T. Rex dinosaur is roaring. Is he teething?

Teething, Dr. Google, and Spurious Correlations

Ugh, teething. The bane of our existence when our babies are still relatively new and nonverbal. They cry, they drool, and they can't tell us what's wrong. As parents, we're naturally susceptible to anxiety about keeping ...
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Why America's Black Mothers and Babies Are In a Life-or-Death Crisis

Doing better by black mothers and babies

Photo credit: LaToya Ruby Frazier for The New York Times There's been a ton of discussion in the birth world this month about Linda Villarosa's excellent New York Times Magazine feature, and for good reason. It ...
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You need sleep and so does your baby!

Baby sleep advice

Co-sleeping? Self-soothing? Crying it out? Baby sleep is mysterious and overwhelming in the early days...and then again around four months...and again any time they have a cold or a developmental leap. When you Google "why won't ...
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The club isn't the best place to find a lover So the pool is where I go

Baby swimming lessons

Our very first Baby Lunch Date was a hoot! Thank you to the parents who joined us for cookies and catching up. To all who couldn't make it this week, I'll be back at Rosemont Wellness next ...
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Hand setting a paper boat on a desk near a stack of books

What does Ballast & Buoy mean?

No, I did not use the Hipster Business Name Generator to name my LLC. I was using an ampersand before it was cool. The moniker was birthed after months of planning and wondering about the future. I wanted ...
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Rosemont Wellness Center logo

Big exciting news! Rosemont Wellness Center

I am SO PLEASED [and caffeinated, tbh] to share with you all that Ballast & Buoy now has a meeting space in meatspace. This spring I will be rolling out a number of parenting groups and ...
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Motherland documentary

Free screening and discussion of Motherland

My friends at the Portland Public Library are wrapping up their summer documentary series with a free screening of Motherland. Ramona Diaz's documentary, the winner of the 2017 Sundance World Cinema Documentary Special Jury Award for ...
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Mackworth swing view

Secret Maine beaches

Maine does not lack for family-friendly beaches. Kettle Cove and Ferry Beach are each awesome in their own way, but if you're looking to go a little farther afield to avoid the crowds, check these out: ...
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under the waves

Support for postpartum depression and anxiety

Postpartum depression and anxiety are sneaky, lying, many-tentacled beasts. In my work providing postpartum family care to parents in greater Portland, I regularly come in contact with families who struggle to right the ship after the tempest ...
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Mother and infant walk through the snowy woods.

6 ways to get out and about with your winter baby in Portland, Maine

The season of hibernation is upon us, and the one-two punch of sleep deprivation + lack of sunlight hits Maine parents with winter babies particularly hard. It’s cold, it’s icy, and it somehow takes 3 hours ...
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sunrise through autumn leaves

The scars that remain

cicatrix noun The scar of a healed wound. Botany  A mark on a stem left after a leaf or other part has become detached. Our son Gus, born still almost 8 years ago, is very present ...
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Family leaving the hospital with new baby

The 5 stages of new mom panic — and five ways to overcome them

This photo was taken two days after our son was born, on the morning we were discharged from the hospital. See those uncertain smiles? The uneasy posture? That, my friends, is what terror looks like. I ...
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baby-friendly walks in Portland, Maine

5 ways to get out and about with baby in Portland, Maine

It’s summer, and you’re on maternity leave. While no one could describe your life right now as a vacation -- and if they do, dope slap them -- you are well situated to make the most ...
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Best baby names for your little Mainer

10 best baby names for your little Mainer

Forget census records and People magazine photo spreads. The best baby names are all right here in Maine. You're welcome. 1. Dirigo. For kids born to lead on the playground and the playing fields. Naming your baby ...
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Oh, Baby: The Witching Hour

The first few weeks after birth are a blur, but eventually, home life starts to settle into something resembling a rhythm. Right about the time that you start to think that you might have the hang of this ...
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7Q Interview: Postpartum doula in Portland, Maine

New moms need to be physically and emotionally nourished. We spend all of our time preparing for childbirth, preparing the nursery and taking the labor classes, and we don't spend as much time talking about what ...
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Haggard, hormonal, & hungry: food fixes for the 4th trimester

I have never known hunger like postpartum hunger. Sure, I grazed my way through pregnancy like a free range cow mowing down a field of clover, but nothing really prepared me for the bone-deep, gnawing need ...
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The “mom wars” within

Have you seen this ad? Its viral success as a "mom wars" touchstone was due in equal measure to the viewers who passed it gleefully around social media and those in whom it touched a nerve. For ...
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Hi! I’m Jessica.

Jessica Thomas is a certified professional postpartum doula serving greater Portland, Maine.
I'm a certified postpartum doula and erstwhile librarian. My favorite things are music, spreadsheets, Oxford commas, and Phryne Fisher.

My story. . .