Down Syndrome Etiquette

Down syndrome Etiquette Jax, FL Childbirth Education

Down Syndrome Etiquette

Down syndrome etiquette is important and is blog worthy! Please take 5 minutes out of your day to read and share this with others on any platform you can. Approximately one in every 700 babies in the United States is born with Down syndrome , making Down syndrome the most common chromosomal condition. Yet there’s still a stigma surrounding Down syndrome (DS).

First Coast Doulas knows it’s super important to be respectful of other humans along their journey in life.

It’s very frustrating for me and many others when we hear people say certain things about people with DS. Frustration doesn’t help change things, but being an advocate and an ally does. So, I decided to write this blog about Down syndrome etiquette to help others who may be confused about what to say or may unknowingly be saying things that are offensive or hurtful to others, yes, even those without Down syndrome.

I’m always learning new things and asking important questions like;

  • What can I do when I hear x, y, and z?
  • What do you want others to know about Down syndrome?
  • What it’s like living with Down syndrome or raising children who were born DS?

One thing I can tell you is that our words matter!

Being a parent is exhausting. Being a parent or caregiver to a person who has DS is double duty exhausting. Not only are they raising their child, they’re likely attending therapy appointments (occupational, speech, and physical) with their children, and being advocates for all people with Down Syndrome. It should be no surprise that sometimes they don’t have the “extra” energy to correct others. To be honest, the responsibility falls on us as individuals to do better and treat people with respect.

Here are some things to consider:

“Downs baby” versus “baby with Down syndrome”, “She has Downs” versus “She has Down syndrome” 

DS doesn’t define who a person is. Think about something you don’t like about yourself and put a name or term on it and imagine how you would feel if every time someone referred to you they said, “Fat Lady”, or “Ugly Man”. It hurts, it’s in appropriate, and it makes the person saying it look like a complete jerk.

Using the terms “retard” or “retarded” or saying it in any context is insulting and completely inappropriate. Even when not referring to Down syndrome the implication remains. If you’re using this term, stop it! Not sure how to stop?

  1. Make a habit of stopping and thinking before you speak.
  2. If you slip up and catch yourself using this term correct yourself and then apologize out loud for your wrong doing. Don’t overlook it and move on; “promising” yourself you won’t do it again. Nope!
  3. Correct others politely without apology. Not saying something still says something. Think about that.

Saying children with DS are the “happiest children you ever met” is offensive.

Saying that they are “the happiest children” implies that they don’t have feelings. That their parents have it easy. It implies that children with DS don’t ever cry nor have bad days. This is quite the opposite; remember DS doesn’t define a person. They have good and bad days and struggles and challenges like everyone else. Parenting is not easy, parenting children with Down syndrome; you guessed it, still not easy!

Appropriately, “cognitive disability” has replaced “mental retardation”

It’s Down syndrome, not Down’s syndrome. The person who named the condition did not have Down syndrome. An “apostrophe s” implies ownership or possession.

DS is not contagious, it’s a condition. You either have DS or you don’t.

Referring to someone with Down syndrome as “special” or asking if they do the same things as “normal” kids should be avoided.

We’re all special and unique. Comparing a child with DS to other “normal” kids implies they are abnormal! People with and without Down syndrome are more alike than different. Say it and repeat it! They are strong, smart, funny, and capable of great things, just as you are!

If you know someone who has a child with Down syndrome, please do not forget the siblings!

Despite being typical siblings at home who play together, share secrets, and argue, when they are out of the house they become fierce protectors of their siblings. Despite being fierce, it’s nice to have others recognize them, to spoil them a little, to see their light shine as individuals, not just the sisters or brothers to the kids who have DS.

I often find myself thinking what I would hope for if I had Down syndrome. I believe I would want to be heard, valued, respected, and accepted so I could enjoy life a little more and worry a little less!

Come to think of it isn’t that what all of us want in life?                           #morealikethandifferent #homieswithextrachromies #t21 #downsyndromeawareness

I hope that this blog was well received by you and by those who you share this with! We want to hear from you in the comments below or email us at info@firstcoastdoulas.com

Resources for our readers:

National Down syndrome Society  http://www.ndss.org/

Local to Jax., FL: Down Syndrome Association of Jacksonville https://dsaj.org/

4 Things I Wish I Knew Before I Had Kids

 

Things I Wish I Knew Before I Had Kids | Childbirth Classes Jax, FL

4 Things I Wish I Knew Before I Had Kids

I can’t tell you how many times over the last two decades that I’ve spent raising children and in my career that I’ve thought and heard: there are some things I wish I knew before I had kids. Definitely way more than I ever thought or dreamed I would.  I think most of us would agree that with experience comes at least some knowledge and insight. A mechanic knows vehicles and a doctor knows the ins and outs of medicine! As a seasoned parent, doula, and caregiver I’m often asked about my experience: what I would do in a specific situation and if I have any advice for others. So, I’ve compile a list of 4 things I wish I knew before I had kids to share with all of you and they aren’t about breast or bottlefeeding, spanking, spoiling, or sleep training.

These are things all parents and families can benefit from!

1. It’s imperative that you do you for them!

Don’t underestimate what me time can do for your entire family! Sure, in the beginning it’s tough. The first six weeks is about survival. But after you begin getting back into the swing of things at your own speed, making time for you is imperative!

Parents make sacrifices all the time for their kids and each other, but you don’t have to sacrifice all the time. You don’t have to have an answer for everything or extra set of arms to get it all done, although you give it a good go! We’re simply not designed to multitask and be great at all things. So while balancing, juggling, and living life do not forget to take care of you! Teach your children to love themselves and take time for self-care! A healthy mind, body, and spirit benefits everyone!

2. Your children are modeling for you what unconditional love is!

It’s true, let’s face it! Your finicky three year old doesn’t care if you feed them organic or fast food, they will just pick and poke anyway. Said toddler also give no cares if you leave the house to get the darn french fries without your bra or wearing two different shoes by mistake, they just want the fry fries and love you for getting them. Your little monkey will happily climb you like a tree to breastfeed while you’re squeezing in a 5 minute poop break or share the last few licks of their slobbery lollipop with you! Our children happily love us just the same!

We can learn a lot from our tiny humans. They expect nothing, they have no ideas about how it “should” be, what is “best”, and they simply love and adore us!

3. You can say no without apology or reason!

Not only can you say no because you can’t, but you can also say no when you don’t want to. You don’t have to come up with an excuse and you don’t have to have a reason. Your friend wants to drop by this evening on the way home to go through swatches for her new sofa and paint colors for her living room. You’ve had a long work week and you’re feeling tapped out. You just wanted to sit around in your underwear, have a glass of wine and watch an episode on Netflix. It’s ok to just say no. You don’t have to say why or apologize. You don’t have to feel be sorry, you can just say no, it’s healthy to say no (and yes for that matter) sometimes See #1 again!

This means strangers, friends, even family. It’s hard sometimes, but it’s healthy. This leaves more time and emotional and physical energy to say yes when you want to!

Hint: The more you practice saying no the easier it gets, the better it feels!

4. It’s normal and healthy to make mistakes.

As a mom with three adult children and one whose ten years behind her siblings I often reflect on our journey as a family. I also think back on the choices we made as parents. Boy have we made some mistakes along the way. You will too! We’ve laughed, cried, yelled, and fell upon silence. You will too… and it’s okay! In fact it’s more than ok, it’s completely “normal”. Mistakes means we’re human, mistakes let our children see we are not perfect and that is good!

Before you know it, believe it or not they will be flying the nest! Acknowledging our own mistakes, apologize, and working to learn from our mistakes will help our children not only understand that mistakes are okay, but it also models for them healthy life lessons and strategies they will take with them.

There are a few more things I wish I knew before having kids, but there’s something so freeing about not knowing all things and just winging it! I hope you find these 4 things helpful. What things do you wish you knew before having kids? We want to hear from you in the comment section below!

Here’s to happy birth and parenting!

~Elizabeth Luke, author and owner at FCDoulas

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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Delayed Cord Clamping

delayed cord clamping | Birth Classes Jax, FL

Delayed Cord Clamping

Delayed cord clamping is a term that you’ve likely heard of or read about if you are expecting a baby in the near future. At birth babies are attached to their placenta via their umbilical cord. The placenta is attached to the wall of the woman’s uterus. Once the baby is born the cord is clamped. This stops the flow of nutrient rich blood containing iron from the placenta to the baby. When the baby’s cord is clamped matters.

Some of you just thought, “So what’s the research say?” We got you!

The World Health Organization (WHO) says that, “delayed cord clamping (performed approximately 1–3 min after birth) is recommended for all births, while initiating simultaneous essential neonatal care.” Furthermore they say that early cord clamping (less than one minute after birth) is not recommended for pre-term and full-term babies unless they the baby needs to be moved immediately for resuscitation.

I especially love that they also address the fact that keeping the cord unclamped for a 1-3 minute period also helps to prevent and treat postpartum hemorrhage in the birthing woman.

Postpartum hemorrhage (PPH) is defined as a rapid loss of blood after giving birth. PPH can happen anytime immediately following birth up to 6 weeks postpartum. The most common causes of PPH are poor contractions of the uterus, separation of the placenta or pieces of retained placenta, or a tear in the uterus. Some women are at higher risk for PPH. Women birthing more than a singleton baby, are of advanced maternal age, who are birthing via cesarean, and those who have had labor augmented with medication are at greater risk. So, it may be important to you to note that delayed cord clamping can help prevent and treat PPH.

Even more exciting, yesterday the American Congress of Obstetricians andGynecologists (ACOG) released their latest statement and the results show the following benefits:

In preterm infants:

  • improved transitional circulation
  • better establishment of red blood cell volume
  • less need for blood transfusion
  • reduces the incidence of brain hemorrhage
  • reduces the risk of necrotizing enterocolitis (intestinal disease)

For term infants

  • increases hemoglobin levels at birth
  • improves iron stores for several months
  • helps prevent iron deficiency during the first year of life

ACOG also states that in most cases, delayed cord clamping doesn’t interfere with the immediate care the infant receives including the first breath and immediate skin-to-skin contact. Delayed cord clamping alone does not affect whether or not a woman can have her placenta encapsulated. Majority of women who are planning for or who need to have a cesarean birth can also consider delayed cord clamping.

So, if you’re in the midst of creating a birth plan or preference sheet, delayed cord clamping just might be something you want to include. In addition to taking a great childbirth education class be sure to talk with your provider if you have questions and make your wishes known to your support person(s) and your entire birth team.

Fun tid-bit of the day; delayed cord clamping is also known as optimal cord clamping! From us to you, happy birth and parenting! ~Elizabeth Luke

How Babies Tell You They Love You

How Babies Tell You They Love You

5 Ways Babies Tell You They Love You placenta capsules in jax

 

Those first 6 weeks of life after giving birth are surreal, overwhelming, beautiful, crazy, (your turn to fill in the blank). You name it and parents somewhere, in a home not far from your own, have felt and experienced it too!

After 6 weeks things begin to get easier as you settle into more of a loose routine. You are learning your baby and your baby is learning how to live life outside the womb.

It sounds cliché, but it does get easier!

As you survive the first year of parenting it’s so easy to get caught up in the day to day challenges, your own thoughts, and self-doubt. You’re responsible for this tiny little person who came rushing into the world and captured your heart. This little person whose only mode of communication is squeals, squirms, rooting, cries, grunts, and smells. Not our dominate communication style as adults, but you are doing amazing!

I see new parents bravely venturing into uncharted territory, parents who love their children and want to be the very best they can be for their children. They have their own ideas of what the “best” is. I commend all parents for just sticking with it, sometimes it’s just surviving, and sometimes it thriving, that’s why I am there, to help them thrive!

This list may be laughable, but it’s the truth. We could all benefit from a little more laughter and a lot more encouragement!

In honor of all of you amazing parents out there, here’s how babies tell you they love you:

Your Baby Wakes

Your baby sleeps off and on all day and the very moment you slip off to sleep he wakes up for a long stretch. He wakes to eat, to see your face and hear your heartbeat! A face he’s studying and a heartbeat he knows as home.

Your Baby Poops

Your baby is an eating and pooping machine. I think everyone of us have asked ourselves at least once, “how is it possible for one tiny human to poop this much?” Am I right? Being a super pooper means they are great eaters!

How do they know to poop just after we put a fresh diaper on their booty? You got to love that they’ll wait until it’s time for a diaper change, I mean come on, how do they know?

There is a running joke between current clients of ours, they’re certain that their baby waits till dad returns home before pooping each day and poops at bath time when it’s dads turn for bath routine. Baby genius!

Your Baby Knows

Does your baby seem to always want you? Does he only want you to soothe him in times of distress? Whether it’s teething, illness, or fighting sleep, these babies know they’re smart! They sense you; they just know it’s you!

Has there ever been a day where Murphy’s Law seemed to apply to you all day long when going out with your baby? Blow-outs, spit up, fussy fits, oh my!

They Say “Mama/Dada”

Those magical words are sometimes anticipated and other times it takes you by surprise. Why is it they only say the magical word to you the first gillion times? She clearly repeats the most exciting words ever spoken, over and over, but only when you’re alone. Pull out that camera and you are sure to get a precious, but confused gawk while you wait without success for those words, “Mama”, or “Dada”. What gives?

Then, One Day, They Say It

Just when you thought nothing could be sweeter than those cute giggles, smiles in their sleep, seeing them milk drunk, and hearing the words Mama and Dada, she speaks the sweetest words ever spoken from a child to her parents: I Love You!

“I Love You” makes all those sleepless nights, whining and crying, miserable days of teething, and all those explosive diapers worth it. You wouldn’t trade those words for anything!

In those moments you feel engulfed with love and it’s what living is all about!

How babies tell you they love you may seem small now, but they’ll be meaningful memories you will cherish and carry with you for the rest of your days. Again cliché, but it’s true, you’ll look back and miss these days! No truer words have ever been spoken.

Share this blog with a new mom or dad, an expecting couple, your friends, sisters, co-workers, and neighbors. You never know who you’ll touch with these encouraging words!

 

Google Is Not Your Doula

Google Is Not Your Doula

google is not your doula best doulas in jax

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

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

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

Commonly googled questions pregnant moms ask include:

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

And the list goes on and on!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Let me dig a little deeper into this.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Promises, Promises in Pregnancy and Birth Support

Promises, Promises

Promises Jacksonville Florida

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

“I can make sure you get that VBAC!”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

It’s the truth! Like it or not!

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

Run, Forest run!

Keep scrolling!

Smile, nod, and move right on!

All of these ideas will work!

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

What is it you are searching for?

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

NO! 

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

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

 

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

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

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

One thing that sets First Coast Doulas apart is this;

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

Will they work?

They may or they may not.

Will baby stay turned?

They may or they may not!

Can First Coast Doulas help turn your baby?

The answer to that is yes and no.

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

The Dirty Dozen, Placenta Encapsulation

The Dirty Dozen, Placenta Encapsulation

There are several things to consider when searching for someone to encapsulate your placenta. I’m sure you have your own questions, but what about the things you may have never considered?

Can you answer these dirty dozen, placenta encapsulation questions in five categories, without having any doubts in the process your placenta specialist uses?

Trusting someone with something as serious as blood borne illnesses is serious business. It’s not as simple as trusting them to bake you a casserole, it’s your life and your health you are trusting them with!

 The Dirty Dozen, Placenta Encapsulation Jacksonville, FL

Placenta Transport

12. Will your placenta be transported safely considering everyone involved; you, the person encapsulating your placenta, his/her passengers, and anyone who may come in contact with your placenta should an accident or breakdown occur?

Here’s what the World Health Organization says about transporting an organ.

11. Will your placenta be at risk of cross contamination or bacteria exposure along the way?

10. Will your placenta be stored at the proper temperature at all times? How many stops will your encapsulation specialist make along the way? How long will your placenta be in the cooler in a hot car in Florida/Georgia?

9. Will the vehicle be clean? By your standards?

8. Will the car also transport pets (and their hair and possible fleas)?

7. Will there be more than one placenta in the vehicle at a time? Do you know if your placenta will be the only one in the cooler or the risks involved with sharing the space with other people’s bloodborne pathogens?

Blood, fluid, or membranes of two or more placentas should never come in contact with one another, ever! Blech!

The Dirty Dozen, Placenta Encapsulation Jacksonville, FL

“Work Space”

6. Will your placenta be taken to someone’s “work space”, kitchen, or garage/shed?

Interpret the FDA law as you will, but placenta would clearly fall under the not allowed category for home food preparation for others.

Many consumers believe their placenta is being taken to a sterile, dedicated work space or a laboratory to be processed, sadly that’s incorrect. Most are going to another family’s kitchen, even some garages or sheds. It’ll be store with their food or in a cooler and then prepared in the same space the family prepares their own food and other people’s placentas.

Will that work space/kitchen be cleaned and sanitized to your standards? Are you sure?

5. Would you like to drink a yummy fruit smoothie prepared for you in a hospital bathroom where people urinate, defecate, and shower? No really, would you?!

Yep people are doing this, and while you may never select a placenta smoothie for yourself, how would you feel about an encapsulation specialist who is o.k. with preparing a smoothie for someone to drink in a public bathroom? What do you think the hospital will say about this? You might be surprised at who is doing this.

I’m sorry, if you do not see how this is disgusting I am not sure much more will drive it home.

4. Will your placenta be stored in a fridge where there are frozen and thawing animals like snake food a.k.a. mice/rats? Will they be stored above or below your placenta?

I love snakes and iguanas as much as the next person, but YUCK!

What would it look like if your encapsulation specialist walked away from her kitchen for 5 minutes to tend to her sleepy toddler?

The Dirty Dozen, Placenta Encapsulation Jacksonville, FL

Subcontractors

3. Will your placenta encapsulation be subcontracted out?

Yeah, believe it or not this shit happens. Placentas are handed off from the mother to the person she trusted and hired to another person, and back again all while this is unknown to the mother?

This is one way an encapsulation specialist can operate to get more placentas done quicker and turn a profit. There is so much wrong with this IMHO, starting with it being unethical.

Why is this acceptable? Why does it keep happening? What can you do to ensure, as the consumer that you are safe?

First Coast Doulas has already taken steps to ensure you are safest and have no doubts!

 

Herbs Added to Increase Quantity

2. Will you know if anything other than your placenta is in your capsules?

There are those who’ll prepare someone’s placenta and add herbs to beef up the quantity, making them go further, and sometimes they try and justify this after being busted by saying the herbs help “increase potency”.

What the hell does that even mean?

This is asinine, completely irresponsible, and is a huge liability. Noone knows how their body or their baby’s body (through breastmilk if mom is nursing her baby) will react to these herbs. The worst part is, most people who are encapsulating with herbs are not even telling their clients they are using these herbs, they’re doing it without informed consent.

If you want to consume herbs with your capsules, that is your right to do so. We support you in that choice, but we recommend that if our clients want to take herbal supplements they first consult with their care provider and their pediatrician before starting any separately from their placenta capsules.

Imagine busting open your capsules after having weird effects to find hair, pieces of thread, seeds, and herbs you were never even asked about. What a violating feeling.

Drum roll please. Stealing the number one spot for The Dirty Dozen of Placenta Encapsulation is…

 

Rob Peter to Pay Paul

1. How will you know for sure the placenta you’re ingesting is yours and not someone else’s? Will two placentas be in the same “work space” or dehydrator at the same time? Will yours be on top or bottom racks? Will you know without any doubts that they were not mixed up by mistake? Will you know if they share surfaces at all? Do you know without any doubt that your dried and ground up placenta powder didn’t fall to the ground, get swept up and trashed and replaced with a few capsules from another person’s placenta?

I’m serious! Are you positive?

There are real risks associated with ingesting someone else’s placenta, or any blood products for that matter. One serious risk is hepatitis.

Any doubts there?

The Dirty Dozen, Placenta Encapsulation Jacksonville, FL

After considering the dirty dozen, is cheaper really better?

Is pickup and delivery really the best option for you or is it a matter of convenience for the person preparing your placenta?

Is convenience the top priority or is it your safety, your family, and your peace of mind?

Have no doubts with First Coast Doulas! Our clients can be as involved or uninvolved as they wish. They can view the placenta or never have to see any part of it. Everything can be done discreetly and is done with complete cleanliness in your own home!

Our encapsulation specialists provide a quality, ethical experience from start to finish. We hold our clients’ hands and walk them step by step through the paperwork process. From booking to proper storage, and transporting their own placenta to their own home, our clients love this experience and breathe a sigh of relief knowing they’re safest with First Coast Doulas!

Blogs that also support in-home encapsulation and if you read them you may understand why:

No, I Will Not Take Your Placenta Home

Kung Pao Placenta

 

 

 

The Dirty Dozen, Placenta Encapsulation

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!

Going to Work Just for the Fun of It, Part 1

Going to Work Just for the Fun of It, Part 1

Going to Work Just For The Fun of It

Doesn’t the thought of going to work just for the fun of it sound amazing!?!

Do you love gambling with your house, car, family, or your future? Think about it, the possibility of getting paid well or receiving no paycheck at all since you love your job, everyday is a new gamble! You win some you lose some!

Sound like a great business model right? How do you think it will help you create sustainability?

How cool would it be if you could call the electric company and say, “I love my job so much that I couldn’t set a wage for myself to ensure I’d be able to pay my bills this month, maybe next week I’ll have it, I’m sorry”, and all was right in the world!

Yeah, not happening!

This blog may seem…weird or out of place! It’s not, I promise. It’s important we blog, talk, and discuss this issue because it’s a real problem and we need to keep it at the forefront if we want to see change happen in our lifetime. If we want to leave birth work better than we found it we have to talk about the awkward right along with the comforting matters!

Please, stay with me, read Part 2.

It offer perspective and tell you exactly what that 12 hour language is all about in our contract!

Have you had a job that you were excited about going today, everyday?!? Remember the saying, “Do something you love and you’ll never work a day in your life”? Well that’s a load of garbage. Work is work, whether you love it or not, it’s still challenging at some point and majority of people want to be paid for the time they are working!

Without stability you can’t have longevity!  The 12 hour language that’s being used more and more in doula business contracts helps a person create stability for their business. Without stability this profession would suffer, great doulas burn out. Do we really want something as intimate and as life changing as birth to suffer? I know I surely don’t!

Women who are working deserve not only to be paid a wage that helps them survive, but also helps their families survive, and families all over the world thrive, their own family included!

Why should doulas be excluded from this? They shouldn’t!

 

 

Stay tuned for Part 2 of Going to Work Just for the Fun of It