How Much Skin to Skin Contact Can Benefit Your Newborn!

Below find many very foundational benefits of skin to skin contact for newborns scientifically proven over decades of study.  Read up on this phenomena as your baby’s due date approaches.  It is amazing how simply taking the time to sit and hold you baby close can make such a huge difference in their well being and yours!

Enjoy and have so much fun!!!  Happy parenting!!!







Over 40 years of research has proven that in the early months of life, Skin-to-Skin contact, also referred to as Kangaroo Care, creates remarkable benefits for you and your baby.

Positioning baby on your bare chest, for an uninterrupted 60 minutes, triggers a hormonal cascade that delivers the following advantages:

  • Accelerates:  BRAIN DEVELOPMENT

Skin-to-Skin contact is a multi-sensory experience. Holding baby on your skin increases the development of essential neural pathways, which accelerates brain maturation. In addition, research shows that kangaroo’ed babies spend more time in quiet sleep, which enhances organizational patterns in the brain and decreases baby’s stress responses.


The direct connection with your skin during Kangaroo Care soothes baby so much that babies’ cortisol levels (stress hormone) are measurably lowered after only 20 minutes of being held Skin-to-Skin. And, remarkably, their pain is reduced when held Skin-to-Skin. As a result, babies who experience regular Kangaroo Care often cry less and appear less agitated.

  • Regulates:   BODY TEMPERATURE

Maintaining body temperature is essential for young infants who do not yet have the skills to keep themselves warm. Nature takes care of that through a process known as thermoregulation. Within minutes of being held Skin-to-Skin, the mother’s breasts automatically adjust to cool baby down or warm him up, in response to what baby needs. And if you have twins, mom’s breasts can act independently to take care of multiple babies at once.

  • Improves:   QUALITY OF SLEEP

Development of mature brain function in infants depends on the quality of their sleep cycling. During Kangaroo Care, most infants fall asleep easily, and achieve what is called “Quiet Sleep”, a natural deep sleep for 60 minutes or more. This is important, because research points to Quiet Sleep as one of the most beneficial for accelerating brain patterning and maturation.

  • Enhances:   IMMUNE SYSTEM

Baby’s immune system is stimulated when placed Skin-to-Skin. Mom’s mature immune system passes antibodies through her skin and breast milk to baby. Being on mom’s skin also increases baby’s skin hydration, which provides a protective barrier from harmful bacteria entering baby’s skin.

  • Stimulates:    DIGESTION & WEIGHT GAIN

Kangaroo Care reduces cortisol + somatostatin in babies, allowing for better absorption and digestion of nutrients, while lessening gastrointestinal problems. With a reduction of these hormones, their bodies preserve brown fat (healthy fat babies are born with), helping to maintain birth weight and keep a warm body temperature. As a result, baby’s body does not have to burn its own fat stores to stay warm, resulting in better weight gain. After just one hour of Skin-to-Skin, the infant’s digestive system is restored to the right balance for optimal GI function.

  • Synchronizes:     HEART RATE & BREATHING

Simply put, through Kangaroo Care, baby’s body learns to self-regulate, resulting in a regular and stable heart beat and breathing pattern. 75% of sporadic breathing and slow heart rate episodes are reduced through Skin-to-Skin.


Studies have shown that newborns held Skin-to-Skin immediately after birth are TWICE AS LIKELY to breastfeed within the first hour than swaddled newborns. 60 minutes of Skin-to-Skin increases feeding frequency and raises prolactin levels in mom, a hormone critical for maintaining an adequate milk supply.


Info. on Newborn Sleep

It is always interesting to pull out the infant sleep articles and study.  Everyone and his brother has an opinion about how newborns should sleep.  Personally I find that newborns sleep constantly.  The article below says newborns sleep 14 to 17 hours a day.  Have you ever heard of newborn who is awake 10 hours a day?  Most newborns will barely wake to eat.  Often that is one of the major difficulties for new parents.  Baby sleeps through everything!!  Yet, I am of the belief that it is good to digest as much information as possible prior to coming to a decision regarding major topics.  Sleep is one of those gigantic issues with which each of us must grapple.  So hear goes……..

Knowing the ins and outs of your baby’s sleep habits and patterns is key.

Whoever coined the term “sleep like a baby” didn’t know much about them, because newborns are restless sleepers, hungry every few hours, and rarely, if ever, make it through the night without waking up. If you’re worried your newborn’s sleep habits, remind yourself of these facts — then relax and enjoy that adorable child of yours.

Newborn sleep basics

It helps to remember a few tenets of newborn baby sleep so you don’t tear your hair out when you’re up in the middle of the night time and time again:

1. Little ones vary in their sleep needs. Newborns up to 3 months old need 14 to 17 hours of sleep, and infants up to 12 months need 12 to 16 hours (including naps). But before you decide your baby is sleeping way more (or way less) than that, remember that quality sleep matters too. So if your baby seems healthy and well-rested, don’t get too hung up on how much or how little he sleeps.

2. Newborns need to eat around-the-clock. Newborns have very tiny tummies, so while it would be nice to load up your baby with breast milk or formula at bedtime and not hear from him til morning, it doesn’t work that way … at least not yet. Newborns need a snack at least every two to four hours; a five-hour stretch is actually considered a full night’s sleep for a baby this age.

So how do you know when your baby’s whimpers, snorts and occasional night wakings are a call for food? The key is to learn to differentiate between “feed me!” sounds and all the rest so you can respond quickly when he’s truly hungry (with the hope that, after a little treat, he’ll drift back to dreamland quickly) or let him stay sleeping if he’s asleep.

3. Newborns are restless sleepers. While older children (and new parents) can snooze peacefully for hours, young babies squirm around and actually wake up…a lot. That’s because around half of their sleep time is spent in REM (rapid eye movement) mode — that light, active sleep during which babies move, dream, and maybe wake with a whimper. Don’t worry. As he matures, his sleeping patterns will too, with fewer REM cycles and more periods of deeper, quieter sleep.

4. Newborns are noisy sleepers. Irregular breathing that may include short pauses and weird noises is rarely cause for alarm, but it can freak new parents out. Here are some facts on your baby’s respiratory development to put things in perspective: A newborn’s normal breathing rate is about 40 to 60 breaths a minute while he’s awake, though that may slow by half once he’s asleep. Or, he might take shallow, rapid breaths for 15 to 20 seconds followed by a total pause in which he stops breathing entirely for a few seconds. You can blame all this on the immature breathing-control center in his brain, which is still a work in progress.

Study resources:

A few more Quick Summer Treats!

Fresh Fruit with Lemon Cream

Serves 2

Fresh Fruit with Lemon Cream

4 oz. reduced-fat cream cheese

¾ cup low-fat vanilla or plain yogurt

1 tsp. honey

2 tsp. freshly grated lemon zest

2 cups fresh blueberries or mixed berries

4 tsp. granola, sunflower seeds, walnuts

Using a fork, break up cream cheese in a medium bowl. Drain off any liquid from the yogurt; add yogurt to the bowl along with honey. Using an electric mixer, beat at high speed until light and creamy. Stir in lemon zest. Layer the lemon cream, berries, and granola in parfait dishes, wineglasses, or tall water glassed.  We did them in pint sized Mason jars to enjoy the beautiful colors!  Sprinkle with remaining granola. If not serving immediately, cover and refrigerate for up to 8 hours. Serves 2

NUTRITION: 288 calories; 12g fat (34.0% calories from fat); 12g protein; 40g carbohydrates; 4g dietary fiber; 32 mg cholesterol.

This recipe is taken from Healthy Happy Cooking.

Lisa Lewis is the author of Healthy Happy Cooking. Her cooking skills have been a part of First Place for Health wellness weeks and other events for many years. She provided recipes for 15 of the First Place for Health Bible studies and is a contributing author in Better Together and Healthy Holiday Living. She partners with community networks, including the Real Food Project, to provide free healthy cooking classes to communities.

This is one of those treats you have to take time to make.  But it is so yummy!  I could not resist sending it off to you!  Fresh fruit and yoghurt with a little of the granola from the earlier recipe sent.  A true summer delight.  Maybe this is one of the goodies your mom or a good friend makes when she comes to visit.  It is hardy enough to serve as lunch!  Send her the recipe and ask her to pick up the ingredients.  You can enjoy your lemon cream and fruit together!  


Another wonderful cool summer drink!

Triple Berry Freeze  (sorry no photo)

Number of Servings 2


2 cups sparkling water

1 cup lemon sorbet

1/2 cup frozen raspberries

1/2 cup frozen blueberries

1/2 cup frozen blackberries


Place sparkling water and sorbet in a blender, and process until well blended. Add raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, and honey; process until mixture is smooth.

Nutrition Information:  212 Calories, 52g Carbohydrate, 5.6g Fiber, 4mg Sodium,             52mg Calcium


More Easy Food Prep for All Mommies

Granola with Fruit and Cinnamon

Granola with Fruit and Cinnamon
Serving Size   1/2 c
Number of Servings  6
1/4 cup slivered almonds                                           1/4 cup honey                                                               1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract                                    1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon
2 cups dry old-fashioned oatmeal                         2 cups bran flakes                                                  3/4 cup dried apple pieces (or dried fruit)           1/2 cup raisins

Preheat the oven to 325 F. Lightly coat a baking sheet with cooking spray.
Spread the almonds on a baking sheet and bake, stirring occasionally, until golden and fragrant, about 10 minutes. Transfer immediately to a plate to cool. Raise the temperature of the oven to 350 F.  In a small bowl, whisk together the honey, applesauce, vanilla and cinnamon. Set aside.In a large bowl, add the oatmeal and bran flakes. Stir to mix well. Add the honey mixture and toss with your hands. Don’t break the clumps apart.  Spread the cereal mixture evenly onto a baking sheet. Place in the oven and, stirring occasionally, bake until golden brown, about 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool slightly.
In a large bowl, combine the cereal mixture, toasted almonds, apple pieces and raisins. Cool completely. Store in an airtight container.
Nutrition Information
163 Calories (11% Calories from fat); 2g Fat; 4g Protein; 33g Carbohydrate; 4g Fiber; 0mg Cholesterol; 115mg Sodium; 27mg Calcium

Granola is a healthy staple in ‘quick food prep.’  It can be eaten with milk or yoghurt as a meal.  It can be a snack you have in you purse when you or your kids need a quick nutritious treat.  It can be sprinkled over cottage cheese, fruit, etc to add nutrients to other food.  Over all, having it around saves time and tastes great!

Easy Meal Prep For New Mommies


Cool Summer Favorites

One of my favorite ways to use quart-sized canning jars is to pack them with salads. I can make them on Sunday night and just grab and go all week. There are a few keys to layering your salad so it is fresh and crispy when you are ready to eat it.

When working with new mommies I find nutrition is a great consideration.  I encourage them to plan meals ahead of time.  It is important to have easy meals ready to go in the refrigerator to take out in a moment.  The thought of sitting down at the table for a real feast is wonderful, however, in the first few weeks after birth, this usually does not  happen.  There is no schedule when you have a newborn.  It takes a few weeks to find your “New Normal”.  During that time have things in the refrigerator you can pull out with one hand and easily eat.  Yoghurt, burritos, crackers spread with tuna or peanut butter, really anything you would enjoy that you will eat.  It has to be something you want or you will not eat it.

Often mommies will look around at 2:00 in the afternoon and realize they haven’t eaten all day!  They are not feeling well, nothing sounds good, and no one is making sure they are nourished.  A physical trainer will tell you to eat small meals five or more times a day.  Each meal should include a protein, a fat, and a carb.  Protein: fish, egg, tuna, lean beef, cheese, turkey, chicken, cottage cheese, yogurt, etc.  Fat:  peanut butter, nuts, banana, avocado, potato chips, butter, etc.  Carb: vegetables, fruit, crackers, bread, dried fruit, tortillas, rolls, baguettes, pita chips, etc.  Combining these to create easy ‘reach for it’ meals is fun.  Example:  tuna (w mayo) & chips, quesadillas (cheese, butter, tortilla), cottage cheese and berries, toast w/ peanut butter & milk…..  We are not looking for full food group meals here, we are looking for nutrition on the run.  Things you will want to eat.  I repeat, if it is not something you enjoy it simply will not happen.

I encourage new mommies to keep a list of what they eat.  A food chart is easy.  It is good for several reasons.  It helps mom and family know mommy is eating.  It helps one remember what she ate in case baby is struggling with gas.  It gives you and idea of what foods help you feel your best.

Below find some salads to prepare for your refrigerator.  They are healthy and can be made to your liking.  If you have a mother or friend who can do this preparation for you during the first few weeks that would be great.  These items are fresh so they have to be made and eaten within a few days.

Green Salad with Apples & Walnut Dressing

Green Salad with Apples & Walnut Dressing

Dressing first! —This keeps everything from getting soggy.  Or leave out until you are ready to eat and pour over.

Hardier ingredients next—onions (be careful these can overpower everything else), carrots, beans, peas, bell pepper, olives, etc. These will get great flavor from sitting in the dressing, too! Apples will work in this layer too. Be sure to give them a little lemon juice/water bath before adding to keep them from browning.

Keep layering—Pack your layers tightly. The less air between layers, the longer it will stay fresh.

Last layer—Your healthy extras and/or cheeses.

HEALTHY HACK: Freshen up your limp kale or other vegetables by dropping them into ice water. Plants wilt due to water loss. Ice water restores their crispness.

One more thing—If you are using less hardy options like guacamole, avocado, or hard-boiled eggs, you might pack them separately and add right before you serve. Here is a salad that works well in a jar.


Green Salad with Apples & Walnut Dressing

2 tbsp. cider vinegar

2 tbsp. maple syrup

2 tsp. Dijon mustard

1 tsp. olive oil

1/8 tsp. salt

1/8 tsp. ground red pepper

4 tbsp. chopped walnuts

2 cup (2-inch) julienne cut apples (dip in lemon juice to keep from turning brown)

6 cups salad greens

Combine vinegar, maple syrup, Dijon mustard, walnuts, and oil. Place in bottom of a jar. Add apples and then salad greens. Serves 4

NUTRITION: 101 calories; 4g fat (30.2% calories from fat); 3g protein; 16g carbohydrates;4g dietary fiber; 0mg cholesterol; 120mg sodium.


Korean Salad



1 bag fresh spinach  (I used ¾ Costco bag)

1 bag bean sprouts

1 lg can sliced water chest nuts

6 hard boiled eggs

6 oz protein garnish of your choice, nuts, crumbled feta, chopped bacon pieces, etc.

Directions:  combine all the veggies, egg, & protein in a large bowl.  Place in individual portions in jars, ZipLoc Bags, sealable plastic containers, whichever you like best.



1 C virgin olive oil

¼ red wine vinegar

1 T. dried onion pieces

1 T. worcestershire sauce

½ C catsup

½ C. sugar

Directions:  Ingredients provide 1 pint dressing (I always double the recipe, it fills a qt Mason jar)  Heat ingredients in microwave for several minutes until flavors are melded.  Serve hot.  Dressing can be stored in sealed jar in refrigerator for as long as you like.  I have a friend who uses it for meat marinade!




Fun Delicious Ways to Keep Cool This Summer!!!

This delicious & nutritious mocktail is perfect for you breastfeeding & pregnant moms, is super kid friendly and can even be spiked with some rum… you know, if you’re into that sort of thing! It is so easy to make, is incredibly hydrating and is exactly what you need to cool you down in a jiffy.
So what do you need for this amazingly refreshing treat? 
  • 2 cups Frozen Strawberries
  • 8 limes (for fresh lime juice or a 1/2 cup of Rose’s Lime Juice)
  • 1/2 cup simple syrup (1/2 c. sugar dissolved in 1/2 c. water)
  • 1.5 cups of ice
Combine all of this into a blender and pulse until the ice is crushed to your desired consistency. Pour into an ice-cold glass, top with a sprig of mint and ENJOY!
Pour some into your Yeti tumbler and take it to the beach or bring a large batch to the neighborhood barbecue. No matter what, it will be a huge hit!
More Ideas For Keeping Cool………………
1.  Cold Water with a little Mint or Lime!
2.  Lots of Ice Cubes in your drinks!
3.  Just for fun make Ice Cubes With Berries, Mint, Lemon Juice in them!  Yum. Yum!
4.  Purchase a double layer metal water bottle.   They are available at Costco, Homegoods, Amazon and more.  They will literally keep your ice water, with ice, cold for 24 hours!!!!!!  Too Cool

Contigo Couture 20 oz Water Bottle, 2-pack

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Yummy Recipes for Lactation Cookies Everyone Can Enjoy

Below find a recipe for Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Lactation Cookies. These taste incredible and are healthy.  In addition they facilitate milk supply for mommies.  Past entries have shared other recipes.  Hope you find them yummy and helpful!!!  Who can not resist a good cookie?

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Lactation Cookies

TOTAL TIME          27 mins                       Yield: 54 small cookies / 4½ dozen

  • Prep 15 MINS  Bake 12 MINS                   Preheat oven to 350°.

This recipe is great for mothers who are breastfeeding. It helps to maintain or increase your milk supply. Use more brewers yeast and oatmeal if you want to increase your milk supply. You can add white chocolate chips, shaved coconut, raisins, nuts, dried cranberries, etc. depending upon your preference.  They taste great for everyone!!!



Mix the flaxseed meal and water and let sit for 3-5 minutes.  Beat butter, sugar, and brown sugar well.  Add eggs and mix well.  Add flaxseed mix and vanilla, beat well.  Sift together flour, brewers yeast, baking soda, and salt.  Add dry ingredients to butter mix.  Stir in oats and chips.  Scoop onto greased cookie sheet.  Bake for 12 minutes.  Let set for a couple minutes then remove from cookie sheet.  Stop in airtight container.


The Need For Extra Care After Your Cesarean Birth

By Judy Eastman  PCD  BA

Your pregnancy came off with out a hitch!  You felt great, were able to continue exercising, and accomplished your goals prior to going into labor.  Your OB sent you off with your baby in good position, you were rested, with no foreseeable complications.   You had your birth plan, you stuck to it, and you still ended up having a Cesarean Section!

You understand that some times this is simply how it happens. You and your baby are doing well. I know when I had my C-Section I was grateful.  My nearly 9 lb baby was butt breach.  He would have never been able to make it through the birth canal.  After 20 hours of induced labor I had a C Section.  I was exhausted, sore, and emotionally spent. Yet, we were both healthy and alive!

I had not even considered the possibility of surgery. This was my fifth delivery, all previous had been natural and easy.  Now I was faced with four little ones running around the house, a newborn, and my recovery from major surgery.  It was overwhelming!!!

Those at the hospital are trained to serve you through your labor and delivery.  They are not in the mindset of helping you make decisions about after you leave their care.  There is an entire industry prepared to serve you now.  Postpartum Doulas are trained in individual needs and care.  They will spend time talking with you about the importance of healing, what services you will need during this time, nutrition, breastfeeding and a myriad of other issues.

More than anything, a postpartum doula will walk you through this unplanned situation with experience and grace.  It is important to realize where you are.  You just finished nine months of building a little person. You are experiencing the overwhelming wash of hormones and physical changes involved.  You have a new baby who needs you for everything.  Your body is preparing to feed this little one.  On top of all this you have just experienced major surgery.  You were under general or local anesthesia; your body is trying to stabilize, you may be having problems doing so.

1. Getting your head right:

At this point it is important to assess your situation. What is the best path for your health, healing, self care, and long term success?  Taking stock will help you put together a plan.  Someone who has worked with mothers in your situation will have valuable information for you.  She will share her thoughts and suggestions.  She will come to understand where you are in all this.  She will assist you in gaining a vision of what the next few months will require.  Her goal will be to help you choose your best route to success.  There are many things you will want to discuss with your doula.  If you are experiencing emotional trauma due to your unexpected delivery she will help you process your feelings.  If necessary, she will refer you to professional assistance.  If she feels you are experiencing  postpartum depression she will help you find the help you need.  Finding an experienced well trained postpartum doula will relieve you of having to walk this path on your own.  This will provide you wonderful peace.

2. Selecting what help you will need in your process:

What are the best services available to you?  There a many different options.  Your doula will offer suggestions helping you decide what you believe will be of use.  She will provide referrals, and more.  Certified doulas have created their own referral resources.  This will be very helpful to you as you evaluate your needs. Will you want someone to come in and clean your home while you recover?  Will you need help with grocery shopping and meal preparation? Do you have family and friends who would like to help?

3. Physical services provided by doulas:

A doula is trained on how to facilitate your recover.  She will talk over your diet, water intake, and sleep.  She will make suggestions for you in each of these areas, helping you come up with a plan that best meets your needs.  She will discuss any issues you foresee and provide referrals when necessary.  Doulas are trained to educate you in the best way to care for your baby.  She will assist in breastfeeding, infant care of all kinds, bathing, dressing, soothing, nursery organization, pacifiers, diapering, and more.

4. Assisting you with baby care:

A night doula will stay in your home with the express purpose of caring for your baby and allowing you to sleep.  She will bring baby to you when it is time to breastfeed, taking care of diaper changes, burping, and settling.  This will allow you to heal more quickly and return to feeling normally.  She will assist with specific tasks you request.  These will be decided when you interview her.

5.  Your doula will pay specific attention to your self care:

Are you hydrating, resting, recuperating?  Does your diet support healing and encourage your milk supply?  Are you taking time each day to enjoy a bit of  ‘me time’?  Are you recovering physically as well as emotionally and psychologically?  I encourage my clients to spend time each day doing something they truly enjoy.  Maybe enjoying a good book, a walk around the block, a phone call with a good friend…. This helps make since of life.  It provides something to look forward to each day when breastfeeding and exhaustion are the norm.  A little something to look forward to feeds the soul and enables hope.

6.  Be sure you are communicating with postpartum doulas:

Postpartum doulas are trained to evaluate your situation and help you find answers to the million and one questions running through your mind.  Be sure you are communicating with postpartum doulas.  Birth doulas understand pregnancy and birth.  Personally, I highly recommend having a birth doula present at your birth whether you deliver at home or in a hospital.  Her expertise as your advocate will be an invaluable asset during your labor and delivery.  Postpartum doulas are educated specifically to help you after the birth of your baby.  There are doulas certified in both areas, but they are few and far between.  DONA, the Doula Organization of North America, provides referrals for doulas specializing in each field.

Best wishes to you as the delivery of your precious baby arrives.  You are entering the greatest adventure in life: becoming a Mother!  Whether you are doing this in the traditional way, through adoption or surrogacy, your life will never be the same.  No one can explain to you what you will feel and think.  It is a road you must travel to understand.  Congratulations!!!  Have so much fun!



‘The Middle Wife’ a birth story as told by a second grade sister

Within the infant support industry there are innumerable hilarious stories about what happens during and after birth.  This is one of the funniest I have seen.  It was shared on this blog several years ago.  Many of you may not have seen it.  I literally laugh until I  cry each time I read it.  A good laugh is always a wonderful thing!!!

Also, children do not see and understand situations as we do.  One of my life goals has been to keep this in mind when supporting siblings as a doula.  They come to life experience from a completely different place than we, as adults, do.  It is very important to remember this in helping them acclimate and cope!


“The Middle Wife’   (Mid-wife)

by an Anonymous 2nd grade teacher

I’ve been teaching now for about fifteen years. I have two kids myself, but the best “birth” story I know is the one I saw in my own second grade classroom a few years back.

When I was a kid, I loved show-and-tell.  So I always have a few sessions with my students.  I believe it helps them get over shyness and usually, show-and-tell is pretty tame.  Kids bring in pet turtles, model airplanes, pictures of fish they catch, stuff like that.  And I never, ever place any boundaries or limitations on them. If they want to lug it in to school and talk about it, they’re welcome.

Well, one day this little girl, Erica, a very bright, very outgoing kid, takes her turn and waddles up to the front of the class with a pillow stuffed under her sweater. She holds up a snapshot of an infant. ‘This is Luke, my baby brother, and I’m going to tell you about his birthday. “First, Mom and Dad made him as a symbol of their love, and then Dad put a seed in my Mom’s stomach, and Luke grew in there. He ate for nine months through an umbrella cord.  ” She’s standing there with her hands on the pillow, and I’m trying not to laugh and wishing I had my camcorder with me. The kids are watching her in amazement.

“Then, about two Saturdays ago, my Mom starts saying and going, ‘Oh, Oh, Oh, Oh!’ Erica puts a hand behind her back and groans. “She walked around the house for, like an hour, “Oh, oh, oh!’ (Now this kid is doing a hysterical duck walk and groaning.) “My Dad called the middle wife.  She delivers babies, but she doesn’t have a sign on the car like the Domino’s man.  They got my Mom to lie down in bed like this.’ (Then Erica lies down with her back against the wall) “And then, pop! My Mom had this bag of water she kept in there in case he got thirsty, and it just blew up and spilled all over the bed, like psshhheew!” (This kid has her legs spread with her little hands miming water flowing away.  It was too much!)

“Then the middle wife starts saying “Push, push” and. “Breathe, breathe’,” They started counting, but never even got past ten.  Then, all of a sudden, out comes my brother. He was covered in yucky stuff that they all said it was from Mom’s play-center, (placenta) so there must be a lot of toys inside there. When he got out, the middle wife spanked him for crawling up in there.”  He started crying really loud.  He thought they were mad at him!  She wrapped him up in a blanket and I got to hold him.

Then Erica stood up, took a big theatrical bow and returned to her seat.  I’m sure I applauded the loudest. Ever since then, when it’s show-and-tell day, I bring my camcorder, just in case another ‘Middle Wife’ comes along.



Suggestions for Calming Your Baby With Infant Massage

Provided by Eastman Doula Services

There are many sources of information regarding infant massage.  Some are more technical, however the main goal in massaging your very young baby is bonding, connection, and calming.  You want to prepare yourself and the environment for the most beneficial session possible.  When you first begin, massage may seem stiff and awkward.  As you practice and become more acquainted with what your baby likes, the process will be come more natural and easy.  This is a great way to relax before nap or bed time.  It is also a helpful step in calming an upset baby.  Here are a few ideas…..

5 Infant Massage Techniques for Calming Your Baby

Since massage can provide relief from stress and relax your baby, you should consider using different infant massage techniques to keep your baby calm. In many cultures, parents also massage their infants to promote bonding between the baby and the parents.

Benefits of Massage

Active skin-on skin contact between parent and infant has positive physical, emotional and developmental advantages that are often observed when the baby reaches adulthood. Regular massage makes a baby calmer, helps the child sleep better and promotes alertness during waking hours. Babies prone to constipation and colic also benefit through regular massage. Studies have shown that regularly massaged infants gain weight faster, reach mental and motor skill milestones more quickly and become more sociable and pleasant.

Preparing the Room for the Massage

It’s best to massage your baby before a bath. You should ensure that the room is warm and that the atmosphere is conducive to relaxation. Music can provide a soothing a soothing background. You may choose to use oil when you massage your baby. However, be sure to select oil that’s specially formulated for infants as babies are likely to put their fingers into their mouth. A light olive oil or almond oil is ideal for this purpose.  Coconut oil has also been found to work well.  The amount of oil needed for a new born is very small.  Rub your finger on the source.  You shouldn’t be able to see the material on your hands.  If more is needed use it.  Otherwise, this is one of those ‘less is more” scenarios.

Original notes for this article were found at


Place a mat on the floor and sit on the mat with your legs stretched out in front of you. Place your baby on your legs so that his legs are near your torso and his head is closer to your knees. Your baby should initially be placed on his back.  Lightly rub your fingers on your old course then rub it with long, slow and rhythmic strokes into your baby’s skin. The pressure of your palms should be firm and stimulating but not painful. Gentle talking while you massage can help strengthen the parent-baby bond and create a safe space.

Technique 1

When you massage your baby’s head and face, hold the head with both hands and massage the scalp with your fingertips. Massage behind the ears using the thumb and forefinger. You should stroke gently with your thumbs. Areas that should be covered include the eyelids, the cheeks, and the area between the eyebrows and the bridge of the nose.

Technique 2

Hold both your baby’s knees close together and lift them towards his abdomen a few times. Then, place your hand on his stomach and gently massage from one side to the other. All the movements should be in the direction of the heart and never away from the heart.

Technique 3

Hold your baby’s wrist and massage his arm moving upwards towards his shoulder. Also massage the palms by moving your thumb down his fingers.

Technique 4

Hold your baby’s ankles and massage his legs by using upward movements towards his thighs. Use circular movements of your thumb and fingers to stimulate the legs.

Technique 5

Turn your baby over and use the heel of your palm to massage his back, starting from his buttocks.

You should take at least 20 minutes to complete the massage and once the massage is over, bathe him by which time he will be pleasantly tired and ready for his nap. There are several books and videos available that teach you proper techniques for infant massage. You can also visit your local baby center or hospital to learn a few massage tips and techniques.