Monthly Archives

March 2019

Babe In My Arms, Babe In My Belly, Babe In My Heart, Blogs

What Can I Doula For You?

March 26, 2019

Written by Diana Guidry, Guest Blogger

A Quick Insight into the Role of a Doula

After years of trying everything in the book to conceive, I finally gave up and started looking at alternatives, such as invitro or adoption. It was during this search that we discovered I was pregnant. I was thrilled. But that threw me into a totally different search. Do I choose an OB or a midwife? It was during this search that I came across the word “doula”. That was a new one for me.

Unlike myself, you may have heard the term “doula” thrown around in mom groups or at your local birthing center, but have you found yourself asking what IS a doula? What’s the difference between a doula and midwife, and if a doula isn’t a midwife, what exactly do they do?

“A doula is a professional trained in childbirth who provides emotional, physical, and educational support to a mother who is expecting, is experiencing labor, or has recently given birth. The doula’s purpose is to help women have a safe, memorable, and empowering birthing experience.”-American Pregnancy

A midwife is a professional who is trained in the medical side of pregnancy and childbirth and will provide medical care for the expectant mom, laboring woman, and women who just gave birth.

In most birth teams today, you will see a midwife and doula working alongside each other to assist an expectant mom throughout her pregnancy. A midwife will be the one administering care throughout pregnancy and delivery. She will order tests, make sure baby is growing, and be the one to assist mom in bringing her new baby into the world.

Below I have listed doula roles within the birth team and how she assists mom throughout pregnancy, birth, and her transition into postpartum and motherhood!

The word doula is a Greek word meaning women’s servant. Women have been serving other women in childbirth for centuries, and in a sense, doulas are a newer view to an old world concept. When you think about the word itself, it becomes pretty clear what a doula’s role would be to another woman giving birth.

If you’re a woman looking for alternative pain management, having a doula would mean instead of having an epidural administered right away, your doula would hip squeeze you through each contraction, no matter how tired her hands would inevitably get. No worries, though, that’s what she’s trained for! If you are needing to lean against someone as you stand in a hot shower with water running down your back as you sway back and forth, a doula will be there for you. If you’re an expecting mother who has a breech baby but still wants to give a vaginal birth a shot, a doula will show you ways to naturally get baby to move into an optimal birth position, such as spinning babies, rebozo cloth work, or bouncing on yoga balls.

Alternatively, if you want an ECV, a doula will provide evidence based information for you to be able to make the right decision for you and your baby. A doula will support you and answer all of your questions via text, email, or in person from the day you hire her until you give birth.

A doula’s role is never a clear cut specific job description. It is often tailored to what the current mother is visualizing for her pregnancy, birth, and the postpartum period. It then evolves into what mom needs as the time comes. A doula is a professional who is trained in informed consent, evidence based procedures, and alternative pain management.

If you are on the fence about hiring a doula for your birth or postpartum period, whether you’re a veteran birthing mom or a first-timer, a doula is an invaluable asset to any pregnant woman’s team.

A few statistics in honor of National Doula week!

50% reduction in cesarean rate

25% shorter labor

60% reduction in epidural requests

30% reduction in pain medication use

40% reduction in forceps delivery

40% reduction in oxytocin (pitocin) use

Babe In My Arms, Babe In My Belly, Babe In My Heart, Blogs, Uncategorized

Don’t Let it Steal Your Joy

March 8, 2019

Written by Amber Reynolds, Guest Blogger

It was a Sunday just like any Sunday. I showed up early to serve at church, grabbed a cup of coffee, and headed to the sound booth. Then someone made a joke. A seemingly off-hand, nonchalant, in-passing joke.

“You think you need coffee now, just wait until you have a baby up all night, I didn’t sleep a wink!”  

It didn’t take much to knock the wind out of me those days, so that little joke, well, it put me right over the edge. I chuckled and continued on my way, but inside I was dying a little.

“I WOULD DO ANYTHING TO BE UP ALL NIGHT WITH A BABY! I WOULD GIVE UP COFFEE FOR A YEAR…FOR A LIFETIME! IF YOU’RE SO CRANKY ABOUT HAVING A BABY WHY DON’T YOU JUST GIVE ME YOURS! WHY IS EVERYONE ALWAYS HAVING BABIES AND THEN COMPLAINING ABOUT THEM! THIS ISN’T FAIR. I MATTER TOO.”

The voice in my head is quite loud and dramatic. But my feelings are valid. It may have taken me three years to realize it, but how I feel mentally is just as valid as how I feel physically. Society puts a ton of weight on parenthood. You become an adult, and then a spouse, but you really level up when you become a parent. Those of us who haven’t leveled up yet don’t deserve coffee because a tiny human is yet to demand every second of our time. Again, loud and dramatic.

But we were doing everything right. The dieting: eat this but not too much and don’t eat that except on Tuesdays. The exercise: run but not too long and lift but not too heavy. The reading: everyone has something to say and why doesn’t anyone agree on the said dieting and exercise? We tried acupuncture, natural supplements, chiropractor visits, essential oils, charting, testing, and we were tired.

Unexplained infertility.

The gross beast of a diagnosis. Nothing to do, yet everything to try. Every different suggestion brings on new (but cautious) hope. Everyone you meet has a story to share about someone they know that tried a thing and the next day they were pregnant. We have tried many of the things. I have yet to become pregnant.

My husband and I are now five years into this painful infertility journey. We have moved multiple times, changed occupations, buried my father, bought a couple of homes, and even became foster parents. All of those things have molded us into who we are, they have altered our identity, and changed our perspective.

I no longer want to throat-punch anyone who makes a joke about babies. I’ve cared for babies who have kept me up all night. I no longer cringe when I see a pregnancy announcement, my joy overflows for my friends. I no longer cry every time I get my period (although sometimes I do because WTF). I no longer kill myself with my diet and exercise, allowing myself a beer with my salad has been lovely grace. But just because our perspective has been altered, does not mean that we have given up. Being called mommy by my precious foster babies is a joy I never knew if I would have. However, it does not take away the longing to carry a child in my womb.

This fertility journey sucks. It sucks the joy out of life, the fun out of sex, the laughter out of jokes. Five years in, I’ve learned it is okay to hate this part of our story, but it isn’t okay to dwell on that hatred. So we find joy. We dwell on the things that don’t suck. We make sex, and eating, and exercise, and massages, and reading less of a chore and more of an adventure. Do you allow the “this-use-to-be-fun-and-now-it-sucks” part of infertility steal your joy?! Don’t let it! Fight the drift! And for goodness sakes, drink coffee whenever you feel like it!

If you’d like to connect with Amber, you can find her on Instagram or her Blog

What The Fertility

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