You’re a Rock Star Even if Nobody Tells You

you're a rock star | best doulas in jax florida

You’re a Rock Star Even if Nobody Tells You

We’ve got to get something off our chests.  It’s a secret that shouldn’t be. It’s something that doesn’t, for some reason, get said enough or only gets said when the “right” conditions are met.  And it’s a shame.

You’re a Rock Star! Yes, YOU!

Birthing a baby and parenting said baby until they run your refrigerator out the door, is hard work no matter what. Even for us folk who seem to be floating on cloud 9 in the best breeze, there are days that are just hard. And you’re a rock star for showing up.  Giving birth to this tiny human is also an incredible feat, no matter the mode of delivery.

Society at large seems to place a higher value on certain types of birth though.

We’ve even noticed that the professionals with whom so many new parents place their trust have demonstrated public preference to birth and are biased in what they deem worthy of public merriment. As care providers and professional support persons in a position of authority, this behavior implicitly ascribes a morality to this value and as such, shames different choices and outcomes. And while it may be unintentional, many parents end up feeling like shit about their birth.

 

“I don’t know why it bothers me so much, but it does. I did all the things. I took an eight week childbirth class, hired a well-known doula, read articles, and I joined a moms group for women who were and had birthed narturally. In the end it was just me, all alone. Noone cheering me on and telling me, ‘You’re a rock star’, or ‘You rocked your birth’ after a 12 hour labor turned cesarean. I was heart broken, it would have just felt good to know others saw how hard I tried. Instead I felt like I let my doula and closest friends down.”

 

Our birth experiences shape us, whether we like it or not. How we feel as we enter parenthood matters! Words matter! Hearing, “You’re a rockstar” matters, and not hearing it matters too!

When the most popular doctor, midwife, or doula in town always posts and shares the “best” births on their social media platforms, and you notice that they always say, “Congrats to this Rock Star mama who had an non-medicated vaginal birth” but doesn’t mention the rock star parents who labored for hours and chose to pursue relief via pharmaceuticals, or the parent who chose a cesarean birth from the get-go, it hurts.

We get it.

We hear you.

Having a “natural” birth (which is a misnomer, by the way) is definitely something to be proud of and it is worth celebration. No doubt, at all. But choosing an epidural or opting for cesarean birth is an equally valid choice and one that deserves the same frequency and intensity of accolades.

This isn’t simply a matter of target market or ideal patients/clients on the part of the midwives or other birth professionals in regards to their statements/behavior online and off, because

a). not all of their patients/clients want the same things for their birth that the provider wants

b.) a provider and/or doula shouldn’t necessarily “want” anything other than a healthy, safe, and happy experience and outcome to begin

c.) they are all held in esteem in the greater health community and because of this, have influence and

d.) even if, by some chance, all their clients/patients did want a completely drug-free/intervention-free, vaginal birth, there will always be some who, for their safety and health, cannot and will not birth as originally intended.

The consequences from feeling like one “failed” at birth are very real and entirely damaging.

Not to mention, it isn’t a test to pass. By saving our “You’re a rock star” for specific people, we are effectively setting people up to believe that birth is a test of their abilities and ultimately, of their parental devotion and/or suitability. By always exclusively referring to these “mamas” (another issue for another day), we do a disservice to all those parents who need and want validation and…shared joy in their hard work.  Because let’s be clear here: non-medicated vaginal birth is hard. Medicated vaginal birth is hard. Cesarean birth is hard. Birth is hard.  So what are we saying?

There is no right or wrong way!

YOU’RE A ROCK STAR. With capital letters.  Unequivocally.  All day, every day!

P.S we recommend surrounding yourself with people who will tell you you’re a rock star without any strings. It doesn’t have to be us-we just want nothing more than your fully knowing your power.

Authored by: Heather Horrell and Elizabeth Luke

Private Childbirth Classes

 

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

Private Childbirth Classes

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

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

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

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

You’ll also learn:

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

What’s better than that?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Pushing In Labor; Don’t Push Me!

Pushing In Labor; Don’t Push Me!

pushing in labor jacksonville doula

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

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

***

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

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

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

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

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

***

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I could hear my client gently grunting through quiet moans.

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

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

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

Keep listening to your body. Keep encouraging her.”

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

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

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

If My Birth Doesn’t Go As Planned

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

if my birth doesn't go as planned

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

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

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

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

Then my due date came, and it went.

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

Labor started on its own.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Defend Against Postpartum Depression! We Share How!

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

defend against postpartum depression jacksonville
Time is more valuable than money, money can be replaced, time cannot!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Here is another titled Eating Your Placenta Offers Serious Health Benefits

And another titled Some Moms Swear by Consuming Babies Placenta

Safest Placenta Encapsulation on the First Coast, Part 4

This is part 4 of a 4 part blog series discussing Placenta Encapsulation and your safety. The inside scoop.

You decide; mountain or mole hill?

Part 1 found here

Part 2 found here

Part 3 found here

safest placenta encapsulation jacksonville

 

“I have a quick turnaround time. I want to have it finished and deliver capsules back to mom before they have even left the hospital. I have been known to smuggle placentas out of the hospital” Mountain! Red flag alert!

As a doula with First Coast Doulas we don’t make decisions for another woman, none of our clients rely on us to make decisions for them. Why is this any different?

Our clients are smart, some of the smartest in fact, they know what they want and what they need. If the hospital’s policy where she is birthing says they don’t allow her to take her placenta home until she’s released than this argument is a moot point.

We respect hospital policies, doesn’t have to mean we agree with them, but we do respect policies. Providers trust and respect us for that, as do our clients.

If the hospital allows her to take it shortly after birth then her partner can bring it home, and place it in the fridge. We have clients who’ve given us a key to let ourselves in and lock up when we leave being completely removed from the process and we’ve had partners come to meet us at the house and hang out with us to see the process and take pictures.

“Placenta Encapsulation Specialists don’t normally mix up placentas.” What the hell? Normally? Mountain or molehill? I would hope we all agree here, but apparently we do not; one time is far too many in my book!

“My partner is unsupportive and doesn’t want it in our house.” Molehill! We have clients whose partners don’t want to see the placenta in a raw fresh state, which is understandable. These partners run errands, take older children to the park and to lunch, head back to the hospital to be by their partner’s side, or just catch a nap in the room. We only need the kitchen for up to 2-3 hours each day, the first day is what I call the ick factor day. Day two involves nothing raw or what most consider ick.

placenta pills Jacksonville, FL

As I advanced in my decision to take a stand for my business, my clients, and ultimately all women who want the right to their placentas I sought out an additional training. I chose Placenta Prep to help me close up some loose ends, to build upon repertoire, and to put it all in place.

I’ve learned that it’s never what happened that matters most. It’s always the mothers perception of what happened that truly matters above all else.

We know, without a doubt that what matters most to women during this highly sensitive and memorable time surrounding their pregnancy, labor, birth and postpartum period is what they perceived happened. How they feel and think about what happened is what is most important to them, not what others tell them happened.

If a mother perceived you to have mixed up her placenta with another, there’s no way that you could prove to her that you didn’t unless she brought it to her own home and you prepared it there. Why even create that doubt when you can eliminate it?

We never want our clients to have wonders, unanswered questions or doubts. The only way for a woman to know without any question or doubt that the capsules she ingests are from her own placenta is if her placenta is transported by her or her appointed representative to her home where the encapsulation process is started and completed there, in her own home, only!

We proudly provide the safest placenta encapsulation on the First Coast.

Q & A with FC Doulas

How do I know it’s my placenta I am ingesting?

When you book placenta encapsulation with FCD you will be given proper handling instruction to ensure your placenta is not only handled, but labelled properly with your information. You, your partner or your appointed representative (mother/father, sister/brother, or best friend) are the only one transporting your placenta to your home, where a (C.I.E.S.) certified independent placenta encapsulation specialist from First Coast Doulas comes to start and complete the encapsulation process. There is no chance your placenta is never mixed up with someone else’s because it is never taken anywhere except from your place of birth to your home.

What if me and my partner don’t want to see the process?

Our clients can be as involved or removed from the process as they would like to be. There is no reason you would be subjected to being involved if you don’t want to, period.

Will it be disruptive to have the C.I.E.S in my home?

Nope, your C.I.E.S. is professional, respectful, and friendly. She is a birth and postpartum doula and has a lot to offer your family while she is there; having that resource available in your home for a few hours each day has been appreciated by clients in the past.

When we arrive to your home to prepare your placenta, you know, without any question, that it is your placenta being prepared. You are right there to tell us where to locate your placenta because you transported and stored it. Even if someone is using a commercial-grade style kitchen at a brick and mortar location, and prepares your placenta there, that does not eliminate all the doubt that it is only your placenta.

Having a postpartum expert in your home, answering questions about not only placentas, but newborns, postpartum care, breastfeeding and so much more the day you arrive home is something we are very excited to offer. The average time our placenta specialists will be in your home is approximately 4 hours. This is 4 hours of an expert available to answer any questions, or if you just like to have someone to talk to, she is there to joyfully chat it up with you!

Is there currently a regulation on placenta encapsulation?

No, there is not currently regulation in the U.S.A, but there is in other countries. It’s up to you, the consumer to do your homework and hire accordingly. In a desire to uphold our own standards and we want to see this service continued to be offered to women in years to come, we only prepare your placenta for you in your own kitchen. This is similar to private chefs who prepare food in their client’s homes. Everything is completed transparently in your home. The clarity in which this happens is very desirable to many.

Some questions to ask;

Can you tell me about the process you use for encapsulating my placenta?

Where is the process completed at?

Do I need to be in there with you when you come to encapsulate my placenta?

What do you use to disinfect and sanitize?

What items do you use that are disposable?

What items are reused?

How long does the process take?

Do you offer anything additional aside from capsules? Can you tell me about those?

What do you need from me?

These are some things to ask, keep following our blog to answers to these questions and more!

 

If you don’t want to sacrifice safety or professionalism choose smart, choose First Coast Doulas and feel secure and confident!

Beautiful Is Your Postpartum Body

If this blog poem touches you, please share it with your friends so they can be touched too!

 

I wrote this poem in honor of all mothers, young and old, new and veteran, with babies here in their arms and babies who are no longer on this Earth.

For mothers of one and mothers of ten.

For those who are confident in themselves and their beauty both internal as well as external and for those who struggle with believing they are beautiful.

For the adoptive mothers and for those who made the selfless decision to  bless another woman with motherhood.

For the surrogate mothers, for the mothers who birthed alone and the mothers who birthed surrounded by support.

For mothers who had cesarean births and mothers who had a vaginal birth, birth is birth.

For the all mothers who have grown and who have changed, for it is not only our physical being that morphs, but also emotional and spiritual.

Life is a journey, you are never the same person today as yesterday, grow, change, and love yourself, for noone can ever love you quite the way you are capable of loving yourself.

To each and every one of you I say, you are beautiful. Your postpartum body is beautiful!

First Coast Doulas wants you to see your beauty, we believe in you even if you lose your confidence. Contact us today and get the support you’ve been searching for!

postpartum body Jacksonville

 

Beautiful Is Your Postpartum Body

By Elizabeth Luke

 

A softness never felt before,

An empty space once full,

Your hips have spread, and blood is shed,

Nothing is ever quite comparable.

 

Your eyes bare witness to skin stretched and worn,

It’s your pre-baby body your new motherly body mourns.

 

Milk drips unapologetically from your breasts, this has never happened before,

You gently grasp them and notice, that they are tender and sore.

 

The tone and definition that once adorned your arms,

Has slowly been replaced with motherly beauty and charm.

 

Gazing back in the mirror, a strangers eyes you meet,

A stranger in your skin is the strangest you will meet.

 

Standing in your postpartum body, you gauge the extent of the transformation,

When suddenly you feel acceptance as you have a revelation.

 

This stranger soon becomes familiar, a woman you once knew,

A woman whose has grown and stretched to become what she was destined to.

 

Destine to become a mother, beautiful and true,

In her own postpartum body,

She grew into someone new.

 

Beautiful Is Your Postpartum Body,

You are beautifully and wonderfully made,

Beautiful is your postpartum body,

Please do not be afraid.

 

Beautiful Is Your Postpartum Body,

It grew,

And it changed,

And it birthed.

 

Embrace your beautiful postpartum body,

Let your light shine through,

For when you accept what you have become you will be renewed.

Will Your Doula Be Right For You?

During pregnancy you are sustaining an incredible amount of physical and emotional change. There is never a time in your life where you will experience a more rapid change happening within your body. Your partner, if you have one is on this wild ride all his/her own. This is one of the most beautiful, most vulnerable times in your life and you are looking for a Doula who can attune to your needs. Those needs can and will look differently for each woman and her partner.

pregnancy doula Fernandina Beach

That could mean you want a Doula who listens more than she speaks and validates your feelings.

You may want a Doula to help you and your partner form a plan so together you can easily navigate your birth experience with confidence.

Your partner may need a Doula who points him/her in the direction of evidence-based information and the you, the pregnant woman may just want someone to remind you to trust your intuition and vice versa.

Sometimes women know and readily admit, along with their partner, that while an amazing father and partner, during the last birth her partner was clueless and spaced out despite having taken a great childbirth education class, which left her feeling alone and him carrying the guilt bag with him for far too long.

One woman may want a Doula to help her communicate more effectively with her care providers or family and help her family of three transition to a family of four, provide comfort techniques, and educate her and her partner about birth and common interventions and procedures she may encounter.

Our clients know they can cry, moan, poop, fart, curse, ask their providers for an epidural, birth by cesarean, ask not to be touched, birth on their back, birth on all fours, create a birth plan and throw it out the window, leak amniotic fluid all over the floor, pee on themselves, walk around nude in labor, choose formula or breastmilk, disposables over cloth, babywearing or stroller pushing, yell at us during a contraction, hell they can leak milk from a third nipple, and NONE of that effects the level of compassionate support we provide or cause us to judge you or your partner or be disappointed in them, EVER!

We have no hidden agenda, our mission is to instill confidence and security in your growing family while helping you finding your path in birth and parenting.

Heather and I are a rare find on the First Coast! We are a dynamic duo, we are the right Doula for our clients, and neither of us have what it takes to pass judgment on you or compare you to anyone else. We have experience and training ranging from all natural, out of hospital birth to cesarean birth and VBAC, and everything in between. We meet you where you are and support you along your journey from pregnancy through postpartum.

It isn’t about what’s in our Doula bag or how much money we have to spend on fancy marketing and advertising, it isn’t about our experience or training, because it’s about YOU and we know it!

We connect, attune to our clients, and support. No ifs. No ands. No buts.

We provide continuity of care from pregnancy consultations, through childbirth education classes we build a foundation from the ground up. Our relationship from pregnancy through birth and into the postpartum period our support is just a natural progression of things.

Who wouldn’t choose Doulas who they have know can attune to their needs, are reliable, compassionate, and professional? Our clients are smart cookies, they know what sets us miles apart from the rest!

Contact us today and let’s do this!

professional doula support Jacksonville

I Have To Do What After Birth?

A Look into the First 24 Hours Postpartum

after birth, Jacksonville doula

The climactic part of pregnancy happens as you birth your baby earth side safely and peacefully! You have prepared, anticipated, prayed, meditated, and worked to create the perfect entrance for your baby into the world. All things leading up to this monumental event have been focused around the birth of your baby.

Here are some things that you may experience after birth that you may not have known about.

1. You have to birth again! Yep, the placenta has to be birthed after you birth your baby;

Contractions continue after your baby is born. As your placenta detaches from the wall of your uterus, the uterus contracts, and those vessels close off, slowing the bleeding as your uterus continues to contract and birth your placenta. Depending on a number of different factors your placenta may birth with ease in a short amount of time or it may require some extra effort on your part and may take a little longer. Your provider and their assistant will focus on making sure you are safe during this time by monitoring your vitals, keeping a check on your bleeding, making sure you do not have any retained pieces of placenta, etc.

  • Your doula can be helpful in guiding you into a relaxed state using massage or breathing techniques as you work through this 3rd stage.
  • Your doula can also be helpful in reminding you and your providers of handling instructions if you are choosing to encapsulate your placenta. If you want to learn more about placenta encapsulation click here.

2. Your provider or their assistant will massage or palpate your abdomen for fundal height to make certain your uterus is returning to pre-pregnancy size, and the bigger picture means you are not hemorrhaging. This is not comfortable at all and typically becomes more uncomfortable with each baby.

Here are some ways to aid in the process and have also been effective in easing the discomfort that comes along with it;

  • By placing baby skin to skin and focusing on this new little life it will help release oxytocin, which is the hormone responsible for falling in love, in this case with your baby! Endorphins are also flowing and help alleviate discomfort during this time.
  • Your doula can be helpful in guiding you into a relaxed state using massage or breathing techniques as you work through this.
  • Breastfeeding helps to contract the uterus and typically the more you breastfeed the quicker the uterus will return to its pre-pregnancy size. Also resulting in the decreased need for manual massage by a nurse or doctor.
  • Your Doula should be able to help you with breastfeeding, that can look different for each mom and each baby, be it the first or fifth! Many mothers appreciate assistance with initiating breastfeeding at this time in one way or another!

3. If any area of your vagina or the perineum tore, even slightly or an episiotomy was performed you may need to be stitched up. Some tears are superficial or very minimal and minimal tears can generally heal without needing stitches. A discussion with your provider will help you decide if stitches are best for you.

Whether your perineum needs to be stitched up or not, when you pee it will burn. It could be described as uncomfortable or a strong stinging or burning sensation.

Here are some ways to aid in the process and have also been effective in easing the discomfort that comes along with it

  • Most providers should give you an option for local anesthesia to numb the area before beginning to stitch. You can ask for this.
  • Your doula can be helpful in guiding you into a relaxed state using massage or breathing techniques as you work through this procedure.
  • Ice packs applied to the area will be helpful in reducing the discomfort and also help with swelling. Your provider likely has some awesome ice pack pads that he/she will hook you up with. Ask for them if they don’t offer them.
  • Once you are stitched and the need to urinate returns be sure you have a peri bottle on hand. A peri bottle is like a little squirt bottle that you can fill with water and or healing herbs approved by your provider. If you will squirt the water from your peri bottle onto your vulva as you urinate it will ease that discomfort and make it a much more relaxing experience all around.
  • Your provider can give you something for the discomfort after birth for cramping, contracting, and for the discomfort you may feel from swelling, stretching, and stitches if you had them. Don’t be afraid to ask. If you are concerned about the drug and the effect it will have on your newborn you can ask your provider and if you are personally wanting to look into the safety Kellymom is great site to check out.

4. That space where you baby once took up residency for about 40 weeks can feel quite strange and empty in the first few days after birth while your organs are shifting back into their place. As you walk shortly after birth and for the first few days it may help to walk just slightly hunched over. I know, I know, sounds crazy, but it helps!

These are some common things women experience shortly after birth. There are others, but these are the most common. I hope this list serves as useful snippet of information for you and your friends.