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Bellies, Babies & Beyond a Postpartum Support Group

A strong passion of mine is supporting and connecting families with resources, whether this be details about events and activities, product and service reviews or information about my personal experience on certain topics. I feel the more information we are given and the more opportunities that are available to us, we can make the best decisions for ourselves and families.

Since the beginning of my postpartum doula journey, I have envisioned a place where mothers can come together in a safe and open place to share their concerns, thoughts, laughter, tears and just feel loved.

Beginning in February 2017, I will be hosting Bellies, Babies & Beyond twice a month. This group will be just that. I will be there twice a month to chat with you, answer your questions, and give you additional resources if needed. Do you not have any concerns or not sure what you want to talk about? That is okay too! Just come and be with us! This is a great opportunity to get out of the house and be with other mothers in the same place as you. 

I will be holding Bellies, Babies & Beyond twice a month:

The 1st Thursday of the month; 9:15 a.m. – 10:45 a.m. at the Iowa Doula Agency located at 120 5th Street, West Des Moines.

The 3rd Saturday of the month; 9:15 a.m. – 10:45 a.m. at Balance Chiropractic & Wellness located at 6611 University Avenue, Windsor Heights.

Feel free to come to both each month! This will be an open house style group. Feel free to come late and if you need to leave early, that is okay too! Registration in not required. Newborn babies to 12 month are welcome!

If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact me here!

Note: Bellies, Babies & Beyond is registered with Postpartum Support International.
Titles and Professions to Know While Pregnant

Titles and Professions to Know When Pregnant

When you become pregnant everything is a little overwhelming, or way overwhelming! You are making sure your eating healthy, taking the right supplements, creating a birth plan, looking for a postpartum doula 🙂 and so on!

While doing your research, you will come across a lot of professions and  titles that are important. It gets confusing. What’s the difference between a lactation consultant and a lactation educator? Which one do I need? Why?

Titles and Professions to Know While Pregnant

I have done some research and created a guide for you. This is here to help you know who is who and who does what!

Birth

Midwife – A midwife is a traditional care provider for mothers and infants. They are trained professionals that support a mother, so they can receive the optimum personalization of care. With a midwife you receive personal, woman-centered care.

OB/GYN – An OB/GYN is a gynecologist and obstetrician. A gynecologist is someone who specializes in women’s reproductive health. An obstetrician cares for women during their pregnancy and after the baby is born.

Doula – A doula is a trained individual to provide support to the mother and partner during childbirth. A doula is someone who you meet before your birth and you create a personal relationship. They take note of your wishes while you are in labor and make sure you have confidence to express your wishes and concerns. They also may support before birth and shortly after birth. Doulas do not do any medical procedures.

Labor & Delivery Nurse – A lot of women, who are new to pregnancy, think that they may not need a doula because their nurses will be present. Nurses can be great coaches and support, but one major drawback is you never know who will be your labor and delivery nurse. You do not create a special bond with your nurse before you go into labor, like you do with your doula. Nurses are not only coaching you, but also assisting the doctors.

Breastfeeding

Lactation Consultant – Lactation consultants are professionally trained, breastfeeding specialists. They are specialists who teach mothers how to feed their baby. They help in all areas of breastfeeding whether it be poor latch, painful nursing, low milk production and more. It is important to know that when looking for a certified lactation consultant, they will have IBCLC (International Board Certified Lactation Consultant) after their name. This means they have sat for the International Board of Lactation Consultant Exam (IBLCE), which is the only certifying body that can award this credential.

Lactation Counselor – A certified lactation counselor (CLC) can help with issues such as helping a baby latch, counseling mothers, they have knowledge of milk production, prevention and management of sore nipples, and a lot of other various issues. A CLC is not required to sit for the IBLCE. They are required to have a lot of hands on hours and to complete a program, to become certified.

Lactation Educator – A certified lactation educator (CLE), is usually a nurse, doula or other type of birth profession that have taken a course to gain more experience and knowledge in breastfeeding. They provide encouragement, guidance, referrals (to a lactation consultant), education, and support. When searching for a doula or provider, checking if they are a CLE may be beneficial.

Other

Postpartum Doula – A postpartum doula provides emotional, physical, and evidence-based informational support after birth. A postpartum doula is an individual that allows the mother and newborn to create a special bond, without having to worry about everything else. They may do light housekeeping, listen and answer questions, make light meals, watch the baby while mom sleeps, and much more.

Prenatal/Postpartum Fitness Instructor – A prenatal and postpartum fitness instructor is trained specifically to instruct fitness classes to pregnant women and postpartum women. They are knowledgable about the pregnant and postpartum body anatomy.

Childbirth Educator – A childbirth educator is trained to be able to provide education and support to pregnant women and their families. They prepare women and families on what to expect before labor and after.

What profession or title am I missing? Feel free to ask below and I will get it added!

Why I am the

Why I am the Postpartum Doula For You!

You may have already heard the exciting news! I am working with the Iowa Doula Agency as a postpartum doula!

Why I am theI am so excited to support mothers after birth. My dream is for every mother to have that one BEST friend after they birth their child. An individual who will be there to support them emotionally, physically and give evidence-based support for the mother and family.

It is wonderful to have your spouse, family and friends around to help; but it is so beneficial to have an educated individual to assist. A postpartum doula’s focus is the mother.

You can be extremely prepared to have a baby. You can have freezer meals made, washed all the babies clothes, shopped for essentials, baby room prepped, and so on. Each birth and each postpartum period is different. There will be questions that need to be answered about your newborn or yourself. A postpartum doula will bring comfort and ease stresses.

I will (just a few and not limited to!):

  • Encourage mother-baby bonding
    • Help with skin-to-skin
  • Provide basic newborn care
    • Swaddle
    • Bathe
    • Change diapers
  • Provide physical help so mother can recover
    • Rest and sleep for mother
    • Healthy snacks
    • Ice packs
  • Basic household care
    • Light house cleaning
    • Errand running
    • Folding laundry
    • Meal preparation
  • Help provide sibling care

As a postpartum doula, I do not dispense medical advice, diagnose medical conditions, interpret medical diagnosis, perform medical clinical procedures, or prescribe/administer medications or treatment.

I am a resource tool! If you are concerned about breastfeeding and need to find a lactation consultation or need to find a mom’s group to socialize, I have many resources for you! If I cannot do something you need, I will help you find the perfect person to help you.

There is always a free consultation. At our consultation we will chat about what your concerns are and what you feel you may need the most assistance with. If you feel that I am the right fit, we will create a plan that we both are comfortable with!

I want to help every mother create and enjoy a special bond with their newborn. 

Have questions? Want to meet? Feel free to e-mail me at Erin@iowadoulas.com

8PPDoulaHelp

Doula: Why Do YOU Need One?

It is World Doula Week! World Doula Week officially began on Sunday.

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What is World Doula Week?!? “The purpose of World Doula Week (“WDW”) is to empower doulas all over the world to improve the physiological, social, emotional, and psychological health of women, newborns and families in birth and in the postpartum period.” – World Doula Week

I did not even know what a doula was when Monte was born in 2012. Since his birth, I have slowly learned what a doula is and why EVERY pregnant woman should have and deserves a doula during their birth. When I discovered I was pregnant with Amelia, I knew that this was a necessity for me. I knew I wanted to accomplish a completely different birth, then what I had with Monte. A doula is what helped me achieve those goals!

What does a doula do? 

  • A doula is your advocate when you are giving birth. A doula will make sure the birth you want is accomplished. If something does not go as plan, your doula will know what you are comfortable with and will always be their to speak for you. A doula will keep you informed at all times.
  • A doula does not take the place of your partner. A doula will help your partner feel more confident during your birth and help guide your partner with things to do.
  • A doula will help you feel comfortable. A doula will wipe your face, place a washcloth on your head, remind you to breathe, will know different massage techniques, and be knowledgable in different ways to sit, stand and move during labor.
  • A doula will help postpartum also. A doula will help you become comfortable with skin-to-skin and breastfeeding.

There are several benefits to having a doula including: 

  1. Reduces the incidences of c-section
  2. Lowers the amount of epidural and pain requests
  3. Can shorten the length of labor
  4. Increases successful breastfeeding
  5. Decreases the incidence of postpartum depression

There are several types of doulas and each may be certified in one area or multiple areas.

  1. Birth (Labor) Doula- This is the most common. The doula is available before and through out the labor and birthing process. They help with breathing, advocating for you, massaging, breastfeeding, and more.
  2. Antepartum Doula – Doulas assist with mothers who have been placed on bed rest or who are high-risk. They provide a lot of emotional support and listen. They have resources for great support groups and sometimes will help with light housework.
  3. Postpartum (Postnatal) Doula – A postpartum doula is another set of hands, after your birth, when you are adjusting to life with your baby. The provide light housework, cooking and cleaning. They also provide support and coach with breastfeeding, sleeping, calming, and much more.

I cannot wait to begin my journey as a Postpartum Doula in May. If you have not heard, a CAPPA Postpartum Doula Training is coming to Des Moines. If you have not signed up, do it soon! I am excited to support mothers and their families after birth.

References

Types of Doulas – How To Become A Doula 

World Doula Week