When Oliver was a baby, I would fret about getting out of the house quickly. I resisted slowing down, and allowing for the grace and buffer time babies and children need during daily transitions that veteran parents are quite aware of. So I was always rushing and trying to keep the same cadence I had pre-baby. A very large part of me didn't want having a baby to change me that much. I wanted the world to see, “Hey it's me! I’m the same old Jen, just now with a newborn in tow. I can do all the things I used to do!" But in reality, I had changed, and my life had changed A LOT, yet I needed to adjust and be okay with that. Of course all this change does take time.Read More
Hi there! We are back this week- focusing on some practical parenting tips after taking a week hiatus to march in DC. It was a thrilling experience to join in unity with women and men of all ages, to stand up for human rights.
During your pregnancy one of the tasks you'll want to attend to is hiring a pediatrician. This is very important because you'll be visiting your Dr. often for your well baby check ups. So you want to make sure your pediatrician is good fit for you, your family, your parenting style, and is ideally also conveniently located and open the hours that accommodate your schedule. I know it’s a lot to ask! There are some key factors you want to keep in mind when hiring a pediatrician. Here are some top ones to consider:
Location: this factor is huge- mainly because you'll be going so often that you want the trip to be convenient. Also if your child is sick, you'll want the trip to the doctor to not be taxing. In New York City, finding a doctor within walking distance is great, but a stop or two on the subway can work too.
Breastfeeding: if you're planning to breastfeed, you may want to seek out a provider who shares a similar philosophy as you. Perhaps you can find a doctor who is also an IBCLC (lactation consultant). If your doctors office has a lactation support group or in staff IBCLC, those are great signs they'll be supportive of breastfeeding.
Sleep: it's good to be aware of your Dr.s view on sleep training and how they work with their patients. Some pediatricians offer parenting advice and recommend at 8 week that you sleep train your baby. If this doesn't sit well with you, you can easily decline and still work with your doctor. I like to give parents a heads up about this because for first time parents sleep training may not even be on your radar yet.
Vaccines: If you're planning to vaccinate on the CDC schedule you won't have any issues finding a pediatrician. However if you're interested in doing a delayed schedule or in declining vaccinations it could be a little more difficult to find a care provider. Some pediatricians will only work with patients who follow the CDC schedule. Also some parents feel the most comfortable attending a Dr who require all patients to follow the CDC vaccine schedule.
Solo practice vs. group practice: There are pros and cons of both. With a solo or joint practice, you have the opportunity to build a relationship with one or two practitioners over time. It’s not uncommon for families to stay with the same doctor for many, many years. This allows your practitioner to really get to know your child. If you’re planning to move however, this might not be important to you. Also, solo practices typically don’t have the same flexibility of scheduling that a larger practice does. A group practice can be very convenient- they may have multiple locations, and a large group of practitioner. So same day appointments and extended office hours are very common. However, if building a relationship with a provider is important to you- this is less likely to be an option with a bigger practice, as practitioners tend to come and go over time.
Office hours: This is really important, especially for working parents, or parents with non-traditional schedules. You’ll want to inquire with the doctor you work with if they can accommodate your availability.
On call: Inquire about the after hours policy. Is there a doctor on call? Or would you need to go to the ER or urgent care if there was a health problem during off hours?
Insurance: last but not least, you'll want to make sure the provider you're planning to work with is accepted by your insurance. A good place to start your search is to get a list of local providers who are covered by your insurance. Then ask around for recommendations from friends and local parenting groups. See where there is overlap and start your search there. Best of luck!!
Earlier this week I received a Facebook message from an acquaintance in Brooklyn- asking what resources I could recommend for someone looking to be as supportive and helpful as they can for their best friend who’s having a hard time during pregnancy. I was so glad she reached out asking this question, because for women who haven’t had a baby before, this whole baby-having stuff is like a foreign territory. By being so thoughtful and attentive to reach out to a professional for recommendations shows she wanted to be the best support she could for her expecting friend.Read More
As your due date approaches, there’s often so much focus around the upcoming experience of birth, as there should, however, I find this leaves many new parents wholly unprepared for the moments and days after coming home from the birth. The following are items new parents have found helpful and often not on hand when needed most during those early weeks with a newborn.Read More
Picture this: you’ve given birth a couple days ago to your first baby. The hospital has given you the “a-ok” to be discharged and you’re heading home with your newborn. The hospital just lets you go, on your way home, as a family of three. You and your partner, are alone with you little one for the first time. No more nurses or doctors checking on you while you’re at home- you’re totally on your own.Read More
Have you heard about Mitera? They design and create gorgeous, chic, yet functional clothing and accessories for moms. Founded by Yoko Shimada, she spent the last 15 years working and traveling throughout Africa and Asia as a global public health specialist. Four years ago, her life changed forever with the birth of her son and she immediately began to feel the pull of juggling her professional life with the demands of motherhood. Mitera was born out of Yoko’s desire to look fashionable, and feel beautiful, yet dress practically for the demands of motherhood as a professional.Read More
This Thanksgiving I’m deeply grateful for my family- my husband and two year old son. They keep me grounded, make me a stronger woman, and support me with my work assisting families during the births of their babies. They are everything.Read More
Emotional support during pregnancy: Pregnancy can be quite the ride, with so many changes happening quickly- having a doula in your corner can be the stability just about any pregnant lady needs. Feeling confused about your last Dr visit? Call your doula to talk it out and she’ll help you form a list of follow-up questions for your OB. Overwhelmed by family drama, or simply confused navigating the million baby products on the market? Your doula will help your breath, unwind, and make a plan.Read More
Over the past couple of years, there’s been more interest and attention on providing paid family leave to individuals. This landscape can be a bit confusing as there are many opinions on whether or not the government should provide paid family leave at the national and state level, or if it should be up to businesses to provide this benefit to employees on a voluntary basis. Over the past couple of years, there’s been more interest and attention on providing paid family leave to individuals. This landscape can be a bit confusing as there are many opinions on whether or not the government should provide paid family leave at the national and state level, or if it should be up to businesses to provide this benefit to employees on a voluntary basis.Read More
Picture this: how do you envision welcoming your baby immediately following birth? Did you know it’s commonly accepted and encouraged, that as long as baby is healthy, he or she should go directly to mom’s chest? That’s right!Read More