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The ABC's of Doulas



Assess.


Doula’s like to make sure we get all of the information from you before we can all agree that the relationship will work. We want to be on the same page as far as wants, needs, desires and sometimes it isn’t a good fit and that is okay. From the beginning your Doula should ask questions and take notes and understand and respect all of your wants and desires. We assess to gather a better understanding of you as a person and a couple if applicable to make sure we present our absolute best to you.

Breastfeeding and/or bottle support.


From the beginning we support you and your journey to breastfeed if you choose to do so. Sometimes it doesn’t work out and you have to supplement or bottle feed and that is also great because guess what, baby is being fed. It is amazing to be able to feed our child the way that we want and hoped to but it is good to have an understanding that things change and sometimes plans change. It is great to have a Doula along the way to help you along your journey. Having support of any kind can be encouraging and helpful throughout your journey to breastfeed or bottle feed.

Confidence.


One of my favorite things about being a Doula is helping the birthing person and their partners gain confidence that they may not have had before. We tend to feel vulnerable when pregnant and we tend to feel discouraged when we want to ask questions at an appointment but we don’t ever speak up. As a Doula my favorite thing is to educate and help you gain that confidence so you do speak up about your wants and wishes. You need the confidence so you can go into an appointment with your head high knowing what you want to ask and knowing what you want for your labor and delivery.

Dads and partners.


Although they aren’t the ones physically having the baby they are still a huge part of the labor and delivery process. Not only should the mother feel empowered about her pregnancy and birth but the partner should feel that sense of empowerment too. Everyone in the birthing room should feel confident in their role even if the partner is a friend or family member, they should feel included and not pushed to the side. I have had three children and not once has my husband felt uncomfortable about his role but sometimes it happens. It is important for Doula’s to educate partners about how they can help the birthing person because at the end of it all, it isn’t about the Doula at all it is about you as a team.


Education.


Education is huge in the birth world. Especially right now. I think we have just gone so long without knowing our rights and what we can really do vs what we have always been told. With the right amount of education and support I feel you are capable of anything. Sometimes birth doesn’t go our way but educating the birthing person of their choices can better prepare them if that time does come. Books are great, credited sites are great but the one thing I cannot stress enough about is try not to listen to friends and family. Yes they are a huge part of your life but everyone is going to have a different story and sometimes those stories discourage us the most. Educate yourself to where you feel comfortable and go from there, Doulas are great when it comes to helping you find the right source of education.

Friendship.


I have always heard “separate your clients and your friends” I find that to be nonsense in my book. Sure some people choose to have clients and part ways and that is that but for me, my clients are everything to me. You experience this life changing event together and you just want to cut it off just like that? No way. I have a special relationship with every person I have helped in my Doula career so far. You go through this journey of education and struggles and labor and delivery and the postpartum period, you gain that bond in the end. As a Doula I want to help you, guide you, educate you but also be there 3 years later if you need someone to lean on.

Gather information.


I am the type that likes to gather as much information as possible on pretty much everything I do and buy. We want to make sure we are making the best choice on something whether it’s buying a tv or having a child. I know unrelatable but in the end we need to make sure we have all of the information. Doula’s are great when it comes to gathering resources for people who need specific information on certain topics. Home births, hospital births, delayed cord clamping and pretty much everything in between can get stressful, let us help you by gathering that information.


Healing.


Healing is such an important thing especially after giving birth. You need to make sure you have the help and support from the people in your life during your healing process. Doula’s are amazing because as a postpartum Doula I can tell you first hand that having that extra help is wonderful. During the healing process a Doula helps you rest by tending to the baby, helping with household chores and light cooking as well as helping you around and to the bathroom if needed as well.

Insight.


Doulas are great for insight especially since we tend to know a lot of things to the core. As a Doula I like to know all of the information being sought after but not to give too much out so you make your own choices. We aren’t here to tell you what to do, however, we are here to guide you therefore always around to give credited information when needed.

Judgment free zone.


It isn’t up to us to make choices for you it is up to us to make sure you feel confident in YOUR choices. That is why the interview process is so important, you need to make sure everyone is on the same page. You want to make sure you feel safe and comfortable with your choices and to never feel judged about any choices you make about your pregnancy and birth. There should never be any judgement about your choices and if there is judgement then you should always look into other options for your birth team. It should always feel right!

Kangaroo Care.


Babies love being so close and I highly encourage that you have skin to skin as soon as they are born to gain that bond and help them with their blood temperature. Studies have found that skin to skin contact can help with heart and respiratory rates as well as oxygen saturation rates.


Listening.


Listening is so important when it comes to you and your birth team especially between you and your Doula if you have one. Pregnancy and labor can be a lot and having that person to talk to is so important and comforting. You need your birth team to listen and always be there when you need to confide in someone and I love that about being a Doula.

Make time.


Doula’s aren’t just there when you go into labor we will always make time for you when you need it most. Whether it’s 2am and you are scared and you think you are in labor or if you need someone to talk to over lunch, we make the time.

Newborn help.


Postpartum Doula’s are a fantastic source of help especially after you give birth. They are there when you need them most to help you with your new child. Whether it is breastfeeding support, helping with diaper changes, watching baby while you get a nap in, let them help you!

Offer support.


Sometimes you meet a person or couple who really need someone on their team and they feel alone. Be there, offer your support and help even if you may not have the time. There are birthing people everywhere who need a little bit of extra help and support, even if it is just a ride or a long talk. Be there because that little bit of support can go a long way.


Prepare.


Doulas can help you prepare for your labor and birth in many ways! We can teach you and yours an informational childbirth education class, help you find the perfect OB or midwife and we can help you feel great about all of your birthing choices. You’ll never be 100% ready, nobody ever is but we are here to help you prepare the best we can!

Questions.


PLEASE ask us questions. We don’t have all of the answers we are not medical professionals however, we can help you the best we can if you reach out to us. If you have non medical based questions please ask. If you have a question about labor please ask, if you have a question about anything non medical based we can answer! It isn’t that we don’t want to answer EVERYTHING it is just that we are Doula’s we are here to help guide and educate we are not medical professionals.

Research.


I have a lot of clients ask me about what I think about certain things such as vaccinations, circumcision, delayed cord clamping, epidurals and so much more. At the end of the day this is your family, your experience and your child. You have to do what you feel is best for you and you have to remember everyone is going to have a different opinion and I have said it before, do not listen to other people and think that’s what you have to do. I will never personally tell you what I would do. It is up to you to research and discuss with your partner or family about what you want to do when it comes to your child. Even if you are having a baby via surrogacy or adoption or however your beautiful child is coming into the world, it is your choice at the end of the day. Research your butts off and make the choice for YOU, nobody else.


Support.


As a Doula there is nothing more important than support. Whether it is during pregnancy, labor, postpartum or even just as a friend support is everything. Without support we tend to hide our feelings and concerns and we tend to feel insecure about our choices. That isn’t a way to live we need support from the people in our lives in order to better ourselves and succeed in life. When it comes to our bodies and how and when we birth our children it is solely up to us to make that choice and we rely on those around us to support us. Doula’s are great when it comes to supporting your choices and your birth team and those who will be involved in your pregnancy and birth should support you fully.

Talk it out.


Talk to me. Voice your concerns and wants and hopes to me. Never be ashamed or embarrassed about anything you may be experience or feeling during your journey through pregnancy and childbirth. It is very hard to control our feelings and you should never feel that you need to bottle them up so if you feel a certain way please pick up the phone and call. Even if you aren’t an actual “client” please call if you ever feel that feeling of being alone or scared or upset or nervous, you aren’t alone.

Understanding.


As a Doula I am completely understanding that life tends to go it’s own way sometimes and sometimes we need to change plans or talk about moving things around. Sometimes we experience loss whether it’s pregnancy, job, relationship and due to loss you may feel you do not need a Doula anymore. It is common to feel that way. At the end of it this is about you and what is best for you and if you are experiencing something, never feel that your Doula wouldn’t understand. We can help you in more ways than you could imagine even if you are experiencing some sort of loss, we are understanding and will continue to support you.

Victories.


We are here to help you celebrate all of your victories, no matter how big or small. One of my favorite things about being a Doula is that end result feeling after a victory with my clients. That “YOU DID IT” feeling is amazing because I always feel so proud after every victory. It doesn’t matter if you labored for 2 days and ended up needing a cesarean section THAT is a huge victory because you gave birth. It doesn’t matter if you opted into having a cesarean section as your main birth choice, you should feel proud. It doesn’t matter how you birth, where you birth or who you birth with the fact that you GAVE birth at all should be celebrated. I am here ALWAYS to celebrate with you.


Waiting on baby.


Waiting on baby is the absolute hardest part about being pregnant and trust me as a Doula it can be hard for us to. It is a long journey no matter how your baby comes into the world waiting for them to arrive is hard too. Especially if you spent a long while getting pregnant, having to go the Surro route, finding the right time and way to adopt it will always be a hard wait. The wait is worth it and we are here to support you, love you, care for you and wait with you.

eXcitement.


We are here to share your excitement with you. Sometimes it can be hard to feel excited about being pregnant especially if you are ill or maybe baby wasn’t planned. It is okay to feel sad, overwhelmed, happy, excited or even grief. No matter how you feel you are entitled to feel that way. We will always be excited for you and your choices throughout your journey. If you say that you want a certain type of birth we will be excited for you, if you are finally pregnant after years of trying YOU BET we will be excited for you. Pregnancy is quite the journey, labor is a huge journey too and even the postpartum period is a ride on it’s own. We are here to share excitement with you and if you aren’t excited maybe we can help you.

You matter.


You need to know how much you matter. If you haven't been blessed yet to be pregnant, are pregnant and scared, just had a baby and are feeling alone please know how much you matter. Your current status or how you currently feel doesn’t define you as a person. Understand that your journey may be long, or short. Your journey might be happy and sad or just one or the other. Your journey may build or ruin relationships but at the end of it all, YOU absolutely matter and none of your experiences define you as a person.

Zoom.


We are always eager to zoom to your side. The second we commit to you and your journey we are always on standby ready to answer any questions and be there to comfort you when needed.