Slowly the word doula is becoming a household word. Unfortunately, the understanding of what doula care really is, is still misunderstood. Many assume birth doulas only support unmedicated, out of hospital births; and postpartum doulas only help with breastfeeding difficulties or support moms with postpartum depression. While doulas do support families in those circumstances, we also do so much! Continue reading
There maybe a lot about birth that we cannot control but there is still a lot we can. We can choose a care provider, we can learn about birth options and we can choose a location for birth, all of which impact our birth experience. Being an active participant in our birth planning allows us to often have positive experiences apart from just how labor unfolds. Continue reading
There are many options when it comes to giving birth, including the location. Some women choose a home or birth center birth while others choose, or need to, deliver in a hospital. Regardless of where one chooses to deliver paying attention to the environment and the impact it can have on labor is important. The hormone oxytocin, which regulates contractions, is best released when a woman feels safe, warm and comfortable. Whether a hospital is your desired birth location or you need to deliver in a hospital, there are ways to help soften the environment and make it just a little more like home. Continue reading
We know birth is important, we know it is a big day but do we know just how much it really matters? We have all likely heard a new mom tell her birth story in such detail and it seems so significant, but it is a fresh memory and thus does not seem overly significant. Have you ever asked the mother of a twenty year old about her labor? What about the mother of a forty or even sixty year old? Often, with the same detail of a new mom, her story comes flowing out with readable emotion on her face and in her tone. This is why birth matters, it is an inevitable life changing moment that a mother never forgets.
My birthday was the other day and my birth mother messaged me happy birthday and shared details about my birth. Decades later she recalls the time, the day, who was there, how she felt and the tone of the room. With just a few sentences she conveyed that memory as an unforgettable and life changing moment. If we know this, if we truly grasp this significance we need to strive to create positive birth memories because they shape us and remain with us forever.
Here are a few memories: Continue reading
Labor offers one of life’s most difficult challenges but in that challenge exists the very real opportunity for beauty, intimacy and a positive experience. Labor is appropriately named, it is work, but it does not have to be scary, cold or intimidating work. Here are a few tips to aid in a positive birthing experience: Continue reading
Years ago I was a first time expectant mom and while I was excited, I did not realize just how big birth is. Birth is not just a moment, it is the beginning of a new chapter and a new life. Every pregnancy and every birth shape us in some way. I chose a care provider and thought that was the only big pregnancy decision I needed to make. Fortunately I made a good choice in providers and she recommended I take a Birth Works childbirth preparation class where I learned more than just the stages of labor. This is what I learned: Continue reading
The Philadelphia area is wonderful for many reasons and one of those reasons is the number of birth options available to growing families. Here are a few reasons why giving birth in the Philadelphia area is awesome: Continue reading
I think it is safe to say we have all been asked, “What do you do?” My answer is almost always met with confusion. Many have never even heard of the word doula or they think it is synonymous with a midwife. Add in the “postpartum” and even more confusion is added to the mix. Continue reading
Mom’s position during labor matters, it matters a LOT! Did you know that being on your back in the lithotomy position provides 30% less pelvic opening than almost every other position for delivery? When delivering your baby 30% more space is a pretty big deal. Yet most women deliver in that position because they assume it is the “right” position, its the position they saw on tv, the position during their exams, the position that just seems normal. Continue reading
Birth is an instinctual process, but there are still many benefits to childbirth education. It is not uncommon for many women to never witness childbirth until it is time for their own labor and the unknown can create fear and anxiety for some. For others the unknown can create unrealistic expectations which can lead to disappointment about their birth experience. Here are ten advantages to childbirth education: Continue reading