Mind Your Own Bump

It happens to all of us at some point either in our pregnancy or parenting journeys. People stick their nose in where it does not belong, tell you how to birth, how to parent, they share their horrible experiences with their own births or breastfeeding journeys. It either freaks us out, scares us, or is just plain annoying. Even though most people mean well, it still stings.

I’ll share a little tidbit of information with you. Sometimes you have to put yourself in a little bubble and let these comments, opinions, stories, and views bounce off of you. This is your journey and your story that is unfolding and you are going to experience it in your own special way. If your cousin Lisa tells you all about her absolutely horrible experience during her induction using Pitocin, listen to her – but don’t let that frighten you and form your own opinion of Pitocin based on someone else’s experience with it.

Fill your eyes and ears with positive birth stories, learn and absorb all that you can about the physiology of the birth process, comfort measures, pain relief options and situations that can arise that would require interventions.

If you reach out to your peers wanting to know their experiences or advice on a certain topic, be prepared to hear everything – good and bad. Especially when asking in a Facebook group. Then take your questions and concerns to your OB or Midwife, trust them. They absolutely have your best interests in mind. This is another great reason to have a birth & postpartum doula.

One of the many perks of hiring a doula is that she will give you a safe, nonbiased place, listening ears and a plethora of knowledge to go at any time for help finding answers to things that are worrisome to you and for reputable resources for you to learn, research and make decisions for yourself during your journey. A best friend for everything pregnancy, birth, and parenting.

Interested in learning more about how a doula can help you navigate birth, postpartum and parenting? Contact us today!

-Heather

Hiring A Doula; Where To Begin And My Favorite Interview Questions

 

Are you thinking of hiring a doula? Where do you start? What questions do you ask them when you meet or talk on the phone?

You can Google doulas in your area is place to start. If you Google surrounding cities to see who’s out there, you will have a lot more to choose from and chances are very high that they support clients birthing in your area or at your hospital. You can also search ProDoula and DoulaMatch for your your area.

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Asking your friends and family for a referral is another possible way to get some names to start looking. Keep in mind, that doulas are never responsible for birth outcomes, and each person is going to have different expectations that are individually important to them. Each person will be drawn more closely to someone who’s personality meshes with theirs. It’s important that you would feel completely and totally at ease having this person be by your side during this super-personal, intimate, and life changing event. There would be nothing worse than feeling completely awkward and uncomfortable with your doula during your birth, or during your postpartum, just by hiring the one your friend recommended, or that was the most affordable.

When you make arrangements to speak to a potential doula, the first important question to ask is what their services include. If the doula is well versed in what her services include, they will most likely answer a bunch of questions you may have while explaining their packages. Then, you can ask other important questions that were not answered afterwards.

Here are some of my favorite interview questions:

1. Can you tell me about your training and certifications? Hiring a trained and/or certified doula may be important to you. This is not a regulated industry as of yet, so a trained doula is important. A doula that has taken the extra steps of certifying (or being in the process of certifying) shows that they are serious about their career and serious about bringing professionalism to their clients and care providers. They have put in the time and effort of testing/reading/researching/writing. Once you are certified, you must submit for re-certification every few years, so that keeps your doula fresh and up to date on current recommendations.

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2. Do you hire a backup for each of your clients, or do you work in pairs? It’s very important for your doula to hire a backup doula that you can meet if you request. If the day of your birth comes and your doula is ill, in an emergency situation, or supporting another client, you will be assured nurturing, professional support with your backup doula. At Flora & Finn Birth Services, we take this very seriously and only hire trusted backup doulas that would take care of our clients in the exact same manner we would. You also get to speak to them prior to the big day, just in case, so there are no surprises.

We also offer the option to  hire a team of 2 doulas. Working as a team approach, you would have 2 doulas at your service, two doulas to answer your questions, encourage you and your partner, and support you throughout your pregnancy and early labor. When you are ready to have your doula join you for the face-to-face support, whoever is on-call that day would be the one to join you for the remainder of your labor and birth.

3. If I change my birth preferences, will you still be there to support me? Sometimes, during the course of your pregnancy or labor, you may want to change your mind, or certain situations call for necessary interventions. You need to be 100% sure that your doula will hold no judgment or leave you hanging on your big day. Here at Flora & Finn Birth Services, we provide unbiased and non-judgmental support for ALL types of birth experiences. We believe in the birth process, but also believe that there is more than one way to birth your baby and we are experienced in all of those ways. We will be there supporting you through any challenges, concerns or changes in the course of your journey!

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Your doula will help you navigate birth and postpartum YOUR way!

Would you like to ask us some additional questions? We’d love to hear from you! Contact Us

– Heather

 

Too Close For Comfort

When well-meaning family and friends make you feel overwhelmed and bombarded as a new parent.

It’s hard.  It’s awkward.  You feel guilty.  I get it.

I see this a lot as a doula.  Many times it is a worry for my clients throughout their pregnancy, leading up to the day they deliver.  They are concerned that they will not get quality alone time with their partner and new baby.  They appreciate the help around the house with family members cooking dinner, doing laundry, and running to the grocery store.  BUT what they really want is some alone time to hold and stare at the baby.  To sit in comfortable silence, and not feel like they have to hold a conversation with someone all day long. They don’t want to feel like they have to entertain guests.  They want to figure out parenting on their own and not have to listen to other’s recommendations, opinions or parenting philosophies.

Each family is different, each new parent’s worries are different and obviously, no one wants to hurt anyone’s feelings.  As my client’s sounding board and navigator I suggest different ways of dealing with these types of situations.

  • Have a plan to set “open house-style” visiting hours once you return home with your new baby.  This way you can let the important people in your life meet your little one AND know that you’ll be able to have your alone time to bond as a family.  Once you announce the arrival of your baby you can add, for example:  “We would love for you to stop over and meet the baby on Tuesdays & Thursdays between 11:00 – 2:00 p.m.”  This way you can make sure the baby is fed, you’re dressed (if you want), and if you’re comfortable with visitors holding your baby, you can eat lunch with both hands!  Obviously, if your baby gets fussy or hungry, do not hesitate to take him back to soothe or feed.
  • Some of my clients have family that is coming in from out of town to stay with (or nearby) the new family.  This is wonderful for the extra help around the house but sometimes can get too overwhelming and claustrophobic for a new parent.  One way to gently suggest some alone time is to have a few day trips in mind to suggest to visiting family members.  This is helpful for when the family members are staying in the home with you.  Think of some of your favorite, fun and local things for them to visit or see while they are in town, that way they get out of the house and you get some alone time to bond with your new baby.
  • If they are staying at a hotel nearby, you can fall back on the “open house-style” visiting hours, but maybe make them a little less rigid.  It all depends on how much alone time you’re looking for and what you need on any particular day. All of this can be worked out ahead of time, then adjusted as needed.  For example, They come over at 7:00 a.m. help fix breakfast and snuggle baby so you can eat and shower, they stay until noon, then come back around 5:00 to help with dinner and visit until bedtime.  It allows you some pampering, then some alone time.

It helps to have some sort of plan in place for visitors and family members.  I’ve seen some new parents pretty exhausted from the rush of visitors coming in and out all day long, and a new mother upset because she is just wanting to hold her baby.

If you have a birth or postpartum doula, do not hesitate to reach out to them for advice on how to handle these types of situations.  It’s part of our job as doulas, to make sure you are feeling relaxed and comfortable with all aspects of your journey into parenthood.  

-Heather