Providing Professional Doula Services to Families in Greenwich, Westchester and NYC

August 2013

So there we were, huddled together at the table in her dimly lit kitchen. It was a freezing cold winter morning in January and this mom was desperate.

The baby was finally asleep. She spoke about frustration, anxiety, and ever-present, relentless exhaustion.

The sleep deprivation is the hardest thing, she says, because nothing else is good if you are bone weary all the time. It seems like the baby’s piercing cry is non-stop.

She is sick of trying to live up to everyone else’s expectations. She feels like such a failure. No one else seems to have problems with their babies like she does.

Earlier problems made nursing more complicated and down right difficult.

She doesn’t enjoy the baby.

She just can’t go on like this.

She even considered ending her maternity leave early. She wanted to get back to work, where she knew she was successful, and hire someone else to raise her child, someone better at it than she was.

This story is not unfamiliar. Fortunately, in many cases, family and friends can provide a support system for these new parents. They can lend sympathetic ears, help take household chores off your shoulders, and care for older siblings.

A knowledgeable postpartum doula can do all of this and more. She can demonstrate specific techniques and positions to comfort your baby. An experienced postpartum doula can also help parents work through issues of crying and sleeplessness. She can look at your...Read more

I often hear about women choosing where they will give birth, based on the level of the NICU at a particular hospital.

I understand precaution. I am cautious and I take precautions. But I also know that the level of NICU care your baby may need is closely related to the amount of weeks’ gestation you are when you go into labor.

If you are healthy and experiencing a low risk pregnancy, choose a hospital where your birthing philosophy is accepted and will be supported.

Know that if you go into preterm labor and the facility you have chosen does not have a NICU that can support your newborn’s possible needs, you will be transferred to a hospital with a higher level NICU before you give birth.

Most people don’t understand what the different level NICU ratings mean.

The following is an explanation of the breakdown of each level:

Level 1 NICU: Basic Neonatal Care (Must be 35 weeks gestation to give birth at a level 1 facility)

·      Patients who are scheduled to deliver at a level 1 hospital that go into labor prior to 35 weeks gestation will NOT be admitted and will be transferred to a higher level facility.

·      Capable of providing neonatal resuscitation at delivery to babies born after 35 weeks gestation.

·      Able to evaluate and care for healthy newborns.

·      Capable of stabilizing infants born after 35 weeks who are ill while arranging for transfer....Read more

 

My favorite acronym!

This is one of the most useful tools in my “life bag” as well as my “Doula Bag”. It is a reminder for me to slow down and think it through!

By nature, I make quick decisions.

This character trait works both to my benefit and my detriment. I often react rather than respond and B.R.A.I.N. helps to prevent that from happening for me.

So, here is the breakdown:

B ~ Benefits. Ask yourself, what is the benefit to choosing to do this?I

R ~ Risk. Ask yourself, what are the risks involved in doing this?

A ~ Alternatives. Ask yourself, are there any alternatives to doing this?

I ~ Instincts (my personal favorite). Ask yourself, what is your instinct telling you to do?

N ~ Nothing. Ask yourself, what if you do nothing right now and revisit the idea later or another day.

It is helpful to have a friend to discuss this with. Use them as a sounding board. This is one of the many important roles that your Doula plays! Remember, you are not looking for the other person’s advice, so make that clear to them. You are only seeking the answers to each of the 5 questions…

Benefits? Risks? Alternatives? Instincts? And Nothing?

Here is an example of how it relates to birth....Read more

First time mom gives birth 2 weeks early at her BABY SHOWER!

Enjoy this story of a precipitous birth!Read more

The Breath…

Take a deep breath in through your nose and a looooong slooooow exhale out your mouth.

Birth and Breath seem to go hand in hand, right? We take a childbirth class and we’re “taught” to breathe. But why? How will it help us? What is the value of breathing (other than keeping us alive)?

When we are hit with pain, our instant physical reaction is a quick breath in and a holding of our breath, which is quickly followed by some foul language. Usually just one or two words that might include one that starts with an F.

But it sends no relief to what is hurting us. It’s as though for a moment, our mind disconnects from our body and leaves our body to fend for itself.

Quickly they seem to reunite, we pull ourselves back together and our mind and body attack that pain as a team but in those moments in between, the pain is insane.

Research performed by a scientist at Barrow Neurological Institute at St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center has shown that controlled breathing at a slowed rate can significantly reduce feelings of pain.

So let’s bring this information to labor and birth with us.

·      How do I breath during contractions?

·      What is the best way to breath during labor?

Take a deep breath in through your nose and a looooong slooooow exhale out your mouth. As labor...Read more

Making choices can be so overwhelming for us, that we can procrastinate endlessly or ignore it completely!

How can we be empowered by our choices, when the mere thought of making one kicks our ass?

For most of us, what we DON’T want is much more clear than what we DO want.

We can easily articulate what we don’t want, it comes right to our mind when we realize we must make a choice. But what we do want is much trickier for most.

Here are some examples… Can you relate?

“I hate my job, but I don’t know what kind of work I would do instead.”

How do you want your hair cut?

“Well… I don’t like bangs and I hate when this part flips up on the side.”

What do you want for dinner? “Ummm…” Do you want spaghetti? “No.” Do you want chicken? “No.” Do you want fish? “No.”

How do you see this birth going? “I don’t really know, I just don’t want a c-section.”

What color do you want to paint the kitchen? “I definitely don’t want it blue. Or green. I don’t want a dark color like red or orange…”

You see what I mean???

So, the question then becomes, how do we come to realizations about what we DO want?

How do we become empowered by choice when we can’t figure out what we even want?

Here is a simple 2 step activity to help you with making choices. It plays to our strengths (which is knowing what we don’t want) and makes finding your answer very simple! 

Let’s commit to NOT...Read more

 

As many of you know, I have struggled with my weight for the majority of my adult life. I come from fat people. I know fat and I know the comfort that I associate with being around other fat people.

The weird thing is, I’m not fat. I don’t even think I’m fat. I just identify better with fat people. You’ve heard the expression, “I’m a skinny person in a fat person’s body”? Well, I have always felt like a fat person in a skinny person’s body.

My entire immediate family has suffered with obesity. As a child, I remember the sadness and disappointment associated with my family starting a “diet”.  The whole family felt sad and disappointed. We knew it was temporary but it felt like a punishment.

My mother would announce that she and my dad were only eating cabbage soup (which meant no cookies or anything of the sort in the house). Next was no carbs. Later it was fat free. And so on and so forth.

These “diets” would last anywhere from 2 days to two weeks and then we would rejoice in the comfort of high carb, enormous fat content meals, fit for kings. You know, the post diet BINGE!

That’s what I want to talk about today. The mid or post diet binge.

I am committed (or sometimes think I should be…) to the things I set my mind to. By committed, I mean 110%! So, when I make a decision to start my own diet, I am focused. I can bake and not lick the spoon. I can scoop ice cream and not be tempted. I can even make a tray of homemade...Read more

Randy, Debbie and Lauren are thrilled to announce the arrival of… ProDoula, A Doula Certification Agency for the Modern Woman!

What is this agency all about?

     - Certifying Doulas

     - Comprehensive and engaging workshops
             LABOR DOULA WORKSHOPS
             POSTPARTUM DOULA WORKSHOPS
             PLACENTA ENCAPSULATION

     - Guidance and mentorship from experienced Doulas

     - Advice and support through the certification process

     - Business advice to establish yourself

ProDoula is a Doula Certification Agency, which provides training, accreditation and business development expertise to women seeking to become Certified Doulas.

Doulas certified by ProDoula practice unconditional support, provide professional & compassionate service at all times and experience the espirit de corps associated with being part of an exceptional team of women.

ProDoula trains doulas to provide exceptional support before, during and after birth, while maintaining professional standards. With the rising need for professional, compassionate and EXCEPTIONAL Doulas, as well as a...Read more

 

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