Doulas Are For Partners, Too!

One of the most common misconceptions about doula support is that doulas replace or take away from a partner’s role. I understand where this concern comes from but most doulas (especially the good ones!) make it a priority to involve, empower, and support the partner. 5 Reasons Every Partner Can Benefit from Doula Support 1. A Doula Helps the Partner Help the Mother Most partners want to be active participants in the birthing experience but do not know specifically how to best…

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Natural Ways to Avoid Induction

There are many reasons why your provider may suggest an induction of labor. I will not go into these reasons here but– as with all medical decisions– be sure that you understand the risks and benefits and that you ultimately make an informed choice (definitely take the time to read the articles on evidencebasedbirth.com, talk to your doula, and ask your provider A LOT of questions). If you have an induction scheduled and are hoping to go into labor on your own…

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How to Write an Effective Birth "Plan"

First off, let’s get rid of the word “plan”. After all, it’s not really a plan… you can certainly dream about your perfect birth, but you cannot plan your perfect birth, for every woman, every baby, and every birth is unique and often presents certain scenarios that are impossible to anticipate. So, I much prefer to call it your “Birth Preferences” or, even better, your “Birth Wish-List”, for these terms acknowledge that you understand that there are elements of birthing that are…

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My Journey into Birth Work

For as long as I can remember I was drawn to the miracle of birth. Like my grandfather (a prominent OBGYN in Philadelphia) I wanted to deliver babies, but daunted by the path to medical school, I pursued a career as a high-school English teacher instead, received my MA from Middlebury College and focused on helping adolescents find their voice in the classroom and navigate life’s challenges. When I became pregnant with my first child in 2011, I was determined to have…

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Better Birthing with HypnoBirthing®— A Doula’s Perspective

When I first heard of HypnoBirthing® (the Mongan Method), I was pregnant with my first child and eager to have a natural birth. I found a podcast on birthing methods and listened to the founder of HynoBirthing, Marie Mongan, talk about its philosophy and techniques, and the calm, gentle, and sometimes pain-free birthing experiences of HypnoBirthing mothers. I was instantly hooked and quickly signed up for a class. I loved every minute of the 12-hour series… it was a full education on…

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Tips to Ensure Adequate Milk Supply

The most common reason that mothers wean early or add in supplemental formula is due to concerns about inadequate milk supply. As a doula and lactation counselor, this is the postpartum concern I hear the most frequently. First, determine if you need to work on your supply. If your baby has exceeded her birth weight and is producing at least 4 stools a day, then you have a healthy, adequate supply. Striving to increase your supply may lead to engorgement, sore nipples,…

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How to Position Yourself and Baby for Easier Birthing

I just got back from an amazing Spinning Babies Workshop and I’m eager to share what I’ve learned with my students, doula clients, and all of those Mamas out there preparing for birth. In a nutshell: position matters— your position, baby’s position; in pregnancy and in labor. “Optimal fetal positioning” has been a bit of a buzz term lately and I have even seen some debate on whether it matters, but let me tell you— it matters, much more than you think!…

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The Key to an Empowering Birthing Experience

For many women an empowering birthing experience is hard to come by. Ask around and you will likely discover this for yourself. It is all too easy for a woman’s birth to slip out of her control and into the hands of procedure, routine, the clock, concern for liability, etc. But the key to an empowering birthing experience is not complicated; it does not require voo-doo, chanting, or even homebirth. When it comes to having an empowering birthing experience, it all comes…

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