Today’s local spotlight article features Libby, the owner of Hygge House. Hygge House provides birth, postpartum, and feeding support to families. While Hygge House is located in Owen Sound, Libby works with families in Bruce, Grey, and Simcoe counties – families across Ontario can also be supported via online services.
Let’s jump to the interview with Libby!
How did you come up with the name Hygge House?
Hygge House is named for the concept of Hygge, meaning cozy, content, sheltered, warm. I bring this concept into everything that I do.
What are the values and mission at Hygge House?
The values of Hygge House are information, support & warmth. My mission is to support families to reach their birth, postpartum, and feeding goals by offering evidenced-based information, support for their choices and decision making, as well as the warmth of a trusted and known and caring helper. You can find more info all about the idea of hygge in birth HERE.
What services do you provide?
- prenatal education (I currently offer 3 classes that can be taken on their own or in a series),
- birth doula support,
- postpartum support,
- lactation consulting
How can an expecting mom work with you?
An expectant mom has lots of options for working with me. I provide group classes and work with families 1:1, offering personalized birth preparation and education. This includes a discussion of birth options, creating a personalized plan, practicing coping techniques, as well as preparation for postpartum and breastfeeding.
Birth Doula Services
I am also available as a birth doula where I attend the birth, providing a continuous supportive presence, offering comfort measures, and helping the families to advocate for their wishes and stay on track for their plan.
Postpartum Doula Services
As a postpartum doula, I help with recovery, nourishment, and rest and answer questions about infant care and feeding.
I am an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) (the gold standard for breastfeeding support) and also provide pre and postnatal feeding consultations to help families meet their feeding goals and navigate any challenges. Some families are not aware of this but as an IBCLC, I am an expert in all infant feeding (not just breastfeeding) and can therefore help families to navigate a range of feeding circumstances. Lactation Consultants unfortunately have the reputation of being about “all or nothing breastfeeding”/ “breastfeeding at any cost” and I want families to know that this is a sad misconception. I support families through all kinds of feeding circumstances and help families to create the feeding plan that is best for them.
Is it beneficial for a mom to work with you postpartum if she didn’t while pregnant? If so, how can you work together?
Yes, I often work with families postpartum, even if we haven’t met prenatally. This is often in the form of IBCLC feeding support but also often as a postpartum doula. Postpartum doula support is especially helpful for first time parents and also parents who have had any complications or experienced cesarean birth as additional recovery support is often needed. I also regularly help parents of multiples as additional support is frequently needed and also help families with older children as it is a busy time of adjustment for the whole family.
What can expectant parents expect when working with you – what’s the process?
I offer a free 30 min consultation for any prospective birth or postpartum doula clients. In this meeting, we have the opportunity to get to know each other, chat about their goals and priorities and then consider the ways that I can help with that. Families come away with a sense of how I can help them achieve their desired experience.
From there, I have various support options including group and private classes and birth and postpartum doula packages, families can select which options best suit their needs and we then begin working together. All services, including birth doula support, are available virtually and in-person. Families can find out more about what virtual support looks like HERE
I also offer lactation consults. These are private and personalized. This is a thorough assessment of all aspects of feeding and is typically 90 min. We create a detailed plan for navigating feeding challenges. Follow up is available as needed. Clients have unlimited access to me via secure messaging for 3 days following our visit to allow clarification/ chat about progress. Families typically see me for lactation consults for issues like latch difficulty, feeding pain, supply problems, reflux or allergy concerns, breast or bottle refusal, and tongue tie but also for more complicated circumstances like feeding a baby in the NICU, feeding infants with cardiac or other anomalies including neurological difficulties, cleft palate and lip, and more.
Prenatal Lactation Consults
Prenatal lactation consults are also available. This is a wonderful opportunity for families to prepare to meet their feeding goals. We complete a thorough assessment of any factors that may influence breastfeeding such as existing health conditions, previous surgery, or past feeding history. We also review the birth plan and identify any factors that may influence feeding success. We also chat about breastfeeding basics and what to expect. Finally, we create a personalized feeding plan that includes various steps that families can take starting at 37 weeks to set themselves up for breastfeeding. We also create a plan for early management of some of the common breastfeeding concerns. This is great for any family who wants to breastfeed, it is extremely beneficial for families who have risk factors for breastfeeding challenges such as gestational diabetes, planned surgical birth, or those expecting a baby diagnosed with a condition that could impact feeding.
Lactation Consults – Introduction of Solids
Finally, I also offer lactation consults later on. I can help with the introduction of solids and weaning. I also work with families who are returning to work while breastfeeding- we create a personalized plan for returning to work including creating a pump schedule and safe storage or milk as well as prepare for discussions/ conversations with the employer about feeding accommodations and discuss how to support the breastfeeding child to transition to childcare.
What are the fees for your services?
- Birth doula packages range from $700-$1400. There is also an option for personalized packages.
- Postpartum doula support is included in birth packages, support outside of the packages is available at a rate of $36/hr (4hr minimum)
- Lactation consults are $150 in-home, $100 virtually, $90 for in-home follow up, $60 virtual follow up
- Prenatal class series $220 for group, $320 private virtual, $520 private in-home Prenatal single class $75 group, $110 private virtual, $175 private in home
What else would you like to share?
I also wanted to share that I am a Registered Nurse. I have practiced in areas including pediatric oncology, pediatric hospice, and neonatal intensive care. Between these experiences and my doula and lactation work, I have supported families through such an incredible range of circumstances. I want families to know that I am here for them, no matter how complicated or uncomplicated their situation. I don’t support a certain “type” of birth or feeding experience. I am simply here to provide information and support. I am an expert in birth and feeding but families are the experts in their own lives. I am here to facilitate their decision making, support their choices, and encourage them along the way. My goal is ultimately that families feel confident in their ability to make the choice that is right for their family and feel comfortable caring for themselves and their baby.
I also write a blog, I aim for weekly, though this doesn’t always happen if I am called to a birth that week. The blog primarily contains helpful tips and information for expectant and new parents including birth prep and feeding help. Families can access it for free on my website HERE.
Finally, I’m also a mama of one sweet girl (see image below).
“Libby was such a phenomenal source of support throughout my entire pregnancy, labor, and postpartum journey. From our first meeting I felt an immediate sense of comfort knowing we had Libby’s support for both myself and my husband. Libby’s calm and reassuring presence along with the knowledge and expertise she provided throughout this entire journey was invaluable. I feel incredibly grateful to have had her accompany us through the birth of our daughter.” – Michelle H.
“Doula Libby was a big part of our successful home birth. Her guidance and expertise during the most vulnerable, important, and unpredictable time of our lives was invaluable. Libby’s support after our son’s arrival increased our confidence to care for him. Looking back, our delivery and post-natal experience would have been much different without Libby and we are very grateful to have connected with her.” -Leanne M.