How Do I Become A Doula?

How Do I Become A Doula?

How do I become a doula?   This is a question we hear often! So often, I decided it was worthy of a blog post. There is a huge commitment involved when becoming a doula, and lots of research to be done when deciding what organization to certify through, and how to practice. Here are 5 tips that help answer the question, “Where do I start”? Are you ready for the commitment? Birth doula work involves a serious commitment of time and energy.  You must understand what it’s like to be on call, all the time.  If you only take a few births here and there, your on call time may be less, but you must understand–you WILL miss birthdays, holidays, first days of schools, parties, special events, anniversaries.  You MUST be ready to drop what you are doing, where ever you are, and head to your client’s side.  This often means taking a separate car out to dinner or the movies, having your doula bag prepped and ready at all times, and be prepared to have your cell phone glued to your hip!  When you leave your home to attend a birth, you might be back in 8 hours or you might be back in two days.  It’s imperative that your family be able to keep running on their own without you during this time.  Support at home is a must!  If you have children, you will need to have strong child care in place.  And a back up for that childcare.  And another back up for that childcare.  And one more back up for that childcare.  (And...
So, What’s In Your Doula Bag?

So, What’s In Your Doula Bag?

  A frequent question I hear from clients or prospective clients is, “What do you bring in your doula bag?  What tricks do you keep in there”?  It seems the “doula bag” has been elevated in the birth doula world to some revered status, as if some mystical substance and amazing products reside in there, objects that surely will be important during labor. Truth be told–and this may be disappointing to some, there isn’t anything mythical or incredible in my doula bag.  Not anymore.  When I first started this work 10 years ago, I carried a duffle bag that was so stuffed with things, it probably weighed 30 lbs and rivaled what some folks would take with them for a week long trip to the North Carolina coast.  The more experienced I became at doula support, the more I realized, I rarely used anything in it.  I didn’t need to.  I’ll explain more on that in a minute.   So what is in my rolling Ikea doula backpag/bag?  Here’s the scoop on what’s inside: A change of clothes-You only have to be thoroughly splashed by amniotic fluid once, to learn you need to keep a complete change of clothes (including socks and shoes) on standby in your doula bag. Breath mints or chewing gum–Because we are so often very close to your face, breathing in rhythm with you, reassuring you, we want our breath to be minty fresh! I keep a large supply of Trader Joe’s brand breath mints or Trident peppermint chewing gum in the outer pocket of my doula bag. Something special for the nurses-We have some...
Induction Junction, What’s Your Function?

Induction Junction, What’s Your Function?

If you remember Schoolhouse Rock as fondly as I do, you’ll hopefully understand the title of this blog! Are you facing an induction? Inductions don’t have to be as scary as they seem, if you know the questions to ask and are prepared. Here are five tips to help prepare you for your upcoming induction of labor.   1.  Ask Questions There are a variety of ways inductions of labor can start–foley bulb, cytotec, cervidil, pitocin, breaking the bag of waters…ask your care provider how they plan to start the induction.  Often more than one method is used to induce your labor.  Having an understanding of the plan can help you feel more at ease about your induction.   2.  Bring Something To Do Many people don’t realize that an induction can take hours, or even days!  Several days.  We always let our clients know that might want to bring along reading material, download a favorite move or TV series to watch, or even write out all those thank you notes from the baby shower while waiting for labor to kick in.  Being stuck inside the hospital can be a bit more fun if you are snuggled up with your partner watching your favorite movie, or devouring a mystery novel.   3.  Tell Friends and Family To Wait Aunt Mabel and Grandma to be Kathy just can’t wait to meet your new little one!  So they camp out in the waiting room at the very start of the induction.  Where they could be waiting, for a day or two or four.  Let friends and family know that an induction...
A Night In Your Life With A Postpartum Doula

A Night In Your Life With A Postpartum Doula

It’s 10 pm, and your postpartum doula knocks quietly on the door. You let us in with a smile as we greet your family. We talk about the last time your baby (or babies) ate, were changed, and about any chores you’d like us to do that evening. Then, you head off to your bedroom and… You wake up the next morning feeling awesome, having had a full night’s sleep with no interruptions! Pretty great right? There’s not a whole lot more to add to our blog post about overnight care, because we hope you’ll sleep through the entire time we are there. We will take care of wakings throughout the night, diaper changes, calming, swaddling, bottle feeding, and even do some laundry, wash the bottles or your breast pump and set the coffee for you. What if you are breastfeeding? Stay in bed! We will bring baby in to your room for you to feed. When you are finished, we will get your baby from your arms, and settle him or her back down to sleep. You never have to leave the bed! Overnight newborn/postpartum support is one of our most popular services. We’d love to tell you more! We offer a free consultation, and are also happy to answer any questions by phone. Overnight services also make the perfect gift, so you can tell your friends and family to buy you a night of sleep and bliss. Check out our postpartum package options here. Piedmont Doulas serves the Winston-Salem, Greensboro and High Point areas of North Carolina. We can be your postpartum doulas and overnight doulas through...
Pregnant In The Piedmont 2017!

Pregnant In The Piedmont 2017!

It’s that time of year! Pregnant In The Piedmont 2017 is Saturday, April 29th from 10 am to 2 pm at Novant Health Forsyth Medical Center Conference Center in Winston-Salem NC! Piedmont Doulas is proud to bring this pregnancy, baby and parenting expo annually to Winston-Salem. Pregnant In The Piedmont showcases the best of what the Piedmont Triad has to offer growing families. For the third year in a row, we’ve put together a jam packed expo, with over 50 vendors, mini workshops and demonstrations, shopping, activities for children, free swag bags with goodies for the first 100 families through the door, giveaways and lots of prizes. This year, we will also have a belly paint artist, to paint and decorate your beautiful baby bump! As always, admission is free. Check out our “Tiny Talks” schedule below for demonstration and classes times. A huge resounding thank you to our presenting sponsors; they are the ones who help make Pregnant In The Piedmont possible. Thank you to Novant Health Forsyth Medical Center, The Winston-Salem Journal/JournalNow, and Triad Moms On Main Click here to see a full list of this year’s sponsors, vendors and entertainers. If you have questions about the event, feel free to email us at piedmontdoulas@gmail.com, or call us at 336-448-4114. The address for Novant Health Forsyth Medical Center Conference Center is 3333 Silas Creek Parkway, Winston-Salem, NC 27103. There will be signs to help point you to the Conference Center parking area. We hope to see you...
It’s Not About Them; It’s All About YOU!–Keeping the peace with family during birth

It’s Not About Them; It’s All About YOU!–Keeping the peace with family during birth

“My mom wants to be there when he’s born…but I know she’ll stress me out. I don’t know what to do.” “During my first birth, my mother-in-law came into the room while I was pushing! I was too stressed and tired at that point to say anything, but I was so nervous and frazzled having her in there. It’s not what we wanted” “I’ve told my parents not to come to the hospital at all, that we will call them when the baby is born. They are now not speaking to me, as they say the “deserve” to be there.” “My best friends are fighting over who gets to hold the baby first. I’m worried I’m not going to feel like dealing with that drama right after birth” “I had 20 people in the waiting room during my last labor and birth, which took over 24 hours. I was completely stressed out that they were all waiting. I felt like I needed to hurry up and perform! I don’t want that this time” “I think all the grandparents to be are going to get into a fight in the waiting room over who’s the best grandparent. This is the last thing I need.” “I adore my parents, but we simply don’t want them there for the birth. It’s our day, right? Why are they acting like they have a right to be there? It’s making this pregnancy sad and stressful.” “My mother was a labor and delivery nurse in the 80’s. If she’s with me during labor, I know she’s going to try to control the whole show. It’s...
The Best Sweet Potato Souffle

The Best Sweet Potato Souffle

When my paternal grandmother (or as I called her, “Granna”) died a few years ago, there were only two things I wanted from her belongings. One was her old totally retro vintage awesome pie tin, circa 1970-something. Every Easter, Thanksgiving or Christmas it held her chocolate custard pie topped with a thick layer of meringue. Being a person born with a very large sweet tooth, I would gaze lovingly and longingly at that pie tin throughout dinner, unable to contain my excitement for dessert. The other thing I wanted was her cookbook. It’s old and tattered and splattered, and was printed sometime in the 60’s, full of recipes for those weird gelatin desserts that were popular during that time period. But it also has hand written old recipes as well. Nowadays, no one seems to keep hand written recipes. We prop our iPhone while we bake, smearing the screen with our floured fingers as we cook. Our family’s favorite side dish for Thanksgiving on Granna’s table was her sweet potato souffle. It was the best sweet potato sweet souffle!  (I really think it’s more of a sweet potato casserole, but she called it a souffle, so that’s what I will call it).  I continue to make it every Thanksgiving, and it’s the most popular side dish on the table.  I’ll be eating it again this year, (as long as I’m not at a birth with a client, which is what every doula says to family for every gathering!) and I thought I would share the recipe here for our readers.  We’d love to hear about your family’s Thanksgiving feast! ...
7 Reasons Your Partner Will Love Having A Doula

7 Reasons Your Partner Will Love Having A Doula

You are pregnant.  You’ve peed on the pregnancy test, scheduled your first appointment with your ob/gyn or midwife,  started shopping for the nursery, and are ordering those adorable aden + anais swaddle blankets.  Next up on the list-hiring a doula.  But you wonder-what will my partner think about having a doula?  And your partner wonders-do we really need a doula?  Will they replace me?  Do we really want another person with us during this time? These are really common questions that we commonly hear or come across.  We can say with emphatic delight, partners LOVE having a doula!  If they were doubtful before, they are full blown believers by the time your baby comes.  Here are seven reasons why partners love having a doula!   Your partner knows you, doulas know birth Your partner knows nearly everything about you, right down to how you got that scar above your eyebrow when you were in second grade.  Your doula knows how to support you both during birth.  We are familiar with labor, birth, pushing, that crazy placenta, and the hospital in which you are birthing.  When we combine your partner’s knowledge of you, with your doula’s knowing of birth support, BAM!  Awesome good things happen! We catch the throw up This always makes every parent to be nod and look relieved.  Your doula is a expert vomit catcher.  For real.  We know where to grab that bucket in your labor and delivery room, or grab a bowl or trash can at home so fast, it’s like we are magic.  Relax and let us handle the nausea and vomiting that often...
Nine great things about being pregnant in autumn

Nine great things about being pregnant in autumn

Put away the shorts and capri pants, turn off the air conditioner, throw open the windows and say a mighty hello to autumn!  Here are 9 ways that make being pregnant in fall fantastic! 1.  Awesome pregnancy Halloween costumes The ideas are endless when it comes to costume ideas for you and your baby bump! From the old standby, the pumpkin belly, to something much more complex, you’ve got the added benefit of being doubly admired during the Halloween season.  Check out this post for some interesting pregnancy Halloween costume ideas. 2. Cooler weather The days of 90 degree heat are done!  In North Carolina, it’s not too hot and not too cold in fall. Just perfect. Autumn breezes, mid 70’s, cool and crisp in the evenings, the weather is totally on your pregnant side. 3. Festivals Festivals, fairs and fun, oh my! There are so many great activities to enjoy in autumn. In Winston-Salem, there’s the Dixie Classic Fair, in Lexington, NC, the Barbecue Festival, and in Greensboro, NC,  you’ve got Art In The Arboretum 4. Pumpkin Spice Lattes Even if they are decaf, they still brighten your autumn day, right?  Add some extra whip cream, you deserve it. 5. Gorgeous maternity photo sessions What could make a more beautiful backdrop for your maternity photos than that golden afternoon light and the reds, yellows and oranges of the leaves on the trees? (Or in playful piles on the ground!) Some of our local maternity photographer favs are Heather McGinnis Photography, Sandra Henderson Photography, or Mossy Ledge Photography, all of who serve the Winston-Salem, Greensboro and High Point areas...
Are You Still Pregnant?

Are You Still Pregnant?

YES Welcome!  You may have been redirected here because you asked the question, “Are you still pregnant?” to a family member, friend or co-worker.  Though you meant well, it can be tiresome and difficult for the pregnant person to hear this question repeatedly during the last few weeks or days of pregnancy.  So what can you do instead?  Here are five things you might try. Remind Her She’s Awesome Instead of texting or saying “Have you had the baby?” or “Are you STILL pregnant”?  Or, “Dang, are you not in labor yet, what the heck?”, tell her she’s the most awesome gestating person around!  Congratulate her on nine months of pregnancy, text her to say “Way to gestate and bake that baby!”.  Send encouragement and supportive words.  The last few weeks and days of pregnancy  seem like years, and your gentle encouragement and cheering will go a long ways. Treat Her To A Pedicure Or massage, manicure, or something of that nature.  A text message of “Hey!  Wanna get pedicures and a decaf latte?” will be much more appreciated that questioning her current state of “Still Pregnant”. Bring Food Food is ever appreciated and welcome after a baby comes.  Help stock your friend or family member’s freezer now. Instead of calling to find out if contractions have started or if she’s seeing any bloody show (which is a whole other conversation) call her and see if you can stop by with a frozen casserole.  Let her know you are thinking about her, and want to help stock her fridge so she can focus on Baby instead of the kitchen...