One of the weirdest things about being a doula is living the on call lifestyle. Because we have to be ready to step out of our lives and be present for you in labor at short notice, we can be a little flakey with our other commitments. (My friends and family and massage clients are well-used to me hedging any commitment with the phrase, “But I’ll be on call, so I’ll be there if I’m not at a birth!”) Living life while on call is more involved than you might think. I’d love to share some information with you about what it means for me to be on call for your baby’s birth.Read More
This video, Everyday Miracles: A Celebration of Birth, shows several families giving birth at the hospital and remaining active throughout. They use movement for comfort and to help labor progress. You also see a few different positions for giving birth.Read More
Lamaze used to have a reputation as the childbirth education method that was all about the weird breathing. Some students come to class expecting to learn all kinds of breathing exercises, and others come hoping against hope that they won't have to hee-hee-hoo their way through classes each week!
Lamaze International has moved away from patterned breathing as a primary technique for childbirth, but focusing on breathing or using breath as one tool among many for labor is still very helpful for many laboring people.
The following are some simple breathing exercises that may be helpful for focusing and coping during labor.Read More
Does this story sound familiar?
You go to your childbirth education classes, and hear that labor usually lasts 12-24 hours for a first birth. "Ok," you think. "I can handle that."
A few weeks later, you begin to feel steady contractions, and having never been in labor before, you think they feel fairly strong. Over the course of the day, they keep going, but don't ever get much stronger, longer, or closer together. Sometimes you feel a little tired and start to get relaxed and try to rest, and your contractions ease up a little. So you resolve not to rest, not to relax; you are going to stay active and upright and get this baby out! After 18 hours of walking around your neighborhood, rocking on your birth ball, and having your partner press on your sacrum, you figure you must be getting close to having your baby. So you go to the hospital and have your cervix checked, only to find that you are only 1-2 cm dilated and they want to put you on some pitocin or send you home.
So what's going on here?Read More
Some doulas gain experience very quickly, routinely booking 2-4 (or more!) clients each month. I've attended births as a doula much more slowly than that. In the past 4 years of doula-ing, I've averaged about 8 births a year, slowly but surely learning more and more about pregnancy, birth and labor support techniques.
Since attending births here in Tulsa since February, I've realized that I've integrated some really important lessons that I couldn't have learned from reading about labor support - I had to really learn them by watching over 30 clients labor and give birth to their babies.
I hope that some of this information can be useful to other doulas, families preparing for the birth of their baby, and anyone providing labor support.Read More
Last week, I asked people on my Facebook page to choose which of three post topics I should write about next. Other than a vote for all three, the resounding winner was this question from Katherine Ferranti, LMT of Be Free Massage Therapy. And with good reason, because her question is just so good.
“Do doulas experience resistance from doctors when the patient is “high risk” (whether because of age or medically related). Or maybe [...] does a doula have different responsibilities or a different approach when a patient is high risk vs not high risk?”
— Katherine FerrantiRead More
Lots of people tell me they want to hire a doula to be their advocate in labor. I totally get it that people wanting to have an unmedicated birth in the hospital might feel that they need someone to help keep things on track.Read More
If you are pregnant and reading this right now, you've probably heard about a doula before, and have some understanding of what doulas do. You may have the sense that having a doula at your birth will be beneficial, but you aren't exactly sure how to go about hiring a doula. That's what I'm here to help you with today.Read More