Simple Solutions For New Moms: Diaper Dabbler

Whether you’re a new mom or expanding your family the one thing you’ll definitely need is diapers. Organic, eco-friendly, overnight; your choices have grown, as has the number of diaper makers. Unsure of what diaper to buy? One great service to try is Diaper Dabbler. Rather than buying a pack of 30 diapers that may cause a rash, or leak, only to have to throw away the whole pack, this service lets you sample a variety of diaper brands all in one  box to find the perfect diaper for your little one.

 Sample sets include “Newborn,” “Eco-friendly” and the everything but the kitchen sink option “Prepared Parent,” among others. There’s even a toddler package for you to reevaluate based on your growing baby’s needs.  A variety of brands and price points offer new parents a great selection and they’re always adding new brands. Current options include:

  • Aleva Naturals

  •  Babyganics™

  • Bambo Nature™

  • Earth's Best TenderCare™

  • Seventh Generation Free & Clear™

  • Eco by Naty™

  • Pampers Swaddlers™ 

  • Pampers Swaddlers Sensitive™

  • Pampers Baby Dry™

  • Huggies Little Snugglers™

  • Huggies Snug & Dry™

  • Luvs Ultra Leak Guards

  • Mama Bear™ Amazon brand

  • CVS I Love to Stay Comfy and Dry™

  • Kirkland Signature Supreme™ Costco brand

  • Parent’s Choice™ Walmart brand 

  • Up & Up™ Target brand 

  • Well Beginnings™ Premium Walgreens Brand 

“Each set comes with 3 diapers of every kind, plus a convenient card to rate the diaper’s pros and cons”

This is a must have for any mom to be who’s unsure which diaper to try. Visit Diaper Dabbler to register or buy.

Make Ahead Meals: Cozy Up Veggie Stew

As you approach your due date, one great idea is to make and freeze some go-to meals. This soup is especially hearty, and great for fall and winter births. It’s packed with nutrient rich ingredients for new moms; from the iron in lentils to the vitamin C in the red peppers (to help you absorb the iron,) turmeric’s anti-inflammatory benefits and coconut milk which is great for your immune system.



2 sweet potatoes, diced

1 zucchini, diced

2 diced red peppers

1 can no salt added diced tomatoes

¾ cup red lentils

1 can of coconut milk

1 cup water

2 tsp turmeric

½ tsp white pepper (optional)

•             Combine all ingredients in a medium to large soup pot.

•             Bring to a boil and simmer for 30 (or until the sweet potatoes are soft)

•             Top with fresh parsley or thyme and enjoy


At the Ready: Breastfeeding Caddy

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One good project to start in your third trimester is a breastfeeding caddy. Creating a command station can make feeding time a lot more enjoyable in the first few weeks. Here’s some of our suggestions:



A good caddy will have enough room to fit your essentials, but not be so big that you mistake it for a piece of furniture. THIS CADDY is neutral, affordable and roomy enough to fit the necessities.


For breastfeeding moms, this little gadget is a lifesaver.  Once you start breastfeeding the hormone oxytocin can cause a milk ejection reflex (MER) causing the non-feeding breast to leak. This milk catcher saves milk (and clothes.)


Order an extra remote to keep in your caddy, because there is no way your significant other will put the remote back in the caddy and you will find yourself staring at a blank TV beneath a sleeping baby… true story.



Have bedtime and burp essentials at the ready, regardless of what schedule you’re trying to stick to.  You may spend your post feeding time in your glider and having these at the ready makes getting your little one ready for bed a breeze.
BURP CLOTHS from Milkbarn

SWADDLE from Swaddle Me

 SIP AND SNACK: Since newborns eat constantly there will come a time when you’re sitting there starving (or thirsty) waiting for your baby to finish eating.  In order to keep milk supply up breastfeeding moms should stay well hydrated. Keep two water bottles and some healthy snacks like these LACTATION COOKIES on hand.


Your phone will inevitably die just as you get your latch perfect. (You will also have to pee but there’s nothing we can do about that…) Keep an external charger, and an extra long charging cord handy tools at the ready to charge your phone. How else can you call your mom to talk about all the bad TV you’ve been watching?


 CLEAN MACHINE: It’s true, you may not remember what day it is… you also may not remember if you cleaned your pump’s phalange, your remote, or anything else you meant to sanitize but didn’t…This spray from Medela works on just about everything and is great to keep on hand for those frazzled, mom-bie moments.


Birthing Tool: Affirmations

Affirmations are yet another powerful tool for your birth. These positive mantras harness the power of the mind to help your laboring body push through pain, uneasiness and anxiety that naturally arise with the unknowns of labor and delivery.

Affirmations are not just for those whose focus is a natural birth, Affirmations can also keep you focused and in control with epidurals, or C-sections - keeping high blood pressure, nausea, and anxiety at bay by keeping you focused and centered.


Here’s some tips for choosing, and using affirmations for your birth:

  1. Have choices but not too many…
    Choose 4-8 affirmations and have them written down in a large font on something that can be viewed from 2-3 feet away. This gives you maximum flexibility once you’re in the labor room. Keep them in hand, propped on a table, taped to your partner’s head, 😊 etc.

  2. Make it personal
    Is there a saying, a slogan, a song, that inspires you? Include that in the rotation. Inspiration can come from anywhere, but if it’s personal to you you’re likely to connect with it during labor.

  3. Only positive vibes
    Don’t acknowledge the elephant in the room by naming your anxiety or pain. Instead of saying “I am pain free” try “I have confidence my body will do what it’s designed to do”

  4. Think of Your Future
    This study found that the effectiveness of self-affirmations was tied to using future related thinking. It seems that having that future goal, allows your body and mind the ability to react, while present tense affirmations can frustrate both if the immediacy of the affirmation is not accomplished.

  5.   Practice Makes Perfect
    Decide on your affirmations in advance and repeat them, before bed, in the shower, whenever you have time to quiet your mind and connect with your baby. Repeating them and having them ingrained before labor will help you remember them when it’s go time.

Need inspiration? Here’s a few Birth Focus Affirmations to get you started:

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Clean Routine


By Kajan Doyle

When you’re pregnant, a lot of the focus is on nutrition – foods to eat and foods to avoid.  Drinks too come under scrutiny; one cup of caffeine a day, and can you or can you not have a glass of wine with dinner? But what about what else you’re putting in your body?  Did you know the skin is your largest organ? Combine that with the fact that the beauty industry is wholly unregulated, and you’ve got a big challenge choosing beauty products, especially when you’re pregnant.

In general, anything that can mimic estrogen = bad in bump language. If you want more info on the astonishing things found in beauty products, The Environmental Working Group is a great resource, check out their Skin Deep Guide to avoiding toxic ingredients in your products. 

Here’s three clean beauty swaps that eliminate the worst offenders


Phallate, synthetic fragrance and aluminum free this all natural from Schmidt's may have a learning curve on the application it does work.



While the rest of the industry has plenty of options to go clean, there’s only a handful of  “clean perfumes.” Thankfully this one is from famed French perfumer Olivia Giacobetti, who, according to Vogue, has a “resume of olfactory hits for major houses like Frédéric Malle, Diptyque, and Hermès.” We’re sold!




I didn’t realize you had to buy specific nail polish to make it formaldehyde free… but you do….
Look for nail polish that’s 5 free (from formaldehyde, DBP, toluene,formaldehyde resin and camphor). Like this one from Jin Soon


Tea for Two: Make Your Own Pregnancy Tea

By: Kajan Doyle

Staying hydrated is one of the most important parts of pregnancy, but what if you could also boost your immune system, snuff out your acid reflux, and relax? Magic potion? nope... herbal pregnancy teas are a flavorful way to help you deal with the less desirable side effects of pregnancy, and some may even help you with labor. Just be sure to check with your practitioner based on your specific medical needs. You can buy the dried herbs (organic is best) from a health food store and mix them together, or bring this recipe with you to a local herb shop, like
Flower Power, in the East Village or Radical Herb Shop and Remedies Herb Shop in Brooklyn. They can even customize a blend based on your specific needs; just be sure to check to make sure the herbs you’re adding in are PREGNANCY SAFE.


About Each Herb:

Red Raspberry Leaf: This mineral rich herb can help tone the uterus, increase milk production, and even ease labor pains.

Oatstraw: Rich in calcium and magnesium, oastraw helps relieve anxiety, restlessness and irritated skin.

Nettle Leaf: High in calcium, vitamins C, D, and K. Nettle leaf is an incredible tonic that supports the kidneys, especially important considering they’re working hard to filter the additional blood supply that pregnancy brings with it.

Rose Hips: This super immune booster contains vitamin C&E, manganese, potassium, B complex vitamins to help shield you against cold, flue and other bugs. Rose Hips is also a mild laxative to soften and ease your bowel movements.

Spearmint: Sweeter than its sister peppermint, spearmint adds flavor and aids nausea, indigestion, gas and headaches.

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Soothing Solutions For Breastfeeding

By: Kajan Doyle

The first few days of breastfeeding can be an emotional roller coaster. The miracle of sustaining a tiny human can make your heart swell. Then, there’s the physical discomfort. Here’s a few helpful tips and products that can make those first few days more Ahh and less Oww.



This. Happens. To. Everyone. It’s just a matter of degrees. There’s the “That’s a bit tender” to “Oh my god are you a baby vampire?” The good news is that if your baby is latching properly this will subside. In the meantime, here’s a few DIY solutions and helpful products to get you there:

To cleanse cracked or irritated nipples

The circulating air will dry your nipples and the time off from clothing will be a relief

Apply your breast milk which has antibiotic properties around your entire nipple to help it heal

Silver Nipple Covers are a great product to have on hand if you’re especially sore. They give your nipples a breast milk bath extending the healing properties of breast milk, and have the added bonus of preventing friction with clothing.



This buildup of milk can be painful. To keep your supply up and relieve your painful breasts you need to express it. Problem is once they’re already at maximum capacity some women find it even more difficult to get the baby to latch or the pump to work. A few things to try:

Using your thumb massage in a circular motion around your breast, or you can use anything that rolls, a travel size shampoo, your water bottle, a can of soda… press to breast firmly and roll at different angles around the breast toward the nipple

Try a heating pad or warm compress after the massage

Fill a mixing bowl full of warm saline water leaving room at the top. Dip your entire breast into the bowl for at least 2 minutes.  Repeat on other side

Try the above techniques in the shower. The steam, water pressure and warmth of the water will help you and your breasts relax. After the saline bowl or hand massage in the shower try to hand express

The massage, heat and warm saline should help with letdown, now it's time to express. Having problems with the pump? Pump one breast while nursing on the other. It takes practice to get everything positioned;  however a nursing baby can be a big help with milk letdown. Turn the pump on before you begin feeding and try using a milk storage bad, they’re lighter and more forgiving with placement.

Still need more help? Many Birth Focus doulas are lactation consultants and can help. 



Baby's First Feed

By: Kajan Doyle

Trends in infant feeding have come and gone with the generations. The formula generation of the 70’s and 80’s gave way to the “Breast is Best” revolution. But which one is right? Turns out they both are. Today’s general thinking is Fed is Best. Moms-to-be should trust their instincts and their baby when it comes to nutrition. Birth and postpartum doulas can help you with facts and info on both, and provide tips and techniques that use feeding as a time to bond with your baby. Doulas are also a great resource for setting up a good feeding schedule starting at baby’s birth.  Here’s some helpful tips for both bottle and breastfed newborns.


Follow Your Baby’s Cues: Rooting is the first sign your baby is hungry: pecking with their mouth (just like a chicken) looking around, open mouth and tongue thrusting are the first signs of hunger. The second sign, a full out wail, so it’s helpful to get good at recognizing #1.

Don’t Shower Before Feeding: Your baby recognizes your sent from birth. At feeding time they’ll recognize you and relax when taking the bottle which can help with digestion, so try to shower right after your baby has eaten.

Shed The Shirt: Or at least unbutton it: Skin to skin contact aka kangaroo care has been shown to boost levels of Oxytocin, aka the love hormone which helps with bonding, making feeding time all that more special. Eye contact also helps with bonding, so try to minimize distractions like visitors and television during feeding time.


Start Right Away: 
When you’re able to hold your baby after the delivery is a good time to start breast feeding.  Most newborns instinctively root around for the breast and your doula can help get the baby to latch.  At the beginning, your body produces small amounts of colostrum aka liquid gold, a super nutrient that helps help protect your baby from infection, provides immune support and super concentrated nutrients.  Don’t worry about supply, your body will only produce a small amount of colostrum in the first 24 hours, but your baby’s stomach is also very tiny - waste not, want not.

See Then Do:
Attend a breastfeeding support group in your third trimester La Leche league meetings are nationwide and seeing it in action will help you when it comes time to do it yourself.

Ask for Help: 
You might want to consider seeing a lactation consultant or taking a breastfeeding class before baby to understand the mechanics of breastfeeding.  Once your baby arrives, most hospitals and birthing centers will have lactation consultants on hand so don’t be shy, ask for help and if necessary, go back for more than one consultation. Nurses on maternity wards also receive training and are available in the overnight hours, and of course many doulas are also Certified Lactation Consultants. 



Keep it Clean: 
No matter what bottle or formula you’re using make sure to clean your bottle thoroughly after use.  Expensive sterilizing products can be helpful but aren’t necessary. A good wash and a few minutes in boiling water (Medela recommends 10) is all you need to sterilize bottles before their next use.

Don’t Commit:
 You may have your heart set on Dr. Browns feeding set but don’t throw that receipt out quite yet.  Some babies are particular about the bottle they will take. (mine went through 8 different types before finally declaring she liked the Lanisoh mOmma). It’s actually the bottle nipples that babies exhibit preferences for and should be chosen based on your baby’s needs. Breastfed babies may need a nipple that mimics their usual sucking techniques, while fast eaters may need a slow flow nipple to prevent gas and digestion problems.  Have a few different bottles ready, just in case you have a picky eater on your hands.

Ready is Best:
At least at 2 am when you haven’t slept… If you’re prepping your bottles yourself consider having a stash of the 2oz ready to drink formulas on hand.  While more expensive than the large liquid or powdered options, they’re perfectly portioned, ready to go, and don’t require the brain power needed to properly mix powdered formula, or the time needed to reheat refrigerated liquids. Another option is a formula system. It’s like a Keurig for baby formula. Khloe Kardashian uses the Baby Breeza, in case you want to feed your baby like the rich and famous, you can get it here.

Check back next week for info on self-care for nursing moms.


Summer Safety For The Pregnant Lady

By: Kajan Doyle

Being pregnant during the dog days of summer can be a uniquely horrific experience. Swollen ankles, sore feet, sun sensitivity can have you running for the hills, or at least a dark airconditioned bedroom; but before you move your fridge in and camp out here’s some easy fixes to make life bearable during the hot summer months:


Pregnant Lady Problem: Heat
Pregnant ladies run hot! It’s normal to have a slightly elevated temperature due to hormones and metabolism changes. Add on the heat and you can become down right uncomfortable.

Pregnant Lady Fix:

  1. Swim: Not only does swimming lower your body temperature, it takes the weight of your feet allowing for a few minutes of relaxation for overused joints and muscles.
  2. Keep a Cold Wet Wash Cloth with Peppermint Oil Handy: Apply to the back of your neck, wrists and ankles.  The cold cloth will help bring your temperature down, and the cooling properties of the peppermint will help you feel cool on even the hottest days. Store it in a zip lock bag in your fridge for up to a day. 
  3. Stay Inside: There’s no relief like the cool hum of air conditioning. On especially hot days, stay inside as much as possible and keep a large frozen water bottle handy, taking sips of the ice-cold water as it melts.

Pregnant Lady Problem: Swollen Feet
Water retention, added weight, and overuse are just the beginning, add in the heat and summer can be killer on your feet.

Pregnant Lady Fix:

  1. Ditch the Flips: Flip flops can be a pregnant lady’s best friend, they’re cute, and mostly they’re easy to slip on and off. They can also be harmful with overuse. If you plan to be on your feet for the day, or if you have pain, you may need something with a little more support on your overextended ligaments.  Try a supportive sandal, they offer the open breeze of a flip flop with a bit more support. Try these from Andre Assous. The elastic back makes them a breeze to get on and they have a nice padding, an added benefit
  2. Roll with It Baby: In addition to elevating your feet above your heart for 10 minutes at a time, improve the circulation in your ankles with rotation exercises. Sit with one leg raised. Rotate your ankle 10 times to the right, then to the left. Then switch legs and continue to repeat this 10 times.

Pregnant Lady Problem: Staying Hydrated
Staying hydrated is one of the most important things you can do during pregnancy.
It’s water that helps bring nutrients to your growing bump, replenishes amniotic fluid and so many more important processes during pregnancy.  Ask your practitioner about how many ounces you should be taking in during a day.

Pregnant Lady Fix: Don’t love water? Try this no calorie light lemonade!


Pregnant Lady Problem: Sunburn
Sunburn is the add it on problem to the other summer safety issues.  Pregnant women are even more prone to sunburn due to hormone fluctuation.  It can be a factor in dehydration, heat sensitivity, sleep and more!

Pregnant Lady Fix: Don’t stop with sunscreen. Make sure you stay in shaded areas, and wear a hat whenever you will be outside for any length of time.

There has been some debate whether chemicals in sunscreen contain hormone disruptors Read about it here.  While the jury and the science is still out on this, any sunscreen is better than none when you’re pregnant so apply, apply, apply.


A Birth Bag For Every Mama

By Kajan Doyle

The end is in sight! Soon, you will hold the tiniest, most perfect human and all will be well with the world. As your third trimester wanes on it’s time to start thinking about what to pack in your birth bag. Hospital or birth center, minimalist or over-packer, we’ve compiled three birth bags that will fit your mama style. Plus, a bonus checklist of must haves for birth and recovery.

For the sleek and streamlined, this bag does double duty; working long after you're home with baby.


The Bag: The OG by Lo and Sons $206.50
Why it’s Great:  If The life-changing magic of tidying up was a bag, this would be it. 
What’s in the Bag: 1. Cosabella 3-piece maternity pajamas $155 This three-piece set includes a matching robe, perfect for visitors and pictures.  2. Tieks $175 These ballerina pink flats fold up for quick storage and are a great slipper alternative, bonus you can also wear them home. 3. Ursa Major Face Wipes $24 Hardworking, multi-tasker, cleans, exfoliates, soothes and hydrates all at in one step.  Bonus, they’re individually wrapped so you can take just enough for your birth. 4. First Aid Beauty:  Hello FAB Coconut Skin Smoothie Priming Moisturizer $28 Iridescent and moisturizing, this all in one moisturizer enhances your glow and evens out texture. Use alone or with the Triple protection skin tint.5. First Aid Beauty: Hello FAB Triple Protection Skin Tint $34 6. Tata Harper Volumizing lip and cheek tint in Very Charming $397. EO deodorant Wipes in Lavender $17 Natural and organic these individually wrapped wipes work and smell great. 8. Mezzone Charger $14.99 This palm sized charger has two USB ports, to charge your phone and tablet simultaneously.

Nurture and nature friendly, these small footprint products are sweet, effective and eco-conscious.


The Bag: Terra Messenger Bag $46.99
Why it’s Great: Made of organic cotton, this roomy and colorful piece is perfect (unless of course you’re re-purposing one you already have.)
What’s in the Bag: 1. Vertly Lip Balm in Rose $22 Vertly's standout ingredient, hemp-derived CBD is a powerful skincare ingredient that has analgesic, anti-inflammatory and calming properties.2. Neal’s Yard Remedies set $40 Includes Wild Rose Beauty Balm, hydrating White Tea Facial Mist a Beauty Sleep Concentrate and face mask. 3. Druthers Socks $20 Made from organic, recycled cotton, oh and they’re cute and cozy. 4. Boob Nightdress $29.50 Stretchy and made from sustainable materials, this short sleeve nightdress is a dream come true during pregnancy and nursing. 5. Bear Naked Wipes $12 Infused with argan oil, aloe vera, chamomile, and cucumber, these biodegradable wipes are luxuriously soft and kind to tender eyes and skin. This product also gives back, a portion of every package of Bear Naked Wipes sold supports  the Polar Bear SOS initiative. 6. Eden’s Garden Essential Oil Set $31.95 Many doula’s incorporate essential oils into their practice, in fact, A study published in Complementary Therapies in Nursing and Midwifery* found that aromatherapy was effective in reducing labor anxiety, fear, and in some cases, pain. Try Frankincense to calm, Clary Sage for muscle tension, Peppermint for cooling, and Lemon for nausea. 7. Native Deodorant $12 Safe, effective, non-toxic this small batch deodorant offers a variety of curated scents. Try the coconut vanilla.


Everything plus the kitchen sink offering all the comforts and amenities of home… and then some!


The Bag: Scout Weekender $54
Why it’s Great: Lightweight, foldable but still has the durability and capacity for all your stuff.
What’s in the Bag: 1. Beauty Burrito for all your makeup essentials and then some. 2. T3 Featherweight The size of a travel dryer the power of a professional. 3. C.O. Bigelow Rose Salve: The classic, provides moisture and a lovely pink hue.4. Milkmaid Goods Robe: $64.95 Pretty, comfy and forgiving, it’s picture perfect for pre/post birth and beyond. 5. High Fidelity Portable Speaker  $39 6. Peter Thomas Roth Cucumber detox hydra gel eye patches $48 Revives and refreshes tired eyes. 7. La Mer Glowing Vitality Set $245 The perfect pick me up for stressed out skin, La Mer’s miracle broth will bring your skin back to its pre miracle baby days. 8. Scout Overpacker: $44 For all the extra hospital goodies like diapers, pads, and more. 9. Kindred Bravely Pajamas in Berry $49.99 These soft, full coverage pajamas are a must have for new moms. Pretty enough for pictures and featuring a comfortable elastic waistband for an easy transition from pregnancy to motherhood. They also feature a 2-layer top for easy breastfeeding. 10. Secret Freshie in Paris Rose  $4.97 Travel friendly size and discreet to keep at the ready 11. OleHenriksen So Nurturing Wipes $15 Gently sweep away dirt, oil, and makeup, leaving skin fresh and moisturized and helping to reduce visible redness.
12. Ugg Joni Shearling Slide $129.95

Our ULTIMATE BIRTH BAG CHECKLIST with all the basics for your birth.

Birth Focus At The Baby Show

By Kajan Doyle

The New York Baby Show came to town last weekend and brought with it, great speakers, products and  how-to’s.  Featured seminar topics included pregnancy, birth, health and wellness, and there were tutorials on cloth diapering, babywearing and breastfeeding. All in, over 200 baby and child focused brands were in attendance.


Birth Focus was there with many of our affiliated doulas, meeting parents-to-be and answering questions about birth, doula care and the benefits of a Doula in helping you achieve your vision for your birth.


Did you know? 


Missed the New York Baby show, or interested in some of these topics? A doula can be a great resource for all things birth and baby. Don’t miss our Meet the Doulas Events. From birth to breastfeeding these “speed dating doula events” are a great way to learn more about Doula care and the great doulas from Birth Focus


We're Headed To The New York Baby Show

By: Kajan Doyle

Meet the Doula Team Behind Birth Focus, and Learn How a Doula Can Help You Before, During and After Your Baby’s Birth!

Join us at the NY Baby Show, Saturday May 19th, and Sunday May 20th from 10-4

With over 200 top pregnancy, baby, toddler, and family brands from all over the world, as well as local goods and services, the show offers an incredibly helpful education for everything baby.  Shop for baby gear, attend seminars, relax in one of two specialized lounges and takeaway key insights from the experts in birth and baby care.  

At the Birth Focus booth #404 you can:

·         Meet Birth Focus Directors:  Meredith Coronato and Sara Dick

·         Learn about Doula care and how we can help you with your vision for your birth

·         Sign up for our Meet The Doulas Events 

·         Have all your questions about Doula care answered

·         Hire a doula!

Learn More and Get your tickets today