Posts in category Vaginal Birth

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

Private Childbirth Classes

 

private childbirth classes | Jax FL | Best Birth Classes in Jax., FL

Private Childbirth Classes

Considering private childbirth classes means you’re a dynamic individual!

When preparing for birth it’s much easier to know what you want when you are aware of what is available to you. You need an educator that is as forward-thinking as you are. Someone that can lay out all of your options, knows the ins and outs of the local birthing facilities, and presents the information in a way that allows you to explore what is best for you and your family. That’s exactly what you get with First Coast Doulas!

When attending Family 1st Private Birthing Classes with First Coast Doulas you can expect to learn about:

  • pregnancy & common ailments during
  • the stages of labor & birth
  • comfort measures
  • your rights
  • how to navigate labor in a way that works best for you in the moment
  • the physiological process of birth

You’ll also learn:

  • how to work with your body to feel more comfortable
  • positions that are helpful during birth
  • when those positions are most helpful

What’s better than that?

How about also learning tips and techniques from someone who works intimately with families giving birth and during the first six weeks after birth. Information to prepare you for what you can expect based on your birth choices, and how to care for your postpartum body, are also included.

Family 1st Private Childbirth Classes are the perfect place to explore how you will define a satisfying birth experience.

We provide you with information on un-medicated vaginal birth, various options for pharmacological pain relief including epidurals, and what to expect if you choose or require a cesarean. All the information is presented in an unbiased and judgement free manner. Regardless of your desires for your birth experience, gathering knowledge of the most common options and variations will help you feel prepared should your plans change along the way.

All of this in the comfort, privacy, and safety of your very own home.

Overall, these amazing classes will help you find what works best for you. You will complete your class feeling prepared with tools to navigate the unpredictability and intensity of your baby’s birth. Using research based information and proven techniques, you can expect to feel safer and less fearful of the birthing process. Are you ready to meet your baby?

Authored by Lacey Park agency owner at Chinook City Doulas, serving families in Calgary!

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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

Pushing In Labor; Don’t Push Me!

Pushing In Labor; Don’t Push Me!

pushing in labor jacksonville doula

There she was, growing physically tired after hours in labor.

She was ten centimeters dilated and soon to enter the second stage of labor, pushing. As I wiped her forehead and held her straw to her lips she sipped and then asked me, “Did we lock the back gate before we left the house?” Then she asked, “Will I know when to push?” I reassured her that her body would do it when it was ready, she would know, but if I noticed she was ready before she realized that I was there to help her remember to follow her body’s cues just as she wanted. She asked, “Is this the lull we talked about at our prenatal visit?” I shook my head, and she smiled, and closed her eyes.

***

It’s not uncommon for women to experience a lull during labor and sometimes they even get to enjoy it!

When a lull happens this is a chance for the woman to rest, doze off, or just regain her bearings, but often times the lull is missed. A lull can seem strange to a laboring woman, a place of in between where they aren’t quite sure what to do. It can last five minutes and up to a few hours depending on baby’s positioning, typically not more than about five to sixty minutes.

Sometimes this lull is missed out on when people are directing and encouraging a woman to push when she doesn’t feel quite ready to push yet.

This directed pushing is known as purple pushing. It’s perfectly fine to push with direction and encouragement if that is what the woman wants, but it isn’t necessarily necessary, at least not most of the time. Women can feel “pushy” before ten centimeters dilated and also not feel the need to push once she is complete at ten, both are variations of normal. The female body is designed to birth, and get this, she can actually birth without anyone directing her most of the time.

Now, I say all of that to says this; labor is hard work, no doubt women work very hard pushing in labor and to labor their babies down, but their bodies use instincts and do the work without needing to be told what to do, and most of the time it actually works quite well without their minds over-thinking it.

***

While my client rested peacefully on her knees with her chest on a pillow and her husband stroking her back they prepped the room and called the attending obstetrician so he would be there for the delivery.

She opened her eyes and looked up at her husband and I and said, “I’m not ready, no purple pushing,” she reminded us firmly.

I smiled at her and told her good job listening to her body. Her husband spoke to the nurses and explained that she was listening to her body, and she doesn’t want to be coached to push unless medically necessary.

The nurse said, “She’s complete at ten, we need to get the baby out.” Her husband smiled and said, “We understand, noone wants our baby out more than us, but if it’s not a medical emergency she wants to wait and listen to her body.”

The nurse agreed that there wasn’t a medical need and was accommodating to her patients, my clients.

I was focusing on my client and making a soothing sound that has helped many of my clients stay peacefully in their lull until they were ready to emerge. I remained alert to what my client’s husband was doing, saying, and how he was reacting to the nurse, his wife, and the room filling up as they prep for the birth of their baby.

About ten or twelve minutes past from the time my client’s nurse checked her cervix and gave her the green light to push and the time I felt my client’s body curl inward as my hands were on her back and shoulder blade.

I could hear my client gently grunting through quiet moans.

I signaled her husband to come close at this point, as they had previously expressed the desire for him to remain at her head during pushing. She wanted him to say a prayer during this stage of labor to help her have strength. He was her rock. He looked nervous as he stood in front of me; his eyes told a very beautiful story of a man becoming a father.

I took his hands and placed them on hers, he knelt down and she grabbed his hands. She then lifted her head with eyes wide and said, “This is it!” He looked up at me as though he was thinking, this is it what do I do?

I know that look all too well, and so I leaned in close to them and said, “You made this baby together, you have spent months preparing for this, together you can do anything!

Keep listening to your body. Keep encouraging her.”

He nodded and half smiled at me, and then she was pushing.

There we were less than an hour later, a strong woman who listened to her body, a supportive husband who encouraged his wife, trusted her, and kept her space safe. A doctor and his nurse who respected their patients wishes and were happy to do so. And a Doula who was honored to guide this couple through the most memorable, most challenging day of their lives together.

As her doctors waited patiently for the third stage of labor, delivery of the placenta, my client announces to all of us, “I did it! I did it without anyone having to tell me. I listened to my body and my body did this!”

And just like that a mother, a father, and a baby were born!

 

 

 

This story was shared with permission from my clients. Names, dates, and information that could jeopardize my client’s privacy were left out intentionally.

For more information about labor patterns, lulls, and baby positioning check out Labor Patterns Spinning Babies.

Rules in the Delivery Room, Paint Me A Picture

Rules in the Delivery Room, Paint Me A Picture

rules in the delivery room doula jacksonville

Aside from your wedding day, the day you give birth to your baby is the next biggest day of your life! You dream, you plan, you read, you google, you freak only slightly, and you ask your friends, “What’s it like to give birth to a baby?”

You ask your best friends, your sister, and your Doula “Are there rules in the delivery room?” Your Doula explains that each hospital has policies and procedures and your provider has guidelines they like to follow. She also explains informed consent and informed refusal, what those mean, and has encouraged talk about this and your birth plan with your doctor. You have all the answers to your questions.

You’re as ready as you’ll ever be to have your baby.

Then the day arrives. You labor at home in bed in the early hours after your husband leaves for work. Your Doula supports you by phone during this early stage of labor and several hours later your husband arrives home from work early. You’ve been managing contractions, but you both decide it’s time for your Doula to come. A couple hours later you are ready to make your way to the hospital to delivery your baby. When you arrive to labor and delivery you have your birth plan in hand. There is also a copy in your chart. Your plan states, “labor peacefully without being offered any pain medications, I want a vaginal birth.”

By this time you are quite tense from the commute over and triage. You’re contemplating telling your nurse you want an epidural, but you worry you’ll be judged for changing your mind. Judged by family who knew your plan, after all you made a big to do over this when your sister “warned” you. You’re worried you’ll be judged by nurses who see strong women birth naturally every day, judged by your husband for being a wuss, and  judged by your Doula who you hired because you wanted  to “labor peacefully without being offered pain medications.” Even worse you’ll judge yourself.

Everyone was in and out, checking machines, adjusting the electronic fetal monitor. Not a one of them asked about your needs. To them it just seemed to be like any other day and business as usual, but to you this was the most important day. The only one who is solely focused on you is your Doula. She is attentive, and reassuring. Still to yourself you think, why me, why am I suffering?

Then, your husband makes a break for the door to update his mother. You lean into your Doula with the next contraction and then look into her eyes and something changes. She says, “Breath with me, like this”, and she mimics the breaths for you so you don’t have to remember what you learned. It was incredible; she knew what you needed without speaking a word. With the next several contractions you continued this routine and kept your rhythm.

A few more hours pass with great focus, many position changes, and comfort techniques being used and before you know it you are 7 centimeters dilated. Excellent progress even with all measurements aside! The contractions are coming one on top of the other and you are losing your rhythm. You have yelled out a few times and you feel like you are about to lose all control. You have reached a point that you feel like you are being tortured no longer laboring. Your Doula then leans in close again and she says to you in between the next contractions, “What is it that you need?”

You reply with, “I don’t know you tell me, that’s why I hired you!”

With a gentle smile she says, “You hired me to support you and that is exactly what I am and will continue to do. You are laboring beautifully and it’s o.k. to lose control, we can gain it back are you ready?”

With a desperate look in your eyes and the craziest feeling inside of you, you say, “No, no I am not.”

She looks at you again and says, “Tell me then, what do you need?”

The last thing you ever thought you would say comes out, “I give up, and I need drugs!” She reminds you that you are making incredible progress and that you are not giving up. The tears begin to flow and your husband encourages you and tells you how strong you are. You are not convinced, how could a man even understand, you wondered.

Your Doula takes your hand and you say, “I really can’t do this anymore, I want an epidural.” Your Doula calls for your nurse, and while you are waiting your Doula helps you go over risks and benefits and you know for sure now you want the epidural.  Thirty minutes later they came to relieve the pain. Your Doula encourages you and reminds you that you have not given up. It seemed to be as soon as they had your epidural placed you were complete at ten centimeters and ready to push.

This took you by complete surprise. This isn’t what your friends said would happen.

Just like that you’re looking into your beautiful baby’s eyes!

Your Doula looks at you and says, “You did it! You did NOT give up! You labored peacefully and then you were wise enough to know you needed the epidural so you could continue to labor peacefully and birth vaginally. Congratulations to you both!”

Long story short, there are no hard fast rules in the delivery room about how you give birth to your baby. With a supportive Doula from First Coast Doulas you can birth and feel completely supported whether you stick to your birth plan or go completely off the beaten path to find what works for you. Your Doula can help you navigate and she has an intimate knowledgeable of birth, but she is also compassionate, and understands what not giving up really means!

If My Birth Doesn’t Go As Planned

Have you ever wondered; what if my birth doesn’t go as planned?

if my birth doesn't go as planned

From the moment I saw two lines on that stick I started planning and preparing for the birth I wanted. The last thing I ever thought about was; what if my birth doesn’t go as planned?

We found a great provider, we hired professional Doulas who were knowledgeable and provided continuity of care with placenta encapsulation, and postpartum Doula services which we planned for too. I had the best chiropractic, acupuncturist, and massage therapists around. Our chiropractor even adjusted me in labor.

Months went by and we finished the nursery, researched and bought everything we needed, and we hired a photographer. We met with our Doulas who assisted us in creating an official plan for our birth and also helped us create a contingency plan.

We also decided it was best to take a series of childbirth classes. Our Doulas recommended one based on our goals for our birth, we took it. The classes were incredible, informative, and as much as a class could prepare us for something we had never experienced, it prepared us in every way for labor and birth. I was healthy, baby was healthy, I ate healthy, and attended a great prenatal fitness class, and my pregnancy was textbook perfect. Baby was ready, I was ready, we were all ready!

Then my due date came, and it went.

I stayed in good spirits, but the naysayers began texting, calling, and messaging me. Strangers would put their two cents in and the pressure I felt from well-meaning family and friends was overwhelming in every way. Surely they must know I wanted to meet my baby much more than they did, surely they knew I would announce her birth after I had her!

Labor started on its own.

It began with contractions that increased in intensity, duration, and began to come closer together. Textbook first-time labor. Our Doula recommended we sleep, rest, and get into a groove together through this part, and we knew she was right, we learned about this in our classes. This was early labor.

About six hours passed between the start of labor and us requesting for one of our Doulas to come. She arrived, reassured us, explained things to us, and helped us get things ready as I labored. Several more hours passed, our other Doula arrived, and things began to become more intense, requiring more focus. This was active labor. Our Doulas helped us decide when to call our provider.

Everything progressed as a normal labor for a first time mom would have.

We trusted the process and everyone we hired to be there. Our Doulas encouraged me to eat to keep my energy up, but I still rested a lot during the first twelve hours to conserve energy. I didn’t sleep, but dozed here and there. I stayed hydrated; our Doulas ensured that I had cool water ready. I labored in positions that were favorable, danced with my partner, utilized water therapy, moaned, rocked, utilized the techniques our Doulas had in there toolbox, and did everything to help my cervix soften and open. I listened to my body, welcomed my baby to come, and followed all recommendations made.

About twenty hours after labor began I started feeling like I needed to push, my husband helped me into positions and our Doulas guided us through this. I pushed in every position imaginable for several hours, maybe six or so. Then, I rested again. I talked with my provider and made some decisions and I continued on, doing what I trusted my body to do and pushing and resting in between. Listening to what my provider suggested, our Doulas helping us through the many aspects that goes along with this.

After about 2 hours I reached a point that I didn’t think I could continue laboring with literally no change in the progress I made. I was fully dilated, effaced and baby remained healthy and safe, but with no new downward or outward motion. I was running out of steam. After almost thirty hours of laboring and six hours of pushing with no drugs I needed some relief.

So my husband and I talked with our Doulas and provider and I decided I wanted to get an epidural. I knew the epidural would help me relax enough that I could rest and get some of my energy back to push my baby out. So that is what we did.

Our Doulas knew our desires for our birth, and they kept that in mind, but they also helped us navigate in muddy waters, they supported us completely in our decisions and it was nice not to feel pressure or disappointment from them in any way.

I rested, but didn’t sleep and I pushed again in every position I could.

After another six hours baby and I were still well, but I was worn out. I found more energy after the epidural, somehow. I value my sleep, and take naps any chance I get. How I even make it this long is amazing to me and everyone around me kept saying how strong I was! I couldn’t go on and I didn’t want the birth to turn into an emergency situation. So I knew instinctually what my baby and I needed, a cesarean. We were fully supported in this decision.

In the operating room we were fortunate to have received a clear answer as to why our baby wouldn’t come down, many never find out.  We knew the problem wasn’t something we created and there was nothing we could do to correct it, but we still wondered why.

How do you do everything “right” and still have this happen?

Well, just like many things in life birth is just unpredictable. Life and birth is journey, a progression of things, the ride is unique, it truly is. Our Doulas told us this early on in pregnancy, but no matter how they could have explained it we would have never fully understood this until we walked through it ourselves.

Neither of us could imagine doing this without our Doulas, both of them were incredibly helpful and in so many ways. While we knew the first time how important they were because everyone told us they would be, we now had first-hand experience with our Doulas and it’s impossible for anyone to put into words the importance of hiring a Doula. Our Doulas were a huge help to both me and my husband. Trust me when I tell you, hire professional Doulas, you won’t regret it.

Our provider was terrific, she made sure baby and I were safe, for that I am forever grateful.  I am grateful for modern medicine and machines, I needed them this time. The support from the women in my fitness classes and our childbirth classes couldn’t be replaced. Everything I did and learned humbled me when it came down to delivering our baby.

We don’t regret doing any of these things, they were all things that were important and beneficial to us. Ultimately we’ve chosen to do them again, only a very short seven months later we are pregnant with our second! Only difference, we now know without a doubt that if my birth doesn’t go as planned, it’s okay because we will be fully supported and have set ourselves up for the best birth experience possible again whether un-medicated, medicated, vaginal, or repeat cesarean, it will be just as it was supposed to be.

Defend Against Postpartum Depression! We Share How!

First Coast Doulas shares how to defend against postpartum depression in this blog post. Tell us what you think, leave us a comment.

defend against postpartum depression jacksonville

Time is more valuable than money, money can be replaced, time cannot!

Have you experienced baby blues or postpartum depression before? Are you at an increased risk to develop postpartum depression? Are you just concerned about the risk since you’ve heard so many moms have it? Then you are not alone!

Women all over the country worry, struggle, and do battle against postpartum mood issues. Families suffer silently for fear of someone taking their baby. They worry they’ll be locked up in a mental facility if they reach out to their doctor for help. It’s supposed to be the happiest time in a family’s life, but instead, for many it’s a dark, scary time. A time that cannot be described or understood unless you’ve been in the pits of darkness to experience it first-hand.

What if I told you there is hope for those struggling in silence? The good news; there is a way to defend against postpartum depression and other postpartum mood issues. Your first line of defense is your postpartum Doula! Your second line of defense is professional Placenta Encapsulation!

Your postpartum Doula, in comparison is like Fort Knox against intruders. Same concept of building up your immune system to combat against illness when something is going around. Like every other option out there, there is no guarantee with a postpartum Doula, or placenta encapsulation, but the odds are in your favor!

Having a professional postpartum Doula is a great way the best way to help you defend against postpartum depression. Your postpartum Doula helps you form a plan for a happier, brighter postpartum! She will discuss with you your families unique needs, describe ways that she can be helpful to you during this time, be open ears, an our heart, and helpful hands. There to listen, and validate your concerns and feelings, and to help you find real solutions to what life throws your way.

Placenta Encapsulation is beneficial to our clients in many ways. Encapsulating with First Coast Doulas means you have a professional encapsulation specialist in your home who is also a professional, certified birth Doula and postpartum Doula. What does that mean for you?! Well, having a professional with this combination of training, experience, and knowledge in your home shortly after you give birth is very unique, and nearly impossible to find here in and around the Jacksonville, Florida area. You have this unique individual in your home for up to three hours, two days in a row to talk and share with, to get expert advice from, and to pick her brain for ideas. You can just relax, sleep, or snuggle your baby while she encapsulates for you if that is preferred, you don’t have to entertain or feel obligated to do anything because we’re providing a professional service, we don’t expect or prefer to be waited on or entertained. It’s a definite win for new families!

So, when planning for your birth and thinking about enjoying your new sweet smelling baby, think outside of the box, think one step ahead, think “how do I set myself up to succeed”, think “professional postpartum Doula and professional placenta encapsulation with First Coast Doulas!”

Having a First Coast Doulas professional postpartum Doula by your side day or night for help with sleep, showers, comfort and recovery, baby soothing or care, general breastfeeding assistance, you will have the best defense available! The best defense is a good offense, with First Coast Doulas you can’t go wrong.

Get in touch with us today and start planning for your happiest birth and postpartum! If you are not in our service area of Jacksonville, Fernandina Beach, Callahan, Yulee, Orange Park, Florida or Kingsland, St Mary’s, Kingsbay, Georgia, contact us anyway and we can get you in touch with the right connections in your area!

Click HERE is a great link with studies done on consuming the placenta

Here is a link to an article titled Mothers Opt for Placenta Benefits

Here is another titled Eating Your Placenta Offers Serious Health Benefits

And another titled Some Moms Swear by Consuming Babies Placenta

Why Would I Want A Doula? Why Wouldn’t I?

Why Would I Want A Doula? Why Wouldn’t I?

why would I want a doula Jax fl

You’re at the park pushing your daughter on the swing and another mom is pushing her son.

“It’s so hot. I’ll be glad when fall gets here,” the woman says to you!

You reply, ” No kidding, I don’t know what I was thinking, being pregnant through the summer sucks!”

“Congratulations! Yeah that’s tough I did that with my last baby, never again,” she responds laughing, “When are you due?”

With an, “I’m over it look” you explain, “Ugh, not for another six weeks!”

“Awe, an October baby, he was born in October,” she says pointing to her son. “Do you have a Doula?”

“No,” you state. “Isn’t that someone who helps you have the baby?”

“No, it’s kind of hard to describe what a Doula is and everything a Doula does,” she shares.

“I have a doctor and my boyfriend and mom will be there,” you say, while wondering why you would ever want a Doula.

She tells you about her experience, “That’s cool, my husband was with me, my midwife and her assistant arrived right as I was about to start pushing. My mom showed up right before he was born, but I was so thankful to have our doula there. Honestly I’m not sure how I would have done it without her, I know one thing, I don’t want to do it again without her, she was a God sent.”

Her cell phone rings. While she takes the call you wonder why anyone would want to have another person in the room when delivering their baby.

The kids run off to play in the mulch under the slide and you take a seat on the bench in the shade. Her call ends and you ask, “What was so great about having a Doula there, was it weird at all? My doctor delivered my baby, my boyfriend was there for that one and it went fine, so why would I want a Doula, no disrespect, I just don’t see the point I guess.”

“No offense taken at all. When I heard about Doulas from a couple of my friends I use to think the same thing. In fact, we hired our Doula on the recommendation of my best friend who also had a Doula and swore she didn’t know why anyone would want to labor without one. Go figure,” she said!

“Well, it’s one of those things that you have no idea you’d ever want until you have one, then you can’t imagine your life without one! Kind of like my story before I had a kid,” she laughed.

You can sort of relate with that so you smile and you laughed with her and she continued, “So, to answer your question; No, not weird at all, she is a professional, she is trained and experienced in supporting families. Several of my friends shared their stories with me about their deliveries, and I’ve had enough strangers tell me terrible stories while I was pregnant to last me a lifetime. Well, the stories from those who had Doulas all bragged about how supported they felt. That spoke volumes over those other stories I heard.” She paused for a moment.

Then, she began again, “our Doula helped me stay focused and calm, she was incredible. She really helped me and my husband in so many ways, ways I can’t even explain to you. She stayed with me when my husband fell asleep on the couch, which I honestly never imagined him doing, but babies come when babies are ready and he worked a double shift the day I labored so, yeah that was nice for both of us. He was able to eat and shower while I had the support I needed during that time. She seemed to know exactly what I needed without having to say a word to her. She gave me direction for labor positions that were effective in moving him down in the birth canal, I felt him drop lower, seriously she knew her stuff! Oh, and she did this hip squeeze thing that I swear I would pay double for next time! She woke my husband as I was about to start pushing. I remember looking up and seeing his face, wrinkled from sleep, and he looked like a deer in headlights,” she laughed.

“Seriously, his face was priceless, like it was me doing the work, what the heck was his deal,” she added.

“My boyfriend and I took a hospital childbirth class, he knows more this time then last time so he better not have that look,” you tell her, in all seriousness!

She shares with you, “Yeah, we took private classes and practiced a ton at home too, but when it came down to it he didn’t know what I needed at that point in my labor. I don’t know if he forgot or what happened. Our Doula gave him suggestions and reminded him of what we learned in the classes, it was awesome! He was awesome, the whole experience was just awesome. Just thinking about it makes me want another baby. You know, if my Doula can be there,” she laughs, but is serious in her tone.

Why would I want a Doula

By now you are interested, but still not sure, “Well, you know my mom had two kids, and she is giving me a hard time about wanting an epidural. I wonder if a Doula could be of any help to me, probably not since I am getting an epidural”.

“You bet,” she says, “my sister hired our Doula, she says she was great and she had an epidural, she had a long labor and because of an emergency with my niece’s heart rate she had to have a cesarean. Her Doula was excellent, she helped explain the process before she went back, helped her with breathing exercises despite not taking classes my sister says they were helpful. The Doula also helped her establish breastfeeding, assisted her with the baby, and even took pictures for them. My sister is already planning for her next baby and says she’ll hire her again.”

“Oh, wow, o.k. I just assumed Doulas were for natural births only. I’m glad I asked, thank you for sharing all of this with me,” you say surprised.

“Nope, our Doula is very professional, she gave us information about risks and benefits for anything we asked about and we made our own decisions she made it very clear that our birth was ours and she supported us in every way no matter what we chose. I know she meant that. I was sold on the idea of hiring a professional Doula before meeting her, but my husband wasn’t. My husband asked her a question, something along the lines of, well, she has me why does she need a Doula? Well, when she told him that even though I know him, loved him, and trusted him, that both of us would be better off with a Sherpa while hiking the Himalayan Mountains, birth is like a marathon, like hiking a mountain and he understood this. She went on to say that a Doula is like a trail guide for birth. I’m telling you she attuned to our needs and knew what to say to get him to open up. That isn’t an easy task with my husband,” she explained.

So your day started out like any other, led to you thinking; why would I want a Doula, and ended with; why wouldn’t I want a Doula!

As you wrapped up your time at the park you ask her if she could give you her Doula’s information. She looks you up on facebook, sends you a link to her Doula’s business page.

You go on to deliver your baby with your boyfriend, mother, and your Doula by your side. You never imagined your birth would go this way, the rest is history!

The evidence for Doulas;

The evidence for Doulas

The importance of Doula support

To have a professional Doula support, coach, and pamper you through your pregnancy, birth and postpartum period contact First Coast Doulas today and we will set you up with an amazing team!

 

Your Birth Can’t Compare

It seems like a favorite pastime for women to gather together, chat, and laugh. Women seem to share about everything. So it comes as no surprise that one of the topics women share about are their births. Be it a baby shower, a church event, a park bench, or hanging out with friends around the pool, if you have done one of those you’ve likely heard a birth story or two. Especially if your belly is subtly showing or proudly sporting the “I can’t deny I’m pregnant now” look!

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Some stories are told ever so sweetly. Some told as dramatically as words and body language allows for. Many may seem uneventful; as uneventful as bringing a human into the world can be. There are those that are like a nightmare come to life, the ones we all wish people wouldn’t share with the pregnant mom who is about to give birth in the near future, and then, then there are those that just swoon you.

We’ve all heard them, those stories that grab your heart and run away with you. Those births stories where the day was just perfection, birds chirping, not a single thing out of place. From early labor to the depths of transition and right on into pushing her sweet baby out ever so gently and with seemingly no intense effort, this birth story sounds more like a fairy tale than real life. They hired a professional Doula and photographer to capture these moments in time forever.

Her partner is just all in, fully supportive in every possible way from wiping her forehead to kissing her all over while caressing her and slow swaying with her and whispering sweet birth affirmations into her ear. She awed and moaned right through those contractions effortlessly, or so it just seemed.

Then, it happens…

You think to yourself, I want that! I want exactly what she had.

As a professional Doula I am here to tell you that your birth can’t compare to this. I’m sorry, but it cannot. It would be like comparing apples to oranges or grapes or a banana. Because her birth was hers and your birth is yours! Plain and not so simple her journey was very unique and so too shall yours be.

Here’s what you don’t see or hear about. You don’t hear about those things that were out of place. Those little things she worried about in pregnancy, but she didn’t care about in labor. You don’t know the things she never considered, but then found herself needing or requesting. You can’t feel those intense sensations as she did, you don’t experience the smells or sounds in real time, you don’t feel the love that was surrounding her, and you can’t hear those thoughts of doubts or words of discouragement she make have spoken.

I assure you she worked hard and she put forth intention and the most effort she has ever put forth. Bringing a human into this world whether by cesarean or vaginally, medicated or un-medicated takes preparation and hard work.

Those things were not brought to life because while they happened, they fade away in the beauty of what is really important and what is true perfection to her, this woman’s journey, her birth, her experience as a whole.

Your birth can’t compare because your birth is your own journey. It will unfold perfectly as it was planned for you. It may be exactly as you envisioned it or it could be completely unlike anything you ever expected or wanted, but it is yours!

Let’s embrace one another, our unique journeys and stop comparing our births. Instead of finding differences let’s find similarities while embracing the uniqueness of each.

The next time you hear a horror story or a fairy tale birth come to life know that her story is her own and yours will be your own. Each woman’s journey is her own and your story shall be yours.

As you enter into motherhood for the first time or fifth with expectations know that no matter where your journey takes you it is your own, it is valid, it is magnificent, and your birth can’t compare to anyone else’s and nor should you ever strive for that.

Set yourself up for the best birth possible, whatever that means to you! Hire the providers you want whether it’s providers who respect and support you, or who delivered your last baby, or who you just feel is most qualified. Pick a professional birth Doula who attunes to you and your partner, and photographer whose style you dig. Pack up your essential oils and focal picture, write your birth affirmations, and download your birth playlist, but believe that your birth can’t compare to anyone else’s because it is unique in itself and find your strength in that.

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