I'm not going to lie. I totally stole this from another website (sorry Martha Stewart) because I just realized something...[drumroll please]...
I just realized that WEDDING PLANNERS are totally the same AS DOULAS in the services they provide!
Here is my shameless link, please don't sue me:
9 Signs A Wedding Planner Is Right For You
Wedding planners spend countless hours with you preparing for the biggest day of your life, right? So then why would we not spend as much time preparing and putting together a team of experts for our second biggest day of our lives: Our baby's birth day?!? This is just so mind boggling.
Anyway, let's go over how important these 9 signs that completely relate to doulas and birth!
YOU ENJOY SPENDING TIME TOGETHER."Countless hours will be spent discussing sensitive details such as close family, personal funds, and other intimate topics. Make sure this is someone you are comfortable with and trust. A good rule of thumb is to hire someone you would be friends with, even after your event is over."
Omgosh, this is verbatim what I would say to a client. Is this not somebody you would choose not only for your wedding but for birth as well?
YOUR PLANNER IS OPEN TO YOUR IDEAS AND VENDOR SUGGESTIONS."Most planners have preferred vendors, but they should be willing to hear your suggestions—it is your wedding after all!"
Doulas may not have preferred vendors but we definitely have preferred local resources for you. I spend a lot of time networking with other birth professionals to ensure that you are getting the right people on your team, before, during and after birth. This is so important to establish a good community of support during all stages of becoming a parent. Also, I am completely open to your ideas of how you want your birth to unfold. And who am I to speak badly of any people on your team?
A GOOD PLANNER WILL BE HONEST AND OPEN FROM THE BEGINNING IN REGARDS TO BUDGET."Even if they aren't saying what you want to hear. I truly believe in speaking numbers from the get-go and not sugar-coating the real cost."
I discuss my costs during our initial consultation. No surprises or spooks. Straight up!
YOUR PLANNER IS ORGANIZED."The best planners keep records of details from your initial meetings and continue to bring up these details throughout the process. Your planner schedules and keeps everything organized for you and sends reminders before appointments!"
I cannot speak for all doulas, however, I have a folder for every client I currently keep, with notes, ideas, and agendas of what we will talk about during our next meeting. I bring as many resources with me so that if we have the opportunity, I have them with me. Not to mention my rebozo, just in case we want to try some funky out-of-the-box positions at any given moment!
THE PLANNER YOU CHOSE SHOULD BE ASSERTIVE, PERIOD."You want someone who can represent you in a knowledgeable way and never get pushed around."
Ditto for a doula! Birth bullying is a real thing for patients. A doula can assist by putting the power back into the mother's hand in very strategic ways that respect both you and the practitioner.
YOUR PLANNER SHOULD BE CALM UNDER PRESSURE."If your planner appears stressed out (ever), that is a problem. You (and your guests) will feed off stress, and that is not what we are going for!"
Never should your doula seem afraid or stressed out by your birth experience. If she is, she may be a new doula, of which I hope you were aware of, and she is gathering experience. You desire a positive birth experience and if your doula is not assisting in providing the space to do that, there could be trouble in River City.
ALTHOUGH YOUR PLANNER MAY SEEM LIKE YOUR NEW BFF, HE/SHE MAINTAINS A PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE THROUGHOUT THE PLANNING."Once the wedding is over, you can start planning happy hour dates."
Doulas must maintain their code of ethics and with that comes professionalism that is inherent in your prenatal visits and during your birth. You want to feel comfortable enough with them because, yes they will be a part of a very intimate moment. So much so that they are BFF material but not so much that you would call them during the night about a fight you once had with your spouse.
YOU KNOW YOUR PLANNER IS THE CORRECT FIT IF YOU ARE RELAXED AND ENJOY THE PROCESS."You don't want wedding planning to feel like a stressful whirlwind. Enjoy each meeting. If your planner is doing his or her job, this will be a piece of cake (no pun intended!)."
As a doula, I am not doing my job if you don't leave our visits feeling more empowered, at ease, and excited for baby day!
I hope this article was helpful to you all! Sorry about the length. I found it utterly hilarious how similar wedding planners are to doulas. It is even more shocking that we don't value doulas as strongly as wedding planners. However, the tides are shifting! Doulas everywhere are spreading the good news (not the Gospel guys, lol) about how we can greatly shift the impact on births worldwide! Help us spread the news by sharing this article, share with a friend what a doula is/does. Maybe hire one for your upcoming birth! We are caring people who love to make an impact on the world around us. For us, it starts with birth and we support you every step of the way!
Lastly, sign up for my email newsletter and receive a FREE labor cheat sheet to get you through your next birth!
Part 3: Let's bring this baby home!!
We have been diving into the three R's that all work wonderfully when done in sync with each other to ensure a peaceful childbirth experience.
We began with RELAXATION. Then we felt the RHYTHM. Now let's bring this baby home and discuss the last R:
Creating a ritual for birth is icing on the top of your baby's birthday cake. Ritual helps you sink deeper into Laborland, noticing the big picture rather than all the distractions, sensations and chaos around you. Here are some rituals that are catalysts for any birth.
1) Meditation & Prayer --
Question: What do the brains of a person in meditation and a woman in labor have in common?
Answer: Their brains are both in Theta.
Theta brain waves in the brain are exhibited when a person is in deep relaxation or mental imagery. In this stage, we also dream. This stage is just after Alpha waves, which are when we have a relaxed focus, increased seratonin production, and experience pre-sleep. During labor, it is best to optimize the stages between Alpha and Theta stages of brain waves.
We can do this through meditation or prayer. If you already have some type of similar practice, challenge yourself by calming your mind every day until baby arrives. You can also attempt your practice with distraction, like various noises around you that your mind can jump from one to the next (also called non-focused awareness). Another distraction is the ice cube contraction: hold ice tightly in your hands and time a minute contraction. Try different techniques during your ice contractions and see what helps you not focus on the intensity of the ice in your hand but on other things, like other sensations or breath.
Feel free to contact me for more tips on how to do this fun exercise!
2) Affirmations --
When you have positive affirmations showering you during labor, time seems to pass by and contractions have a purpose. It is easy for the mind to wander, thinking that something is wrong and that contractions are too painful to go on.
Affirmations are just sayings that have meaning to you. You can find them in books or come up with them on your own. I have clients write out affirmations on colorful notecards and stick them all over their laboring space. That way, when you need a word of encouragement, you don't need to ask for them. You can look around your room and find a message meant just for you.
You may check out Hynobirthing for Affirmations. They are sensational!
We live in a world where control is king. As women, we want to control the labor process, so we will read and research until our brains are numb. We create the ideal birth plan, hoping that much of it will happen the way that we want it to.
I want to be real with you ladies. The day your body decides to go into labor is the day you lose all control. Labor is all about surrendering! Surrendering to your body, your baby, and the process it is going to take to deliver a healthy and happy baby, and a new mama!
The one thing we can control in labor is our breath. Focus on the breath and learn some different breathing techniques for the stages of labor. Breath is paramount to maximizing those contractions to urge that baby down. Use what you have, YOUR BREATH, to your advantage.
4) Hire a Doula --
There are many evidence-based reasons for having a labor support person with you during your birthing experience. Doulas have the expertise to assist you with physical comforts, emotional support, and information. A doula provides a wealth of support that you wished you had. With all the up's and down's that labor entails, it is worth having someone in the room with you that has a calm demeanor and a sound mind to help you make informed decisions and make you feel safe during your journey through Laborland.
Final Thoughts --
If what you are seeking is a natural birth, and all you have is today to prepare for labor, I have only one piece of advice:
Ground yourself in love and let all the rest go.