LeeAnne Hamilton

This is the second part in a two part series by Postpartum Doula, LeeAnne Hamilton. Part one can be found here.


As an overnight doula I am taking care of a client's 10 day old baby boy. Mom is getting some much need rest and I am on baby duty. I love my job! Here's how our evening has gone so far.

 At 11pm I arrived to a frazzled mommy and daddy. I gladly took over, rewrapped his blanket so he was cozy, not swaddled, and headed downstairs to clean the kitchen. We puttered around for an hour, he and I, doing whatever I could manage with one hand while he dozed on and off in my other arm (tomorrow I will bring a wrap)! At midnight we headed for the bedroom where he had a bottle while listening to the white noise machine play heavy rainfall with the lights lowered as much as possible. I swaddled him, gave a few more cuddles while letting the feeding settle, and placed him in his crib. I stayed in the room with him, and so he watched me move around the room for a bit and then fell right asleep, without a peep. It is now 3am, and I expect he will wake for his next feeding shortly. And please don't worry, I have read the studies, and he is not overheated resulting in a deeper sleep. He has only a light blanket to keep him cozy. I do this with him every night, and already he goes to sleep on his own, sometimes a little pat on the bum is needed, sometimes a quick cuddle, but most of the time when I time it right, he is quiet, content and happy to simply fall asleep.

Other helpful tips for getting a head start on good sleep habits?

Babies function on a 24 hour clock for about the first 6 weeks; there is not much you can do about it. But you can help them to begin to learn the difference between day and night. At night keep things dark and quiet, with the exception of your white noise. Do feedings where baby sleeps, don’t get up and turn on the lights and sit in front of a loud television.

NaturallyBorn Editor

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Yesterday I shared some natural ways to prevent colds and flu. Sadly, sometimes even with the best preventative measures, we will become infected.

Many people will call their health-care provider hoping for some magical cure, or hop onto online communities hoping for a natural cure. The fact is, a treated or untreated cold lasts, on average, 7-9 days. Likewise, untreated viral Influenza lasts roughly 4-5 days, the same as medically treated flu. (Note: the Influenza is markedly different than what most people refer to as the flu. Viral Influenza is marked by high fever, body aches, runny nose and sneezing. The flu is not a stomach bug.)

The best cure for colds and flu is time.

Unfortunately colds and flu are very uncomfortable and we need ways to keep our family more comfortable as they recover.

Natural Cold and Flu Care

  1. Steam is your friend. Run the shower and faucet in your smallest bathroom, turning the room into a steam closet. Spend as much time in there as you can, while regularly blowing your nose or suctioning mucous from your babies nose. The steam will loosen the mucous and moisturize irritated nasal passages.
  2. Clap chest and back. If your child is suffering from a "junky" sounding cough, they can benefit from percussive clapping on their chest and back to loosen the phlegm. This clapping is with an open palm and has to be harder than what you would use to burp a baby.
  3. Sleep upright: There is a reason that babies with colds only want to sleep on a parent's chest. It is easier for them to breathe in a more upright position. I allow my older children to sleep in a recliner in the living room when they have a cold. babies may sleep more comfortably in their swing or bouncy seat during this time as well.
  4. Blow that nose: Keeping nasal passages as clear as possible will help prevent a sinus infection and will keep you more comfortable. Noses may become raw, so a little balm under the nose may help. Infants and young babies will need to be aspirated with a nasal aspirator or Nose Frieda. You can help loosen their nasal secretions with a few drops of saline.
  5. Hot steam vaporizer: if you can keep a hot steam vaporizer out of the hands of curious toddlers and pets (they are a burn risk), it can make night air in the bedroom more comfortable for sleeping. Make sure you air the room out well the next day to prevent eh growth of mold due to the added moisture.
  6. Chest rub: A vaporizing chest rub can be comforting for some, but not all. A good natural option is Nature's Baby Organics Organic Ah-Choo! Chest Rub.
  7. Drink up! Make sure your fluid intake is increased! This helps thin secretions and will increase your comfort level. Continue to nurse babies who have colds, and be patient with it appears they have trouble breathing through feeding, you may have to get creative with positioning. Hot tea with honey and lemon is a great and comforting folk remedy for anyone over the age of 12 months.
  8. Chicken soup. Grandma was right! Homemade chicken soup really does have some curative properties for those suffering from colds. Part of the comforting is the warm steam while eating, and the salty broth helps sooth a sore throat. There have been studies that show chicken soup does have some anti viral properties as well. Want a great recipe for Chicken Soup with healing herbs garlic and Thyme? Read here!

When to Call the Doctor

Since time is the ultimate cure for a cold, there is usually no need to consult your doctor in the early stages. However, if your newborn (Under 6 weeks old) is showing signs of a cold or of RSV consult your doctor immediately. If your cold symptoms worsen over five days or do not improve in over 10 days, please see your doctor as this may be signs of a more serious sinus infection or bronchitis.

Please note that the current recommendation is to not give any over the counter cold or cough products to children under the age of two, and should be given very sparingly to children older than that, and then, only age appropriate formulations.

Chime in! What have been your best ways to treat cold and flu naturally? Leave a comment to share with the NaturallyBorn community.

NaturallyBorn Editor

alpahbet soupIf you have been around our NaturallyBorn website or Facebook page for long, you will notice that our readers often use abbreviations. This makes things easy for readers who are on phones and mobile devices, but it can be super confusing for our readers who are new to NaturallyBorn.

Here is an incomplete list of common NaturallyBorn Abbreviations. Please feel free to add your own to the comments and I will update!

  • DH-- Dear Husband
  • DP-- Dear Partner
  • DS-- Dear Son
  • DD-- Dear Daughter
  • LO-- Little One
  • TTC-- Trying to Concieve
  • EBF-- Exclusively Breast Fed
  • FF-- Formula Fed
  • CIO-- Cry It Out (we do NOT advocate this!)
  • AP-- Attachement Parent
  • EDD--Estimated Due Date
  • PP-- Post Partum
  • BLW-- Baby Led Weaning
  • HB-- Home Birth
  • UAC-- Unassisted Childbirth
  • VBAC-- Vaginal Birth After C-Section
  • HBAC-- Home Birth after C-section
  • FAM-- Fertility Awareness Method
  • NFP-- Natural Family Planning
  • AF-- Aunt Flo, or menstrual period

Do you have any abbreviations to add? Drop me a comment and I'll add them to the list!

NaturallyBorn Editor

Every Wednesday we at NaturallyBorn like to share a birth video with you. Today's video comes to us via Hobo Mama . This is the labor and birth of her first child. He was a planned home birth with very skilled midwives, but complications led to a hospital birth (and a positive outcome).

NaturallyBorn Editor

iStock 000003828769XSmallOnce upon a time, back when I "only" had two young children, Facebook was not invented, and most people were still on dial up internet, I was a member of a very busy, very popular, natural mama message board.

Unlike on Facebook, where we mostly go by our given and married names and have a large cover photo and about section; on this board we all went by screen names and our about section was our signature line.

In this signature line there was usually a lovely professional photo of perfectly clean, well dressed children (and rarely a photo including the mom) and then a list.

The list went something like this:

Supermama, bf, cd, co-sleeping, no plastic using, slinging, no epidural, no cio, organic raw milk drinking, no spanking, no vaxing, intactivist, mom of three perfect little girls.