It's 10 PM do you know where your Doula is?



Right on time, no stress… She was so quiet letting herself in you didn’t notice she arrived. You have arranged to leave the door on the latch, so she can arrive and not disrupt the flow of the evening.


You hear the whistle of the kettle in your kitchen, and, she appears, holding a fresh brewed cup of the Lactation tea, she recommended.  It smells so delicious, and she assures you that it has aided nursing mother's milk supply. You hand her your baby for burping and changing while you are able to relaxingly enjoy your tea, and ready yourself for bed.


The confidence and comfort you have knowing that your baby is in such skilled hands, immediately provides you with a sense of calm. Your doula assures you that your infant is exhausted and she will put them down for the night. She hands you the monitor, and prompts you to take a nice bath, while enjoying your tea.


About an hour later you enter the kitchen, you are instantly relieved. Your doula has cleaned and sterilized all of the bottles, the dishes from dinner are washed and put away, you can hear the laundry going, and she is at the counter preparing lunches for school tomorrow and a nice healthful snack for your husband to bring to work.


This is your favorite part of the night, the time when you get to connect with your doula. She has set up your pump, so you can prep bottles for late night feeding, giving you a chance to sleep distraction and guilt-free. While you pump and chat, you discuss the trials and milestones of the day, ask her to bust some myths you read on the baby blogs, and you seek her advice on how to navigate a conversation with your Mother-in-Law on kissing your baby’s mouth.  Her knowledge and experience always give you the empowerment to make the decisions that will best support your family.

You know you'll sleep well tonight, and every night that she's here with you in these wonder-ful new weeks and months.

You don’t need to make sacrifices in the postpartum period to provide care for your new baby. Everything is possible with support, especially the support of a Postpartum & Infant Care Doula from Maine Doulas.




Spring Family Activities around Portland Maine


Blue skies and warm breeze, sunny summer days are headed our way. Portland, Maine is absolutely beautiful during the next months. Family fun activities are abundant in Portland, our city is brimming with incredible historical sites, cultural events , fabulous food finds, not to mention the stunning landscape, lush nature, and our gorgeous waterfront.  Pack up the car, strap in the kiddies, here are 4 of our favorites.


Fort Williams Park, home to Maine’s oldest lighthouse, Portland Head Light: 90-acres of  the walking trails, beaches, stunning coastal seascape, not to mention tours of the  lighthouse, a maritime museum, and a gift shop. The park also has a playground, and there’s a rocky beach to explore.


Create a little magic during Fairy Fridays  (July & August). at the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens (Or learn about how a seed becomes a plant with Children’s Garden Discovery Cart. (May – June) Teach your children the power of metamorphosis during Butterfly Investigations. (June – August)


Take a ferry ride around Casco Bay to Peaks Island.  Travel around the island on bike, or kayak, don’t miss the island's old tunnels. Visit the Fifth Maine Museum for a history lesson, or check out the world’s only Umbrella Cover Museum where quirky becomes extraordinary.


Sink your teeth into The Portland Science Center with the final week of the Shark Planet exhibit full of real to life models of sharks and never before seen footage from the deep blue sea. If you miss this exhibit DON’T WORRY, there is always something amazing happening, with new exhibits to discover for every age at this incredible interactive science center. 

We have tons more ideas so don’t hesitate to check back with Maine Doulas for updates, each season brings unique family fun for all.





Baby Sleep Cycles v.s Adult Sleep Cycles


It’s a bit ironic when “they “say Sleep Like A Baby because we can’t it is impossible. Only a baby can truly Sleep Like A Baby. Literally, the sleeping cycles of infants and adults differ greatly. This is not an excuse to abandon your adult sleep needs to placate those of your baby. But, it might provide some piece of mind and give you insight.

When an adult’s head hits the pillow, they can shut down. Drifting into REM and a deep sleep that can persist for up to 90 minutes at a time. This cycle persists for the length of rest. Deep sleep is where the most physical rest occurs. Experts say that adults need at least 6-8 hours of sleep. During this time adults experience mostly, deep sleep making them harder to rouse.

Infants need to ease into their sleep cycle. They literally must be put down. They then cycle in and out of REM several times before achieving no more than an hour of deep sleep. This means they are much lighter sleepers.

Since a baby is in experiencing light sleep for the majority of the recommended 13-18 hours of sleep they are way more susceptible to being woken. The slightest agitations are cause for waking.

Most common agitators are unfamiliar sounds, temperature shifts, a dirty diaper and hunger. Babies also often wake because of themselves with their own  startle reflex or moro reflex.  

This reflex is often combatted by a nice tight swaddle. Ask your Postpartum & Infant Care Doula to give you a few tips and pointers they are usually swaddle masters.

Studies have shown that putting your baby to bed while they are drowsy will provide them with the most restful deep sleep periods. However, as adults our deep sleep hits is greatest stride when we literally are so tired that we pass out. This should be NO problem for a new parent.

Hey postpartum visitor, here’s what parents wish you knew...


Take it from us there is nothing more exciting than the arrival home of your newborn. Everyone will want to come and greet your little one. While you want to share the joy, trust us, there will be plenty of time for that. Make sure to regulate your new routine before you overbook your social calendar. This is just one of the most important tips we can give you as a new mom. There will certainly be some postpartum visitors that trump this policy. As doulas we have been present for an early infant visit or two and have been the ones calming the nerves of families pre and post said visit. To avoid this anxiety, stop what you are doing Copy and Paste this link in their messenger.

These are our TOP 5 things most every parent wishes their postpartum visitors knew.

Rule #1

Don’t take anything personally – Right now the core family needs to bond, acclimate and discover each other as a unit for the first time. Allowing this time for family attunement will be beneficial for all in the long run. So, if you are asked to keep your distance, or be patient, understand that you are not (and should not be) the priority right now.  Also, no matter how helpful you “know” you are, you’re better off to be asked then to offer your opinion. There will be a time and place for everything now may just not be it and try not to overstay your welcome.

Rule #2

Check in – not just a call or text while you are on the road to the house. But, actually check in to see if your visit is permitted. Even if you are not coming over check in. Call and ask not only about the baby, but about the parents. Parents of newborns often need just as much attending to. Being asked how you are may make someone’s day.  Check in to see if there is anything you can bring. A little snack and some coffee always makes visits so much more tolerable.

Rule #3

Be of Service – the last thing any new parent needs is to host a luncheon for the family every day. When you come to visit, offer some help around the house. Offering to do simple chores like dishes or putting up a load of laundry can be a real help. Recommend that while you are there that a parent take a nap or a bath or find some quiet time for themselves, this is the most wonderful gift you can give them.  Providing peace may guarantee piece of mind which will also guarantee you an invitation to return.

Rule #4

Germs are the NOT welcome – whether you think it is “just” allergies or you are “over” your illness. Germs to infants and parents are never appreciated. Wash your hands when you enter the home, leave your shoes and coats at the door. In fact, if you have children of your own, leaving them home might help too. Schools are usually Petri dishes and school age children tend to carry more germs than most.


Wait to be asked - even if you are absolutely dyeing to hold the baby, don’t ask. Wait to be offered to hold the baby. Asking is not ok. Chances are if the parent feels comfortable with you holding their child they will put them in your arms. If they don’t please revisit Rule #1.

Sleep Debt

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Healthy sleep patterns are part of a good health regimen. So often when we are feeling off, we change our diet, increase our activity, and try to reduce our stress levels. All of these behaviors are important, but, when is the last time we clocked our sleep?

Our exhaustion, or mental recall, laziness and bad mood may all be side effects of poor sleep habits in fact we may be living our life at a deficit because of them.

The average adult NEEDS 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night. Subtract from that regularly and before you know it you have built up SLEEP DEBT… this debt is to be taken seriously and you need to pay off quickly.

Truth be told…Parents have been known to be able to survive on little sleep. Especially parents of newborns. Newborn parents have been known to on average lose two hours of sleep per night. This goes on until the baby is 5 months old. From 6 months till about 2 years old, parental sleep loss lessens to approximately a 1hour loss.  We are pretty sure those sleep loss numbers spike up to newborn parent levels (if not more) once teen years set in.

Listen, just because walking around with Sleep Debt is common doesn’t mean it’s OK. More rest is best. Facts are facts, and the fact is the average adult needs at least 7 to 9 hours of sleep in order to be running at full faculty.

You cannot pay down Sleep Debt in one lump sum. If you are missing an average of 1 hour per night for 5 days, sleeping an extra 5hours on the 6th day will do you more harm than good. This will completely knock you off your sleep cycle and could have effects long term.

Try adjusting your sleep schedule to increase 30 minutes at a time. Going to bed 15 minutes earlier and waking up 15 minutes later is a completely doable incremental addition to most anyone’s schedule. There are also many benefits to taking a daytime nap   if it’s possible for you to make napping regularly a part of your routine.  Slow and steady wins the race in this battle.  So be patient, take your time, and you will be out of debt and feeling good again.


More Sun less Sleep: Saving your sleep schedule during Daylight Savings Time

Spring forward, Fall back. Pushing our clocks forward for Daylight Savings Time (DST) gifts us more time. It gives us an extra hour in our day. An extra hour of sunshine. Longer days for playtime. More time for making memorable moments, bonding and discovering all of the beautiful firsts for our infant. 

With all of this more, don’t settle for less.

It is important to maintain a healthy sleep schedule for your baby. Just because the sun is brighter, doesn’t mean rest is less important. Don’t make the mistake of cutting down your babies down time. Sleep is super important for progress and development. If you have a newborn you are in luck. Newborns have not developed their circadian rhythm and have no ability to distinguish between day and not. Sorry you are too evolved for this. Invest in blackout curtains for day naps, not just for them, for you too.

Infants may however sense the change in schedule. This can cause some extra irritability. It is important to plan for the clock change in advance. Possibly introduce more naps into the routine. Adjust your eating and bathing schedule to accommodate the time as well.  A thirty minute shift may just do the trick.

As the Daylight Savings ushers in spring and the warm weather take advantage of the fresh air and tire yourselves out simultaneously. Outdoor activities are a wonderful nap time trigger. Neighborhood walks are not only beneficial for the little one, but they help get the pre-baby body back. If brisk neighborhood walks don’t tire you out you can always invest in a jogger stroller.  

Keeping  your babies sleep schedule in tact will most likely maintain your sleep schedule as well.

No matter what you use this extra time for make it count.














Sleep less is absolutely NOT the same as Sleepless! So, stop skipping on snoozing or else you will literally go crazy.

You can’t blame colic, or fussy feeding for poor self-care. Make no mistake YOU might be the cause of your insomnia not your newborn.  We MUST sleep in order to survive. This is parenthood not Guantanamo so stop trying to do EVERYTHING and GO TAKE A NAP.

As new parents our priorities must change. Let go of passed belief systems about what “matters”, tardiness, or FOMO (fear of missing out), what actually matters is the health and well-being of you and your family. That might mean being more flexible about timing, not showing up to every opening of an envelope, and abandoning the expectations of how things “should” be.

It is hard not to open your home to everyone and share the wonderful arrival of your newborn. But, often guests add undue stress. Stress is sleeps worst enemy.  It is not the time to be white glove cleaning your house from to top to bottom making sure everything is just “so”.  You need to be saving your strength and energy for literally the small things AKA your baby. Believe me, an invitation is a gift for those who are truly important. Maybe even those who will love on your infant giving you an opportunity to get some REM.  These are the people who don’t mind what your house looks like, they care what you look like. You didn’t trade in your belly for dark circles. Trust, those who mind – don’t matter, and, those who matter - don’t mind. Others can wait until you get the sleep schedule down. 

Sleep Deprivation is no joke. The lack of REM sleep can wreak havoc on your life. It will make you more exhausted (if that’s possible) cause you to constantly second guess yourself, have lapses in memory, feel disconnected, groggy, cranky, irritable and possibly even depressed.

Synchronized sleeping is golden. When their head hits the crib your head should hit the pillow. If you can’t actually sleep, just get horizontal. Laying down and taking the load off can be the reboot you need to get through. Don’t disrupt your nights every night. Sharing nighttime feedings can combat daytime drifting. If you are breastfeeding that’s ok, pumping and bottling in advance will give your birthing partner the ability to feed, also giving them time to bond and have some skin on skin.

Your Postpartum & Infant Care Doula from Maine Doulas is an incredible resource for times like these, don’t hesitate to call and seek support. If the sleeplessness is relentless you might need to seek the help of a medical professional to assure that the insomnia isn’t a side effect of physical or emotional illness.

Just remember sleepless nights will come to an end… until about your child’s teenage years… then sleepless nights are really a problem. We can, however, teach you how to swaddle a teen. No really.


PS. When you're ready to help your baby learn to sleep independently, check back with us for our exclusive in-home sleep training!