We are big fans of doulas. There are more than a few reasons why. On our team, we have personal experience having doulas attend our own births and some of us even trained and worked as doulas. There’s also the science. It tells us doulas help families come out stronger. What’s a doula? Centered around the birthing family, doulas are important partners in the birth care team, along with nurses, midwives, and doctors. Here’s a little bit of what doulas do: Doulas and the Birth Team Some people don’t realize this- that doulas are not health care providers. They are helpers! Doulas focus on care, support, and advocacy. And they are important part of the birth team! Doulas share hours together with families during pregnancy. They stay with families through the whole labor while nurses, midwives and doctors in the hospital usually must divide time between families to ensure everyone gets 
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On January 23rd, along with three dozen other advocates for Positive Parenting, three of our staff at First 5 Mendocino went to the Capitol in Sacramento to advocate for Positive Parenting.
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On March 6 and 7, First 5 Mendocino will host its annual two-day children's mental health summit, State of the Child, at the Ukiah Valley Conference Center, 200 S. School Street. The free event provides an opportunity for Mendocino County professionals who work with foster youth, foster parents, child caregivers, and community members to engage with nationally recognized and local presenters to gain valuable insights into children's mental health, trauma-informed care, and strategies for promoting resilience in children and youth.
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January is Positive Parenting Awareness Month, a time to focus on educating parents and the organizations that support them about the vital practices, programs, and services that contribute to the well-being of families and children in our community – this is the work of First 5 Mendocino.
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Learning about the brain's response to stress has helped me understand my own nervous system, how to track my body's responses to emotions, and helped me learn tools to use when life gets overwhelming. I wish these were tools I'd known about sooner, which has made me reflect on why teaching nervous system regulation to children earlier in life can be beneficial.
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