New Moms: It's okay to ask for help

Ah pregnancy. The pending arrival intrigues and excites most friends and family members. You may have received extra attention, special care and an interest in how you and baby are doing. Your days have been spent planning for your upcoming birth. Countless hours have been spent perfecting your birth plan, registering for just the right baby gear, playing Hypnobabies tracks into the wee hours of pregnancy insomnia and attending those fabulous weekly prenatal yoga classes. As the big day arrives, the joy surrounding the birth of your sweet baby is shared throughout your close (and not so close) circle...with congratulations texts and Facebook posts flooding your inbox. 

A few days, maybe a week pass and you realize you are home... all alone...with an itty bitty baby. All the fuss and support has disappeared. Nobody told you about preparing for the postpartum transition and life with a newborn. 


Our society has placed new moms in place of isolation and unrealistic expectations and frankly, it's NOT okay. In many cultures, birth and motherhood is widely discussed and passed down from family members. However in current day North America; Pregnancy, birth and the postpartum stage are not topics that are widely shared on a authentic and deep level within most circles. A combination of the media and a lack vulnerability about parenthood has led to a skewed image for new moms.

Anxiety about being a perfect mother are rampant and something we see quite frequently as Postpartum Doulas. In the hustle and bustle of our urban and fast paced cities, women often feel the pressure to immediately bounce back to their pre-baby state and way of life. They try to carry on, as if bringing a whole new life into the world is no big deal and that raising an infant is a simple task that any good mother can handle with ease. 

Well guess what?

It is a big deal.

It's a really big deal.

You deserve to be supported, cared for and celebrated as a new mother. We fully believe you are AMAZING, BEAUTIFUL AND STRONG. However, we also fully believe that you don't have to be those things all of the time. It's okay to be SAD, CONFUSED and UTTERLY STRESSED OUT.  

Parenting is hard. Physical healing from birth is hard. The emotional roller coaster of your hormones balancing is hard. Figuring out your breast or bottle feeding relationship is hard. Waking up multiple times a night is hard. Trying to balance bonding with your newborn and providing attention to your partner or other family members is hard. Wading through the voices of advice and judgement is hard. Deciding on all the little decisions surrounding newborn care is hard. Hard doesn't mean you aren't doing it right. Motherhood is rewarding, joyous and life transforming...but you can't expect to be perfect. There is no perfect mother.

Motherhood is not meant to be done alone. Even with a loving and supportive partner or caring in law staying for the week after birth, it's important to call on the rest of your community for a helping hand or listening ear.  New mamas and mamas to be: It's okay to ask for help!

Friends & Family - Help a New mama out !

(Hint: Send this to your friends & family)

  • Pick up or make a warm meal AND offer to hold the baby while mama eats.

  • Go to the grocery store and pick out or prepare healthy snacks mama can eat with one hand:

    • Veggie Sticks & Dip, Cubed Fruit, Protein Bars, Nuts & Seeds, Muffins, Smoothies, Wraps, etc

  • Siblings? Spend some one and one time with the sibling(s) at a park or playing with toys. You could also hold the sweet baby, so mama can read a book with a sibling. After a month or so, accompanying mama & siblings to a park date is a great option as well.

  • Laundry is something that piles up quickly in the house. Come over and put a load in and chat with mama on how she's doing while the cycle goes through. Once it's done, fold and put away or I promise you it will most likely be in the basket next time you come over.

  • Short showers are a luxury for most mamas. Draw a bath, adding a postpartum herbal blend or diffuse some aromatherapy and offer to care for her newborn while she takes a long, relaxing bath.

  • Listen. New moms are very fragile and experiencing a range of emotions and still processing. Gently open up dialogue to ask how she's doing, ask how her birth experience was, ask how the adjustment to parenthood has been, etc. Be a non judgmental, open ear for her to vocalize and process with. Sometimes they aren't ready to share and that's ok too. Support her where she's at.

  • Take the dog for a good run or take them to the groomers for a wash.

  • Unload the dishwasher and take out the trash.

  • Encourage her to take a long a nap while you get baby snuggles in.

  • Take a walk outside in the fresh air and sunshine with mama and baby.

  • Hire a Postpartum Doula to provide all of the above and so much more!

Finding the balance with two children

Welcoming a new baby with another baby only 2 years old isn't easy and is definitely more challenging that I could have imagined.  

With that said, it's also so amazing to see both my girls in my bed and my toddler loving her baby sister and her natural maternal instincts shining through. The way that she wakes up in the morning and shoots straight up, crawling over to get Willow and snuggle her saying, "baby sister awake?" warms my heart like I never could have expected. 

My toddler was definitely like any other newborn and loved to be loved on. But the difference between her and Ivorēwillow is that Piperlily was pretty much ok with anyone loving on her while Willow won't really let me put her down, even when she's sleeping. This poses a whole new challenge not just in the aspect of going to the bathroom, washing my hair, picking up toddler toys, or cooking dinner but all the other things I feel like I'm supposed to be tending to... Answering emails and finally returning calls, catching up on work, tackling my to do list, but more importantly love on my toddler and husband. Recently I've started feeling overwhelmed with all the pressure I'm putting on myself and worst of all that pressure and stress is causing me to be less present with the most important thing that matters right now: this brand new life I've created and my family.

I've been trying to remind myself to let it go. Let the laundry pile up, let toys stay a mess, let everything else be on hold for just a bit longer because I won't get this time back. When I no longer have itty bitty babes I won't remember not answering that phone call or email but I will remember not being present and losing this time.

I keep battling with myself that on one side: “she’s five months old, she should be more independent by now” and then on the other side: “says who?! Enjoy this time of her wanting you to be so close, it won’t always be like this”. It amazes me that even with all my personal views on parenting, I still have this dark corner in me that society and media has embedded it’s long, grotesque fingernails into that tries to tell me what “normal” is for babies, but is in all actuality the furthest thing from normal. I find myself routinely stopping and reminding myself, “babies aren’t meant to sleep the whole night. Babies aren’t meant to be independent. Babies are meant to be in their mom’s arms.” I recently heard a quote that I just loved and feels it applies so well to birth and parenting, “We have made something so natural and normal to now be considered abnormal”.

Finding this new balance of being a “work at home mom” and having a baby at home with me at all times is one of the most challenging ventures I’ve had but it isn’t one drop short of extraordinary. Being able to be with my daughter through all her firsts, being able to snuggle her whenever I want, and being able to have a strong breastfeeding relationship is a true blessing and I’m so fortunate have this opportunity.

Be gentle to yourself mama. Whether this is your first, or your 5th baby, enjoy this time. Not only is it crucial for bonding to just sit and be present with baby, it’s crucial for your emotional and physical healing. Birth is a strenuous journey and is so important to allow the time to process and imprint with baby in order to move to the next chapter of your life. 

Don't let society put a timeline on when your precious Babymoon is over, take your time and soak it in… those little fingernails, that little button nose, that skin that is as soft as a cloud, those little smiles that you are certain aren’t gas… take it all in. Everything can wait and you won’t regret it, I promise.


Welcome to our little corner of the internet! We are pretty excited to start sharing our knowledge, experiences, stories, and tips and advice with you! All of our team members will be passing the microphone and are so excited for you to get to know us better!

OC Doula Collective is a full service Doula Agency, providing professional prenatal, birth and newborn parenting support to families in Orange County, California. Owners, Jessica Bougie and Chelsea Lynn Croce have a team of dedicated Birth and Postpartum Doulas, Placenta Specialists and Educators who provide compassionate care every step of your journey.  Our office and parent education center is located in Costa Mesa, CA. We host a variety of classes for pregnancy and parenthood, from childbirth education and baby care basics to mama support groups. Take a look around to learn about our services and packages, check our upcoming events and take a moment to meet the team.


We believe in a woman's innate ability to birth her baby. Childbirth should be a gratifying experience that unites an entire family. You are deserving of sincere support from your birth team during your childbearing year. We believe women should be the center driving force in the decisions of how her baby arrives and we are there to support you 100% in the choices you make that are best for your family. Our Doulas support mothers who choose to birth naturally or with an epidural at the hospital, at a birthing center or at home with a midwife. We have experience with water births, cesarean sections, VBAC's and a variety of childbirth education methods such as Bradley and Hypnobabies.  We recognize that the newborn stage is a time that the family deserves genuine care, gentle education and nurturing assistance as they transition in to first time or seasoned parenthood and we fill that need with our Postpartum Doulas.

We seek to provide premium support through our professionally trained, experienced, and passionate team of Doulas. It is our objective to nurture, educate, and relate on a personal level with each and every one of our remarkable clients. OC Doula Collective strives to embody the local Orange County birthing community and offer it's exquisite resources to you. We look forward to hearing your story and getting to know you!