Co-Owner of Toronto Family Doulas, Certified Labour and Postpartum Doula
Meaghan is a Certified Labour Doula, Certified Postpartum Doula, Certified Educator, and Certified Postpartum Placenta Specialist. As co-owner of Toronto Family Doulas Meaghan works with families to explore their options and help them to discover their own strength through pregnancy, birth, and the postpartum period.
After graduating with a degree in History from Nipissing University and a post-graduate diploma in Advanced Studies in Special Needs, Meaghan entered the field of special needs education and behavioural therapy. Her dedication to special needs education led to an interest in early development and families. Her own experiences as a mother of two led her to doula work, where her passion for judgement-free support of all birth and parenting choices became the foundation of her doula practice. With a dedication to lifelong learning and professional development in the doula industry, Meaghan became the first person ever to achieve certification in all four programs offered by ProDoula.
We can laugh and joke about pre-wedding jitters, but what about pre-baby jitters? While some anxiety over the anticipated life changes are normal, some individuals have bigger concerns and fears around the process of birth and becoming a parent.
The idea of bringing home multiples can be staggering. Do you really need two of everything? Will they come early? Are they identical, and how will you tell them apart if they are? Once you discover you are having multiples, your prenatal care will likely change. If you are registered with a midwife, your care may be transferred, or plans may be made to transfer you at 28 weeks. If you are scheduled to see an OB, you might be moved to a multiples or high risk prenatal clinic. You will definitely have more appointments, more ultrasounds, and possibly more tests.
Birth and postpartum mental health issues don't get the attention they deserve, says Meaghan Grant. We don't talk about the pressure to meet expectations or the fact that other people's opinions impact the way we parent and the way we view ourselves as parents.
It is a common joke amongst new parents and parents-to-be that babies do not come with an instruction manual. And while there are thousands of books on parenting style, breastfeeding, the 'science' of raising children, and more, none of them cover ways to make life easier. Most parents would happily give up (more) sleep if they just had some clues on ways to soothe, settle, schedule, and survive their child's infancy.
One of the most common words that comes up when expectant parents are planning for their birth is "advocate." There is an idea in our culture that birth is frightening, overwhelming, and even that medical providers do not always have the best interests of parents and babies at heart.
My journey through infertility was one of the hardest things I have ever done. It was hard on me emotionally, hard on me physically; it affected my marriage and my relationships with friends and family. It took a toll on my professional life. It made me doubt who I was as a person and the plan I had for my life.
The debate between formula feeding and breastfeeding is not one that is likely to be settled any time soon. For new parents, the decision might be automatic, easy, or devastating. There are no right or wrong reasons why a family might opt to introduce formula to their baby; every family is doing what is best for them.
Whether you are breast- or bottle-feeding, knowing your baby's cues is an important step in ensuring your baby is getting enough to eat. Feeding on demand in the first weeks and months is an essential part of providing adequate nutrition for growth and development.
If you tell someone you are planning an unmedicated birth, you are met with a grin and nod in that "uh-huh, you are going to be begging for an epidural" kind of way. If you say you are planning an epidural, they wax poetic about the joys of unmedicated birth. Everyone has an opinion on your birth, and it is almost always going to be the opposite of yours.
Having a baby, or babies, is unpredictable. They are their own person and it is always harder to plan around someone else, especially when they cannot tell you their agenda. It is not always possible to just "go with the flow"; so having plans in place can help you to adjust when things are not working.
Postpartum mood disorders are so much more than just depression. Anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder, the blues, manic states and, more rarely, psychosis all make up the spectrum. My own experience parallels the experience of so many, and yet has its own unique complications.
New Year's often brings about resolutions to lose weight, eat healthy, or spend more time with family. But for new parents, those resolutions may not hit the mark. New parents are tired, overwhelmed, and may feel isolated. These resolutions are perfect for families, whether your bundle of joy arrived before the ball dropped, or is coming your way sometime in 2017.