Posts in category labor

Your Baby is Your Team Mate

 Your Baby Jax FL Doulas Birth

Your Baby is Your Team Mate

If I told you that your baby is your team mate would you believe me? Raise your hand if you just know that labor starts when your water breaks? Or raise your hand if you believe contractions start with a vengeance with no break. Or maybe you think that labor is intensely painful throughout the whole ordeal. Many people think that’s exactly how and when labor starts and how labor will be. No thanks to movies and popular TV shows, by the way!

Nod if you believe that the birthing person’s body is solely responsible for birth.

Huh? Who else would be responsible in the process? One hint: the uterine occupant. Your baby bean. It’s not all about you! (well, it is, but it isn’t). Your baby is your team mate! Yep, your baby is a team player in their pursuit to be born! This perspective can be encouraging, empowering, and even used as an affirmation in labor!

The mother and the baby have to work together.

There are various mechanisms by which the birthing person and baby work together, whether we, as a society, know it or not.  It’s probably why labor is so incredibly difficult to describe to many people or even to understand ourselves, sometimes. How cool is that? Totally rad, right?

How does this happen though?

Surfactant Release

When the baby’s lungs are fully developed, anywhere between 37 and 42 weeks, their body will release a substance called surfactants into the parent’s body. Surfactants are necessary to keep the lungs inflated. Without them, we could not breathe. Premature babies often lack the necessary volume of surfactants. When the baby is ready though, their body will produce them and the molecules will disperse throughout the amniotic fluid surrounding the baby and the mother’s uterus.  The pregnant body will miraculously recognize this compound. Then, the uterus will become agitated and begin to contract. Sometimes, the contractions will be small, light, and irregular if the cervix isn’t quite “favorable” and other times, the contractions will be full-force with the “textbook” pattern. Thus, labor begins.

Main Squeeze

During labor, the uterus contracts, or squeezes. At the same time, the baby will actively move downward and/or move into a more conducive position (face down).  Babies usually attempt to be in a positon called occiput anterior so that way they can tuck their chin and leave the pelvis rather smoothly.  They feel the uterus pushing them downwards, further into the vaginal canal. Your baby responds by using the stepping reflex they’ll will be born with that allows them to do the breast crawl. Many women can actually feel their babies subtle and not so subtle movements in labor as the twist, squirm, and step into the right position for them! Your baby is your team mate and will move until they crown and then spin to face upwards upon birth.

Fetal Ejection

As baby moves further downward and puts more pressure on the cervix, the weight of their head and body, and the amniotic sac if it hasn’t ruptured, will influence you to dilate and efface further. When the baby is as low as he/she can be, right before crowning, the pressure will activate the nerves and muscles within the pelvic floor. As your baby crowns, you and he/she will work together to push-you might even feel experience the uncontrollable ejection of your baby! This is what’s called the fetal ejection reflex; a reflex that allows your baby to be born without any active pushing Don’t worry, whether you experience that overwhelming sensation or not is irrelavant because your baby will still be born!

Knowing your baby is your team mate, you can prepare yourself and your birth team with some affirmations to share with baby in the throes of labor. It also helps to know this too, because when things seem to be taking their time or are otherwise frustrating, it can be reassuring to think about the baby also being an active participant.

If you’re curious to learn more about the labor and birth process check out The Prepared Parent Childbirth Class.

Birth is definitely a team effort, and the most important duo is you and your baby! Go team!

Your Birth Plan Just Got Better

 Your Birth Plan | Childbirth Classes Jax, FL

Your Birth Plan Just Got Better

Your birth plan just got better after a new statement was just released by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. They are now recommending limiting interventions in labor for women who meet certain criteria. They are also recommending one-on-one support more and nonpharmacologic pain management measures.

What does this statement mean for parents welcoming a baby into their lives?

Well, for starters it means that ACOG is recommending a more individualized approach to labor management. For many, this may also mean more research to back up your ideas and wishes for your birth plan. That is always a great feeling! Does it mean you will see your providers recommending any or all of these things in labor? You just may! We have worked alongside some very supportive, forward-thinking providers! At minimum it’s a great resource to have available when you have a conversation with your providers about what their philosophy is on birth.

ACOG is encouraging the following:

  • Delaying admission to L&D when mom and baby are doing well!
  • Frequent contact from someone supportive.
  • Education, fluids by mouth for hydration, positions of comfort, and nonpharmacologic pain management techniques such as massage or access to water immersion.
  • Continuous one-to-one emotional support because it’s associated with improved outcomes for women in labor.
  • Obstetricians to facilitate intermittent fetal monitoring via a Doppler device for low-risk women who want that option in labor. Adopting protocols and training all staff and providers on how to use a Doppler.
  • Tailor interventions to best meet the needs of each woman.
  • Movement during labor for comfort and to promote optimal fetal positioning as long as to not compromise appropriate monitoring and medical treatments or obstetric complications.
  • Breathing and pushing in a way that is most effective and desired by the woman giving birth.
  • Unless an immediate delivery is necessary, women, especially those who never given birth before who also have an epidural, can be offered a period of rest of 1-2 hours at the onset of the second stage of labor (pushing stage), unless the women have urges to bear down sooner.
  • Leaving the membranes intact for those with a “normal” progressing labor and when the baby is tolerating labor well. In other words no routine use of amniotomies (intentional breaking of the baby of waters). AROM (artificial rupture of membranes)

Couples who are welcoming babies in 2017 are asking lots of questions and expecting more from their birth and postpartum experiences.

Limiting interventions in labor is what many families are planning for and requesting. ACOG’s most recent statement is another supportive step towards honoring your birth plan in the best way they can.

First Coast Doulas helps couples be realistic in their expectations while reaching for their dreams! To learn more about the multitude of ways we provide support contact us today!

ACOG’s full statement can be read here!

Doula Support Doesn’t End Where An Epidural Begins

Doula Support Doesn't End Where An Epidural Begins jax placenta

Doula Support Doesn’t End Where An Epidural Begins…At Least Not With First Coast Doulas

I remember it vividly. There I was standing at my client’s bedside plugging her phone in so it could charge up when her doctor says to me with a smile, “I guess you can go home now since she got the epidural!”

Wait, what? I did a double take to make sure he was actually speaking to me, and he was.

“Why would I do that? She’s was 6 centimeters dilated at last check and seems to be making good progress. There are lots of ways I can support them even with an epidural. Doula support doesn’t end where an epidural begins. Why would I leave?” I replied.

My client, she quickly chimmed in, “Don’t go anywhere. We need you here. I don’t know what I would do without you.” Her husband agreed.

What the doctor said next sort of surprised me, “Most doulas leave when the patient gets an epidural since doulas are against medication.”

A conversation ensued. Turns out, according to this doctor most doulas that come through the hospital while he was the physician on call left when an epidural was administered to his patients, their clients.

Honestly, I can’t say that I’m shoked, because I’ve heard it before from doctors, nurses, and even from a couple doulas themselves. I’d like to believe that the doulas just panicked and regretted it and learned from their mistakes, but still, where does that leave the birthing woman and her partner (if she had one)?

I’ve also had people tell me that their doula left them or made them feel horrible for opting to get an epidural, other pain medication, or for needing or choosing cesarean birth. It’s also not unusual to hear someone speak of doulas as if they’re only valueable when a person wants to birth “all-naturally”!

Well, that’s shit! Straight up, utter bullshit!

I’m not shocked, but I am disgusted. When couples contract with First Coast Doulas they know without a shadow of a doubt that they are getting unconditional, non-judgmental, full and complete support. They know that their doula comes to them agenda-free and ready to serve and support them in a way that is unique to them. Doula support doesn’t end where an epidural begins!

Our clients know our value and happily purchase doula support services with us because they know that there are no do-overs in birth, this is a once in a lifetime experience, they get it! They want the very best and know where to find just that!

The fact that the word non-judgemental has to be used along with support is gross to be honest! The term “non-judgemental support” seems like an oxymoron. Think about it.

Just to be absolutely 10o% clear, when hiring First Coast Doulas your birth belongs to you in every way! We will never try to “know better” than you. We will not try to “push or sway” you, or give you misinformation.

It’s your journey! It’s not about what anyone else wants or thinks.

Whether you have goals and a vision or you just want to wing, we got you! We support and encourage you and your partner in pregnancy, labor, birth, and even the fourth trimester!  We do not leave you if your plan changes or you opt for pain medication.

So, how does First Coast Doulas “support” you if you choose or need an epidural or cesarean birth? The same way we support you without one:

  • fully and completely
  • one on one
  • with encouragement
  • we help you understand your options
  • create a plan and navigate if your plan changes
  • emotional support is HUGE with or without an epidural
  • help you stay relaxed
  • can help you focus
  • help you breath more effectively
  • usinging pros and cons
  • explaining each new process
  • positioning, you’re not limited to your back!
  • comfort measures, not every epidural works, there is still some discomfort/pain in most cases

Are there actual physical ways we can support you? You betcha!

Furthermore, we do all of this while also supporting and encouraging your partner so he/she can be more comfortable and an intricate part of the experience!

With First Coast Doulas, Doula support doesn’t end where an epidural begins. Hire the best, hire First Coast Doulas!

 

Doulas & Epridurals

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

Poop In Labor, What If It Happens to Me?

Poop In Labor, What If It Happens to Me?

poop in labor placenta capsules jacksonville, fl

WARNING: This blog is a little puny with some adult language. Not meant to be vulgar or offensive.

“Poop In Labor, What If It Happens to Me?” It’s the question every woman asks.

Well, maybe not every woman asks, but majority of women at least wonder about it. As a mother who has birthed three times herself and a doula that has supported numerous women through labor and birth I can tell you that if it’s going to happen, it’s just going to happen.

There’s not a lot that can be done to stop it. I mean, after all shit happens!

The act of pooping itself is as normal function in life. Pooping is as normal as being born is. All living things must excrete waste, humans are no exception. With that said going poop to excrete waste from the body versus pooping in labor is different.

When you go to the bathroom to poop you are purposely excreting waste from your body.  In labor pooping is involuntary, sort of. As you are bearing down to push it’s similar to having a bowel movement. Yes, a huge, solid bowel movement. As you push your sweet baby out into the world your baby’s head, or other presenting part compresses your colon and rectum squeezing anything left in there out.

Like a tube of toothpaste being squeezed on the edge of the counter to remove the final bit inside, whatever is in front is coming out, like it or not.

If you’re one of the many women who get carried away with your thoughts about pooping in labor, it’s o.k. it’s a normal thought. We know that pooping is normal. We know the chance is there, but why do you even care?! Modesty and the fear of being judged are two reasons, there are others.

We know it’s normal, but now what?

Your body, as if it’s not bad ass enough already because it is growing a human, is also making hormones that help relax the muscles and ligaments in pregnancy and in labor. Some of these hormones also help naturally to clean out the “pipes” before pushing begins. So, as labor picks up, before you feel the urge to push there is a good chance you may find yourself upon the throne getting what is in the pipes, out.

Discuss this concern with your provider, your partner, and of course your doula! Your provider, along with the rest of your birth team has seen this, many times I assure you. They know that it’s a normal function of the body.  You can remind your partner to be mindful of your concern so that he or she can be kind and nonchalant if at all possible.

Many providers are masters at a speedy, discrete clean up!

Detour…

I remember well, one midwife who was witty, cool, calm, and collected during a birth in 2008. Quick story… A mom who was giving birth to her third baby was concerned about her husband seeing her poop in labor. During pushing stage of labor a little poop was pushed out, as it happened she saw it and actually apologized for pooping, as if she could help it. The midwife, being awesome looks over at the video camera and says, “No big deal, just wiping away some mucus!” This midwife remembered her patient asking, “What if I poop in labor,” and knew the video was important to the family. When the mother announced she was sorry for pooping, the midwife thought quickly on her feet to save face for the patient!

Alright, I confess, the patient was yours truly!

As silly as it sounds, even some doulas worry about their husbands seeing them poop in labor. I didn’t mind the ladies seeing me poop in labor, shoot I see more women poop in labor than those who don’t, it’s fine. I also didn’t mind my birth team seeing me poop, they understood how pushing a baby out felt, but my husband, while extremely supportive he was clueless.

As a doula I can’t tell you how many women don’t even know or give a shit, figuratively speaking, that they’ve pooped. Like mothers who proudly don their stretch marks and cesarean scars, pooping in labor is just another way to join the Mom Club!

If all else fails and none of those things reassure you, try to think of it like this. Poop during pushing means your baby is right there, closer than ever to being born! It’s his head that is pushing that poop out of you, not you! So if you need to blame your beautiful babe go for it, because soon you’ll meet the love of your life and you won’t give a shit anymore anyways!

To all the moms who have joined the Mom Club I salute you, job well done!

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.

 

Lip and Tongue Tie, Breastfeeding, and Circumcision

Lip and Tongue Tie, Breastfeeding, and Circumcision

I often use the term doula and refer to the doula as she, but there are many professional doulas who are men.

 

Lip and Tongue Tie, Breastfeeding, and Circumcision Jacksonville Florida

When couples hire a doula they believe that non-judgmental support comes standard.

However, that is not always the case. Lip and tongue tie, breastfeeding, and circumcision along with vaccines and ear piercing are hot topics that come up often in doula work, but not for the reasons you might think. Parents have questions about these things sometimes, and others know exactly what they want. It’s not the parents of the babies who have issues with these topics most of the time. It’s also not the professional doulas who have an issue with these topics as they relate to their clients. So who then has issues with them? Birth junkies, birth avengers, activists, and intactivists disguising themselves as doulas are the ones who have problems with these topics.

What do those terms mean exactly? Let me give a brief synopsis of each.

Birth junkie: someone who is dependent upon or obsessed with the high they get from being present at births.

The “birth junkies” call themselves this, it’s weird! A birth junkie will do all they can to be fulfilled from your birth, whatever that means to them! They might offer to come to your birth without being asked or paid. A birth junkie might make a couple feel as though they “need” a doula to have a satisfying birth experience. Those birthing without doulas have something to say about that arrogant mindset.

Birth avenger: someone wants to make right (by their terms) the wrongs that were done to them during birth through your birth experience.

A birth avenger has experienced something personally that has affected her deeply. So much so that she’ll do whatever it takes not to let it happen to you. Yikes! Seeing a therapist might be a better option for a birth avenger, bringing her own issue to your birth space seems very selfish and is unprofessional.

Activist: someone who opposes or goes against a choice made by you and your partner or suggested by your provider because an activist believes that by doing so she is rallying for a greater good.

An activist may continue to feed you information on a subject you have already made a decision on, in effort to sway your decision to an “informed” one. She would even go so far to get between you and your partner on the matter. She’d never say it, but she’ll try to make you feel as though she just knows better than you! They’re huge on pushing informed consent and evidenced-based information onto you. They don’t quite know when to back off. Activists think it’s their job to “inform” you of everything, everything you are doing different than she would that is!

Intactivist: a person who participates in an activist group or as an individual for the rights of children to remain genitally intact.

They’re anti-circumcision under all circumstances and even have some irritating words to share about piercing baby girl’s ears, yes even for your child. Funny though, while they are very openly anti-circumcision they seem to be fine with having lip and tongue tie revisions. Revisions consists of a clipping or using a laser to release/cut the frenulum (the bit of tissue holding down the tongue, and with lip tie it connects the lip to the gums at center in front).

So where does First Coast Doulas stand on lip and tongue ties, breastfeeding, and circumcision?

Right where we belong alongside you! Away from those disguising themselves as doulas, supporting you in your choices as new parents! We attune and stay as emotionally connected to our clients as they need during our time working with them. We are not emotionally invested in your choices though, because we are professionals. We know where to find evidence-based information, but won’t cram it down your throats.

We’re not birth junkies, activists, birth avengers, or intactivists. We know that every family has different needs, desires, and circumstances. We respect your decision, always! We are not apologetic for that. In fact isn’t that the way it should be?  We don’t bring our feelings about any of that into your space, ever!

We know that your experience is neither our experience nor our place to inject our feelings, thoughts, or ideas about how we would do things. First Coast Doulas knows that every decision our clients make for themselves and their babies in birth and parenting are made out of love for their children, we support that. Informed or just winging it Love wins!

Pregnancy, birth, and parenting are tough. Making decisions one way or another on lip and tongue tie, breastfeeding, and circumcision and hard ones. Why make it harder than it has to be?

Two questions you can ask when hiring a doula are:

  • What is your philosophy on birth and parenting?
  • What one word describes what you do as a doula?

In addition you could ask more specific questions about topics you want answers on. As they answer tune into their responses and see what your gut instincts tell you!

Hire First Coast Doulas today, skip the drama, and enter parenthood confidently. Get the support you deserve when hiring a doula!

Lip and Tongue Tie, Breastfeeding, and Circumcision Jacksonville Florida

 

Google Is Not Your Doula

Google Is Not Your Doula

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Google is not your doula! Let’s face it, the internet, a.k.a. the World Wide Web, a.k.a the information super highway is exploding with information, lots of information. Good, bad, and some just downright nasty information! D.I.Y. videos, recipes, home remedies, studies, articles, and diagrams, it’s all spewing all over the place.

Every topic imaginable and even the unimaginable can be found online.

Most of us have a love-hate relationship with the internet. At time there seems to be too much information to sort through online. Understanding what is legit and what is bunk can be daunting, especially when you are pregnant!

Commonly googled questions pregnant moms ask include:

  • I am spotting, could I be having a miscarriage?
  • I am worried about x, y, and z, is this normal? I feel like something is wrong.
  • I feel so tired, why?
  • Will my body know what to do in labor?
  • How will I know when I’m in labor?
  • Which vaccines are best for my baby?
  • Should I circumcise or leave my baby intact?
  • Is massage o.k. during pregnancy?
  • When should I get an epidural?
  • Can I breastfeed with small breasts?

And the list goes on and on!

As a newly pregnant mom, be it the first time or third, there’s a really good chance you’ll google at least one question. Parents can be left feeling unsure and even scared after they google.

Everyone can google, we know that, but Google is not your doula!

One benefit of hiring a First Coast Doulas is not having to sift through the sea of craziness that is the internet!! You’ll love being able to email, text, or call us with questions or concerns anytime day or night 24/7, from the moment you hire us. Your concerns about your pregnancy are our priority and we support, comfort, and guide you through this time in life because when you choose us as your compassionate guides you are getting a Sherpa, a birth Sherpa if you will.

“Asking your husband to be your sole guide through labor is like asking him to lead the way on a climb of Mt Everest. He may be smart and trustworthy, you may love him, but in the Himalayas you’d both be a lot better off with a Sherpa!” – Pam England

A couple of our clients have actually said, “Google is not your doula”, you should blog about that! We love this and decided to share so others are in the know!

First Coast Doulas doesn’t replace your internet. That’s obvious, but we’re in the know and help you make sense of the info overload. We also don’t take over your partner’s role. We support the both of you! We listen to your concerns and help you sort through how you feel about it all.

We do all of this, wait for it… without an agenda!

What does “without an agenda” mean you ask? In simply means judgment -free, we stand for what you stand for along your journey. We do this confidently and with our whole heart because we know this isn’t about us, it’s about you!

Let me dig a little deeper into this.

Many women think that doulas are for those who want a natural birth, that they don’t like vaccines or Pitocin, that they are hippies who love homebirths and avoid obstetricians and hospitals like the plague.

Well, that’s a misconception with First Coast Doulas it’s a misconception! We come to you agenda and judgment-free, guaranteed. It’s one of the reasons we are proud to say that we are the best doulas in Jacksonville, Florida. We say it un-apologetically and with all confidence because we live up to our word.

We don’t force unsolicited advice or studies on you; you want information and a natural birth, great we can help you with that. Do you give no fucks about studies? Great, we support you too!

We can support your without needing you to explain anything, ever!

First Coast Doulas can, if you’d like help you look at risks versus benefits for everything under the sun; homebirth versus hospital, un-medicated versus medicated, moving around in labor, versus just lying still.

In the end though, no matter what you decide you will be supported, not tolerated. You will feel validated, not shunned, because that’s how we roll!

Simplify your life during this pregnancy, hire First Coast Doulas. Remember Google is not your doula and First Coast Doulas supports you!

We Won’t Jump Ship If Your Plan Goes To Shit!

We Won’t Jump Ship If Your Plan Goes To Shit!

 We Won’t Jump Ship If Your Plan Goes To Shit

 

 

First Coast Doulas is here to support you in making your dreams come true, but we won’t jump ship if your plan goes to shit! By shit, I don’t mean “shit” at all; I mean the plan or the vision changes course!

As adults we know that life rarely happens just as we envision it.  I think most of us can probably agree that although life can throw us some crazy twists and turns it’s those same life changing spins make it interesting, unique, and fulfilling. It’s through some of the hardest times that we learn how we handle or manage stress and become more flexible. When our plans or vision “goes to shit” we are also made stronger because of our ability to persevere.

Some shit is harder to overcome than others.

Planning or envisioning what we want helps us have a jumping off point!

There you are at the edge of the pool about to dive in, you try and calculate how long it will take you to swim from one end to the other and maybe back again. You plan how many times you’ll resurface for air and then you jump! When you’re under the water you swim towards that goal you envisioned or planned for. Then you resurface and reevaluate where you are. Finally you either move forward with your original plan/goal or with a new plan, or  maybe you just wing it if that feels best to you.

Whether you prefer to plan things out in depth, wing them completely, or a combination of both, First Coast Doulas is cool with that! We support your plans or lack thereof! We know that your birth and parenting choices are just that, yours, not ours! You deserve judgement-free, unwavering support and with First Coast Doulas you get just that!

We have no pre-conceived ideas about what birth or parenting should look like for your family.

You don’t have to feel pressured to create a plan, have to justify why you want what you want, or feel bad for wanting to wing it!

We know life throws curveballs; birth and parenting are no different. We are here to do things your way!

Planning an all-natural birth or envisioning a birth where you just wing it and take it as it comes, we doula that!

Hoping you can have a vaginal birth with a medical induction by (fill in the blank) weeks, or be supported before and after your elected cesarean birth, we doula that too!

Do you know you want to circumcise or leave your baby boy intact, great!

We doula parents, their way!

 

Contact us today, we’d love to get onboard with your dreams! We won’t jump ship if your plan goes to shit!

Shifting Gears with First Coast Doulas

Shifting Gears with First Coast Doulas

Shifting Gears With First Coast Doulas jacksonville doula

Yep, families love shifting gears with First Coast Doulas! Let me explain!

Some of our clients are determined they’ll have it their way and some know that there’s a chance they might “give up” or “quit”, although I like to refer to this as shifting gears, or changing routes! They know when they hand over their hard earned money to us that realistically they may or may not get their VBAC or their all-natural birth, but we encourage and support them through their journey because that is exactly what they hired us to do.

They know that we can’t “save” them, and we don’t guarantee any birth outcomes or promise they won’t face the depths of postpartum depression, because noone can do that.

Noone!

They know we don’t refund if their birth shifts gears or changes routes because we will never give up on them when they shift gears.

We are highly sensitive to people’s needs as they transition from one gear to the next and by attuning to them we learn to speak their language.

They know that we take the good with the bad. Everybody whines, bitches, or moans sometimes in labor. Why wouldn’t they, this is time of growth and change. There are times that clients want to process a horrible birth, or are struggling with postpartum mood disorders so bad, they cry, they shut out the outside, and they say, “I quit, I give up.” They paid for a service and will, no doubt get the support they paid for and earnestly deserve with First Coast Doulas!

I have personally spent time in postpartum psychosis terror, I will never forget it. I have dealt with and recovered from it, and it’s because I have dealt with it that I am able to move forward and grow. It’s still hard to talk about or describe. I don’t like to re-live that with a client experiencing postpartum mood issues, BUT I DO!

Why?!

Because they are worth it! They believed in themselves once. They can believe in themselves again. It took time for me to work through the postpartum junk. Why in the hell would I expect my clients to work through things any faster than is right for them and their journey?

Life is simple, you live and then you die.

Life simple, but not easy.

Birth is simple, but it’s not easy.

Breastfeeding is simple, but it’s not easy.

Birth and the first year postpartum, like a few other things in life, are made so much better with one simple thing;

Support!

support: To serve as a foundation. To undergo or endure, especially with patience or submission; tolerate. To sustain (a person, the mind, spirits, courage, etc.) under trial or affliction.

First Coast Doulas may recommend or encourage you to do certain things to help you along the way. Some things are easy by some people’s standards and hard by others. You can choose to do those things or you can choose to do it your own way, in your own time, we promise to shift gears with you, not beat a dead horse, but revisit those things later. We support you!

We’re here to hold your hand, rub your back or feet, hand you a tissue, pick you up when you fall, hold your gown closed when you walk down the hospital hall way with your backside hanging out. We are here to hand you the studies and science if you need that information.

We are here to say, “If you’re shifting gears I’m right here with you. I will not leave you!”

So, don’t be afraid that shifting gears scares FC Doulas, we’re not scared! We come to listen, we come to guide, and we come to support!

Don’t be afraid to hire us for support, the year surrounding birth is not easy, but it’s worth it! It can be calmer, more understood, shared, and fully support with FC Doulas by your side!

If everyone knew first-hand how much FC Doulas enhanced their birth and postpartum experience they would join the other families who have already had this experience. People don’t know what they are missing until they have experienced First Coast Doulas for themselves!

While navigating birth and parenting a new baby, our clients feel love and light, and enjoy the laughter we bring to their experience.

Be Fully Supported When Shifting Gears with First Coast Doulas If;

You are confident, or lack self-confidence

You consider yourself wise, or feel foolish or ignorant

All you can do is think of the very near future, or you can envision the long term

Be Fully Supported When Shifting Gears with First Coast Doulas!

Do you want support without judgment, and with complete compassion? Then we’re your Doulas. If you want to crawl under the table and hide because you need a break or need help creating a plan to help you shift gears, call FC Doulas!

We’re there every step of the way, time spent with FC Doulas is an investment in your life and your family! You are worth it!

 

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