Thursday, December 31, 2009

Welcome Baby!

On Tuesday, I experienced one of life's most wonderful joys-a new creation-a new baby. Each time I see a birth, I am in awe. I am in awe of the wonderful blessing it is to finally meet someone whom you have been waiting for. It is the happiest to see the reactions on the faces in the room; there is crying, there are smiles, there is a peace in the room. What a great time to reflect on the biggest blessings that God gave to us.
One mother asked me why labor had to hurt. "Well, hun," I said. "It is because everything comes as a cost, whether it is pain or suffering or even sacrifice, but in the end, we know that we worked to receive the prize before us." I truly believe what I told her. Unfortunately nothing in life is really free or easy to accomplish or achieve or receive, but knowing that we put our best effort into this task or journey, gives us a sense of resolve. This opens up room in our hearts to take in the warmth of the love that surrounds us.
Here is a beautiful blessing that God brought this week and I was honored to be a part of it. Introducing baby Salem.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Recommended Resources for Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding can be the best experience you ever have with your child in their infancy. This special bond is precious and incredible. There are many women who have tried breastfeeding and had been unsuccessful for one reason or another. I am here to say that if you have the resources and are willing to make it your desire, than you will be more successful.

Personally, my first child did not do well at the beginning with latching on. We, (I mean my son, my husband, and I) all shed some tears during that time. We did not have the care that we needed at the hospital in the middle of the night and we felt confused and we were about to waive our white flag...all of this on the first night! My son was hungry and we couldn't get comfortable and it was a disaster. I did not read about breastfeeding, because no one told me that it could be a challenge at first. I thought it was a natural event where the baby knew exactly what to do and we would not have any problems. We were wrong. For days we struggled with getting him to latch. We found that using a supplemental nurser worked best and the breast shield helped for a bit, but what really worked was our determination.

The greatest news is that my son finally latched on and we were extremely happy. When we were about to have our second child, I knew that I needed to read up a bit more and find resources about successful breastfeeding to have a better start. I did read a bit and determined to breastfeed once again-even if the beginning might be a challenge like before. Well, this time, my daughter did latch on perfectly and we were successful at that, however, on our second night at the hospital, we hit that point again. She had issues with her latch and she was very hungry. This time I knew what to ask for. I asked the nurse to find me a supplemental nurser. Once my daughter had a taste, she latched on successfully and we never had to use the nurser again and we were fine from that day on. I loved nursing my children, even though there were a few bumps in the beginning.

Now, after studying several books and videos and working with experts, I feel very confident to be able to refer clients to several resources available to them. Below are books and sites that are truly helpful for those planning to breastfeed, or those who are already doing so. These resources can help you have better experiences.

Also, if you need personal assistance, I am available for consultation, however, there are IBLC's in Longview/Kelso. An (International Board Certified Lactation Consultant) can help with tough situations and concerns that you may have.

The Breastfeeding Book: Everything You Need to Know About Nursing Your Child from Birth Through Weaning
Author: Martha & William Sears
Bestfeeding: How to Breastfeed Your Baby
Author: Mary Renfrew, Chloe Fisher & Suzanne Arms

Dr. Jack Newman:

Motherwear Blog:

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

View my Website!

View my website at for more information about my doula services and how I can help.

Contact me for more information by email ( or phone (360-431-8275).

Also, check out an article about me, published by The Daily News:

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Paving the Way

For women in southwest Washington there is a sigh of relief to know that there is a new doula in town~ME! I began my journey this spring as I was layed-off from my job. Becoming a doula became more than a dream, but a reality. This was my opportunity to start schooling immediately. I spent hours studying, reading, writing, advertising for my services, and now I am ready. As one of the first doulas in this area, I am proud to establish a new cause for women and families here. I am able to support women with one of life's beautiful journeys...the Blessings of Birth. I am here and ready to serve. This news was welcomed by our local newspaper and should be published in the Tuesday, November 24th Daily News. Thank you friends and family, for all of your support and encouragement.
This is a photo that my 5 year old son took. I am beside my birth/exercise ball, rice socks, nursing samples, massage tools, and a couple books I have read along the way.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

"Ask a Doula" Workshop

If you may be interested in having doula support, please join this workshop on October 28th from 5:30-6:30pm. More information is available on my website

Thursday, August 6, 2009

How do I pay for a doula's services?

Although the care that doulas provide is non-medical, it does have medical and financial benefits. Many hospitals are recognizing that factor and some insurance companies are beginning to reimburse parents for doula services. Medicaid funds are sometimes allocated for doula services by some county agencies and private foundations have also provided grants to cover the cost of doula care.
Parents in the United States may have a flex-spending account in which a percentage of their wages are placed in a pre-tax account that can be used for non-covered medical expenses. Hospitals and individual physicians who directly employ doulas may also bill for doula services.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

My Birthing Experience: Why I Wish I Had A Doula

I am a short female; yes I admit that I only reach 4'11". At 6 months along with my first child, everyone (who didn't know me asked if I was due any day). My stomach was huge! I asked my doctor if my son would be too large to deliver. She thought it would be best to induce 10 days early. Sure, I was excited that I wouldn't have to wait much longer, but I didn't know all of the risks of being induced. I had a horrible experience trying to focus and stay in control of my breathing. My poor husband tried to comfort me, but it just wasn't enough. I was about 9cm when I finally asked for an epidural. I had intended to have a natural birth, but it all went down hill.
I had to wait for over a 1/2 hour for an epidural, because the anesthesiologist was busy. While I waited, the nurse asked me if I wanted an IV medication "to take the edge off". I thought that less pain at the moment sounded great. I actually became sick and my thoughts got cloudy. I don't know where the "edge was taken off", but I was not happy with the results and her interpretation of the medication. I finally received the epidural, and felt great.
Unfortunately, I had pushed for a few hours and my son's heartbeat slowed with contractions. I was faced with a c-section. My doctor believed it was the best option. Not sure of all that it entailed, I felt it was my only option. My beautiful son was born about 20 minutes later.
I had some side effects from the medication, epidural, and the healing process from the c-section. I truly wish that I had been able to have someone experienced with relaxation techniques, massage, and childbirth in general. Having a person there to inform me of the pros and cons of each step I took, would have been so very beneficial. If there was someone to help me possibly reach my goals in my birth plan, I would have been thrilled. I also struggled with breastfeeding the first few days and there was no one on staff in the middle of the night when I needed someone the most. How I would have loved to be able to call someone to walk me thru the steps.
A doula helps to inform parents about each step in the delivery process. She can help alleviate stress with relaxation methods. She can help dad find ways to be more supportive. She can give you the risk factors with medications and procedures. She is there for you! I didn't have a doula, because I didn't know that they existed, but now I wouldn't go without one.
Please Remember: Doulas are not doctors and they cannot suggest what you should do, or give their opinion about what they would do. Doulas inform, encourage, and support.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Cesarean Birth and Doulas

By Robin Elise Weiss, LCCE,

A doula can bring in another set of hands and eyes and ears to help you better prepare for your upcoming surgical birth. She can help you get answers to your questions and formulate a birth plan for a cesarean section. Sometimes your doula can even help you by offering you an educational class on cesarean section.
During the pre-operative period, your doula can help explain procedures to you and help you get answers to any questions that you have, much like she would during a normal labor setting. Your doula can help you manage painful procedures like the administration of an IV, or even the spinal or epidural anesthesia for your surgery.
Once inside the operating room, your doula will assist you in knowing what is going on by giving you details of whatever you wish to know. Your surgeon and assistants are busy doing the surgery. The nurses are preparing the room for the baby. Your husband is awaiting the baby and will soon go to the warmer to greet the baby. Your doula will be at your side. She can take photos if you desire, particularly after the baby is born. She can remind the staff of any special requests you may have, like letting your husband announce the gender of the baby or a quiet room during the birth.
If your baby needs to go to the nursery, your husband can go with the baby. Your doula stays by your side. She can also act as a liaison between the staff and you for getting updates on baby while you are separated.
One important fact to remember about the cesarean is that the baby is born in the first few minutes. The rest of the nearly hour long procedure is the repair. If your husband is busy with the baby or in the nursery, you would otherwise be alone during this period. During the postpartum period your doula can suggest post-operative comfort measures. She can assist you with any breastfeeding questions you may have or special help you or baby may require with breastfeeding. Your doula can also help with reminding the staff about your birth plan and special needs you may have.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

What doulas do not do:
As a doula, I do not:

*Perform clinical tasks, such as blood pressure, fetal heart checks, vaginal exams, and others. I am there to provide only physical comfort, emotional support and advocacy.
*Make decisions for you.
What I will do:
I will help you get the information necessary to make an informed decision. I will also remind you if there is a departure from your Birth Plan. I will discuss your concerns with you and suggest options, but you or your partner will speak on your behalf to the clinical staff.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

What is a Doula?
A doula provides informational, physical and emotional support to pregnant women and their families/partners before and throughout the birthing process. A doula typically meets with expectant families a few times prior to the birth, offering information and assessing their individual needs and desires to have the birth experience that they choose.