Doulas and Epidurals? Yes, please!

I'm planning an epidural. Should I hire a doula? What does a doula do with an epidural? I thought doulas and epidurals didn't go together!

At Doulas of Memphis, we give the same high-quality, expert support to all kinds of birth, whether an epidural is your contingency plan or your only plan. Doulas and epidurals make a great pair, and we want Memphis families to know that having a doula and an epidural can make for a more peaceful, positive experience. We work hard to keep you feeling comfortable and anticipate even the smallest needs to help you feel pampered and cared for throughout the entire labor and delivery process.

doulas and epidurals

Don't take our word for it, though! We asked former clients about their experience with doulas and epidurals, and here's what they had to say:

Having a doula with my epidural was a deal MAKER for my VBAC. She was able to do simple things to make me comfortable, like hand me ice, or get coffee for my husband, and communicate with my family and friends about progress when I didn't feel up to it. An epidural never comes soon enough, and she helped me through contractions while I was waiting for relief.

After my epidural she was able to be there for me constantly, to adjust my peanut ball or talk to me about what was going on when I didn't understand or couldn't remember what the nurse or doctor said. It was extremely comforting to have someone knowledgeable with me at all times to ask questions and discuss what was going on with my body. I was able to talk with her through what I was feeling in my body- what was normal and what warranted a call to the nurse.

The biggest and most critical job my doula did for me during my epidural was to describe what I would feel and how to control my body efficiently during pushing. While everyone else in the room was bustling around, she was able to stay constant by my ear and talk me through this critical point of delivery. I honestly have no idea how I would have figured out pushing without her.

Doulas give partners the space to relax and feel comfortable. A little rest before your baby's arrival goes a long way!

I think the biggest help for me/us was the support that [my husband] got during the labor after I got the epidural. Having you there allowed us both to rest better. I was also appreciative of [my doula] being a sounding board when the doctor initially suggested a c-section.

If your epidural doesn't go as planned, your doula is there to support you and offer suggestions for comfort.

Even after my epidural was in place, [my doula] helped me stay mentally grounded. She helped by positioning the peanut ball, she gave [my husband] support and availability to go take a breather, and she was a good voice reminding me of options. I remember freaking out when my epidural was in place but not doing much of anything for my right side, and how scared I was that if I needed a c-section, that I wouldn't be numbed enough. Then she mentioned that we could have the anesthesiologist back in to adjust things, and that was like an, "Oh yeah, that's an option" light bulb moment that I wouldn't have thought of in the moment even though it was so simple.

Birth is hard work, even with an epidural! Doulas help you stay grounded, provide encouragement, and help hold you up as you bring your baby into the world.

Having [my doula] there helped me try different positions to find what was going to work best. It gave me companionship during the seemingly interminable walking and time in between contractions. It gave my husband a guide to helping me, a buffer to the emotional toll watching your wife in pain takes...Then the epidural was sweet relief and much needed rest. For pushing [my doula] was also right there. She helped us stay strong, remember how to breathe and keep feeling encouraged that I could do this!

Doulas provide companionship from pregnancy to postpartum!

The constant companionship and encouragement of a doula is what made my experience even better than I could have imagined. I feel like having you there before actual labor (those hard last few weeks) is what REALLY helped, though.

Having a doula at your birth allows your partner to be more present with you, and for you to connect during the whole experience.

[My doula] was strong both physically and mentally. Her professionalism shone as she interacted with both the doctors and nurses. During my other two births my poor husband wasn't able to enjoy the experience at all and this time I really appreciated being able to have him to myself and I know he loved being free to enjoy the whole experience. He was able to help cut the cord and hold our baby.

Doulas and epidurals make a perfect pair, and our clients agree! Our doulas work with your family and your trusted medical team to give you the best care Memphis has to offer.

If you're interested in adding a birth doula to your support team, we'd be delighted! Give us a call at 901-308-4888 or contact us to schedule a phone consultation so we can learn more about you and your family.

Happy 901 Day! | Win a Birth and Postpartum Planning Consultation

September 1st is 901 Day, and Doulas of Memphis is celebrating with a giveaway!

This year on 901 Day, we're hosting a photo contest and giving away a free Birth and Postpartum Planning Session with Doulas of Memphis!

901 day

Have you ever wished there were someone who could walk you through this whole baby thing? Someone who:

  • Knows local OB/GYNs, pediatricians, and other professionals
  • Has a relationship with your birth place and is familiar with options
  • Has experience supporting families through different kinds of birth
  • Is up-to-date on the latest recommendations
  • Can help you sift through all of the baby gear choices
  • Has experience helping families adjust to a new baby
  • Can answer your questions about birth and parenting a newborn
  • Supports you without judgement

If you're pregnant in Memphis and you'd like to win a chance to pick our brains in the privacy of your home, this contest is for you! 

How to enter our 901 Day Photo Contest:

  1. Go to our Doulas of Memphis Facebook page and find our pinned post.
  2. Post a selfie of you showing some 901 pride in the comments.
  3.  Share the post with your friends and family!

We will pick a random winner on Friday, September 2nd at 3:00pm. Be sure to check the Doulas of Memphis Facebook page for updates!

The "Fine Print"

To be eligible to enter, you must be currently pregnant and live in the Greater Memphis area. If you're our lucky winner, you must schedule your planning session sometime in the month of September. This offer is non-transferable. The Birth and Postpartum Planning Session will last about 60-90 minutes.

Here at Doulas of Memphis, we love our city and have 901 pride all year round. We hope you have a Happy 901 and celebrate in Memphis style!

We're looking forward to seeing all of your photos, so enter today!

If you'd like to learn more about our Memphis birth doula, Memphis postpartum doula, and Memphis lactation support services, we're always a call or an email away. You'll always hear a friendly voice on the other end of the line.

#901day

 

Mom Olympics | Lessons from Rio 2016

The Rio 2016 Olympics ended yesterday, and over the past couple of weeks the world has seen endurance, resourcefulness, compassion, heartbreak, triumph, controversy, and togetherness on display. In a world where parenting sometimes feels like an Olympic sport, there's a lot for moms to learn from this year's summer Olympics.

Olympics

Moms win the gold for doing the best they can with what they have.

The Rio 2016 Olympics was fraught with infrastructure obstacles and budgetary concerns. During the opening ceremony, we saw resourcefulness on display with the use of a projection system to both cut costs and create some pretty sweet special effects. As moms, we are all operating with limited resources. Likewise as moms, we have limited time, funds, energy, sleep...and somehow we dig deep within ourselves and give our children the best we can with what we have. There are no participation medals in the real Olympics, but in the Mom Olympics, we know you're giving it your all and we honor you!

Sometimes, no matter how hard we try, the diving pool turns green.

It wasn't green yesterday! The pool next to it isn't green! Oh crap, now we have to swim in this?! It happens at the Olympics, and it happens to us as moms. Sometimes our best-laid plans turn green no matter how much chlorine we put in yesterday. On days when that grocery trip is an epic fail, when Netflix during naptime doesn't happen, when breastfeeding isn't going as planned, when you don't know where the day went wrong, moms keep swimming, ready to dive headfirst into a new day tomorrow.

Moms win the gold for helping each other up when the race gets rough.

The day-to-day of motherhood can feel like a running-in-circles race, and it's not always smooth track ahead. Even the best of us trip and fall, and that's when we can count on our mom friends to help us up, put an arm around us, hand us a cup of coffee, and keep going with us. There's a lot of divisiveness around parenting, but there will always be the Nikki Hamblins and Abbey D’Agostinos out there who meet us in our struggles and encourage us along the way.

The Rio Olympics showed us that women are powerful, strong, and capable. Doulas help moms dig in and find the strength that's always been there.

At this year's Olympics, our female athletes made us proud. From Gabby Douglas to Simone Biles, Michelle Carter, Kate Ledecky and more, we saw time and time again that women are amazing and strong. Although they alone were responsible for doing the work, many Olympians acknowledge members of their support team that have helped them along the way. Doulas come faithfully alongside moms as they find strength, endurance, and courage during pregnancy, birth, and the early days of parenting. At Doulas of Memphis, we help you prepare for birth, and when the big day comes, we're there to lean on, cheer you on, and hold you up physically and emotionally as you do the hard work of birth. We believe in you and your ability to make the best decisions for your family. After baby is home and the real marathon begins, our postpartum doulas support you day and night to help ensure that you get the rest you need, that you get answers to your questions, and we'll even help keep you fed and nourished as you care for and bond with your newest little Olympian.

Interested in adding a birth doula or postpartum doula to your support team? Give us a call or drop us a line and let us know how we can partner with your family!

 

 

What babies and tornadoes have in common

‘Tis the season for tornadoes in Memphis, Tennessee, that time of year where we don our rain boots and do our best to “Respect the Polygon.” It’s a part of life around here, both natural and a bit unsettling at times... ...kind of like having a baby.

Stay with me here. While having a baby isn’t terrifying or devastating in the way a tornado can be, they do have a lot in common.

tornadoes, babies

Tornadoes are unpredictable

While most tornadoes follow a pattern from southwest to northeast, we can never know exactly which course they will take, how strong they will be, or what they will leave in their wake. Giving birth is similar. While most labors follow a general pattern, there is plenty of room for variation. Contractions speed up or slow down, labors stall and labors come on fast and furious. With labor comes periods of anticipation and watchful waiting. We can’t always trust that nothing will go wrong, but we can have great respect for the power behind birth. All of this is natural and normal, even in its unpredictability. You never know what kind of baby you have until they are here, and you never can be totally sure what they’ll do next. A baby who sleeps her newborn days away might all of a sudden decide sleeping isn’t her thing (don’t worry, we can help!). A routine that worked last week might need a complete overhaul as your baby hits a new milestone in his development.

Tornadoes can turn your world upside down

I’ve been fortunate to have been around tornadoes my whole life, but have never had firsthand experience with the life-altering devastation they can cause. Babies are blessings and don’t shake up our worlds in the same way tornadoes do, but one thing you can count on is that your whole life will be different. In the same way that a tornado doesn’t always pass over your city without incident, birth can sometimes be difficult and sometimes babies need extra help before they can go home. Perhaps a new baby at your home has affected your relationship with your spouse in ways you weren’t expecting. Maybe postpartum depression wasn’t part of the plan, but here you are, picking up the pieces with a little one in tow. Just as we reach out for help in the face of natural disasters outside our control, it’s important to remember that if things don’t go as planned, it’s okay to ask for help. It’s okay to see your therapist, to call your doctor, to reach out to friends and family who care about you! If you don’t know where to go, ask your doula for help and she’ll connect you with a referral to get the help you need.

You can prepare for tornadoes and you can prepare for babies

In the same way that we create safe spaces and plans of action for when bad weather arises, we can create safe spaces and plans of action for when baby comes. Sure, a “go bag” has a different meaning when you’re talking about an outing with a newborn, but the concept is the same. By taking the time to think through your plan of action for birth and postpartum, you can be better prepared for whatever your own little tornado throws your way. Babies are unpredictable both in their arrival and their behavior, but we can still create safe spaces for ourselves. In addition to surrounding yourself with friends and family, a doula can help you navigate the unpredictably of birth and new parenthood and provide you with a soft place to land. We want to be there for you and help you the best we can as you stretch, grow, and gain confidence!