Tag Archives: babies

Sleep Sack

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Sleep Sack

A crocheted sleep sack to use inlace of a swaddle… it allows baby to move freely, it will not cover the baby’s head and cause overheating.

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Baby Whisperer Part 2

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This name was given to me by 2 sets of parents recently. I happen to turn up for work and their babies just happen to be going through a fractious phase. I step in, say hello, and offer to have baby and, voila… baby calms down and quietens.  The parents stare at me in disbelief and awe, which I am almost unaware of. Then they say, “What did you do?” Or, “How did you do that?”  In all honesty, I don’t know myself, but I have some theories to explain what is happening.  I am penning this right of the top of my head and it’s by no means evidence based. It may be interesting to explore the evidence in support some of my techniques for settling babies… I guess that will be in Baby Whisperer Part 3.

The early days of parenthood are wonderful and amazing times. It can also be a time of stress and these precious miracles called babies are very adept at feeling the stress their parents feel.  So, my theory is that when I take over from them, being the calm, confident postpartum doula that I am, the babies sense this too, and calms down, as the stress around them has been removed.

Once the babies are clam and quiet, stop crying and fussing, the stress levels in their parents drop too, so that when I hand the babies back to them, all is calm and great.

Now, in the back of my mind, I see a potential drawback. I want to empower my clients to become confident parents. I don’t want to be the only one who can calm their fractious baby. So, I explain to them about the stresses of the early days of parenthood and discuss ways of dealing with these stresses and anxieties. It’s a huge learning curve becoming a parent for the first time and of course they are going to be anxious and have a lot of concerns and questions.

Why do babies cry?  Babies cry primarily because it’s their only means of communicating with us until they learn how to talk.  And it is our duty as ‘Sherlock Holmes’ parents to decipher what that crying means. They are trying to communicate to us that they may be hungry, they may have  wet or soiled their diaper, they may have gas or they may have been startled. It may even be too quiet for them.  They are not used to being left alone, after all, they have spent the last 40 weeks in their mother’s uterus listening to the swishing, pulsating of the placenta and their mother’s heartbeat. Not to mention all that borborygmi! They can also hear mum’s voice and that of others all through their watery world of amniotic fluid.

And so they are born. All of a sudden their noisy world becomes a relatively quiet one. It must take a bit of getting used to. Maybe this is why white noise machines seem to be a must thing to have these days, though I must admit I did not have one for my children. I co-slept with them, and I guess that having us close to them comforted them enough to negate the need for any white noise.

So, in order to calm a baby, go through the list of why she/he may be crying, one by one until you solve the mystery. Eventually, you’ll get used to baby’s cries and reactions, and discover the reason fairly easily. In the early days though, going through the list mentally in your head may help. If baby is rooting – opening her mouth as though searching for a breast – feed her. If she has been fed, and is not settling, burp her, check her diaper and maybe check if she needs topping up.  Swaddling is going out of fashion and there have been some recent recommendations by the Ontario Nurses Association advising against swaddling.  The following link is just one write-up of many written about the new guidelines.

http://www.canadapress.org/health/2014/03/05/new-guidelines-reopen-great-swaddling-debate/

Bearing this in mind, I do not advise my clients to swaddle their babies, if they decide to do so, I advise them of the risks so they can make their own informed decision.

In conclusion, I don’t think I am a baby whisperer nor do I profess to be one. I am an enabler and educator. There are many ways of settling a baby and it may seem like a mystery but if you go through the possible reasons as to why a baby may be unhappy, you’ll soon discover the cause and solve the problem. It’s all about learning,  learning to be confident parents and babies learning to communicate with their parents.

 

 

A new testimonial

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I have been a postpartum doula  based in Thornhill for the last year. After practising as a nurse and a midwife in the UK for 19 years, we took a leap of faith as a family and moved to Trinidad and Tobago to work and live for 2 years. We had a wonderful 10 months out there before we were told we were being transferred to Toronto, Canada. Another move, another adventure.

I was hoping to be able to nurse here in Canada but for various reasons this was not meant to be.  This turned out to be a blessing in disguise as it gave me the opportunity to try out a few occupations I have often wondered about.  In my nursing days, when things got me down at work, usually due to stresses from workload, staff shortages and disagreeable managers, I would say to myself… “I should just go and stack shelves in Sainsbury’s than deal with all this stress!”  Now was my chance. I could venture outside nursing and see how non nurses fared.  I did a short stint working at a McDonald’s 5 minutes walk away from home, working the dreaded night shift. Then found a job at a local pharmacy who were willing to take me on as a pharmacy assistant, even though I had no previous pharmacy or retail experience. They provided me on the job training. It helped that I was a nurse prescriber as I knew mostly what all the drugs and medications were for.  This lead to another pharmacy job which I am just about to leave after being there for 2 years.

The work I was doing was ok, it paid just above minimal wage, provided me with a little job satisfaction but something was missing. I was missing out the caring element. I did care for the customers at the pharmacy, but closer personal care that you get from  being in the caring profession was missing from my life. I had to find something else that would fill this gap. I have a wealth of knowledge and skills that were under-utilized, and I wanted to to change this.

I scoured through the internet, talked to some friends who were nurses and midwives in the UK but were now  doing something else here in Canada and wondered what I could do. Being very interested in women’s health and the promotion of breastfeeding, I stumbled on the profession of the Doula. I thought I could possibly do that, it would let me use my skills in a non-clinical way and better still be supporting mums and their families with a precious new addition to their lives.

I researched the various doula trainings available and decided to train with CAPPA. I was familiar with them as I had been a volunteer at the Mamatoto Birthing Centre in Trinidad, and they were a worldwide recognized organization, plus I loved their ‘Vision’ and philosophy. The rest is history and now I am about to embark on being a postpartum doula full- time.

This brings me back to my title. I have created a web site to support my doula business and to promote it, how much that is happening, I don’t really know, but I had wanted to tweak a few things on it and discovered that one of my recent clients had posted a testimonial on there for me.  And here it is…..

“My husband and I are the type of people who like to do everything ourselves. But when my second daughter arrived with a big appetite and a distaste for sleeping, it finally became apparent that we needed some professional help. It really eased our minds after learning about Su Yin’s background in nursing and midwifery. We were overjoyed that she turned out to be a warm, easy-going and knowledgeable person whom both my children adore. It was one of the best decisions I’ve made to have her in our children’s lives.”
Qin
Second time mom
I have been meaning to blog about my doing the doula and now seemed like a good time to share this positive testimonial.  My website address is :-
My Facebook page is
If you’re a tweeter, my twitter username is @doulasuyin