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Tag Archives: Childbirth

What is a Doula?

doula baby



Definition: a woman who is trained to assist another woman during childbirth and who may provide support to the family after the baby is born.

The word “doula” comes from the Greek meaning “a woman who serves”.

Studies show that in doula attended births:

*Labors are shorter

*Babies are healthier

*There are fewer complications

*Breastfeeding is more successful

*Spontaneous vaginal birth is more likely

*Less likely to need or ask for pain medications

*Less likely to have a Cesarean Section, vacuum or forceps-assisted birth


There are 2 different types of Doulas: Birth Doula and Postpartum Doula

Birth Doulas – Offer education and assist women in planning and carrying out their birth plans and expectations. They stay with the women throughout labor and offer emotional support, help with physical discomforts, creats an open line of communications between the women, her partner, and her care provider.

Postpartum Doulas – Offer education and support on things related to after birth such as breastfeeding, physical and emotional recovery, newborn care, bonding, light housekeeping and meal preparation. Research shows that families transition much easier with a good support team including a doula.




*Prepare and educate women and families for birth

*Help create a birth plan that includes expectations, wants and needs, and things you are uncomfortable with

*They help create a safe space allowing comfort, open communications between families and care providers, and emotional support

*They are advocates for mothers and partners during labor and childbirth



*They are NOT medical professionals and therefore do NOT offer or perform any medical services such as exams, fetal heart monitoring, medical diagnosis, deliver babies, etc.

*They do NOT judge you or decisions you make


How much does a Doula cost?

Fees can be anywhere from $400-$1000 depending on the individual doula and the services she provides.






Posted in After Birth, Home Birth, Hospital Birth, Labor, VBAC, Water Birth. Tagged with , , , , , , , , , , .

4 Things to Do to Help Labor Along Naturally

As you’re getting closer to meeting your baby, there are a lot of things you can do to help your labor along while staying as comfortable as possible.


1. Avoid extra stress and do not pay attention to time – If you are constantly looking at the clock, you will be spending a lot of your energy worrying about what time it is instead of really focusing on your body and what its doing to get ready to birth your baby. Every labor is different and despite hospital policies, most labors have no time limit.  It is a very important time, however,  and you need to be aware of what your body is going through and the signals that its sending you to help you move through contractions and eventually birth your baby. Same advice goes for any stress starters. Do not worry about cleaning, cooking, keeping family constantly updated, Facebook, etc. This is your time. If you have family or friends available for support, delegate those tasks to them. You just keep on laboring and trying to stay comfortable.

Breathing Through Labor

2. Nipple stimulation-Stimulating the nipples helps release oxytocin (the love hormone, also released during orgasm). Oxytocin is the hormone that is needed for contractions. So naturally if you stimulate the production of oxytocin, it encourages contractions. This is a great way to get your partner involved! Allow them to softly rub or pinch your nipples.

3. Stay as active as you can but don’t forget to rest – If you can sleep, do it when you can because soon enough it’ll be like you are running a marathon. If you cant sleep, walk around and move as much as possible. Staying active helps baby move into the correct position needed to birth. Try walking up and down the stairs if you can stand it. If you need to stop for a contraction, face towards the stairs with arms/elbows leaning on one stair and kneeling on another stair with two or three stairs in between. While resting on the stairs move your hips and sway them back in forth-along with gravity, these motions will help the baby to descend.

4. Stay hydrated and eat – Despite hospital policies, it is totally safe and strongly encouraged to eat and drink during labor. You need the energy for labor and you need to stay hydrated. There can be complications due to dehydration and it is very easy to become exhausted during labor so nutritious foods can help you stay energized. I wouldn’t have a huge meal by any means but small bits of snacks such as cheese cubes, yogurt, applesauce, toast, jello, popsicles, things that are easy to chew and swallow. Beverages I suggest would be water, vitamin water,  juice, smoothies, shakes, broth, etc.

A Cup of Yogurt


Posted in Labor. Tagged with , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , .