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Doulas are AWESOME! We had one for the birth of our little guy (a month ago today - yup, it was on Christmas), and she was such a huge help. I imagine having a post-partum doula would be absolutely amazing.

One thing my wife and I did was Hypnobabies - self hypnosis for childbirth. My wife managed to deliver without any drugs, and it was a fairly quick, easy delivery. Our doula was pretty amazed. There are a number of instructors around LA, so it's something you may want to look into (if you want a natural childbirth, that is). Worked really well for us.

I wish I had had one for the birth of my twins. It was tough! Actually just having someone cook for me would have been great.

Congrats! Sounds like a HUGE load off your shoulders.

here is a funny about our baby nurse (also in high demand in la.) we brought babies home on a saturday..i had been in the hospital 32 days..i wanted to be home w/our babies...so i told my mother & sister to go home for the night..we wanted to bond as a family.(STUPID)..sometime in the night new daddy comes to the nursery...one in the bed crying, i'm holding the other one and he's crying and i'm crying the most...he says: 'when the sun comes up i'm calling dorothy'-- who was not scheduled to come til monday...she stayed a month then we renegotiated for a couple of more weeks...she took care of them and my mother and sister (and plenty of friends) took care of us...
'when the sun comes up'...we laugh about that still...sweet memories...she had them on the same schedule...heaven...when they napped so did i...trust me on that...sweet dreams tonight

I love how consciously you are approaching the birth of your baby girl! It's so exciting.
Before you swaddle your little bundle ... consider taking this course ... http://www.iahp.org/
These people started their work with brain-injured children over 50 years ago and have developed a course for well-children that is just AMAZING.
It's in Philadelphia. It's one week. And it's INCREDIBLE what we don't know about infant brain development. I didn't take the class until my daughter was 18 months and I could almost kick myself for all the advantages I DIDN'T know to give her.
Sending you so much love ...

You are so smart to hire post-partum help. I wish instead of spending money on baby crap - clothes, useless 'soothing' toys, etc - I had hired someone to help out with our newborn and around the house. I did have some family help, and my husband, but not nearly what I could have used.

It's a myth that women are supposed to do it all with a newborn. We're supposed to be living in tribes with our own mothers and great aunts and grandmothers around to soothe and hold a newborn, bring the new mother meals and let her rest. Life in the first world in 2012 doesn't really support that concept. So hire help if you can.

PS. I had a labor doula. She was fantastic. My only regret is not hiring her for post-partum help.

I have a friend that is a doula, she loves it. I think its one of the most amazing things you can do to help bring new life into this world. But I didn't know they used doulas for post-partum help also. Helping the mother in a difficult time is a great thing indeed.

I had never thought of hiring a post-partum doula and should have. I ended up having fairly severe postpartum depression with my son in April of 2011. I think I'll consider this next time around. It would be immensely helpful those first several weeks if we can make it work in our budget.

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My Books (with Elizabeth Craft)

  • 'Bass Ackwards and Belly Up' and 'Footfree and Fancyloose' tell the story of four best friends who commit the ultimate suburban sin: putting off college to pursue their dreams.

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    What is Starfish Envy??

    • L.A. 2009. I’m stuck in traffic on the 101 freeway, listening to Isabella Rosselini on NPR. Isabella, for some reason, mentions that starfish are one of those rare species that can reproduce asexually, and I realize that if I could do that, I wouldn't have to worry about finding a boyfriend/husband. I wouldn’t have to internet date! I wouldn't have to figure out if I want to/can/should have a baby/adopt a baby/child on my own. I wouldn't have to stress about things like FSH levels, or weigh my feelings on in vitro versus adoption. I would just have a baby. Thus began my starfish envy.
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