"Are you going to take their place?"
"How do you help them support me?"
"I'm just worried I won't be needed if we have a doula..."
If we had a dollar for every time we've heard this or something similar from pregnant people looking at hiring a doula or their partners,
we'd be super rich!
Our answer is always very much the same and probably will never change:
We are there to support your partner and to help them support you.
"You are an absolute expert in your wife,
we are experts in birth,
we work together perfectly!"
In short, we are the people, who behind the scenes help make your partner look good.
Help you to have memories of them during your birth, amazing ones at that!
We are the gentle voice of:
Try pushing here.
She needs water.
Lets switch places.
Do you need to go to the bathroom?
Why don't you rest a bit.
You can step out and grab some coffee.
Do you need something to eat?
Here, maybe try this way.
Its okay, you're doing perfect!
You can go with baby, I will make sure she's taken care of.
And oodles more!
Birth can be unpredictable and long.
While our job is absolutely to help support you in every way possible,
your partner deserves some support too and we'll never be taking their place.
Birth is really unpredictable.
Even if you've done it many times before,
we really never know what may happen next.
You have a plan...
so does your baby...
and so does your body.
You can have the most supportive provider, take all the best classes, pick the perfect doulas,
and have a wonderful and supportive partner,
but sometimes your plan has to go out the window.
We don't like to talk about it,
but the reality is:
Sometimes everything ends up the opposite of your plan.
To some it is just the scary stuff.
To some it means a home birth transfer.
To some it means an emergency cesarean.
To some it means an epidural and pushing on your back.
We don't want to harp on these things,
we're here to help instill strength and confidence in those giving birth,
but we also want to make it clear that we support
those who feel as though they had the birth they hoped for taken from them
or that their body is broken.
As your birth doulas and postpartum doulas
to support you,
to be a shoulder,
to maybe be the only one who says "It is okay to be sad!"
Sometimes things don't go as planned,
But we want you to know that you're not alone.
We really do want to help and support you, give us a call anytime to see how we can!
"I don't know I was thinking ..., ...., ..., ..., & ..."
"I don't know, who should we invite?"
"I think my mother in law wants to be there... and my mom..."
Who is going to be at your birth is usually a huge question of discussion
during our prenatal planning sessions with our birth doula clients.
So, when you don't want to hurt feelings or you really want everyone there,
How do you make a decision about who to have at your birth?
Imagine your birth.
Who do you see being there when you close your eyes and dream of the moment?
How does the room look and feel?
Who is there and being supportive?
You, your partner, your doula, your medical team, and ....
Imagine pooping in front of whomever you're thinking of inviting.
Because honestly, that will probably happen.
Leave the invitation open ended.
Let everyone know that you may change your mind at any point and to not pressure you.
This way if you are mid active labor and decide there's just too many people or too little support, you can change your mind no questions asked.
Think about technology.
A lot of people lately have chosen, for distance purposes or room purposes to Facetime or Skype in family during birth for a while or for the entire time. It gives everyone the opportunity to be "there" you'd like, but keeps everyone from feeling like sardines packed into a tiny room.
Even having a birth photographer there, so you can share in some of the moments later can really help those who wanted to attend, but you just really didn't want to be there in the moment.
Check the policy.
Your hospital or place of birth (unless at home) has a policy in place of the amount of people allowed into the room. Especially during flu season, it can vary greatly, so checking with them can make the decision for you sometimes.
Think hard about who you WANT there.
Not just who you think might like to be there or who wants to be there,
but truly who you want to see your baby first and share in those intimate moments with.
Think about the people you feel the most comfortable with and who will be the most supportive.
No matter who you end up having there for your birth,
you want to help make sure you feel supported and as prepared as you can!
Let us know if and how we can help.
0, -1, +2, +3, -4
What in the world do these numbers mean?
Most people know about dilation numbers:
But many times when your provider or nurse checks you they also share baby's STATION.
So, what do these numbers really mean for you?
A lot of times providers will use this information along with your dilation (and other factors)
to determine if it is time to push.
These numbers are also used to determine your BISHOP score,
which is used to determine induction status.
They also can help determine if breaking your water would be a good way to pick labor up
or get your contractions going stronger.
One of the easiest ways to remember - vs + and which is which when it comes to station is
+ is positive because baby is coming soon.
In short those + and - numbers which is baby's station
is how far in or out baby is!
When it comes to pregnancy, working out may be the last thing on your mind;
You're tired, irritable, and perhaps suffering from some nausea.
But for some, exercise is a huge part of their daily lives and giving it up just seems like a big sacrifice!
So, can you work out while your pregnant?
For most typical pregnancies and purposes, YES!
(Ensure you check with you personal doctor first though, always.)
One of the main keys
is starting with very close to what you were doing before you were pregnant:
If you were normally running 5 miles a day, run 5 miles a day.
If lifting weights has been your thing, be safe, but keep it up.
If you are just wanting to start working out something
like swimming, walking, or yoga may be a lot better for you.
Just listen to your body. Be aware of pushing too hard. Stay very well hydrated.
And ensure you're eating well!
Whether you've been an exercise lover for a while or are just wanting to have a more healthy pregnancy, what are some of the benefits of working out while pregnant?
Better circulation which can improve constipation, backaches, bloating, and swelling.
Increase in energy.
(Yes, using energy can give you more)
Better muscle tone and less weight gain.
Can help prevent and/or treat gestational diabetes.
It also can help with labor and losing weight after baby is born.
Pregnancy is not the time to focus on fitness for weight loss purposes and if your doctor has given any indication you should not be working out, you definitely should limit activity as told.
But for most people exercise during pregnancy,
while trying to conceive,
or after baby
is a great way to improve your overall health!
You plan for months, sometimes even years for just that one special day.
You look into each other's eyes and BAM...
all the sudden you have a spouse!
You plan for months, sometimes even years for just that one special day.
all the sudden you have a baby!
So, what does a wedding really have to do with babies and doulas?
Did you know the national average for the cost of a wedding is anywhere
from $25,576 - $35,329?
In Indiana, the average wedding cost is $19,129!
We want to challenge you for a moment to think on how much you spent on that one specific day:
your wedding day.
(Don't worry we won't judge.)
It may be quite a bit less than the national average,
but for most it was still probably quite a big sum.
Now, we want to challenge you to think on
how many postpartum hours that would get you after you have a baby.
(We'll go ahead and do the math for you with the Indiana average)
$19,129 / our largest package hourly rate
with the same amount of planning and money spent,
you could have almost 800 hours of support from a professional after you have your baby!
Lets break that down:
80 overnight shifts
100 8 hour day shifts
200 4 hour day shifts
over a month of live-in care
any combination of those
All for just the same cost of what you spent on that one single day.
We aren't saying you need to spend almost 20k on postpartum support
or that your amazing wedding wasn't worth the cost,
we just want you to think critically about planning for your time after your baby comes!
You're worth it.
Your mental health and recovery are worth it.
Your marriage is worth it.
And we'll be so happy to help out!
You've probably heard about it or maybe seen a pic of a baby covered in it.
You know, that cheesy looking "gunk" on the baby when it comes out?
What is vernix made of?
Vernix is made up of water, sebum (cells off baby and hair),
fatty acids, cholesterol, and waxy lipid molecules.
What does vernix do?
Especially while inside, it protects baby's skin from the acidity of the amniotic fluid.
It acts a sealant and without it baby would come out looking like a prune.
Helping baby to wiggle and slide out.
4. Muffle Sound.
Because it is covering baby entirely, it is also muffling sounds while in the womb for the baby.
It is like a nice blanket of protection against temperature change for the baby.
So, why leave vernix on baby after birth?
The World Health Organization recommends leaving baby unbathed for at least 24 hours. It is thought that the benefits in the womb continue after birth; so it can help regulate baby's temperature, keep baby moisturized, and helps protect the skin.
It may act as an antimicrobial and also may aid in wound healing.
It is also thought to act as a barrier between baby and meconium, if present.
Why would a baby not have vernix?
Vernix doesn't develop until the third trimester, so if baby is premature, they may have very little or no vernix.
If baby is passed term, it also may have very little to none because of being absorbed into the amniotic fluid.
And some babies have a ton and some have very little, so it is totally dependent on your body and baby.
Vernix can gross some people out, for sure.
It can be thick and cheesy...
Many people want to wash baby right away to get the clean and that's totally fine!
Just like everything else, this is your baby and your choice.
But VERNIX is pretty cool stuff either way!
At least once, if not many more times, a day
in the pregnancy groups I'm in on Facebook
"How do I get labor going again?"
It may be a doula looking for advice on a client
or just a birthing person curious on why their contractions started steady for a while,
but then fizzled out.
What do I answer every single time?
EAT A GOOD MEAL.
when there are hundreds of blogs
that tell you to do all the things,
to move into 100 different positions,
would I give such boring advice?
Because going into ACTIVE LABOR exhausted doesn't help anyone!
I'd say 90% of the time I hear stories about birthing people getting an epidural they hadn't planned on,
it was because they say they were completely exhausted.
I don't think so!
If you're in labor, you're in labor.
Doing 100 stair sets, walking for hours,
or moving into 1,000 different positions isn't going to change anything.
And as frustrating as it is
(I know it is)
it isn't going to get you into active labor, if you're not in labor.
It is going to get you tired, irritable, and frustrated.
There are certainly so many other factors at play here
(and, by golly, I know all those positions if you really want to do them),
but REST is your friend.
(You won't get the option unless you have good postpartum help for much longer anyhow)
Your emotional and physical well being will thank you!
We hear it all the time:
"I sure hope my labor is quick!"
Precipitous births happen.
They happen every day.
While they aren't the norm, quick deliveries are something most people dream of.
They do come with their own sets of issues that most people don't think about though.
Birth is just as much and emotional journey as it is a physical one for many people, not having time to emotionally process through the course of labor and birth can be extremely difficult for some.
You have very little time to come to grips with the fact that you are having a baby.
You may feel extremely disappointed that your plans are going out of the window.
You may feel scared at not having the birth team you planned.
You may be worried about you and baby's safety with the possibility of not making it to your planned birthing place.
You may feel extremely out of control and panic not being able to get anything in order.
There's a whole plethora of emotions that can happen during a quick labor and especially after while trying to process the situation.
It has been reported that the contractions feel more intense and
there is no real time for that epidural you may have wanted and planned on the whole pregnancy;
you'll be going med free and feeling it all.
Infection to you or your baby is more likely because of delivery in an unclean environment.
Infant aspiration has also been reported higher in precipitous births.
While not all of these are going to happen to everyone
and, as always, we recognize that some birthing people have quick labors and are ecstatic about it...
Next time you wish hard for a quick labor
or talk about wanting one in front of a bunch of parents,
try to remember
QUICK doesn't always mean better!
We do not bring this topic to light to frighten anyone, but simply to help everyone gain a better understanding of the reality of some situations.
We'd love to help you get a plan in place for situations like this!
CONTACT US TODAY
Things can seem quite overwhelming when you begin your pregnancy journey and
start to realize there are so many choices to make.
Everything from nursery room color,
where baby will sleep,
epidurals and pain medications,
who will be at your birth,
what bottles to use,
what breast pump to get,
where should baby sleep,
how can you connect with local parents...
There's lots of choices to be made
and even more options to sort through!
You options are really quite endless!
As long as you know what they are.
Sure, you can crowd source on FB and get a lot of advice
(and sometimes WAY more than you bargained for with just a simple question),
but wouldn't it be great if there was some sort of expert you could ask about what options you have and the tried and true best ones that will meet your goals?!
In come our doulas...
Whether it be birth or postpartum, we really do know our stuff!
We've researched, stay up to date on the newest trends,
have worked with many families,
and take your personality and unique family in to account!
Although we will never give you any medical advice, we can help you navigate and sort through all the options, to help you feel confident in your decision making process!
And because we are truly nonjudgmental,
we can present every option without bias
and without our personal goals in mind.
There's no right or wrong for any new baby or any family,
but when looking for options that can make a huge difference
it is always a good idea to talk to the professionals!
Jessica Anne Dill
Mom of 5, Wife, Doula trainer, Professional Birth and Postpartum Doula, Placenta Specialist, and best friend of coffee and long naps!