home too, it can feel downright impossible to get everything done. Luckily, there are a few methods for keeping everything in control. Find a few tips that will help you maintain a healthy balance between work and life below. 

Set Up a Quiet Workspace 

If working from home is new to you, one of the first things you’ll want to do is establish a quiet office space. Here are a few ideas. ● If you have the space, try to set up an office in a guest bedroom or even a walk-in closet. ● If you’re short on room, an office can go just about anywhere you can fit a desk. ● The kitchen table can work, too, as long as you can pack things away before dinner. ● If you don’t have a separate office, invest in some noise-cancelling headphones. ● If you decide to set up an office in your garage, you may need to bring in a professional who can help you fix any problems with your floor.

Keep the Kids Busy 

As a parent working from home, you’ve probably become accustomed to distractions from your children. Here are a few ways to keep them busy so you can focus on work. ● Get some child-friendly tech to keep your kids entertained. ● If your kids are having screen time, set limits and install educational games. ● Find a variety of quiet activities that aren’t screen-based to balance things out. ● Assemble a reading list for your kids if they’re old enough to read independently. 

Find Balance 

Even if you’ve got a desk set up and your kids are doing their own thing, it can be hard to maintain a healthy balance between work and life. These tips can help.● Make a clever “do not disturb” sign to indicate when you’re busy.● Find ways to make the mornings less chaotic.  ● Create a routine so you don’t overschedule yourself or let work carry on into the night. ● Keep in mind that it’s important to remain flexible.● Taking productive breaks will help you avoid burnout. 

Stay Organized and Productive 

Having healthy boundaries between work and life will help you feel more focused, but you might still be struggling to stay on task. Here’s how to get more organized so you can get everything checked off your to-do list. ● Use a timesheet or time-tracking app to stay focused. ● Hire a freelancer if you want to outsource tasks, such as admin work. ● Find ways to organize your home office so you can always find what you need. 

Balancing work and family life is hard enough under normal circumstances. With the stress of the pandemic added in, you’ll want to take extra steps to stay on top of the chaos. Making a dedicated home office, getting into routines, and keeping your kids entertained will all help take some of the stress off your plate.

This article is written by Lacie Martin she can be reached lacie@raisethemwell.org

Thank you Lacie