Find you a man who isn’t afraid to talk to his son about periods.
They were in the car together the other day and our son asked what I had been frantically looking for and why (tampons). So Daddy launched into a discussion about periods — the how, the why, the stuff. Ya’ll, without hesitating he lead this conversation. 👯♂️ Two dudes in the car chatting about periods.
We live in a culture where woman are too often shamed because we bleed (and for a million other things). This act of stepping up, pushing through any awkwardness, and NORMALIZING a vital process of the female body will help our son become a man who respects and honors women in ALL of their amazingness.
We have an open dialogue policy in our house. Questions are never “stupid”, gross, or weird. They are the gateway to expanding our minds, to learning about the tough stuff, and for growing into empathetic, understanding, and compassionate humans.
What conversations are you having with your kids at home?
Filtering by Tag: parenting
Find you a man who isn’t afraid to talk to his son about periods.
Yes, you’re probably sick of seeing the term, but we’re going to talk about it again. If this topic wasn’t such a big deal then we wouldn’t be hearing it from every end of the earth right now. But it is a big deal — an important conversation because we (parents, specifically mothers) are exhausted, overworked, overstressed, and the last ones on the official “List of Shit To Do” to get any attention. So yeah, we’re going to chat about it today.
We know this topic runs much deeper than simply breathing deep and taking a hot bath. #truthbomb: we’re not set up to succeed as healthy-functioning new parents, which means that we carry the trauma and stress of procreating well beyond the fourth trimester. Parental leave in the first year postpartum is insufficient on a global level and the U.S. STILL falls embarrassingly low on the charts of industrialized countries who have paid leave policies in place. (“The US is the only high-income country in the world that doesn’t offer even a single day of maternity leave.” — Anna Gromada, UNICEF Office of Research)
So, yeah, there’s work to be done on that front, which will take time to implement. In the meantime, what can we do to lessen the blow, improve our health (and probably our lifespan), and help to ensure that we’re passing on some good old happy genes to future generations? Let’s have a look.
Get off social media. (Going to sit here quietly while that sets in.) Look, it’s time consuming, toxic, and breeds insecurity. We spend too much time staring and scrolling and judging. It’s hard to ignore research that shows a correlation between social media use and increases in mental health conditions. At the very least, set boundaries and time limits. Unfollow accounts and pages that don’t enhance your life in some awesome ways. You won’t miss them!
Talk to your people IRL. It would seem like we’re more connected to other humans right now (see #1 re: social media), but many of us are living in isolated bubbles trying to do this whole life and parenting thing on our own. Call your tribe, schedule face-to-face time, have a playdate where ya sit around and talk about the figurative mess of life while the babies and kiddos make happy literal messes. You need your people just as much as they need you. Don’t forget that.
*Bonus! We’re throwing in a few more things in case your self-care is in need of the quiet, reflective, zone out type of vibe. Here’s what we recommend:
We’re off to take some of our own advice here. What are you favorite quick and easy self-care tips?
This post includes links in which AustinBorn may earn a small commission on the good purchased.
Summer is here and we know many parents are gearing up (literally) to travel. Adventuring with babies and kids seems daunting -- especially if it's your first go at this -- but we have a few tips and tricks to help make your journey as smooth as possible.
It might sound ridiculous, but when traveling with little ones less is actually more. We prefer to take the minimalist approach when planning and packing for a family trip and here's why: Despite what society tells us about stuff, we typically don't need as much as we think even with a baby in tow. Are there essentials that we should plan to have more of in the event of an emergency (e.g. major diaper blowout.)? Absolutely. Does that mean we need 16 onesies in the diaper bag just in case. Nope.
Always inquire about family discounts when traveling. Does the airline offer a discount for a child’s fare? Does the hotel waive fees or offer any free amenities for families? You often have to call to get information on these, but it’s SO worth it.
Check to see if your destination has companies who rent gear for traveling families.* This was amazing when we traveled to Hawaii with our 9-month-old. We were able to rent a jog stroller, beach toys, and a pack’n play for our stay and we didn’t have to haul anything. They dropped it off to our hotel and picked it up the day we were leaving.
Phone a friend. If you’re traveling somewhere to visit friends and family, you best reach out to them ahead of time to see who has items you can borrow. Call on your people to lend a hand with things that can make your stay more comfortable and satisfying.
Need childcare during your stay? There are amazing companies who now provide babysitting and nanny services when you travel!** If you’re traveling domestically in the US, our favorite is College Nannies + Sitters. (We had a work event planned in another part of the state and a professional and qualified sitter was able to come to our AirBnb to watch our son.)
Sanitizing is KEY! Keep wipes handy so you can do a quick wipe down before the kids lick everything. Do not be afraid to be that person on the airplane cleaning every inch of your family’s seat area. (It could actually mean the difference between you being stuck with a sick kid in the hotel room or out enjoying a margarita with dinner. Think about it.)
Diaper stash essentials: extra diapers, 1 pack of wipes, hand sanitizer, diaper creams as needed. This changing pad is a life-saver when traveling because it keeps baby hands away from all the nasties. Don’t overpack these things. You’ll most likely be able to stock up on when you arrive at your destination.
Extra clothes for you and baby and a wet/dry bag to hold any messes. When flying, we always take 1 extra shirt for ourselves (and, TBH, a pair of undies just in case) and 4 extra pieces for baby. We find footed pjs to be the best option here. Babe stays warm and is less exposed. Pro tip: If you roll the clothes, they don't take up as much space in your bag.
A soft structured carrier. Our favorite is the Ergo 360. It works with children of different ages and sizes so it goes and grows with you. Take a carrier regardless of how short or long your travel may be. If you’ll be in and out of multiples airlines for a long period of time, then we recommend a lightweight stroller as well. Your back will thank you.
Distractions. There’s really no gentle way to say this. Whether you’re traveling with an infant or an 8-year-old, you’re going to need distractions. We recommend a mix of things your babe is used to and some new surprises that you’ll introduce along the way. Think small, light, and multi-function. (Take a look at our list linked below for some ideas.)
Self-care items for you. Rescue Remedy, rose water facial mist, and The Calm App. Calm has guided meditations, sleep stories for adults and kids, and soothing sounds. It’s great for those stressful travel hours and can help if you or your little one are having a hard time sleeping in an unfamiliar place.
We’ve compiled a list of products that can make family travel a little bit smoother. Click below to browse!
*Always check for recalls on products before renting.
**We recommend ensuring that any company you work with does thorough background checks and trainings for all of the care providers.
This post includes links in which AustinBorn may earn a small commission on the goods purchased.
Hey there, from the team at AustinBorn! Well, we jumped right in to 2018 and are so excited about all the good things happening around here. By now, you know the details about our doula support, our comprehensive classes, and our gatherings for expecting and new parents. (The Nest has been a huge hit!)
We recently realized that we've shared a good deal about what we do, but not about WHO we are at AustinBorn. So we'd like to give you a glimpse into the lives of the ladies who make up our sweet little AB team. Each week one of our staff members will be answering 10 fun questions about herself and her work.
Let's dive in!
First up is Jami Yaeger, owner of AustinBorn. She's responsible for all things happening behind the scenes and is also on the birth and postpartum doula teams. When not with her team and clients, you can find Jami at home with her boys, finally reading books again, enjoying long baths (Please Do Not Disturb Mama Self-Care Time, Thanks.), and geeking out on AustinBorn's Instagram page.
She's originally a Mountain Mama from WV, has lived on both coasts and in between, has a squishy nose (cool + weird), and loves a good charcuterie and cheese board.
What color represents you best?
Variations of purple. This became my color during pregnancy and definitely in labor, and I've been deeply connection to it ever since.
What do you do in your free time?
Oy, 2017 was the year of minimal free time. It's a big goal of mine in 2018 to prioritize self-care and be present with my husband and son. We're homebodies who also love to travel, so we're trying to find that balance this year. In between work and adventures, I'll be hanging on Lake Travis, reading more books (I just finished #2 and it's only January. Who am I?), monthly hangs with the badass women in my life, and exploring more local spots in TX. (Leave your recommendations in the comments!)
What do you want to be when you grow up?
Liberated. It's challenging, especially as a woman, to live a truly authentic life. Unrealistic expectations set by social constructs, social media, and our own damn minds, have most of us living so far from our true reality (the one we're afraid to embrace). My 30s have brought a great deal of clarity about who I am, and am not, and I hope to continue the work to walk toward my True North.
Tell us about your last job. How has it influenced your work as a doula?
I'm a theatre grad and had a voiceover business before giving birth to my son and becoming a doula/CLEC. One beneficial skill from my previous work is the ability to navigate different roles and effectively communicate. It's been vital in helping me create solid working relationships with clients, with care providers, wth my team at AustinBorn, and with other birth professionals in my community.
What's one thing people may not know about a doula?
We don't catch babies. We will if we have to in an emergency, but that's way outside of our scope. (Our tagline is "We do everything but catch the baby" and that holds true to this day.)
If you had 5 minutes to teach a new skill to a birth client what would it be?
We would chat about releasing the fear of childbirth and trusting themselves. This massive fear of labor and birth is too prevalent in our culture and it's deeply influencing the way parents in our country birth and raise their babies.
The door to the room you're in right now opens. Who do you want to walk through it?
My husband. We're about to celebrate 12 years of marriage (and many more prior to getting married) and that feels like one hell of an accomplishment. When I look back on all we've done together (deployments, 9 moves, becoming parents, buying a business after just moving to a new city), I'm proud that we're still doing the work to evolve. We can do just about anything together (Except yoga. He won't do yoga.) and that feels pretty damn good.
What do you think about on your way to a birth?
First, I run through my checklist to make sure that all of my systems are in place at AustinBorn while I'm away. #bossladythings Then I either sit quietly and clear my mind or I'll put on some music and zone out -- anything to let go of my own stuff before walking into the birth room.
What's one of your favorite tips to give to postpartum parents?
Please trust your instincts and follow your intuition. Your family, friends, and Google are great, but look inward first before asking anyone else. You probably already know the answer.
You're favorite song comes on right now. What is it?
Anything by Florence + The Machine.
It's 2018. We made it!
Just like so many of you, we are reflecting on what we did in 2017 and we are prepping for the big things to come in the new year. We're also proud to say there is a lot we do that doesn't need to be changed, which feels amazing as we step into the next phases of AustinBorn.
So what happened in 2017?
- Our Instagram account blew up in a really important way. We've made it part of our mission to share images and videos that represent the realities of labor, birth, infant feeding, and parenting. There is a movement to normalize all of those beautiful journeys and we're committed to being a part it. Head over to our account @weareaustinborn to see what's happening!
- With the addition of two new birth doulas, Jacqueline and Scout, our team was exponentially elevated. They are the embodiment of the AustinBorn doula: they hold high standards of professionalism, they provide superior client care, they value collaboration (with their peers and with their greater community), and they're super fun women to be around. (Stay tuned for another birth team announcement later this month!)
- Our group facilitators -- Yazmin, Juanita, and Kristen -- exceeded expectations in supporting and leading our meet-ups for parents and babies. We talk a lot about holding space in this work and these ladies have proven time and time again that they get it. They confidently navigate the balance of guiding parents, while also allowing them the space to find their footing. Come see for yourself if you haven't joined us yet! The Circle: For Mothers, a gathering for mothers and babies of all ages, meets every Wednesday and Friday from 10a-12p. The Nest: For Families, a gathering for parents and babies of all ages, meets the 2nd Saturday of each month from 10a-12p.
- We welcomed Amy Tucker, Certified Placenta Encapsulation Specialist (PBi), to our team. What a phenomenal addition she has been! Amy represents the gold standard of placenta services. She offers top-notch communication with our clients, provides thorough information on placenta encapsulation, guides clients in navigating the placenta process at their place of birth, and a conducts a safe and seamless process from start to finish. (Oh, and she gives THE BEST hugs.) We're offering $50 off Placenta Encapsulation through the month of January. Use code PLACENTA50 during registration.
And what are we planning for 2018?
- We just launched our new Childbirth Education class and it's kind of a big deal. Something we've noticed about education for expectant parents is that most classes are so time-consuming. Growing a baby is exhausting; learning the whats and hows of becoming a parent shouldn't be. That's why we're offering a one-day comprehensive Childbirth Education workshop. You'll leave feeling confident about: the physiological process of labor and birth, what tools you can use to increase comfort and manage pain, what interventions can pop up and how best to navigate them, how to handle a change in plans, and what to expect postpartum. We're currently offering a discount on this class for the new year! Use code HOLIDAY20 to save $20 on your registration. (Offer ends 1/3/2017.)
- We're also introducing Easing Your Birthing Time, a new workshop to provide expectant parents the tools to help create a harmonious birth experience. This 2-hour workshop will cover coping techniques in labor, how partners can play a beneficial role in providing comfort, and effective communication techniques for couples during labor. We have 2 spots left in our upcoming class Saturday, January 6th. REGISTER HERE.
- Be on the look-out for more community events at AustinBorn (Hello, collaborations!), as well as casual hangs for our growing group of parents. (Family dinners, self-care gatherings, mama movies, and more!)
Thank you to all who are a part of AustinBorn. We are honored to be welcomed into your families and support you on your journeys.
If you're pregnant or planning to get pregnant, I can already guess that your library card is melting from so much use. You may have even bit the bullet and signed up for Amazon Prime because yeah, that free shipping is totally worth it when you're buying enough books you could sink a small ship.
But what do you really need to read to prepare? First hint: put down What to Expect When You're Expecting. No, seriously. Put.It.Down.
Here's our list of 10 must-read books for a more calm & confident pregnancy and birth, from your doulas here at AustinBorn:
1) Taking Charge of Your Fertility: You'd be surprised how many of us have some serious gaps in understanding how our own body works. This book is super, super helpful.
2) Pregnancy, Childbirth & The Newborn: Be warned, this one is kind of textbook-y and dry, but factual.
3) Expecting Better: This new kid on the block stirred up quite a bit of controversy when it was released in early 2014. But it's a super interesting read with an evidence-based approach to busting some of our long held standard practices around pregnancy.
LABOR & BIRTH
4) Ina May's Guide to Childbirth: If ever they were a messiah of childbirth, it's midwife Ina May Gaskin (of The Farm) and this would be the gospel. Moments of this book may feel too "hippy-ish" for some moms but we love it for the positive birth stories which will leave you feeling excited for birth, instead of scared.
5) Natural Hospital Birth: Are you giving birth in a hospital but wanting as few interventions as possible? This is basically your manual. Interventions and procedures are explained in an easy to understand way, with tips on how to prepare for and achieve a low-intervention/unmedicated birth in a medicalized setting.
6) The Birth Partner: No matter who your primary labor support person will be (partner, mom, husband, etc.) this is truly a must read. Written by the godmother of the doula profession, Penny Simkin, this book guides support people in how to effectively help a mother in labor including a handy illustrated guide for comfort measures.
7) Breastfeeding Made Simple: Just read this one, okay? And buy your copy so you can keep it as reference. This book revolves around "7 natural laws" of breastfeeding which are common sense and won't drive you crazy. It's informative without being too dry and, most importantly, nonjudgmental. There's even a section on pumping when you go back to work.
8) Dr. Sear's Baby Book: This one has it all for birth through two years old. Consider it your reference manual for all those mysterious coughs and sneezes.
9) Touchpoints: This really focuses on the cross-relationship between physical, emotional, and behavioral development. 'Touchpoints' will put your mind at ease during all the leaps and regressions (oh, the regressions!) your little one will go through in the first three years.
10) Bumpology: This is a fun, interesting read and will answer lots of your (seemingly) random questions like, "can I eat peanuts during pregnancy?" and "do babies sweat?"