Induction of Labor | 10 Questions to Ask | 5 Things You Can Do Now

Induction of Labor Jax FL

Induction of Labor | 10 Questions to Ask | 5 Things You Can Do Now

It’s true, most babies will come when they are ready for life outside the womb, but sometimes induction of labor is suggested by the care giver or desired by the pregnant person.  ACOG recommendations support a normal, full-term pregnancy lasting between 39 weeks and 0 days and 41 weeks and 6 days as long as both the mother and the baby are doing well and there is no medical indication for the induction.

I’m facing an induction of labor. Now what?

If this suggestion was based primarily on dates alone and you are within the range of normal and full-term (see ACOG above) first ask yourself how are you feeling about this suggestion. Sit with that for a minute and reflect.

Are you feeling kosher with the idea?

If yes, there’s nothing wrong with that. Many moms share your excitement and enthusiasm to have their baby in their arms now rather than later. If no, that’s perfectly normal as well. It’s a very personal decision either way. The next thing to do would be to talk with your provider about his/her suggestion.

Induction of Labor Birth Jax FL

Induction of Labor Jax FL Birth Classes

10 Great Questions to Ask Your Provider are:

1. For what reason(s) are you suggesting induction of labor?

2. Can we try some alternatives?

3. What methods of induction are you familiar with and most comfortable using?

4. What induction method do you recommend for me?

5. What are the risks and benefits of induction of labor?

6. How will this affect my birth preferences?

7. Would you be comfortable sending me for a Biophysical Profile (BPP) and or a Nonstress Test (NST) and reviewing those results with me before scheduling the induction?

8. Can you tell me my Bishop Score?

9. At what point would a cesarean birth be indicated?

10. If I elect to be induced can I choose the date and who my caregivers will be?

Not sure you got an answer or you didn’t understand the answer? That’s okay; communication is the key to feeling heard. Ask again, maybe in a different way.

Again, sit with it and reflect on these answers.

If there is no medical indication for induction you have real time to think it through! Even in medically indicated inductions there’s at least some time for you to process and make decisions.

With medical induction of labor, like any other pregnancy related decision there is usually array of emotions involved.

Here are 5 things you can do now to prepare:

1. Get into a good headspace. While most babies come when they are ready, some don’t and for good reason. Birth can safely take place at home and in birth centers and hospitals. Feeling respected and validated can lead to rewarding birth experiences!

2. Breathe and practice guided meditation, affirmations, and mantras to help prepare your body and your mind for the experience of birth. Some of my personal favorites are: My baby knows where and how she needs to be born. I trust the process. I will meet my baby soon.

3. Become familiar with Informed Consent and Informed Refusal. Let it bring you some peace about being in control as much as possible.

4. Do something for you! Get a massage and a pedicure, take a walk on the beach, swim, or do whatever makes you smile and helps you feel good. If you feel the need to do something more you can visit spinningbabies.com and do some positioning exercises.

5. Don’t throw the baby out with the bath water. Birth can and usually does happen when we least expect it to. Don’t give away your homebirth supplies or throw plan A away just yet.

While being induced increases your chances of having a cesarean birth and can initially bring with it disappointment, it doesn’t mean you are doomed to a bad birth.

When we prepare to embrace the experience rather than the method in which our children enter our lives we can learn so much! It isn’t how we birth or come to be parents that makes us great parents, but rather how we embrace our greatest gift– our children and how we adapt while performing our greatest job–parenting.

Taking a great childbirth preparation class like the Confident Birth & Parenting Class or The Prepared Parent Childbirth Class will increase you and your birth partner’s confidence and help you embrace birth and parenting no matter what you want or need!

Happy birth and parenting!

~Elizabeth

Placenta Encapsulation Show and Tell

Placenta encapsulation show and tell jax florida

Placenta Encapsulation Show and Tell

You’ve heard all the hype about you’re placenta curious! Welcome to placenta encapsulation show and tell!

My name is Elizabeth Luke, certified Postpartum Placenta Specialist. I thoroughly enjoy providing this service. Each week on average we receive anywhere from 3-10 calls with questions about placenta encapsulation and I’m more than happy to answer all of them!

People go into this with an open mind.

When most people daydream about their future and having a baby, never in a million years did they think that one day they’d be eating their placenta, but here they are living the dream! Believe me, never in my wildest dreams did I think this would be part of my career! While around half of our clients are choosing placenta encapsulation we understand it isn’t for everyone. That’s okay!

Typically we don’t share pics of placentas, but we’ve had a lot of requests.So…today I get to have a little fun doing placenta encapsulation show and tell!

This blog is in no way meant to serve as a DIY guide. So many crucial steps of the process have been left out. Likewise there’s no blog, video, or online modules that can properly teach this practice. These photos were taken by our clients as I prepared their placentas. While we recognize that not everyone wants to see the placenta in its natural state, these clients, along with about 45-50% of our clients do want to see at least some part of the process.

No one ever has to see it if they don’t want to.

After placenta encapsulation show and tell I’ll answer the BIG question. These photos belong to First Coast Doulas are our clients. They are not to be shared, cropped, or reproduced in anyway. Not all steps of the process are shown.

WARNING: This blog contains pictures of a (beautiful) human placenta. If you really don’t want to see it scroll quickly down to the next blog.

 

 

The first step in preparing the placenta begins with a properly sanitized and prepared workspace!

As the owner of First Coast Doulas I take safety and our client’s privacy very seriously. Training, certification, continued education, and impeccably maintained equipment are non-negotiable. When I arrive to prepare your placenta this is my first line of business, properly sanitizing and setting up my workspace.

Top Must Haves for Expecting Parents in 2017 | Jax Placenta

Without further ado I introduce to you the fetal side of the placenta.

This side of the placenta is the side that’s faces the baby and the side that the umbilical cord is attached to. The umbilical cord is seen hanging from the center of the placenta. This umbilical cord was average length and had one tiny false knot.

Look at that incredible vasculature throughout!

This picture was taken before removing the amniotic sac (shown hanging off the placenta in the picture). Interesting enough the amniotic sac is actually made up of two layers, not one. The inner layer is called the amnion and the outer lay is called the chorion.

 

Placenta Encapsulation Show and Tell Jax FL

I bet you never imagine you’d call an umbilical cord cute!

This heart-shaped cord just might make you smile though. Shown here after removing it from the placenta, the umbilical cord is almost ready to be dried into a tiny keepsake for the mom and baby! It can be tucked away in a safe place, displayed in a frame with placenta artwork or you and your child can plant it along side a special tree or plant later.

Jax FL Placenta Encapsulation Show and Tell

In the 1500s the use of dried placenta in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) was first documented in Compendium of Materia Medica by Li Shizhen.

Similarly to TCM we use a specific preparation method that includes steaming of the placenta. Steaming kills surface bacteria and with this special preparation also helps retain the tonifying or warming properties. Our modern placenta encapsulation process utilizes the very same principles as TCM for best possible results.

Shown here the placenta is being prepared using this method.

Jax FL Placenta Encapsulation Show and Tell

The placenta is sliced and then neatly arranged on trays to begin the drying process.

Some moms and dads comment that it looks like steak. I would have to agree. This step is no more or less critical than any other step. Each part of the process is carefully thought out and executed so every client has the best possible experience every time.

Shown below the placenta is sliced and ready to be arranged on the trays.

Jax FL Placenta Encapsulation Show and Tell

Once properly dried and ground up the placenta is put into capsules and a tincture for extended use.

The type of capsules and liquid used to make your tincture will depend greatly on whose preparing the placenta. All of our clients receive the safest tincture base and capsules every single time. Only the best for our clients. On average clients will receive 75-200 capsules that will last them about 4-6 weeks postpartum (after birth). For long term usage a tincture is recommended. The size of your placenta is generally related to the size of your baby. In almost all cases the bigger the baby, the bigger the placenta. Expecting twins and you’ll likely have a bigger yeild.

The next two pictures show the capsules filled and being capped.

Jax FL Placenta Encapsulation Show and Tell

Jax FL Placenta Encapsulation Show and Tell

A final count is done, the capsules are put into a jar, and the tincture is made.

After this last encapsulation step the client’s kitchen is thoroughly cleaned, sanitized and put back just the way it was before we began. The first round of cleaning and sanitation of equipment is also done. This final photo shows the capsule jar, tinctures, and the one of a kind cord keepsake. Then we sit down together and discuss how to take the capsules, storage and handling, and  special circumstances and protocol.

Jax FL Placenta Encapsulation Show and Tell

Jax FL Placenta Encapsulation Show and Tell

The placenta encapsulation show and tell is over, but the process isn’t quite finished.

After encapsulation and the first round of cleaning and sanitizing at the client’s home we then do a second cleaning process following OSHA guidelines to ensure every piece of equipment is sanitized thoroughly.

Now I’ll answer the big question! Why?

1. Energy! The demands of motherhood are insane. Many moms are looking for help meeting those demands.

2. Breastmilk production! They are hoping to get off to the best possible start, and for some placenta encapsulation has been helpful with milk production!

3. Hormonal Stability! Within hours of birth hormones that supported the pregnancy are dumped from the body.  Hormones that support lactation and relaxation are increasing. This hormonal fluctuation can be vicious and many say placenta encapsulation helped them feel more balanced and less outta wack yo!

4. Iron deficiency/Anemia! As if the physical and emotional challenges of life with a baby aren’t enough, a good population of people are iron deficient or anemic. Many report they’ve found some improvement while taking their placenta capsules.

5. Natural healing! They want to help their bodies heal in the most natural way possible. They’ve heard from others who have chosen encapsulation and it helped them heal and recover from birth.

I’m happy to discuss placenta encapsulation open and honestly with anyone who wants to know more. Contact us with questions and we can also set up a placenta curious presentation for you and your group! I understand this practice will appeal to some and turn others off completely. Placenta encapsulation is not for everyone and that is okay!

Happy birth and parenting! ~ Elizabeth

 

Avoid Stretch Marks During Pregnancy

Avoid Stretch Marks During Pregnancy | Jax FL Night Nanny

Avoid Stretch Marks During Pregnancy

Among other things, researching ways we can avoid stretch marks during pregnancy is probably on the list of second and third trimester concerns. Those pesky streaks that appear on the growing breasts, belly, thighs, and butt make many people gasp at first site. Donning these signs of motherhood is something we truly all hope to avoid, but can we be proactive in avoiding them?

Just search “stretch marks” and you will be inundated with links to causes, treatment, pics, and stories from all over the globe! All walks of life and races are affected by striae gravidarum. Striae what? Stretch marks! They occur most commonly during a first pregnancy, but have been known to occur for the first time in a second pregnancy.

It’s estimated that approximately 50-90% of pregnant women have stretch marks to some degree.

So, what’s the skinny? Is there a way to avoid stretch marks during pregnancy?

The short answer is yes and no. Stretch marks are caused by rapid stretching of the skin. A possible lack of or reduction of the Collagen within your body is thought to be a factor as well. So, of all the times in a person’s life that they can develop stretch marks, pregnancy seems like the most likely. There may be a genetic link that makes one more likely than another to get them. However, that alone is definitely not the end-all be-all. Cortisone in the pregnant body also weakens the elastic-like fibers within the skin.  Also, sudden and rapid weight gain can play a bigger role in the appearance of these purple tigress stripes.

So, by simply being pregnant it means you may see these little buggers make their debut! It sucks, but there are a few things you can do that will help you be healthier overall and may help you avoid stretch marks in pregnancy.

  1. Start pregnancy at healthiest possible weight that you can for your age and height. I know, sometimes that just isn’t the way it is. That’s okay I hope you love yourself anyway. Growing an entire human is pretty damn remarkable.
  2. Make healthy diet choices throughout most of your pregnancy. I say “most” meaning the norm. Please, don’t let worry of stretch marks stop you from throwing caution to the wind now and again to indulge in those crazy pregnant cravings!
  3. Stay active. That will mean different things for different people and depend on your level of activity before pregnancy. You’ll also want to have repeat discussions and follow any special recommendations or restrictions from your doctor. For most people swimming and walking are great activities that help to keep your body in motion and mind relaxed!
  4. Stay hydrated! Again, water if your friend! While this isn’t proven to reduce stretch marks directly it is proven to improve the body’s overall function and reduce itchiness during pregnancy. Plus, the more you drink the more you urinate and the quicker the baby’s amniotic fluid is cleaned out and replenished.

There are so many things people tell you “should” avoid during pregnancy: coffee, cold cuts, soft-serve ice cream, sushi, and the list goes on.

Avoiding stretch marks is like avoiding a new food sensitivity. You don’t know you have it until BAM one day it’s just there. You can do your best to avoid it, but if you don’t know you’ll ever develop stretch marks you’re probably worrying yourself unnecessarily.

As you progress through your pregnancy try not to fret to much over stretch marks.

Just because your mama and your mama’s mama has them doesn’t mean you’ll get them, and vice versa. Be proactive, by following the above recommendations and focus on the any enjoyable parts of your pregnancy that you can. With the majority of women who have stretch marks you can give society’s idea of normal two middle fingers and breathe a sigh of relief, they usually fade quite a bit with a little time. You’ll also be in the majority and join millions of women who don the tigress stripes of motherhood!

Happy Birth & Parenting!

~Elizabeth

 

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!

 

Exciting News for Expectant Parents in Jacksonville

Exciting News for Expectant Parents in Jacksonville, FL

Exciting News for Expectant Parents in Jacksonville

Exciting news for expectant parents in Jacksonville leaves more money in the budget for help when they bring their newborns home! In the Greater Jacksonville area we’re very fortunate to have so many choices for birth. Then parent’s come home and exhaustion and isolation set in. Shit gets real! Cue your Postpartum & Infant Doula!

Last night’s meeting at UF Health North was exciting! Jennifer Bettis, a registered nurse at UF Health North Hospital’s Labor & Delivery Department organized and hosted an amazing meet and greet.

First Coast Doulas met with the nurses, obstetricians, and midwives over at the labor and delivery unit located on Jacksonville’s Northside. We collaborated about care for families in our community and toured the facility.

I could write an entire blog series on the differences between hospitals, homebirths, and birth center births, but that is something we can cover in a private one on one birth consult!

Exciting News for Expectant Parents in Jacksonville, FL

Here’s the skinny on what we loved about last night’s meeting. And of course we’re working our way up to the most exciting news for expectant parents in Jacksonville!

For parents with a low risk healthy pregnancies UF Health North Hospital is definitely a place to schedule a tour! There are twelve spacious rooms all complete with large showers with removable showerheads and magical tubs. Music, flameless candles, essential oil diffusers, squat bars, birth balls, and peanut balls are also available. The birthing person and their baby aren’t separated unless medically necessary or by parent request.

Stay with us till the end because it just keeps getting better!

Exciting News for Expectant Parents in Jacksonville Florida | Birth Jax, FL

We were assured that patients are given the choice to move about freely and birth in any position they are comfortable in. In addition there’s no pressure for circumcision. But if your baby boy is having the procedure done it can be done onsite right in the labor and delivery unit. Wireless monitoring is available for many patients and options for pain relief include narcotics like Stadol, spinal block or epidural, and Nitrous OxideThey’re also supportive of those who meet certain criteria and want a trial of labor after a cesarean (TOLAC) and even some twin vaginal births. 

There is an operating room (OR) on site for necessary cesareans!

Clear drapes and gentle cesarean are an option when general anesthesia isn’t used. The birthing person is allowed a birth partner and even a photographer in the room when awake. Mom and baby stay together; baby even rides on mom’s chest to the postpartum recovery room!

Those are amazing things!!

Without further ado we’ve saved the best for last!

As more people are learning about the support of Birth Doulas and Postpartum & Infant Doulas  some decide they don’t want an addition person there for the birth. Others have to decide between spending money for the 8-24 hours that labor and birth can last, a great childbirth education class, or spend it on support when they come home!

Not anymore!

Exciting News for Expectant Parents in Jacksonville, FL

Now expectant parents can plan for a supported birth AND enjoy all the things when they come home too! More sleep, hands on help, accurate breast and bottle feeding advice, yummy snacks, meal prep, emotional support, and companionship! Did I mention more sleep?!

Exciting News for Expectant Parents in Jacksonville, FL

Every person who oversees your care at UF Health North Hospital has taken a Birth Doula training. This means parents birthing at UF North Hospital get great medical care and built in birth doula support comes standard. This is exciting news for expectant parents in Jacksonville! It’s especially exciting for those who want to be prepared for what life will be like after they give birth and bring their babies home!

Not sure what a Postpartum & Infant Doula does? There’s noone better to explain this to you than Jacksonville’s only Postpartum & Infant Doula agency; First Coast Doulas! Get in touch and we’ll schedule up a time to speak with you and your partner by phone!

Happy birth and parenting!

 

Childbirth Classes and Sunroofs

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

Childbirth Classes and Sunroofs

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

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

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

This is how I started parenthood.

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

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

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

I wanted more.

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

Of course it matters.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

But birth can also be more, so much more!

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

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

Childbirth Classes in Jax FL | Night Nurse Jax FL

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

childbirth classes jax fl | Jax FL Birthing Classes

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

Holiday Specials Worth Celebrating

Christmas Baby Jax FL

Holiday Specials Worth Celebrating

This holiday season doesn’t have to be full of stress or a nightmare waiting to happen! First Coast Doulas know how busy it gets this time of year, especially if you are expecting a Christmas baby. Between traveling and/or hosting family and friends, the holidays are overwhelming as it is. Add a new baby, and things get a heck of a lot more difficult. Every new parent wants help and wants sleep, even if they don’t yet know it! It’s a lot harder to get those things with the hustle and bustle of the holidays. However, we think we’ve solved that problem! And we’re adding to the joy because you could win a $20 gift card to Target! How groovy is that?

How can I get holiday baby help in Jacksonville? This town has nothing!

Not so! Hang on there! We come bearing gifts for all the Jax-based families out there. From now through Christmas we are offering special packages tailored just for you and just for the unique needs this season brings. We have everything you need to get some rest, recover, and bond with your new baby while having family over and enjoying that turkey and stuffing.

While you can’t wrap your doulas and place us under a tree, our electronic gift certificate delivered to your inbox is the next best thing and it’s an eco-friendly option to boot!

We’re here to do what we’ve always done in addition to helping you plan and savor the festivities! Want to sit and have an egg-nog with your ma? Great! We’ll hold your sweet babe. Need to plan a meal? Great! We’ll help you scour Pinterest and accompany you and bubby to Publix. Have to get some shut eye before the folks get there? We gotchu. All you have to do is call us! No “bah humbugs” here!

Holiday packages-I need one now!

Our special, limited time packages are perfect! They can even be purchased online and be gifted. Because ’tis the season, right?


Across the Miles Package:

  • 2 Four-hour shifts plus 1 Ten-hour overnight shift to ensure good cheer
  • Perfect gift for a special new mom who may not live close by

holiday baby help in jacksonville florida


Rockin Holiday Package:

  • 2 Four-hour shifts to ensure the tree is trimmed and list is checked off
  • Perfect for last minute wish-lists

holiday baby help in jacksonville fl


Silent Night Package:

  • 1 Ten-hour shift to ensure that all is calm and all is bright
  • Perfect for an exhausted mom or dad!

holiday baby help in jacksonville fl


We know that Santa is working double-time this year, so we decided to include a very special offer for those on the nice list! With each purchase of our special, holiday packages you’ll be entered to win a $20 Target gift card! There are no limits to how many you can purchase, and each time you do, you will gain another entry.

Remember this limited time special offer will end near the end of the year! Drawing for the gift card will be held on 1-31-2018, winner will be contacted by email and an announcement will be posted to our Facebook page!

Ho, Ho, Ho!

Love,

First Coast Doulas

Placenta Encapsulation is Supported

 placenta encapsulation is supported jax fl

Placenta Encapsulation is Supported

There are people that ask why placenta encapsulation is supported by so many moms and those of us who provide this service? I tell everyone who inquiries with us at First Coast Doulas, there have been very limited studies done on the consumption of the placenta. The studies that have been done are old, outdated, and weren’t double blind. There is no evidence to support or disprove the claims that it can help or hurt anyone. I am very forthcoming that one person’s experience may not be the same as the next. So it’s natural that one might wonder why anyone would support the practice of placentophagy.

Stay with me!

I can’t speak for others. What I can do is tell you why I not only support this practice, but why I provide this service to our community.

Placenta encapsulation is supported by me because:

  1. I will always support women in their choices for themselves without judgement or my own agenda.
  2. I want them to be as safe as possible while doing this.
  3. There is no evidence or studies to prove or disprove anything.
  4. I’ve seen enough to believe it can be helpful.

Women want support in their choices. One of my beliefs is that they should always have autonomy over their bodies, what they do with them, and what they put in them.

More and more women are requesting placenta encapsulation. I’m here to provide this service to them in the absolute safest way possible. Women do not have to settle for subpar standards and service. When they select an certifed encapsulation specialist whose in favor of highest standards and is prepared for regulation of this otherwise uncontrolled industry they are getting the very best the industry has to offer. First Coast Doulas wants better for women, families, and public health.

There’s information out there about placenta encapsulation, good, bad, and the ugly.

Here’s the thing though, there’s no evidence or studies for or against placenta encapsulation. There have been NO studies to date on a large enough scale to prove anything. There are no studies that have been done to say that eating your placenta after encapsulation is dangerous, a waste of time, is only placebo effect, or has benefits! Zero! None!

What we do have are women who are sharing their experiences with other women. They’re saying, “This is why I did it and this how it helped me. This is why placenta encapsulation is supported by me and I’ll do it again if we have another baby.”

I’ve personally seen and heard enough from our clients to believe it can be helpful.

It’s certainly not helpful to all, but to many who take advantage of this practice, it is! From personal accounts (not studies, remember studies are large scale over time) we hear time and time again that there is noticeable difference between taking them and forgetting to take them or stopping them.

I would say it fair safe to make the assumption that placenta encapsulation could possibly help.

Majority say they notice a difference in their energy levels when they take the capsules versus when they forget to take them. We hear partners call them “happy pills”. I’ve had moms come to me and say I had to slow down on taking my placenta capsules because I was producing so much milk. It’s also not uncommon at all for our clients to report back that their anxiety and or depression, in conjunction with or without medication prescribed by their doctors was more manageable while taking their capsules versus without.

All these claims and no evidence is a shame, but it doesn’t stop majority of women from trying this practice out for themselves.

Placenta encapsulation is supported by First Coast Doulas whether it’s reported benefits can be proven or if it’s only placebo effect. We say, if your ingesting your placenta for your own personal beliefs or wonderings and you’re doing it in the safest way possible, go for it!

First Coast Doulas’ clients know without any doubts that they are getting a legally licensed and insured business, one that is trained, certified, and practicing safest preparation.

Clients know the placenta they receive in the capsules is theirs and no one else’s and that it was never exposed to foreign microbiome, airborne or otherwise. Their placenta never leaves their possession. They know that access to accurate information and in person, one on one support for their family on topics such as breast or bottle feeding, diapering, and their postpartum body is complimentary and encouraged during our time working together.

Savvy moms and dads already know some of the challenges they’ll face in parenthood.

The new generation who are raising these tiny humans are deciding to be proactive instead of reactive with their health.

Placenta encapsulation is supported by First Coast Doulas and by many parents and providers. First Coast Doulas is happy to meet families where they are at to help them navigate this journey through life transitions!

Happy birth and parenting from your friends at First Coast Doulas!

 

 

How to Show Support Through Pregnancy Loss

How to Show Support Through Pregnancy Loss Jacksonville Florida

1 in 4 Women Will Experience Infant & Pregnancy Loss

At some point in life you’ll find yourself wondering how to support someone you care about whose grieving an infant or pregnancy loss. Perhaps it’s you who’s lost a baby and you’re wondering; what sorts of feelings are normal, and what you should share and expect from others during this time. What happens when someone you know is pregnant and they lose their baby, be it 2 weeks or 30 weeks gestation? Losing one of the greatest gifts anyone can be blessed with hurts. Parents will grieve and they’ll need support whether they say so or not.

Life moves on. Meanwhile their life seems to stands still.

October is pregnancy and infant loss awareness month.

First Coast Doulas supports families as they bring their babies home and many who never get that chance. We receive more messages and phone calls than you could imagine. People reach out for support and to talk about their loss. We talk with them about what they’re experiencing and about being as comfortable as possible through this difficult time. We also discuss what they might expect next and how their loved ones can support them best.

It’s crystal clear that more people want to know how to support those they care about during pregnancy loss, they just aren’t always sure how.

First, you must understand that supporting others through a loss can pull at your heart strings and may feel awkward.

Imagine how hard it must be for them, they’ve lost their baby. We can do hard things. It will feel terrible and may feel awkward, show your support anyway. Don’t avoid the parents, embrace them. Be prepared to support them in a way that is best for them, not always what you might want. Each loss is different, unique, and tragic. Each baby is special.

Be present for them, even in silence.

Words aren’t always necessary. A silent supporter lets the parents talk, cry, or share any range of feelings they’re experiencing without interjecting their own perception or thoughts. You might make her a glass of warm tea and just be there by her side and acknowledge how much it sucks. There is no need to try and cheer her or fix her. Perhaps you stop by and lend a hand to the partner who is out doing some yard work, little to no words are necessary in this arena. Drop a card in the mail and include a gift card for dinner.

How to Show Support Through Pregnancy Loss Jax FL | Newborn Jax FL

Talk about their baby, use their baby’s name.

It doesn’t matter how pregnant she was. This little one means everything to its parents. Ask them if they’ve given their baby a name, even if they didn’t know the sex of their baby a name is beautiful way to honor and remember them. When our grandmothers pass away we talk about them and we use their names. We keep their name and spirit alive that way. You can do the same and the parents may appreciate that someone else remembers their baby too!

Do not expect them to celebrate your pregnancy or birth.

Even if this is your best friend, do not expect anything from her during this time. If she does attend your baby shower or comes by after your baby is born to congratulate you, please acknowledge that you know this is difficult for her and that you love her and appreciate her for sharing in your joy.

Never put a timeline on someone else’s pain.

Everyone grieves in their own time. There are stages of grief and people don’t always move through them on the same timeline, some move forward while others move backward and forward. Please do not impose your own ideas on when someone should be “over it”, parents are never over it. They just learn to cope and deal better as time passes, but the place they prepared in their hearts for their baby or babies will always exist.

Tears are more than okay.

In fact, it may be very helpful for her to know that her baby was important and matters to more than just her. Even if you aren’t familiar with the grief of losing a child yourself, knowing you are grieving for her loss because you care so much for her is touching and it just feels good to be loved. Human kindness and compassion goes a long way.

Help out in whatever way you can, but be understanding if they say no.

Bring food, or go grocery shopping. Prepare some food for the family. You might offer to walk her dog or help by tidying up a little. Doing some laundry, taking kids to practice or to and from school help lighten the load. Another mom shares that her co-worker remembered her favorite dessert and she dropped it by with some coffee.

Don’t question or judge her choices. Trying to conceive, waiting to try, and timing are all very, very personal, especially after pregnancy loss. She will share when she is ready.

Allow her to grieve in any way she may need to and time to talk about her loss when she is ready.

Be kind with your words to all, you never know what others are going through.

Don’t forget to acknowledge the person’s partner/spouse.

Don’t dismiss someone’s loss because the pregnancy wasn’t planned or because they have other children.

When you are wondering how to show support through pregnancy loss, please avoid anything that starts or includes:

  • Well, at least…
  • Look at it this way…
  • Maybe this pregnancy wasn’t meant to be…
  • God has other plans…

Replace those with:

  • I’m sorry, that sucks…
  • I can see how much you’re hurting…
  • I’ll never understand why babies are taken away…
  • Your hopes and dreams for your baby were crushed, understandably you are disappointed…

We hope this blog is helpful to you and to those you share it with. In the words of Dr. Seuss, “A person is a person, no matter how small!”

Authored by: Elizabeth Luke

Owner and Doula at First Coast Doulas, LLC

Baby Jax FL | How to Show Support Through Pregnancy Loss

5 Things Everyone Should Know About Cesarean Birth

5 Things Everyone Should Know About Cesarean Birth | Jax FL Birth

5 Things Everyone Should Know About Cesarean Birth

There are 5 things everyone should know about cesarean birth! Cesarean birth just doesn’t get discussed as much as “natural birth” or vaginal birth. If it does, it is often in passing or in such a way as to incite fear! As your friendly, neighborhood doulas, we wanted to take a minute and talk about some aspects of Cesarean birth so that whether you are planning a C-section or not, you at least have a little more information on them, because let’s face it, birth is rarely black and white!

  1. Cesarean birth is birth, but it’s also major abdominal surgery

First and foremost, Cesarean birth is unequivocally birth. There is no “right” way to birth. That said, it is also major abdominal surgery. As such, the recovery can be fairly difficult for the majority of the population.  The body needs more time and more gentleness as it recovers from surgical birth (ß—see, surgery and birth!). Just think: the doctor has to cut through multiple layers to get to the prize! That is no easy feat and your body knows it. So, please be gentle with yourself for at least six weeks following B-day!

  1. It could take all day

If you are looking forward to cesarean birth because you are happy to schedule your baby’s birthday and you are arranging it to coincide with visits from the grandparents, this may be a little disappointing.  Yep, that 9:00 AM appointment could actually turn into a 9:00 PM birth. C-sections don’t guarantee that you’ll get to adhere to the itinerary! Emergencies happen all the time which means that your non-emergent birth time could get repeatedly pushed back depending on the hospital’s load and facilities. It isn’t likely, but it does happen often enough that it’s worth being aware.

  1. It can be just as scary

This doesn’t apply to everyone (I mean, really, when do birth scenarios ever apply across the board?), but Cesareans can induce fear and panic even in the coolest cucumber. So while you may enjoy the feeling of control that C-sections provide, you may also notice yourself shaking and trembling when the doctors explain the procedure or when you enter the stark room. This is normal. See point #1!

  1. You will feel

Yep. Even with the anesthesia, you actually will still feel! Before you panic, read on.  As weird as it is, most people report that they were not completely numb; however, the sensations were not painful. You will most likely feel the pressure and the pulling as the surgeon works, but it doesn’t hurt, even if it is unsettling.   This could partly be due to the fact that we can see what it is going on (partially) and therefore our brain expects something, so we perceive the sensations and partly because the epidural and spinal do not always completely block proprioception.

  1. You still need support

A good portion of people think that a C-section is the “easy way out”. Not only is this patently false, it is dismissive to those people who know that it’s false!  We often hear from people who’ve had Cesareans that they were so surprised that it wasn’t easy at all and they didn’t count on needing validation, emotional support, and practical help from outside their close family and friends. As a matter of fact, they felt relieved when they found out that C-sections are just as deserving and demanding of birth and postpartum help as vaginal births are. So, ensure you line up the perfect support team so that you feel at ease during and after the birth. See points #1, #2, #3, and #4

As usual, if you have further questions or would like to add a point to this list, leave it in the comments! First Coast Doulas supports all parenting styles, choices, and needs! If you are planning for a cesarean birth our Cesarean Birth Prep Class is just for you! If you’re hoping for a vaginal birth and to avoid a cesarean birth, but want to be prepared for either, The Prepared Parent Childbirth Class is just for you! We hope you found these 5 things everyone should know about cesarean birth helpful!