Childbirth Classes and Sunroofs

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Childbirth Classes and Sunroofs

Childbirth classes and sunroofs, what do they have in common? Are you pregnant and seeking childbirth classes that are right for you? How do you choose? Is a class really necessary? I’ve shared my story in the past, I’ve had moms tell me it was helpful to them during their search for childbirth classes. Those who had a prior birth end in a way they didn’t anticipate found my story especially helpful.

I’d waited nine long months pregnant with my first.

I lovingly caressed my belly and enjoyed being pregnant (mostly). I couldn’t wait to meet him, hold him, and call him by his name. After 18 hours of labor, when I finally got to hold him in my arms, I just felt… exhausted and empty. Being awake for almost two days mostly without food will do that to you. I was frustrated at the expectations I felt by everyone to see my baby before I was even cleaned up after birth.  My hip felt bruised where he had been bumping against it during our labor.  He wouldn’t latch onto my breast. Then he fell asleep while I wolfed down two hospital-made turkey sandwiches with mayo on top.  Tired was an understatement.

This is how I started parenthood.

Exhausted, but also feeling like I should feel more, because I’d had a “good birth”.

It was a vaginal birth like I had planned for. My care provider was wonderful and respectful. My partner was super supportive and loving, and I had a perfect, precious baby in my arms.  It was good, right?  Everyone else was calling it a “good birth” so it must have been good.

Even after a few hours, when I really did connect and bond with my baby I couldn’t stop staring at him. His little nose, toes and everything about him was perfect. When I was really and truly in love…

I wanted more.

I felt like the classes I had taken still didn’t teach me that birth isn’t only about the outcome. In fact, the childbirth classes I had taken (and that many parents take) focused on “a healthy baby”, as if that were the only thing that mattered.

Of course it matters.

No one honestly thinks to themselves, “I want to have an amazing birth experience at the expense of my baby’s health.” No! We want balance. A healthy mom and baby and a satisfying experience no matter how our babies are born; vaginal or cesarean.

As one mom put it, “Sliding right through my vagina would be great, but if she really needs to use the sunroof that’s cool too.”

Oh, oh, oh, childbirth classes and sunroofs do have something in common!

Our birth experiences are about the choices we have along the way. Even then, it really isn’t about which choices we make, but how we feel about making them. My first birth isn’t the reason I became a doula, but it did change the way I write and recommend childbirth classes.

In my professional experience and in my personal opinion birth classes that are worth it should:

  • Be comprehensive and diverse
  • Cover the anatomy and physiology of birth.
  • Teach strategies to help you work through all the decisions you may face.
  • Help you determine a set role for each person who will be with your during your labor and birth.
  • Cover “natural” and pharmaceutical pain relief options.
  • Help you focus on your goals, but also approach birth with realistic expectations.
  • Teach the importance of choosing a provider and a hospital deliberately and with intention, so that the care you receive will align with your philosophy on birth.

In our classes and in The Prepared Parent Childbirth Classes taught by First Coast Doulas we cover all of those important things. We also cover topics like the importance of a special environment for birth. An environment that leaves a birthing family feeling like they really are the center of the world. That’s another check mark for a great childbirth class!

We know that birth is unpredictable and very often strays, or at least wanders a little from the written plan or idea we try to concrete into our mind.

But birth can also be more, so much more!

It’s not simply about whether or not your baby slides through the birth canal or pops the hatch to be born through the sunroof! You can learn how to have a birth centered on YOU! You’ll truly be prepared for the EXPERIENCE of birth. Even if you don’t get most of what’s on your “birth plan” your birth can still be an experience that helps you position yourself for a rewarding start along your parenting journey.

So whether this is your first baby or your last, from one mom to another—find childbirth classes that TRULY help you plan for the experience of birth!

Childbirth Classes in Jax FL | Night Nurse Jax FL

This blog was co-authored by Elizabeth Luke, owner of First Coast Doulas and Victoria McCollum, owner of The Virginia Baby Company.

childbirth classes jax fl | Jax FL Birthing Classes

Victoria McCollum is a doula extraordinaire, Supermom to three amazing boys, and a carbohydrate connoisseur who lives in Fredericksburg with her super handsome soldier.  You can connect with her on Facebook or on Instagram for birth and parenting tips, tricks and updates The Virginia Baby Company serves Northern and Central Virginia, from Arlington to Richmond to Charlottesville.

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

Promises, Promises in Pregnancy and Birth Support

Promises, Promises

Promises Jacksonville Florida

 

Unlike the lyrics from the 1983 song, Promises, Promises says:

You made me promises promises
Knowing I’d believe
Promises promises
You knew you’d never keep

 

You can absolutely can count on First Coast Doulas to keep their promise to you because we do not make unrealistic promises or guarantees, or feed you false hopes, ever!

 

If you’re interviewing doulas, inquiring about support, or see them post in a group on facebook promising things like:

“I can make sure you get that VBAC!”

“If you want an unmedicated birth, we will make that happen.”

“A cesarean isn’t in the cards for you. I know a great provider who will approve your VBAC”

“I can help you turn your OP (malpositioned) baby.”

“There’s lots we can do to “turn” your baby.”

“I’ll make sure you stay off monitors and walk the halls in labor.”

“If you go to Dr. Miracle for your care you’ll get exactly what you want!”

or anything of the like, please know that these promises give people the wrong idea about what doula support is and ultimately what professional doulas do.

 

It’s the truth! Like it or not!

If you are seeking the support of a professional doula, one who knows and stays within a doulas scope of practice and has ethical doula boundaries and you find a doula making these claims?

Run, Forest run!

Keep scrolling!

Smile, nod, and move right on!

All of these ideas will work!

However, if these things sound great to you, I ask you to take a long, hard look at why they sound promising to you?

What is it you are searching for?

Can you make absolute sure you can follow through on those promise to yourself? What about if an emergency arose or you change your mind in the moment?

NO! 

Then I would heavily suggest not hiring someone who is making these unrealistic promises?

There is no glory in false claims, honesty really is the very best policy!

 

Noone can guarantee you a birth outcome aside from guaranteeing that your baby will be born;

full term, before 42 weeks, vaginal, home birth, safe birth, water birth, fast birth, long birth, unmedicated birth, cesarean birth: yes even cesareans can’t be promised, the mom who was scheduled for her cesarean who went into labor early and by the time she realized it was true labor she was pushing a baby out in the hallway of the hospital can attest to that one!

Shoot, even experienced providers can’t promise you these things. They know the things that can change the tides, and are prepared to see you through those changes with the medical support they provide!

One thing that sets First Coast Doulas apart is this;

We know our scope of practice and understand what it means to be a professional doula. In short our role is to support you.

Not to tell you what is best, but to help you work through things so you can figure out what is best for you.

Not to save you, but to support you through whatever comes your way.

Not to protect you, but to help you feel safer.

Not advocate for you, but to help you feel comfortable enough to have your own voice, even if that means you don’t use it.

And, most certainly not to lie to you! That is not a doula’s role, ever!

We support you in your choices, through whatever comes your way, by addressing your questions with honest answers, not false hope!

We can help you work towards your goals for your birth. We’ll listen and help you map out a plan!

We help you prepare in a way that works best for you! We provide comfort to you and your partner in pregnancy, labor, birth, and even into the postpartum year!

We can support you by helping you have valuable conversations with your provider when things arise that are out of our scope of practice.

We can help you create a memorable experience for your birth, one where you feel supported, period!

We won’t sell anyone an unrealistic dream or promises!

 

A common question we get asked is, “Can you help me get my baby in a better position for labor?”

There is no guarantee that anything you do or anyone else does will “turn” baby. Not your doula, not your provider, not a chiropractor!

Could your provider or chiropractor help your baby turn, yes! There are techniques they can use to help turn your baby!

Will they work?

They may or they may not.

Will baby stay turned?

They may or they may not!

Can First Coast Doulas help turn your baby?

The answer to that is yes and no.

First Coast Doulas are knowledgeable and experienced in gentle exercises that can help make you more comfortable and that may help create space for your baby within the uterus, but we make no promises that it will happen, because we can’t, noone can!

We are skilled in helping you cope if positioning causes issues for you!

 

At First Coast Doulas it is against our personal and professional beliefs to guarantee outcomes outside of absolute, unbiased support and compassionate care.

What you see is what you get, you are not fed false hopes, dreams, or unrealistic promises, promises!

 

Phoenix Family Birth, this agency understands the promise we make as professional doulas!

 

Can Doulas Prevent Cesarean Deliveries?

Can Doulas Prevent Cesarean Deliveries? Jax, FL Doulas

Can Doulas Prevent Cesarean Deliveries?

The World Health Organization reaffirms that the best outcomes for women and babies appear to occur with cesarean section rates of 5% to 10%. Rates above 15% seem to do more harm than good. In and around Jacksonville, Florida the average is above 30% for cesarean birth.

First Coast Doulas support parents in their decisions for their family.

Whether you want or need a home birth, hospital birth, VBAC, or cesarean birth, you will be completely supported, judgement free, by professional doulas.

Many people wonder, can doulas prevent cesarean deliveries?

The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) states that increasing women’s access to nonmedical interventions during labor, such as continuous labor and delivery support, also has been shown to reduce cesarean birth rates.

Yes, this means doulas!

This statement can be a little misleading. Hiring a doula can reduce your need for a cesarean birth, but it doesn’t prevent the need or desire for a cesarean birth. So the answer to the question, “Can doulas prevent cesarean deliveries,” is no.

At First Coast Doulas we know the evidence shows that we can help to reduce the risk of an unwanted cesarean birth. That’s exciting news for families seeking an unmedicated vaginal birth! What we also want you to know is that we are just as excited to support you if for any reason or who should end up needing a cesarean delivery.

We’ve got you covered! We support you and believe in you no matter how you give birth.

You may have heard that it’s important to choose a doula whose philosophy about birth matches your philosophy. It sounds great in theory, but consider this: selecting someone based on their ideals about birth may set you up to feel less supported should your plan change. This happens when your doula comes with a philosophy.

First Coast Doulas gets behind your philosophy or lack thereof and support, support, support!

First Coast Doulas are highly trained to support couples in all birthing situations. Checking ourselves at the door is an essential for doulas seeking to work with First Coast Doulas. We are extremely selective and only hire the best doulas to represent us and leave a lasting impression with the families, providers, and staff members with whom we work. Birth and postpartum are major life events, we only have one chance to get it (support) right.

We nail it, every time!

We come to you with a wide range of experience, knowledge, and education, but know you run the show! Your parenting style and choices for your family will be supported whether that means baby wearing or strolling, formula or breast. We support families that bed share and sleep train, and our support does not include “BUT”.

There are no “buts” with First Coast Doulas.

First Coast Doulas doesn’t prevent cesarean deliveries, but we can help reduce the chances you’ll have one if you are planning for a vaginal birth, and will help you plan and prepared for a cesarean birth should you need or want one.

You+ Your Partner + First Coast Doulas = Kick Ass Team

 

Authored by- Elizabeth Luke

Sources:

ACOG- Safe-Prevention-of-the-Primary-Cesarean-Delivery

Childbirth Connection- Evidence for Doulas