Doula Diaries Part III: Thoughts on pain-coping

Welcome to my doula life! My main characters are Mike, my superhero of a husband and father to our three children; Jace, my 11 year old guitar-playing, x-box loving, sharp-witted son; Kaia, my 8 year old sunshine daughter; and Ty, my 20-month old whirlwind of a toddler. And then there's me! I've been doulaing since 2011 and have attended around 60 births to date. This is my full-time gig! With three children and a doula business, private and group childbirth education classes, evening sports and afterschool homework, staying at home as a full-time mom and also creating space for my own health and fitness, there is, as they say, never a dull moment. Look at that photo. That was our Christm

10 Simple Tips for an Easier Labor

Are you hoping for an easy labor? My experience as a birth doula and childbirth educator has shown me time and again that nearly all pregnant mothers truly think that their labor will be one of the easy labors, or one of the short labors, or one of the painless labors. I hope that's you! But in case it's not, I have some simple and effective tips for you to help you cope with labor's intensity. Don't be stingy now, share them with your girlfriends, your sisters and any pregnant mothers you know! Isn't it time we change our birth culture and instead of sharing birth horror stories and fears, we share tips and help each other (and our babies) out? I actually have a great story of one near-pai

Doula Diaries Part 2: A Day in the Life

Welcome to my doula life! My main characters are Mike, my superhero of a husband and father to our three children; Jace, my 11 year old guitar-playing, x-box loving, sharp-witted son; Kaia, my 8 year old sunshine daughter; and Ty, my 20-month old whirlwind of a toddler. And then there's me! I've been doulaing since 2011 and have attended around 60 births to date. This is my full-time gig! With three children and a doula business, private and group childbirth education classes, evening sports and afterschool homework, staying at home as a full-time mom and also creating space for my own health and fitness, there is, as they say, never a dull moment. Let's take a 24-hour snapshot into a day

Are 5 Minute Long Contractions Normal?

It's so interesting, isn't it, how the pregnancy books we read outline "normal" labor, i.e. that elusive 12 hour labor that progresses easily and steadily. Ask a random sampling of your recently pregnant friends if they would consider their labor normal, either in length or in how it began or how it unfolded. Go ahead, I dare ya! Chances are, their answers are no. If your labor starts out like my doula client's labor has started out, I have some advice for you. I'll call her Lexie. Lexie began having contractions, 10 minutes apart, and I advised her to get some rest since the clock was approaching 10:30p. "You'll never get as much rest as you will *right now!!*" I told her. She and her

VBAC Homebirth in the water

Welcome to the world Melia Loren! Baby girl was born at home this morning at 4:45 a.m weighing 6#8oz to mom and dad Renee and Antoine and big brother Andy! Renee hired me as her doula way back in her first trimester and took Birthing From Within classes in her third trimester. Her preparation served her well! Way to rock this VBAC water birth and welcome baby Melia!

What Do Doulas Do All Day? Doula Diaries Part I

Show me a preschooler who doesn't love What Do People Do All Day and I'll eat my placenta. Ok, ok, you know what I mean. Back in 1968 a brilliant author by the name of Richard Scarry published a brilliant book about Busytown and the families and workers who keep it bustling, with detailed, fun illustrations that draw children in to the lives of Huckle the cat and Lowly Worm as they learn about what people do all day, from construction workers to farmers to paper mill workers. I'll admit, it is a wildly interesting and engaging book. If I had an illustrator and some extra time, I'd create a book, Scarry style, about doulas. There is this mystique around doulas, something about the steroetyp

Am I in Labor? 3 Practical Ways to Prepare

Are you wondering if you're in labor? It can be difficult to determine sometimes, and with all of the uncertainty that comes along with birth, this can feel like one more attack on our confidence to handle what's to come. This post will help you determine what you need to know, NOT based on what any book says but absolutely based on what you're experiencing, as the mother. Mucous Plug? Maybe you've lost some of your mucous plug, with or without contractions. Maybe you're been losing it for days. Maybe you lost some of it last week and still are pregnant? Contractions? Yep, this is a good indicator of labor's onset! But what if contractions start and stop and start again? Or, what if they d

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