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 NEWSLETTER 

April 2022

Fourth Edition

Year(s) in Review:

The past two years mark a time of great reflection where to begin...

In early March 2020, when our lives began to change drastically - in lieu of feeling complete hopelessness, fear and uncertainty, I started Free Zoom infant massage lessons relaxation + connection + massage. This felt like one small thing I could do to support families during this time of isolation and anxiety. Many families and their babies joined me in this cozy setting where we shared feelings about the virus, lockdown, the many safety protocols, and the unprecedented alterations to our family and work lives. We also shared our gratitude and joy for our children, extended families, and friends. Parents learned and practiced the massage strokes during our class time, providing them with the opportunity for bonding and a chance to breathe in and connect with other parents in similar circumstances.

The weekly lessons became a reliable safe harbor for many folks, and a hopeful, inspiring weekly event for me!

Our lives had been turned upside down but in May of 2020, just two months into the worldwide pandemic, my little nephew Nicholas was born!! Little Nicki's arrival was the one bright shinning light in the midst of it all. As challenging as the pandemic was, I am so grateful to have had loads of time to be an integral part of the nurturing and caring of my nephew, as auntie and postpartum doula, in those first precious moments of his life. Today, my nephew can almost say my name, he calls me Gigi,"  and is on the verge of speaking in full sentences - both in English and Polish! 

My relationship with time shifted further in this past year, when I picked up the book

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Four Thousand Weeks: Time Management for Mere Mortals by Oliver Burkeman (see below). This book questions our perceived concept of time, how we think about it, use it, and the lack of awareness humans share around it.  As I assimilate this new concept of time into my being, I continue to support families as a postpartum doula in their homes, and gratefully do so one family at a time. For now I am teaching Pilates, the Bringing Baby Home Workshop (at BTC) and Infant Massage in private sessions...and as time allows will continue to do so. 

With a full heart,

Gina   

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Nicholas enjoying a little rest in the snuggleme

Parent Faves

snuggleme Organic Lounger
A favorite for newborns and their parents. Designed to hug your baby's whole body - calming and comforting your baby when you need support.
snuggleme does NOT approve their product to be used for sleeping, in a bassinet or co-sleeping...I have seen parents use the snuggleme for sleeping - but always under supervision.

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DR BROWN'S NIPPLE makes
lovebubble's essential list for the first forty days

Dr Brown's
Options Wide Neck Glass Bottles Anti Colic + Gas with Preemie Nipple

This is the #! recommended bottle AND NIPPLE for breastfeeding babies by IBCLC's, doulas and parents. The Dr Brown's Preemie nipple is the real shinning star though in this bottle - the flow when sucking from this nipple is the most like the flow when nursing.

  UPCOMING EVENTS + CLASSES 

Bellingham Birth Collective Presents
       BIRTH FAIR

A special event to connect parents and parents-to-be with the resources available to them!

April 23, 2022
Her Connection Hub
Downtown Bellingham

Breastfeeding Basics & Beyond

Bellingham Technical College - Check for times

Scholarships are available!  

 registration@btc.edu or 360.752.8350 

Bringing Baby Home Workshop

In partnership with Bellingham Technical College

April 20 - May 25, 2022

Online Wednesday Evenings 6:30-8:30

 registration@btc.edu or 360.752.8350 

"Today in the West, we are waking up to the importance of cocooning baby in the weeks following birth. The understanding that he (or she) is not quite ready to meet the world-at-large when he emerges is still in an early stage of development that's come to be known as the "fourth trimester" has awakened us to the value of holding him close and sheltered for some weeks, so he can shift slowly and gradually into life outside the womb."

--the first forty days

Book Recommendations:

the first forty days
The Essential Art of Nourishing the New Mother
Heng Ou with Amely Greeven and Marisa Belger

A gorgeous book for an expecting parent, sister, grandmother, or auntie. The philosophy, recipes, and photos provide insight and inspiration for the postpartum time...keeping in mind that every families experience is their own and may look very different from what this book suggests...all moms and dads are enough, regardless of what, and how they do the first forty days. 

Four Thousand Weeks:
Time Management for Mere Mortals 
By Oliver Burkeman

This thought provoking, powerful book will keep your mind busy long after you have finished it. In fact, I plan to read it again to further soak in and practice the concepts. Yes, 4000 weeks is the number of weeks in a lifetime, providing you live to be 80 years old. Whew! That alone is mind-blowing! 

lovebubbleFaves

an inside look at my essential guide to the first forty days

Montessori inspired mobile - just right for newborns vision

Montessori inspired - perfect for the non stop diaper changes and tummy time

All moms, breastfeeding included, can benefit from having a preemie nipple sterilized and ready to go...these nipples are the closest in flow for a nursing baby 

Another great item to know about in those first forty days - sometimes mom's may need to supplement or start formula *linked to german version - there are a couple of options

tech faves

Wonder Weeks APP
track your baby's leaps + learn about their development

GOTTMAN CARD DECKS APP
great cards for your relationship + your love life

Your Parenting Mojo Podcast
my favorite podcast, hands down! check out this one about SLEEP

MINDFUL IN MINUTES PODCAST
a quick and easy few minutes of mindfulness that can be just what you need in that moment


 

INFANT MASSAGE

PARENT CHILD PRIVATE LESSONS

1 hour Session $40

5 hour Session $175

Includes bottle of organic massage oil and

the Loving Handbook for Parents

To touch is to give life!
-Michaelangelo 

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Me and Nicholas
early spring 2021

I would love to hear from you! Let me know what you find interesting and enjoy in this newsletter. Please share your favorite books, classes, products or resources that have made a difference in your life this year! 
 
You can leave a comment on my Facebook page or EMAIL me directly. Please subscribe below if you would like to receive updates on upcoming classes and this yearly newsletter. Thank you! 

 April 2019

 Third Edition 

lovebubble

 NEWSLETTER 

Year in Review:

It has been an enlightening year as I continue to "follow my feet" as a postpartum doula and parent educator. A dear friend imparted this wisdom to me many years ago when I began searching for meaningful work and did not know where to begin. I have found this phrase helpful for myself and for anyone struggling with how to go on...or how to make change...or even, how to care for a newborn. To "follow your feet" means to mindfully take in each step - with grace and without judgement, to ignore or not be negatively influenced by those around you, to listen to your heart, to trust yourself, while with each step letting go of an end goal, expectation or a desired effect. This philosophy has served me well this year! 

 

As a postpartum doula I work very hard to be worthy of my presence in families homes...what does this look like? Oh, I "do" a lot of things, for instance, I change diapers, soothe and swaddle, feed babies a bottle, make a snack for the nursing mom or the older sibling, let the dog out, load the dishwasher, put a load of laundry in the dryer, help prepare dinner...you get the idea. However, sometimes I do not "do" anything - I am "just there." There with an open heart. There as a reliable listener. There as a supportive ally, There to cheer parents on.

This year I have been truly enlightened in the value of "just being there" for families.

 

As a parent educator whether teaching massage or working with couples, I am deeply enlightened by the power of CONNECTION + LOVE and how it is precisely the one ingredient newborns, children, and parents - all people, NEED. 

 

I am humbled, and truly honored to have worked with many families this year! Thank you for sharing your precious time with me and for allowing me to be a part of your journey. 

 

With a full heart,

Gina                                                                              

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OCTOBER 2019:

This is a special photo taken at the end of a five week parent + infant massage session. I love how the babies are peacefully sleeping after being lovingly massaged by their parents! 

  UPCOMING CLASSES+WORKSHOPS 

PARENT + INFANT MASSAGE SERIES  

MARCH 28 - APRIL 25 and MAY 30 - JUNE 2, 2020

Saturdays from 10:30-Noon in FAIRHAVEN

SIGN UP HERE!

BRINGING BABY HOME WORKSHOP 

In partnership with Bellingham Technical College

 MAY 2 & 3, 2020

Two day workshop from 9am - 4pm.

SIGN UP HERE!

BABY 'N' ME (8-12 MONTHS) 

Taught by Gina Eiford at BTC

APRIL 14 - JUNE 3, 2020

Wednesdays 1:00-3:00 PM

SIGN UP HERE!

Due to our current health situation and in respect to social distancing - these classes may be taught through video conferencing. 

    Book Review: Brain Health From Birth
Nurturing Brain Development During Pregnancy and the First Year
By Rebecca Fett

Brain Health From Birth is a thoroughly researched and heavily cited book. Filled with over 400 references in only 250 pages, this book packs a powerful punch for evidence-based information. Though rich in scienceFett does a wonderful job of keeping it simple, clear and positive. She tackles vaccines, formula vs breastfeeding, safe food, baby products, and everyday household supplies and the affects or possible impacts on the newborn brain. Most enlightening is the chapter devoted to pain and fever relief for babies! Divided into two parts - pregnancy and postpartum, at the end of each chapter she gives helpful advice on what to be concerned about and what not to. Most importantly, she does this without instilling fear or judgement on to the reader. This is so important for parents who are already bombarded with so much pressure from peers, their family and our culture. Parents can also go to Fett's website, Brain Health From Birth, for a list of safe products. This includes skin care, formulas, probiotics, sleepwear, mattresses, and gear. I highly recommend this book and these resources for parents who are expecting or caring for a young child. 

BUY ON AMAZON or try at your local bookstore. 

 Book Recommendations 

The Montessori TodDLER

A PARENT'S GUIDE TO RAISING A CURIOUS AND RESPONSIBLE HUMAN BEING

By Simone Davies

I love this book! First, it's beautiful! Second, it encompasses my parenting beliefs. Third, it gives parents and caregivers tools and clear guidance on how to put into practice the teachings of Maria Montessori. This book is inspiring, beautiful and practical! 

The WONDER WEEKS

A Stress-Free Guide to Your Baby's Behavior

By Hetty van de Rijt, PhD, Frans X. Plooij, PhD, and Xaviera Plas-Plooij

Great resource for parents - explains developmentally what your baby is experiencing during 10 predictable leaps and how parents can manage and support their baby. Offers "anchor moments" for self-care during these leaps that nurture parents resiliency and innate love for their child.

Beyond Behaviors

Using Brain Science and Compassion to Understand and Solve

Children's Behavioral Challenges 

By Mona Delahooke, PhD 

Wonderful, enlightening, thought provoking, and inspiring book. It will change how you think about your child's behavior. The message in this book is that children's behaviors have a deeper meaning...bringing children in close, rather than ignoring or putting them in a time out...is the key. Every human being craves and desires to be close

to the people in their lives.

Listening to My Body

By Gabi Garcia  Illustrated by Ying Hui Tan

Great book thoughtfully presented. Helps

parents to build on their child's capacity

to engage mindfully, self-regulate and deepen their sense of well-being. This awareness ultimately helps parents and children when communicating and processing normal everyday issues and the more challenging things that can come up. 

So many wonderful books...
           for more recommendations check out My Favorite Books here

Your Parenting

Mojo

Research Based Ideas to Help Kids Thrive

Your Parenting Mojo Podcast and Blog is a trusted source for all things related to parenting + life! Hosted by Jen Lumanian - this is a thought provoking, gut affirming, and nurturing podcast. 

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#2

#3

#4

#5

BONUS: There are several more thoroughly researched, mind shifting, and relevant episodes: Patriarchy (most enlightening, part two is coming up soon), sleep, attachment, play, the father's role, privilege, gender, self-regulation, parenting HSP children, and oh so much more! 

TO LEARN MORE: https://yourparentingmojo.com

What are the Benefits of Infant Massage?

There is an abundance of research and a plentitude of anecdotal evidence from families revealing the many ways babies and parents benefit from infant massage. These benefits can be grouped into four categories:

 Interaction + Stimulation + Relief + Relaxation 

In each five week session I strive to share these many benefits with families. However, usually after the first class, parents begin to experience the numerous benefits first hand. By the last class parents and babies understand these many benefits and need no further explanation. The massage then becomes a natural, loving part of their daily lives. 

Promotes Bonding + Secure Attachment

Stimulates Mind + Body Awareness

Relieves Gas + Colic

Promotes Relaxation through Improved Sleep

Parent Favs

Favorite "baby things" from parents

FridaBaby 

DermaFrida skin smoother for cradle cap - parents love!

MediFrida accu-dose pacifier

for medications - parents found this the best for giving baby an accurate dose that stays down! 

Check out all the FridaBaby products HERE.

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BABYBJÖRN Bouncer 

Parents say they can't live without

this chair! It comes in many different

colors and darling toys for baby to

play with.

CHECK IT OUT HERE

Baja Baby

body lotion 

Gluten-Free, Vegan-Friendly, Never Tested On Animals, EWG VERIFIED™ Sulfate, Paraben & Phthalate Free - Parents love the softness and how quickly it absorbs.

 Click Here for body lotion.

For more safe and healthy skin care products go to Brain Health from Birth Products - click here.

We thought we knew what love was

Until the day we held you

We thought we knew what life was

Until the day we kissed you

Hey ya hey

Hey ya hey

Hey ya hey

Excerpt from Welcome Song for Baby

A lullaby for newborns 

Richard Van Camp

See on Amazon 

Also by this author  We Sang You Home

(a sweet sweet book, and a favorite)

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Me, Fay and Rosie

Summer 2019

I would love to hear from you! Let me know what you find interesting and enjoy in this newsletter. Please share your favorite books, classes, products or resources that have made a difference in your life this year! 

 

You can leave a comment on my Facebook page or EMAIL me directly. Please subscribe below if you would like to receive updates on upcoming classes and this yearly newsletter. Thank you! 

 NEWSLETTER 

 April 2019 

  Second Edition 

Year in Review

It has been a tremendous year of growth for me and lovebubble! This year I have continued to support families as a postpartum doula and fertility/ivf doula. I have also volunteered my support in the community with the Nurse Family Partnership and Perinatal Support Washington. I have also devoted many hours and much effort to become a International Association of Infant Massage Certified Educator and a Certified Gottman Bringing Baby Home Educator. Again this past year, I have learned so much and gained an abundance of knowledge! I am extremely grateful to be able to do this work, and to have had the opportunity to work with some wonderful and amazing families.      

                                                                           Warmly, gina