As birth doulas, we often hear from clients in their last few weeks of pregnancy who excitedly report on their prenatal visits with their providers. Often these reports include some measurement of cervical dilation that occurred in those visits.
Cervical dilation is measured from 0 centimeters to 10 centimeters (with 10 centimeters being a “fully dilated” or “complete” cervix) and is assessed through a vaginal exam by your midwife or OB.
But, did you know that your dilation isn’t the only indication of labor progress? Read More
If you’re currently pregnant, or have children already, you might be familiar with a common possible Labor Sign known as “nesting”; or the (often uncontrollable) urge to organize and clean all. the. things. in your home prior to your baby’s arrival.
While you’re organizing the spice cabinet by height and alphabetizing the soups in the pantry, you might also channel some of that urge into a different form of nesting- Postpartum Nests.
What are Postpartum Nests?
These are little strategically placed bundles or baskets of needed essentials in and around areas of your home (where you’ll care for your baby or your own body).
What goes into each nest depends on which nest, and which location, we’re talking about. We advise clients to break these nests into three categories: Bathroom/Physical Recovery Nests, Infant Feeding Nests, Infant Care Nests, and (maybe most importantly) Snack Nests.
Let’s take a closer look… Read More
This week’s blog post comes from Emerald Doula, and resident foodie, Vanessa. Vanessa is, in addition to being an incredible doula, an amazing home chef. She can make nearly any meal Instagram ready (and her InstaStories back up that claim!). Today, she’s sharing some of her favorite recipe links to help pregnant people consume the fabled “6 Dates A Day” for a possibly easier birth … Read More
Being a parent is hard, no doubt about it. Taking care of yourself, especially now that you are a parent can seem like a difficult task when so many demands are made on you every minute of the day.
The truth is, self-care can look like lots of different things and can be done when you have 10 minutes before the baby wakes up, or just a couple minutes while you put your feet up, or the moments before you drift off to sleep at night. It can’t, and doesn’t always have to be, a day at the spa that we WISH we could schedule more often.
Postpartum Doula and EmDo Co-Owner, Suzanne Lee, shares her quest to find those enjoyable self care avenues that which can do quickly and which help make for a lighter part of the day.
In that journey, she’s discovered a few really great apps that might make a difference for you, even if you’re squeezing in these fun moments between the more trying, stressful times … Read More
Most often as birth doulas, we’ll talk about and share ways in which we support the birthing person during pregnancy and birth. That’s fair, though, right? Birthing people are doing a good portion of the work, and will need that support as they move through the process.
But did you know? Birth doulas also provide a lot of support specifically for partners, too!
How? Find out more … Read More
The holiday season is a really special, beautiful time of year when families gather near one another. For those of you with newborns, this might also be the first time your extended family and friends will have the chance to meet your family’s newest arrival.
But, between the sparkle and dazzle of holiday cheer, and the (sometimes lengthy) visits, it can be hard to balance their expectations with your little one’s needs, without leaving your newborn or yourself, feeling overwhelmed. Here’s our best advice for finding balance … Read More
Tennis Ball massage, counter pressure, aromatherapy, these are all commonly suggested comfort measures we recommend and see often as birth doulas within a labor room.
But did you know, there’s so. much. more comfort to be had? Often, that comfort comes from possibly surprising sources!
Birthing people are amazing at their ability to creatively cope in labor. Each time we support a Triangle-area family, we witness a birthing person lean into their instincts and find comfort in ways that we would never (or could never) have thought of ourselves!
Here are our top three, maybe surprising (but maybe not!), comfort measures which birthing families have taught us over the years … Read More
Receiving gift certificates towards doula services is a really special way in which your friends and family can support your growing family. And while baby socks are sweet, gifting money towards your doula fund is a smart way to give something that truly lasts beyond the first growth spurt! Plus if this isn’t your first baby, asking for doula support instead of gifts helps avoid repeats of stuff you’re already planning to reuse or might not need this time.
Even better, our gift certificates can be used towards any service we provide, including doula support, lactation and infant feeding services, placenta services, and classes like our Spinning Babies® Parents Class, Childbirth Education, Newborn Care, or Modern Grandparents classes. So YOU get to choose how to maximize the generosity of your friends and family.
But, (you’re saying to yourself), doula services can’t be added to a typical registry list. That’s true. But, remember… we live in the future. Embrace the technology that’s so readily available to us these days, including a service called “Baby List”.
This site enables you to register for all kinds of things, from your more traditionally purchased items like carseats and baby clothes or services, like, ahem… the support of Emerald Doulas.
Here’s a step-by-step guide for setting your registry if you haven’t already … Read More
Meet IBCLC and mindfulness educator, Lorraine Rocco, who joined the EmDo family earlier this spring. Lorraine brings her experience as a former Labor and Delivery Nurse, calm, easy-going presence, and deep well of knowledge to our clients at many points along their infant feeding journeys. She is the perfect compliment to our already existing goals-based practice and shares our vision for supporting families in feeding their babies in whatever ways feel right for them. Read More
We’re hired by families across the Triangle just like yours to encapsulate their placenta following birth. Often times, birthing people have questions about our process, and about placenta encapsulation, in general.
Today we’re discussing our top three most commonly talked about topics with a fun game of “Two Truths and a Lie”. Except (Spoiler Alert!) we’ll make this easy for you and tell you which is which as we go along! Read More
Have you ever wondered what's in a birth doula's Bag of Tricks?
Today, let's take a peek inside of one of the Emerald Doula's birth bags and see the collection of everyday objects we bring with us to each and every birth we attend. Note: This doula bag is representative of only what *this* specific doula carries with her (In this case, you're looking through the bag of EmDo Co-Owner, Ashley Rankin Collins). Read More
Meet one of the most beloved and original members of the Emerald Doulas team! Birth & Postpartum Doula, Kallyn Boerner, has been an Emerald Doula since we first opened our doors in 2016! Kallyn brings experience, gentleness, and a little bit of magic to each of our clients and their birth spaces. You can read her full bio on our "Meet the Team" page, and learn a few extra, fun tidbits below!
Plus, be sure to check out Kallyn's Sunday Seminar in November, where she'll share her best tips as a professional, documentary-style photographer, for how you can capture your family's special moments in photos. Read More
Editor's Note: Katy Richards-Hrdlicka is one of our fabulous clients at Emerald Doulas, and a busy on-the-go mama and professional. She has a quite a bit of experience pumping and working and we asked her to share a bit about her process of pumping and traveling and what works for her. Thank you Katy! Read More
A few minutes later the doctor said “Here she comes, are you ready?” I have no idea if I was ready, but that was the moment I became a Mom. It didn’t matter that it was by c-section or that this birth looked nothing like my birth plan, it was incredibly awesome. Read More
I still don't look back on my son's birth with good feelings. My scar doesn't remind me of a smiling face, as an optimistic blogger proposed it should.
I still cringe when a friend or family member (always well-intentioned) says something along the lines of "at least you had a healthy baby" after I share my birth story. I still avoid news articles and slide shows featuring photos of mom looking lovingly into baby's eyes immediately after birth. Read More
I’m grateful for my C-section.
Was it ideal? No. But it was birth all the same. I have come to realize that it doesn’t matter how you become a mother and having a cesarean doesn’t make me any less of one. Another reason I’m grateful for my C-section is that it removed my fears over having to get a cesarean. I believe part of the reason I wanted to avoid it in my first pregnancy was largely related to fear of such a major procedure. Now that I have a broader awareness of cesareans and I am no longer afraid to have one, it makes the prospect of birth this second time around less scary.
I love having this new perspective as I plan for my VBAC with baby number two. No matter the way it’s done, my path to bring my babies into this world it one that I will always revere with pride. My C-section scar is forever proof that God did as he promised. He brought my baby boy into the world safely. So, celebrate your beautiful entrance into motherhood C-section mamas. You did it and your scar is your receipt. Read More
Meet one of the newest additions to the Emerald Doulas team! Birth Doula, Genevieve Hutchings, joined Team EmDo this year. Genevieve brings kindness, and a calm, gentle guidance to our clients and their birth spaces. You can read her full bio on our "Meet the Team" page, and learn a few extra, fun tidbits below! Read More
For many new parents, giving their baby a bath is one of the first big baby care events after surviving that first night home from the hospital.
Newborns seem so tiny and giving them a bath seems so intimidating!
But remember! Babies are people, too! And, even babies love a nice warm bath! Who doesn’t? Today, our lead postpartum doula, and skilled baby bath time expert, Suzanne Lee, breaks it down for you, step-by-step, so it won’t seem so scary. She first learned this method from Kim Bepler of ABC Doula Service in Portland Oregon, who created a video called "The Spa Bath", and has a few more luxurious details that we will leave out for a normal bath how-to.
We have found though that babies really love this bath process. Suzanne's even had a few sleep through bath time doing it this way! Read More
The Triangle is an area of North Carolina that’s rich with resources for birth doula support. After you sort through the profiles, read past client reviews, and narrow down your top choices, you’ll schedule consultations with your favorites.
But, how do you figure out if the person you’re sitting down with is *the* person you’ll want supporting you during one of the most vulnerable times of your life?
Here are a few really good questions for making the most of your consultation time and quickly assessing whether the doula you’re interviewing is the best fit for your birth goals. Read More