HowtoFindDoula

How to Find a Doula

You’ve already decided that hiring a doula to attend your birth is the right decision for you and your partner. You already know all the amazing things that doulas can do for you during pregnancy, birth, and postpartum after reading my previous article  and you’re blown away by the research supporting the use of doulas. There are many ways to find a doula….here are a few ways to get started!

Word of mouth

Consult with your friends and family in the area. Did they have a good experience with a doula? Ask your chiropractor, massage therapist, yoga teacher, childbirth educator, physical therapist, etc. Asking people whose opinion you value and trust may help narrow the field to a handful of doulas that you may like to interview and get to know on a more personal level.

Doula Groups

Doula associations, agencies, and collectives are groups of doulas in a community. These groups meet on a regular basis for continuing education, support, and networking. These doula groups often have a website with their members listed with links to their profiles or personal websites.To learn more about the different ways doulas work, check out this concise article on the topic. Here in central Iowa, the Central Iowa Doula Association, Iowa Doula Agency, and Mid-Iowa Doulas are some great options!

Websites and Doula Match pages

Most doulas and doula groups have websites, social media pages, and/or a Doula Match profile. By viewing their online content, you should get a feel for a particular doula and the services they offer. Some doulas offer services at additional cost including placenta encapsulation, photography, childbirth education classes, breastfeeding and/or postpartum support, and fitness classes. Doula fees range in price, often by several hundred dollars based on their experience and services. Look for testimonials from past clients, or ask for references. If having a doula who is certified through a professional organization is important to you, you should be able to find that information on their website or profile. Doulas of North America (DONA), Childbirth and Postpartum Professional Association (CAPPA), and Birthworks International are some of the more widely known certifying organizations.

Start early in your pregnancy and schedule interviews

Doula schedules often fill up quickly, so don’t wait! You may be able to view a doula’s schedule on their website or Doula Match profile; otherwise, email or call to check availability for your estimated due date. Plan to interview at least two to three doulas and bring your birth partner! Doulas usually offer an interview or consultation at no cost or obligation. These interviews last about one hour and are often held in a coffee shop or other public place.

The interview

One of the most important aspects of the doula interview is to see if you and your partner feel comfortable and relaxed with the doula, and if you feel a personal connection. You may decide to ask questions about:

  • the doula’s background, training, and experience with birth
  • why they became a doula and what they enjoy about doula work
  • what services the doula provides, including number, length, and topic of visits
  • the doula’s fees and payment schedules
  • if the doula has a back-up, what circumstances will one be used, and if you can meet the back-up
  • the types of comfort techniques the doula typically provides
  • experience with certain providers, birthing locations, or types of birth

Be prepared for questions from your doula! Doulas often want to know about the type of birth you envision, if you are taking childbirth education classes, and how you’d like your doula to support you and your partner. After you’ve interviewed the doulas you are interested in, think about it! Most doulas give you a few days or a week to consider your decision. Once you have chosen your doula, she will provide you with a contract to consider. This contract protects both of you by outlining fees and when they are due, back-up doula situations, expectations of both you and the doula, and more.

Now that you know how to get started, go out there and find the doula that is right for you! Because every mom deserves support, encouragement, respect, and peace on the day of her baby’s birth. You got this!

About the Author

Kelli Brus CD(DONA) is a mom of two wonderful girls and has been married to her husband since 2007. She lives in Urbandale and is currently taking a break from teaching with Des Moines Public Schools to take care of her little ones and focus on doula work. After her second birth experience, attended by a doula, she knew this was the type of work she wanted to do. She is certified through DONA International (Doulas of North America) and is part of the Central Iowa Doula Association (CIDA). Making sure all moms have support and respect during their birth experiences is so meaningful to Kelli and why she is so dedicated to doula work.

www.dsmdoula.com

dsmdoula@gmail.com

 

BirthDoula

What is a Birth Doula?

Do you want to be fully supported during your pregnancy, birth, and postpartum period? Do you want someone in the birthing room solely dedicated to providing you comfort and experienced information?

Do you want to have the best possible birth experience? A doula may be right for you!!

A certified birth doula is a trained and experienced professional who is hired to assist with birth. A doula meets with her client and birth partner two to three times during pregnancy to learn their personalities, hopes and fears, and past experiences with birth. Birth plans, basic childbirth education, community resources, interventions, comfort techniques, and newborn care may be discussed during these prenatal meetings. A doula comes to the birthing woman during labor, remains until the baby is born, and stays an hour or two afterwards. Examples of the types of support a doula may provide during labor include, but are not limited to:

  • Massage and touch
  • Encouragement of mobility, motion, and vocalizations
  • Counterpressure on low back and hips
  • Position suggestions for labor and pushing
  • Assistance with breathing, relaxation, and tension release
  • Heat and/or cold to ease discomforts
  • Encouragement to use water, including shower and/or tub
  • Verbal praise and feedback
  • Reframe thoughts, fears, and feelings during labor, if needed
  • Continuous presence with main role of supporting mom
  • Assistance with decisions during labor
  • Encourage partner to take bathroom and meal breaks, and rest if possible
  • Leave the medical tasks (i.e., blood pressure, heart tones, etc) to the nurses, doctors, and midwives

Doulas support women and their partners regardless of the type of birth they are planning, whether that be in a home, hospital, or birth center, if they plan to use pain medication or not, and if they decide to bottle feed or breastfeed. In other words, doulas support you in the type of birth YOU want!  

After the baby is born, doulas visit within the first week or two to assist with basic breastfeeding concerns, discuss the mother and couple’s adaptation to a new baby, and discuss their thoughts about the birth experience. For more continuous support during the postpartum period, consider hiring a postpartum doula.

As the birth of your baby is one of the most memorable experiences of your life, consider hiring a doula to assist you with your birth! “A woman, as long as she lives, will remember how she was made to feel at her birth.” ~Anna Verwaal

Stay tuned for Part 2, where I will discuss how to find a doula!

About the Author

Kelli Brus CD(DONA) is a mom of two wonderful girls and has been married to her husband since 2007. She lives in Urbandale and is currently taking a break from teaching with Des Moines Public Schools to take care of her little ones and focus on doula work. After her second birth experience, attended by a doula, she knew this was the type of work she wanted to do. She is certified through DONA International (Doulas of North America) and is part of the Central Iowa Doula Association (CIDA). Making sure all moms have support and respect during their birth experiences is so meaningful to Kelli and why she is so dedicated to doula work.

www.dsmdoula.com

dsmdoula@gmail.com

515-210-0066

 

 

World Breastfeeding Week 1

World Breastfeeding Week 2016 + Giveaway!

Happy World Breastfeeding Week!

 

World Breastfeeding Week is always celebrated the first week in August and runs August 1st through August 7th all over the world!

Every year we celebrate women, their children, and their breastfeeding relationship. I get super excited this time of year because it can be such an empowering week. Many women will share their personal breastfeeding stories and pictures throughout social media. Not only does this help normalize breastfeeding, but also gives confidence to many women who may be struggling.

Not only is breastfeeding important for mom and baby, but this year’s World Breastfeeding theme is “on raising awareness of the links between breastfeeding and the Sustainable Development Goals. By recognizing that breastfeeding is a key to sustainable development, we will value our wellbeing from the start of life, respect each other and care for the world we share.” This statement is so true and I am so happy that this has become the theme for this year.

World Breastfeeding Week 1

During this week, communities all over the world hold different celebrations to help spread the word about breastfeeding. One common event held in Central Iowa is the Big Latch On. Check here to see if there is one near you!

To help celebrate all the women who breastfeed, I am excited to hold a great giveaway! I am giving away a Kiinde Breastmilk Storage Set and a box of Ameda Store ‘n Pour Breast Milk Storage Bags.

The Kiinde Breastmilk Storage Set is an AMAZING set! It includes twist pouches where you can directly pump into, the adapters where so you can connect the pouches to your pump and is compatible with ALL major pumps, a squeeze natural feeding bottle, and much more! BONUS: There is also a Foodii Toddler Feeding Gift Pack inside!

The Ameda Store ‘n Pour Breast Milk Storage Bags are also great! When pumping milk you want to make sure that precious “gold” will not leak out! These bags have an easy-close zip seal so they will not leak. Freezer safe and no BPA and DEHP.

Breastfeeding does not strictly mean your baby exclusively nurses from your breast, but it includes those who work and pump, or who may exclusively pump. As a mother who breastfed two children 18 months and beyond, I know the challenges of working full-time and providing breastmilk and breastfeeding to your child exclusively. Having reliable products to ease the pumping and feeding is crucial!

Enter to win below! The giveaway ends Sunday, August 7th and I will announce a winner next week!

Enter here!

If purchasing tickets make sure to use my code for $5 off!

MommyCon 2016

I am so honor to be a MommyCon Sisterhood Blogger, again!

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I have been to this amazing conference two years in a row and truly believe this is the best conference for expecting mothers, new mothers, or moms with toddlers! AND it’s not just for moms! Spouses can learn so much too! The focus of MommyCon is to focus on natural parenting methods. Whether it be babywearing, cloth diapering, breastfeeding, or car seat safety there is a topic you can learn more about.

There are five main components to a MommyCon Conference:

  1. VIP events are hosted the Friday before most of the MommyCon Conferences. For an additional amount of money (amounts vary) you can attend a smaller, more intimate seminar to learn more about a company or topic. You will also receive another awesome swag bag! 🙂 Check out when I attended the VIP event with Jenn Labit from Cottonbabies last year!
  2. The swag bag. This is just one of the many ways you can receive amazing freebies! There have been blankets, cloth diapers, full size samples, and so much more. A swag bag is included with every MommyCon ticket!
  3. There are awesome seminars to attend through out the day that may include Cloth Diapering 101 with Jenn Labit (love her!), Babywearing 101 with Beco and Ergobaby, The In’s and Out’s of Natural Birthing, and more. Each conference location differ with seminars and guest speakers!
  4. The shopping is fun! Throughout the day, there are booths set-up that may include cloth diapers, babywearing carriers and accessories, bottles, clothes, games and toys, breastfeeding support, breast pumps, car seats, and much, much more. A lot of the booths giveaway freebies and it’s a great place to touch, ask questions, and test out products before you buy!
  5. At the end of the day is a massive giveaway to all attendees for the conference! EVERYTHING and EVERYONE is free game! You could win an entire car seat travel system, crib, breast pump, gift certificates, and so much more. It is so much fun!

You have several chance to attend a conference AND maybe you can attend two 🙂 Check out the dates and locations below! Check out specific details about each event here!

  • MommyCon Atlanta: Saturday, February 6th
  • MommyCon Chicago: Saturday, March 5th
  • MommyCon Seattle: Saturday, April 2nd
  • MommyCon Austin: Saturday, June 25th
  • MommyCon DC: Saturday, July 23rd
  • MommyCon Orange County: Saturday, August 20th
  • MommyCon Orlando: Saturday, September 3rd
  • MommyCon San Jose: Saturday, October 29th

This year there are two additional conferences that focus on infant feeding and babywearing! You will NOT want to miss these either!

  • WEAR: Babywearing Conference in Chicago: May 27th – 29th
  • MILK: An Infant Feeding Conference in Orange County: Nov 11th – Nov 12th

If you are planning to attend, make sure you use the discount code Midwest16 to receive $5 off your ticket for any conference!

If purchasing tickets make sure to use my code for $5 off!

Keep your eyes open! I will be giving away tickets to the MommyCon Chicago conference very soon! 🙂

New project-2

Five Reasons to Love Cottonbabies

While at MommyCon Minneapolis I learned a lot about the company Cottonbabies. I was familiar with the company, knew they sold some awesome cloth diapers, but learned that they are so much more! Not only do they sell amazing diapers, but they strive to help people less fortunate, support mothers, honest, and owner Jen Labit is amazing! Let me break down some awesome reasons to love and support this amazing company.

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1. Jen Labit is a working mother and wife. When I attended her VIP session at MommyCon, I learned that she may own and run a very successful cloth diapering company, but she is a mother and wife first. She has the same struggles to “fit it all in” as we do. She is a very inspirational woman and believes that mothers should have the “permission to dream”.

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2. Jen Labit supports working mothers. Not only does she support them, she allows the mothers who work for her, to bring their children to work. She recently wrote a blog post, that explains how important it was for her to have her babies with her, when trying to grow and make Cottonbabies successful and how they make it work now.

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3. Cottonbabies gives back to the community through Share the Love. I learned about this amazing program while at MommyCon! Share the Love is a National Cloth Diaper Bank. People are able to donate any cloth diapers, they no longer use to Share the Love. Hosts from all around the country, volunteer and help distribute the cloth diapers to families who are in need. Think about it … families who have little ones in disposable diapers and who are struggling, could save so much if they no longer had to buy disposable diapers all the time! Yes, it is an investment to start cloth diapering, but Share the Love is here to help those families do it! I was so inspired by this program, I am now a Share the Love Host for Central Iowa families! Keep your eyes and ears open for more details 🙂

sharethelove

4. They offer several types of cloth diapers. Cottonbabies has created four different brands including: Bumgenius, Flip System, Econobum and Hemp Babies. By offering four different brands, there is surely something you will find and fall in love with. It’s important to have options and when it comes to cloth diapering there are a LOT of options and systems out there. It’s important to find what works best for you and your family. I just recently fell in love with the Flip System!

5. The Genius Series is freaking adorable 🙂 I want and need all of these! I love how Cottonbabies got unique and created some fun diapers representing some genius people in history! Geniuses that are represented include: Albert Einstein, Nelle Harper Lee, Louis Armstrong, Alicia Boole Stott, Osa Johnson, Matin Johnson, Ada Lovelace, Wangari Maathai, Steve Irwin, Jules Verne, Lewis Carroll, Audrey Hepburn, Charlie Chaplin, Marie Tharp, and Dr. E. Lee Spence.

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Make sure you are following Cottonbabies and Jen Labit on Facebook!