What Is a Doula?

A doula provides support to women and their families during pregnancy, childbirth, and postpartum. The word “doula” comes from ancient Greek for “woman servant,” and the role of a doula is to serve and support women during labor.

A doula is not a healthcare provider but a support person who works alongside a woman’s healthcare team. Doulas are trained to provide support during labor and delivery and practical support during the postpartum period.

During pregnancy, a doula can provide education and support to help a woman prepare for childbirth. This may include helping her create a birth plan, giving information about childbirth options and interventions, and answering any questions she may have.

A doula provides physical and emotional support, including massage, breathing techniques, and other comfort measures to help manage pain and promote relaxation. A doula can also offer emotional support, encouragement, and reassurance.

After childbirth, a doula can provide practical support to the new mother and her family. This may include assistance with breastfeeding, help with newborn care, and emotional support as the family navigates the challenges of the postpartum period.

Studies have shown that women who work with doulas have shorter labors, are less likely to need pain medication, and are more likely to have a positive childbirth experience. Doulas can also provide valuable emotional support during a stressful and overwhelming time.

For women planning natural childbirth, a doula can be particularly valuable. Doulas are trained to provide non-medical pain relief techniques, such as massage and breathing, to help manage pain and promote relaxation. This can help women avoid using pain medication, which can have potential side effects and may interfere with the natural childbirth process.

However, doulas can be beneficial for women regardless of their childbirth preferences. Women who plan to use pain medication or have a scheduled cesarean delivery can benefit from a doula’s emotional and practical support.

Doulas can also be valuable for women who have experienced trauma or have other special needs. For example, a doula can provide extra emotional support for women who have experienced a previous traumatic childbirth experience. Doulas can also be particularly helpful for women who are giving birth alone or who do not have a robust support system.

A doula is not a substitute for medical care. Doulas do not provide medical advice or perform medical procedures. Instead, they work alongside a woman’s healthcare team to provide emotional and practical support.

When choosing a doula, look for someone certified by reputable organizations, like DONA International or the International Childbirth Education Association. Certification ensures that the doula has received adequate training and adheres to a certain standard of practice.

Working with a doula can provide many benefits, including shorter labor, less need for pain medication, and a more positive childbirth experience. If you are pregnant, consider working with a doula to help you prepare for childbirth and navigate the challenges of the postpartum period.

Cheap Spring Activities for the Whole Family

Spring is a great time to spend time with your family outside. You can do fun, inexpensive things with your family as the weather gets warmer.  

Picnic in the Park

One way to enjoy the spring weather is to picnic in the park. Pack some sandwiches, fruits, and snacks, and head to your local park. Find a nice spot under a tree, spread a blanket, and enjoy a relaxing afternoon with your family. You can bring outdoor games, like a frisbee or soccer ball, to add fun to your picnic.

Nature Walks

You can walk in your local park or nature reserve and enjoy the fresh air and beautiful scenery. Look for wildflowers, birds, and other wildlife along the way. You can also bring a nature guidebook and try to identify different plants and animals that you come across.

Spring Cleaning

Decluttering and spring cleaning can be turned into a game. Set a timer for 10 minutes and see who can clean the most items in that time. You can also make it a charitable activity by donating the items you no longer need to a local charity or thrift store.

Plant a Garden

Spring is the perfect time to start a garden with your family. You can start with simple plants like herbs, vegetables, or flowers. Get your kids involved and teach them about the different plants and their needs. You can also make it a fun activity by creating a garden scavenger hunt or a plant ID game.

Outdoor Movie Night

Another fun activity for the whole family is an outdoor movie night. You can set up a projector and screen in your backyard or local park and watch a family-friendly movie under the stars. Bring snacks and blankets to make it a relaxing and memorable experience.

Bike Rides

Spring is a great time to dust off your bikes and go for a family bike ride. You can explore your local bike trails or bike to your favorite ice cream shop for a treat. You can also make it fun by having a bike race or scavenger hunt.

Art in the Park

Another fun activity for the whole family is doing art in the park. You can bring watercolors or sketch pads and enjoy the beautiful scenery while creating art together. You can also make it a collaborative activity by creating a family art piece or a mural.

Spring is a beautiful time to enjoy affordable and fun activities with your family. From picnics in the park to bike rides and gardening, there are plenty of activities that you can do together. These activities help you bond with your family and stay active and engaged with nature. So, pack some snacks, grab your bikes, and enjoy the beautiful spring weather with your loved ones!

Benefits of Teaching a Secondary Language to Your Child

Learning a second language can be a fun and rewarding experience for children. Not only does it provide them with the ability to communicate with others from different cultures, but it also offers a range of cognitive and academic benefits.  

Improved Cognitive Functioning

Research has shown that bilingual children have better cognitive abilities than monolingual children. Learning an additional language requires the brain to work harder, leading to increased cognitive flexibility, problem-solving skills, and improved memory retention. This helps children to perform better in all areas of academic study and can provide them with a competitive advantage later in life.

Better Communication Skills

Learning a second language can also improve a child’s communication skills, as it requires them to listen more attentively and pay closer attention to the nuances of language. This can help children to become better listeners, more empathetic, and better able to communicate their thoughts and ideas effectively.

Increased Cultural Awareness

Learning an auxiliary language can also expose children to different cultures and ways of life. This can broaden their perspective, increase their empathy, and allow them to connect with people from different backgrounds. It promotes a sense of global citizenship, which is essential in today’s increasingly interconnected world.

Better Job Opportunities

In today’s global economy, being bilingual can be a significant advantage when finding employment. Employers often look for candidates who speak more than one language, particularly in tourism, hospitality, and international business. Teaching your child a second language gives them the valuable skill to help them succeed in their future careers.

Improved Creativity

Learning a second language can also help to improve a child’s creativity. It requires them to think outside the box, develop new ideas, and be more flexible. This can help to foster a more creative mindset that can be applied to all areas of life.

Better Academic Performance

Research has shown that bilingual children often perform better in academic subjects such as reading, writing, and math. Learning a second language can help improve cognitive functioning, leading to better academic performance. Bilingual children may also have an easier time learning additional subjects as they have already developed the skills necessary for language acquisition.

Teaching your child an additional language can offer a range of benefits that can positively impact their development. From improved cognitive functioning and communication skills to increased cultural awareness and better job opportunities, there are many reasons to encourage your child to learn a second language.  

How to Survive Your First Trip Abroad With Your Family

One of the most exciting parts of traveling is taking family members along for the adventure. Whether a short trip across the country or an extended international experience, it has its unique appeal.

Traveling solo or with a partner can be fun, but family trips are different. It can sometimes be overwhelming, but you’ll get used to it. Here are some tips to consider when planning a family trip abroad.


Although the weather in the ASEAN region is generally favorable, you might experience significant changes when traveling to places such as South Korea or Japan. It’s essential to monitor the weather at least a week before your trip to get a good idea of what to expect.


When traveling with kids or older parents, families should be well-informed about what to expect and how to avoid potential problems. First-time fliers should know airport policies and the dos and don’ts to ensure their trip is as enjoyable as possible. Discuss the food options and physical requirements at the destination.


One of the most critical factors you should consider when planning a family trip is don’t overpack. Over-stuffing can add up to carrying around things you won’t use. Thinking carefully about what to bring will allow you to make an informed decision.


A sufficient supply of maintenance medications is vital for traveling families with medical conditions. Bring several extra days’ worth of prescription medications. This is especially important for places that are not easily accessible to pharmacies.


Thinking carefully about family members with special needs, such as a child with a sensitive stomach, should be part of your planning process. Bring snacks for the flight to keep everyone happy.


Before you leave, ensure you have all the necessary supplies to power up your devices, including a spare battery and a fully charged laptop and mobile phone. Make sure that the chargers are compatible with the country you’re visiting.


Store contact information for every family member on a small card and give a card to all travelers. Some places have WiFi routers for a nominal fee, but it’s best to ensure everyone stays together and doesn’t roam around aimlessly.


While watching over your relatives, remember that this is a family experience meant for fun. Even though there may be problems along the way, try to make the most of it and remember to take pictures and establish memories.

This blog was previously published on February 22, 2023 at JenniferPowers.me

How to Help Your Child Manage Their Anxiety

Individuals are born with the ability to feel anxious. According to the APA, anxiety is a type of emotion triggered by various factors, such as stress and changes in one’s physical and mental health.

Although anxiety is a normal part of life, it can affect one’s ability to complete various tasks. Having it can also help one identify and respond to threats. For instance, having anxiety while traveling during a snowstorm can help one avoid risky driving behaviors.

Anxiety before a test is helpful, as it can motivate one to study. However, experiencing overwhelming and excessive amounts of anxiety can lead to various problems in daily life.


Like adults, teenagers and children may have excessive anxiety about various factors, such as school performance, safety, and their future. Some of the most common signs of anxiety include fatigue, irritability, and lack of confidence.

When children and teenagers experience significant amounts of anxiety, they may experience various physical symptoms. These include stomach aches, headaches, dizziness, nausea, chest tightness, and restlessness.


Recognizing the triggers that cause anxiety can help parents and children identify the condition and develop effective strategies to manage it.

Understanding children’s feelings and thoughts can also help parents and children develop effective strategies to manage their anxiety by listening to and understanding them. Try talking to your children about the unhelpful thoughts they’re experiencing. For instance, they might think about how they will fail their test. Identifying their unhelpful thoughts can help you develop more realistic strategies with them.

Children can come up with their conclusions if asked to analyze all the available evidence.

Being able to self-realize is more potent than telling children they will not fail their tests.

Encourage your child to develop a more helpful and realistic thought, such as, “Even though I’m afraid I might fail, I’m going to prepare myself, and I’m going to perform my best on the test.” This will help them realize that they can still pass.

One of the most effective ways to help children relieve their anxiety is by having them practice deep belly breathing. This type of exercise can help them relax and think more clearly. 

Role-play scenarios that frighten children so they can prepare for the worst. These could include asking for help, going to a restaurant, or buying a ticket to a movie.


It’s important to avoid labeling their feelings, experiences, and thoughts as either good or bad. For instance, do not tell them it’s bad to think they will fail. Instead, help them think of something more positive and helpful.

Don’t minimize your children’s experiences, as their feelings are real. It’s also vital to face difficult situations with compassion and kindness. Meeting kids with empathy can be helpful when they are feeling scared.

You and your children are not alone. The primary care physician of your child will be able to help you and your kids through this.

This blog was previously published on February 15, 2023 at JenniferPowers.me

How to Raise Courageous Kids

One of the most important lessons children and teens should learn is that courage doesn’t always feel like bravery. It can be frightening or thrilling, depending on the situation.

Sometimes, courage can feel like overwhelming fear or anxiety. It can also be a trickster, as it often differs. This is because both fear and courage exist in a unified way.

What makes courage different from other emotions is that it’s about something magical happening inside us, enabling us to push through fear and anxiety and do what makes us afraid.

Kids need to learn about courage, as seeing its effects can take a while. For instance, it can mean being kind to a new student in class or speaking up for something they believe in. These things often come with a limited amount of fanfare.

Build Courage

Everyone wants to feel safe. It’s so unsplintered and smooth that it’s unlikely to cause bruises or scrape you. However, being safe and certain can sometimes be too perfect for our kids. They will eventually need to learn to take risks and grow from them.

Kids and teens often step up to their expectations. They should be supported and talked about their courage and reminded of the significance of their actions.

Rejection and failure are often a sign that you’ve done something brave. They can provide you with new knowledge and experience you might not have had access to otherwise. Give children room to grow and accept imperfection.

Try to encourage them to do something that pushes them to the edges of their emotional or physical selves, such as music, drama, or sports. Doing something that will help them develop their inner strength and confidence will do much for their development. You can tell them about when you were afraid, hesitated, or said “yes” or “no” to things that were not right for you. Talk about when you felt overwhelmed, changed your thinking, and felt like doing something big was right for you. You can inspire them to feel brave by sharing your own stories.

Sometimes, brave behavior gets overshadowed by actions that are a little scuffed. If this occurs, support the courageous intent or voice while redirecting the behavior.


One of the most common ways people avoid going beyond their limitations is through negative self-talk, silent communication can be barely noticeable, but it can be powerful. Have your kids understand that even though they may be scared, they will still be braver than they think. You can show them that even if they are not feeling brave, they can still act as if they are. Being brave can be an action, a thought, or a feeling.

This blog was previously published on February 22, 2023 at https://medium.com/@jenniferpowersnyc

Tips for Assisting Your Children in College Applications

Getting into college can be very stressful. There are many steps involved in the process, and it can take effort to see the lines between helicopter and helpful parenting. Here are some guidelines that will help you navigate through the process.


One of the most critical factors parents should consider when choosing a college is their student’s desire for a particular experience. Actively listen to the student, ask questions, and repeat the student’s words.


Encourage your child to make their own decisions during the college application stage. They can start by contacting various college admissions teams and creating a pro and con checklist for their preferred schools.


Things have changed since you graduated from high school. As a parent, you should not assume you know everything about college applications. Instead, try to provide your child with as much guidance as possible.


Once the time has come for your child to visit a particular school, they must take advantage of this opportunity. Organizing a family vacation or a special event around the visit is a great idea. In-person visits can be intimidating, so holding a positive event for the student can help ease fears.


Parents can help their child get into college by offering financial support. Although you don’t need to hand over a blank check, having your finances in order can help you secure the necessary funding for their education.


Don’t force your child to choose a particular school or program just because you want them to. Doing so can damage your relationship and negatively affect their chances of getting into a good college.

Other Things to Consider

The college application process is usually due in the student’s senior year. However, you should start the process earlier than that. During this time, you can help your child narrow down the possible schools and find a good fit.

There’s no official rule when it comes to applying to various schools. However, Very Well Family suggests that you consider applying to a few of them while considering different criteria to ensure your child gets accepted.

One of the most important steps parents can take to help their child get into college is to perform a social media audit about their child. This can help prevent potential schools from finding negative information while searching for students online before they send out acceptance letters.

It could be intimidating to help a college-bound student if you didn’t attend. Fortunately, plenty of resources exist to help you navigate this new chapter in your family.

How to Volunteer as a Family

Giving back to the community is a great way to teach children about compassion and empathy. It can also be fun and help build a stronger relationship between them and their families.

Benefits to Young People Who Volunteer

Young children can learn that helping others can make a difference. Volunteering also shows older teens and kids how they can make a difference.

When kids and teens volunteer, they get to meet people from different backgrounds and abilities. Working on a project helps them develop strong relationships with others who share the same values and interests.

Kids and teens can practice life skills by volunteering. It can also help them become a part of a team and show up on time. In addition, teens can discuss their volunteer work in their college applications or job interviews.

Try volunteering at a healthcare facility, a political campaign office, or a nonprofit organization to see what it’s like to work in these jobs.

How can Families Volunteer?

There are different types of volunteer projects that families can choose from, such as helping someone you know, or going to an animal rescue or shelter every week. Some families also make a tradition of doing one project a year, such as filling holiday gift baskets.

Look for a project that fits the needs of your neighborhood and works for your child’s age. You can also offer to help with chores such as weeding and cooking.

You can also ask your family to help with a cleanup project, such as picking up trash at the local beach or park.

If you’re looking for a project to help people in need, consider donating food to a local soup kitchen or food bank. Volunteers can also help deliver meals to those who are homebound.

Write letters to veterans and children in need of a boost. Some organizations also need volunteers to help them send letters to legislators. Nonprofits need help with fundraising and promotional activities, such as writing postcards.

Where to Start?

You can find a variety of projects that your family can help with by searching online or calling a charity that your family supports. You can also check the state’s website for information about volunteer programs. Some families participate in projects after disasters in the US or abroad.

This blog was previously published on January 20, 2023 https://jenniferpowersnyc.medium.com/

New Parenting Books to Read in 2023

So many things go into being a good parent that it can be hard to keep track of all the details. But, with the help of these resources, you can easily find the answers to some of the most common questions about raising kids.

Due to the steady flow of information that’s available online, it’s hard to keep track of all the necessary resources for parenting.

Although it’s hard to choose just a few favorite parenting books, there are plenty of them you’ll love.

This list of parenting books can help you navigate the various issues you might be facing as a parent.

  1. Thrivers: The Surprising Reasons Why Some Kids Struggle While Other Kids Shine

By Dr. Michele BorbaThrivers Michele Borba

In her second book, Thrivers, Michele talks about the various factors that help some kids become successful.

Today’s kids are more likely to be successful than ever before. Unfortunately, they’re not as happy.

Although many factors can help kids become successful, some of the most important traits are also in common with those who succeed.

The book, now available in a paperback, explores these traits and helps educators and parents identify the things that will help their kids succeed.

  1. Social Justice Parenting: How to Raise Compassionate, Anti-Racist, Justice-Minded Kids in an Unjust World

By Dr. Traci Baxley

It’s also essential to raise responsible kids, as Baxley so brilliantly states. This is about creating a better society for everyone.

The changes society is going through now are happening because of the efforts of educated and socially enlightened kids.

  1. The Explosive Child: A New Approach for Understanding and Parenting Easily Frustrated, Chronically Inflexible Children

By Ross W. Greene, PhD

Are you worried that your child is out of control and that they might respond to problems by screaming, crying, or hitting you? The explosive child by Ross Greene is a must-have for anyone who has tried everything else.

The practical and compassionate book will help you identify the steps you need to take to stop your child from developing destructive behaviors.

In The Explosive Child, Ross Greene explains how traditional discipline methods don’t work with kids with explosive behavior.

  1. Brain-Body Parenting: How to Stop Managing Behavior and Start Raising Joyful, Resilient KidsBrain-Body 

By Mona Delahooke, PhD

According to Dr. Delahooke, behavior is only a symptom, and we should stop parenting reactively and focus on the things that are important to our kids.

Managing our expectations helps us understand and empathize with our kids. It also allows us to develop effective ways to help them succeed.

This blog was previously published on January 20, 2023 at JenniferPowers.me

Common Challenges New Parents Face

People tend to experience readjustment after having a baby or pregnancy. It can take a lot of work to get used to the changes brought about by the new situation.

Some people may find it hard to cope with the changes. It’s essential to seek help when this happens. There are a variety of community and health services that can help. Asking for assistance can help decrease stress levels.


Some of these include: 

  • The demands of breastfeeding can involve pain and inflammation of the nipples and other body parts.
  • New Parents suffer from fatigue.
  • Often new parents need more confidence. 
  • Dealing with the expectations of family and friends can also take time and effort.

The changes brought about by pregnancy or childbirth can also affect one’s identity. For instance, it can cause a loss of one’s work role and sense of freedom.

During this period, one’s relationship with their partner can also change. For instance, they may have different ideas about how to care for the baby.


Most people find it hard to ask for help. They may feel embarrassed or resentful because they struggle to care for their new baby.

The arrival of a new baby can trigger various feelings and thoughts. Some of these include a sense of loss for one’s old self. We encourage new parents to acknowledge the joy and distress they can feel.

Expecting parents should refrain from being overly influenced by parenting advice. They should also maintain a realistic perspective and allow themselves to learn how to look after their child. They should also refrain from judging themselves against the expectations of others. They should allow themselves to learn through experience.

Having a couple of trusted sources can also help new parents navigate the various changes parenthood brings. These may include a child health nurse or GP.

It’s also vital for new parents to take care of themselves. Having a well-rounded and balanced life can help them cope with the changes brought about by parenthood.

Find a support network, a helpline, and information about various health services. Support groups, parenting skills courses, and counseling services are also available. 

The point is, you don’t have to go it alone. 

This blog was previously published on January 13, 2023 at JenniferPowers.me