Ideas for Staying Healthy in 2020

Last Saturday morning my daughter and I spent 2.5 hours in the Urgent Care facility at Kaiser.  The place was packed!  Ill people everywhere!  She was experiencing stolen glands and pain in her neck.  She and everyone else in Orange County!!!

Here are some simple ways to avoid infection and illness during this time of year!

First, wash your hands and the hands of your little ones often.  This is such a simple process and makes a huge difference.  No matter how careful you are your hands touch way more than you realize.  Just washing them with soap and water will make a big difference in infection and illness in your life!

Second, brush your teeth several times a day to cut down on bacteria. This is a new method being practiced in hospitals and care facilities.  Studies have found this has greatly reduced the occurrence of pneumonia and other contagious diseases!!!

Third, wash your clothing more often during this time of year.  When you have been out in public go home and change clothes.  This is a precaution against allowing more germs into your home.  If you go somewhere with many sick people, Dr. offices, urgent care, or a hospital understand there are millions of germs floating around.  Protect yourself.  (Hospital personal are taught not wear their shoes from work into their homes.  They leave them in the garage to avoid spreading germs)

Fourth, if you work in an office, and many associates parade through your space, wipe down surfaces with disinfectant wipes.  Don’t do this in front of coworkers, you make yourself look a little crazy.  But be aware.

Fifth, when other children come to play be sure they are healthy.  Encourage everyone to wash their hands and faces when they arrive.  It is just good practice.  Make it fun, have colorful soaps and fun paper towels to dry with.  Make it a game.

Sixth, when visitors go home put you kids in the bathtub.  Put their clothing in the laundry.  Teach them to wipe down their toys and games. If they used the computer or video games wipe them down with antibacterial wipes. Just as a precaution.  Only at this time of the year when sickness is prevalent.

These are some helpful hints for keeping you and your family well when illness is everywhere.  Hope they help.  Please send your suggestions so we can all have a healthy happy 2020!

Thank you,  JUDY


We have arrived.  The huge mirrored ball in Times Square, New York has dropped.  The fire crackers have popped, and it is now 2020.  A Leap Year, no less!!!  An election year!.  Wow, there is already much on the table for 2020.  There will be allot of excitement, dialogues, discussions, and outcomes!  2020 promise to be invigorating!  How will it affect you and yours?  I am looking forward to great things!!!

Resolutions, What Do They Mean to You?

res·o·lu·tion      /ˌrezəˈlo͞oSH(ə)n/
noun.   plural noun: resolutions

a firm decision to do or not to do something.
“she kept her resolution not to see Anne any more”

the quality of being determined or resolute.
“he handled the last French actions of the war with resolution”

Somehow, in western thinking, the New Year brings the need for resolutions; commitments to make changes in life.  For many, this is an opportunity to evaluate the current situation, looking for improvements.  For others it, is a stressful time of feeling they have not measured up.

In my opinion, it is always good to evaluate our situations.  Life is a fluid process.  We grow and change all the time.  As parents this transition is all the more in flux because little people are part of the mix.  We no longer “have control” of everything!

We can not second guess what each day will hold.  This is a good thing.  It forces us to be flexible, causing us to be open to changes we might not have perviously considered!

You have to decide for your self whether or not you want to think about next year and write down ‘resolutions’.  Just the thought of this may be overwhelming.  That is OK.  Maybe this is year is not the one to spend allot of time planning, thinking, arranging.  This year may be a year of riding out the waves of life.  It may be a few years before you are in a place where longterm planning fits.  If your spouse is a planner you may need to let them do the planning for the time.

I encourage you not to stress out trying to fit into a mold that isn’t right for you.  As previously stated, life is a fluid entity.  Enjoy life where you are!  There will be plenty of time for organization, planning, etc. in the future.

For those wishing to investigate the process of seeing New Year’s Resolutions find some interesting articles to help below!!!

Happy New Year!!!  JUDY

How to Make (and Keep) Your New Year’s Resolutions By Kelly Mickle and Amy Marturana Winderl, C.P.T.


7 Steps For Making a New Year’s Resolution and Keeping Them                                  Annabel Candy



Steps for making your New Year’s resolutions stick







Merry Christmas & Happy Hanukah

The days of celebration have arrived.  The shopping is finished (at least it should be) the baking complete, the food prepared.  What ever you planned to do for the holiday, today is the day to let it be done/finished.  Take this day to be grateful.  Take time today to relax, focus, appreciate all that has be accomplished.  The craziness of the holidays needs to be put aside so you and your family are able to take advantage of the preparations and projects.  Allow yourself to slow down and enjoy.  The purpose of Christmas is family time, gratefulness, peace.  Peace needs to start in your heart right now.

Put on your favorite holiday music.  Roast marshmallows over the fire (I do them over the stove sometimes, Ha!).  Set the atmosphere in your home to be one of blessing and happiness.

I wish you and yours a blessed holiday.  I pray you will look back on this season as one of your best.  It starts with you and the attitude of your heart!!!







Depression During the Holidays

During the extra stress and activity of the holidays often new mom’s find themselves wondering why they are not as excite as usual.  Fear not!  You are not weird and this is not permanent.  Nearly every new mom with whom I have worked has experienced some level of postpartum depression.  Usually it is very mild and resolved in a couple conversations.

Moving from professional woman to the role of motherhood is a major transformation!  In my assessment there is not enough said about how this will affect you!  Your body has just completed creating a whole other person.  This little person is completely dependent upon you!  Your body is trying to transform back to its original state.  In the midst of all this you are learning to care for the new you and your baby.  It is allot to go through.

Allowing yourself the time and calm to learn and acclimate to all this is wise.  This is why  maternity leave in the US is three to six months.  It takes that long to start feeling like yourself again!  I so wish OB’s helped their clients understand the changes taking place.  New moms tell me: “My brain isn’t working right!”;  “I am so tired all the time!”;  “When will I feel like myself again?”.

One of my most valuable qualities for you, the new mommy, I my ability to walk you through this path and help you see the light at the end of the tunnel.  You will be yourself soon.  Allow your mind and body to recuperate at your rate.  Don’t push yourself to go back to work before you are really ready.  Permit yourself the time you need to fully recover.  You will not regret it!

Below find a one sheet discussion sheet on postpartum issues.  If you feel you are experiencing these symptoms talk to a professional.  Contact me, I would love to help you  find the help you need.  Take with your OB.  Everyone deals with these issues on some level after having a baby.  You are wise to get the help you need quickly!


Take Care of Yourself!

Somehow, when the holidays hit, life becomes more of a whirlwind than normal!  There are so many projects to complete, friends and family who want time, activities you want to add to the schedule:  tree lightings, Christmas movies, cookies to bake, etc.,  Life becomes so busy many find themselves exhausted and ill.  With small children, your family life is already on the edge.  If you allow yourself to become ill who is going to pick up the slack?

Make your home a place of peace.  Be the gate keeper of your schedule.  Be aware of when you are over planned.  Learn to say , “NO”.  There is always next Christmas.  If something can’t fit into the schedule, do it later.  Do not allow yourself to be pushed to your limit.  At that point none of the holiday activities are fun anyway!

Your small children and family members won’t mind doing activities in January if that works better.  Your peace of mind is far more valuable to you and your family than another lunch out, etc.

Figure out what helps you relax and plan it into your days.  I used to save Fridays as our day off.  We would not schedule any other activities for Friday.  It was a family day to enjoy.  We went to the park or beach and had time together.  It was my recharge day.  Oh how valuable and mentally relaxing having one day completely off worked out.


An Advent of Kindness!!!

Starting December 1st lets do an Advent of Kindness!!!  Advent is the time leading up to Christmas Day.  This project costs very little and blesses many including you!  Lets focus on how to bless those with whom we come in contact through out the harried holiday season.  The list below is divided by date.  It encourages you to think about others on a daily basis.  If you want to double up your kindnesses do so!   JUDY

December 1st: Give someone a hug!

2nd:   Pay someone a compliment!

3rd:    Let someone in front of you in line!

4th:    Hold a door open for someone!

5th:    Give someone you love your full attention!

6th:    Do something kind for a local charity!

7th:    Tell a joke to make someone laugh!

8th:     Do something kind for yourself!

9th:     Hide a happy note for someone to find today!

10th:   Donate unwanted books to a local charity!

11th:    Smile at a stranger, or 2, or 15!!!

12th:    Contact an old friend or relative!

13th:     Let a car in front of you in traffic!

14th:     Write or text a big thank you to someone!

15th:     Pay for someone’s order at the drive thru!

16th:     Smile and say a jolly thank you to someone who serves you!

17th:     Do something kind for your spouse, friend, child, etc.!

18th:     Tell someone you love them!

19th:     Offer to help someone!

20th:      Feed wild animals, birds, or ducks!

21st:       Donate unwanted clothing or toys to charity!

22nd:     Prepare an unexpected kindness for someone!

23rd:     Provide something special for your postman!

24th:     Ponder the reason for the season!

25th:     Read a favorite holiday story to little ones.

26th:     Spend quite time with those you love!

27th:     Think about what has brought you the most joy over the last month!

28th:     Write or text thank you’s for any gifts you received!

29th:     Contact the first person you think of and wish them a Happy Hew Year!!!

30th:     Consider all the wonderful things you experienced over the past year!

31st:      Decide which of these kindness you want to take into the New Year!

Happy Thanksgiving:

Start Your Thankfulness Journal!!!!!

As you start your preparations for Thanksgiving think about all the things for which you have to be thankful!  There are huge things:  Your family, your home, your dear friends, a cupboard full of food, etc., etc., etc.  Then there are the smaller things, clothing you like, a grocery store clerk that always says “Hi” with a smile, gas in the car, and on and on.

Keep a pad of paper on the counter in the kitchen.  As the things you are thankful for surface quickly write them down.  Just a word or two can suffice:  hot coffee, warm slippers, baby woke up very happy……  You will be amazed at how your outlook on life changes!

Taking a minute to write down the things you appreciate focuses your thoughts on the positive.  It helps you overcome the difficult things we all face.  It sets your heart and mind on good things.  There is a verse in the Bible, Philippians 4:8 encouraging these thoughts.        Fix your thoughts on what is true and good and right. Think about things that are pure and lovely, and dwell on the fine, good things in others. Think about all you can praise God for and be glad about.

The next month can be a time of great stress, unfulfilled expectations, and over commitment.  Start now to put yourself in a good place psychologically.  Head off disappointments for you and others by planning ahead.  Talk with your spouse and family about how to help sidestep potential landmines.  Think about the many good things in your life.  This will bless you and set you up for success no matter what lies ahead!

Planning Ahead for a Happy Holiday in Your Home

As you look ahead to the holidays plan activities you believe to be the most important.  Do you prefer quite celebrations with your family?  Parties with many friends?  Do you want to invite new friends to your dinner table?  Is it times of giving and serving to help your children see the value of giving to those less fortunate than themselves?  You have a month and a half before New Years.  Make it count for what is truly important to you.

Below find some “prepare ahead of time” Christmas or Hanukkah gifts for your family.  These gifts are organized around photos and other keepsakes from baby.  They are a precious reminder of how small baby is and what baby looks like this holiday.

Hand or foot modeled patterns of baby this year:

Pearhead Babyprints Ornament By White

$9.99 nearby·In stock

These can also be found at Zulily and


Photo Ornaments:

Purchasable online or at most stores selling ornaments.  Put a photo of baby’s first Christmas in, be sure to put the date in the photo.  A lifetime keepsake of baby as a baby!

Currently Michael’s has their $6 photo ornaments on sale for $4.  It you find one of their great coupons you might even find them for less!

(I always look for these items at the after Christmas sales!!!  They are usually half price!)



Personalized Gold Plated Bell Ornaments

Engraved Silver, Gold, or Rose Colored Bells with baby’s name and birth year


This is a wonderful tradition for you to begin right now.   Organize a card having photos or you and your immediate family.  There are cards available on line having several windows to fill.  Be sure you and daddy are in there.  It will be so much fun for you all to look back and see what each of you looked like on baby’s first holiday.  make sure the card has a place to enter your family name and the year.  Costco has cards for as little as $.25 each including foil lined envelopes!  Shutterfly, and many of the online ordering houses have cards to be printed.
Save one each year in a note book or specially printed book for this purpose.  It is amazing to see how fast baby grows, what you look like, hoe hairstyles and clothing changes.  Baby could literally be looking at this when he is a grandfather!!!  You will not be sorry you took the time to share the holiday with friends and saved your gift to them!
I have seen families who display the cards they made each year on ribbon for all to see.  It is an incredible way to remember your lives together!!!

There are so many fun ways to remember baby’s first Christmas.  Please forward any you know of that are not mentioned.  I would love to share them with everyone!!!

Happy Planning,  JUDY

Breaking News!!! Daddy’s Go Through Hormonal Changes When Their Babies Are Born!!!

As a professional doula there are a myriad of issues affecting the clients crossing my path. The physical and emotional changes of pregnancy, motherhood, breast feeding, and more are monumental and definitely life changing.  I am continually amazed at the amount of information there is surrounding these precious people we call babies.

In an effort to keep clients and friends abreast of the cutting edge research and ideas I maintain a website, blog and informational site on Facebook.  New material pops up daily for these sites.  There is always something interesting to share and research.

My clients are equally as interesting.  Every baby, mommy, daddy and family brings something new to my practice.  This work is never boring!!!

As doulas, we are critically aware of the changes the families with whom we work experience.  Mommies go through pregnancy aware of many fluctuations in their bodies.  Then comes birth;  An amazing and eventful transition to a new life!  Not only the delivery of a new little person, but the change from being responsible for just you to being the main source of everything for your child. We study hormones, emotions, expectations and more.  Being that the majority of us have gone through the process ourselves we bring our own experiences and skills to bear.

There are books to read, studies to review, and ideas to be shared.  The process is exhilarating!  No one could ever learn it all!  No matter how many years you have doulaed (my word) there is always something new to seek out and understand.

Recently I began to ask questions about the physical changes men go through at the time they become fathers. Men make the transition from man to daddy when their children enter the world.  This presents differently in each situation, and it is massive.  There are a million and one decisions to be made.  Sleepless nights are ahead as well as an overwhelming desire to protect this little person.  There is an understanding that things will never be as they were.  Mommy will need special care as she recovers from the process of pregnancy and delivery.  She will make the same transition from woman to primary caregiver and nurturer for baby.  There will be others around contributing their two cents to the process. The transition from man to daddy is one of the greatest passages is life!  How can I, as a doula, bring clarity and understanding?

The New York Times recently published an article discussing the massive drop of the male hormone Testosterone in new fathers.

In a pioneering five-year study published in 2011, for instance, Dr. Lee Gettler, Ph.D., an American anthropologist, followed a group of 624 single, childless men in the Philippines from age 21 to 26. Dr. Gettler found that while all men in the study experienced normal, age-related dips in testosterone, the 465 men who became dads during that five-year period experienced a more significant drop — an average 34 percent (when measured at night) — than those who remained single or married.


Studies in animals and people show that new fathers experience an increase in the hormones estrogen, oxytocin, prolactin and glucocorticoids, according to a recent review of studies by psychologist Elizabeth Gould and colleagues from Princeton University.

Contact with the mother and children seem to induce the hormonal changes in dads, the researchers said.  In humans, dads who show more affection toward their children also tend to have higher levels of oxytocin.

Oxytocin is one of the hormones released when mothers breastfeed.  It encourages bonding and affection.  Amazing that biologically men experience the same things!

Dads are sensitive to their children’s voices 

Although it is generally thought that a “maternal instinct” makes moms incredibly good at picking out their baby’s unique cry, a recent study suggests that dads were just as good as moms.  To compare parents’ performance in baby-cry detection, researchers asked 27 fathers and 29 mothers to pick out their babies’ cries, from among the cries of five infants. On average, parents were able to detect their babies’ cries about 90 percent of the time, and men did just as well as women.

These are just a few of the many topics researched as science opens to the idea that men experience physical changes at the advent of parenthood.  This is very interesting material……………..