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

November 2013

The “shakes” are a symptom associated with labor and the early postpartum period and are NOT often discussed or addressed during prenatal education.

Imagine the intensity of active or transitional labor…

The power of your body and baby working together to birth your child is enough to cause nausea and vomiting. Abundant releases of the hormones oxytocin and beta-endorphin are rushing through your body and you are working harder than you ever have in your life.

These extreme hormone releases coupled with the fact that we are giving birth to our children, is why this experience has such a profound effect on us as women. Never in our lives, has our body worked so hard or done so much. For nearly 50% of women, this hormonal release leads to teeth chattering shakes. These shakes tell our loved ones that we need a blanket. We do not. We are not cold. We are having a physical reaction to labor and it is very normal.

There is no way to truly physically prepare for this event. No amount of practicing, no workout, no trainer, that can take us to this “place” prior to the big day.

Dr. Henry Klapholz an associate professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Harvard University, has a different theory. According to him, new evidence about why nearly 50% of women shake during labor points to small amounts of fetal blood making it’s way into the mother’s bloodstream. He explains that if the baby’s blood is “incompatible” with it’s mother’s (mother is A,...Read more

 

“DON’T TALK TO ME”, I snapped!

I need 20 minutes of quiet to just chill!

I’m completely fried.

I have to decompress… Oh my gosh, my mind is spinning. There’s electricity raging through my body and I have to drive this car and get this kid and I home safely!

It was a bowling event with the Girl Scouts. Erica was in 2nd grade. There were millions of them! Kids EVERYWHERE! The noise, the lights, the music, the worry that I might lose one of them, the incessant questions that started with Rannnndyyy???

As much as I loved being a leader and being involved in scouting with my girls…. That shit can also blow your mind!

Now think about a newborn…

The smells, the sounds, the lights, the people, his parents nerves, the dog, the sister, THE GRANDMA!

The kids mind is blown and he needs to decompress!

He cries!

You bounce him! (adding more stimulation…)

He cries more!

You walk him into another room! (adding even more stimulation)

He cries continuously!

Dad takes him! (adding more stimulation)

He looses his mind!

You try a bath…. (stimulation OVERLOAD)

He screams his fucking head off!

You cry! (adding more stimulation!)

So what can we do for an over-stimulated baby?

                       -       Relax (well, try to anyway) your baby used to live INSIDE you. He shared your body with you and he responds...Read more

Ok, so this is just going to be a silly post. Don’t put any great expectations on it…

I’m gonna ramble for a minute about B U B B L E S.

I told you it was gonna be silly.

Everything about bubbles are cool to me.  The thing that’s so cool about them is that they are invisible but you can totally see them!...

Invisible AND totally visible…

Just like feelings and friendship and G-d and passion and lots of other important things.

Trip on them for a minute. I have. And I made Jerry Patterson do the same….

These are some cool/fun/funny/happy thoughts that the word Bubbles stimulated for me…

*Bubble gum -Sweet, fun, bubble blowing contests

*Blowing bubbles in milk with a straw - Childhood, visits to the diner with my grandfather

*Saliva bubbles - long car rides, quite fun with siblings

*Booger bubbles – So gross but a little funny when a sneeze prompts one

*Soap bubbles with a wand – Summer time, the cheapest fun you can have with your kids, your dog or your playful cat

*Bubble baths – Need I explain? Aaahh….

*Adult bubble parties – No first hand experience, but……

*Fart bubbles in the bath tub – C’...Read more

Most teenaged girls can say (but won’t) that they have been in a situation where they were begged by a teenaged boy to sneak into the bathroom and snap him a quick picture.

I know I have! This is how it goes....

You're siting in your room, alone, and you’re bored. It's 10:30 at night, and the boy you think is "SO HOT" texts you. You can’t believe it. You smile, your eyes light up and your hands get a little sweaty.

"Heyyy"

OMG! He put 3 y's! He's definitely interested!*

You send a Heyyy (with 3 y's of course) back to him.

He asks what's up, you chat, send a couple of emojis, and then he hits you with it.

"You should send me a pic"

You laugh it off and say no. You try and change the subject, and then he pulls out the…

"babe please" card.

As a teen girl you automatically think he likes you because he called you babe! Oh, how he makes you melt with the word babe.

But it's bullshit!

He doesn't like you, he likes your boobs!

That's where the confusion comes in! The attention that girls are seeking is right there. It is physically in the palms of your hands. But it is all wrong. It feels wrong and you know it’s wrong, but you don’t want him to stop texting you. It’s the wrong kind of attention and you know it but somehow… you still don’t want it to stop!

Body image is a very important thing to young girls. We are constantly thinking…

Am I too fat?

Am I...Read more

 

The secret to happiness is to not expect too much. The secret to success is to expect it all…

So what do you do with that information?

I struggle with it…

What if you want to be happy AND successful? What if being successful is one of the things that makes you happy?

The problem is in the expectation part. Dream, fantasize, imagine... BUT DON'T EXPECT. SHEESH...

ex·pec·ta·tion

    ˌekspekˈtāSHən/

      noun

     noun: expectation; plural noun: expectations

1.    
a strong belief that something will happen or be the case in the future.

 

Right??? When you look at the definition, you see the problem!

Something develops in our minds that we believe will make us happy.

We hope that it happens because imagining that it will, brings us contentment and peace. If/when it doesn’t, we are unhappy.

Why?

Because we wanted it to happen, or EXPECTED it to. We are disappointed and need to process this newly found result. We weren’t prepared for this not to happen and it can really knock us on our ass.

We seek support. We join a group of other people experiencing the same loss. We write, we pray, we seek counsel etc. We address it in whatever way we believe will help us and eventually (hopefully) we move forward. We let go and embrace our lives...Read more

 

There are many reasons why women come to doula work.

Most people find birth to be either absolutely awe inspiringly, fascinating and beautiful OR completely terrifying and the thought of it makes them throw up in their mouth a little bit.

Some women are called to this work because they are natural “support people”.

They just live to give!

They want to help people and nurture people and birth is a wonderful time to fulfill that role in a woman’s life.

Some women are called to doula work on the path to other work. They might be on the path to becoming a midwife or a labor and delivery nurse and want to get a “feel” for this work first, so they become a doula.

Some women come to doula work through a friend. Maybe they have a friend who is working as a doula and that friend ignites something in them. They see the joy that this work brings to their friend and want the same for themselves.

Some women want to be doulas because they learn about the support that doulas offer and they think to themselves, wow… I wish I had a doula! Those people become doulas to help elevate the experience that a woman has during birth and the postpartum period.

BUT… the women who worry me, are the women that I call, The Birth Avengers! The birth avenger (as I have named her) is a woman who becomes a doula to avenge her own bad birth experience. Perhaps her own experience left her feeling violated or manipulated or “...Read more

Bringing "home" To the Hospital 

was the most recent topic Rosie Pope asked me to write about. (click the above link to read the post)

After her expert ob/gyn warned about the dangers of homebirth, her team thought, there must be a way to bring your home to the hospital with you!

I spent a good while thinking about how you could do just that and what I figured out is...

You can't!

Authored by: The Rock n' Roll DoulaRead more

 

I un-zip myself.

It’s usually what people say they like about me.

I give it all. I open myself up. I expose myself! I share in a way many do not consider.

I guess it’s like public nudity. To the person doing it, it’s normal. Others either think it’s cool and do it too, or it makes them completely uncomfortable and they get as far away from it as humanly possible.

I “un-zip” because living on the surface, is a giant waste of time to me.

Dialogues like… “Hey, how are you? Good. You? How are the kids? Great…. I saw you got a new mini van, how nice. Blah, blah, blah…. No one gives a shit about that stuff!” bore me and the fact that they are “obligatory” is aggravating to me.

So… I engage. I share of myself (the good and the bad, what has worked for me and what hasn’t, my feelings of pride and my “chump” feelings) and sometimes, just sometimes the other person breaks down their walls and gives a little back and I am grateful.

I “un-zip” with passion and I do it with enthusiasm. Sometimes, my willingness to do it, encourages the other person to open up, maybe dig a little deeper and share their thoughts and desires. To me, that feels good. I feel like it counts. One gives, one takes. The other gives, the other takes. That must be what they mean when they say, “sharing”. It feels like sharing.

But, when I give like that and I take like that, I allow myself to believe that the relationship means something...Read more

"Judgement free? Can I write that on my birth plan?

I just don’t know how I will act when I am in labor, but in my normal life, worrying about what people think of me, keeps me from doing things sometimes.

I want to feel uninhibited when I’m in labor.”

What the fuck?!?!

Why is this something that American women even have to wonder about?!?! A wonderful and wise mother asked this question at our Women’s Prenatal Discussion Group a while back. We were talking about birth plans and she said, “I don’t want to be judged the next time I’m in labor. Is that ok to write on my birth plan?” My heart broke…

People ask us all of the time, “what does a Doula do?” My response is different based on who is asking the question. Sometimes I keep it real surface and sometimes I go deeper into the explanation.

A Doula brings a sense of normalcy to birth. She validates a woman and her partner and they feel free to embrace the experience because she is with them. She encourages them to learn and discover themselves and their philosophies during pregnancy and through the birth and postpartum period. A role that is taken on by no other birth professional.

A doula makes it feel absolutely normal to make noise during labor or move in a way that doesn’t seem normal when you are not in labor. In fact, she will make the noise with you, and she...Read more