birth

Who is Metro Detroit Doula Services? | Meet Chelsea Myers

When looking for doula support some qualities you may want to look for are compassionate, warm, reliable, and easy to talk to. Chelsea is all of these things and more! Take a moment to learn why we love Chelsea and you will too!

What is your path to becoming a doula?

After having my son in April 2018 and a positive birthing experience, I began talking to other moms and friends about birth. I soon realized that a lot of women did not have a positive birthing experience like I had and that immediately lit a passion inside of me for wanting to do something in the birthing field.  I thought about becoming a nurse, midwife, an OB…but that just wasn’t what I wanted to do. My sister introduced me to the word doula and my life changed.

What do you love about being a doula?

I love knowing that our work truly makes a difference in a family’s life during one of the most amazing times in their life.  There is only one shot at a birth and I know doulas help to enhance that experience.

Tell us about your family!

My husband Jeremy and I have been married for almost 3 years.  He is in the IT field and works as a Linux Engineer. We decided we wanted to grow our family shortly after being married and our son Lucas was born on 4/4/18.  4 was always my lucky number growing up and will always be my lucky number now. We also have a 9 year old pug named Diesel who we love to death. My family is everything to me and when I am not working I am soaking up every minute with them.

Chelsea, Jeremy, & Lucas <3

If we turned on the radio in your car what would we hear?

It depends on if my son was driving with me last or not.  If he was, it would probably be country or top 40 (for now…he’s only 1, can’t tell me to change the station yet, and actually enjoys car rides).  If he wasn’t, it’s usually 90s/2000s hip hop/rap or a doula podcast.

Who is your role model?

My mom and dad. 

They worked so hard for my brother, sister, and I and made so many personal sacrifices so we could dance, play hockey, and have the usual, expensive childhood stuff.  Knowing what I know now about life and bills and money, I truly don’t know how they did it without going crazy but they did. I am so incredibly thankful for them every single day.

What is your fave thing to do on a day off?

Attempt to sleep in, stay in jammies until lunch, then do something fun in the afternoon like head to the park or Partridge Creek mall.

What are you reading right now?

My book club book- An Anonymous Girl by Green Hendricks.

What is your best piece of advice for expecting families?

Listen to your gut, know that you and what you’re going through are 100% normal, and to lean on your village (which includes your doula).  

As you can see Chelsea is one great woman! Call us today to request Chelsea as your birth doula! 586-960-5993

Who is Metro Detroit Doula Services? A Blog Series | Meet Erin Hendrickson

Erin is new to the Metro Detroit area and is ready to support families of all types!  She is one of our newest Labor doulas and will do even more.  We are so glad she’s with us!  She is energetic, caring, and ready to change the world.  Keep reading to learn more about Erin!

What do you love about being a doula?
I love being a doula because seeing women feel empowered and confident makes me feel good!  Being able to help women and being there to support their family during the most life changing event is liberating.

I have been dating my boyfriend John for four years now. We recently moved from Grand Rapids to the Metro Detroit area after John graduated from college and landed his dream job at DTE.  Together we have three cats and they are seriously like our children!  They are the nicest cats you’ll ever meet.
– Erin

Erin & her sweetie John


What are your favorite resources for expecting parents/new families?

I have really been enjoying listening to parenting pod casts.  The Birth Hour is one that I currently have been listening to.  I also really like reading ‘Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth’ by Ina May Gaskin.  There are so many wonderful empowering stories in this book and some great birthing tips as well!

What is your favorite thing to do on a day off?

In the summer I love to do anything and everything outdoors. I love going to the beach and going for walks.  I love bike rides and fishing too.  One thing I wish I did more of is going camping!so that will be my goal for this summer.  I also love exploring, especially living in a new area.  I hope to do a lot of that coming soon.  In the winter I enjoy reading a book or cuddling with my fur babies and watching movies or TV.

If you could have a superpower, what would it be and why?

That’s tough.  If I could try all the superpowers out for one day, I think I’d appreciate that!  Otherwise, if I had to pick one I think I’d say water breathing.  I would love to go into the ocean and swim as far down as I could and see what strange creatures that are living down there.  At the same time I’d choose invisibility so I wouldn’t get eaten.

What is your favorite song to Karaoke to?

The most recent song I did karaoke to is ‘DoReMi’ from sound of music. I will sing to anything at anytime, I love it!

Metro Detroit Doula Services

You will love having Erin as part of your support team!  Give us a call or connect with us via email at info@metrodetroitdoulaservices.com, also on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

Who is Metro Detroit Doula Services? A Blog Series | Meet Beth Smith

In this weeks blog, we introduce Beth!  Beth has joined our team as an experienced Labor doula.  We are so glad she’s with us.  She is well loved, fun, and super easy to talk to.  Keep reading to learn more about Beth.

What is your doula “path” story?
I began my journey as a teacher working with infants and families in a childcare setting.  Supporting new moms and babies was something that came naturally to me.  I completed my bachelors degree in early childhood education in 2004 at Rochester College.  I journeyed down the path of being a doula in 2005 after a friend suggested that I be present for the birth of her son as her labor support person.  After doing a little research about what a doula is and what one does, I joined my friend for her son’s birth.  It was truly amazing!  Afterwards I knew that being a doula was definitely my calling and I haven’t looked back.

My family is AWESOME!  I’ve been with my high school sweetheart since 1997.  We’ve since married and have the pleasure of raising 4 beautiful, spirited daughters.  We also have the luxury of having my mom live with us full time since her retirement.  Our pets include a Flemish Giant (a breed of rabbit) named Franklin and our Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, named Ladybug.

I love supporting women and families as they transition into parenthood.  There is nothing else more moving than supporting a new life’s entrance into the world. Being a part of a lifelong memory is something I feel honored to be a part of.  – Beth Smith


If we turned on the radio in your car, what would we hear?

Top Pop amongst other things!  I love listening to music that you can sing and dance to. The 80’s, 90’s and today’s best music – I’ll listen to it all!  Things I have in my play list include: Bruno Mars, Maroon 5, Radiohead, Muse, Pink, The Black Keys, Twenty One Pilots, and Luke Bryan (yes, even country).

What are some positive comments made by others about you?
That I have the ability to remain calm and serene in the face of chaos.

Caring, Warm, Confident

What are you reading now?
I just finished reading Big Sexy Love by Kirsty Greenwood.  It was a fast read, and quite entertaining.

What is your philosophy for birth & supporting women and their partners through labor?
I believe what families need most is nurturing and gentle support.  I believe that each labor and birth is a unique and miraculous experience and the emerging family is the center and focus of that experience.  While the course of labor and birth is unpredictable, each family should be able to choose for themselves how they would like to respond to it – where they feel safe, who they want to deliver their baby, who else they want with them and whether they want to use pain medications and other medical interventions.

Favorite Show: This is Us
Favorite Vacation: We try to go to Topsail Beach, NC every other summer.  My family has also taken a liking to Grand Haven, MI.
Favorite Food: Pizza, anything with buffalo sauce and cake.
Favorite Hobby: Reading, Gardening, Crafting

What is your favorite thing to do on a day off?
What is this “day off” you are speaking of and where can I find it?  I enjoy keeping busy, starting my day at the gym before my kiddos are awake and sneaking a cup of coffee before they’ve started their day.  My dream “day off” would be sleeping in a bit, reading a good book in a quiet café, and getting a massage.

If you could have a superpower, what would it be and why?
The ability to clone myself so I can be in 2 places at one time.

Metro Detroit Doula Services

You will love having Beth as part of your birth team!  Give us a call or connect with us via email at info@metrodetroitdoulaservices.com, also on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

The Fear of Giving Birth Again

“You have done this before.  You know what you are doing!”  Anyone who has given birth once and is now preparing to birth baby number 2, or 3, or 10 has probably heard someone say this.  Maybe you feel like, “Heck yeah I got this!”, or you maybe you want to reply, “Do I know what I’m doing?  Is it too late to back out?”

Just because you have given birth before does not mean you:

A) Know what to expect this time

B) Feel good about giving birth

C) You don’t need any help, or guidance

D) Are not nervous

Let me be the first to say it is perfectly OK to feel HOWEVER you are feeling about giving birth AGAIN.  Whether it is indeed excitement, or happiness, it is also OK if its not.  Perhaps you have fear of giving birth again.

No matter what you are feeling there are things to do to help you cope with birthing again.

  1. Make a birth plan.  This isn’t just for first time births.  You can perhaps even use what your previous birth was like to help you choose things you for sure know you want to happen again, and things you know you absolute do NOT want to repeat.
  2. Process your feelings.  As you are growing your baby and awaiting your due date it is a good idea to explore your feelings when you are ready. Talk to your partner or doula.  Sometimes you just need someone to listen.
  3. Take a Childbirth Education course.  Maybe you skipped this the first time.  Maybe you need a refresher.  It is always good to learn about as much of the unknown as you can so you can feel more confident.  If you take a group class you may even make friends with someone feeling just like you are!
  4. Surround yourself with positive support.  Your family, your partner, your care provider, your doula and your friends.  Try to keep positive people near you.  People who don’t dismiss your feelings but validate them.

It’s also normal to have your feelings change.  Every pregnant woman at some point or another takes a moment to think about what the upcoming birth may be like.  And with that comes some emotion.   Take comfort in knowing that you are not alone in your processing and feelings.

push birth labor

What can be cool about giving birth again is maybe you do have an idea of what it is like.  Some of the unknown may be known!  This may allow you to focus on other details.  You may have an idea of what helped you.  Use these to prepare for this next birth.  Use your previous experience as another tool in your tool-belt.

For example, “I thought having family in the waiting room would not bother me.  But I remember feeling bad that they were waiting so long out there.”  Use this as a tool to know you would prefer all excited family to wait for baby’s arrival at home until they are notified to come be with you.

No matter how you are feeling about birthing again, remember you are not alone and there is support to help you!

April the Giraffe | The Watched Pot… Stays in Labor?

It is amazing to witness a birth.  Seeing a human enter the world is a beautiful and spiritual thing.  Watching animals birth is equally awe-inspiring.  How they seem to just know exactly how to move and where to go.

Miss April the Giraffe is about to give birth.  She’s a Giraffe in New York anxiously awaiting her baby.  For the last month she is believed to give birth any day.

 

And the world is watching……….And still watching.

Good news is she likely doesn’t know it.

In labor it is common for people to be so excited and supportive to their loved ones they think they will get to watch the birth.  They may wait in a waiting room or hope to enter the labor room.  They could be at their own home waiting on updates and continue to text or call worried.

So when you birth who do you want watching?  It’s OK to do what you feel.  For some the idea of lots of close loved ones near by is reassuring.  For others it can create the feeling of “the watched pot never boils.”

giraffelegs

Typically in labor a woman will experience pain or intensity.  Which can be hard for others to see.  The woman may be coping well but all the loved one sees is suffering and wants it to end.  A laboring woman will have different levels of intensity at different points of the labor.  The mood of the room will change.  If the people in the room do not acknowledge that change it may become annoying or frustrating to the laboring woman. As well as anxious energy in the room can radiate to the laboring woman.  Ideally the room will radiate relaxation and calm.

Some find themselves feeling bad if the baby doesn’t come fast enough because all their family is waiting.  This can all lead to mind games.  The mind and body are very connected.

I personally thought I was OK with the number of people who attended my first birth in the beginning.  Which included some unplanned but caring loved ones.  Then my labor was long.  Long enough for the visitors there to dwindle down to who I originally thought would be at my birth.  And then… things picked back up and baby girl arrived.  I truly believe the added people watching and waiting played  a role.

You need to take a look at yourself and what serves you.  What will you feel if your labor is long?  Are you comfortable asking people to leave?  Some say birth is as intimate as the act to create the baby.  Who do you want watching then?

So April, Good Luck sister!  You’ll do great!  I won’t be watching 😉

 

 

Viral Birth Sensation | April the Giraffe

Guest Blog by: Marie Lang, Postpartum & Infant Care Doula and Placenta Specialist

Picture this.

You are pregnant with your fourth child.  Your body has been preparing for this for some time.  You are under the watchful eye of trusted and trained medical professionals. You are comfortably and safely in your own private space – or so you thought.

Next thing you know, you are live streamed and your birth becomes a viral sensation.

While this isn’t a typical reality for most birthing individuals today, it is happening right now to April the Giraffe at the Animal Adventure Park in New York.

surveillanceOf course, watching a giraffe give birth online can be an educational event for humans, and it can be argued that since she isn’t aware of anyone watching her or the magnitude of the live stream, that it doesn’t really affect her.  But what if it did?

In our current times, we have so many modes of social media and so many ways to get information out to the public.  Today, everyone is a celebrity.  We have Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter, Instagram, and more!  It is easier now more than ever to announce your news (or someone else’s news) to the world.  Typically the intentions are good.

Of course your family and friends are so excited about the new arrival that they want to be a part of the celebration!  So they post a pic, or tweet some birth stats, before you even have a chance to give your baby a name!  This can feel very violating and it takes away from something that is meant to be a very special and intimate time.

New parents today should feel empowered to say no.

It is ok to keep your birth space private. It is ok to ask for no details on social media. It is ok to want to be the one to make whatever kind of special announcement on social media that you want to – first.

Here are a few tips for family and friends to gently remind them that this is a special and private moment for you.

  1. Do not pester an overdue mother – she is definitely more anxious than you!  She has heard the, “Did you have that baby yet??”…5,000 times already today.
  2. Do not mention the baby’s name before she publicly announces it – if you are lucky enough to be privy to this information, keep it to yourself!
  3. The pregnancy and birth announcements should come directly from the parents – this should be self explanatory, but it bears repeating!
  4. Ask the parents how they feel about you posting their photos – every parent has a different philosophy when it comes to their children on social media.  Some parents love the attention!  Some are more private.  Even if you think you know – ASK anyways!
  5. Don’t ask when they plan to have another – there are a lot of factors that come into play when a family is planning to add to their family.  These are all private decisions that they may not necessarily want to discuss in public.

our-baby-will-be-here-soon

Parents, feel free to use this picture on your social media to help!

Whether its a baby giraffe, or a baby human, that is welcomed into the world, we can be sure that there will be lots of excitement surrounding it all.  With some support and respect, we can do our best to make sure they enter the world in a respectful way for everyone.

Congrats to April the Giraffe and all other birthing individuals out there!

Who is Metro Detroit Doula Services? A Blog Series | Meet Amy Hammer

By Amy Hammer, CEO & Co-Founder of Metro Detroit Doula Services

After having a fabulous doula for her own birth over 5 years ago, Amy Hammer decided to join her gifts of compassion and service with her love for families and become a business owner & doula herself.  Amy and Andrea’s collaboration together has been a complete blessing.  Together they support families, support each other, and laugh a lot!  Amy is certified with ProDoula as a Labor Doula and a Postpartum Placenta Specialist, she is also pre-certified as a Postpartum & Infant Care Doula.

Amy Hammer, Co-Founder of Metro Detroit Doula Services, Certified Labor Doula and Postpartum Placenta Specialist, and Pre-Certified Postpartum & Infant Care Doula

Tell us about your family.  “I’m happily married over 14 years to a super tall 6’8″ husband who I grew up 4 miles away from most of my life and never even knew it, attending rival high schools.  We have a daughter & son who are growing like weeds.  Our animals include a 16 year old grandma grey tabby cat & a black and white Shih-tzu-mix puppy who is exactly that… a puppy!”

What do you love about being a doula?  “I love helping!  I love that my work assists families in enjoying their biggest life moments & helping them realize their dreams.  I was born to help & care for others, it feels so completely natural to me.”

“Having a Doula was fantastic.  I will recommend her to all of my pregnant friends!  I can’t believe the patience and nurturing spirit it must take to do this job.  I can’t imagine how my labor would have gone without her there – it would NOT have been the same at all.” – Labor Doula Client

What are your favorite resources for expecting parents/new families?  “Taking Charge of Your Fertility, Business of Being Born, Birth Without Fear, Active Labor by Janet Blaskas, Natural Hospital Birth by Cynthia Gabriel, Nursing Mother’s Companion, Happiest Baby on the Block, and Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child.  The list could go on…”

What are you reading now?  “A bunch 🙂 Breastfeeding Made Simple by Mohrbacher & Kendall-Tackett for my Postpartum and Infant Care Doula Certification, Chase by Jennie Allen for my Lifegroup, The 5 Love Languages by Chapman for my marriage health, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Kondo for my sanity, and Leadership Promises for Everyday by Maxwell for my volunteer work and business! Phew!”

What is your philosophy for parenting & supporting women and their families through their postpartum transition?  “See a need, fill a need and I have faith in you! Transitioning to family is hard work and everyone can benefit from an extra set of hands. The type of hands needed can change on the daily, but ultimately our goal is for you to feel rested and cared for so that when our shift comes to a close you can enjoy your family & relax. Our families know what they need and have great intuition of their baby’s needs; it is my job to support this, encourage where needed, and advise when asked.”

“You are doing better than you think, you are enough, and you know your child best!” – Amy Hammer

What are your favorites?  “Favorite show right now: Call the Midwife on Netflix; Favorite vacation: somewhere warm, Europe, or tent camping in Michigan; Favorite food: Mexican & Mediterranean; Favorite hobby: Yoga.”

On a day off Amy loves to sleep in and spend quality time playing with her family.

If you could have a superpower, what would it be and why?  “This is hard because teleporting would be ah-mazing!  But, super speed task master with multiple arms would have to be it at the moment, so that I could do all the things I need and also be able to spend time laughing with my family.”

“I didn’t know until recently that I was ‘allowed’ to rest and have consistent help.  We hoped that by hiring doulas for postpartum that we wouldn’t feel as overwhelmed as we had before.  To boot, she offered emotional support, a listening ear, company, laughs, warmth to my children – definitely met and exceeded my expectations!  She and Andrea were a valuable and priceless part of postpartum!” – Postpartum and Infant Care Doula Client

What is your favorite song to karaoke? “Nothings Gonna Stop Us Now by Starship… it’s become our MDDS theme song. ♥”

Contact Metro Detroit Doula Services today and have Amy complete your dream team!
586-960-5993
info@metrodetroitdoulaservices.com

Why Did You Hire a Doula?

As a professional doula and owner of Metro Detroit Doula Services I love hearing all the reasons people decide to hire one.   So I asked around.   These are actual quotes from people who hired doulas.  

 

“Because I was DEATHLY afraid of labor and knew I wouldn’t stand a chance without one.” 

Doulas are there to help you process and work on your fear and anxieties regarding pregnancy and childbirth.  We are always available to listen and discuss how you are feeling and we will work together to get you to a place with more confidence. In labor we are there to support you and help you obtain the wishes you have for your birth.  Doulas bring comfort and a calming presence to the experience.  We remind you of what is normal and you don’t have to feel alone in your journey.

 

“I needed support for my VBAC.” 

“I hired a doula for both of my c-sections…so thankful I did.  [She was] a calming supportive presence.”

Metro Detroit Doula Services supports all types of births.  Every birth is worthy of a doula.  1st baby, 2nd baby, and more!  We attend VBAC s (Vaginal Birth After Cesarean),  natural births at the hospital, natural births at home with a professional caregiver,  medicated/epidural births, and planned and unplanned cesarean.  We tailor to your needs for your birth journey.   Every birth is truly unique.  We serve them all.

 

“My husband isn’t a birthing professional. I wanted to add a key player to our birthing team basically.”

“Because I wanted and needed an expert, someone there only for me, and someone who knew what I needed before I did. Also to help my husband to help me better.”

Metro Detroit Doula Services firmly believes in becoming a part of your birth team!  We have a non-medical scope of practice.  You chose your care provider for a reason and we will help you work with them to achieve the wishes you hope for.  We also want your partner to be your partner.  Their connection with you is something we can’t and don’t want to replace.  We will help him/her  support you.   With a doula on the team there will always be continuous support for the laboring woman.   This makes it easier for the partner do self-care as well, like going to the bathroom, resting, or eating without feeling like they are abandoning their partner.  We can offer suggestions of techniques to do, positions, or words of encouragement to say.  Birth is a journey for the partner too!  We are also there to help the partner feel safe and comfortable.

 

Laboring Mom with Spouse

Metro Detroit Doula Services will be there to help your partner support you.

 

“I wanted a natural birth and had read the statistics on how helpful a doula can be in achieving that goal.”

There have been many studies and the statistics are in; the presence of a doula reduces the need of interventions. From Evidenced Based Birth, “Overall, women who received continuous support were more likely to have spontaneous vaginal births and less likely to have any pain medication, epidurals, negative feelings about childbirth, vacuum or forceps-assisted births, and C-sections.”

“I wanted someone knowledgeable about birth whose ONLY job was to focus on me.”

That’s right, our job is to offer continuous labor support to you and only you. From the moment you want us to arrive we are there by your side supporting your needs.  Emotionally and physically we are there to be with you.  Listening ears, calming words, and helping hands to assist as you navigate your experience.  Doulas are a positive presence dedicated to only you.

 

“Because I wanted the loving care of a mom without it being my judgmental Mom.”

Metro Detroit Doula Services offers non-judgmental support always.  Feeling heard and respected is of utmost importance to us.  New parents receive advice from all angles.  As your journey unfolds we follow your own path, on your terms, how you want it.   Knowing you have someone there for you without worrying about how they will think of you for your choices is comforting.

No matter what the reason, a Doula’s sole job is to support YOU and YOUR FAMILY.  What will your reason be?