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

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/

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

Keeping Your Kids Entertained on a Rainy Day

It can be hard to keep the kids entertained when rain or cold weather keeps them indoors. However, staying indoors can be fun with the right activities for kids.

Here are some fun and exciting activities to keep the kids entertained indoors. If you’re looking for more ideas, check out Mommy Poppins Stay-At-Home Guide. They also have a Boredom Busters Guide that will inform you about new and fun indoor activities. 


Baking cookies or making granola is a great way to keep busy. You can find recipes for easy and healthy treats that are perfect for anyone who is not a chef. Most can be made in just minutes and will be a big hit.

Sensory Games

If you have little ones, you know they love lights and sounds. Pull out those toys on a rainy day. These imaginative playthings are perfect for kids and babies. 

Make an Escape Room

You can also use an Escape Room kit for added fun. You can buy a downloadable kit to get started. It will be fun for the entire family.

Make Slime 

You can make a batch of slime and challenge the kids to define the state of matter of the substance. This is fantastic for science-minded kids and parents. 

Make a Scavenger Hunt

An indoor scavenger hunt is also fun to get the kids together. They might find some missing socks. That’s a big win all the way around. 

You can do this with simple things like finding something blue. Leave a clue to find the next item, which might be a book with a duck in it. 


Children will love using STEM-inspired toys and turning learning into play. For instance, you can have a building challenge using Magna-Tiles.

Listen to a Story

Get everyone together for a story podcast. There are a variety to choose from that will be fun for everyone.

Have a Parade

Playing marching band is a great way to spend quality fun time with your kids. Before leading the parade through the living room, you can make the instruments from household items, pots, pans, and paper tubes. 

Work Out

It’s great to burn off some energy with an excellent indoor workout. Check YouTube for kid-friendly yoga or dance that will be good fun.

Traditions to Start With Your Kids in 2023

A tradition is a ritual that helps build a sense of identity and memories for your family. You can do it weekly or around specific events, such as holidays or birthday parties. Doing the same thing multiple times helps build a stronger bond with your family.

Families have unique memories, such as the hot car ride to the mountain cabin or vacation home. As we grow older and become parents, we can decide which will continue into our daily lives and holiday celebrations. Forming new traditions can also be beneficial.

New traditions can be fun to develop, and here are a few ideas to help you start.


Having the same meal each day of the week can be a great way to create continuity. Monday might be your son’s favorite dinner, and Wednesday is set aside for your daughter’s favorite. Maybe Sunday is pasta night, and grandma’s meatloaf on Thursday. Giving the meal a theme gives everyone something to look forward to and remember fondly in the future.


Gather all of the family members together and host a talent show. Everyone can showcase their talents by singing a song, running a certain distance, or displaying a drawing.


A fun activity for the whole family is to play “show and tell.” Each family member can bring one item to the dinner table, and they can share why it means something to them.


A regular family walk can be a great way to get outside and away from the screens. Do it early in the morning or at dinnertime, which can be a great way to exercise and spend time together. If your kids are young, a baby stroller is an excellent way for them to join in the fun.


Bedtime stories is a great way to build a strong bond with your children. It can also help boost their reading skills and promote social and emotional development.


A monthly Mommy/Daddy/Child date can be a great way to build a strong bond with your children. Each child gets to choose what they want to spend time doing as a family.


One of the most effective ways to build a strong relationship with your children is by regularly doing community service projects. This can help them become familiar with the project and its cause.


Set up a camp in front of the Christmas tree, where the kids can enjoy reading holiday stories and snacking on treats. In the morning, you can make Christmas tree shaped pancakes.  


You can also go shopping for the needy and help local organizations. During this time, the kids can learn the importance of giving to those who need help the most. It can be a different experience for them to choose toys that are not for them.


Make homemade treats for your neighbors and friends and deliver them. You can also make special stops at local police stations and fire departments.

This blog was previously published on JenniferPowers.me on December 22, 2022

How to Travel Safely With Kids This Holiday Season

Anxious about traveling during the holidays? You’re not alone. Here are some of the questions parents are asking. Should I buy a refundable ticket? Should we stay home? Is it worth it?

Let’s assume you’re not staying home. You have a family to visit. Maybe a child who’s never met his grandparent. It’s worth it to make that introduction. It might be worth it for the memories you’ll store up during the holidays. 

Should We Self Quarantine?

According to the CDC, Individuals should stay home for at least seven days after being declared sick. 

Take Covid 19 Tests?

Economist Emily Oster, who writes about parenting and pregnancy in her book, ParentData, said that rapid testing is an excellent idea for traveling. She added that even if everyone in the group is vaccinated, having the test before and after they get to the airport can help prevent the spread of the illness.

Getting the test can also be challenging, especially since it’s only sometimes available at pharmacies. 

Who Can Hold the Baby?

Pediatricians suggest that all relatives wear a mask while holding the baby to keep the child healthy. Everyone should wash their hands properly. Go ahead and blame your doctor for making relatives do these things; they won’t mind. 


It’s hard to avoid people while you’re at the airport, for instance, as you queue up to get in line or wrestle a car seat into an overhead bin. However, a blanket or a protective shield can help keep your child away from masses of people.

It’s always better to avoid public transportation when traveling with an infant. 

Was it the Right Choice?

Think about your risk tolerance. It’s also easier said than done depending on the person you’re trying to protect. For instance, you may have a different risk tolerance for an older relative who is not vaccinated than for a young child who is healthy and has immunity from their mother.

Make sure you and your partner are on the same page when setting boundaries. Wherever your stance is, you should be able to stand up for yourself. It’s your right to keep your child safe.