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You’re a Rock Star Even if Nobody Tells You

you're a rock star | best doulas in jax florida

You’re a Rock Star Even if Nobody Tells You

We’ve got to get something off our chests.  It’s a secret that shouldn’t be. It’s something that doesn’t, for some reason, get said enough or only gets said when the “right” conditions are met.  And it’s a shame.

You’re a Rock Star! Yes, YOU!

Birthing a baby and parenting said baby until they run your refrigerator out the door, is hard work no matter what. Even for us folk who seem to be floating on cloud 9 in the best breeze, there are days that are just hard. And you’re a rock star for showing up.  Giving birth to this tiny human is also an incredible feat, no matter the mode of delivery.

Society at large seems to place a higher value on certain types of birth though.

We’ve even noticed that the professionals with whom so many new parents place their trust have demonstrated public preference to birth and are biased in what they deem worthy of public merriment. As care providers and professional support persons in a position of authority, this behavior implicitly ascribes a morality to this value and as such, shames different choices and outcomes. And while it may be unintentional, many parents end up feeling like shit about their birth.

 

“I don’t know why it bothers me so much, but it does. I did all the things. I took an eight week childbirth class, hired a well-known doula, read articles, and I joined a moms group for women who were and had birthed narturally. In the end it was just me, all alone. Noone cheering me on and telling me, ‘You’re a rock star’, or ‘You rocked your birth’ after a 12 hour labor turned cesarean. I was heart broken, it would have just felt good to know others saw how hard I tried. Instead I felt like I let my doula and closest friends down.”

 

Our birth experiences shape us, whether we like it or not. How we feel as we enter parenthood matters! Words matter! Hearing, “You’re a rockstar” matters, and not hearing it matters too!

When the most popular doctor, midwife, or doula in town always posts and shares the “best” births on their social media platforms, and you notice that they always say, “Congrats to this Rock Star mama who had an non-medicated vaginal birth” but doesn’t mention the rock star parents who labored for hours and chose to pursue relief via pharmaceuticals, or the parent who chose a cesarean birth from the get-go, it hurts.

We get it.

We hear you.

Having a “natural” birth (which is a misnomer, by the way) is definitely something to be proud of and it is worth celebration. No doubt, at all. But choosing an epidural or opting for cesarean birth is an equally valid choice and one that deserves the same frequency and intensity of accolades.

This isn’t simply a matter of target market or ideal patients/clients on the part of the midwives or other birth professionals in regards to their statements/behavior online and off, because

a). not all of their patients/clients want the same things for their birth that the provider wants

b.) a provider and/or doula shouldn’t necessarily “want” anything other than a healthy, safe, and happy experience and outcome to begin

c.) they are all held in esteem in the greater health community and because of this, have influence and

d.) even if, by some chance, all their clients/patients did want a completely drug-free/intervention-free, vaginal birth, there will always be some who, for their safety and health, cannot and will not birth as originally intended.

The consequences from feeling like one “failed” at birth are very real and entirely damaging.

Not to mention, it isn’t a test to pass. By saving our “You’re a rock star” for specific people, we are effectively setting people up to believe that birth is a test of their abilities and ultimately, of their parental devotion and/or suitability. By always exclusively referring to these “mamas” (another issue for another day), we do a disservice to all those parents who need and want validation and…shared joy in their hard work.  Because let’s be clear here: non-medicated vaginal birth is hard. Medicated vaginal birth is hard. Cesarean birth is hard. Birth is hard.  So what are we saying?

There is no right or wrong way!

YOU’RE A ROCK STAR. With capital letters.  Unequivocally.  All day, every day!

P.S we recommend surrounding yourself with people who will tell you you’re a rock star without any strings. It doesn’t have to be us-we just want nothing more than your fully knowing your power.

Authored by: Heather Horrell and Elizabeth Luke

Pregnancy, Birth, and Parenting Affirmations

Pregnancy, Birth, and Parenting Affirmations jax placenta

Pregnancy, Birth, and Parenting Affirmations

Pregnancy, birth, and parenting affirmations are one way to stay positive and feel more grounded and centered. October is the perfect month to begin a daily affirmation routine and we are going to help you get started!

The best news is you’ve already seen and used some affirmations in your everyday life. Think about those positive memes you read on social media sites and posters you see in the conference rooms, those are affirmations!

Pregnancy, Birth, and Parenting Jacksonville, Placenta

Pregnancy will test your limits in every way.

In fact, pregnancy is a really great time to start a daily affirmations routine because it helps you become more positive-minded and relaxed before your upcoming birth! Being the best parent for your child begins with feeling good each day. Starting now in pregnancy will give you more time to practice before your baby is born and improves your chances of continuing your practice once your baby has made their arrival.

The last few weeks of pregnancy presents with its own set of unique challenges.

Your belly seems to bump into everything, you have to pee at least a hundred times a day, and two-hundred times at night. You’re not sleeping well and your feet hurt. It seems likely your baby can’t get here fast enough and you know this because every single person keeps asking, “Have you had that baby yet?”

During labor and birth you will do best of you are relaxed and at peace.

Affirmations are designed to do just that! There are very few times in your life when you’ll birth a baby. No matter how or where you are choosing or need to birth you’ll look back and remember the details of the day for the rest of your life. How you felt and how you were treated will matter. Creating a set of personalized affirmation cards that you really connect with to use through labor and birth is on my list of “Top 3 Must Haves For Birth”. Following right behind hiring a great doula, and taking an excellent birthing class! You, your partner, and your doula can utilize these cards in labor. Not only to help you directly, but to help yhem feel more grounded, confident, and calm indirectly influencing all who are in your birth space!

There is no harder or more rewarding job in the World than parenting!

Being a parent is not for the faint, you will be tested on every level and pushed beyond what you ever thought possible. From day #1 your life is turned upside down in a good, but crazy way. From one age and stage to the next, children change so quickly.

Affirmations help you connect with your inner self. They can help ground you and refocus you in times of stress. Taking time to practice and repeat affirmations will help you be the very best you can be for yourself and your family!

Be The Best You Can Be in Pregnancy, Birth, and Parenting With Two Rules for Daily Practice:

Intention

  • Set a reminder on your phone.
  • Practice daily for a minimum of 20 minutes.
  • Make the most of your time. It allows you to be the best you that you can be.
  • Create a space as a visual commitment.
  • You have to believe what you want to achieve. When beginning your practice choose affirmations that you connect with and believe in.

Attention

  • Silence your phone
  • Set an alarm for 20 minutes and do not think about the time while practicing.
  • Practice in a way that allows you to get the most of your time. You may only use one affirmation for 20 minutes or you may focus on several.
  • Completely submerge yourself while you’re practicing.

Each day in the month of October First Coast Doulas is sharing affirmations to our Instagram account making it easy for our followers to begin or add to their daily practice! Begin today with the affirmations in the attached picture, “I am stronger than my fears!” Follow us on Instagram @ fcdoulas

When and How Do We Stop

When and How Do We Stop

When and How Do We Stop Jax FL

When and How Do We Stop

As postpartum doulas, families ask us all the time, “When and how do we stop __________”? You can fill in the blank with rocking them to sleep, nursing them to sleep, singing them to sleep, giving them a bottle, letting them sleep in our room, etc.

As parents we all want the change to be painless for our children and ourselves.

For some families that means taking as much time as needed to transition, for others it means they draw their line hard and fast.

So the answer to when and how starts with who and what.

Who you, your partner, and your children are and of course what you want for your family; what are your goals. Once we know this we can help you find solutions!

Here are some questions to help you find an approach that works for you and your family!

Find which of these sounds most like you and go with it, but keep in mind your baby/toddler/child may be the opposite of you. You’ll need to find a balance, after all it needs to be what is best for the family unit, but making it best for baby may mean smoother for all!

Do you normally try things expecting quick results and move on to something new fairly quickly if what you tried didn’t work the first time? Are you direct or blunt? Do you normally trust your gut or intuition?

Yes! Then my suggestions would be to trust your gut, try several things and see what seems to get better results than others. Once you’ve narrowed your options down the real work begins. It will require patience, sensitivity, and consistency for a set time. If after a set time no progress is being made move on to the next thing your gut tells you may work.

Do you find yourself asking friends or people within your social circle what works for them? When you succeed do you love to shout it from the roof tops and want recognition?

Yes! Then my suggestions are to do some research by way of socializing with friends about what worked for them and just get started. Stay focused on the results you want to see. Keep with one way for a given time and seek support of your closest friends to hold you accountable.

Do you look to your significant other for their acceptance or for new ideas? Do you prefer your partner make most of decisions regarding places to go eat or a paint color for the house? Do you value friendships and stability?

Yes! Then I would suggest making a list of the ways this transition will benefit your family. Then with your partner’s suggestions follow their lead and follow through. Be the kind, compassionate person you are, but remain steady. If what you’re doing isn’t working after a given time seek guidance from your partner again.

Do you value systems? Are you analytical and seek out facts and evidence? Do you find you are skeptical of things more times than not?

Yes! Then you’ve probably already sought out your options and compiled a detailed list to help you reach your goals.  If you haven’t already, list them in order of which you would like to try each one. The list could include the idea or concept, the number of times each week/day you want to try said idea, and the duration for which you will try each. Step out of your comfort zone and be prepared to change plans quickly when plan A and B aren’t getting it. Your plan C is to think quickly. You may need to delegate. Make your lists easy for others to understand so they can help you implement the ideas. You will need to let go of some responsibility and allow others to step up.

Ultimately my suggestion to a wider audience would be to stop when your heart or gut tells you it’s time! Re-direction, positive reinforcement, and consistency are usually the key to change.

That can mean stopping when your child makes it clear they are ready or you are sure you are ready. There are several approaches. You could do it all at once and go cold turkey or take it nice and slow through the transition.

I think the best way to go about it is to trust yourself as a parent and do what feels right for your family. There will, without a doubt, come a time when your baby just won’t “need” you to _____________ anymore.

They’re only little once!

An Alligator, Gorilla, and A Coward Walked Into A Bar

An Alligator, Gorilla, and A Coward Walked Into A Bar

An Alligator, Gorilla, and A Coward Walked Into A Bar

An Alligator, Gorilla, and A Coward Walked Into A Bar

While the tragic events that have happened recently are no joke, the way many are responding is. What kind of people judge others on their parenting skills and for the love they have for another human being? Since when has judgement trumped love and compassion? What good can come from throwing stones, name calling, and finger pointing?

We have no right to judge. Have we forgotten that we are not perfect, that we make mistakes, every damn one of us? You are an imperfect person, we are all imperfect people!

What nightmare are we living here?

We are humans, but we’ve become apex predators, more violent than any wild animal. This is our reality and it’s not good at all. The animals are being animals. The children free-spirited, fearless, and learning through play. Our children play, explore, and are curious!

Most people love their children, even those facing drug addiction and debilitating mental disorders. Majority of the time they do not want harm to come to their children.

We have a responsibility to our children. Physical, emotional, and intellectual well-being. Sometimes that is holding their hand every step of the way and other times it means letting go and being there, close by when they ask or need for our help. Have you survived teen years yet?!

We have marriages, mortgage payments, other children, jobs, sick or dying loved ones, and ourselves to care for too!

Meanwhile we parent with life in motion, while juggling work, while balancing life!

You take a quick phone call quick while they play in the tub.

You engage in conversation about the big game last night with another father at the park while you kids disappear from your direct line of sight for a few chaotic minutes.

You let your baby keep that blankie with them as they finally fall asleep on their tummy after hours and hours of crying with no sleep. You dare not risk waking him.

You allow an older, more responsible sibling to take your youngest to the potty who can’t hold it at a restaurant while you deal with your infant who just projectile vomited in the car seat.

You allow your child to run around with a lollipop so they will stop screaming so you can have five damn minutes to gather your thoughts after getting the news your mother has cancer.

You come out of the bathroom to find your toddler has learned operate the child locks and has bleach in her hand or how to get out on the back patio near the pool which he could easily have fell into.

These are situations where accidents could have happened, and they have happened.

Most of us have had a baby fall from a bed. Could we have done more? Maybe! Are kids going to be kids? Yes! Are parents going to make mistakes? Oh hell yes we do, don’t insert “but” here. No buts! Accidents do happen!

Your child could have been these children, you could have been those parents, we all could have been. So please, stop! Stop the judgement and hate, choose love!

Humans have become more predatorily than wild animals. More deaths occur in our country every year than all accidental deaths by animals combine.

So an alligator, gorilla, and a coward walked into a bar and all hell broke loose. This animal disguised as a person took the hate and anger he had for himself and projected it onto others. He killed so many for no reason other than hate. What he did was heartless and senseless, but prepare to see more of this hate if we do not decide to change.

It starts with you, it starts with me. It starts with stopping!

We are all mirrors! What we say, do, and project onto others is a direct reflection of how we feel about ourselves. Are your words kind and compassionate or full of hate and judgement?

I know you’ve heard these: sometimes less is more, those who live in glasses houses shouldn’t throw stones, and two wrongs don’t make a right. We are responsible for our actions, our words, and our thoughts. Perhaps we judge less and love more!

Feel, think, process… then respond!

Hate breeds hate. Love changes things! Choose love!

 

Our colleagues at Hampton Roads Doulas also wrote a fantastic blog. Please go over and show them some love too!

Which Animal Mom Are You Most Like?

Which Animal Mom Are You Most Like?

Which Animal Mom Are You Most Like best doulas in jax

Which animal mom are you most like?

Are you exhausted from lack of sleep and gain a ton during pregnancy? Do you move a lot, birth submerged, share parenting duties, or go without meals?! These animal mothers are awe inspiring!

Which mom do you relate most to?

Tell us in the comment section of the blog! If you know more animal mother behaviors that are comment worthy we’d love to learn from you!

 

Orangutan

Highly intelligent, the orangutan is the ultimate D.I.Y. mom. She spends almost her entire life up high  in the trees. Orangutan moms build a new nest every night from branches and foliage. She creates more than 30,000 homes in her lifetime! Do you find yourself moving around often? Perhaps you are a military family or just like a change of scenery every so often? Thank goodness it’s not every night! Although sometimes scrapping it and just starting over sounds refreshing!

She also generally nurses her offspring until they reach the age or 6 or 7 years old! Have you had an extended breastfeeding relationship? Orangutan’s practice the longest nursing dependency of any animal on Earth.

Emperor Penguins

Emperor penguin moms and dads alternate roles while raising a single baby. Either mom or dad will hunt for food while they other stays at “home” to keep the baby warm and protected. Do you and your partner both work and share all responsibilities equally?

Polar Bears

The polar bear mom-to-be puts on about 400 pounds during pregnancy! That’s a lot of “baby weight”! I wonder how many other polar bears ask her if she is expecting triplets or comment on how she must be about to pop?! Did you experience rude comments during your pregnancy like so many other expectant mothers? 

After packing on the pounds, the polar bear mom has one of the easiest labors known. She fashions a maternity den in a snowdrift normally. Then she enters a hibernation-like state and “sleeps” through the baby’s birth. Can you imagine? Did you or are you planning to hypnobirth? That’s about as close to a hibernation-like state as we human moms can get while birthing!

 

Giant Pacific Octopus

A female octopus has one goal in life: to have one successful brood of eggs. Have you always dreamed of becoming a mother? The Giant Pacific Octopus will lay between 20,000- 100,000 eggs in her lair and defend them at any cost. Are you a fierce protector?

During the time caring for her eggs, the female is starved almost to death. She may even ingest one of her own arms before she’d consider leaving her eggs to get food. Would you give your arm to protect your kids? Have you given up your own plate of food more times than you’d like to count so that your kids can have seconds? Sometimes it’s just not worth the fight! Giant Pacific Octopus die soon after the birth of her babies, leaving behind a legacy to carry on! We sure our lucky that our design is different, we get to lug our babes around in our womb and get our eat on.

 

Killer Whales and Bottlenose Dolphins

Talk about sleep deprivation, these calves don’t sleep for an entire month after birth. You know what that means, neither do their mothers. How fun?! NOT! I think we can all relate to feeling like we haven’t slept in a month, I bet these moms could use a overnight doula!

The sleeping patterns of captive killer whales and bottlenose dolphins were examined. It was determined that the “exceptional wakefulness of newborn whales and dolphins has no ill-effect on their development”. Well, was there a study done on sleep deprived mothers? This takes the, “sleep when baby sleeps” saying to whole new level! Extreme mothering level achieved!

Their study showed that Killer Whales and Bottlenose Dolphins, and their mothers, avoided obstacles, swam continuously and surfaced repeatedly for air 24 hours a day for the first month of life. Mothering, the ultimate responsibility!

 

Harp Seal

A mother harp seal identifies her baby from hundreds of other babies based on smell alone? Did you fall in love with your baby’s unique smell? Your baby’s sweet aroma triggers the release of oxytocin (the love hormone)and tiggers emotions of joy and fierce protection!

The pups don’t have any blubber at birth, but quickly gain weight nursing on high-fat mother’s milk. Was your baby born perfectly on the smaller side? Did she quickly gain mama milk rolls? 

During mating season male harp seals will dance to get the best mate. Did your partner’s hot dance moves win you over?

 

Hippopotamus

A mother hippopotamus will sometimes give birth to her baby underwater. When she does she helps the baby to the surface so he can breathe. A mother hippopotamus must fight off intense predators like lions, crocodiles, and even the male hippopotamus that only attacks the babies in water, not on land. Did you labor or give birth to your baby in the water?

In areas undisturbed by people, hippos lie on the shore soaking up the morning sun. Are you a sun goddess who prefers to spend her time perched beautifully on the shore too?

A mother’s love for her children is immeasurable and unconditional. We protect fiercely and put their needs before our own. Whether we are animal or human we are a force to be reckoned with! Which animal mom are you most like? Leave us a comment below!

How Babies Tell You They Love You

How Babies Tell You They Love You

5 Ways Babies Tell You They Love You placenta capsules in jax

 

Those first 6 weeks of life after giving birth are surreal, overwhelming, beautiful, crazy, (your turn to fill in the blank). You name it and parents somewhere, in a home not far from your own, have felt and experienced it too!

After 6 weeks things begin to get easier as you settle into more of a loose routine. You are learning your baby and your baby is learning how to live life outside the womb.

It sounds cliché, but it does get easier!

As you survive the first year of parenting it’s so easy to get caught up in the day to day challenges, your own thoughts, and self-doubt. You’re responsible for this tiny little person who came rushing into the world and captured your heart. This little person whose only mode of communication is squeals, squirms, rooting, cries, grunts, and smells. Not our dominate communication style as adults, but you are doing amazing!

I see new parents bravely venturing into uncharted territory, parents who love their children and want to be the very best they can be for their children. They have their own ideas of what the “best” is. I commend all parents for just sticking with it, sometimes it’s just surviving, and sometimes it thriving, that’s why I am there, to help them thrive!

This list may be laughable, but it’s the truth. We could all benefit from a little more laughter and a lot more encouragement!

In honor of all of you amazing parents out there, here’s how babies tell you they love you:

Your Baby Wakes

Your baby sleeps off and on all day and the very moment you slip off to sleep he wakes up for a long stretch. He wakes to eat, to see your face and hear your heartbeat! A face he’s studying and a heartbeat he knows as home.

Your Baby Poops

Your baby is an eating and pooping machine. I think everyone of us have asked ourselves at least once, “how is it possible for one tiny human to poop this much?” Am I right? Being a super pooper means they are great eaters!

How do they know to poop just after we put a fresh diaper on their booty? You got to love that they’ll wait until it’s time for a diaper change, I mean come on, how do they know?

There is a running joke between current clients of ours, they’re certain that their baby waits till dad returns home before pooping each day and poops at bath time when it’s dads turn for bath routine. Baby genius!

Your Baby Knows

Does your baby seem to always want you? Does he only want you to soothe him in times of distress? Whether it’s teething, illness, or fighting sleep, these babies know they’re smart! They sense you; they just know it’s you!

Has there ever been a day where Murphy’s Law seemed to apply to you all day long when going out with your baby? Blow-outs, spit up, fussy fits, oh my!

They Say “Mama/Dada”

Those magical words are sometimes anticipated and other times it takes you by surprise. Why is it they only say the magical word to you the first gillion times? She clearly repeats the most exciting words ever spoken, over and over, but only when you’re alone. Pull out that camera and you are sure to get a precious, but confused gawk while you wait without success for those words, “Mama”, or “Dada”. What gives?

Then, One Day, They Say It

Just when you thought nothing could be sweeter than those cute giggles, smiles in their sleep, seeing them milk drunk, and hearing the words Mama and Dada, she speaks the sweetest words ever spoken from a child to her parents: I Love You!

“I Love You” makes all those sleepless nights, whining and crying, miserable days of teething, and all those explosive diapers worth it. You wouldn’t trade those words for anything!

In those moments you feel engulfed with love and it’s what living is all about!

How babies tell you they love you may seem small now, but they’ll be meaningful memories you will cherish and carry with you for the rest of your days. Again cliché, but it’s true, you’ll look back and miss these days! No truer words have ever been spoken.

Share this blog with a new mom or dad, an expecting couple, your friends, sisters, co-workers, and neighbors. You never know who you’ll touch with these encouraging words!

 

The Professional Doula

The Professional Doula

Authored by Elizabeth Luke, Owner

professional doula jax fl

 

Doula:

pronounced [doo-luh] is a Greek word meaning a woman who serves. Any Google search will reveal that, but the real question remains. Who is the doula really serving, herself or the women who are hiring her?

Defining professional doula in my own words:

A professional doula has received training and is either certified or working towards certification. Without judgement or their own agenda they support families . One who works cohesively with other members of the family’s team including doctors and other family members. A professional doula works to elevate the profession and does not conduct oneself as a hobbyist.

First Coast Doulas philosophy?

We support you and your choices! You call the shots and make all the decisions along the way, always. Support will look different from one family to the next. We attune to you and your family so we can understand your unique needs and customize support to help you with your goals! Your way is supported! .

We support!

We support single moms and dads, married couples, assault survivors, and teenage mothers. We support mothers who identify with happiness and mothers who feel burdened with pregnancy and newborns. We support all races, political parties, religion, or lack thereof. We support those who breast or bottle feed their babies. We support those who have a plan and those who don’t want one.

I’m a professional doula because it’s my passion to support women and families, including my own!

It’s nice to see colleagues I work with empowered. This is our profession. We’re able to provide for our families while supporting yours through hard work and dedication!

Professional doulas all over the world have experienced backlash from those who do this work as a hobby.

They say we’re lousy doulas because we don’t push our own beliefs, education, and choices. Yep, really! We are told we’re wrong for simply providing access to resources and education when requested.

We’ve been called ill informed if we don’t educate on the best way to birth or parent.

We’ve been wildly accused of not caring for families because we support our clients choices for their own families. Wowzers!

They call us greedy doulas for charging a fee for services we provide to families choosing to hire us. Yes, working in exchange for money. A familiar concept to most people.

These “doulas” are grasping at straws and throwing stones where they shouldn’t be.

When I hear doulas say things like, “you have a responsibility to make sure they are making the right choice,” “it’s a shame you call yourselves doulas,” and “I attend births because these women are less fortunate and need my help to feel empowered and make sure they stick to the plan”, I vomit a little in my mouth.

It’s sick and it needs to stop!

It’s like they are saying without me you are nothing, your birth will not be meaningful. You know what’s empowering? It sure as hell isn’t pity or handouts.

Women birth every day without doula support and have amazing births!! That’s right, I said it and it’s no secret except to those who are self-serving.

In fact, the majority of women giving birth do not hire doulas, the number is close to 95%!

The lack of doula support does not mean your birth is not empowering. It simply means you are one of the 95%. As professional doulas we work hard to elevate our role, earn the respect of providers, and the trust of families with whom we work so that the number of families choosing to hire professional doulas will rise! So they can be supported no matter how they birth or parent because that is empowering!

Professional doulas are not greedy or heartless! We are not and will not be “ashamed”. You know what would be a shame?

Seeing an amazing doula dissolve her business and close the doors to helping improve birth and postpartum because she didn’t know her own value and require an appropriate fee for services. Fees that allow her to continue to provide support and grow her knowledge base.

Charging a fee for our work does not make us greedy doulas. It simply means we’re being paid a fee while those not charging are paying in energy and emotion. There is always an exchange.

Which exchange do you prefer?

Paying a fee for a professional doula who will attune to your needs and support you and your family? Knowing that the doula will take this important work seriously.

Or

Selecting a free or cheap doula who, on the off chance may or may not value her own skill set and commitment to you? Risk having her miss your birth or skip out on your post-birth, or go against supporting your wishes in favor of what she deems best?

Think on that!

A professional doula is paid so that the important work that we do can continue. We are not greedy I have found that it’s the complete opposite.

I work hard supporting women and their families. I’d be lying if I said supporting and providing for my own family wasn’t empowering to me.

If you hear the term “greedy doulas” I caution you to beware. Doulas who aren’t charging a fee may be taking from their clients in other ways, ways more precious than any amount of money. A doula who isn’t charging may not able to support you because they’re likely emotionally supporting themselves. Another great point to think on!

Greedy doula ≠ professional doula. You can’t have both!

Here’s a great thread on our IG showing how many do not understand the non-judgemental support we provide.

Leading the way in training and mentoring professional doulas all over the world, ProDoula is our only choice when selecting doulas to work with First Coast Doulas

First Coast Placenta Services, What’s That About?!

placenta capsules jax fl

 

First Coast Doulas has expanded!

Our professionalism, safe practices, and compassion make us extraordinary! People, including healthcare providers love the way we’re providing placenta encapsulation. This part of First Coast Doulas has grown so much so that we’ve decided to branch into First Coast Placenta! We unveiled at The Prego Expo in Jax. this past Sunday!

placenta capsules jax fl

Have you ever heard of placenta encapsulation?

Yes? No? Well, let me tell you all about it!

After birthing your baby you will also birth your placenta. The placenta is the life sustaining element between yourself and your baby. Many women give very little thought, if any to their placenta. It’s not uncommon to think back on your birth and wonder how you didn’t see it, since after all you birthed it.

Your placenta is discarded as medical waste, used in cosmetic products, and even used in stem cell research. OR it can be used to nourish the mother after birth. Full of nutrients it’s made perfectly by you, for you!

Bizarre I know!

Not only is it not gross or weird at all, but it also makes complete sense if you really think about it!

In very simple terms placenta encapsulation is a process which involves making an all natural supplement from one’s own placenta. The placenta is handled respectfully, and in a safe manner, dried, ground into a powder, and put into capsules. The placenta capsules are made for the woman who grew it, not anyone else. Your capsules last approximately six weeks and after that, if you had a tincture made you can use that to extend the benefits!

PLACENTA SERVICES placenta capsules jacksonville, florida

Benefits Include:

  • lowering the risk or symptoms of postpartum depression and anxiety
  • helps boost your milk supply
  • reduces bleeding and helps your body heal faster
  • #1 reported benefit- Energy

How is First Coast Placenta doing things differently?!

First Coast Placenta not only follows the strictest guidelines and highest standards, is dual trained and certified, and upholds our ethical responsibilities, but we also provide an added layer of protection.

First Coast Placenta’s No Doubt Policy guarantees and that the placenta your ingesting (taking into your body by mouth) is yours and noone else’s.

Our clients trust us to handle their placenta with great care, to honor their placenta, and to stay up to date on new information as it becomes available, but we’re the only ones in Jacksonville that can guarantee the placenta our clients ingest is their own because our clients remain in possession of their placenta at all times, every time.

Every encapsulation we do happens in the client’s home only, every time.

When we are hired we meet our clients face to face, provide a transport kit, paperwork, and a way to discuss their decision with their provide. Healthcare workers love the way we are providing this and many our trusting us to handle their placenta encapsulation because they love that we set the highest standards in Jacksonville, Florida.

Your birth team will bag and label your placenta and you don’t have to see it at all, unless you want to, in which case you just ask. You, your partner, mother, or other family member takes your placenta home within 24 hours after birth and put it in the fridge. You contact us and we schedule a time to come to your home to put your placenta into capsules!

Yep, in your own home!

REMEMBER- you can be as involved (view or handle your placenta), or as removed (you don’t have to see it at all) from the process as you wish to be.

Our clients love safety, transparency, and how much thought we put into the experience!

We provide this service to first time moms and fifth time moms alike. Most of our clients are moms that have given birth before. They tell us that this time around they would like help healing and feeling better faster than before and they aren’t writing off placenta capsules for sake of the “weird” factor.

First Coast Placenta has taken the weird right out of it!

We tell all of our clients that these are the non-magic, magical pills! You still need to set yourself up for the best fourth trimester possible. Placenta capsules work best in conjunction with taking care of yourself during those first six weeks after birth.

Placenta encapsulation with First Coast Placenta is affordable and starts at just $250 which can be broken into two payments.

First Coast Placenta bringing love, energy, and healing after birth!

Delivery Room Etiquette

Delivery Room Etiquette

Delivery Room Etiquette best doulas in jax

Wedding and delivery room etiquette blogs are becoming more popular for good reason. This blog goes right along with some of the benefits of hiring a doula to support you and your partner while you’re giving birth to your baby. This blog was inspired by the above linked blog!

 

To Rest or Not to Rest

Your doula can give your partner a rest. Your doula actually helps both you and your partner to get sleep and rest that’s beneficial through-out labor. yes, sleep and rest in labor. It looks different at different stages in labor and depending upon the couple’s needs.

Phone Calls or Power Off

Your doula phones home! She can reply to text messages or stay with you while your partner steps away to update family and friends if that is needed. Your mom, mother in law, best friend, and sister all need an update. You don’t have to choose, your doula is happy to help in several ways to support your birth experience!

Paparazzi or Nah

If you opt to not to have a professional photographer join your team in the delivery room your doula is happy to snap the pictures you want and leave off the rest. Sometimes support is holding your hand and helping you remain “in the zone” and sometimes it’s getting pictures using your camera or phone, we have you covered!

Feeling Faint

Doulas are there to support your partner too, our top priority is to support you both in the way that is best for you specifically. That may look like hip squeezes and counter-pressure through a few contractions and getting your partner a cool glass of water and a fan in between.

Complaints or Compliments

Partners bust their ass! They are expected to be and do so much through pregnancy, labor and birth. Hold down the calls and texts, carry the bags, get your drink, hold your leg, stroke your skin, take care of older siblings, and stay awake. All of that with no complaints! They are amazing, but doulas are there so your partner can be an intricate part of the birth experience. With a doula there to support and help lighten the expected load your partner is able to attune to you and be “in the moment”.

T.V. On or Off

Let’s face it, if your partner is a sports fan and it’s on television they may be apt to watch the game or at least the highlights. Perhaps it’s the love of the game, or perhaps it’s just needing a way to release and refocus. Doulas have you covered so mom is not alone when she needs support and you don’t have to feel guilty for stepping away for 5 minutes.

Advocate or Support

The last piece to the “delivery room etiquette” puzzle: no one takes the birthing woman’s voice from her. Her voice is powerful and can be a source empowerment for the mother. Often times people say my doula stopped my doctor from x, y, and z. Doulas have a non-medical scope of practice and we have one job, one very important, underestimated job. Our job is to support! Support, period. That is not to say we can’t help the mother articulate with her own words her wishes and desire. We do not argue with care providers or “make sure” things are done as outlined. We will remind you of your wishes, validate your feelings, and help you find your own words!

Delivery room etiquette can be easily achieved with First Coast Doulas by your side! Our clients love the unique support they receive. Your birth experience is one you will carry with you for a lifetime.  With First Coast Doulas you will gain confidence and feel supported on your path to birth and parenting.

 

Stop Robbing Your Children

Stop Robbing Your Children

As requested by a few of our readers I have decided to write a blog addressing well meaning, but overbearing grandparents. It’s direct, without fluff, but with the intention of helping new families build healthy relationships with those they love and who love them!

 Stop Robbing Your Children

Many woman and men dream of becoming parents, sometimes it’s planned and other times it happens when they least expect it and they’re taken back. Do you remember what it was like to be a brand new parent? To feel vulnerable yet completely over joyed? To feel completely in love, but overwhelmed at the same time? You probably do, but very vaguely.

Becoming a parent is a profound experience!

New parents are fragile, yet they are incredibly strong. They are naive, but fully equipped. They are worthy of their own joys, their own mistakes, and the right to parent as they choose.

New parents need support. They need to hear “You’re doing a great job!” New parents want know you’re there if they need advice or a helping hand, but don’t want your unsolicited advice. Remind them that it get easier. Ask what you can do to help! Bring them a meal. Offer to hold the baby so they can shower. Pick a chore to do while they take in their new love and let the rest of the world fade away if even for just a short time.

Don’t remind them of the places they fall short, we all fall short. Build them up and let them know when you see them shining, even if it’s hard to do. Just do it!

New parents need to know that they are enough, because the truth is, they are!

At one time you were new parents, you didn’t know what you didn’t know and guess what? Your kids survived you! Sure, if you knew then what you know now you would have done some things differently, but that’s the beauty of it. There is no black and white, right or wrong in parenting!

One way isn’t better than another, it’s all just perspective.

With all due respect, grandparents, stop robbing from your children the joys and woes of parenting.

Set up some boundaries for yourself and stop over stepping boundaries your children have established. One example of this is how the baby is fed. Their choices for feeding their infant or child may be very different than your own choices, for different reasons. Car seat safety and co-sleeping are other examples.

It is not a parent’s job to justify to you or anyone else why they chose what they chose. But they may share with you why they do. Listen! Listen to what they are telling you! I bet it’s more than the reasons why, but because they feel it’s the best decision for their child, and that is a powerful reason.

One of the beauties of being a grandparent is that you don’t have to understand the whys, or do the research. It’s simple, respect the parent’s choices and enjoy loving your grandchildren.

Stop warning them of all the craziness that’s to come. Please stop telling them what you feel they’re doing wrong or jumping in to do it your way without being asked. Don’t tell them all the things they should and shouldn’t do or know. 

Grandparents, stop robbing your children and grandchildren of a happy fourth trimester, please! The fourth trimester, the trimester most people don’t talk about, is a delicate time in a mother’s life. She is learning her baby and her baby is learning her. There’s opportunity for risks and rewards. Which one do you want to foster? Her chances for postpartum depression and other issues increase when she is stressed due to many factors, one being lack of positive support.

STOP instilling fear in new parents.

Embrace your new role as grandparents and accept that while you are the parents you do not have the right to parent your grandchildren. Why rob these parents of opportunity and time with their infant and children? It’s hard sometimes to stand by and watch quietly as others do things differently, but it’s necessary.

It’s necessary for parents to learn their own lessons, to find their own path.

Not sure if you are one of these grandparents, not sure if you’ve been robbing your children and grandchildren? It doesn’t matter! Start being supportive now! Start by reminding yourself daily, even hourly if needed. Remember no one loves your grandchild more than your child.

There are no better parents for your grandchild than their parents.

Also, remember, just as you parented your children and they looked up to you and learned from your behaviors, your children are still learning from you even if it’s not the lessons you are intending to teach them. Now you have another set of eyes, ears, and a heart following your lead!

Ask what you can do to be supportive and help them!

A grandparent’s love is a special kind of love. Like a mother and a father, there are no replacements for grandparents. Your love for your grandchildren will live on forever through your actions and your words.

Grandparents, you have given the greatest gift to your grandchildren already, you have given them parents who are strong and capable.

What do you want to be remembered for?

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