How Can a Postpartum and Infant Doula Help Me?

postpartum and infant doula jax fl

How Can a Postpartum and Infant Doula Help Me?

You’ve heard the words postpartum and infant doula, but you’re wondering what exactly they mean together, what they do, and how can they help you?! First, you’re not alone! Most people have no idea what a postpartum and infant doula is. So breathe a sigh of relief you aren’t alone in the forest.

The word postpartum tends to get a bad rap.

Most people hear the word postpartum and immediately think of depression after a person gives birth.  Like prenatal and antenatal means during pregnancy, postpartum simply means the period of time after birth. Sure the postpartum time period can entail the baby blues, depression, anxiety, OCD, and psychosis, but it doesn’t always include those things.

A Postpartum and Infant Doula is a non-medical support person who is by your side after you have your baby!

While we can’t speak for all Doulas, First Coast Doulas are Knowledgeable, trained, and skilled in compassionate care for families with babies!

While every family is different and their needs are unique there are challenges all new parents face. We add value to your family dynamics no matter what that looks like. Traditional family, cool! Single parent home, you rock! Blended family, we love you all too! Polyamorous families we see you!

So, how can a Postpartum and Infant Doula help?

Sleep

Be it your first baby or your fifth sleep is a key component of good mental and physical health. We help parents get the necessary amount of sleep day in and day out!

Nourishment

Keeping up after baby is no easy task. Keeping the body fueled is another component of good health. We prep snacks and meals and bring it right to your bedside. We’ll even run out for your cravings! Life is busier than ever, we got you!

Emotional Support

Having a baby brings out all of the emotions. Your doula knows! We’re skilled in the art of emotional attunement! From weepy, raging, and numb to everything in between we see it, we recognize it, and we are comfortable talking about it and being there to see you through it!

Companionship

You need to heal, rest, and care for baby. That doesn’t mean you should feel like an outcast or be confined to isolation. Ugh, we hear it all the time, “I feel so alone.” Your doula makes going out, or staying in more enjoyable. Your doula can tend to your baby while we all walk Target or grab lunch! On the flip side we can stay in, bake cookies, and watch your favorite episodes wth you too!

Team Work

A second set of hands, eyes, and a compassionate heart! We can wear your baby while you get a nap. Keeping him, her, or them soothed. We’re skilled in the art of toddler wrangling and bathing too! Calling in help doesn’t mean you can’t do it, it may just mean you are wise to value another compassionate human to give your babies attention too!

Self-Care

All this talk about self-care and no time for it sucks! Keep your hair appointment and book that massage, we’ll come along and keep baby happy and unwanted hands off! You can relax knowing that during a bubble bath or a phone call with your girlfriend on the patio your baby is with the very best and only a room away!

So, in short your postpartum and infant doula is like a magical unicorn! She appears when you need her most, anticipates your needs before you even know you need it, and she makes magic happen!

Laundry and dishes, done!

Laughs and a safe place to cry, she’s your girl!

Pizza and drink, just say wine or whiskey!

Ssshhhhh….it’s not really magic, but it sure feels like it! Contact our “magical unicorns” for a complimentary phone consult!

 

The Difference between a Nanny and a Postpartum Doula

nanny and postpartum doula | best doulas in Jax

The Difference between a Nanny and a Postpartum Doula

I was in the store the other day with my daughter when the conversation came up. You know, “what do you do for a living?” I actually really love talking about what I do and what First Coast Doulas brings to the shores of Jacksonville! So, I responded with a smile and an enthusiastic, “I’m a postpartum doula!” *Crickets* “A wha????” After briefly explaining what I do and how we help new parents, he nodded with an expression of understanding and said, “So, you’re a nanny!” Uh, no.“Not exactly. Not at all, really” I responded. There are actually differences between a nanny and a postpartum doula.

“What’s the difference between a nanny and a postpartum doula then?” he asked with genuine curiosity.

And I proceeded to explain while I love nannies, I and the postpartum doulas here at First Coast Doulas, are not nannies. Our services are similar for sure, but our primary functions differ tremendously. I went on to explain.

“…Elizabeth fed me and gave me a hug when I cried and never brought it back up. She understood. She helped me understand what I was going through and even helped my husband understand me a little better. I hope Elizabeth is around when I have my second baby because I don’t want to do it without her.” ~ Danielle M. Jax., FL

So, what’s the difference between a nanny and a postpartum doula?

A nanny is there solely for the baby and kids.

They are there to attend to their needs such as feeding, bathing, keeping to routines, and adhere to the daily agenda while the parents work or otherwise take a break.  They form a close relationship with the children and become a trusted adult. A nanny is a caregiver.

Things a nanny might do:

  • Keep baby or children at their home while parents go to work on a regular basis with regular hours
  • Help create, set, and stick to daily routines based on their personal knowledge and relationship with the children
  • Provide educational activities and developmentally appropriate learning experiences
  • Discipline, prepare meals, drive children to extracurricular activities, appointments, and school

A postpartum doula is there for the family.

They’re there to attend to the family’s needs, which will vary from family to family and day to day. A lot of the time the family, having a new baby, is not aware or able to articulate their needs. The postpartum doula, using their knowledge and intuition, helps them identify what those needs and goals are and helps them to navigate the terrain of adding to their family.  A bit esoteric, yes…

Things a postpartum doula might do include:

  • Listen, reassure, and offer emotional support to new parents as they recount the birth experience and navigate the days following adding a new baby to their family.
  • Educate and advise about the woman’s postpartum body/mind
  • Help with researching, purchasing, and assembling baby gear
  • Provide local resources such as playgroups, therapists, etc.
  • Help siblings adjust to a new baby
  • Encourage parents to identify how they want things to go/what they need on their own terms and then help them implement those goals into manageable routines
  • Cook and prepare light meals, lightly clean, etc.
  • Assist with infant feeding, whether at the breast or bottle or both
  • Newborn soothing and sleep
  • Help to create a relaxing environment for the parents to enjoy snuggling with their newest family member
  • Support the new parent(s) on their first ( or fifth or twenty-fifth) outing. Think; breastfeeding for the first time in public, or preparing and warming a bottle while you change a crying newborn in the backseat or vice versa.

Encouraging you along the way!

nanny and a postpartum doula | childbirth classes in Jax

“It was like having my sister take the night shift, but I didn’t have to explain my choices. I didn’t think I’d need much help after I gave birth, but we were both exhausted a week into being home. Having our postpartum doula, Liz here helped me relax and sleep better!” “P.S. My sister is little jelly though!” ~ Marcia G. Jax., FL

A postpartum doula can provide care as well, in certain circumstances, or a person can be both a postpartum doula and a nanny. Oftentimes, they are both and perform these duties in separate circumstances!

Nannies and postpartum doulas are a collaborative team in many cases.

A First Coast Doula goes one step further in providing postpartum doula care without interjecting their opinion or philosophy on parenting. Sort of like an extension of an antepartum doula. We pride ourselves on the ability to attune to our clients because we value building a strong partnership that allows our doulas to be the best doula for any and every family.

What Do Postpartum Doulas Do?

Postpartum Doulas Jax. FL
www.FirstCoastDoulas.com


What do postpartum doulas do?

Imagine for a few minutes you’ve given birth to your beautiful baby. Your baby is a few hours old. You’re exhausted, hungry for real food, and completely overjoyed with your new tiny bundle of love.

Its two days in now.

You haven’t gotten much sleep at the hospital with all the warm welcomes and nurses massaging your uterus. You and your baby are working hard on feeding, diaper changes, and getting to know each other. You are ready to get back home and rest peacefully together as a new family.

Day three.

You and your baby come home and get settled in, whatever that means to you. More family members stop by with gifts and visit for a short while. Things seem to be overwhelming; you don’t remember the books talking about this part of motherhood. The emotions, the uncertainty, the days seem to all run together now.

It’s becoming more apparent with each passing hour that having someone there to assist you with all the things would be absolutely wonderful right now.

Not just anyone though.

Someone who understands the unique needs of your newborn baby and you, the newly postpartum mother. Someone who believes in your capabilities and instincts and can encourage you and your husband/partner without judgement or their own agenda. Someone there to help you build confidence and keep your sanity, whatever that means to you. Perhaps someone to be your sounding board and shoulder.

That someone is your postpartum doula!

Right about now you’re breathing a sigh of relief knowing your postpartum doula is scheduled to come at the end of the week as your family leaves to go back home to their daily lives.

Postpartum doulas are like comfort food for your soul.

We’re like a warm cup of tea on a dreary day, the very best chocolate cake, and fresh sheets on your bed after a very long week. Postpartum doulas know life will look different from client to client and day to day. We assist with the things that take your focus away from what matters the most to you.

First Coast Doulas postpartum doulas help you enjoy your post-birth experience more! Contact us today!

Postpartum Sadness

 Postpartum Sadness

Authored by Elizabeth Luke

postpartum sadness jax fl

Postpartum Sadness

I’m often asked if I have suggestions for natural ways to deal with postpartum sadness. I absolutely do! Not only will I share those with you, but I am including a free printable with you at the end of the blog. Don’t forget to print it and hang it somewhere you’ll see it and use it!

First Coast Doulas brings love light and laughter to birth and parenting and love energy, and healing after birth! With that in mind here are my suggestions for combating normal postpartum sadness:

 

Rest

Rest as much and as often as possible and sleep when you can! You may not fully understand that suggestion until you are living that life. This might mean short, frequent increments or a few longer stretches. Also, skin to skin time with you baby is beneficial to you both. Snuggling and resting together is one way to help strengthen your bond.

postpartum sadness best doulas in jax

Shower Power

Every day! Besides smelling “so fresh and so clean, clean” {I hear Outkast in my head}, how much more relaxed and revived do you feel when you get a nice warm shower? Feels pretty damn good, right?! Well, birthing a baby and caring for his, her or their needs is work. Getting a shower helps you transform from mom zombie back to the land of the living! Make it high priority everyday even if you’re going back to bed!

placenta jacksonville postpartum sadness

Get Out

Getting outside a couple times each day helps you see the world in new light so to speak! Whether it’s on your own front porch with your feet up or taking a short stroll around the block you benefit and so does your little one! Say “hi” to a neighbor! Who knows you may make a new friend in an unlikely place. Find other parents and talk with them; whatever you do don’t shut yourself in.

placenta jacksonville postpartum sadness

Find Your Path

When you became pregnant the stories and advice began. It continues after you deliver your baby. Lots of great advice out there and not so great advice too! Save yourself a lot of time and energy by trusting yourself. I promise you, YOU ARE ENOUGH! No one knows it all, no one right way is best. I encourage you to trust your own judgement.

postpartum sadness jacksonville placenta

 

Me Time

Whether you enjoy solitude or prefer to think of it as “me, myself, and I time”, do something for yourself each day that lasts 20-30 minutes. Purpose and make time every day.  Perhaps you struggle with feeling like you don’t deserve that fraction of time for yourself each day. Well, it’s not all about you! It benefits your entire family unit when you feel better. Your baby feels your energy! Need ideas? Soak in the tub, do yoga, read, dance, write, paint, take a slow drive and listen to music or chat with an encouraging friend by phone. Get a facial. Skies the limit!

postpartum sadness jax fl

 

Deep Breathes

Lots of them. New parents are super sensitive to the cries of their newborn. You’ve heard other newborns cry and you don’t remember it that way, right?! Well, your baby’s cries are for you! Your Spidey senses can be overwhelming, remember lots of deep breathes! Deep breathes help with mental clarity, stress relief, and it decreases your blood pressure. Oh and it feels nice!

A newborn baby’s last effort is crying. Focusing on their cues before they begin crying can help you learn them and their needs, and believe me you will, it just takes time. Once they’re crying and aren’t easily consolable parents can feel a sense of panic or urgency to “fix” the problem.  However, sometimes you’ve done all the things and they still cry its o.k.  Be patient with yourself, take deep breathes, you do the best you can, and repeat.

deep breathes postpartum sadness jax

I could wrap up the blog now… but I just wouldn’t feel right if I didn’t share with you what I beleive so passionately in! I’ll make it short.

Two things:

Professional Placenta Encapsulation

With First Coast Placenta can help you heal faster, have more energy and living the life you love! We are providing this service in the absolute safest most beneficial way possible!

Professional Postpartum Doula Support

I’ve saved the best for last! Be proactive in your approach. Prepare for the life you want now before it hits you in the face!  There’s no way to know for certain which challenges will lie ahead, but no doubt you’ll face them.

Hire First Coast Doulas for exceptional support through pregnancy, birth, and well into the first year after birth! Studies corroborate having professional support through these delicate years’ impacts families for generations. Hire First Coast Doulas, feel supported, have more of your needs met, and get more rest!

Repeat after me, “This is today. This is not yesterday, tomorrow, or forever. This is my life, I’ll find my own path and write my own story!”

While some bouts of sadness after birth can be normal some are out of the range of normal and require the person to discuss what they’re feeling with a medical professional for diagnosis, and possible treatment plan. This blog is not intended to, nor should it replace medical care.

Get the Postpartum Printable!

Improving Postpartum Sadness

 

 

The CDC reports 1 in 10 women experience postpartum depression. This number doesn’t include those who “keep quiet” out of fear of being judged or locked away. This number doesn’t include mothers who have given birth to a stillborn baby or who suffered loss during pregnancy. It also doesn’t include those who are battling, struggling, or suffering with postpartum psychosis, OCD, PTSD, anxiety, or other perinatal mood disorders. If those things were included we would be looking at a number much higher. Most likely around 20%.

What Women Need After Birth Is…

What Women Need After Birth Is…

what women need after birth is, Jax, FL

Elizabeth Luke, owner of First Coast Doulas asked 48 women and 24 men to answer this question, “What women need after birth is  __________.” You might be able to relate to their answers, or they may just catch you off guard and make you go hhmmm.

First Coast Doulas knows the challenges new families face.

Every experience is different and unique. We know that just because things went awry during birth or afterwards once doesn’t mean you are destine to that next go around, there’s support available. Preparing for what possibly lies ahead can mean the difference between feeling supported and having your voice heard versus feeling alone and like you had no say or support in your corner.

Without further ado here are 72 answers to the question, “What women need after birth is __________?

 

The women who were polled answered the question, “What women need after birth is ___________?”

* number of women with the same answer

  • someone to feed my older kids
  • a laundry fairy *4
  • someone to show me ways to care for and soothe my baby (you can only learn so much from books and videos) *2
  • someone at home with me so I didn’t have to be alone, no one should “have” to be alone after giving birth
  • someone to listen *3
  • food: healthy, warm food
  • two more arms and wine
  • support with breastfeeding
  • someone to care for the baby so I could play with my other children
  • freedom to cry and not get questioned
  • more time off work *5
  • my friends and family to help me without having to ask them *3
  • someone to hold my baby so I could shower *5
  • “a bottle washer I hated washing those damn bottles with a baby in the NICU”
  • someone to help at night, just at night
  • energy to do things *5
  • someone to get the older kids ready for school and do homework with them
  • to hold my baby first *2
  • time to myself, for myself, space
  • sleep *6
  • a pediatrician that understood breastfeeding *2

The men who were polled answered the question, “What women need after birth is____________?”

* number of men with the same answer

pain meds and those ice pack pad things

  • peace and quiet *2
  • food, my wife needed pizza *2, but only 1 said pizza
  • a trophy
  • sleep *5
  • their mother or sister because I didn’t understand any of it
  • time alone with the baby to bond *3
  • their husband *3
  • chocolate
  • more maternity leave *3
  • people around who respect her decisions *2
  • the bed to herself

First Coast Doulas offers services to help you reach your goals for birth and postpartum.

Do you know what a postpartum doula does? Probably not, most people don’t! Do you know what almost every single client we’ve had says? Go ahead take a guess, please!

It’s something along the lines of, “I had no idea this service was available”, or “where were you when I had my first?”

We get calls from women who’ve given birth and most of the time they expected they would bounce back rather quickly and life would be an easy transition. Either because they bounced back with their first, “Marcy and Tina went right back to work and life”, or they just really had no idea of what to expect. After all this is an all new territory, remember every birth is different.

While loved ones and friends get back to their own jobs, lives, and obligations, First Coast Doulas make you their top priority!

First Coast Doulas can support you with latching your baby at birth.

We’re knowledgeable about breastfeeding, helping you care for your newborn, and healing after birth.

We can lay out all the options so you can choose what’s best for you and your baby!

We help create a safe space for women to talk and unload as needed.

We help moms eat healthier snacks, help the family understand what they can do to help, help tidy up a little, and help keep that laundry fairy in check!

First Coast Doulas helps mothers, babies, and partners have an easier transition after birth!

First Coast Placenta is bring love, energy, and healing to women after birth.

 

The Best Doulas in Jax!

The Best Doulas in Jax, FL | Childbirth Classes Jax

The Best Doulas in Jax!

I feel pretty lucky, Jacksonville is a diverse city!

Jacksonville has live sports, entertainment, loads of artistic talent, and activities for people of all ages and interests. Those who call the First Coast home are fortunate to have access to a variety of options during the childbearing years. Finding the best option for them can get tricky!

Options are a good thing!

Having options means that businesses must work hard to set themselves apart from others who appear to offer similar services if they stand a chance of delivering a top notch products and experiences to their customers! It’s critical for a business to constantly find what gives them that edge and shine at it! Ultimately this is good for business and benefits the consumer too!

Start by comparing apples to apples.

Starbucks’ unicorn frappuccino is one example. People rave over its magical badassery! They rage over its sugar content! They tweet, blog, and snap selfies just for shock value! The point is, people were talking and sharing everywhere! Sure other places that offer seemingly the same things as Starbucks, but it’s not really the same is it?

What you consider when making a purchase also depends on what you’re purchasing.

Things you might want quick and cheap:

  • a pack of under shirts
  • a burger

I mean when you want a burger and you want it fast where do you go? When buying a pack of undershirts it might take you all of five minutes to run in and grab what you need. It’s a quick buy and you move on with your day. It’s not memorable, it’s an everyday run of the mill purchase.

Then there are purchases that affect the quality of your day to day life like a mattress set.

It’ll take longer to purchase. You need to be comfortable and wake up feeling rested. You want it to last longer, because it’s more of an investment in the quality of your life.

Finally, there are services that are attached to experiences, some lasting you a lifetime.

First one that comes to mind; Disney World! The look on your child’s face as she is spoken to by her favorite character.

Fine dining is another example. With fine dining you’d likely expect fresh food, made to order, cooked to perfection, served in a relaxing atmosphere with friendly, attentive service!

A tour of the nation’s oldest city! What would you expect there?

With the pack of under shirts, burger, the tour, fine dining, and a mattress set you have an idea of what you’d be willing to pay for it right?

Think about why those might cost more or less while they’re seemingly the same at a glance! Would you pay more for better? What if you never knew what better was until you experienced it?

Say one burger was grass-fed, grade “A” beef and the other was ground sirloin?

What if you didn’t know one burger was cold and the other was hot because they looked identical across the table?

After eating one burger it may taste great or bad for that matter, but if you never tried the other would you’d never know there was a difference!

Would you expect to pay a different price for a grade “A”, grass fed burger that’s properly cookedto order verus a slightly cold, questionable smelling, ground sirloin burger?

How about a tour!

Would you pay expect to pay more for a guided tour or self-guided tour? Consider a tour guide that’s clean and well-kept versus lacking in personal hygiene? What if he only spoke French and you only speak English and Spanish? Is his knowledge on the subject solid? Does he share an interesting story on the history, make you laugh, and is pleasant and accommodating? I mean would you expect to pay less if he just handed you a brochure, walked around texting and pointing? What would you see as more value?

Let’s step it up a notch!

An exotic honey honeymoon after eloping with the love of your life and building a home are examples of lifetime experiences for sure! Professional doula support is another example! What might you expect to pay for those investments? What factors would help you decide to pay more to have the very best?

Apples to apples folks!

At first a glance it may appear that others are offering the same services, but no mistake, the best doulas in Jax are First Coast Doulas! Our clients agree!

So, aside from working hard for our clients, what’s our edge:

  • We attune to your needs and customize the support you receive from us because we recognize you as complex individuals!
  • We meet you where you are whether you know exactly what you want and what your options are or you have no idea what to expect or what options are even available.
  • We are down to Earth, compassionate, and communicate in a way that validates your feelings and concerns as people who are  fully capable to make the decisions that are best for you and your family! We support your way!
  • We offer an objective perspective when you want it!
  • We know there is no right or wrong way to birth or parent! We don’t get hung up over things like breast or bottle, circumcised or intact, vaginal or cesarean. We got you! Your decisions, your way!
  • We will never make promises about specific outcomes or do anything to endanger you or your baby.
  • We work to build bridges with you, your family, and your healthcare providers. We are the epitome of professionalism.
  • We are confident!

First Coast Doulas is setting the bar high in Jacksonville! We’re cultivating new ideas and change. We’re a brand people have come to love and recognize!

Contact us for an experience of a lifetime!

 

 

 

First Coast Placenta Prize Package, and The Winner Is…

First Coast Placenta Prize Package, and The Winner Is…

First Coast Placenta capsules jax

 

In early April First Coast Placenta a branch First Coast Doulas took part in The Prego Expo in Jacksonville Florida.

The expo is a place for families to learn about products and services available to them in their area, register to win prizes, and meet other expecting families. We met hundreds of new moms, dads, and grandparents. We were able to share the benefits of placenta encapsulation as well as how First Coast Placenta is leading the way in safety and professionalism.

Doctors, nurses, and midwives appreciate the level of safety we provide our clients.

They love that First Coast Placenta has training in bloodborne pathogens, is dual trained and certified, and has the highest safety standards any where in Jacksonville. Families love knowing that they are getting an experience not only the safest service available!

Many of you signed up to win the prize package and wanted to know more about the services we provide:

  • Birth and Postpartum/Overnight Doula Support
  • Family First Childbirth Classes
  • Preparing for Baby sessions
  • Placenta Encapsulation

There were so many of you!

One by one we’ve reached out to all of you via email and phone. If you entered to win the prize package we’ve sent you an email! Be sure to check your spam folder. If we were not able to reach you, this is your invitation to contact us. We’re here and want to learn about you and your family and share with you how we can help you transition into parenthood be it the first time or fifth. Contact us by phone at (904) 479-6131, or by email at info@firstcoastdoulas.com, or fill out our contact form and we will set up a time that is most convenient for you to talk.

We know all of you have been patiently waiting for the winner to be announced. The wait is finally over!

Our winner has won an amazing prize package valued at over $200. The package includes:

  • Gift Certificate for $25
  • Milkies Milk Savers
  • Diva Cup
  • Nose-Frida
  • Bummis Wet-Bag & Diaper
  • Pacifiers
  • Matching Set (nursing cover, burp cloths, and a travel wipes case cover)
  • Child Lock
  • Dr Browns Bottles
  • Mother’s Milk Tea
  • Breastmilk Storage Bags

Lauren you have 7 days, until May, 12th. 2016 to claim your prize! Contact us on facebook or by email at info@firstcoastdoulas.com and put WINNER in the subject line! We look forward to hearing from you, congratulations!!

Delivery Room Etiquette

Delivery Room Etiquette

Delivery Room Etiquette best doulas in jax

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

 

To Rest or Not to Rest

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

Phone Calls or Power Off

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

Paparazzi or Nah

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

Feeling Faint

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

Complaints or Compliments

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

T.V. On or Off

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

Advocate or Support

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

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

 

Lip and Tongue Tie, Breastfeeding, and Circumcision

Lip and Tongue Tie, Breastfeeding, and Circumcision

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

 

Lip and Tongue Tie, Breastfeeding, and Circumcision Jacksonville Florida

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Two questions you can ask when hiring a doula are:

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

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

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

Lip and Tongue Tie, Breastfeeding, and Circumcision Jacksonville Florida

 

Our Fur Baby Died, If I Had a Doula that Day

Our Fur Baby Died, If I Had a Doula that Day

Our Fur Baby Died, If I Had a Doula that Day

Over the years I knew that the day would come we would have to say goodbye to our sweet baby. I knew that his average lifespan was only 10-12 years, but the heart never really prepares for such loss.

It was a long week, one of the longest yet shortest weeks of my life.

He had been sick and the medicines were not helping him improve. His quality of life was poor and it was no way to live. He was our fur baby and he was committed to our family. He was a chocolate Labrador retriever, his name was Bud.

I know many of you are animals lovers and can relate to the love I had for my fur baby! At times he aggravated me, but he filled a space in my heart that will always belong to him. He just knew me and understood me like no human could! He never licked my toes, he moved before my feet touched the floor in the morning and before I could ever raise my voice he would get up and exit the room, somehow he just knew. 

Our fur babies look at us with eyes so innocent and loving that they really our our babies, just like our kids.

He comforted me when my mother died. He made sure no one ever got through our gate without notifying me first. As I labored alone at home for hours with our last child he was my faithful companion. I did hip circles on my birth ball and he lay in front of me, breathing in the other direction as not to aggravate me. He played happily with our children and his tennis ball was all he ever asked for. He was the first to greet me, and the last to want anything other than love from me.

Our fur baby died, if I had a doula that day she would have validated my feelings and reasons for choosing to euthanize him in a more peaceful way. He had congestive heart failure, he wasn’t going to improve. He was old, he lived a great life! It was a Friday, my daughter and I were alone at home Bud. Our boys were in school and my husband at work. If I didn’t take him in he would have suffered a long weekend.

I couldn’t be selfish, but if I only had a doula she could have helped me talk through this.

Our fur baby died, if I had a doula that day she would’ve been in the know. She would’ve provided me with information support and called the vets in town and who offers the best end of life care for pets. She would have taken some final pictures of me, my daughter, and our fur baby. She would have helped me take him for a last swim! She would have reminded me it was o.k to slow down and take my time if I wanted to.

My doula would’ve sat with our five year old daughter in the other room while I held our other baby as he left this world. She would’ve helped our daughter see that just as birth is normal, death is also normal and can supported and cherished.

If I had a doula she would have held my hand as my daughter and I walked through the store to select flowers to decorate his grave. She could’ve phoned my husband to let him know what was going on, he tried hard to make it home, but couldn’t.

She would have handed me tissues and helped my daughter interacted with the cashier instead of me. The stares I received walking through the store were almost too unbearable for me. I rarely cry and when I do it’s not in front of others, but our daughter wanted greatly to select flowers for our fur baby’s grave.

She could have held me as I sobbed uncontrollably after burying him. It would have been nice to have someone bring me a glass of water on that hot day, and reminded me that it was going to be o.k.

I’m also 100% positive that if I wanted educational support she would have led me to unbiased resources and if I didn’t want those she wouldn’t force those upon me. Some people just don’t want the education or research sometimes.

Could I have done this without her? Sure, because I did it without her. But, the day our baby died, if I had a doula not only would I have felt completely supported and loved, but my family would have too!