Shelly Gott has served families from the Triangle area in North Carolina for years. Her career started in 1995 with an in-home daycare and assisting in births. Shelly has been a Certified Post-partum Doula since 2004 and has been working as a Sleep Consultant since 2007. In 2009 she became Certified in Infant Massage through International Loving Touch Foundation. After all these years of serving young families, she continues to declare, "The best part of my job is meeting new people and watching parents develop the confidence to care for their children." Here is a story of one young family, their twin infants, and HUG Your Baby. (www.babiesandbeyond.org.)
“It all makes sense now!” Jen said, as I was explaining to her about the different states of sleep her identical twin boys have.
I have worked as a postpartum doula for the last 9 years. Some families I work with from before the baby even arrives and through the postpartum months, while other families I start with after the baby is a few weeks old. When I came across the HUG course I realized that was already discussing a lot of the information with my families, but I lacked the knowledge of how to teach it effectively in a way the parents would be able to understand.
Jen was so excited for me to come for a home visit to discuss with her how her boys were communicating with her. Nick and Alex were born at 32 weeks gestation and spent about 4 weeks in the NICU. When I visited the family they had just passed their due date, so they were turning into “normal newborns.” The behavior they were starting to exhibit was changing from “preemie” to “newborn,” and Jen and her husband were wondering. "What's going on?"
Nick and Alex were crying when I arrived. It was 9pm at night and they were ready to sleep. Jen had just finished breastfeeding and was getting ready to swaddle them. She had been told that swaddling helps to calm babies down quickly and knew about The Happiest Baby on the Block techniques.
Nick fell into a deep sleep within about 10 minutes. His mouth hung open, and there was little eye movement. Alex, on the other hand, was put down in a bouncy chair and drifted in and out of sleep for about 45 minutes. We talked about the difference between the two sleep states. Jen asked about waking them to eat together at the next feeding. ” Should I do that,” she asked, “even though it is night time?”
I told her to allow the babies to wake on their own, or wait until they are in an active/light sleep. I explained how babies will move to the ready zone a lot easier when they are not in deep sleep. We also discussed SOSs, and how she may know when to back off a little when they are communicating SOSs to her. Her response was, “Oh. It all makes sense now!”
Using techniques thqt The HUG program teaches has given me tools and resources to be able to effectively help me to help my families understand their baby. I look forward to being able to talk with each of my families about getting to know their infant better.