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Let's Dish Series No. 1: Take Mama's Sex Quiz

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I'm Joanne Ilaqua.

a.k.a MamaSoup

I’ve spent about 20 years serving women as a nurse, doula and Lamaze educator. I also have 4 kids so I know first-hand how lonely and isolating it can be to be a mama. That’s why I created Mamasoup.

Most days you can find me working away in my home office (without a bra on), bopping out to Hip Hop (which I’m WAY to old to listen to, btw- but I just can’t quit it!) and searching my teenagers’ rooms for all the plates and bowls.

Featured Posts...

labour and delivery

Take Mama's Sex Quiz

As part of a new series, “Let’s Dish,” we’ll be sharing interactive quizzes related to a number of mom topics that will give you a bit of ‘virtual girl talk’ by revealing answers of other moms once you've completed the quiz yourself.

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labour and delivery

5 Commonly Missed Signs of Pelvic Floor Dysfunction

Don't miss out on this incredible information on pelvic floor health from Jessica Dalliday of Pilates on Demand (POD), along with FREE video access, a printable to help fix the dysfunction and a fabulous deal to get you started on POD!

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labour and delivery

5 Things First Time Moms Wished They'd Known Before Giving Birth

If you’re pregnant with your first baby, this information is for you, Mama! This post is full of information and helpful (& FREE!) printables to help prepare you for the incredible birth of your baby!

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breastfeeding newborns

How to Succeed at Breastfeeding in the First 48 Hours

Breastfeeding is something every mom should have the best chance at - and the foundation of a great breastfeeding journey stars in the first 48 hours of baby's life. This post has incredibly detailed instructional printables that will help you succeed at breastfeeding!

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All of Mama's Posts:

What to Expect the First 6 Weeks Postpartum

Nobody really tells a new mom what to expect in the first six weeks postpartum. Check out these 10 things women polled really want you to know about the postpartum period.

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10 Birth Affirmations (Printable) you Need for a Confident Pregnancy and Stress-Free Birth

Birth affirmations are catching on and with great reason! But what are positive birth affirmations exactly, and how can our printables help you during labour and delivery?

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The Answers to Your Most Common Epidural Questions

In this post, I share all of the most common questions I get about epidurals in labour and birth! Check out typical side-effects, the difference between a spinal and an epidural and what it means when you're too frozen to push.

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How to Push Your Baby Out WITHOUT Tearing a Damn Thing.

Whether you decide to have a natural birth or an epidural, there are things you can do to protect your hoo-hah, Mama!

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I Need to Have a C-Section: What do I Need to Know?

As a labour and delivery nurse and doula, I'm here to tell you that it's not only birth, but it's the hardest way to have a baby.

As a woman who's had two cesearean, I can confirm that I understand the anxiety and worry you're feeling about your planned c-section.

So, I created a completely free info-series to help you feel more in control of your birth experience.

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Don't Have Your Baby Until You Do This

A recent study from Lansinoh came out and it found that:

While the majority of women felt prepared to care for their baby, 92% said there were parts of the postpartum period they were not prepared for. Nearly two-thirds or more were unprepared for breastfeeding, mental health concerns, lack of sleep, and physical recovery.

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Everything You Need to Know About Recovering From Your Cesarean

Having a c-section isn’t the easy way out of birth. In fact, it’s the harder way to have a baby. I have about 22 years serving women as they become moms and I’ve never yet seen a woman breeze through a caesarean.

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C-Section Recovery Tips for the First Few Days

Having a c-section isn’t the easy way out of birth. In fact, it’s the harder way to have a baby. I have about 20 years serving women as they become moms and I’ve never yet seen a woman breeze through a caesarean.

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Vaginal vs C-Section: How your Recovery is Different

The way you give birth affects the way you recover. And while the one thing having a baby does is unite us in the Mom Club, every person experiences their postpartum differently.

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The Ultimate Guide to Your Postpartum Body

Hey, Girl? I know you’re a little surprised at how big your body has grown during this pregnancy. Did you ever think your stomach and boobs could  s t r e t c h  like that? And how about those cankles? I’m sure you’re wondering if all of this will ever go back to it’s original place.

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Covid-19 in Pregnancy Linked to Increased Stillbirth, Preeclampsia and Preterm Birth

March 19, 2021: **NEW meta-analysis of 42 studies involving 438,548 pregnant people around the world.

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The Difference Between a Doula and a Nurse at Your Birth

What you need to know before you hire a doula for your birth!

I'm a nurse. I'm also a doula. It’s a weird fence to straddle sometimes because both have their own culture. When wearing my nurse’s hat, I’ve heard the snide comments from other nurses about doulas. In my doula work, I’ve heard countless complaints about the “bitch nurses” at their local hospitals. 

 

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Epidural vs Natural Birth: 3 Ways Your Body Handles Them Differently

It's not a debate- it's just plain old science! Three ways your body handles birth when you don't have an epidural.

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Prenatal Quiz: Are you Ready for your Planned Cesarean?

Don’t let the fear of not knowing what to expect put a dark cloud over your pregnancy and birth. Let's figure out what you need to know to plan a birth that you’ll love and gently ease into motherhood while you recover and bond with your newborn.

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FREE Online Course- Limited Time Offer- Your C-Section: Before, During and After

Due to the global pandemic COVID-19 many pregnant women are unable to properly prepare for their upcoming, booked c-section. Hospital lockdowns, social distancing and re-prioritization of healthcare appointments does NOT have to have a profound effect on your birth.

From now until April 2nd, 2020, pregnant women can access the Mamasoup online course, Your C-Section: Before, During and After for FREE. (value $129.97)

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Caesarean Birth: 10 Ways to Avoid a C-Section

Giving birth by cesarean isn't an easy way to have a baby. It comes with more potential problems: in fact, a c-section recovery takes longer and has an emotional toll that can last a lifetime. Between the delayed healing of the incision and that little pooch on your belly that never goes away, having a caesarean is tough.

Read on for 10 ways to avoid a c-section!

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9 Ways to Turn a Breech Baby

About 25% of babies are in the breech position before 28 weeks! Yup, those babies like to spread out and motor around when they have room in the womb. But as the weeks grow, so does your baby; by the time you hit 32 weeks only about 7% of those remain breech.

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How to Use the 3 Phases of Pushing Your Baby Out Vaginally to Avoid Tearing and Episiotomy

In this 4-minute tutorial, L&D/postpartum nurse, doula and Lamaze educator Joanne Ilaqua teaches you about the 3 phases of pushing a baby out vaginally and how you can work with them to avoid tearing and episiotomy.

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5 Steps to Massaging Your Perineum While You're Pregnant So You Don't Tear During Childbirth

Pusing a baby out is one of the biggest fears that women have about childbirth. Well, that and pooping during the pushing stage but we’ll tackle that one another day, Mama. It’s no surprise either- it’s almost impossible to imagine your lady-bits stretching big enough to fit another human being through it, amiright?

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Fetal Macrosomia: 6 Things You Need to Know About Giving Birth to a Big Baby

If you’re looking for a little big baby birth inspo, I’ve got you covered! There are a few things you should know before you go into labour with your little line-backer.

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7 Reasons You Need to Hire a Doula (Even if You're Having an Epidural)

I have to give full disclosure here: I’m a doula. I’m also a nurse. I have supported birthing women on both sides of the stirrups, so I have some real insight here.  Believe me when I say, a doula can make the difference between a good birth experience and a great one.

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Pushing For Your Natural Childbirth: 6 Common Birth Interventions to Avoid

If you’ve been longing to have a drug-free birth, this information is for you, Mama. But fair warning: this isn’t about natural childbirth the Bradley way because I’m all about that Lamaze life. And contrary to what a lot of people think, Lamaze is about a lot more than just breathing!

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5 Things First-Time Moms Wished They'd Known Before Giving Birth

First-time mamas experience more fear of childbirth than moms who’ve already given birth a couple of times. Is this really that surprising? If you don’t know what to expect, the anticipation and uncertainty can be terrifying!

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Did You Have a Traumatic Birth?

Before I retired from nursing to start Mamasoup, I worked in Labour and Delivery/Postpartum. People would always smile when I told them what I did for a living, and usually someone would say You’re so lucky to work in such a happy place! And I did feel lucky, because when it was happy it was so happy. But when it was sad, it was almost unbearable.

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5 Reasons to Exercise While You're Pregnant and The Best Ways to Do It

When I first became pregnant I remember thinking, “Woohoo! Nine months of eating whatever I want and sitting around because I’m gonna get fat anyhow!” But as I started gaining the baby weight my body was really feeling it; I realized quickly how much exercise can keep the discomforts of pregnancy away.

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The 5 Best Positions to Get Into Active Labour

With so many women planning to have epidurals now, getting into positions that encourage the baby to move down the birth canal and progress labour may not be on everyone’s mind. But here’s the thing about epidurals: you have to be in active labour to have one. In order to get into active labour, you may need to use gravity to get the baby’s head pressing against the cervix.

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Your Body is Not Broken, Mama.

A caesarean.

I had to let it sink in for a bit, and when it finally did all I felt was scared. And disappointed: in my body and in the birth that I wasn’t going to have. I felt sorry for myself for awhile, then angry. Sometimes it seemed like all I was focusing on for the last 2 months of my pregnancy was my upcoming surgery and the pain that I would experience after.

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Everything You Wanted to Know About Vaginal Seeding

Basically, our bodies are full of microbes. These are micro-organisms that contain: bacteria, fungi and even viruses. You may think that these are bad, but a lot of them are actually VERY good for our health and well-being! 

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12 Ways to Have a Better Birth

There are some things that you can do to set yourself up for your best birth possible. Finding support, informing yourself and reading about other moms' experiences can all help you decide what kind of birth you want.

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5 Ways to Feel Confident About Giving Birth.

I remember the day I realized that I had a real, actual human being inside of me who was going to have to come out. I’m not gonna lie- I felt some panic. That’s when I knew that I would have to take some steps to prepare myself mentally for giving birth.

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Three Women With Three Different Birth Stories

Ask any woman about her birth(s) and she will be able to recall very specific details: the sounds, the smells and the way she was made to feel while she was bringing life into the world.

In this post: 3 women share 3 very different memories from their birth stories.

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Your Birth is THAT Important

Childbirth is a story that a mama will recall over and over again for her entire life. And it's not a story that can be rewritten.

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Twenty Questions a Mama Should Ask in a Doula Interview

So Mama, have you thought about hiring a doula? It can be overwhelming to find* and interview them, so I put together a list of questions that you can use to find the perfect doula for you and your partner!

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Caesarean Awareness is for EVERYMOM

January is Caesarean Awareness Month! Instead of telling you all the reasons you shouldn't have one, I've decided to talk about the reasons some women choose to have a caesarean birth. It's time to stop judging moms for their decisions and support one another! Your birth decisions were right for you, and hers were right for her.

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Do I Really Need a Doula?

Do you really need a doula? Ummm, yes. Doulas do a lot more than time contractions and breathing patterns!

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