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Monday, August 31, 2009

Postpartum depression : A Structured Approach to Care

As a doula who works with mothers before, during and after birth, these have been my experiences of postpartum depression:

1. Catch it early. Most tragedies occur when the mother hides her feelings, or family/friends never notice- or tell her to get over it.

2. Open communication with the maternal health care team. If the mother suffers depression before the baby is born, the chances are excellent that she will be a candidate for postpartum depression. Clear communication between patient-health care provider and among all members of the health care team will provide for better access to recognize the symptoms and assist the patient.

3. De-stigmatize depression in all forms. More women would feel free to come foward and reveal their true feelings if they were not burdened by people telling them it will be all right, buck up, you will snap out of it, etc. Some women fear letting their family down; others fear that they are inadequate to motherhood. They need support and encouragement from others who have been through the same cycle.

4. Caregivers need to recognize and understand the signs and symptoms of post partum depression and the best ways to address them. It requires a team of care in which the medical and psycho-social aspects are working jointly to elevate the woman's mental outlook.

5. The plan of care needs to be implemented immediately; too often, people wait, hoping for the best when in reality time is of the essence, and the sooner the intervention, the better.

In my practice, postpartum depression is automatically screened for in all new mothers. Even if there are "borderline" symptoms, a rapid and reassuring response is taken immediately to ensure maximum mental health for the mother.

Some of the resources that I use include:
recommendation of counseling, postpartum doulas, visiting mom programs, judicious diet and nutritional supplements, yoga or other physical activity and medical care.

Recent research done by Denver investigators has revealed that postpartum depression can interfere with and even derail the mother-baby bond.

Thus, it is imperative that a national standard plan of care be instituted, effective immediately.

For further information, please feel free to contact: 760 458 7070 M-F 8A-1P.

Smiles and blessings,

Doula Angelita
-- Doula Angelita
Resurgam BirthingWell8899

Breastfeeding with breast implants

Many times, women feel inadequate or hesitant about trying to breastfeed when they have had implants for breast augmentation. There is no need to be shy or reticent; with support and information, breastfeeding can be accomplished.

Here are some tips to follow:

1. It is important to note that women who have implants are able to breastfeed. It may take more time, and some intervention, but it is possible.

2. Working with a professional doula/lactation consultant prior to giving birth will give the woman the necessary confidence and information to begin on a good start with her newborn.

3. The type of incision made to insert the breast implants is important to know; incisions under the breast or via the armpit will cause less nerve damage rather than the more common "smile" incision under the areola.

4. The best way to know if a woman can breastfeed with implants is to attempt breastfeeding, with a supportive and knowledgeable person there to give them the confidence and knowledge to continue trying.

5. At times, the problem may not be with the implants; it may be the breast tissue themselves. This can be overcome with diet and an agressive and consistent pumping schedule using a hospital grade pump.

6. Neither saline nor silicone from implants will harm the baby; in fact, the silicone that is found in most over the counter gas remedies is bioidentical to the silicone used in implants.

Famous celebrities like Kourtney Kardashian and Kendra Wilkinson are enthusiastic to attempt breastfeeding and have been cleared to do so by their doctors.

For more information, please contact: 760 458 7070 M-F 8A-1P.

Thank you and good luck,
Doula Angelita
-- Doula Angelita
San Jose Community DoulaResurgam BirthingWell8899
760 458 7070mobile

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Five conditions conducive to pregnancy

Pregnancy is the delicate minuet between biology and art, when two disparate genders unite to create another distinct being.

In this dance, it is important to keep these five things in mind:

1. Ovulation

2. Motile, viable sperm

3. Lovemaking during 4-5 days of fertility

4. Falliopian tubes are open and clear.

5. Both parties are under 35.

Another important component is to be sure to eat nutritiously, take a daily multivitamin and other supplements which will bring your bodies to the peak of fertility.

Working with a fertility specialist early can also be beneficial.

Thank you to Dr. Amos Grunebaum for providing information for this report.
twitter.com/Amos Grunebaum MD

Friday, August 28, 2009

Capture the Prey/Elude the Predator!

Every morning in Africa, a gazelle wakes up.
It knows that it must run faster than the fastest lion-or it will die.

Every morning in Africa, a lion wakes up.
It knows that it must run faster than the slowest gazelle-or it will starve to death.

It doesn't matter whether you are a gazelle or a lion...
when the sun comes up, you'd better be running!

Doula Angelita is up with the sun, running ahead of the competition, working, learning and striving to be the best doula providing platinum service to you!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Introducing...Twitterview Tuesday!

Twitterview Tuesday!
I am proud to announce the launch of Twitterview Tuesday! tomorrow at: http//twitterviewtuesdayd6a.blogspot.com.

My first lovely guest will be Ms. Renee, a doula from New Jersey, who has graciously accepted my invitation to be the inaugural guest on this weekly series!

All sorts of people will be interviewed; but in the interests of full disclosure, the majority of interviews will be with those involved in birth, complementary/alternative medicine, etc.

Interviews are by invitation only, so watch for a tweet from me, and I hope that you will enjoy this newest offering from Resurgam BithingWell8899 and Doula Angelita!

Keep on Tweeting!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Texting 4 Doulas

P.O. BOX 240506


One piece of advice that I give to my fellow doulas who also work with pregnant teenage girls is to use texting to connect with their clients.

Most girls have some kind of mobile device, whether a Sidekick, a Razr or iPhone. Teenagers are notorious for 1) purposefully forgetting important things, and 2) accidentally forgetting things of importance.

When it comes to prenatal vitamins, diet, exercise and checkups, I text my clients. For example, one young miss that I am working with loves McDonald’s, hates vegetables and frequently forgets her prenatal vitamins.

The first thing I did was to find out who her friends were, who her nurse was at school, and then we all sat down together. I explained that this baby was very special, and very important to Patricia*, and that Patricia would need all of our support to be a good mom.

Next, with the permission of her two best friends, we all exchanged cell numbers.
Then, Patrice and I set up a schedule: 6AM alarm to take her prenatal vitamin, along with a V8 juice. Lunchtime, she would eat at least one vegetable, and her McDonald’s would be limited to a kid’s meal. If she “forgot” or really forgot, at least one friend would remind her. The nurse was kept apprised through the use of JOTT.COM’s text-to-email system.

Now, we all know how to get out of doing things we do not want to do, right? Well, to ensure that my young miss was indeed in compliance with her pregnancy regimen, she sent me a photo of her doing the three requirements each day. I organized them into an on-line album, and not only was it a record for me and for her nurse midwife, it was a nice keepsake for Patrice and her friends, who frequently mugged for the camera!

This is just one example of how technology can be a good friend to doulas. If you have any questions, comments or suggestions, I would love to hear from you1

Smiles and blessings!

Doula Angelita

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

A new tool for my doula bag!

Now, friends and family laugh at me when I say this, but I really am crazy about the new KGB text information service. Not only are the commercials cute and snappy, but the service itself is quite impressive. However, what does KGB have to do with being a doula?

When you have a question, are unsure about something, or need clarification, you turn to an expert, right? Well, KGB has a plethora of experts just waiting to fulfill your every whim, enquiry and query.

Still not clear on why it's my new BFF? Well, recently I was in hospital with a client, and the doctor recommended that she take a certain medication to help ease/slow down her contractions. The doctor then left, and the client asked me what medications would the doctor prescribe? I texted 542542-and for .99 cents I received a list of them. Now, usually I have my nurse's drug reference with me, but didn't on this occasion. Thus, the client was prepared with options, the doctor could focus on specific concerns, the nurse on duty was able to continue with her other clients undisturbed, and I was able to to provide information to my client in a timely fashion.

Other uses I could forsee in the future: pediatrician appointments, product comparisons, looking for doulas in the area....the possibilities are endless!

KGB542542: it's my new tool and I feel 2cool4school!

To contact Doula Angelita, especially now that she's the #1 fan of KGB and really ready to help you to be superinformed, be confident, and be empowered in birthing and parenthood, contact:


Babies are aware-and they are listening!

Dr. Timothy Johnson presented a news segment for Good Morning America(ABC news) in which researchers discovered that a foetus at week between 30-34 is able to retain memory for up to four weeks. Researchers placed a buzzer on the abdomens of consenting mothers. The noise was repeated until the foetus no longer reacted, then repeated at intervals.

On subsequent days, the foetus, accustomed to the noise, reacted at first and then settled down. When researchers shortened the duration of the noise, the foetus reacted, even if the noise had not been heard for some days. The longest period that the foetus remembered and responded to the noise was four weeks after last hearing it.

The findings, besides adding another layer to the abortion debate, highlights the vast importance of prenatal care, something that I stress repeatedly to my clients, and the one area that many busy, harried women find difficult to comply with. Many women feel that as long as they take a prenatal and make most of their appointments, that they are golden. Some women simply feel that the heavy lifting of motherhood begins after the baby is born. Other mothers ignore or stretch recommendations to rest as needed, exercise daily, keep hydrated, wear comfortable, supportive clothes and shoes, and practice stress management techniques.

Of course, there are many wonderfully concientious mothers, and it is easy to sympathize with the high-powered career woman or single mom working daily for enough money for food and rent. It is not easy to find the time to take care of yourself, and just take care of yourself and your baby without yielding to the tempation to multi-task. However, your baby is just as important as everything else, if not more so.

In our rough-and-tumble, it- was -due- yesterday culture, where practically everyone has a Blackberry IV in their veins, , this news, this uncomplicated study, has wider ramifications. All mothers, whether bearing their first child, or their fifth, ought to carve out a cave of time in which to take care of themselves, bond with their infant through talking, singing, and reading, and preparing themselves to become mothers. That elusive element of time spent with the baby before birth is not a waste of time with no result, but active steps on the pathway to bonding with the your baby.

Whether high-powered career woman, or single mother living check to check, it is advisable for pregnant women to hire a doula. Antenatal or antepartum doulas provide emotional support, practical life advice and coaching, and hands-on support for mothers-to-be. With a doula, the decision to focus on bonding with the baby is easier, as an extra pair of hands are available to assist with housework, cooking, etc. Many antenatal doulas will provide the guidance necessary to help the mother begin to place quiet oases throughout the day. Some antepartum doulas will even provide massage, or guided meditation. An antenatal doula is an invaluable asset and ally in the strategy of bonding with the aware foetus.

This study leaves no doubt that the transformation from woman to mother begins at conception. If you factor in elements such as the need for pre-pregnant women to take 400-800mcg of folic acid daily to prepare both their bodies and any eventual foetus for a healthy start in life, then the circle of life is presented and the evidence is quite difficult to ignore that the embryo then foetus is much more than a lump of inert tissue. It is a vital life force, teeming with possibility, and the best thing that you can do is to make time to welcome your little one. Babies are listening to you, and aware.

Something to sink your teeth into: Advice from dentists




As parents, we worry about our children’s health, and how to keep children healthy. One aspect of health that is surprisingly overlooked, for both children and adults is good oral health. A recent survey of dentists from around the country done for Reader’s Digest revealed some insight into the importance of regular and consistent oral hygiene:

¨ Did you know that you should spend at least ten minutes brushing and flossing per day? Most adults spend 2-3 minutes tops, and children one minute or less. The same rule that applies for washing your hands applies to your teeth, cleanliness comes with time and good technique.

¨ An electric toothbrush is a good ally to good oral health, especially for
¨ kids. In some dentists’ opinion, the more expensive $75 and up models
¨ are the best.

¨ .If you can find a WaterPik, use it. Every day. No skipping. The device eliminates the circle of germs carried in the saliva that surrounds each tooth.

¨ Many dentists report seeing children from affluent homes with multiple cavities, and well-dressed children with rotten teeth. Dentists do feel that these conditions can be prevented with more stringent parental supervision.

NEVER, EVER, EVER let your baby or toddler go to sleep with the bottle and BE VIGILANT about keeping gums and budding teeth clean and free of milk after every feeding. This includes breastmilk.

The bacteria that causes cavities can be spread from mother to baby through the mother’s saliva. So, please, do not put the baby’s food in your mouth and then into baby’s mouth. Or let baby eat from your spoon/fork.

If you find that your child/ren are having difficulty in school, make an appointment with the dentist. At times, the squirming and not paying attention are symptoms of tooth problems, not ADD/ADHD.

Pay attention to baby teeth. If they are decayed or abscessed and have to be pulled, then the teeth that come in oftentimes crowd the spaces that should have had baby teeth in them.

For those teenagers who want to pierce their tongues, dentists recommend not to do it: if the environment is not 100% sterile, the risk for tongue infection increases, and in the most severe cases, pieces of the tongue have to be excised in order to stop the infection from spreading. Even if the tongue does not become infected, the front teeth usually suffer from chipping.

For parents who worry about mercury fillings in amalgam, most dentists state that removing the fillings to avoid mercury contamination will release more mercury than leaving them in.

Dentists know that most people avoid them like the plague; however, especially if you have insurance, the twice or thrice yearly visit to the dentist is a must. Dentists are vital components of the health care team, and can identify such conditions as diabetes and heart disease at an early stage. This is especially true when pregnant, since good health for the mother is good health for the baby.

*Reader’s Digest, July 2009