World Doula Week: What in the World is a Doula


In honor of World Doula Week March 22nd - 28th we are proud to recognize the monumental history of doulas. It is no secret that doulas have been supporting, and positively impacting birthing and postpartum families for centuries. Working diligently behind the scenes “mothering the mothers” of each new generation, ushering in new life in grass huts and Metropolitan hospitals around the globe every day. But who are we? What do we do? And, why should we be celebrated.  World Doula Week annually runs from March 22nd through March 28th. This global holiday was started in 2011 and the date of March 22nd was aptly chosen because it was the Spring Equinox, a time of year many cultures believe is synonymous with return of fertility.

Merriam Webster Definition
doula - noun dou·la  \ ˈdü-lə \
plural doulas 
A person trained to provide advice, information, emotional support, and physical comfort to a mother before, during, and just after childbirth

Research shows that childbirth does go more smoothly with a doula: labor is 25 percent shorter, the need for epidural pain relief is 60 percent less and the Caesarean section rate is reduced by half. —Susan Gilbert

The word doula is of Greek origin and translates to handmaiden or servant. But, there has been a powerful evolution over the years. Today doulas are paid professionals who are highly educated and skilled to provide unbiased, emotional, physical, and educational support. Many doulas take extensive trainings and receive certifications from organizations with high standards. No longer bound by servitude, the modern doula choses to make a difference and empower the families they support.

Historically studies have shown that the presence of doulas during labor and the postpartum period are beneficial to the entire family:

·       May shorten the length of labor     

·       Reduced use of Pitocin

·       Decreased rate of interventions during labor

·       Reduces the incidence of c-sections     

·       Reduces epidural and analgesic requests

·       Higher satisfaction with birth outcomes

  • Shorter labors    

·       Increases breastfeeding initiation and continuation    

·       Increases mother’s satisfaction of birth experience     

·       Can reduce the incidence of postpartum mood disorders    

·       Increases new parents’ confidence in the care of their newborn

  • Increases time for the strengthening of early family bonding

Maine Doulas are are proud to be part of a long lineage of doulas who are working to better the world one birth at a time.


The Hunt For A New Family Tradition

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Spring is coming and so is Easter, whether you celebrate religiously or as a seasonal holiday, there are so many fun traditions to enjoy.

Traditions give us a sense of belonging, to our culture, our religion, and, our families. The customs, feasts, and rituals that are passed on from generation to generation often are our most treasured memories. Holidays are steeped in traditions and a great time to be creative and put a special twist on tried and true favorites.

Studies have proven that the practice of keeping traditions build family bonds between generations and provide a strong sense of dependability. As our families grow and mature we can implement these powerful values by reimagining and creating “New” traditions.

One classic tradition the Easter Egg Hunt can be amped up with some new ideas. Pinterest is a great resource for ideas. Here are 3 we think every bunny will love.

Glow Get Em: Flashlights and glow sticks make this Glow in The Dark Egg Hunt Awesome! Especially with the older kids. Fill your plastic eggs with glowing objects along with candy watch as their smiles will illuminate the night.

Colors Count: This concept is great to combat sibling rivalry. Maybe you have a super hunter in your crew who finds all the eggs leaving little to none for the others. Well, make sure you get the same amount of eggs in different colors and assign a color to each person. That way Everyone wins and has fun in the process.

House Hunt: Keep the fun indoors. Maybe you don’t have a yard? Or, the weather has decided not to cooperate. Don’t let that rain on your parade. There are plenty of creative places to stash your eggs inside. Coat pockets, cereal boxes, inside shoes, under pillows, in the toy box. The ideas are endless.

Fun for sure and the possibilities are endless. The more creative the hunt the sweeter the memories. Creating new traditions don’t need to just be for holidays. Every day is a chance for family togetherness. You don’t need eater eggs to have a family scavenger hunt at home.

Pregnant and Prepared!

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And so it begins. One, two, maybe three pregnancy tests later and they all confirm your suspicions. Congratulations YOU Are Pregnant!

Now what?  Here is a simple check list of some important to-dos that may not be priorities, but, believe us, they are important.


Knowledge is power! And an educated parent is a prepared parent. While the internet and bookstore are filled with incredible amounts of information it may all get overwhelming. Child Birth Classes are a great environment to learn and connect with peers. However, nothing is more beneficial than one on one tutoring. Schedule a birth consult with a Maternity Concierge and give yourself the gift of education and ask all the questions.  Product reviews are important when making purchases and be sure to check for product recalls regularly to assure safety.


As your family grows you may see the need for more space. Perhaps even a new location all together. There are many factors that go into choosing your family’s new home. There are resources available that provide lists ranking the most family friendly neighborhoods.


There are many ways to document your pregnancy. Several pregnancy journals are available for a wide range of prices on Amazon and Etsy or if your Crafty you can create one. Many Apps are available to help you along the way. You can track cravings, body changes, the size of your baby, funny stories, milestones including the first kick and more. These journals and apps often give helpful hints as well. Also, pregnancy brain is not a myth so make sure to write down questions as you have them so you can ask your doctor at your next appointment. 


From your baby announcement to Facebook belly bump posts a picture tells a thousand words.

Your phone has a camera, so it is a lot more convenient today to keep a photo log of your pregnancy and beyond. Belly portraits are a beautiful keepsake and another way to explore your creative side.


Before you know it nine months is over. Keep organized with a before baby and after baby check lists. They get so big so fast! It is important to make the most of every moment. Often times we can get so consumed with everything that we forget to experience this time with our babies in the world. Make a fun activity list of neighborhood newborn friendly events and destinations.

Remember at Maine Doulas we are here to support you, educate you and inspire you all along the way.

Pump Up Your Knowledge: How can you find the perfect Breast Pump for you!

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After much debate and research, you have made your mind up. For your baby Breast is Best. But how can you stick to this commitment? Whether you are headed back to work, want to give daddy special feeding bonding time, or are just looking to give your nipples a break, breast pumps are your answer.

Now, which on to choose? There are SO MANY OPTIONS!

Manual? or Electric? Is a great place to begin. The Mayo Clinic has created a great list of questions based on your lifestyle that can help guide your decision, Here is our list:

·      Will you be pumping on a tight schedule?

o   Do you need a double pump?

·      Does the pump come assembled?

·      Is the pump light, quiet and convenient to transport?

o   Does it come with an insulated carrying case?

·      How easy is the pump to clean?

·      Is it BPA Free?

·      Can you adjust shield size, speed, rhythm, and suction levels?

·      Is it able to be used without a plug-in power source?

o   Does it come with a battery backup or a car charger?

·      Where can you find reliable product reviews?

·      Finally…What is your budget?

This will help determine where you may want to get your pump.

Buying isn’t the only option. You can also borrow one from a trusted acquaintance or rent one. There are many resources on the benefits and how where to rent or borrow .

If you are looking to purchase your pump many models can be seen on display at Brand name baby stores and big box stores. For a thriftier option you can often purchase used systems from medical supply stores, community newspapers, even social media swap and sells are great go tos.

But, did you know most health insurance plans cover the cost of buying or renting a breast pump. There are even places like Acelleron who’s staff are skilled in helping you pick the pump best for you.

Remember, Maine doulas are here to support you in all your lactation needs, from set up to clean up, reviews and even How Tos. We are available to make sure you are picking the perfect pump.

Staying Healthy With a Bun in the Oven


Many expectant parents prioritize Mother and Baby's health above all else through out pregnancy. However, with pregnancy cravings in full swing, eating for two and tons of hormonal changes happening through out your body, staying healthy during pregnancy is no easy feat! 

We have put together a list that can help pregnant parents stay happy and healthy through out their pregnancy! 

First up is hydration. Many people know, pregnant or not, that the first step to a healthy lifestyle is staying up on your water intake. Water dilutes your urine which can prevent infections like Urinary Tract Infections and more. Water is specifically important during the last trimester because dehydration can cause contractions that can trigger preterm labor.

Next up is healthy eating. We totally sympathize with your pregnancy cravings, but your daily pint of ice cream could be doing more harm than good. Make sure when you indulge in your cravings you are also reaching your proper intake of fruits and veggies. Juicing is a great way to do this for those who aren't fond of the kitchen. You can pack tons of fresh produce into one cup! 

Last is exercise. Although pregnancy does limit ones ability to be able to hit the gym HARD, there are a variety of exercises that can help keep mom in good health. Prenatal yoga is a great start. Prenatal yoga stretches and strengthens your pelvic floor and gets your body prepared for the big day ahead. Prenatal Water Aerobics with Nancy Charlebois is amazing for many. Most other exercises are safe, so long as you don't over do it and exercise with caution. 

For more inspiration on prenatal recipies, exercise options and more be sure to follow us on Pinterest! 

Birthing Together, Just The Two Of You

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Whether you choose to have a Labor Doula as a part of your birth team, or not, there is a chance that you and your partner will be birthing together, just the two of you, for at least some of your labor. 

Many couples who choose not to have a doula at their birth are met with the shocking realization that for the most part they will be birthing together, alone. See, real birth isn't like T.V. or movie birth, where there are tons of bodies in and out of the room through out the entire process. With the exception of routine nurse checkups, as you labor, you're mostly on your own. 

Bringing new life into the world is a magical moment and many expectant parents choose to welcome their bundle of joy with as much privacy as possible. We have put together this blog to give some guidance to those who are choosing to birth with their partner, alone.

First we suggest some preparation. Sitting down together and writing a birth plan will allow you and your partner to be on the same page prior to the birth. You can write what your 'idea' birth looks like, and what alternative routes you are willing to take if things don't go as planned. 

We also like to recommend couples who are looking to birth alone look into Maternity Concierge Options. 

We're here to help you prepare for laboring at home, and what it's like when you arrive at the hospital. We're here to discuss your goals for your cesarean birth, natural birth, birth with medication, or your wait-and-see birth. We'll come to the comfort of your home for an opportunity for relaxation and comprehensive discussion to cover all the topics that are on your mind and the ones that aren't. We help with "what you don't know you don't know".

For more information on Main Doulas Maternity Concierge Services, be sure to contact us today. 



Fertility Is Something...

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Infertility is described as not getting pregnant despite having carefully timed, unprotected sex for one year. In the United States there are 200,000 cases of infertility EACH YEAR, and yet those who are struggling with infertility often feel like they are alone. 

The struggle is REAL. 

The struggle is COMMON. 

Telling your family and friends, "I'M PREGNANT!", is one of life's most exciting moments.

However, Infertility is notorious for bringing along heartbreak, frustration and disappointment.

Infertility means constantly being on the edge of your seat. Infertility means keeping secrets to spare your loved ones the potential heartbreak, leaving you and your partner to bear the burden. THAT is exactly why those who struggle with infertility feel so alone. 

Although there is no cure for infertility, many families utilize common treatments that significantly improve their chances of getting pregnant. These treatments include hormone treatments, fertility drugs, and surgery. 

In addition to these common (and often pricey) treatments, there are a variety of alternative therapies that may help heighten your chances of conception followed by a successful pregnancy. 

According to several studies and medical research, acupuncture is said to increase fertility.

How? Acupuncture is said to reduce stress that is caused or associated with infertility, while also increasing blood flow to the reproductive organs and balancing out the endocrine system.

According to the American Pregnancy Association, “In many cases, fertility issues may be associated with improper nervous system function, poor nutrition, high stress and poor lifestyle habits."

Having said that, many 'trying' couples are turning to Chiropractic care when struggling with Infertility. 

It is suggested that Chiropractic care reduces the stress on spinal nerves which innervate the reproductive organs. Plus, who doesn't like a good trip to the Chiro? 

Meditation is a great coping mechanism when dealing with infertility.  

Meditation can help both partners manage the emotions that come along with what is known as the 'trying' period. It is emotionally draining and exhausting but a growing number of fertility clinics and doctors have suggested meditation as a useful tool during this process. 

Unfortunately there is no 'cure' for infertility, but it is important to remember that during this journey there will be times where you let things go, and other times where you hold on tight. 

Take each day as it comes and do your best to live a happy, healthy and stress free lifestyle and remember, YOU ARE NOT ALONE.