It 100% sucks.
Except for the times when you really don’t want to share your cookie and the bathroom hideout was just occupied by your other child who has a stomach-ache. Now that house with the extra bathroom is on the must have list… anyways…
If you’re nodding your head right now, know you’re not alone. Between my two kids, we have 2 anaphylactic allergies and 5 intolerances and counting.
Our list of things to avoid (assuming I even remember them all) currently includes peanuts, tree nuts (aka all the other nuts out there), corn, dairy, soy, coconut (no, it’s not always lumped in with tree nuts), something in hummus although we aren’t sure what that is quite yet, eggs and clearly I’m forgetting some.
So basically we’re rabbits, but I can’t fail to mention the Costco size box of Cheerios we go through every week.
My point is, it’s a lot to keep track of and it changes the way we live life. Many people don’t understand the stress families in these situations are under on a constant basis.
"Many people don’t understand the stress families in these situations are under on a constant basis."
→ Bringing a new baby home or going through a crisis where people offer to bring over food? Gulp. It’s not so easy to accept their meals.
→ Heading to a potluck? Better bring your EpiPen, your own meal and energy for CONSTANT supervision.
→ Samples at Costco? Hard pass. Try explaining to your toddler that they can’t eat the candy every other kiddo is chomping on. No thanks.
→ Toddler birthday parties? Nope. Make sure to come prepared with an allergy friendly treat for your child and watch them closely!
→ Family dinner eating out? Better be careful! Most times it’s just easier to eat at home. Going through the menu with the manager feels exhausting and defeats the purpose of a quick and easy dinner.
Sound stressful? It is. BUT, it’s a great scapegoat for introverts (like me) and picky eaters (my husband cough* cough*) to get out of those awkward invitations and the soggy casserole your well-meaning neighbor offers to deliver.
So, how do we help these families?
Side note... If you have someone in your life with an egg allergy, try out these chocolate chip cookies. They are AMAZING! Even if you just want to eat the dough, I dare you to make these. You may never go back to any other recipe! If you need some allergen-free snack options check out the Enjoy Life brand. They have everything!
How do YOU navigate food allergies? How does it change the way you live on a daily basis? Comment below! I’d love to get your insight!
Are you currently pregnant in Bellingham, Ferndale, Lynden, or Birch Bay? We provide labor doula care all throughout Whatcom and Skagit Counties!
But the search can be overwhelming. Where do I even start? What is a doula? Do I need a doula? What does a doula cost? Will these doulas even call me back? And the list goes on….
Let's break this down.
A professional labor doula has trained with a reputable organization and has the expertise they need to care for families and their support team through pregnancy, labor and birth. They maintain current liability insurance, CPR certifications, and have a current business license.
Do I need a doula?
A labor doula provides support to the entire birth team. Your partner has someone there if they need to go to the bathroom, to remind them to eat and drink. We fill in the gaps. Whenever you need support, We’re there!
What many people fail to recognize is that your care provider is there for your medical care and that is their first priority. They also care about you and your team’s well-being, but when it comes down to it, they have charting to do and most likely, other patients. Your doula is your knowledgeable, unbiased, constant person.
"Your doula is your knowledgeable, unbiased, constant person"
Agenda driven, opinionated doula? Not here! There’s enough judgement already in the mommy-shaming culture we live in. We are not about to add more opinions or judgement to your plate.
Your labor doula has a vast knowledge regarding labor. She knows what all the beeps from the hospital machinery are. She has unique insight on helpful positions to get into regardless of your desires around pain medication.
She stays with you through nursing shift changes or transfers if you are having an out of hospital birth. Your doula knows what your mucus plug looks like and can spot the difference between early labor and active labor. She can offer insight on when it may be time to go to the hospital or your chosen birthplace.
So… If you find yourself pregnant, it’s time to hire your labor doula.
You won’t regret it.
But this doula is expensive?!! Well, you get what you pay for. Some doulas are hobby doulas while others devote their career to this work. If you desire to have multiple children with the same doula present, your best chances at finding this doula is through hiring a doula who charges a respectable fee.
High quality doulas:
This means you will:
North Cascade Doulas provides unparalleled labor doula support in Bellingham, Ferndale, Birch Bay, Lynden and Skagit County and guarantees that all of those boxes are checked. You can be sure that you are in good hands with your doula team from North Cascade Doulas.
Call or email us today to schedule a free consultation!
Did you know… May is Mental Health Awareness month. So naturally we, as doulas and childbirth educators in the Pacific Northwest are thinking about PMADs.
What are PMADs?
Perinatal mood and anxiety disorders.
That breaks down to any mental health challenges that someone experiences in the time surrounding pregnancy, birth and/or the postpartum time.
These can include:
→ Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)
→ Post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
The baby blues are similar to PMADs in that the symptoms can mimic depression but the baby blues usually are quick to pass and not as intense of feelings. The baby blues occur within the first few weeks postpartum and typically resolve as the maternal hormones balance back out.
Some say as many as 1 in 5 women experiences PMADs although this number is unreliable as many cases are unreported.
"...symptoms can mimic depression but the baby blues usually are quick to pass and not as intense of feelings."
Let’s debunk some myths around PMADs…
Myth #1. "I’m fine. I just need more coffee."
We all know that sleep is kind of a joke from the time you get your positive pregnancy test to, well, when your kids leave the house at 18?! We get it though, those first months of parenthood are especially taxing. Unless you have a postpartum doula or other amazing human helping you through the night, you are most likely struggling to get any sleep these days. The impact of sleep deprivation compiles within our brain to amplify our emotions and contribute to PMADs. If you find yourself saying this, be aware!
Myth #2. "I’m the only one dealing with this."
Many people are hesitant to reach out for help because they feel as if others will think they’re crazy and no one will understand. These disorders are much more common than many think and are best treated with the help of a professional. Chances are that you know at least one other person who has struggled with a PMAD you just may not be aware of it.
Myth #3. "I (the birthing person) am the only one who can suffer from PMADs."
Counter to what many people believe, PMADs are diagnosed in partners as well. Anticipating the arrival of a baby and then having a baby that, dare I say doesn’t come with a manual nor is it self-sufficient is a major life change. PMADs are not dependent on the massive hormonal fluctuations that come with birth. So, partners are also at risk for PMADs.
Myth #4 "There’s no use in getting treatment. I can’t take medication while I’m pregnant or breastfeeding anyway."
This is just not true. You and your medical care provider can hash the details of this one out. I’m a doula and am not going to tell you what is or is not medically recommended for you. I can tell you that there are several alternative ways to treat PMADs that don’t include medication AND there are some medications available that are safe for pregnancy and breastfeeding.
Myth #5 "I’ll lose my baby if I tell them what I’m really going through."
This is scary to think about! The good news is that this is rarely the case. Postpartum mood and anxiety disorders improve with treatment. If you are suffering from postpartum psychosis and you or those around you are in danger the professionals are going to do everything they can to ensure safety for everyone.
Some women experience fleeting yet terrifying thoughts of harming themselves or their baby when suffering from PMADs. When this happens, it typically scares the person experiencing it as it is not something they would ever do. The line is when those terrifying thoughts don't sound scary and instead, become obsessions or transform into plans or action. If you or a loved one are experiencing the latter, it is a medical emergency and requires immediate professional help. Call 9-1-1.
Myth #6 This will go away eventually.
Without treatment it is highly unlikely that much will improve. What may happen though is that you will look back to this season and only remember the impact your PMAD had on it rather than being able to enjoy it. Treatment will make it better. Just reach out.
PMADs are real. Real people experience them and if you find yourself experiencing symptoms of a PMAD, please reach out to a professional.
If you don’t know where to start, contact your OB/Gyn or midwife. They will have resources for you to find the help you need. If you are in Washington State, Perinatal Support Washington is a fantastic resource. They provide phone access to a volunteer who is either a trained mental health professional or someone who has personally experienced a PMAD and has fully recovered from it.
If you are looking for a doula in Bellingham, WA with experience working with clients experiencing PMADs, contact North Cascade Doulas today! We would love to talk with you and find out what you are looking for!
It's that time again... Mother's Day.
I hardly think you need to be reminded though. The media doesn't let us forget about it. We are bombarded with the happy, glowing reports of fantastic mothers all over the TV, radio and social media. It is in our face.
Flowers, breakfast in bed, hand prints, brunch... what else though?
"But what about those who wish they were mothers? Those who long with every bone in their body, to carry a child? Those who don't have a mother figure? Those who have lost a mother? What about them?"
"And by keeping our advice to ourselves and focusing on listening, we may actually make this day a little bit easier."
How are you impacted on Mother’s Day? Do you find yourself with mixed emotions? We would love to hear from you in the comments!
Maybe it’s a combination of celebration and grieving. Often birth can bring on similar emotions. There is a lot to process when life changes so drastically. Our labor doulas are trained to know how to attune to you through your labor and support you exactly where you find yourself.
Contact us today for a free consult!
Hello! Welcome to the North Cascade Doulas Blog!
Doula care in Bellingham and the surrounding areas will never be the same. You now have a new option while searching for your doula in Whatcom or Skagit County!
Here we are, the owners of North Cascade Doulas…
I developed an interest for doula work as my career in 2012 while living in California. After working in the Fresno area for 2 years, our family moved back up to Whatcom County.
I quickly jumped back into doula work, serving many birth doula clients in Bellingham, Ferndale, Lynden and Skagit County.
With continued education and building on my experience, I have recognized the importance of creating sustainable practices, raising community awareness and changing the culture around doula care to more positively impact the families I serve.
I began my work as a professional doula while pregnant with my daughter in 2015 after a friend told me about the profession.
I jumped right in and haven’t looked back.
I have a strong drive to expand my knowledge in everything surrounding pregnancy, labor and the postpartum period.
I have used that to work with several families in Whatcom County as their birth doula, postpartum doula, postpartum placenta specialist and childbirth educator.
Author, Kristina McMurtrey, is a passionate doula who aims to see families supported regardless of their unique way of navigating pregnancy, birth and parenting.
North Cascade Doulas provide care for families looking for Labor Doulas, Postpartum Doulas, Placenta Encapsulation and Childbirth Education Classes. We support all parenting philosophies and birth plans.
Our doulas have experience in a variety of areas, such as:
(natural) unmedicated birth / (surgical) cesarean birth / epidural birth / induction / planned induction / planned cesarean / VBAC / TOLAC / waterbirth / hypnobirthing / multiples / breastfeeding / bottle feeding / formula feeding / NICU / PPD / PPMD / bed rest / high risk / low risk / advanced maternal age / miscarriage / IVF / and more.
Areas we Serve:
We serve Whatcom and Skagit Counties and the neighborhoods of Alger / Anacortes / Bellingham / Big Lake / Birch Bay / Blaine / Bow / Burlington / Clear Lake / Custer / Everson / Ferndale / Glen Haven / La Conner / Laurel / Lynden / Mount Vernon / Sedro Woolley / Sudden Valley / Maple Falls / Everson / Stanwood