Posts in category self control

5 Ways to Hold It Together Instead of Losing Your Shit

5 Ways to Hold It Together Instead of Losing Your Shit | Best Doulas in Jax FL

5 Ways to Hold It Together Instead of Losing Your Shit

Today we’re sharing with you 5 ways to hold it together instead of losing your shit! Pardon our potty-mouths for a moment while we get real! Feel free to use any of the following or anything that works in place of the potty word if it bothers you: mind, crap, control.

Childbirth (no matter your baby makes his/her entry) is hard. Parenting is hard. Marriage is hard.Damn, life is hard sometimes!

You can’t always change your circumstances, when you can you do, but you can learn some ways to hold it together and we’re going to help you because we want you to F.L.Y.! (FLY=first love yourself).

#1 Use Your Breath

No, not to yell. Don’t hold it. Inhale and exhale slowly for about 5 minutes. Try to create a 2 to 1 ratio, exhaling for 4 counts and inhaling for 2. When you do this your heart rate slows, your blood pressure drops, and your muscles begin to relax.

#2 Visualize

Using visual imagery can be an effective way to create change within the body. Like a movie playing on the back of your eyelids you visualize whatever it is that brings your peace, joy, and positive energy. Leave the funk, crazy, outta control feeling right there in the water and visualize that shit washing away with the tide. Bye Bye!

#3 Take a Time Out

Yeah, they aren’t just for toddlers or football! Everyone can benefit from a time out and learning to take time outs can help you to F.L.Y.. Time outs can be taken in the bathroom while soaking in the tub! They can be taken the car while taking a drive singing as loud as humanly possible. They can even be taken in the back of the closet with the door locked and your favorite chocolate bar in hand!

#4 Phone a Frand!

Everyone needs a support system. Parents get other parents. We should all have that one friend who knows that sometimes we just need to vent. We just need an ear, someone to sympathize or empathize with us, and sometimes to kick us in the ass as tell us to get up and laugh that shit off!

#5 Say Yes or No Without Apology

Say yes as often as you can to your children and spouse instead of no. Ask yourself, how important it is to fight the “yes”. Equally, learn to say no without apology or regret. To your kids, your friends, hell even your partner sometimes. Simply learning to say “Yes” or to say “No” will give you more freedom and help you to hold your shit together a little easier! Don’t believe? Try it!

We know that these 5 ways to hold it together can work well most of the time, but if all else fails lose your shit!

Parents are human, we have temper tantrums too sometimes. We like to call them shit fits! Much like tantrums parents might stomp their feet, cry, or scream into a pillow. We get it! Who said losing your shit is ALWAYS” a bad thing? It’s wasn’t First Coast Doulas!

It happens and it’s okay from time to time. Blow steam, shake it off. First Coast Doulas wants to help you hold it together and see things run more smoothly for you. Our birth doulas, postpartum and newborn doulas are right alongside parents supporting them as they hold it together, navigate uncharted waters, and as they lose their shit!

Are you seeking the type of support empowering experiences are made of? Then contact us today to put a doula on your team, learn ways to manage labor pains, heal after birth naturally, and get more sleep!

Helping parents hold their shit together is kind of our thing!

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!

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

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?

Menstrual Cup GIVEAWAY for Moms

Menstrual Cup GIVEAWAY for Moms

healthy mom jacksonville placenta

Many of my friends, family members, readers, and clients have asked about menstrual cups. Wait, have you heard of menstrual cups?!

A menstrual cup is a reusable, eco-friendly cup that is worn internally. Yes, in your vagina. Made from medical grade silicone, the cup sits in the vaginal canal and collects, instead of absorbs your menstrual blood. These cups have been around since 1937 when the first was patented. The menstrual cup can be worn during the day, at night, even in the water for 4-12 hours depending on comfort and flow of your period.

Imagine a world where pads and tampons didn’t end up in a landfill. Imagine not having to spend money and time to purchase these items. Many women say they have less cramps and produce less blood when using a menstrual cup compared to tampons. No chemicals (bleach is just one) like those used in tampons and disposable pads, no toxic shock syndrome!

What a difference a menstrual cup could have made if you and I knew about them when we were young ladies beginning our journey into womanhood!

First Coast Doulas knows our healthy mom readers want to try these cups for themselves or know someone who they would love to give them to! So, we are giving away not one, but TWO menstrual cups (size 2) to one lucky winner! These are two brands I personally use and love. My DivaCup stays at my house and my other is a traveler. In addition to the cups I am adding in a little something special for the healthy mom winner!

I want you to experience the magic too!

I know everyone wants one and I’d love to wave my magic wand and play Oprah for a moment. “A menstrual cup for you”, “One for you”, and “You’re all getting a menstrual cup”, I’d announce!

I mean, think of the difference these would make in countries where girls miss out on education because of their periods. I’d love to see young ladies embrace their body’s beauty!

Menstruation is a beautiful thing isn’t it? A PITA sometimes, but still a beautiful gift! Let us help you make it less of a pain and more empowering!

Healthy Mom jax placenta encapsulation

Menstrual Cup GIVEAWAY for Moms contest rules, requirements and details:

  1. Read this blog and comment here on the blog. It can be a question you would like an answer to or just a comment.
  2. Like First Coast Doulas Facebook page and share this Facebook post on your timeline.
  3. Comment on this contest post on our Facebook business page that you have completed steps 1 and 2.
  4. Tag your friends. One tag per comment.

Rules and Winner: Follow all steps!! Winner must live within the United States, shipping address must be within the United States. Contest ends on 3-18-2016. No limit to number of friends you can tag, each comment with a tagged friend is an entry. Winner will be drawn at random and announced on 4-2-2016 on our Facebook page, after verifying entries. Once announced the winner must contact us with their mailing address within 7 days or they void their entry and a new winner will be selected. The winner must have completed step 1-4 above.  The prize will be mailed out to the winner within 7 days of receiving their mailing address. Prize package is valued at $55!

Good luck to everyone who enters the Menstrual Cup GIVEAWAY for Moms!!!

What Marriage Really Looks Like

What Marriage Really Looks Like

What Marriage Really Looks Like Jacksonville Florida

 

I think the idea of marriage is terrifying to some, while seeming like a novelty to others. I’m sharing what marriage really looks like for me and many other couples because after thirteen years I have some wisdom to share and our marriage has benefited from other couples who’ve generously shared with us along the way.

I recently had someone ask me if my marriage was peaceful, because peaceful to them meant boring. My response, “We have been together for 13 years, it’s peaceful, but not all the time. Thirteen years and it’s not going to be peaceful all the time, but peaceful does not equal boring!”

When I met my husband, after dating for a period of time, and accepting his proposal I thought about what it would be like to be a married couple. No longer living a single lifestyle, no longer dating each other, but in a solid, long-term, committed relationship.

I considered what that would look and feel like and it excited me!

Fast forward 13 years, 4 kids, 6 deaths in the family, financial struggles, and lots of ups and downs later and I have some insight! Now, there’s something to be said for the innocence of not knowing, so if you would like to leave, this is your warning, now’s your chance…

Marriage means easy like Sunday morning and also hard work and hard times, like really, really hard work from both partners a lot of the time.

It means fun, spontaneity, and excitement. It can also be boring as hell, stagnant, and bone-ass dry!

What marriage really looks like

It looks like spooning in your sleep or sleeping with your backs towards each other because neither of you get restful sleep when you “cuddle” through the night. Sometimes it means taking the couch so your daughter can sleep with her mama when she doesn’t feel well.

It means quickies before your partner leaves for work, and playing “This for That!”

This for That is a game my husband and I created after we had a hard realization that our sex life had changed for that season in our lives, “this for that” bargaining worked, for both of us, it was and is a win-win!

Example- “If you give me 20 minutes in the bedroom, I’ll let you sleep in tomorrow and get up with the baby!”

Sleep, did someone say extra sleep? Deal baby!

What Marriage Really Looks Like Jacksonville Florida

You’re welcome!

Marriage for some means going months without seeing each other because of long deployments. It means getting back into the swing after this long “break”, it’s not all easy!

Marriage can be harsh words, pure disgust, and contemplating the D word. Yes divorce! It means putting the other person before yourself at times, many times. It might mean counseling, even by yourself if the other person won’t go. Marriage means talking, lots and lots of talking.  It’s saying you’re sorry even when you don’t know what you did or understand why it hurt the other person, but you say it because you know you intention wasn’t to hurt them and you did.

Marriage means you may not always be madly in love with your partner, but you love your partner! It means falling back into love again and again.

Marriage means recognizing the others person’s shortcomings, but meeting them where they are instead of calling them out! It’s speaking words of appreciation for the everyday things we tend to take for granted. It’s reminding yourself that they are human just like you and they have not given up yet either!

Marriage means you’re listening and forgiveness game must be strong and your trust and honesty game on point!

We have found that knowing and understanding each other’s personality styles, love languages, and setting some ground rules helped us tremendously. These may not work for everyone, and are really meant more for examples than direct guide for you, but for our marriage it’s been very helpful.

Our ground rules:

  • No name calling
  • No arguing in front of the kids about the others parenting choice. (This has been the hardest for us by far. Our parenting styles are so different, but trusting, which came with time, helped both of us know that we don’t have to understand to trust the other’s choice and decision even though it may be very different from our own.) We will and do argue in front of our kids, on occasion, and feel it is not only acceptable, but beneficial for them to see us have difference. We also make sure, when apologies are necessary that we do it in front of the kids as often as possible so they witness that as well.
  • Once forgiven you can’t throw it back in their face! Forgiveness, but not forgotten!

Marriage is about love! It’s about beginning with the end in mind. Marriage is about knowing when to fight and when to walk away. It’s about not falling asleep at night mad at each other. It’s about squashing the bullshit because you realize life is short and this is the person who you love more than any other.

It’s about taking the road less traveled and creating your own detours!

What Marriage Really Looks Like Jacksonville Florida

 

When you think about what marriage really looks like, know that it’s beautiful, but not without mess. It’s not all smiles and happiness, it’s rough, it’s raw, it’s crazy, but it’s forgiveness, it’s togetherness, it’s someone to catch you when you fall.

Going to Work Just for the Fun of It, Part 2

Going to Work Just for the Fun of It, Part 2

If you missed Part 1 you will want to catch up quickly!

Going to Work

 

The 12 hour language used in many contracts simply states that included in the birth doula package, for X amount of money you get 12 hours of face to face support, and beyond that the client pays X amount per hour!

Clients read and understand the terms of the contract, the doula understands her obligations, the client knows what’s expected of them, what they will receive, and that is that. Two or three adults enter into a legally binding contract.

No one knows how long labor will last. Even if you’ve had fast labors before, that is no guarantee the next will be the same. With the 12 hour language in the contract clients will receive amazing support and the doula(s) will be compensated fairly in the event the labor is long. If the labor is short the clients still receive the support outlined in the contract and the doula is compensated fairly!

It’s black and white, it’s plain and simple. Clients get this concept!

They like knowing they’re paying for amazing support, they like knowing their life experience wasn’t a burden on someone else, and when they have their next baby First Coast Doulas will still be around! They like that we provide continuity of care right into the postpartum year! They love that there was an even exchange of support and energy for payment!

It’s empowering!

It’s empowering for the doulas, it’s empowering for the clients!

Imagine this; you live life on call never knowing when you’ll have to leave at a moment’s notice to support a laboring woman for six to forty-eight hours.  You may be in the middle of your daughter’s dance recital, your friend’s husband funeral, or just falling asleep after two days of virtually no sleep thanks to an ear infection in your infant and soothing a fussy, teething toddler of your own. Imagine not knowing if you’d earn $400 or $0?

Imagine you’re supporting a client at a birth, it’s reaching hour 18 and you are dead tired. You can’t keep going, but your client needs you there. It’s a horrible feeling. She goes on to need about 9 more hours of support. Now imagine paying out of your own pocket to pay a back-up doula to come in and provide the remaining hours of support. Yes, I mean your own pocket, or better yet, how about your spouse’s pocket!

Imagine how your spouse or partner would feel about that? Would your children or fur baby be o.k. with this lifestyle choice? Certainly not!

On a global level we need doulas to keep at creating sustainable businesses!

On a global level we need doulas to keep at it!

Globally, if doulas are to help improve pregnancy, birth, and postpartum we must create longevity within the doula profession.

Profession: a type of job that requires special education, training, or skill.

Job: the work that a person does regularly in order to earn money.

The 12 hour language is being used by doulas more and more since ProDoula, a certification agency for the modern doula was started. This language is helping to revolutionize the way  doulas everywhere view the work that they do.

The 12 hour language is only one part of creating stability for the doula so she can make her heart’s work into a long career. The business side of doula work is necessary to create stability, longevity and ultimately to leave behind a legacy! People aren’t working just for the fun of it; they want to leave something behind when they leave this Earth!

The 12 hour language is a SINGLE line in our contract, but it speaks volumes about the work we are doing as professionals!

Being paid a thriving wage allows a doula to be present for her own family when she’s with them, not worrying about how she’ll put food on the table or how she’ll be able to pay a  great nanny to care for her kids when she is called away at a moment’s notice to support her clients in labor.

It allows her to buy herself clothes she would otherwise not be able to afford. It allows her to leave a relationship that’s no longer healthy. It allows her to send a cleaning lady into her elderly father’s home who lives five states away when she can’t get there to help the person who raised her alone!

It allows her to send her child to a school where he/she can receive a fantastic education! It allows her to give her children the very best while she is away!

It allows her self-care when she needs it!

She can get a chiropractic adjustment after a long birth, or pay a therapist regularly to process the stillbirths she supports her clients through! Whether it’s bubble baths, a glass of wine and alone time, monthly massages, or having her hair and nails done on the regular, self-care is important! It’s beneficial, and it’s necessary for longevity!

It allows her to arrive to her clients knowing her kids are taken care of, her car is in good working order, and her house is functioning like a well-oiled machine while she’s away supporting other families.

I say all of that to say this; the 12 hour language allows the doula to come to her clients free from baggage, worry, and frustration. It allows her heart, her hands, and her mind to be solely for the purpose of supporting her clients while she is with them!

Smart people know if you want to make the biggest impact possible in the world it will likely take funds to do so, most things cost! Being business savvy is not greedy, it’s smart!

It allows me and many other doulas, who otherwise would not be able to, to focus on creating stability, longevity, and leaving behind a legacy!

The 12 hour language is a win-win for all! Oh wait, and then there are the ones who have a problem with it!

You know who has a problem with this concept? People who women don’t feel women deserve to be paid appropriately for the work they do. People who are for oppression!

Sorry not sorry!

There are actual people in this world who feel it’s o.k. for women to go to work just for the fun of it. That their actual work is not work at all, it’s all fun and games! They believe it’s o.k. for women to be stuck in abusive relationships, and feel it’s o.k. for women to be away from their families for an unknown amount of time with the possibility she come back empty-handed in terms of earnings. Even worse there are people who think it’s o.k. for the doula to pay out of her own pocket to witness the miracle and extremely hard work of birth!

Bottom line, doulas deserve to be paid for the valuable work that they do, every time, no ifs, ands, or buts about it.

The 12 hour language supports the doula while they support their clients! Going to work just for the fun of it creates burn out, not sustainability!

Daylight Savings Sucks!

Daylight Savings Sucks!

Daylight Savings Sucks Jacksonville Doula

 

Daylight savings happens twice a year, in the spring we spring our clocks ahead one hour, “losing” an hour of sleep and in the fall we fall back an hour, “gaining” an hour of sleep!

Do we? I mean seriously, do we?

Yeah…for parents with young babies and children, daylight savings sucks!

You see, there use to be a time when I loved daylight savings in the fall. An extra hour to sleep, to lie around, to take my time getting a start at my day.

Then I became a parent and reality set in, a new reality!

As if missing out on sleep in the early weeks after giving birth to my baby wasn’t enough, this daylight savings added insult to injury! I psyched myself up for sleep, real sleep all to be let down when I was awaken by my baby for the what seemed to be the millionth time in one night. I fed him and changed him, burped him, held him, he was content, and then I lay him back down and he drifted off to sleep.

I change my breast pads, make a quick trip to the bathroom and got back into bed, next to my husband who is snoring and has clearly been oblivious night after night. The clock says 2:20 a.m., I rolled my eyes and then I remember it’s time to roll it back… for a brief moment I got a little excited about the possibility of an extra hour of sleep, but as I changed the clock that thought quickly ended with the reality that I was now a mom!

It’s was 1:21 a.m. I closed my eyes and I was so tired that they burned. I was out, like a light, like my husband… until 2:15 a.m. when I was awaken yet again to my mini me signaling for me to come and feed him again!

Was I dreaming? Surely this a nightmare? Didn’t I just do this? Wasn’t it already 2:00 a.m. once tonight? Screw you daylight savings, you suck!

Daylight Savings, are you really saving me?

What are you saving me?

Daylight savings you are evil!

I threw a receiving blanket over that clock and vowed to do that every night from then on, and I did. For months this is how my nights went, and it helped me. Did it change the amount of sleep I received? No!

It did help me deal with the long nights better though.

I smiled a little more while nursing my son, I was able to be more mindful of the moments I had with him. I realized I couldn’t change the time really, that daylight savings didn’t really change or save a damn thing!

I learned how to embrace the suck! I knew that time was flying. I knew I would look back and miss these nights.

Confession; sometimes I even fantasized about the day I would be looking back and missing it.

Well now I do miss those nights! Not all of them, but many moments.

My birth work led me into postpartum work.  A postpartum Doula could have helped me through those hours, those nights. I could’ve had more of those mindful, positive moments.

I wished I had known about a postpartum Doula almost two decades ago. Daylight savings could’ve sucked a lot less!

So for all of you who are not gaining any sleep tonight, know you are not alone! You are going to survive! You have options for night time support with our postpartum Doula services! 

 

… “Only the government would believe that if you could cut a foot off the top of a blanket, sew it to the bottom, and have a longer blanket.”

 

Myth- A Healthy Baby and A Healthy Mom Are All That’s Important

I know you’ve heard it, we’ve all heard it, “A healthy baby and a healthy mom are all that’s important!”

A Healthy Baby and A Healthy Mom Are All That's Important

 

Well I am here to tell you, that’s a load of crap! Yep, I said it and I mean it!

Now, I do agree that the safety of a mother and her baby are first and foremost, but to say that a healthy baby and a healthy mom are all that’s important is terrible.

Did you know that 25-34% of mothers report that the birth of their baby was traumatic.

To shade the way a mother feels about her own personal journey is disrespectful, rude, and terribly warped. Is it done intentionally? Most of the time no, not at all. Most of the time it’s done by well-meaning loved ones and friends who just want to make mom feel better, they just want to “fix” the situation.

However, by saying, “A healthy baby and a healthy mom are all that’s important”, you are saying her feelings and thoughts about her birth are invalid, null and void. Women don’t need to be fixed. They need to be heard, validated, empathize with, and they need time, space, encouragement, and support to heal.

The path a woman takes through pregnancy, labor, and birth are a journey so unique that it can never be duplicated again.

Yes, she may have more pregnancies, more labors, and more births, but no two are ever the same, even ones that are very similar. Whether it be her plan to have a homebirth, medicated hospital birth, VBAC, or cesarean, the journey is important and how she feels about her journey is even more important!

The end result, baby in arms is not all that it’s about, the journey that is taken to get there is of importance too. The way a woman feels about her pregnancy, labor, and birth shape her into who she is, how she feels about herself, and how she will parent her children. The same applies for the father. He knows the safety of his baby and his partner is the most important thing, but tell that to the father whose wife is suffering with postpartum depression or psychosis. Tell that to the father that works all day and comes home to a wife who is weeping in the closet, or full of anxiety about something being wrong with their baby.

First Coast Doulas knows how important the journey is, it’s why we do what we do!

We support women and their partners in pregnancy, labor, birth, and even into the first year after delivering their babies because we know this is a journey not a race. We know the foundation is being built for their parenting journey and we want them to have the confidence, love, light, and laughter they desire to make the journey a positive one.

So, please before the next time you tell a woman or her partner, a healthy baby and a healthy mom are all that’s important, stop and think for a moment. It may be awkward, you may draw a blank on what to say that is o.k., sometimes saying nothing and just being there is what they need.

 

 

Here’s a great blog by Sam McCulloch that is along similar lines of this one if you are interested in reading it.

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