Babies in Common Show


The Babies in Common Show is a FREE, recorded online "videocast" that is also made into a podcast.

Each week we focus on an important issue related to pregnancy, birth, lactation, newborns or parenting. 

Our goal is simple: to provide information and resources that will help you feel confident, informed and empowered to make the best decisions for your body, your birth and your baby (and your child, as some topics will be appropriate for older children, too!)  While we will discuss some serious topics, our goal is to have light and fun discussion when appropriate—after all, you are having a baby or you are parenting a child and that is wonderful!

Let's be honest....during unprecedented time of pandemic #socialdistancing, none of us can go anywhere anyway! Let us be a community "for" you, even if we can't be there "with" you! And you don't even have to put on real pants! 

Your Hosts: two pregnancy, birth, lactation and parenting professionals of Babies in Common in Central Massachusetts.

  • Jeanette Mesite Frem MHS, IBCLC, RLC, CCE, CD
  • Melissa Anne DuBois RN, BSN, CCE, CLC
See below for the video recordings or for the podcast version, see Spotify, Apple Podcasts or
We'd love reviews on Facebook or Apple Podcasts as well as you SHARING these with friends and family!



Preparing for labor, birth, breastfeeding, doulas and life with a new baby in the time of COVID-19.  Babies in Common's own Jeanette and Melissa will discuss these topics with you and our guest in the inaugural episode!  

Our Guest is Shari McBurney, BCCE, BD, SBCPE.  Shari is a childbirth educator, member of the Boston Association of Childbirth Education leadership and certification team, very experienced birth doula and Spinning Babies Certified Parent Educator. She is a powerful resource for parents and the birth professionals that support them, increasing access to evidence-based information to support participants in navigating the maternity care system from varying perspectives. You can learn more about her services at


Our guests today are Michelle Helgeson, CNM, MPH and Marianne Pelletier, CNM. Both currently practicing midwives...Michelle works in a hospital and has worked over many years in many different hospitals as well as a birth center.  Marianne is a homebirth midwife who has many years of experience working in hospitals and a birth center. 

What kind of screening might you encounter?  What restrictions are different hospitals putting in place as far as having partners with laboring parents, tubs, use of birth balls, walking around the hallways, using nitrous oxide, leaving the hospital sooner postpartum?  Is trying to switch to a homebirth a feasible option or not? How has birth changed due to the pandemic (hospital, home, birth center)? Marianne and Michelle have a combined 55 years of midwifery practice between them, in hospital birth, birth center birth and homebirth. 


Our guest today is Fiona Rea, IBCLC, a private practice lactation consultant in Wicklow County, Ireland (south of Dublin). Fiona is a childbirth educator and trains breastfeeding counselors all across Ireland. She has four children.  

Babies in Common's own IBCLC-lactatation consultant, Jeanette, and Melissa, breastfeeding counselor and nurse, will discuss these topics with you, along with our special guest. What is generally recommended for preparing for breastfeeding (prenatally)? What happens if baby is separated from the birthing parent after birth (for COVID-19 or any other reason)? What are some general guidelines for helping boost milk supply early on and help baby latch comfortably and gain well? And of course, your questions!


Join us as we talk with Johanna Mailloux, MD, a pediatrician in group practice in Lexington, Massachusetts, about taking care of a new baby. We'll talk about COVID-19 as well as other important things you can consider immediately after birth and beyond. 


We are joined today by Joyce Kimball, MBA, CPM, RN, CCE, CD.  Joyce is a seasoned homebirth midwife as well as experienced birth doula, childbirth educator, and advocate for families. She's also president of the Massachusetts Midwives Alliance and mother of two.  

Join us as we discuss your legal and human rights related to pregnancy, birth and parenting! 


Join us as we talk with Chere Jalali, an experienced childbirth educator, HypnoBirthing instructor, yoga teacher and group fitness instructor and with Bec Conant, a long-time  yoga teacher, meditation instructor, childbirth educator and Spinning Babies Certified Parent Educator.  


Join us as we talk with Heather Chiancola, a birth & postpartum doula and a Reiki II certified energy worker who holds a degree in Nutrition/Dietetics with a focus on pregnancy, lactation, and children’s eating patterns from birth to age 5.  Heather's website is  


Join us as we talk with Melanie Salort, a pediatric occupational therapist (for 18 years so far!).  For most of her career, she has specialized in the area of sensory processing both in clinical and teaching capacity.  In 2017, Ms. Salort  completed a fellowship in Infant Parent Mental Health and has a particular interest in supporting the parent/child relationship.  She works at sensory integration clinic in Newton, Massachusetts as well as has her own private practice. 


Join us talk with psychiatric nurse practitioner and certified nurse midwife Jill Fieleke about what it really feels like to have PPD/PPA/OCD, why perinatal mood disorders are about more than just depression, how to get help, finding a therapist and taking medication that is safe for breastfeeding (and we'll answer your questions, too!). 


Join us for a conversation about vaginal birth after cesarean, also known as VBAC. We will be joined by three moms, Linda Barrows, Heather Stanek and Chelsea Levine, who share their experiences learning about, preparing for and ultimately having a VBAC birth. We will discuss how to tell if your provider or hospital is truly VBAC supportive, the research on VBAC safety and obstacles you might face and how to overcome them!  

In 2015, Kate Damon, CNM, a local hospital based midwife, was planning for a vaginal delivery of her first child. But her daughter stayed persistently breech despite all attempts to convince her to turn (including two attempted external cephalic versions!).  Join us as we talk with Certified Nurse Midwife Kate Damon about her personal and professional experience with breech babies, turning babies and planning a vaginal breech birth (episode 11).  Then we'll join Kate again for episode 12 to learn about how she made her cesarean birth experience a positive and empowering one (despite it NOT being the birth experience she had originally hoped for) and how she advocates and facilitates "family centered cesarean" experiences for the patients in her midwifery practice. 

Join us as we talk with our guests, Jenn Shark, CNM and Stephanie Lee Butler, RN, about their personal and professional experiences of pregnancy and parenting after the age of 40.  We also discuss the pressure some experience to have more medical interventions and Cesarean births due to "advanced maternal age" and whether being older really does put people at higher risk or not.  

Join us as we talk with Justine Leach, PhD, a childbirth educator and advocate for trauma-informed care. She left academia to cofound Resilient Birth after the birth of her two children made her realize the impact of past experiences on childbirth and the importance of attending to the emotional journey to parenthood. She believes that wherever and however you choose to give birth its important to feel seen, heard, and in control of the decisions you make about your care. 

Join us as we talk with visiting nurses Amanda Jessee and Amy Gallant about what a postpartum visiting nurse does during a postpartum visiting nurse visit.  Our guests, Amanda Jessee, RN, BSn and Amy Gallant, RN, IBCLC, are will share with us why this type of visit is important and how to get one.  

Join us in this riveting 2-part interview with Teresa Stewart, sleep consultant and child development specialist.  She has 20 years experience educating, empowering, and supporting women and their families prenatally through their child’s adolescence. She is a child development specialist, maternal/ child health educator, family sleep consultant, first aid and CPR instructor, childbirth educator, and mental health advocate. She works with families, helping them to navigate the endless sources of information and to decide what works best for their family. All her work is grounded in child development, emotional well-being, and trauma- informed practices.  

Join us as we talk with Cynthia Cohen, Director of Client Relations for the Mother's Milk Bank Northeast, about human milk banking--why it's needed, how donors are screened, how milk is processed, how families can receive banked donor milk and how you can support the work of the milk bank.  

Join us as we talk with homebirth midwife, Dina Shea-Fraize, CPM, about how preparation for and the experience of birth is physical, emotional and even spiritual.

Join us as we talk with Kelly Shultz, mom of two, about how she navigated through a challenging year (and more) of nursing, continued through her pregnancy, had an unusual birth with her daughter and then tandem and extended nursing with both of them.

Find out how the law and corporations influence child safety and what YOU can do to protect children. Join us as we go in-depth about childproofing--the practical recommendations, various quality brands, services you can find as well as how the law and corporations influence what is put on the market and what is recalled and when. You'll be surprised! Our guest is Kimberly Amato.  Kim is a physical therapist, CPR Instructor, retired Childbirth Educator and retired Birth Doula, founder of Meghan’s Hope, an organization to raise awareness of furniture tip-over and advocate for stronger furniture safety laws.  Author of Author of Out of the Darkness: Coping with and Recovering from the Death of a Child and Childproofing and Child Safety Advocate.  Kimberly lives in Central Massachusetts with her husband, with whom she does ballroom dance competitions and two almost-grown boys.  You can learn more about furniture tip-over on Kim’s website,

Join us as we talk with Dr. Amy Brown, professor and prolific author, about what influences how we feed our babies, breast, formula and solid foods! 

Amy Brown, PhD is a professor at Swansea University in Wales, where she oversees the master of science program in Child Public Health.  She started her studies in psychology and the arrival of her first baby sparked her interest in the barriers that women face when it comes to breastfeeding.  She went on to have two more children and got a PhD, too!  She has spent the last 12 years lookin at how psychology, culture and society can put up barriers to breastfeeding, but her work focuses on how we can improve breastfeeding rates by providing better support to families.

Join us as we speak with Dr. Julia Reznik, a functional medicine physician in private practice about "preconception optimization", epigenetics, milk supply and the microbiome.  Integrating functional medicine into your life might be the best thing you've done for yourself in a long time!

Join us in discussing inducing lactation with private practice lactation consultant, Alyssa Schnell, IBCLC, the author of Breastfeeding Without Birthing: A Breastfeeding Guide for Mothers Through Adoption, Surrogacy, and Other Special Circumstances.

To learn more about Alyssa's services, book and offerings for parents and professionals, see



Join us as we hear Dr. Emily Garcia Sega's story of how she switched maternity providers very late in pregnancy so she could increase her chances for the birth she wanted, including discussing her experiences of trying to turn her breech baby. We hope switching maternity care providers isn't something you feel that you need to do, but in case you do, it IS your right and the choice of your care provider is considered the most important choice you'll make as far as determining how your birth will go!

Join us as we talk with two moms (one with a corporate job, Marlena Shaffer, and one who works in a surgical intensive care unit as a nurse, Julie Longchamps) about preparing to go back to work and pumping at work.  We discuss their initial breastfeeding experiences, tips for approaching bosses and human resources, finding an appropriate space to pump at the office, laws about pumping at work, making sure you have all your equipment, milk storage, bottles and so much more!

Join us as we speak with Rachel Gaillard Smook, PhD, a clinical psychologist in private practice, about how parents can navigate the communication struggles that come up as one is expecting a new baby and as couples have a new baby in the family. She shares some valuable wisdom and answers some questions sent in by members of the Babies in Common Community.

Rachel specializes in working with women related to fertility struggles, pregnancy, birth and new parenthood.  She's also a Gottman Method couples therapist. Her practice is located in Northborough, Massachusetts and she also offers consultations via video conference.  

Find Dr. Smook at

Recorded August 12, 2020.

Join us as we talk with Kristen Johnson, a mother of two who decided to give a most amazing gift to another couple (who she didn't know) to carry their baby. She shares with us her birth stories, the process of deciding to become a gestational carrier, the matching process with a couple in need, the process of getting pregnant, how she (and her family) felt about her during that pregnancy, the birth of that baby and where things are now, a year and a half later.  What an IMMENSE gift gestational carriers like Kristen are giving to another family!

Recorded August 19, 2020.

Join us as we discuss all the typical questions modern parents have about homebirth with Rachel Blessington, RN/BSN, CPM, LMT, who has worked as a doula, labor & deliver nurse and midwife.  

We'll talk about safety, typical practices, choosing midwives, pain relief options, what happens in an emergency, how a transfer to a hospital happens and what makes homebirth care special.  We'll also discuss who is a good candidate for a homebirth, insurance and resources for families who are interested in exploring this option for their birth.

If you would like to learn more about Rachel and homebirth, please visit
This episode was recorded on Wednesday, August 26, 2020.

Join us as we talk with postpartum doula and trainer Rachel Hess, about how queer parents can empower themselves as they encounter care providers (and other parents) as well as how those who aren't part of the queer community can help to stop oppressive actions and comments in the perinatal period. Rachel has virtual support groups for queer parents and you can learn more about those at
This episode was recorded on Wednesday, September 2, 2020.

Join us for this special Ask Us Anything we're answering questions from our community about pregnancy and birth!
This episode was recorded on Wednesday, September 10, 2020.

Hear how our guest, an anesthesiologist and mother of four, endured birth trauma and how she navigated the system to file complaints against the perpetrators of the trauma.  She discusses what she did to prepare for her births, what happened and the trauma she endured at the hands of a doctor and nurse.  She also shares what else she's doing to heal and what she recommends others do to prevent birth trauma and what to do if you find yourself in a similar situation.

This episode was recorded on Wednesday, September 22, 2020.

Join us as we learn from Sejal Fichadia, a certified  infant massage instructor and International Board Certified Lactation Consultant who is also an experienced postpartum doula and certified TummyTime Method instructor. Originally from India, she now lives in Oregon with her husband and kids.  She’s currently offering online infant massage and TummyTime Method classes, so check out her website,

This episode was recorded on Wednesday, September 30, 2020.

Recorded on Wednesday, October 14, 2020.  Melissa and I answer questions from the Babies in Common community about feeding babies...breast, bottle and solid foods.  We put the word out we would be doing this and had folks in our Facebook groups contribute!
We dispel myths that exist about feeding babies and share information that every expectant and new parent should know.  

If you have questions about feeding, email

Recorded Wednesday, October 21, 2020.  We discuss the TummyTime Method with its creator, occupational therapist Michelle Emanuel. Michelle comes to us with more than 20 years of experience as an occupational therapist who worked with babies in a neonatal intensive care unit and in pediatrics and eventually saw the need for a private practice, where she also weaves her passion for anatomy as an cranio-sacral therapist, myofunctional therapist, infant massage instructor and she’s also a yoga teacher, too! She developed the TummyTime Method and trademarked it after she noticed that there was so much more to having babies play on their bellies and how integrating physiological and anatomical movements, along with touch and play, can impact how babies feed, digest and connect with their parents and caregivers.  

In this episode, we discuss:
~the background of the Back to Sleep Campaign and tummy time?
~what occupational therapists do in a NICU
~how Michelle developed the TummyTime Method
~when to start it, how to do it, how often, what if baby cries
~what if baby rolls over on their own before 4 months, especially when parents are trying to have baby spend time on their belly
~the various areas that the TummyTime Method addresses...
Postural Asymmetries  (Torticollis, head turning or feeding preference to one side)
Plagiocephaly / Brachycephaly / Scaphocephaly (cranial molding or flattening)
Oral Restrictions (Tongue, Lip and Buccal Ties)
GI issues, Reflux, colic type symptoms, decreased bowel movements, etc
Fussiness, Armoring, Stiffness, Body Tension
Sensory Processing and Integration Sensitivities and Difficulties
Latch and Breastfeeding Issues
Oral Rest Posture / Tongue Posture Deficits
Breathing issues:  snoring, squeaky breathing, laryngomalacia, etc
You can learn more about Michelle and the TummyTime Method at

Recorded Wednesday, October 14, 2020.  It's Part 2 our Ask Us Anything: Feeding Babies show!

Listen in as Emily, a nursing mom of 5+ years, talks with us about planning to breastfeed while on a significant medication, navigating postpartum depression, what it’s like to nurse the same child for 5 years, and about the concept of respectful parenting.  Emily has been a middle school English teacher for 14 years and recently finished her second masters degree in Counseling Psychology with a special interest in parent coaching.  She lives in Central Massachusetts with her husband and daughter.


Recorded Wednesday, November 4, 2020.

The words we use matter! Join us today as we explore the words we use when talking about feeding and parenting.  We're joined by International Board Certified Lactation Consultant Renee Beebe, who lives and works in Seattle, Washington. 


Recorded Friday, November 13, 2020.

Join us as we talk with Kirsten Kowalski-Lane, CNM, CPM about her journey from birth doula to homebirth midwife to hospital midwife to birth center midwife...and how she managed to co-found and co-own the first midwife-owned birth center in Massachusetts.  

The American Association of Birth Centers defines a birth center as a home-like setting where care providers, usually midwives, provide family-centered care to healthy pregnant women. Most birth centers are located separately from hospitals, while a few are physically inside hospital buildings. In-hospital birth centers must meet certain standards for independence and must be separate from the Labor and Delivery unit in order to be considered true birth centers.
In the U.S., 98.8% of births take place in hospital labor and delivery units, with physicians attending 86% of these births. In contrast, 0.3% of births take place in birth centers, where nurse-midwives and midwives provide most of the care. Among women who give birth in hospitals, approximately 85% are considered low-risk.

Recorded Wednesday, November 18, 2020.

To learn more about this fantastic option for birthing, please visit

Questions? Fastest way to get an answer is to TEXT Jeanette at 617-686-0052 or email


Your Group Facilitators

Jeanette photo circle
Jeanette Mesite Frem, MHS, IBCLC, RLC, CCE, CD, SBCPE.  She is the owner of Babies in Common as well as the lead childbirth educator and IBCLC-lactation consultant.  She started her career in public health as a Peace Corps Volunteer, which began her passion for babies and their parents. She has taught prenatal classes in two different Massachusetts hospitals in the early 2000s and then started her private practice in 2006 (and was a birth doula for several years). She's a Spinning Babies Certified Parent Educator and retired birth doula, as well.  She is the mother to two teenagers.




Melissa Anne DuBois, RN, BSN, CCE, CLC has been a nurse since 2006 and has worked in labor and delivery, high risk obstetrics, outpatient OBGYN and maternity/well baby settings. She currently works as a nurse with Embrace Midwifery, doing postpartum care visits for families who gave birth at home. She became a childbirth educator in 2011 and a lactation counselor in 2014. She is passionate about evidenced based maternity care, informed choice in childbirth and helping birthing people have positive and empowering birth experiences, whatever their birth plan or setting! She is the mother of 3 small children. 
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