Why hire a doula

This is a question I’ve heard asked many times. There are many answers depending on who you ask. I’m going to focus on the evidence-based answers first. According to the 2012 Cochrane Review birthing people who received continuous labor support were:

-more likely to give birth spontaneously

-less likely to give birth via c section

-less likely to need interventions like forceps or vacuum

-less likely to use pain meds

-more likely to be satisfied with their birth experience

-had shorter labors

In addition to these demonstrable benefits there are also several other possible pluses we can discuss. First, I want to say that there are a variety of types of doulas including (but not to limited) birth doulas, postpartum doulas, fertility doulas and infant loss/still birth doulas. I am a doula who offers all those options. I personally offer virtual services in addition to in person services. The advantage of this is support on demand, all you need is access to your phone and you have the support of an experienced and trained doula. Doulas don’t just benefit the birthing person they also help support your birthing partner and family. I offer help to partners in how they can best support their birthing partner during pregnancy, birth and during the postpartum period. I also offer education on how to prepare older siblings for the new baby’s arrival. I offer classes as well, they are still being ironed out but will be available soon and will cover a range of topics including pregnancy, birth, baby care, home birth, breastfeeding, postpartum meal prep and a few other subjects (feel free to email me with any ideas you might have). The postpartum period can be very bewildering and having someone to lean on during this time can be a huge help. Wondering if baby is eating enough? Worried about your mood? Give me a ring and let’s chat, while I am not a medical professional (yet... I am working to get my IBCLC certification) I do have an extensive education and can point you in the right direction. Even if all you need is someone to cry to about how happy/sad/tired etc. you are I am here, doulas do that too. I personally specialize in doula support for teen parents, LGBTQ parents and sex worker parents. I offer low cost services to folks in these groups (and to low income folks) based on your abilities and I will work with any budget. Hiring a doula can be helpful regardless of the type of birth you want. What kind of birthing person hires a doula?

-one who’s giving birth at home

-one who’s giving birth at a birthing center

-one who’s giving birth in the hospital

-one who wants no interventions

-one who wants pain meds

-one who’s having a VBAC

-one who’s having a HBAC

-one who’s having an emergency c section

-one who’s having an elective c section

-one who plans to nurse

-one who plans to bottle feed

-one who has a supportive partner

-one who is single

I could keep going but I think you get the point, ALL birthing people can benefit from the support of a doula. The cost of a doula might be a concern for you, but don’t fret, there is a huge range in price and cost of services. As I mentioned I offer discounts and low cost services for marginalized groups and to low income individuals. When I started this company my goal was to never turn someone away because of their financial status. If you’ve read my other blog about my experience as a teen mom you’d know I know just how important support, education and advocacy is. The lack of that contributes to birth trauma and infant/maternal mortality. The more we can normalize hiring doulas and make available birth workers to all types of birthing people the better we can manage these issues. To wrap things up neatly, hiring a doula has evidence based benefits and can help offer you emotional support. Doulas are for everyone and you don’t have to be a well off crunchy parent to hire one. Don’t hesitate to reach out to me about any questions you have about my services or about doulas in general. I’m happy to help!

@amberthedoula - Instagram

@villagebirthandpostpartumcare -Instagram & Facebook

You can't pour from an empty cup, take care of yourself

There's no shame in asking for help...
A phrase we hear thrown a lot these days is "self care" this blog is going to focus on what that is and how to make it a part of your life. Browsing IG you might see #selfcare loaded with pictures of lux bubble baths, spa days and a variety of expensive and "fancy" things. Self care can very well include these things but it doesn't have to. Self care doesn't need to cost a ton and it means different things for different people. Some ways to practice self care without spending a dime include:
-saying no to a commitment you don't want to do
-being sure to drink enough H2O/feed yourself
-going to bed early
-making time to call a friend and chat them up
-spending a few extra minutes in the shower
It really doesn't need to be complicated. 
As moms (or parents) selflessness is praised, the mom doing it all is like a super hero. We don't seem to acknowledge how exhausting and unsatisfying parenthood can be. How that "super mom" might be neglecting herself to get it all done. You can't pour from an empty cup though, eventually all that selflessness can catch up to you. Hello mental breakdown! Maybe it's not a full blown breakdown that will happen from over extending yourself but even a lingering cold or headache can really bring you down when you're not caring for yourself. Your family will fair better if you say no to the PTA's request that you make 1000000 cupcakes tonight or if you decide to call it an early bedtime so you can watch your favorite show and decompress. If we hope to raise well rounded people we need to teach them how to practice self care, no better way to do that than to lead by example. Our kids need to know that it's okay to be over it, tired or to not feel okay. It's how we react to those "bad" feelings that makes or break us. Sometimes doing nothing is the best thing we can do. Self care and mental health are intertwined and we can't talk about one without the other. We hold up the idea hat moms do it all and are always exhausted and tired but it doesn't have to be that way. I'd much rather us look up to the mom who says "no" when she needs to. The mom who skips a night of gymnastics because shes too tired and has her partner do it for once. We take so much on and seem to feel very guilty about doing any less than everything. We have to let go of that guilt, for our own sake and for our families. Guilt holds us back, it clouds our better judgement. There is no shame in taking care of yourself. There is no sham is saying no. If you take anything from this blog let it be those to things. 
Take care of yourselves :D Parenthood is a marathon not a sprint so take it slow. Say no when you need to.