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  • Writer's picturePamela Buddenhagen

Is a Doula right for you? And a bit about how I got started and what I offer

If you're like me, you have only recently heard of the word Doula. If you're like many others, you have never heard the word, and if you're in another other percentage, you know Doulas go with you during childbirth for support, but don't know many details. About one year ago I heard the word Doula. I was like whatttt is a Doula!! I did find out a little bit by googling and hitting up youtube, watching some tik toks haha. I do believe what's meant for us finds its way to us. We need to have our eyes open and be ready to receive it but it finds its way to us. I believe everything happens for a reason and I do believe in fate. So about 9 months or so ago I found out about Doulas. A month or so after that, I was asked to photograph a birth. I was over the moon excited and started doing more research about taking a Doula training and making sure it was right for me. I was so sure it was and started an online postpartum doula training. I read books and wrote reports. Made local resource lists for my future clients and learned so much about the postpartum period and breastfeeding. Come June I was in the Labor and Delivery room photographing the birth of a beautiful baby boy for my client. If I didn't already know the Doula world was for me, I knew that night. I was amazed and knew I was meant to be in that room for so much more than just to take pictures. I just attended my In person Doula training with Prodoula, which is a phenomenal agency, and with their Boston trainer, who just blew my mind and taught me more than I ever expected to learn.

So, would a doula help you? A labor doula is so much more than just another support person in your delivery room, let me share. I will be available to you from the time we sign our contract. I'll have a consultation with you, answer any upfront questions you have and we'll just talk a bit and get to know each other. If you decide that you'd like to hire me as your doula, we'll sign the contract and you'll put a deposit down and it's a done deal. During your pregnancy should you have any questions or concerns along the way....Send a text, give me a call, Let's talk. There are many things that can pop up that you will need medical advice for with your OB or midwife but there are also many things that could come up for you and you'll just need a sounding board and ear to listen. Maybe you need help making some decisions that are non medical or just need some emotional support. Once you're in your third trimester, we'll pick a day for our prenatal visit together. This will be a fun time! I'll come over and we'll work on your "birth plan". We'll make a list of all of your prefereces and talk about things like, what we can bring along for comfort measures and what the days leading up to labor might feel like and include. When we create your birth plan, some things to think of will be, will I utilize an epidural? Do I have use of a shower or birthing tub. Will I be encapsulating my placenta? This plan shouldn't be too in depth but outline your main "desires and preferences " for your nurses and delivering doctor/midwife. We will go more in depth together so I will know exactly what you do and do not hope for. Outside of your birth plan we will talk about pitocin, IV pain meds, episiotomies. We'll talk about what you have control over and what are some alternatives for what you would like to try and steer clear of. I will be here to help you advocate for yourself and your baby. To empower you! This is your birth and your baby and you have so much choice in how it plays out for you.

A misconception of having a doula could be "will my partner feel left out if I have someone else supporting me?" The answer to that is no. When you hire me as your doula I am the support for you and for your partner. We are a team and I will be their support them as well. Some partners get nervous, anxious or worried when they see who they love most in so much discomfort. They can feel like they're not sure what to do or if everything is ok. I can support that. I will be there for your partner to take a break, make phone calls and grab themselves something to eat. When we meet for your prenatal appointment, I will also be going over some things with your partner on any concerns they have as well. I will find out exactly what they're imagining the big day to look like and how I can best support that. I will be providing you with emotional as well as physical support and will be showing your partner techniques that are going to help during labor. There will be times we switch off and their will be times you'll have us both right there, one of us providing some nice counter pressure to your lower back and the other massaging your arms to relieve tension. We'll go over all of the things together that you would think will help most. I have many techniques to help with discomfort and positions for you to help baby get into position and move along nicely. When you think you may be in labor you'll want to reach out to me and we'll go over all of the excitement you're feeling and start to time contractions. In the early stage of labor, which could last from 12-24 hours on average I will be mainly phone support, zoom, text, whichever will help you most at the time, although you always have the option to have me come to you in early labor as well. It is all about what you need. We'll go over your plan for the day and I'll help suggest things you can try at different stages of your day. I join you when you need me, when you you're ready for my support and encouragement. I am a calming voice and a knowledgeable mind. You'll have concerns or questions about anything from are these real contractions to did I just lose my mucus plug. You may need me while you labor at home before heading to the hospital (or you'll just of course be home for a home birth) Or you may not need me until you feel it's time to head to the hospital and see how things are coming along. Once you say the word, I am on my way. I will be a calm for you and your partner, I will help you advocate, provide physical support, emotional support and let you know you're doing great mama, you're doing it!! I'll stay with you up until an hour after baby is born while everyone gets settles, baby tries latching for the first time if you're breastfeeding, you deliver the placenta and baby gets his first little exam. That "Golden Hour" is your time to bond with your sweet new baby. For that baby to be right on your chest, staying warm, smelling you, his comfort and home. I'll be happy to take some photos of the new family so you can send them off to family and friends waiting to see the new arrival too.

Once you're home from the hospital, you can reach out and we'll set up your postpartum appointment. This appointment is for you to talk to me about how you're doing. If you think you'll need any assistance with anything at all from breastfeeding to finding professionals such as Pelvic floor specialists or mental health support (There's things out there you don't even know you'd ever need until you do) We can talk about your birth experience and how you feel about it all. So if you're considering a Doula, reach out to a few in your area. Have a few consultations to see who you feel will be a great fit for you. This Doula is attending the most vulnerable event in your life, you definitely want to feel comfortable with them. The earlier you sign a contract and put a deposit down for your Doula the more support you'll have and the better chance you'll get at securing the one that's best for you. If anyone reading this blog is interested in having a free consultation with me, I would be more than happy to set you up. Please reach out through any of my contact info. Email, phone or social media message.

Have a great day my new and expecting moms, my readers, and fellow Doulas.

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