Sometimes we are hired for very unique reasons.

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  • Perhaps you want to labor at home and arrive almost ready to push when you get to the hospital. Hmmm, okay. But do you realize you may change your mind or your circumstances may change- like having to be medically induced? And you need to know at home we will not be monitoring your baby or offering any medical assistance. We love being at your home in middle labor. But remember the scope of practice of a doula is to not give you medical advice or offer medical intervention.
  • Sometimes it is because you feel the need to be “protected.” But our role is not to protect you per se- you should feel safe at the location for your birth. If you do not feel safe, you need to consider changing your birth location or provider. But if we can help you feel more comfortable and make sure you have gotten informed consent and information, great, we can do that.
  • Sometimes you feel your partner will need some help in being comfortable and help as your support. We love being there for both of you.  We help your partner have that support and added level of confidence.
  • If you want someone to speak up for you, we don’t really do that. But we do help you find your voice so you can stand strong in having the birth options you decide are right for you.
  • If you want to have a team member there that believes in birth and knows a ton of things that may help lessen the need for interventions, help you have a more gentle birth experience, find more confidence and comfort in your labor, check- we love doing that!

 

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Often folks come to us and ask if we teach private classes. We do. And I have to believe from what our students tell us, they are good classes. But…we would prefer you to take a group class. Why? Because in a group class you learn from each other. There will be a question asked that was one you had but did not know you had it. There may be something shared from someone else that really resonates with you and helps you in your preparation. There will be laughter that will help you remember the moment and what was being taught. There will be tears sometimes with vulnerability shared in the women’s birth circle that will help you find the emotions you need to resolve.

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I understand that schedules make it difficult to make a series of classes. We understand this. That is why we have made the FUNdamentals class over only three Sunday late afternoons. It is why we offer a weekend for women only for the BOLD Women’s Wisdom for Birth Circle and then a weekend for the Couples Wisdom for Birth. We try to offer these classes every six weeks so that you can plan ahead. We think the BOLD Women’s class can be taken early in your pregnancy- enhancing your journey. We do not teach a childbirth class in the evenings after work because we understand how fatigue is not a great place to be learning from.

Students get to know each other. The often build relationships that grow outside of class. They may even begin baby play time groups that grow from this time. Even those who are shy find out classes inviting. And our classes are inclusive. We welcome different families into our circles with open arms.

So although we all teach private classes and so do others, and they may be awesome, note that if you can join a group class, you may find wonderful benefits for having done so. We have fun and our students tell us they love our classes! Plan ahead and choose your classes long before the month you are due when your options may be very limited.

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And on a similar note, doulas in training- do yourself a real favor and take a group class with real pregnant students when you take your doula in training required course. The benefits of sitting in a class with actual pregnant couples is so much better than a course on childbirth education to meet your requirement for training. You get to hear their questions and concerns. You get to see how pregnant couples interact and react to information. And you may even find a couple or two who may invite you to attend their births for your certification requirement.

When we work with women it is a resounding subject that comes out… POWER. Let me try to explain…

  • “I want to be in control.”
  • “I want to be heard.”
  • “I want to be informed.”
  • “I want to make my own decisions.”
  • “I do not want to be coerced or bamboozled.”
  • “I want to choose my position for labor and birth.”
  • “I don’t want to be induced or have my labor augmented.”

OR

  • “I trust my doctor will not do anything that will harm me or my baby.”
  • “I do not want to feel any pain. I am scared of feeling pain.”
  • “I just want to go in and have my baby out.”
  • “I just want to go with how it is supposed to happen and not worry about taking classes.”
  • “I hope I don’t loose control in labor or make a lot of noise.”
  • “I want to enjoy my labor and birth.”
  • “I like my doctor and want to just do what he tells me to do.”
  • “I don’t want any conflict in labor- I plan to just go with the flow.”

OR

  • “I have had emotional trauma in the past, but I don’t want to share about that with my care team.”
  • “I have had physical trauma in the past, but I don’t want to share about that with my care team.”
  • “I have a lot of baggage with my mother and it makes me afraid to become a mother, but I don’t want to share that with anyone.”
  • “I want to eat whatever I want in pregnancy and disregard how that may effect my baby.”
  • “I don’t want to exercise or care about the things I am doing to effect the position of the baby.”
  • “I don’t want to take an informed choice childbirth class because the less I worry the better.”

Do you see how all of these statements are about power? You either work hard to have it or you let go of it and let someone else end up having it.  But the truth is, you already have the power to have the birth that you want within you. But you either are holding that power captive by allowing fear to keep it locked up. Of you are blind to it because you have allowed others to take it away from you for a long time and you are unaware you even have it.

What can you do to regain your power? In order to have a great birth you must prepare and plan to have a great birth. It does not usually just happen. You need to prepare your body and mind. You will not be able to endure a normal length (19.5) hour labor if you have no endurance. You will not be able to move and position yourself effectively for a natural birth if you have not become aware of the positions or practiced them. It is best to have always visualized yourself having that type of birth. You need to clear your fears and unpack the baggage that inhibits you from having that type of birth. This could mean discussing your previous abuse with those who will support you. It means sharing any physical problems that could inhibit your body from letting go. It means surrounding yourself with a care team who supports your dreams.

  • Hire a doula. Sit with her and share your dreams and your nightmares. She can help you prepare for your birth in a positive way. Communicating with her regularly helps you develop a relationship where you can be open and vulnerable.renee 3
  • dancing 3Take a childbirth class that helps you work through your fears. If the class dismisses your fears and concerns and says that if you focus on them it will inhibit you- realize you must focus on them to be able to truly work through them before your birth. Recently I met with one of my clients and she says she understands she has fears. But she realizes that she has the power to set those fears to the side, having looked at them and being fully aware of them, and take hold of her power and move past it. I loved that!
  • dancing 1Take a fitness class to learn how to move now in your pregnancy to help you increase your endurance. Dancing for Birth classes and prenatal yoga are great ways to enjoy this time with other pregnant women. Walking each day or swimming is super good. Practicing optimal fetal positioning is a good insurance plan.
  • See a chiropractor and body worker to keep your body healthy and aligned. Being more comfortable in your pregnancy will help you be more comfortable in allowing your baby to come when they choose and not feeling rushed into an induction. dizznbonn
  • yogaSpend time daily meditating and visualizing your birth and this baby. Allow your mind to be flooded with positive affirmations and avoid negative people sharing their negative stories.
  • booksRead fabulous birth preparation books and stories that really help you prepare to make good informed decisions rather than the ones that teach you to be a good patient.

We have doulas who are available at different levels of experience and fees. We offer several types of classes to help you in your preparation for birth. We have a massage therapist/body worker who can help and have several chiropractors and body workers we can refer you to. We can provide you with wonderful affirmations and our list of suggested reading is on the left side of this blog listing. Let us know how we can help you find your power for your birth.

BOLD- having your breasts removed without the diagnosis of cancer – but having a huge increased risk.

BOLD- walking 60 miles over 3 days for Breast Cancer Research and awareness

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BOLD- going white water rafting on Olympic course rapids over the age of 5o for the first time!

BOLD- primitive tent camping on top of a mountain in 32 degree weather with wind gusts over 35 miles per hour!

These describe me. A few of the BOLD things I have done in the last five years.  I am BOLD. I speak up on issues that are important to me. I attend rallies to protest things that need change. I am passionate and BOLD about a lot of things in my life.

One area I feel women need to become more BOLD is birth! I have been a doula for over 20 years. I have attended over 500 births and what I feel has been lacking in many of the methods of childbirth education is this level of being BOLD in making decisions that are the right ones for each woman. I taught childbirth education for over 17 years and always felt that there was a piece missing. That piece was that women were not taking responsibility for their births. They were either being led blindly or often knew the path that felt right to them but allowed themselves to be bamboozled or led in a different direction without much fight. Fighting in labor is never fun. But it is not necessary if you address the underlying issues that are keeping you from having the birth you desire.

The other area that was taking away the boldness was in telling women that they needed to stay flexible in their births- but really meaning that they did not need to really dream their dreams fully for fear of failing. So women stopped dreaming- they “hoped” but they failed to plan for it to really happen. Flexibility and boldness can go hand and hand. But we need to encourage women to dream big dreams- have a vision and then work at taking action to make that happen.

I fell in love with the BOLD Empowerment Childbirth Method over a year ago. I have been teaching it for a year and I am seeing a huge difference in the way the women leave our class. They seem to really understand that they hold the keys to their births and also know how to use those keys. Does that mean they will always get the birth they dreamed of? No, but it means they understand that their journey unfolded with them still being in control. I am also amazed at how their births seem to unfold. They have taken responsibility for their births! They are BOLD!

Often times women take our classes and they are the” list makers”- the “black and white” thinkers- the ones who think in analytic ways. But those are the ones who need the type of class that we teach the most. They need to learn to turn on their right brain for birth. They need to learn to let go and allow their bodies to lead them. This is so hard for these women but in a short weekend they begin to “get” it. It is amazing to see the metamorphosis happen in that short time. Sometimes our class draws the” artsy” right minded women. They slide right into the kind of thinking that is so needed in labor. This class only enhances their ability to learn to listen more deeply to their intuitive self. It is fun to see these women grow.  We make this weekend a comprehensive couples series by adding two 3.5 hours classes that round out the nuts and bolts that your partner wants to know.

Is this class the best class for everyone.? Well- actually Charlotte and I do think every woman would benefit from this offering. But we also wanted to meet the needs of those couples who want the more meat and potatoes course. Renee will be offering an immersion type series just for you!  This course gives information that is important for labor and birth. It is comprehensive in the approach and is purely a couple based class. Both classes offer excellent information. Just as every restaurant is not the perfect restaurant for everyone- we try to offer a variety for you to choose from.

We want folks to find their fit. Do you want a woman’s based weekend with some additional couple info? Do you want a purely couple based class that has less emphasis on the mind body connection and more of the basics? Do they both appeal to you? You can always take the BOLD women’s weekend early in the pregnancy- in fact we think the mid trimester is the perfect timing although late pregnancy is also good- and then you can take the couples’ comprehensive series toward the last trimester winding down.

I have taught other methods and there is value in their offerings. Two of my friends teach a wonderful class based on the method I taught for years and their students are well prepared. Another friend of mine teaches a hypnosis based class and I have doula’d for one of our couples and found they were amazingly empowered at their birth.  Part of what makes a class effective is the way you embrace the concepts and practice them. I have attended other classes and often find many of their concepts of value. I do believe that you will know the type of class that is best for you.  But don’t be afraid of exploring something new! We offer you two ways to find your boldness!

 

 

I have been a doula for a long time. I have owned the VHS tape the Rebozo Way by Guadalupe Trueba. I have used rebozos in labor for more than a decade. I teach the use of them in my childbirth class. I have attended a Spinning Babies training with Gail Tully and am certified as a Dancing for Birth instructor with Stephanie Larson  where they both teach the use in helping facilitate movement for babies in labor.

But not until I attended Gena Kirby’s Rebozo Workshop had I ever heard the analogy of using the rebozo like arm extensions in supporting a mom in pregnancy and labor. When she said that something clicked! Did I learn anything I had never been exposed to before in my previous training?- no. But was it delightful to be challenged to take that which I had been shown in the past to a new level and begin to really incorporate it into my labor support more fully- yep! And for that I can say thank you to Gena for inspiring me to take a rebozo use to a new level with my work as a doula and childbirth educator.

She told us about a company out of Vancouver that supported a village of women in Laos who made jias and supported their families in doing so. A jia is the asian version of a rebozo- the mexican shawl that midwives use in labor to help a woman be more comfortable and also for use in labor.  I contacted the company and put together an order for several of the birth professionals in the Atlanta area. but I also ordered some for inventory to sell to others.  These are very large rebozos- they average 8.8 feet long and are about 27 inches wide.

They can be used to carry infants and children as well as the “extensions of your arms” if you are a birth care provider.

If you want to purchase one, let me know.The pics are below. The cost is $99.95 and is a pick up price and I will have them in stock . Here are some photos of a rebozo in use for inspiration!  And I hope Gena returns to Atlanta- I would happily host her again to be further inspired! The colors are: Orange, Purple, Turquoise, Olive, Multicolored and Reds.