Thursday, May 2, 2013

Expo Update

The Knoxville Natural Parenting Expo was a great success! There were so many people there who were obviously excited about meeting others who are interested in healthy lifestyle alternatives.

I met many kind mothers (and fathers!). My heart was broken as I heard stories of difficult previous births. My heart rejoiced as I heard stories of parents who have decided to take charge of their birth experiences and have a doula at the birth of their next baby.

I would so love to see these parents have the birth they want. There is a joy that comes when a mother is encouraged to take advantage of the options she has in giving birth. Whether it be something so basic as walking during labor, or something considered more "radical" like birthing at home, giving her the freedom to make her own choices in labor and birth helps a mother enjoy the experience so much more and actually aids in better bonding with her baby.

If you want more information about what it means to have a doula at the birth of your child, please email me. You can also find me on my Facebook page: I would love to talk to you about how I can help you.


Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Doulas at a Planned (or Unplanned) Cesarean Birth

I just found a great article on the ICAN (International Cesarean Awareness Network) blog. It explains well what doulas can do during a cesarean to help the mother and her partner have a more fulfilling experience.

Here are a few excerpts from the blog post:

Moms having a cesarean birth hire a doula for many of the same reasons you would benefit from a doula at ANY birth – emotional support, explanations and reassurance, reminders of your birth plan, recording a time line of events, someone to stay with mom while dad is at the baby’s side, and breastfeeding support.

Doulas are a fantastic help for ALL moms, as they work with you through your pregnancy, birth, and postpartum time.

Doulas are not just for home births or natural births! Also,

Specific to a cesarean arrival, your doula is able to talk you through what can be a scary experience! We can explain the steps of the surgery, reassure your partner if they witness some things that can appear alarming, report back to mom as the baby is examined and encourage the nurses to make sure the baby stays within mom’s line of sight. The sights, smells, and sounds of a cesarean birth can be surprising and your doula can help explain what is happening.

A doula can be of help after the birth as well:

Once your baby is here a doula continues to help, perhaps snapping photos of those first sweet moments with your baby. If skin-to-skin care is possible in the OR we can help hold baby in place so your partner can focus on you and this exciting arrival. If there are any concerns we can stay with mom while dad accompanies your little one to the nursery, which hopefully will not be necessary! Once in the recovery room we can assist you with positioning while nursing to help avoid pressure on your incision site, and assist in getting baby situated for some skin-to-skin time. Doulas will remain generally a couple hours postpartum so we can accompany you to your postpartum room and help make sure you get settled, and ensure our partner has a chance to grab something to eat and drink.

Here's what one mom said in the comments section after the post:

Thank you for this article. I had a doula present at the birth of my first child, which was a scheduled C-section thanks to some serious complications. I was heartbroken that I could not have a natural birth, and my doula helped me through what would have been a very scary experience without her. OR staff tend to be good at their jobs, but not so much with bedside manner and kindness, which is what a new mom so desperately needs. I’m tired of seeing doulas and holistic birthing practices only being stressed for natural births – while far too many C-sections happen for the wrong reasons, some of them are truly necessary and I’d love to see moms be better cared for “above the drape."

No matter what kind of birth a mother and child experience, there are benefits to having a doula present. There's just something about having another woman there who has experience in childbirth and can be an encouragement to the mother and her partner, to reassure them in what can be an extremely stressful time.

So if you are planning on a c-section and you're not sure about having a doula present, read the article. Then please come back and tell me what you think. I'd love to hear from you!


Friday, March 22, 2013

Save the Date: April 20, 2013

Busy days lately. I'm getting ready for the Natural Parenting Expo that will be in Knoxville next month. I will have a booth, sharing with people what I do as a doula. I'm so excited as I prepare brochures, order free samples and gather supplies to take with me.

If you are expecting, or have little ones, or if you are a grandparent, guardian, etc., you will probably find something to enjoy at the Natural Parenting Expo. There will be door prizes, lots of cool products offered by local businesses, as well as doulas, midwives, and other health care professionals there to offer their services.

Also, at 11:00 AM the day of the event there will be The Great Cloth Diaper Change, a Guinness World Records Diaper Changing Challenge. This will be a time where parents will attempt to break the record for the most reusable cloth diaper changes at one time. Diapers will be changed around the world as a part of this event.

From the Great Cloth Diaper Change website:

"2013: This year, the Great Cloth Diaper Change moves to a more global-friendly Guinness World RecordTM format. We will be changing diapers at the same LOCAL time (11am), meaning the change will roll around the globe with the clock. We expect to beat our previous record and increase the number of countries participating in this cloth diaper awareness event!"

It sounds like we will be having a great time on April 20th! For more information on location, times and who will be there, visit the expo's website.

I hope to see you there!


Friday, February 8, 2013

Interview Questions When Hiring a Doula

When you are thinking about hiring a doula, it could be helpful to have a prepared list of questions to ask her (or him). I have recently found a good resource for doula interview questions. Take a look and tell me what you think.

Possible Questions When Interviewing Your Potential Doula PDF :: Childbirth Connection

What other questions would you want to ask when interviewing a doula?

I'm Still Here

Wow, so much has happened since I last posted. I have been to two more births (two girls!) and now have one client due in July. I am really enjoying this new "job". It is an amazing thing to be a part of what God is doing in the lives of these moms and their families!

I will be sharing much more in the coming days about what is going on in my sphere of influence as well as in other places where doulas are making a difference. Thanks so much for coming to my blog. I hope you will be blessed by reading what I have to share and will give feedback in the comments.