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Birth Matters – Baby Kerrin’s Birth Story

At 33+4weeks pregnant I woke up with painful back aches and contractions but none consistent enough to warrant going to the ER. Around 4am I went to the bathroom and there was a large amount of fluid, but because of all the bleeds I had had during the pregnancy the liquid was tainted with old blood and I figured it was just my body clearing itself out. I should have gone to the ER but after so many ER trips (4 during my pregnant due to heavy bleeding) I decided to just keep an eye on it myself. My wife pushed me to make an appointment with the OB for that day and get checked out just to be safe. The OB sent me to triage since she couldn’t run a strip test in her office to determine if the liquid was amniotic fluid, old blood, or just regular pregnancy discharge. I figured I would be sent home in 24 hours like every other time so I didn’t worry.

In triage they ran the strip test and an fFN test to determine if I was at risk to deliver within the next 2 weeks. They checked my cervix and I was 1 cm dilated and 80% effaced. The strip test came back negative for amniotic fluid but the fFN test came back positive for risk of preterm labor. The OB came to see me and said she would release me after a few hours of observation since the test had come back negative. A few hours later she came back and asked me if I thought my water had really broken despite what the strip test said. I told her yes, that I thought it was my water but I wanted to go home since the strip test came back negative. She ordered an ultrasound to check my water level, did another swab and went on a hunt for a microscope to look at the liquid herself.

The ultrasound showed my water was low at a 4, normal is between 8 to 18. They also measured the baby and estimated his weight to be 3lbs 9oz. I was admitted due to low fluid and an IV was started.

That night in the hospital was miserable I was up all night in pain. I wasn’t allowed to get out of bed because of the low fluid. At 3am I called the nurse and asked her to please ask my OB if I could get out of bed and move. She said no contractions at all had registered on the monitor and was shocked I was so uncomfortable. Turns out the monitor was broken and nothing had registered since I was admitted. Thankfully the OB gave the ok for me to get out of bed. I started walking and swaying and doing whatever I could to ease the pain. Around 6am I had another leak, I called the nurse to do a strip test. 30 minutes later the result came back positive for amniotic fluid. My water had broken.

The OB came to see me Saturday morning, she said we had two options. Either get induced the next day on Sunday when I would be 34 weeks and she was on call. Or wait till Monday to see if my body went into labor on it’s own but the other OB on call would be delivering. We knew the other OB and knew she would without a doubt push for a C section, so we decided that Sunday I would get induced.

At 3:00am on Sunday I was 2cm dilated and pitocin was started at 5:00am. Contractions started slowly and I was able to use the peanut ball and a heating pad to get through them.

At 7:30am I was checked again and I was 4cm and 90% effaced. At this point my wife spoke with our doula and she headed out to us. Contractions were starting to get stronger, I had to close my eyes and give myself a pep talk to get through them.

At 8:30am our doula arrived. I remember looking up at her and asking her how her drive was, but a contraction started and I closed my eyes. She leaned down, stroked my hair and told me to breath slowly, relax my shoulders and gave me positive affirmations. At that moment she felt like my savior. All the fear and uncertainty washed away and I knew it would be ok, she was my security blanket and tears washed down my face with relief. She was there and I gave myself permission to let go of any fear or stress and pass it on to her. My only job now was to get through this. 

I felt like I had no breaks between contractions. I had seconds before another one started. I sat on the labor ball and leaned forward with my arms on the bed. The OB came in and firmly said that she understood we were working through this but the baby monitor kept moving and she couldn’t get a good read on his heart beat. I tried to straighten my back during the next few contractions but it felt impossible. With each contraction I would curl forward to get through the pain. I then started feeling sick, dizzy and nauseous and told my wife and doula that I was going to throw up. There was a second where I wondered if I was in transition but in my mind there was no way. I had only just started laboring and it was too soon for me to be in transition. I threw up and kept laboring. My wife did her best to press the baby monitor to my midsection but we still couldn’t get a consistent reading on the monitor. 

The doula suggested we break the bed down to a sitting position. Siting was excruciating so I used my hands to release the pressure and lift my bottom off the bed during contractions. The pain was excruciating and I started getting overwhelmed and desperate. I kept reminding myself that no matter how bad the contractions were this was only one day out of my life and I knew I could get through it.

I started feeling the urge to bunker down or press down with the next 3 contractions. I felt stretching and like something was pushing it’s way out. I didn’t believe the baby was coming yet since I was still thinking I was in the beginning stages of labor and had a long way to go. 

I remember looking at my doula and saying “Is he coming?” A few seconds later the nurse and OB walked in. I heard the OB tell a nurse I was a first time mom and it was probably nothing so she would check me and then head out for the day. She checked me and I heard her say “oh we’re having this baby now”. The OB gave me some quick instruction on how to push, my first two pushes were ineffective and got nothing done.

Suddenly the OB started yelling that she needed more light, I heard her get on the phone and call for NICU to rush over. All the overhead lights were turned on and 20 people rushed into the room as I tried to keep my cool and concentrate. My doula put her hands over my eyes and tried to shield the light. She put her hands on either side of my face and said everything was fine. That he was coming and I needed to breathe. The OB looked at me with urgency and a face that told me things were serious and not going according to plan. “You need to push this baby out NOW” she said and I knew right then and there that something wasn’t right and I needed to get him out right away. 

The room was packed with people and everyone was shouting different instructions at me. I took a deep breath, pushed with everything in me and gave it my all. In 2 pushes Baby Kerrin Ernesto was born, on 02-02-2020 at 10:36am weighing 5lbs on Superbowl Sunday.

I was later told the reason for all the bleeds was a blood clot that was slowly working it’s way between the placenta and uterine wall causing the placenta to slowly separate and bleed. 

I expected a textbook pregnancy and instead got a high risk pregnancy but despite it all I still feel insanely lucky and I am so thankful for modern medicine and the amazing team I had around me. I’m so thankful to my OB and doula who always listened to me and made me feel so validated.

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Birth Matters – Baby Colette’s Birth Story

Pregnancy for me was such a blessing. My husband and I tried for a while to get pregnant, but after some time, we decided to go see a specialist. Having polycystic ovary syndrome, I knew that I would need a little assistance with getting pregnant. We visited with a specialist on February 5th, 2019. By April 5th, 2019, I received the exciting phone call that we were pregnant! Feelings of joy, excitement, and relief flooded my body, and I was so ready for this next chapter. I could not have asked for an easier pregnancy. Sure, there were moments of restlessness, heartburn, and feeling huge at times, but I really tried to embrace pregnancy, and actually enjoyed it.

With pregnancy comes cravings, and one day I was craving Mexican food. While enjoying our delicious lunch, we made conversation with a couple sitting next to us. The lady was quite lovely and extremely friendly. She had her hands full with her little girl and was expecting another child as well. She asked me when I was due, and if I had a doula. I had no idea what a doula was and was very intrigued to hear more about this. She told me that she does not think she could have gotten through labor without her extraordinary doula, Bonnie. She gave me her information, as well as Bonnie’s on the back of her lunch receipt. I was so grateful to have met her that day.

The decision on where I was going to labor was in the back of my mind, and I was trying to decide if I wanted to do a hospital birth. Having a natural background, I knew I wanted the least intervention possible. I met with one office while making my decision, and after leaving the office that day, I knew that I did not want to go that route. I spoke with my husband and we decided to meet with Bonnie. This was one of the best decisions we ever made. Bonnie came to our house for an interview and was so warm and personable. I knew right then and there that I wanted to do a homebirth, and she would be perfect with helping me on my special day.

I attended all of the birthing classes throughout pregnancy and went to Bonnie with any questions that I had. We even did a private class at our house over the course of two nights, and it was extremely insightful. Things were starting to get real, and I had a sense of calm mixed in with the nervousness, knowing that Bonnie was going to be there with me. One of the most important takeaways during this class in my opinion, was the idea of resting and ignoring the early labor pains.

During the pregnancy process, a question was asked.. “ What does your birth plan look like?” my mind started racing, and I quickly thought of this day. I knew that I was going to have a homebirth, and with that, I would have specific needs. Since I would be giving birth during the Holidays, I wanted the house decorated, twinkle lights, and my favorite Christmas album playing in the background. I also knew that I wanted to bake cookies during the labor process to distract myself from the laboring itself.

When the big day arrived, I woke up at midnight with cramps, but tried going back to bed. By 4:45 AM, I was texting Bonnie and letting her know that the cramps were gradually feeling a tad stronger, and I wanted to keep her posted of the situation. She literally texted me back within the minute! She was communicating with me all morning, and it was such a relief. Throughout the morning, I tried ignoring the cramps, staying busy, and giving my body time to rest. By 11:30 AM, I decided it was cookie time. I started mixing the ingredients and found myself on the kitchen floor during the contractions. Once a contraction passed, I went back to mixing. I continued this process of sitting on the kitchen floor and making the cookies until the cookies were out of the oven.

As the day passed, the contractions were getting stronger, but I knew that I had a long day ahead of me and I needed to manage the contractions by ignoring them. It was about 6:30 PM, and I figured that I better call Bonnie and my midwife. My midwife suggested that I download a contraction counter app on my phone. I sent her the notification from the app which said” Okay, it’s time to grab your bag and go to the hospital.” In hindsight, I probably should have given Bonnie and my midwife a little more notice.. oops!

When Bonnie arrived, I was on the living room floor trying to breathe through the contractions. As soon as I felt her presence and heard her voice, I knew that I needed to just breathe and remain calm. After all, I had a long night ahead of me…so I thought. My midwife arrived shortly after and asked if she could check my dilation. This was around 8 PM. Once she finished, she advised Bonnie and I to go back to what we were doing. My husband and Bonnie asked how far along I was, and when Bonnie came back to sit with me, I anxiously asked” Okay, so how dilated am I?!” She told me I was 8 centimeters dilated, and I was absolutely shocked! I felt such an incredible sense of empowerment, knowing that I was handling this and that I could do exactly what I put my mind to.

The team quickly put together the birthing pool, which was decorated with Christmas lights.. another request of mine. By the time the pool was ready, so was I. I had spent the last hour and a half laboring on the toilet, so I was ready to change positions.

Once in the pool, the intensity skyrocketed. I found my pitch to be on the higher end, but Bonnie gently encouraged me to try aiming for a lower pitch. When she said that, something clicked in my mind, and I was able to make progress with pushing. With each push, I had to allow my body to open and push the baby down. During the transition process, I felt an extreme burning sensation, and it felt like I was ripping apart but I kept telling myself that with each push, I was one step closer to meeting my child.

At 11:04 PM, under the Christmas tree with my husband by my side my beautiful baby girl arrived, and my life changed forever in the most perfect and empowering way.

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Birth Matters – Baby Sam’s Birth Story

In 2014, my oldest son was born in a free-standing birth center in North Carolina in what was the most beautiful birth I could have asked for. My husband and I prepared for that birth like we were studying for a test, took Bradley birth classes and everything went according to my thoroughly researched and thought out birth plan. But this isn’t that story…

In 2017, we were so excited to get pregnant again and add to our family. We shared the news with our families and were looking forward to celebrating with our extended family on Thanksgiving. On the day after Thanksgiving as we were getting ready to put up our Christmas tree, I started having some bleeding and cramping. Within a few hours, my OBGYN got us into an imaging center where it was confirmed that we had lost our baby. We were emotionally devastated, but little did we know that it was only the beginning of a months-long journey that three months later resulted in an emergency D&C when the doctor discovered my body had retained some fetal tissue from the miscarriage.

When I got pregnant again in March 2018, I knew that I couldn’t continue with the OBGYN practice that saw me through the miscarriage and I needed a different care team that would be closer to the birth experience we had with my oldest son. (This is the point in the story where I found Bonnie at Coastal Doulas who then introduced me to an amazing midwife. I give thanks every day that God led me to Bonnie and our midwife – I know my birth story would not have been the same without them.) 

During this pregnancy, I was super anxious about every little thing. I was so grateful for the support of our doula and midwife as they held my hand physically and emotionally through my pregnancy. A few days before Christmas, I was induced with our sweet baby boy. As much as possible, I wanted an intervention-free birth like I had with my oldest son. The induction started off smoothly and I was managing contractions with the support of my husband and doula. About 12 hours later, things weren’t progressing as we expected. (Second babies are supposed to come quickly, right?!) I wasn’t dilating and I could barely tolerate the midwife checking my progress. Even though it was midnight, our skilled midwife connected some dots and realized that I had scar tissue from that emergency D&C that was effectively blocking our little guy’s exit. She thought she could manually break it up but STRONGLY encouraged me to get an epidural at that point, knowing that it would hurt like crazy for her to break up the scar tissue. Even though I was set against the epidural, with the support and encouragement of my husband and doula, I realized that it was the best option to achieve the birth I wanted and avoid a C-section. Within 20 minutes, the anesthesiologist arrived and administered the epidural. The midwife got to work on the scar tissue, and I quickly got to the point where I needed to push. 

At 3 am on December 21, our precious baby Samuel Lee entered the world 36 hours after I arrived at the hospital. I know that his birth story would have been so much different if I didn’t have the support of such an incredible team and an amazing husband as my partner.

 A baby born after a miscarriage or other infant loss is called a ‘rainbow baby’, representing beauty and joy after a storm. Not a day goes by that I don’t think about the baby we lost. We hold tight to our belief that one day we’ll hold that precious baby in heaven and look forward to the day when thoughts of that baby won’t bring tears to our eyes. 

Our baby Sam is a rainbow baby in every sense of the word – he is light and joy and goodness and beauty and completes our family in every way. Our rainbow baby doesn’t erase or negate the loss that preceded it, but rather reminds us every day that some things are all the more beautiful for having once been so dark. 

Pictures by @Nicolegoodephotography

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QUESTIONS TO ASK WHEN CHOOSING A PREGNANCY CARE PROVIDER

Your choice of primary care provider (doctor, obstetrician, midwife) will shape your birth experience. Each maternity care provider in the Palm Beach area has its own beliefs and philosophy about birth, as well as their own protocols for care.

It’s important to establish your birth philosophy (What are your beliefs and preferences for childbirth?) and choose a doctor or midwife who will support you in pursuing the outcome you desire.⁠

Do you view pregnancy and birth as:

· A medical condition that requires constant monitoring and management?

· A physical condition with many potential adverse outcomes requiring preventative action?

· Or, a natural process that should be allowed to occur on its own with occasional assistance should something extraordinary occur?

Do not be afraid to interview multiple primary care providers.

Many expectant parents choose their doctor or midwife based on recommendations from friends and family, but that may not be the ideal way to decide if a primary care provider is for you. It’s perfectly acceptable to interview multiple doctors/midwives before choosing the one that you feel will align with your family’s needs. There are many questions you can ask to help establish whether or not a primary care provider is a good fit.

Where do you envision birthing?

At a hospital?

At home?

Ask: What is your birth philosophy?

Choosing a primary care provider who has the same beliefs about pregnancy and birth as you do will set the foundation for a positive birth experience.

Ask: How much choice will I have when decisions need to be made about my maternity care or during birth?

Positive birth experiences are about feeling in control and having choices. For some, choosing a primary care provider they trust means the decision-making ends there. You trust your doctor or midwife to tell you what is best. Others prefer choices each step of the way. They choose a primary care provider that they can trust to provide options. They combine the available choices with their primary care provider’s advice and other information they gather to make the best choices for themselves. Which one are you?

Ask: What is your __________ rate?

You may want to know how often your primary care provider performs episiotomies, and under what circumstance. What is their c-section rate? What is the c-section rate at the hospital they work with? When do they recommend a labor induction and how often do they recommend them? How many of their patients give birth with or without medication for pain relief? What percentage of the parents they work with are breastfeeding? For homebirths, what is their hospital transport rate? Will your provider be traveling around your estimated due date? If so, who is their backup? These questions can help you establish whether the primary care provider is prepared to support the birth experience you are hoping for.

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3 WAYS NEW PARENTS CAN BOND THROUGH RITUAL CONNECTEDNESS

Nothing shakes things up in a relationship like bringing home your first baby.

Everything changes the day you become parents. Each partner experiences a drastic shift in needs, goals, time, and priorities as they go from couple to family. It can be challenging to maintain your unique connection when two becomes three.

Communication is the Key to a Lasting Bond

Rituals include everyday traditions, special occasions, and celebrations that shape who we are as families, create connection, and strengthen bonds. These important practices give you and your partner something to hold onto as you shift into your life as parents.

Regular and intentional time to talk as a couple is an important ritual you can create to improve communication and strengthen your bond. Taking just 20 minutes each day to focus on each other, talk about the day, ask meaningful questions, and truly listen when the other speaks can evolve into a deeply meaningful relationship, full of trust and intimacy.

Keep Your Love Maps Up-to-Date

Love Maps is a concept termed by Dr. John Gottman. He has found that couples who have healthy, strong relationships have developed detailed “maps” of their partner’s inner self. This is something most couples do well when they are first dating, spending hours on the phone, talking over coffee, and long walks on the beach. Each partner gathers information about the other person’s goals, preferences, worries, stresses, and joys. Love Maps detail how well you know your partner. Over time, these maps change and evolve. Babies, careers, and busy lives make it more challenging to keep your Love Maps up-to-date.

Through rituals of connectedness, like taking 20 minutes each day to talk alone, you can reinforce and redefine your Love Maps. Meaningful but simple questions followed by uninterrupted and active listening will help you move through life together in a positive way.

You can try asking things like:

What is your favorite way to relax?

What flavor of ice cream do you like best?

What song makes you think about our relationship?

At first, this practice may feel awkward. You may be disappointed in yourself and your partner for losing touch with each other. You may feel like you should know these things and it might be uncomfortable to admit that you don’t. Try working from a list of ‘getting to know you’ questions to take the pressure off.

Handle Conflict Positively

Sleep deprivation and the drastic life changes that come with having a baby make it easier to lose your cool with your partner. Harsh words and blame flow more freely when we are worn out and fed

up, but instead of leading to resolution, attacking your partner is more likely to cause a defensive reaction.

Try your best to address your frustrations before they become unbearable. Use “I” statements and stay away from words like “always” and “never”. Be sure to stick to the present problem and jumping back to things that have happened in the past. By talking about your feelings calmly and respectfully, and telling your partner what you need from them, you can move to resolution faster and without damaging the intimacy between you.

Start Developing Ritual Connectedness Now

Strengthening your relationship can begin at any time. Try scheduling 20 minutes to just talk with your partner each day, work through a list of questions to help you update your Love Maps and be mindful of how you approach conflict. Having a baby can be an opportunity to deepen your bond and develop new rituals for connection, shaping the intimacy between the two of you, and creating a foundation for ritual connectedness as a family in the years to come.

Join us for one of our upcoming Gottman Bringing Baby Home Workshops if you’re looking for a way to grow in your relationship, strengthen the bond as united parents, and fall more in love with one another.

To learn more and to register:

https://coastaldoulas.com/upcoming-events/

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I BLAME IT ON THE DOULA: DADS AND DOULAS

Anonymous Guest Post

My husband is an amazing man. He works hard to provide for our family. Showing me he loves me every day, he brings me coffee in bed, reads stories to our children, cooks, and even does his own laundry on occasion. He is a wonderful father, not just to the daughter we created together but also to my other children. They know he loves them fiercely.

It was difficult for him to understand why I wanted to invite a virtual stranger to one of the most intimate events of our life, but he knew better than to argue with me when I had my mind set on something.

I hired a team of doulas while he was away on business. They were like friends and confidants all throughout my pregnancy and they will always have a special place in my heart. He didn’t meet either of them until I was in labor. I called as soon as I was sure things were happening because I wanted support from the very beginning. The doula on call came right away.

When I think back to the day our youngest daughter was born, I can not imagine feeling more connected to my husband or more supported by him, but he swears he owes it all to our doula.

She showed him how to touch me and where I may want to be touched.

When I seemed to be out of my mind, she reassured him all was well and normal.

Our labor doula stayed with me so he could take time out to recharge his batteries, eat without eating in front of me (my doctor didn’t feel that I should eat during labor and I decided this was okay with me), and check on our other children.

When complications arose, she helped us gather the information we needed to make the right decisions for us.

Experienced, our doula had attended many births at the hospital we were at. She knew where the warm blankets were and the fastest way to the kitchen for water and ice chips. She had positive professional relationships with the hospital staff and was even able to assist the nurses

and doctor (at their request) when they needed an extra hand. These were things a partner might normally be asked to do but because we had a doula, he remained focused on me completely.

Our doula’s gentle suggestions and reminders kept me in good spirits, my bladder empty, and my body hydrated.

She took the only photos we have of the day our daughter was born, perfectly capturing us both as we met the person our love had created.

I fell so much deeper in love with him that day. He gave me all of him. I will never forget looking deep into his eyes during the really hard parts and feeling like I could reach out and touch the love between us.

My memories of that day have gotten us through some tough times over the years.

He was able to give his all to me because of the reassurance our doula gave him, the breaks he was able to get to care for himself, and confidence he had with her guidance and encouragement.

Our daughter is 4 now but when I bring up the incredible support he provided that day, he squirms a bit, gets a little gleam in his eye, and says “I blame it on the doula.”

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PLANNING FOR THE FOURTH TRIMESTER

Crying over everything and nothing, leaking breasts that feel like they might explode, and a tiny new person who depends on you to meet their every need. Postpartum.

The fourth trimester, a term coined by Dr. Harvey Karp, refers to the first three months after your baby is born. It’s a time of healing, growing, learning, and transition. The beginning of a new life, yours and your baby’s together.

Cultures around the world have traditional practices that guide the way mother and baby are cared for during this time, but in North America, we are just starting to understand the need for postpartum practices and traditions.

Not unlike a birth plan, a postpartum plan will help you navigate your recovery from birth and transition into parenthood. We suggest you start planning for the postpartum period while you are still pregnant. Embrace this time as one that will set the stage for your new life as a parent.

So how do you plan for your fourth trimester?

Explore Cultural Practices From Around the World

Almost every deep-rooted cultural practice for postpartum recovery includes a lying-in period. This is a time when mother and baby rest together and are nurtured by others while they focus on bonding and rest. This time of rest ranges from one month to 100 days, depending on the culture. Lying in may include other traditional practices, health beliefs, taboos, rituals, and prescriptions. For example, in China, postpartum women “sit the month”, called zuo yue zi. They may be cared for by a yuesao, similar to a postpartum doula, who bathes baby, prepares nourishing meals to promote postpartum healing, and incorporates other traditional practices.

How do You Want Your Baby to be Cared for?

Immediate care of your newborn can be covered in your birth plan. How you would like your baby to be cared for beyond their first few hours of life fits into your postpartum plan. Include things like feeding preferences, medications, diapering, vaccinations, skin-to-skin time, and bathing. Not sure what to include?

We can help you ensure you’ve covered everything important to you at our My Postpartum Period workshop.

Set Boundaries with Visitors

Decide ahead of time who you would like to visit you and meet your new baby, both at the hospital and at home. You may want to limit visitors to immediate family for the first

few weeks or even avoid visitors all together while you are learning to breastfeed and getting to know your baby. You do not owe your friends and family time with your baby. Some people even wait to have a baby shower until after their baby is born, allowing them to avoid visitors in the early weeks but giving friends and family a date to look forward to.

Need support when wording your preferences for visitors and requests for support from friends and family? You’ll find information about our My Postpartum Period workshop at the end of this post.

Consider how Household Chores and Meal Preparation will be Managed

The first few weeks after your baby arrives should not be filled with laundry, dishes, and mopping. Will you enlist friends and family to help out, trade baby snuggles for home-cooked meals, rely on your partner to carry the responsibility, or hire a postpartum doula?

You have many options for keeping up with your home while you get the rest you need.

This is Your Postpartum Period

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Don’t Let Go

As I am laying in bed next to my 3-year old so that he will fall asleep I cant help but miss the days when he was an infant and wanted to cuddle with me all of the time. I reflect on how my baby boy isn’t a baby anymore and is growing up. As I start to maneuver my arm off of him and attempt my way out of the bed, a hand reaches over and grabs my arm and he says, “Mommy, don’t let go.”

I am reminded of one of those million times that people say to hold on to these moments because they don’t last. Each time they say that, I always smile, nod in agreement, and move on, because really it needs to speed up so I can finally get some sanity and peace, and maybe just get something done, right? At this moment I finally got it. I finally understood what they meant. My son wanted me next to him, not to let go, and to just be there in that moment. How much longer will he want that from me?

Each day my kids get older, and each day they need me less and less. Yes, that is something you hear everyday, and yes, I agree it gets really old and annoying after the 10th time hearing it, but think about who you hear it from. You hear this wisdom from those moms and dads that no longer have the little ones running around and remember what it is like for the time to fly by and possibly not appreciate all that you had in that moment.

Today is “No Housework Day”. What does this mean? It means take a step away from the day-to-day tasks, the “job” of motherhood, and really enjoy this day. Those who have a job they go to get vacation days or days off in some way. You deserve a day off. Maybe you still need to be a mom and a wife, but the laundry can wait, the dishes will be there tomorrow. Savor the time you have as a mom today and really enjoy just being with your kids or even just taking some time to do something that will take your mind off the day-to-day housework chores. Sit, and don’t let go.

 

Enjoy letting go today,

Amy

 

 

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If The Following Are True, A Doula Is For You

A Doula is a beneficial addition to your birth team if

any of the following things are true about yourself:

 

  • Birthing in a hospital, at a birth center, or at your home
  • Your care provider is a Obstetrician or Midwife
  • Planning a vaginal delivery or a cesarean section
  • Wanting an unmedicated birth or planning to use an epidural
  • Trying for a VBAC, anticipating an induction or completely unsure still
  • Low risk pregnancy or high risk pregnancy
  • Married, in a relationship, single mom, surrogate, or adoptive parent
  • Writing a birth plan or planning to simply go with the flow
  • You’re having just one baby or planning for multiples
  • This is your first, second, third, fourth or fifth baby
  • You desire to breastfeed or use formula to feed your baby
  • Working full time, part time or plan to stay home with your baby
  • Want to feel confident, supported, encouraged, educated, empowered, or validated

We believe there are many variables that determine what is best for you as you birth your baby.

Here at Coastal Doulas of Palm Beach we promise to always provide the exceptional care you need and want during this exciting time.

How ever you plan to birth your baby, we are here to provide the care you need along the way to feel confident in your choices and fully supported from start to finish.

We look foward to meeting you!  

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Imagine a Day

 

Take a minute and imagine having your very own Postpartum Doula for a day.

You are meant to be a mom.  There are often times as a new mom that leave you feeling like you were not meant to do this. It is too hard.  Your body is sore, you need your sleep, and you just don’t know how you are going to get through the day.  Every time you try to use the bathroom, sit down to eat, or rest on the edge of your bed for a moment, the baby starts screaming.  It’s almost like they have a sixth sense or something.  We promise you, you can do it.  What you may need though is the right tools to help things run a bit more smoothly.  Your attitude & perception of this parenting journey can be much more positive by having someone you know and trust walk through the early days and weeks providing guidance, assurance, expertise and support.

 

The postpartum period is often called “the fourth trimester” and having a doula come to help during this time is valuable in more ways than you may realize.  Your postpartum doula is there to help navigate this wonderful experience through all of the highs and lows that come with parenthood.  She is there to help you figure out how you can shower, make meals, keep up with laundry, and take care of yourself, all while also taking care of your beautiful newborn & the rest of your family.  Your doula is there to provide the opportunity for you to catch up on sleep without the guilt of feeling that you’re letting important things fall behind in the process.

 

With a newborn, there’s a good chance you and your baby have been up the majority of the night.  There is also a darn good chance you’ve only had 3 hours total of sleep, and it was probably in 30-45 minute increments.  As you greet the day once again, with little sleep under your belt, you may begin to wonder if you’ll ever be able to get a shower or a much-needed nap.  Stack many sleepless nights like that in a row, and you may find being a new mom extra challenging.  It takes time to adjust while you recover and figure out life’s new routine.  In fact, forget even finding a routine in that state of mind, you’re just wondering if the engorgement in your breasts will ever subside.  Navigating through the normal daily challenges that come in those first weeks & months is what your postpartum doula is there for.

 

So what is it like to have a postpartum doula? Postpartum doulas are not nannies or babysitters. They are there to support YOU as the new mom in all that you need.  Maybe you just need a simple recharge that looks like a nice hot cup of coffee and a warm breakfast.  We know the value of these and many other little resetting experiences.  You deserve to be able to take a breath and have someone nearby who can reassure you that the way you feel  is normal and won’t last forever.  A postpartum doula can arrive in the morning, make you a cup of coffee, & cook breakfast while you nurse or feed your baby.  She then provides you the opportunity to enjoy your breakfast while it’s still hot while she burps & changes your baby’s diaper and then folds the pile of baby laundry that’s been sitting on the couch for the last 3 days.  Sometimes just the ability to take a nice deep breath in the morning is exactly what you need to make the day successful.

 

Your postpartum doula genuinely cares about you and your family.  She listens and offer encouragement through the struggles & tears.  She’s there to celebrate and share in the joys and parenting wins you experience.  She fiercely believes that you are the very best parent for your baby.  She helps answer those non-stop questions that are constantly running through your head.  How do you find the right bottle?  What is the best baby carrier?  How often should my baby eat and sleep?  Never will she judge decisions or choices you choose to make.  She will encourage you to be the mom you want to be as you navigate through and decide on your parenting philosphy.  There is not one right way.  There is your way, and that is what we think is the right way and what we choose to support.

 

 

Here’s just a glimpse into what a day with your postpartum doula can look like:

 

You are exhausted, but you know your doula will arrive soon. When she gets here for her shift she:

  • Greets you with a smile
  • Listens as you tell her all about the night you had
  • Takes the baby so you can go take time to shower and freshen up without worrying about your baby
  • Has a hot cup of coffee and a nice warm breakfast made for you at the table to sit down and enjoy
  • Has cleaned up the dishes, and the dishwasher has been emptied, and your baby is happy
  • Helps with the laundry that has been piling up for days because you just don’t have the time or energy
  • Changes the baby’s diaper when needed so you can continue to rest
  • Helps to prepare a snack for you
  • Lets you take a much-needed nap while taking care of the baby
  • Provides suggestions for you with any breastfeeding or bottle-feeding problems that you’re experiencing
  • She helps you figure out how to use the baby carrier
  • Has prepared you lunch & put dinner in the crockpot while you were snuggling your baby
  • Has most importantly, helped you to be able to TAKE CARE OF YOU!

 

The main job of a doula is to take care of the mom. As moms, we spend so much time caring for others that it’s easy to neglect taking care of ourselves so that we can be the best moms we are called to be.  A doula is there for you in the transitional postpartum period to allow you the support you need to gain confidence in knowing that you are not alone, that you are an amazing mom and that you can do this!