12 reasons why you need a Doula

12 Reasons Why You Need a Doula

For starters..

1. She is with you every step of the way - 100% percent of the way. Aside from mutually agreed upon naps incase of long labor Doulas are ABSOLUTELY with you the whole way. If you choose to birth in a hospital or medical center that has rotating shifts, when your nurse or doctors shift ends your doula is still there by your side. You dont have to worry about meeting a completely new person the same day you are about to go through a the biggest life change you've experienced thus far. Your doula will be there for you and your partner and family. 

2. Faster labor - Studies have shown that for mothers who have doulas attend their birth that in fact their labor is 25% percent shorter than mothers who do not have doulas. The continuous non-stop support that women do need also decreases the chances of unnecessary medical interventions. 

3. Helping prepare for birth - Whether your a first time mother or your a mother of 6 preparing yourself mentally, physically and emotionally for birth is so important. Doulas help do this by reminding the mother to eat and drink well. Exercise and being sure to do things that make you happy. They also help the mother prepare herself for birth by giving her suggestions or ideas of how she may want her birth to go. The little details that can be so important like delaying cord clamping, eye ointment applied or your wishes on vaccination. Doulas are awesome and can be super helpful in times like this. 

4. Gentle reminders of your birth plan - Labor is hard. Its just the way it is. And when it gets tough and you dont have a support system there with you it can sometimes feel like you never had a chance to have the birth you wanted. When I was in labor I constantly remember doctors and nurses telling me to get an epidural when I was breathing through contractions not supporting me in my desires for a natural birth. It is so relieving to have someone there with you who can gently remind you that this is hard but it won't last forever and they breathe with you and feel your pain with you and facilitate your birth to help you have the birth you want. 

5. Informational, Emotional, Educational and Spiritual Support -  You can never have enough of support and a doula is a trained professional in doing all of these wonderful things. She knows her stuff and is always prepared to cater to the specific individuals no matter the circumstance (assuming it is not medical). Your doula is very knowledgeable about the birth process and the emotional and physical changes that you will be experiencing. Knowledge is power. 

6. She sympathizes with you - She feels your pain with you. She is willing to do whatever it takes to get you through your birth. If it means sitting behind you fully clothed in a tub full of water during your birth she will do it. She is there to give you powerful words of encouragement and remind you that your body is capable of giving birth.

7. Boosts your confidence - Giving birth is a life changing experience and you need all the confidence you can have. Your doula is there to give you positive and loving affirmations during the easier and more difficult times during labor reminding you that your body can bring a beautiful human into this world.      

8. Reduces chances of cesarean section - Studies have shown that having a doula in attendance of your birth reduces the chances of having an emergency cesarean. According to research published in the American Journal of Public Health women who have a doula at 40% less likely to have a cesarean section. In a study from Dr. Marsden Wagner - Past Director of Women's and Childrens Health - World Health Organization has said that cesarean sections have increased from 10% to 20% from 1990s to 2000s during Monday through Friday. Having a doula also helping facilitate your birth increases your chance of not having unnecessary medical interventions. 

9. She will not judge you - " The 3 B's - Not My Birth, Not My Baby, Not My Body ". One thing I learned going through my training as a doula is that leaving your ego at the door is the first thing you need to do in a birth. Your doula is not here to make decisions for you, she is there to help guide you and facilitate your birth. She wants nothing more than for you to have the birth you dream of. Whether you want an induction and epidural or a water birth at home. Your doula does not care as long as you are happy. 

10. Coping Techniques - There isn't a mother in the world that during labor wouldnt give everything she has to avoid or decrease in some way the pain she is feeling. Its difficult but its apart of labor and it will bring your baby into the world. With that being said Doulas are trained professionals knowing how to decrease pain in labor without the use of drugs. From different labor position, massage, aromatherapy, hypnobirthing and more doulas are so knowledgable in comforting and encouraging laboring mothers and their family as well during the difficult times of labor while tailoring all her support to their specific individual needs. 

11. Extra help - This is a big one. Doulas can be there for you to help you through your labor contractions by doing hip squeezes and massages or they can be there for your husband who gets nervous about birth. Perhaps you are a single mother or your partner cannot be there with you for your birth and you just need someone to hold your hand. They can also help with children, doing things around the house. 

12. She can offer a variety of services. - Doulas come from all walks of life. They can offer a variety of services like postpartum care, placenta encapsulation and placenta art, photography for maternity, labor and birth as well as newborn photos. Some Doulas are trained and can offer bereavement skills for mothers who have expected a loss of a child. There are also many doulas who trained herbalist, aromatherapist, Hypnobirthing practitioners, belly binding, lactation specialists, child birth educator, spinning babies and rebozo trainers and so much more. The list is endless and there are many doulas out there that are a jack of all trades. Its like a one stop shop doula who can offer you all things you are looking for which in the end makes thing so much easier on the mother.  

Doulas are fairly new to the birth world but in reality they have been around for centuries. They may have not been called Doulas but they certainly believe and did the same things they do today. To be a doula you must be okay with serving those around you and sometimes that comes at a cost. But to simply put it, we do what we do because we love it, we love the mothers we love their babies and we love the beauty and process of birth. We love what we do. 

 

To the mom behind me at Target

To the mom behind me at Target .jpg

Dear Mom behind me at Target. Today I saw you having a hard time. Don't worry I have days like that too. I saw you talking to another woman when I spotted something dripping from your cart. As I mentioned it I also ran over to your little boy and took the shampoo bottle he had opened up and squeezed everywhere. I know you were upset and I saw everyone looking at you standing there. But I want you to know that not any kind of judgment even crossed my mind.  

My first thought was ask the closest employee for paper towels and get your little boy out of your cart. So I did. I don't know you. But what I do know is that in that moments time I would hope that somewhere out there another mom will do the same for me some day. In a moments time in a mothers world all hell can break loose at a drop of a hat. We all know that. I mean.. Have you ever been successful with getting your 3 year old to use the blue cup when they wanted the pink one? No? Don't worry me either. We know kids are crazy! 

I've been there. I am not judging you for one second. I actually contemplated on taking your little boy over to the snack bar so you could have a little bit of peace. Its usually my attempt to tame my lions which always consist of bags of popcorn and juice boxes to get through target which end up all over the floor. (Sorry target employees). I really wanted to give you a big hug and tell you that you aren't as crazy as you feel. You aren't a bad mother and that motherhood is just really freaking hard. 

Once I was grocery shopping with my 3 crazies I was at the checkout. The 3 year old in the cart. The 5 year old walking around and me wearing the baby. I wasn't a pleasant site. I was really stressed out and it was plain to see that I needed help. Another mom came up from behind me touched my shoulder and looked at me and said your doing okay. She then stopped me from bagging my groceries and bagged them for me. - Thank you to that mother from me. 

I hope the next time you see a struggling mother do what you can to reassure her that she is doing a good job. Encouraging words like this help more than you'll ever imagine. 

7 things I wished I had known before becoming a mom

7 things I wished I had known before becoming a mom

I am a mom of three pretty adorable kids. I'm also a military wife which makes things a little more complicated than your normal mom. In the military they call anyone who is related to the actual military member a " dependent " however we " dependents " are anything but dependent. 

A little backstory. In 2010 I moved to New York City to work where I had met my husband. After a few months of dating we decided to get married. So I headed home from NYC packed up whatever I could fit into my 2002 Honda accord grabbed my BFF and we drove to Connecticut. It took us 2.5 days to do it. Looking back at my 19 year old self I do applaud myself because it was an adventure. Two girls who had never traveled to the other side of the country we were basically living on a prayer. We got there safely a few days after being there she left and I was alone. Of course I had Skyler but a few days after she had left he left for an underway (an underway is when a submarine leaves the base for whatever reason could be for testing, deployment or even for some sailors to do certain qualifications.) He left for 2 weeks. My 19 year old self alone 2,000 miles away from the only place I ever knew to be home, away from everyone I knew. And then he left. It was like this for months. If you haven't been to New England then imagine this. Driving on roads that only fit mini coopers. The roads were tiny of course they were because this is where people lived when they came over from England. A lot of New England has similar characteristics of England. 

Basically what I'm saying here is that I had no choice but to be independent. 

 

Everything that I know as an adult is the result of leaving home as a adult/teenager and learning things the hard way. The first year we were married Skyler was home 4 months. Our first daughter was born in August of 2011. A week after she was born he was gone again for a few months. It continued on like this until the next year when he deployed. So here I am a young mother not having anyone to really rely on or to turn to being so far away. I look back and just wished that someone would have told me a thing or two about being a mom. What to expect or to not expect. So first thing is first. 

  1. SURVIVE. Okay I am being completely serious. My main motto as a mom especially having more kids than I do hands is that you just need to survive. Your hair does not need to be perfect. The house does not need to be spotless and you know what? Laundry its just a mountain of a never ending pile of despair. With that being said it. IT CAN WAIT! Babies grow up and then they aren't babies anymore. The mess can wait it'll be there tomorrow. But one day those little ones won't. So if you do just that and " survive " each day to me you are the most amazing mom. You don't need to jam pack your days with park outings, lunch dates, trips to the mall. I think its safe to say that your kids would be happy playing with YOU. As a mom the older my kids get I realize how vital it really is to be attentive to their needs even if to you it seems small because to them its HUGE. 

  2. Listen to your heart. In the world of becoming a parent you will soon realize a few things. That to a lot of people its " my way or the high way ". You will meet some who think there is only one way to do things. One way to parent. Everyone is different. Some parents choose to vaccinate others choose to not some even delay vaccinations. Some parents feed their babies formula while others breastfeed until they're 2 years old. Other parents feed their kids pb&j sandwiches or macaroni and some parents feed their kids exclusively organic, non-gmo, gluten free etc. Some parents cloth diaper and some do disposable. What I'm saying here is everyone is different. There is no right or wrong way to parent AS LONG AS YOUR CHILD IS HAPPY AND KNOWS THEY ARE LOVED.  Obviously there is more to it making sure they're healthy etc. But in the world of parenting it can be twisted and distorted resulting in you feeling like you are not a good parent. A little advice I've learned in the past 5 years. If you have to question or be concerned if you are being a good mom, chances are, you are. Everyone has an off day. No one is perfect and every day we can start fresh as long as we strive to be better and focus on our kids' happiness, I would say you get an A+ in parenting.  

  3. The mommy competition. You are going to feel like you are never enough or that everything has to always be perfect. From your hair to the way your kids are dressed. You'll feel like someone is always outdoing you. Here's a little secret. WHO CARES! Guess what? They probably feel the exact same way as you! We are all struggling moms. And I think the important thing here is to remember that we all are striving to be in the same place. Go the same direction. Do the same things. We just want our kids to be happy and healthy. Can you imagine how much better the world would be if we cut out the mommy competition and all us moms just leaned on each other for help. We all have unique skills and gifts that could easily benefit everyone if we were just a little more kind and loving to each other. 

  4. Communication is key. I feel like as a mom we have the weight of the world on our shoulders. We're programmed to think we have to do it all. But that is far from true. If you need help reach out to those who love you. They will help. If you need a break take a break! Its crucial as a mom that we take care of ourselves too because if we don't how will we ever take care of our little ones? With my first daughter I had severe postpartum depression. The countless nights I would cry myself to sleep while Skyler away on the submarine it was hard. Its so important to talk to someone, have adult conversations it'll help you in more ways than you realize. 

  5. Self Love. Each time I've had a baby I've found that I forget about myself completely and focus on everyone else. Essentially forgetting to eat, shower and sometimes I would wear throw up clothes all day. You just forget about yourself. But hey! Us moms need loving too. Whether it be at the gym or grocery shopping alone which for those first time moms you will soon learn that a trip to the store or any outing without a child quickly becomes a short lived vacation. Funny thing is that after 1 hour you start to feel like your missing a limb and come back to the chaos that was driving you crazy but at the same time you missed. Remember you are important.

  6. The melt downs and guilt. All I ever heard was that parenting would be a breeze and that to not worry. While they were right on the not worrying part they were not so much on the breeze part. More like stormy hurricane winds. Being a mom is REALLY FLIPPING HARD. You can totally do it. But it is the hardest job in the world. And as kids grow sometimes some swears will be thrown down. Or you'll scream into a pillow because you have to tell them something for the thousandth time. And right as you've clean up the sea of toys in their room and you walk away to clean the spilled milk you'll hear the 3 year old pouring out the toys again. Just remember this. Next time Just part that red sea. Make a walk way. I've decided that the 3 year old dumps out all the toys because well.. Its just easier finding what she needs when everything is right where she can find it. Make things easier on you and just roll with the punches. If they're having a melt down in public get on their level and look them in the eye and just hug them. I think at this point all they want is for someone to understand them. And please remember to not feel guilty. The countless nights I lay wide awake staring at the ceiling going over the day feeling I wished the day went differently just remember tomorrow is a new day. A clean slate. A fresh start. And no matter what.. they will always love you. 

  7.  Always Say I love you. We often forget that kids are so impressionable. Their little brains are still developing at rapid rates. In a moments time things can get out of hand and anything that can go wrong will go wrong. Just stay calm. They watch your every move. I'm not even kidding you. The older my children have gotten I have witnessed with my own two eyes they watch you. Recently I noticed my 3 year old quietly fold her arms during our routine family prayer each night after we read stories. She is with me all day everyday. You can bet that she learned that from home. Each time I've been frustrated or upset with one of my kids no matter what I look them in the eyes and say I love you. At the end of each day I always tell them " I love you " there is nothing more important in the world than for a child to know and feel that they are safe and loved. 

 

These are just a few things that have helped me from time to time because really being a parent is the most wonderful, joyful, incredibly scary journey that you will ever take in your lifetime. Its so intimidating to think that we are solely responsible for the life of another human being(s). But at the same time how lucky we are to be able to have that opportunity. I am reminded constantly the blessings of being a mom. If you take anything away from this list then let it be just this and that is that the days you feel like you are not enough remember each moment you are taking care of your child you are doing God's work. You have been trusted with angels. Its incredible to think of it in a such a way that God could entrust us with his angels. When you feel like you are not enough remember God thought you were more than enough and just perfect to be the mother of his Heavenly children he sent into your life.