Saturday, July 28, 2012


I learned first-hand how important it is to have a back-up doula. I had three clients in the month of July and all of the them were due 5-10 days a part. I thought it was possible that I would need a back-up doula, but thought it was unlikely. Low and behold, two clients went into labor about 3 hours apart. I couldn't believe it! Thankfully, my back-up doula, Elizabeth, was able to cover. While I attended a 36 hour labor she attended another 36 hour labor. It was epic, but we couldn't have done it without each other. I hope that one day I can be there for her too!

(permission to post from parents)

Friday, July 27, 2012

Johns Hopkins and Doulas

I just discovered that Johns Hopkins has been training nurses to be doulas since 1997!  So cool! They offer a DONA certified doula class as an elective for students becoming nurses. This class focuses on, not only on training certified doulas, but also, reaching out to the community of people who would not normally have the means or opportunity to hire a doula. The nurses are paid for their services through a special community outreach fund. It is so awesome for Johns Hopkins, a very scientific medical school, to see the value of a doula. Basically, it comes down to offering people a better service and at the same time saving money (studies show that the use of a doula decreases the incidence of more expensive procedures, like c-sections).

Check out these websites to read more about doulas and Johns Hopkins:

Monday, July 23, 2012

Baby Number Two

Well, it finally happened, I attended my second birth! As I waited for my two overdue clients to call me, they went into labor virtually at the same time. I couldn't believe it! But since I work with a back up doula, both clients were covered.

I got a call on Wednesday night from the mom who wasn't quite 41 weeks. She said she was having regular non-painful contractions. I was pretty sure these were not Braxton-Hicks, but I waited until midnight on Thursday morning to come over to her house. She labored at home until 4am and then we went to the hospital. We had no idea what was in store for her. She was in active labor for over 30 hours and 24 hours unmedicated. She was awesome! Baby was big and a little stuck but she pushed through the pain and exhaustion and had a beautiful vaginal delivery early Friday morning.

As a doula, I helped her constantly change positions to get the baby to come down, but it seemed like everything we tried didn't work. The midwife was really proud of her for moving around and changing her position. Without her hard work, she most likely would have had a c-section.

It was such a hard labor, but it was such an honor to be by her side and cheer her on. Most of all it was so amazing when she finally triumphed. I was so proud of her and over-joyed to meet her little boy. Thank you to those tough parents who allowed me to be a part of his miraculous appearance. I have never met a tougher mother in my whole life!

(permission to post from parents)

Saturday, July 14, 2012

My First Doula Experience

After what felt like months of waiting, it finally happened. I attended my first birth! I should have known something might happen since Friday the 13th was just around the corner. In the midst of dinner making on Thursday, I got the call. We all rode to the hospital together and "mom" was admitted. She was such a champion, even through excruciating back labor! At first it seemed like I wouldn't be needed since there was lots of family present, but my doula skills and my bag of goodies came in handy. In addition to the snacks I brought in my doula bag, I had some tools that really helped mom. She loved the icepack for her back and general cooling. The flower fan and trigger ball were big hits too. I was also able to suggest some walking and some position changes that helped move labor along. Although mom had some fear about labor and delivery, she conquered each one and had a great vaginal delivery. So proud of her and happy that my training really paid off!

It was such an emotional experience to see a baby being born. Tears gushed from my eyes, as we all rejoiced for the proud parents and congratulated mom's efforts. My first birth is something that I will remember and hold dear for the rest of my life. Thank you (you know who you are) for allowing me to be apart of such a personal and precious part of your life!
(permission to post from parents)

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Birth Story Documentary

Recently, I read an article in a magazine about a new documentary coming out called Birth Story: Ina May Gaskin and the Farm Midwives. I was so excited to read that a documentary has been made about Ina May. She is like the grand matriarch on midwives in America. Don't let her hippie style scare you, she really knows what she is doing. Please read more about Ina May:

Here are the detail about the documentary coming out:

It should be super interesting! I can't wait for the DVD!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012


Today is my 8th wedding anniversary. I am finding it hard to enjoy today, because I am looking foward to three moms who are having their babies any day. It is almost like I am waiting to have my own baby. I am so excited to attend my first birth, and I am having trouble keeping my mind occupied on other things. I know I won't do everything perfectly, but my hope is that the moms (and dads) know how much I care about them and that they feel that love throughout labor and delivery. So today, as one of my clients suggested, I will rest and patiently await the babies' arrival. So blessed to be a part of their lives!

Friday, July 6, 2012

The Adoptive Parent and Postpartum Care

Adoption is a huge part of my life. Both of my sons are adopted and it has been a way of life for my family (extended too) and me. One thing I really wished that I had, was post-adoption help from someone who had adoption experience. My mom helped with basic infant care and my sister-in-law helped with breastfeeding, but I didn't have emotional support I needed.  Even though I had read books, I was not prepared. I felt like I had to be super-mom since I hadn't actually given birth, but what I really needed was to nest-in with my new little one and let everything else go.

There is a real need for adoptive parents to have post-adoption care from someone who knows what to expect when you have just entered into an adoptive relationship. There needs to be time for bonding and attachment, along with basic knowlege of infant care, breastfeeding support (if applicable), household organization, etc. Also, adoptive mothers (and fathers) can experience post-adoption mood disorders, like depression and anxiety. Someone who can help identify this, as well as help the parents with their new adjustment, is key to a positive adoptive experience. I think a great soluntion to this is the postpartum doula. Even better is a postpartum doula who has experienced adoption in someway.

Adoption can be challenging, but with some post-adoption support and tons of parental love, it can also be an amazingly rewarding experience for everyone involved!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Don't wear yourself out...just wear your baby!

"Baby-wearing" is an essential parenting skill. There are many well documented benefits of wearing your baby.  You are probably thinking, "what do you mean, 'wear my baby'?" Baby wearing meaning carrying your child in a sling, holder, or long piece of cloth that attaches directly to you. In other cultures, baby wearing is a way of life. There aren't fancy strollers or infant car seats. Mom (or dad) wears baby wherever she goes.

Besides the fact that babies who are worn in carriers cry less, are socialized earlier, and learning language and social cues earlier, there are practical reason that help parents out too. Babies are more portable. Happy baby=happy parents. Wearing your baby means that you can meet your own needs, like eating, shopping, cleaning, or walking the dog for example. It also eases the transition for older siblings, because baby isn't always occupying mom or dad's attention. Baby becomes an extension of the parent.

There are many types of baby carriers and there is a lot to consider when purchasing one. Here are some things to think about:
  • What is the main purpose? Short-term carriers or the long haul?
  • Comfort
  • Style
  • Who will be using the carrier mainly?
  • Hands-free
  • Washability
  • Do you have multiples?
Ten Reasons to Wear Your Baby:
Happy Baby Wearing and Happy 4th of July!