• Discuss what you wantfrom this Birth & Postpartum 
  • Tour Hospitals / Birth Centers
  • Interview OBs, MWs, Doulas
  • Review Your Nutrition
  • ​Begin daily/nightly bodywork
  • Schedule monthly massage 
  • Discuss Extended Family
  • Contact Lactation Support
  • Find a Post Partum Group
  • Hire a Babysitter for Date Nite
  • Pull out your Cheerios Activity every once in a while to see where you are with your needs
  • ​If you have other older children, watch for signs of insecurity - spotlight them, not baby and watch for one-on-one (non-baby) time together​​

The Real To-Do List

A Guide to Childbirth ​
Ina May Gaskin

Gentle Birth, Gentle Mothering 

Sarah Buckley 

The Thinking Woman's Guide 
to a Better Birth
 
Henci Goer

Birthing From Within 
Pam England

Need for Forceps      40% decrease
Epidural Requests    60% decrease
​Length of Labor        25% decrease     
​     
Additional BenefitsSource: The Thinking Woman's Guide To A Better Birth, Henci Goer
* Fewer complications/interventions
* Increased confidence in self & in partner
* Less use of episiotomies
* Higher success rate in breastfeeding
* Increased connection & satisfaction with birth experience
* Mother views baby more positively with lowered incidence of PPD (Postpartum Depression)
* Continuity in care: prenatal, labor, birth, and immediate postpartum
​* Babies have shorter hospital stays with fewer admissions to special care nurseries. 

Birth is a powerful experience for everyone involved.  While in the past, birthing methodologies have

taught women to use their partners as their coaches and advocates, I feel that partners are unprepared to

be guides on this journey that they have never undertaken.  They too are processing everything for the

first time and already feeling worried about you, your baby and their own role.  If male, they have never

done what you are doing (giving birth) and cannot feel the calm within the storm of this feminine

experience.  This is true for women who have not birthed as well.  Women who have birthed will be your

greatest source of labor support, coupled with the strength, love and confidence of a supportive partner.


A doula provides encouragement and comfort to both you and your partner as you tune into the birth;

including various laboring positions, visualization and counterpressure/massage suggestions and an

awareness of what is going on in the mother's body at each stage of labor.  She is present and confident for

the laboring mother and supportive of the laboring father or partner, providing opportunities for both to feel

nurtured as they work.  She ensures that your birthing plan is understood and followed to the best of the

hospital/birth center's abilities.  In the quiet of this protective bubble, you and your partner may then focus

on what you are each feeling and listen to what your body is saying you need.  A doula provides a safe emotional space for a laboring couple to explore the birth experience with dignity and respect.  

Top Picks for

Empowered 

Birth Reading

In the beginning, we gathered as women. We were born, we attended births, we birthed ourselves and we passed on our wisdom to the women who followed us. There was a sacred space for birthing, a ceremony to celebrate the new mother, and a commitment by each woman to guide others through this rite when her time came. Today, there is no gathering, little exposure to birth, and virtually no wisdom being passed on.  Women are alone and disconnected from the birth ceremony. The word "doula" is Greek meaning servant and in our current culture, a woman who serves as a source of comfort, support and encouragement both physical and emotional for other women and their partners during pregnancy, labor, birth and postpartum. They "mother" the mother and guide the partner while preserving an atmosphere of quiet respect and peace. In my Doula Services, this is exactly what I hope to offer the couples I work with - as much information, support and encouragement as possible from childbirth education to early labor, to birth and postpartum. 

Benefits of Labor Support & Education

Doulas Support and Partner Support

What Is A Doula? 

Introducing....The Breastfeeding Diaries!


​ 







Why Breastfeed? 

* You will grow a healthier baby (immunologically, nutritionally, psychologically) speaking

* You will sleep better (women who nurse their babies are better rested since there is no prep needed)

* You will lose your pregnancy weight (originally intended to "fatten baby up" this weight falls off around month 6-9 and then some 

  extra too!)  Harder to remove without breastfeeding

* You will establish a deep bond with your child that encourages confidence, independence and self-esteem

* You will develop a pride in your body that may have started during birth, but surges during breastfeeding.

                                                             


Remember to Laugh

Your uterus is growing from the size of a pear to the size of a jumbo shopping bag. Your underwear is as large as a parachute. You've got facial hair growing where it didn't and shouldn't and now you've developed sciatica, causing your leg to ache from the butt to the knee. You walk with a waddle and pee when you sneeze.  You can't eat without spilling everything down your front, putting Picasso to shame with your"blouse art".  You belch, you fart, you sweat excessively.  You reach for antacids like tick-tacs. You have to employ the three point turn to roll yourself out of bed at least three times a night and even then, get a good grasp of the bedsheets to haul yourself up. Funny noises emit from you at all times and places, and you find yourself eating relish straight out of the jar.  You complain that not enough is getting done, but also complain that there is too much to do.  You have a bust that would attract attention but a belly that lures older women to reminisce. Remind yourself that while you are taking on the most challenging job there is, feeling out of control and frustrated by your limitations ... there is space for the release of a good laugh at what life asks of you during pregnancy.   ​​

My Doula Support

Cesarean Rate         50% decrease
Pain Medication     30% decrease

Though it is a very natural thing to nurse your child, it truly takes a support team to get the hang of it.  Imagine all of 
the times you have ever taken on something new - swimming, riding a bike, driving a car, knitting, baking  etc - they 
have all required the mentorship of someone who knew how to do it and had faith in the process.  Knowledge and 
faith in the process are CRITICAL in breastfeeding.  We were never meant to do this alone and many are forced to 
give up on this experience because they have no support, are made to be fearful for their baby's health and are 
exhausted and uncomfortable physically.  It came to me the other day, while surrounded by Mothers who were nursing 
​that all of us have approached this differently and found a system that works for our unique babies, bodies and families.  I can't be with every woman as she begins her nursing journey, but I can attempt to create a "cyber-community" of women who have come before you that also yearned to do it, struggled to establish it, asked tons of questions in the process and now have a wonderful, nurturing bond with their babies through breastfeeding.  

  • 24/7 phone availability during pregnancy
  • ​make 1-2  visits during your last two months to build confidence and intimacy
  • ​train you in some birthing positions, comfort techniques and massage that you can use for labor
  • create a healthy diet and exercise plan for use during pregnancy and during breastfeeding
  • create a birth plan with you and your partner
  • provide education, support and comfort during labor and birth
  • advocate for you during your delivery, helping ​ to build bridges with staff and practitioners
  • make follow-up visits after your birth to check on you, your partner and the baby regarding your care and recovery, breastfeeding and answer any worries or concerns
  • invite you to join in my weekly Breastfeeding & Bonding Group (postpartum)
  • To sum up, I will be a resource for you as you start out and do my best to help you create a community of support with other mothers in the same phase of development. If you would like to schedule an informational interview with me and/or request my services as a doula for your birth, please call 713-705-7257  and/or fill out the Doula Services Contract below and email or print and mail via snail mail to me!


they invite us in women who trust us - inviting us in to share their secret passage - they invite us in - to help their babies out - we dance with them slowly as they grow and wait - each day a little larger - new life jostling their ribs until its stretching threatens to burst her flesh and at last she is ready - taking your hand she flows in and out of the deepest shadow places - love and terror - the waves grip her and release until she is ready also to release - you sing to her - breathe, my dear - hold her closer - relax now, it’s over - help her see she will not die - not today - at last fire then water and for the first time ever air into tiny pink balloons - their love made earth elements into a body - your hands felt it first - still one with her body as it grew ripened and fell out into your waiting palms - you love this moment - this woman - this baby - then you entrust her back into the arms of her mate hoping he/she’s learned even more how grand she is - this bearer of life -Judy Edmunds (1997) from Midwifery Today

Birth Stories...from those who came before you and also wondered how it would start, what it would feel like, who they would become...