I'm Michaela Arriaza founder of Babytime RD. I live in the Dominican Republic a beautiful country in the Caribbean with my two daughters and amazing husband. My family moved to the DR when I was 10 years old. I went to college in Boston and majored in Hospitality, moved back to the DR in 2002, to work with my father in our family business. That year I met my husband and in 2005 we became parents for the first time when Isabella was born and in 2007 for the second time, when Miranda made her debut.
We had no clue what we were doing or what Bella needed. We had no one to guide us. We were barely getting by. Sleep deprived, cracked and sore nipples, colic, and baby blues. Bella wouldn’t sleep, she ate ALL the time, and everyone was telling us that she wasn’t getting enough milk. My breasts were cracked and bleeding and so painful. We didn’t realize that being new parents was an additional job to the ones we already had. Parenting is 24/7 and so demanding. Everyone had an opinion, everyone felt we needed to hear their advice so who was right? After six stressful and “babyblued” first weeks, I suffered from Bell’s palsy (partial paralysis of the right side of my face) due to stress, so said my doctor.
All this led me to seek information, Motherhood/ parenthood couldn’t possibly be this difficult. That was when I decided that I needed to learn how to help parents avoid what we were going through.
In 2006, I went to Oregon indefinitely with my 7 month old aby and began my training. I wasn’t sure what or how I wanted to help parents, but I believed it had to start with knowledge. The more information I had, the better and more empowered I felt. My experience as a new mother led me to change my career and focus on how to assist the new parents . I became a Lamaze Certified Childbirth Educator, but it wasn’t enough, C-sections in the Dominican Republic are about 50% in public hospitals and 90% and higher in private ones.
Michaela Arriaza, her husband, and two daughters.
I didn’t feel I was making any difference. Then I decided to start helping parents after birth, once they were home and didn’t have a clue as to what they were doing…and that is when Babytime RD was born. I found my passion. Babytime RD began as a resource for new parents, with tools, tips and educational workshops, in-house and online visits and appointments. In 2016, I became a CAPPA Certified Postpartum Doula and now Babytime RD now has a team of doulas and we have worked with over 2500 families.
As Postpartum Doulas, we accompany and guide new parents during the very chaotic first couple months with their new baby. We are not doctors, nor do we offer medical advice. We provide parents evidence–based information, so they along with their doctors can make the best choices for themselves and their new baby. We help new parents understand their newborn’s behavior, needs and signals, and our goal as Doulas is to help parents enjoy this precious time. We are very grateful to all the parents that allow us to form part of their experience.