Real Stories: Plans Change

Real Stories_ Plans change Maine doulas.png

There was so much focus on creating a birth plan.

"How do we feel about delayed cord clamping?"

"Good?"

"Vitamin K Shots?"

"Good?"

"Do I want to wear my own clothes during labor?"

"Isn't it going to be messy?"

"I don't know!"

After going over all the options and templates, again and again, I felt like I had a pretty solid vision for how I was going to give birth to my baby. I would labor at home for a good while, go to the hospital when it got intense, then push out a baby and come home. Hard but doable, right?

I wanted to try to have an unmedicated birth. I wanted it to be natural. I wanted to connect with the other women who had given birth before me through the act of giving birth, and I was excited. I wanted to be a mother, and I wanted to feel the power that so many write about in books like Ina May's and blogs like Birth Without Fear.

It seemed like everyone stressed I should really try at wait to go to the hospital until I thought I couldn't be at home any longer. The choice of when to leave my home was treated as a pivotal point of many unmedicated "success" stories. They stressed that laboring at home would be way more comfortable and less stressful, and I could move around as much as I wanted, instead of being tied to a hospital bed.

I thought I would want to eat because labor takes a long time. I thought I would want to sleep in my own bed, and pee in my own toilet. I felt really at ease. I was nervous. Who wouldn't be nervous for the birth of a first baby? But I was also feeling really ready.

The one option I didn't spend much time thinking about, ended up being how my daughter decided to start her birth process.

(And no, not surgery. I always knew surgery was possible.)

The way my daughter came into the world was very, very slowly. It was so slow. So slow, that there wasn't any sign, other than me feeling contractions, breathing heavily, and being super uncomfortable, that anything was even happening.

And lo and behold, it has a name.

My birth story started with prodromal labor.

Prodromal labor is when it looks and feels like labor, but the cervix doesn’t change. My feelings were real, but to the medical world, I was not in labor.

I started feeling contractions in the middle of the night, and I could breathe through them, but I couldn't sleep. Every 9-7 minutes, until morning came, and then they backed off for a bit. I started my day. I ate. I showered. I showed the contraction log to my partner, who had happily slept through them all. And we got excited for them to start back up any minute!

And then they didn't start again until night again. And still, I had contractions, but I couldn't lay down this time, every 7-9 minutes, for less than a minute. And again, when morning came, they went away.

Were they Braxton hicks?

Did I do too much?

Was I dehydrated? Probably yes to all of those, but hindsight is 20-20.

They just kept popping up and then taking a break. Starting and stopping. I went to my 40-week appointment hoping my Doctor would tell me how close I was and that it would almost be time to go to the hospital. But when my cervix was checked, she said I was still at 1 centimeter.

So they sent me home and told me to rest.

I tried. I was really tired.

But the contractions started again, and they didn't stop. They got closer together, ranging between 4-6 minutes. So I moved when I needed to move. I took bites of food when it was put in front of my face. I peed, I walked, I sat, I bounced, I laid on my side, I took a shower, I contracted over and over.

I have a hard time being objective about the level of pain I was in because I was so tired. I would fall asleep between contractions and then be jolted awake. I stuck with what the books said about labor progress and stayed home because I was still contracting every 4-6 minutes.

This lasted for two days. When the third morning came, I was desperate and told my husband we were going to the hospital.

I was done.
I was over labor.
I was over birth.
I was not prepared to be in labor for 4 days. Even if this wasn't "real labor," I was done.

We went to the hospital, we went into triage, and after all that, I got what I thought was horrible news: I was 3 centimeters dilated. 3. I was so sad. So defeated. So angry. And it just didn't seem fair. I was trying to do everything right, and my body wasn't following the plan.

They asked if I wanted to go back home and continue to labor there, and I said, "hell no. I'm done."

My Doctor was at the hospital that morning and came in to talk about my options.

  • I could be admitted, have an IV line set to rehydrate me, and that might help labor progress.

  • I could have Pitocin to help make my contractions get stronger and closer together, to encourage more cervical change.

  • I could get an epidural and sleep, which may help my cervix dilate.

  • I could have some IV pain relief that might allow me to sleep for a few hours.

  • I could have my bag of waters broken and have the baby's head press against the cervix to help encourage it to open.

  • Or I could have an elective cesarean.

I cried.

I looked at my husband and just cried.

There were too many options. I was too tired to pick. I wanted someone else to take over making the choices, and I just wanted to be taken care of for a little bit.

I just sobbed. No one told me I could be in labor for 4 days and be driven to what felt like madness.

Sleep sounded so good. So, so, good.

I said, "I want to sleep. How can I sleep?"

So I chose to get an epidural.

As soon as that medication went into my back, my eyes dropped. My husband said they had to wake me a couple times to take vitals and blood pressure, but I don't remember any of it.

I slept. And it was glorious.

I woke up 4 hours later.

I changed positions.

I drank more water.

I went back to sleep.

They would come in and check things and I would answer some questions, and then roll over and go right back to sleep.

Around 2pm, my Doctor came in and asked if I wanted to be checked to see how things were going.

I laid back and waited, and she looked up at me, smiled, and said, "Are you ready to meet your baby? You are complete. Let's get the room set up, and we'll get going. Has anyone talked to you about pushing?"

WHAT?

The room jumped to activity, and I just stared at my husband. It went from 0 to 100.

Nurses were calling people.

A cart was set up.

My Doctor was getting a gown on.

The bed morphed into a half bed with footrests.

A light came out of the ceiling.

My room was a Transformer.

And then someone told me to push like I was pooping. So I did. And I did again. And again. And then all of a sudden she was there! I was holding her, and she was perfect!

With all my reading, all my planning, and all the encouragement I had from my family to have this baby on my own, I don't know why my labor was so drawn out. I'm sure there are those people who would say I didn't need the epidural. I'm sure some may say I just needed a different position, or different mindset, or different whatever.

But I know I had villanized getting an epidural. I had thought that people who got epidurals just didn't try hard enough. And now I'm ashamed of those beliefs. I needed the relief that came from having that medicine, and I needed the sleep.

My plans changed, and I changed, and I am proud of the work I did at home. I'm proud of asking for help. And I'm no less connected to those wise women before me.

Real Pregnancy: 5 Lesser Known Truths

Maine Doulas Real Pregnancy 5 lesser known truths.png

There are so many birth and parenting books out there that it seems silly to imagine that anything about pregnancy is "lesser known" at this point, but alas, it's true.  Trends change, research is updated, and now it's you who are looking!  Here are some things about pregnancy that you may not have known, and could be helpful!


1. Swelling happens for all sorts of reasons - some harmful, and some not.  

Swelling, or edema, can be one sign that you are pre-eclamptic, which is a severe condition that needs attention from your medical provider.  There are other symptoms as well, like high blood pressure, and protein in your urine, but those are hard to know on your own.  Swelling is then an indication that something might be up.  

But swelling is normal in pregnancy and can happen from diet, exertion, and from the fact that your body is literally filled with more blood and fluid when pregnant.  

Some ways to find relief is to:
 

  • use cold compresses on the swollen area

  • use compression garments, for feet and wrists

  • elevate the swollen area and rest

  • drink more water

2.  Provider Appointments


If you were like me, when you found out you were pregnant, you didn't know what to do next.  So I called my mom.  And then I called my doctor to schedule an appointment.  At this appointment, you will be asked about the dates of your last menstrual cycle, and you may have a transvaginal ultrasound to confirm the age of the baby.  From there with a normal pregnancy, you will have appointments every month up until your 28th week, twice a month until 36 weeks, and then they will happen weekly until you deliver.

In addition to these appointments, there will be other appointments for routine ultrasound near 20 weeks, and a glucose test between 24-28 weeks.  

There are a lot of appointments!  Usually, the time you have with your provider is 15-20 minutes, and it can feel like a whirlwind.  However, prenatal appointments are your opportunity to learn about your provider's standard practices, discuss your birth preferences, and have any questions addressed.  Writing down your concerns before your meeting can help ensure you are getting all the information you need to feel prepared going into labor. 


3. Dressing Your Pregnant Body


Pregnancy trends have fluctuated dramatically from loose-fitting gowns to closely cut stretch everything.  There is no wrong way to dress.  Some items may seem more practical, but practical may not be your style.  Do you! Regardless of when you have your baby, you will be moving through 9 months of weather, and each comes with its pros and cons: 


Spring: 
Pro: Mild temperatures and light layers
Con: Wild fluctuation possible as spring storms roll through and you may be caught unawares

Summer: 
Pro: No need for bulky jackets and extra garments
Con: Sweat, Swelling, and Possible Sunburns (Your pregnant skin is more sensitive!) 

Fall: 
Pro: Back to light layers and the most fashion-forward of the pregnancy seasons (as is the case for all fashion)
Con: The beginning of carrying more stuff to be equipped for cold spells

Winter: 
Pro: Many pregnant people appreciate the colder weather because they feel hot most of their pregnancy
Con: Finding an outer layer that fits over your bump, watching out for ice on the ground


4. A new relationship with your bladder


There are so many jokes about pregnant people needing to pee all the time, that it is probably one part of pregnancy you knew was coming.  But the reality of it is something hard to plan for until you have experienced it.  

The reason you are running to the restroom more often is two fold - you need to drink more liquid during pregnancy, and your bladder is being compressed by your growing baby (and uterus.)  There simply is not as much room for your bladder to fill up.  

And when you can take the opportunity to void your bladder's contents, there is a new struggle as you may not be able to empty it completely.  The same reason your bladder can't fill as full is also pressing down on your urethra.  So when you are there, take a deep breath, and try to relax to loosen the muscles in your pelvic floor fully. 


5. The Stuff


When you become pregnant, you unknowingly have become the target market of a whole new industry.  The adds in your Facebook feed will change.  The adds on your browser will do the same.  

Many gadgets and products can be handy, and you get to choose if you want them or not.  Having an awareness that you are in a very short, and very impressional part of the retail market may help you find tools that will help you solve a problem (sleeping unwell, swelling, or supporting your back), instead of collecting the newest craze.  Go to town if you want to, or don't.  It's totally up to you!

Real Fertility

Maine Doulas Real Fertility-2.png

The number of factors that need to align for a person to become pregnant and carry a baby is extraordinary.  Hormones, ovulation, intercourse, fertilization, and implantation all have steps that need to ruction properly for a pregnancy to be viable.   1 in 8 couples can have trouble conceiving a child on their own.  

A person or couple's fertility does not come into question until there has been frequent unprotect intercourse that does not result in pregnancy over a year. 

A large variety of factors can affect infertility in women:

  • Irregular or absent periods

  • Ovulation

  • Cervical Disorders

  • Blocked Fallopian Tubes

  • Age

  • Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)

  • Endometriosis

  • Adenomyosis

  • Lifestyle

  • Cancer

  • Blood Clotting Disorders


Several factors can affect infertility in men:

  • Azoospermia (no sperm cells are produced)

  • Oligospermia (few sperm cells are produced)

  • Erectile Dysfunction

  • Genetic disease

  • Chromosomal abnormality

  • Smoking

  • Excessive alcohol

  • Stress

  • Excessive heat exposure

For people who are trying to conceive, knowing when you are most fertile is a reasonable place to start.  A woman's most fertile window is the three days leading up to and including ovulation. 


Tracking periods and ovulation can be helpful information to have and will be necessary if a couple decides to see a fertility specialist.  A woman's cycle starts on day 1 of her period and ends the day before her next period.  Ovulation typically happens 14 before the start of her period.  So depending on the length of the cycle, determining an individual "fertility window" can be mapped.  

If mapping your fertility becomes complicated and adds unnecessary stress, having sex every 2 to 3 days can be a helpful guide. There are also ovulation kits that are available at pharmacies.  And as a natural predictor, vaginal mucus tends to become clear and slippery a few days before ovulation as well.  

Something to consider when discussing family planning and fertility is age, as fertility declines as we all get older.  Women younger than 35 and men younger than 40 have a better chance to conceive then people who are older.  In the medical world, A woman aged 35 or above is automatically deemed "AMA," or Advanced Material Age, and is considered High Risk in most practices.  

If you are older than 35 or 40, respective to your sex, know that it is appropriate to reach out to a fertility specialist after only 6 months of trying to conceive, and not the full year.

Fertility and Infertility are often not discussed openly. If you are looking for a support group, or additional resources, consider including your physician or therapist in a conversation. If you would like more information before taking any next steps to explore your fertility, Resolve may be a helpful, as well as The Portland Fertility Clinic.


For more insight into preparing for pregnancy, https://www.yourfertility.org.au is an excellent resource for information.  Also "Before Your Pregnancy: A 90-Day Guide for Couples On How to Prepare for a Healthy Conception" by Amy Ogle, M.S., R.D./ and Lisa Mazzullo, M.D. 



Real Parenthood: First Time Dad

Real parenting_ first time dad Maine Doulas.png

I was lucky to come from a household where my parents loved each other. They showed it, they lived it. My siblings and I had a dad that would talk with us, play with us, and when home, liked to be around us.


When I told my dad Shelly and I were expecting our first child, the look on his face showed a kind of joy I had never seen. A kind of love (and worry now that I think back) that was there behind his wide smile and a huge hug. I was going to get to feel what he had felt, and his response showed me again, just how much he loved me.


My wife's pregnancy was normal. It seemed like the things we worried about were normal, and the things we thought were abnormal, were normal to think were abnormal, too. We liked our doctor. We had a plan. And when it came time to meet our daughter, my wife was incredible. She was so strong. And so incredibly powerful. She has always known what to do and how to help everyone around her feel seen and loved. And she welcomed our daughter to the world with every ounce of herself that she could muster. And then she was here. My daughter had been born, and she was perfect.


I don't really remember much of the hospital stay. My wife was sore, and breastfeeding was challenging. I felt helpless. I couldn't fix it. I asked if we should give the baby formula, and the nurses said it wasn't necessary, and that figuring out how to eat would just take some time. My daughter was so tiny. I remember looking at her whole hand holding on to my one huge finger. I remember thinking, "how is she so tiny?"

The next weeks were hard.


The next months were hard. We were worried so much about our little peanut's entrance to the world, but we were not prepared for what came after. We had given almost no thought to what happens after she got here.


I had one week I could take off of work. One week to spend time with this perfect little person and not worry about needing to be anywhere. One week to be a new parent with my wife without outside distractions. It was over before I could even blink.


I can't really pinpoint when I realized that my wife wasn't ok. But luckily my dad spoke up.

I didn't know what she would be talking about some days when I got home. She had stories of changing diapers, and poop - so much poop. And she had charts. And she had made a nest where our living room used to be.

The poop was surprising but natural. The charts were very helpful. And the nest seemed like a logically choice being that there were now so many things that might get milk, pee, poop, or tears on them regularly.


I found out later that my wife was one of many women who had postpartum depression. Her mood did not steadily get better after a couple of weeks of baby blues. She had a hard time sleeping even though she was exhausted. She was sad often and cried for what seemed like no reason, or for reasons that didn't seem to be connected to the thing she was doing at the time. She carried a lot of guilt around about breastfeeding, and she said a few times when it was a tough night, that she didn't think she was a good enough mom for our child.

She didn't want to leave the house. She didn't want to do any of the things that she usually did for herself, like bathe, go for walks, or talk with her friends.

I didn't know what to do.

I had been keeping my dad in the loop every time he would call to see how things were going with the new baby. I would share the cute new thing my daughter had done, and he'd always ask about Shelly. I'd share honestly what was going on, and what I was nervous about.


And then one day, my dad said, "It sounds like Shelly has what your mom had with you kids. You should call her doctor."


Apparently, "What my mom had," was postpartum depression. I called Shelly's doctor and we had a conversation about what was going on. At that time, I shared Shelly was not sleeping well, she was sad all the time, and she was having a hard time letting others help with the baby, and to me, she just was not herself. She was angry.

So after an appointment and a reality check, we had to make some changes. Shelly shared what was going on in her day, but I never realized all those things were happening, and they were happening to someone who was nervous, sometimes frightened, and lonely.

I am embarrassed to say I had to be told by a doctor that it is lonely to take care of a newborn all day.

The doctor said she didn't believe Shelly needed medication at this time, but we needed to make nutrition and sleep a priority for Shelly, and not just for our baby.

I called Shelly's friends, and we set up some visits for help, made some charts to make sure she had what she needed, and, again I'm embarrassed about this, I had to learn how to take care of this woman who made everything in life seem simple and easy.

I never had any idea how much she did. I never knew how many decisions she was making daily. I had no idea what life was really like for my wife until her health and welfare necessitated it.

Thankfully, with our friends and family's help during the day, and the support of a postpartum doula for a few nights to help Shelly catch up sleep, we got through it. For 5 months, my wife was suffering, and for another 5 we helped her come back out of it. And we are nearing the end of this first year of milestones, amazing growth, and adorable experiences, and we are doing it.

It seems incredible to me that we have gone through so much and it hasn't even been a year. So if I can be honest to anyone reading this, I hope expectant families take an opportunity to look at what could be important for their first months home, and not just what to do in labor. My daughter's birth was so special, and really incredible. And her birth was one day of a much larger experience.


If I can share just one more thing, it is that you will need much more help than you ever thought necessary. While I hope your family does not experience postpartum depression or any other illnesses that make things harder than they already are, one thing it has shown me is that relationships matter.

My dad clued me in first to what was happening. My mom helped Shelly in ways I didn't know how. Our friends showed up, over and over, for big things and small. And I learned how to see my wife and her life through a totally different set of eyes.

I'm learning how to be a parent, and it is so much more than caring for my daughter.

Real Miscarriage

real miscarriage Maine Doulas.png

Miscarriage. "The spontaneous loss of pregnancy before the 20th week" is how the Mayo Clinic defines this term. If it were after the 20th week, we wouldn't be talking about miscarriage, but instead Stillbirth, because the only distinction between the two terms is time. Miscarriage is common, affecting 10-15% of people who know they are pregnant.

Many who have experienced miscarriage share of how very little empathy or compassion gets shown toward the family who is experiencing this type of loss. The terms are so different: miscarriage, like an awkward load of shopping bags;  stillbirth has the distinction of being recognized as a type of birth.  

We are not telling anyone to feel, but are acknowledging a discrepancy that affects how people are treated. So we want to share a bit more about miscarriage, to broadening dialogue and offer some visibility to an experience, an end, and as a part of the spectrum of birth.  

One of the realities of miscarriage is that if it occurs, a pregnant person may need the help of medical professionals for something called a D&C, or a dilation and curettage. Most pregnant people who experience a miscarriage in the first ten weeks of pregnancy can safely miscarry without a D&C.  However, after ten weeks, it may be necessary for help to ensure that all of the fetal tissue is removed. The D&C can consist of using suction or scraping the uterine lining.   

A D&C does not need to happen in a hospital.  Your doctor's office or surgical center with outpatient care is usually an option.  If general anesthesia will be used, care from a family member or friend is necessary for transportation afterward, and monitoring for 24 hours.


Returning to work is typical after 2-3 days.  However, healing after a miscarriage can take months or longer.   

If a D&C is necessary, one can expect the procedure to last about 15 minutes, although one may spend 5 hours or more before being discharged.  Bleeding, blood pressure, and recovery from anesthesia are all monitored, and an antibiotic is most likely administered to help prevent infection. 

If a miscarriage happens at home, it may take place over a few hours, days, or weeks. Having care from your provider is needed eventually, to ensure your body has released all of the tissue and placenta. 

Regardless of where your miscarriage takes place, the emotional and physical needs each person needs require delicate compassion.  

Physically, a person's body will need months before hormones will return to pre-pregnancy levels.  A person's uterus also takes weeks to return to pre-pregnancy size.  Bleeding, cramps, and soreness are common.  A person may also need weeks before their regular menstrual cycle returns. 

Emotionally, the feelings of grief are extensive and varied for each person. Miscarriage is a loss.  Miscarriage is a death.  Also, miscarriage, at any stage can change how a person walks through the world.  Many do not feel comfortable talking or sharing their experience, thinking they are alone.  

Like the loss of any close loved one, miscarriage is often treated without due respect and is thought to be something "to get over."  Phrases like, "at least you know you can get pregnant," continue to circulate and isolate the person in the experience.  As Brene Brown says, "rarely, if ever, does an empathic response begin with 'at least.'"   

Grief, however, cannot be “recovered” from.  The stages of grief are researched and continue to have thoughtful discourse added to the dialogue.  Recently, grief is being discussed not only as a cycle that starts and stops but is something a person carries for their lifetime, and their life expands around the pain.  

And families all around us are doing just that: expanding themselves to continue their lives after a miscarriage. 10-15 people out of 100 are experiencing this loss. It is incredibly common. It can even be seen as one potential “normal” complication of pregnancy, but it is never easy.

The story of real miscarriage is that it is common, and taboo. It makes people uncomfortable, because grief is uncomfortable. But just as we hope to celebrate the joys of life with the people closest to us, having people near who can also be with us as we experience pain is part of parenthood too.

The Power Of Good Vibrations

The Power of Good Vibrations Maine Doulas.png

While doulas and good vibes regularly go together, we want to dive into vibration a little more.

Science and emotions get to jive together here. The physical reality of vibrations is that they are the consequence of a disturbed equilibrium, resulting in waves. The emotional value of vibration is the atmosphere of a place and how the people in that place experience it.

Vibrations are all around a person in labor because hopefully, the origin of the room's vibe emanates from the person giving birth.

That person is the axis.

The epicenter.

Ground zero.

When doulas see people in labor start to submit to the patterns of labor, we translate to the room. We help partners know the sounds and sights are normal and are an excellent sign that labor is progressing.

When contractions begin to come in a regular pattern, so much that it feels like waves are cresting and moving through, doulas try to protect the flow or get back to it when it's disturbed.

However, it's an uncomfortable place for many who have not visited this part of their themselves. The meditative space of labor is a journey and a destination. It occurs over and over as repeating moments are felt, experienced, and released. Moreover, for those who can accept their role as the source of this disturbed equilibrium, they can thrive in these waves.


So how do you get these vibes started?


Well, for those who are looking for non-medical ways to encourage labor to get going at the end of your pregnancy, you may find it good news to know that vibes beget vibes. For those people with a low-risk pregnancy, there is typically no medical reason to abstain from sexual activity (any personal reasons to refrain are totally legit, however!) However, if you want to get it on with yourself, or your partner, the increased blood flow and uterine contractions that come from arousal and orgasm do not hurt the baby or you.

There is an argument to be made for bringing sex back to birth. Kate Dimpfl shares in her TEDx talk that the hormones that are a part of arousal and intimacy, are the same hormones that trigger contractions and labor.

Even Pitocin, a synthetic form of your body's natural oxytocin, is the hormone administered during many inductions to help labor to begin or progress.

So if more oxytocin is the goal for labor and birth, know that any activities that help you feel open, relaxed, and loved are typically encouraged!

If intercourse seems uncomfortable or taxing, stimulation with the help of a vibrator is also regarded as safe, as long as your bags of waters have not ruptured.

Vibrator Recommendations:

Lelo

Womanizer

We-Vibe Touch

We-Vibe Tango

If you are looking for good vibes, but are not interested in the kind made from a personal massager, there are other great ways to connect and increase the flow of oxytocin in a labor room. Things like holding hands, having a shoulder rub (that would be partner giving the pregnant person the message, thank you!), making eye contact with your partner, slow swaying together, or having an extended hug. Oxytocin is a hormone of connection and bonding, so even things like laughter, listening to music, and consuming a meal together have been shown to support those connections.

You already know how you feel best, we want to encourage you to tap into your needs and likes even while preparing for and in labor!

I Peed On A Stick. Now What?

This is for all the people who just rushed to Google right after peeing on a pregnancy test.  

Hi.  

Breathe. 


Are you excited, or terrified? Perhaps both.

You have been pregnant for a hot second, and no doubt your brain has tripped into overdrive going over all the possibilities for your future. But what is the next step?


What do I do after finding out I'm pregnant? 
When does my doctor need to know?  
What appointments do I need to make? 
Or, should I even be going to this doctor?!  

Help!!!


If this sounds right, there is some good news.  You are not the first person to learn they’re pregnant, and you are certainly not the only pregnant person who has these questions.  

It is very common to feel anxious after learning you are expecting a baby.  It is also reasonable that you would turn to the internet for some clue about what to do next.  

So what do you do after finding out you are pregnant? 

Prenatal care is incredibly important for monitoring and early detection of any need for additional medical attention, such as gestational diabetes or high blood pressure.  It is also essential to develop a relationship with the people you are trusting to help you have an experience you will remember for the rest of your life. 

So yes, while there are logical first questions  -  like, is one positive pregnancy test enough, and can you trust the results - there are also things to learn about yourself, what birth options you want access to, and how you hope to feel while going through the experience.  


You may be able to have everything you want while staying with the practice or provider you have seen for your yearly exams.  Or you may not.  


While having a yearly exam does place you in a vulnerable situation and having trust is necessary, we doubt most women can remember details about each exams or think of how they have differed. 

Birth, on the other hand, can leave a person feeling incredibly vulnerable, requires many more decisions to be made, many more hours of attention and monitoring.  It is also an event you will have a vivid memory of for the rest of your life.  

It is worth putting in a little bit of effort to make sure you have the things that are important to you!

So.


How do you find out what is important to you in labor and birth? 


We get asked all the time for help and guidance, and as experienced doulas in our area, we have some things to say!  


We lead welcoming pregnancy class at Birth Roots that reviews things like: 
You're pregnant, now what?
What if you're not sure you're with the right provider? 
What do I need for my birth? 
And of course, some conversation about how doula support can be helpful.  


If you have just peed on a stick and you don't want to wade through the internet to find out answers to your specific questions, contact us on our page to get info on our next Welcoming Pregnancy Class.  It is designed just for folks like you.