Over the last month or so, my son’s personality has really blossomed. It’s so amazing to see him think, process, and discover the world around him. He is his own person, with his own thoughts and feelings. He’s also incredibly smart! He knows where the dishes go when we empty the dishwasher, he knows where his clothes go when we put away laundry, he’s understanding more and more every day and it’s absolutely beautiful and amazing to watch.
This I can handle. I’m okay with this, especially since he doesn’t cry the whole time I’m gone. What’s tough is the clingy behavior that has started when we are both at home. My dear darling son thinks that I have to hold him every second of every day – unless he’s sleeping. I was lucky in that for months and months he was very independent. He would sit down with his books and look through them for what seemed like hours, hardly even looking up to make sure that I was still around. I used to joke that I could probably leave and go shopping, come home, and he’d be in the same place looking at his books…just where I left him. (Obviously I never would have.)
What is this? Has he just decided that he’s afraid mommy’s always going to leave him so he HAS to be held by me at all times? Do most babies go through this, or do I just have an extra-attached boy? He went through this a month or two ago and it only lasted a couple of days. This time, it seems like it’s here to stay – for a while, anyway. Every now and then he’ll get side tracked and play on his own for a few glorious minutes, but then it’s back to wanting momma.
After my last post about my journey to becoming a doula, I received an e-mail from someone asking just how one starts the process. Rather than reply to her e-mail, I decided to write up a quick post to answer the question.
You do not have to be certified to be a doula. This means that you could attend a birth with someone, acting as their doula having absolutely no training. I bet you didn’t know that, did you? Most doulas, however, go through a formal training process. There are many programs out there offered by various agencies. I went with CAPPA because after researching my options, it was obvious to me that they have a wonderful community of amazing doula women that I can reach out to for support and companionship. CAPPA also offers other training programs such as childbirth educator, lactation educator, and more.
Regardless of the program you choose, most require the following to become certified:
- Completion of a required reading list that consists of around 5 books related to birth, breastfeeding, and doula work.
- Attendance at an in-person training session taught by someone certified in training doulas. Click here to see a list of upcoming CAPPA training sessions near you.
- Attendance at a breastfeeding course (sometimes these can be done online)
- Attendance at a childbirth education course (sometimes these can be done online, too).
- Attendance at three different births where you act as the doula. At these births you must receive positive evaluations from your client and two of the care providers (nurse, midwife, OB, midwivery assistant, etc).
- Completion of an online, open book examination with multiple choice and essay questions.
- Current membership with your certifying program.
Most programs cost about $1000 in total to get certified and take between one and two years. You can get them done quicker, depending on how determined you are and the availability of the various training programs/education classes near you. Each certification program has different requirements, but this seems to be the overall basis. The great thing about training to become a doula is that you can work at your own pace.
Other doula certification programs include Dona, To Labor, and Birth Arts International, but there are many more out there – just do a google search to read about them. You’ll be able to figure out which one seems like the best fit for you.
Do you have more questions about becoming a doula? Feel free to leave them below!
If you follow me on Facebook, then you’ve probably seen a few posts here and there about my latest adventures in becoming a doula. Having my son sparked some sort-of fire in me that made me realize I needed to someway, somehow, join the wonderful world of birth. For me, that was becoming a doula. What is a doula, you ask?
A doula is someone that supports a woman and her family through the birth process. She is there for them for emotional and physical support before, during, and after delivery. A doula is there to fill in the gaps where the other care providers are not able to provide assistance; she can act as an advocate, labor coach, and support partner.
I feel that every woman deserves a doula! Hiring a doula offers many benefits including lower Cesarean rates, less interventions, and shorter labors. I have completed my doula training and have attended two births so far. I swear, being at a birth while not being the person in labor is such an amazing experience. I can’t wait to see where this journey takes me. I love the idea of supporting women through their pregnancy and then being there as they experience the miraculous journey that is birth!
Did you hire a doula? What sort-of things did you look for when you hired yours?
There are two ways to get your starter going…by trying to make your own, or by ordering a packet of dried starter. I made two valiant efforts at catching my own yeast, but was ultimately unsuccessful. So, I asked for some dried starter from Cultures For Health for Christmas, and gave that a shot. I had an active, live, bubbling starter within 3 days. Success! Of course, after this starter was working wonderfully, I realized why I failed at my homemade starter. I was using filtered tap water…tap water that is chlorinated. In both attempts, my starter would get bubbly after a couple of days, but then it would die quickly. Apparently chlorine doesn’t allow the yeast to flourish, so my poor starter kept trying to grow, but the chlorine in my water killed it off. On my third attempt (with the pre-dried starter, I made sure to use some distilled water.) If you decide to attempt this yourself – don’t make the same mistake I did and use chlorine free filtered water the first time!
So far, I’ve only made basic sourdough bread with my starter, but I’m sure I’ll be trying out pancakes, muffins, biscuits, etc etc. My first batch failed miserably, but after some trial and error, my next two batches were delicious. This was confirmed by family and friends! Here’s the recipe that works for me (modified from Cultures For Health.)
*Note – this recipe yields TWO loaves of bread. If you only want to make one, cut the recipe in half.
+ 2 1/3 Cups Sourdough Starter
+ 3 1/3 Cups Flour plus 1 extra cup to use when kneading (I use organic all purpose)
+ 1-1 1/2 Cups Filtered, Non-Chlorinated Water (I only need about a cup)
+ Just under a Tablespoon of Salt
+ Coconut Oil (or other high heat oil)
+ Meat Thermometer
1. Mix all ingredients in a large bowl until well combined.
2. Place the extra 1 cup of flour in a bowl to use when kneading. Sprinkle some onto your kneading surface.
3. Remove the starter/flour/water/salt mixture from the large bowl and place on kneading surface.
4. Knead for a good 20+ minutes, mixing in flour as you go to keep the dough from sticking to your hands or surface. You can take breaks if needed. After 20 minutes, pull of a chunk of dough and stretch it out between your forefingers and thumbs to see if you can get it thin enough to see light through without breaking. If the dough breaks easily, it needs to be kneading longer. Continue kneading until the dough passes this test. (Usually called the window pane test)
5. Roll the dough into a big ball and then cut in half as this recipe yields TWO loaves of bread.
6. Depending on what you are baking your bread in, lightly coat the surface with oil. Some options include a bread pan or a dutch oven. I just use a large cookie sheet. I use a silicone basting brush to coat the surface.
7. Roll the two pieces of dough into balls and place on cookie sheet with a few inches in between.
8. Brush the dough balls with coconut oil. The first time I tried baking the bread, I didn’t do this and the whole top of my dough dried out. I use the same silicone basting brush for this.
9. Cover the dough with a damp towel and let rise for 4-12 hours. I hate waiting, so I bake closer to 4 hours. You can check that it’s ready by pushing your finger gently into the dough. If the dough doesn’t spring back, it’s ready to bake!
10. Remove the towel and stick your pan in a 400 degree oven. Don’t worry if the dough balls are touching a little bit, they will easily come apart after baking. Bake for 30-45 minutes. Check temperature of one of the loaves by sticking meat thermometer into the center after 30 minutes. If the temperature is 200 degrees, they are done.
11. Remove from oven and let cool before cutting. Listen to the crackling as they cool – it’s a beautiful sound. :) Enjoy your yummy bread!
This is the easiest, most fool-proof way of cooking sourdough I’ve found! I’m not a great baker, and I was able to do it successfully. The key is having a very active starter for your dough.
I don’t think I’ve mentioned it here yet, but we recently joined a company called Door to Door Organics. They are a food delivery service that delivers mostly organic foods to Colorado, Kansas City, Michigan, Chicago, and some of the East Coast (Suburban Organics). We have been getting all of our produce delivered weekly for a few weeks now, and it’s all organic! I also add on items each week like milk, meat, and fish! I’ve found that we actually spend less on our weekly grocery list than we did before. Anyway, this is not a review post, although I do love our experience with Door to Door Organics so far.
Last week we got a very large butternut squash in our box. I absolutely love squash, but the husband isn’t quite as big of a fan. This particular squash was far too big for the Monkey and I to eat alone, so I was trying to figure out something to make with the half I wasn’t baking (in a way that ideally, the husband would approve of.) I decided to make muffins. I wanted the Monkey to be able to eat them too, so I played around with the recipe a bit and made it both egg and dairy free. If you wanted them to be gluten free, I’m sure you could use an alternative flour as well.
These muffins turned out amazing. So good in fact, I ate three in one sitting. Woops. And Monkey LOVED them. This may be just the trick to get him to eat more foods, actually. I’m going to experiment with other muffins and sneak veggies in. Zucchini muffins, perhaps? These were moist and had the perfect amount of spice. Very fall-esque!
+ About 1/2 pound peeled and seeded butternut squash. Cut into 1 inch cubes.
+ 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour (or your flour of choice)
+ 1/2 cup sugar
+ 2 teaspoons baking powder
+ 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
+ 1/4 teaspoon salt
+ 3/4 cup rice milk (or your milk of choice)
+ 1/4 cup applesauce
+ 1 Tablespoon fake butter, melted. I like the soy free buttery spread from Earth Balance
1. Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly grease a 12 cup muffin pan.
2. If you haven’t already, peel, de-seed, and cube butternut squash.
3. Place cubed squash into a medium sauce pan with enough water to cover the squash. Bring to a boil and boil for 20 minutes. Then, drain and puree in a food processor or blender.
4. Melt the fake butter.
5. While the butter is melting, mix the flour, sugar, baking powder, pumpkin pie spice, and salt together in a large bowl.
6. Mix the rice milk, applesauce, and melted fake butter in a medium sized bowl.
7. Add the pureed butternut squash to the milk/applesauce/fake butter mixture.
8. Mix the flour mixture with the squash mixture until just moistened.
9. Pour the mixture into your muffin cups so that each is about 1/2 full. Bak 20 minutes in preheated oven and check that a toothpick comes out clean.