Hampton Doula to the Rescue

Truth be told, for the majority of my pregnancy, I was in complete denial that I was actually going to have to give birth. Though I was pretty content living in this state of mind, I knew that I would have to accept the fact that I was going to have to physically deliver a baby…that and the fact that I needed some serious guidance, education, and support…aka HELP!

Enter, Hampton Doula, Monica Kadash, to the rescue! I met Monica early in my second trimester when I started to attend her prenatal yoga class at Ananda in Southampton. I instantly gravitated towards Monica’s welcoming personality, calm demeanor, and lighthearted sense of humor. I loved the class and attended weekly, right up until days before I gave birth. Monica incorporates lots of stretching and relaxation to get centered as well as some challenging poses to prepare the mind and body for birth.

When I was considering hiring a doula, I knew that I wanted someone who would bring out the best in me, ideally someone spiritual, but not too spiritual that I couldn’t relate. Monica is exactly that;  straightforward and realistic, yet very warm and tranquil.

The day that I gave birth was a long, uneventful one until my water broke around 2pm, when suddenly, baby came fast and furiously. When it got down to the hard labor (the part I was dreading) I was thanking my lucky stars for Monica’s presence. As a doula, Monica provides support (both prenatal and postnatal) and advocacy alongside the medical staff. (Doulas are commonly confused with midwives, who are medically qualified to deliver babies.)

Statistically, with the help of Doulas there are less interventions,  fewer C-sections, shorter labor and reduced postpartum depression. This results in a fulfilling and satisfying birthing experiences, in short, many more happy moms!

My mission is to honor, protect and guide you, so that you feel empowered to birth fearlessly and joyfully, thus starting your journey into motherhood with confidence.” ~ Monica

Monica did just that for us; I was able to stay (somewhat) strong through the worst contractions, push with sheer determination and confidence, and instantly connect with our baby girl. In the moment, all of my fears of needles, blood, and pain were overcome by sheer empowerment.

Throughout this unique process, Monica helped in every way promised. She provided literature on the birthing process and came to our house twice to get to know our family and educate us on the whole process. She prepared us with facts, stories, strategies, and support we needed to feel ready. Does that mean that everything was smooth sailing? Of course not! But when it came down to it, everything that Monica had prepared us for unraveled pretty much as predicted. It’s already becoming a slight blur (isn’t that how women keep doing it??) but I know that I would have been far less prepared, confident, and comfortable without Monica the Doula.

Here’s Monica, baby Rowan, and I at our postnatal home visit about a week after birth 🙂               If you’re interested in learning more about Monica, visit hamptondoula.com.

One Healthy Breakdown: Happy, healthy, and empowered, thanks to Hampton Doula!

Pregnancy Health & Fitness

Any other baby mamas out there trying to stay healthy and fit? It’s super duper important; it’s not just for you anymore, it’s for that growing little human inside of you. It’s for your family.

The best thing you can do for your baby is to take care of yourself. When you put your health first, you’re putting your baby’s health first. We’re always better able to take care of our family if we’re taking care of ourselves as well. So, how do we stay healthy and fit during pregnancy??

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Most prenatal nutrition guides tell you what not to eat, like raw fish, cold cuts, and unpasteurized cheese…but how about what to eat?? That’s far more important!

Real, fresh, nutritious foods, that’s what (yes, just like before you were pregnant!) It’s crucial to fuel your body and your growing baby with good quality, whole foods for your little one to thrive.

Some of the best foods that you can eat during pregnancy include leafy greens, avocado, eggs, coconut, fresh fruits, seasonal veggies, salmon and lean protein, whole grains, sweet potatoes, yogurt, and nuts and seeds. Be sure your kitchen is stocked with these healthy staples and eat a diet full of variety to ensure that you get a wide variety of nutrients for you and baby.

Eat smaller, more frequent meals throughout the day, keeping both hunger and nausea at bay. Your stomach doesn’t have as much space as it used to as it’s sharing with baby, so smaller meals and snacks throughout the day will keep you energized and ease digestion. (If you’d like further nutrition support (pregnant or not) please contact kiley@onehealthyhamptons.com.)

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Now is the time to tune in deeper to your body’s signals, cravings, and needs in all aspects of health. If you’re tired: rest. If you’re hungry: eat. If you’re under the weather: slow down. If you’re anxious: meditate. If you’re energized: exercise. If you’re out of breath: take a break. If you’re craving orange juice: get some Vitamin C. If you’re craving ice cream: indulge once in a while. If you feel fat: think about how amazing your body is, growing life inside. A M A Z I N G !

As for exercise, DO IT! Carefully. Exercising during pregnancy will better prepare you for labor, delivery, and post-birth. Again, listening to your body is crucial. Pregnancy is not the time to try a new workout, like Cross-Fit or running if you haven’t done so regularly (unless that something is gentle yoga or another low-impact exercise that truly feels good.) Feeling good is the biggest indicator of doing good during pregnancy. Of course, consult your doctor as well.

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Many active women are able to continue with their pre-pregnancy fitness routine, while modifying for baby (keep heart-rate more stable and avoid certain abdominal exercises, for example.) Activities such as walking, swimming, and yoga are highly recommended during pregnancy as they do not put impact on the body. Find some form (or variety) of exercise that you enjoy and stick with it as long as you feel comfortable.

As for me, personally, I’ve felt good enough to continue running a couple of times a week, (at a much slower pace) along with some HIIT (high-intensity interval training) workouts (not pushing my heart-rate too high) yoga, spinning, walking, and weight-training. I vary my workouts, incorporate yoga, stretching, and rest days, and most importantly, listen to my body. If I’m tired or under the weather, I’ll choose sleep over a workout or opt for a long walk, even though I probably would have pushed myself pre-pregnancy. Sustaining my exercise routine has absolutely helped me to feel better, more confident, and keep my mood stable with all of these hormones doing their thing. Pregnant or not, endorphins are magic.

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With all of this said, no one knows your body like you do, so the biggest advice to walk away with is to listen to your body and take care of yourself, in-turn you’ll be taking care of baby.

If you would like more information about prenatal/post-natal nutrition, customized yoga, fitness, and wellness, please contact kiley@onehalthyhamptons.com. Check out our Wellness Menu and BumpEast for you baby mamas out there, we bring wellness to YOU!

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One Healthy Breakdown: take care of your body, take care of your BUMP!