doula

Baby outings? Can I really shop with my baby?

By Andrea Stainbrook

An outing with your baby doesn’t have to be hard!

Babies are squishy and adorable and well frankly a lot of work!  Normal outings like heading to the grocery store, or to shop for some new clothes can feel like daunting tasks.  I know I sometimes rather wait for my hubby to come home or ask grandma for help so I can do these tasks alone.

And while alone shopping is super fun at times it may not be practical to try to plan for every outing without our cute little tag-a-long.

Oh hey Mom great choice!

Babies can become a part of the mundane outings or the fun shopping days!

Here are tips for successful shopping days out!

Think ahead!  

  • Make a plan.
  • Limit where you will go for the day just in case baby isn’t up for it.  If you are prepared to only hit up  a store or two and not conquer a marathon of shopping you will be setting yourself up for success!
  • Prepare the best you can and remember keep your expectations low!

This cute face may make the outing even better!

Baby gear for outings!  

  • Bring with you whatever feeding items you need.  Whether it be bottles, or your breasts, or baby is old enough for snacks, kiddos get hungry.
  • Favorite toys are a must!  Anything to help with distraction.
  • Some people like those cute little shopping cart covers.  Sometimes you are able to attach toys to those.
  • Remember if baby is in it’s bucket car seat still always place it in the bottom of the shopping cart.

Where do we go?

  • Grocery store.  Bring a list!  Many grocers try to get the kids excited now with either finding the store’s mascot while you are there or offering free fruit.
  • Superstores.  (Or Book and Toy stores.)  Just want to get out and go somewhere?  Let your kiddo explore the toy or book aisles for fun.
  • To your local baby store!

Make it a fun day to remember!

Local Baby /Children Stores

These tips should help you as you venture out.  As a Postpartum & Infant Care Doula I have even become a part of these outings too and help parents feel more confident doing so.    Fill out our inquiry form if you rather shop with us!

Where do you think you will head first?

 

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!

How Will I Know? | Early Signs of Labor

The weeks of pregnancy are coming and going.  Soon you find yourself nearing the end of gestation.  You are close to your estimated due date. Every pregnant person wonders how will I know if I am in labor?  Ask around and you are sure to hear the advice of, “you’ll just know.”   How helpful is that?

The main thing about early labor signs is that they are not always an absolute guarantee that labor is beginning.  Some things like water breaking means baby needs to come, but others could happen and you have days or dare I say weeks before baby actually arrives.

This list below will give you an idea of what to look for and notice.  Take note that some of these will happen before labor begins, and some will happen during labor.

 

1) Lightening- No, not talking about the weather but when baby moves down into the pelvis.  You may feel able to breathe easier.  This is because as baby drops down it is no longer pressing up on your diaphragm and lungs.  You may notice more pelvic pressure as well since baby is lower and now pressing in that area.  

 

2) Bloody Show and/or Loss of the Mucus Plug The opening to the cervix is actually protected by the mucus plug.  This keeps the bacteria out while you are pregnant.  It isn’t so much of a cork but a long and stringy plug.  You may notice more discharge that can be gooey or not.  Sometimes it will be blood tinged.  That is known as bloody show.  These are both signs of cervical change!

 

3) Nesting- Did you wake up with an urge to get things in order?  Can’t get settled until X,Y, or Z is done?  Do you feel energized to get these all accomplished NOW?!  Then you may be nesting.  A sense of urgency to complete things coupled with the actual energy to do them are classic nesting signs.  

nesting image.png

Packing your hospital bag?  Checking things off a list?  These are common nesting items!

 

4) Contractions- A low aching sensation, or period like cramps coming and going, may be the beginning of contractions.  In early labor they can be pretty spread out (even as far at 20 to 30 mins apart).   If you notice a pattern setting in try timing them.  They will gradually get longer, stronger, and closer together as your uterus is working to bring baby down.   Longer, stronger, and closer together contractions are one difference between Braxton Hicks contractions and labor.  

 

5) Water Breaking- At some point your body will cause your membranes to rupture.   For some women this will be the start of labor.  Very few women will feel a dramatic gush like the movies.  Much more likely, you won’t know if you peed yourself or your water broke.  It can feel like a gush or a constant trickle.  If the fluid leaking is odorless it may be amniotic fluid.  Take note of the color of the fluid, odor, how much fluid leaked or is leaking, and the time of the water breaking.  Update your care provider on this information.  

If you are experiencing some of these baby may be coming very soon.  While you are waiting for one of these signs rest, hydrate, and enjoy the last days of pregnancy!

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 😉

 

 

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

Who is Metro Detroit Doula Services? A Blog Series | Meet Andrea Stainbrook

By Andrea Stainbrook , CEO & Co-Founder of Metro Detroit Doula Services

Andrea Stainbrook joined forces with Amy Hammer to create Metro Detroit Doula Services. Together their vision is to bring support without judgement during pregnancy, birth, and as a family after baby arrives.  Andrea is certified with ProDoula as a Labor Doula, pre-certified as a Postpartum Doula, and is currently working on her certification as a Childbirth Educator with ProDoula.

andreafamilydoula-5128

Andrea Stainbrook, Co-Founder of Metro Detroit Doula Services, Certified Labor Doula, Pre-Certified Postpartum Doula, and future Childbirth Educator

Tell us about your family!  “My husband Justin and I will be celebrating our 10th wedding anniversary next summer.  We have 2 beautiful, full of energy, funny little girls; Lydia, 6, and Estelle, 3.   George and Jerry are our senior dogs who have been helping us clean under the kitchen table ever since the girls were born.”

What do you love about being a doula? “What I love is watching families grow and how they find strength they may never knew they had.”

If we turned on the radio in your car, what would we hear? “Currently a lot of Sia.  My girls love Sia as much as I do.  You’ll also hear Thrice,  Dustin Kensrue’s solo stuff,  or Rilo Kiley when I get some time to choose as well.”

“As I grieved the loss of the birth I had hoped for, Andrea very easily adapted her support to meet my new needs.  She provided me with a listening ear, supportive words, and many suggestions that helped me emotionally prepare for a cesarean birth.” – Labor Doula Client

Give us 3 words that describe you.  “Fun.  Listener.  Caring.”

What are you reading now?  “Lots of  children’s books.  🙂  I would love to find time to read one of Mindy Kaling’s books or Jennifer Weiner’s latest.”

What’s your favorite show?   “I am very excited for the return of The Walking Dead!  That premiere episode was intense.   It’s shaping up to be a great season.”

What is your philosophy for birth & supporting women and their partners through labor?  “I believe in supporting each family without bias.  Whatever you want and see for your birth I will stand behind you.”

“Trust yourself and be easy on yourself.” -Andrea Stainbrook

Who is your role model?  “There are a few. Truly I am inspired by people who are 100% themselves and just go for it!  My partner Amy is my doula role model.  I’m blessed that we get to do this together.    My husband is a role model for parenting.  He’s so kind and patient.  It’s awesome to watch him with our girls.”

When Andrea gets a day off she enjoys family days together.  She loves baking or cooking her favorite food lasagna with help from her children.  They love lining the lasagna pan with the pasta and sauce!    She enjoys traveling all over Michigan and recently had a great vacation in Disney World!

If you could have a superpower what would it be? “To make everyone happy.  In a perfect world I would love to bring joy to everyone I meet!”

“Andrea was the best Postpartum Doula!  She was absolutely wonderful with my sweet baby girl and was so comforting to me as a new mama.  She made me feel like everything I was going through was normal and was so reassuring.” – Postpartum Doula Client

What is your favorite song to karaoke?  This is a tough one.  Hands down if I am karaoking with Amy (my co-owner) it would be “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now” – Starship.  With my hubs I would probably say “Almost Paradise” (from Footloose) – Mike Reno and Ann Wilson.  But ya know a good Beyoncé song never hurts either!  (For the record my singing isn’t so amazing… but my entertainment value is there 😉 )

 

Contact Metro Detroit Doula Services today and have Andrea be a part of your birth team!
586-960-5993
info@metrodetroitdoulaservices.com

Who is Metro Detroit Doula Services? A Blog Series | Meet Marie Lang

by Andrea Stainbrook  Doula, Co-Owner of Metro Detroit Doula Services

We at Metro Detroit Doula Services know Marie is fabulous and we want you to know why she is too!  She is a trained Postpartum Doula as well as a Postpartum Placenta Specialist.  She has had a special training in supporting families of multiples as well as an interest in supporting breastfeeding when needed.

andreafamilydoula-5226

Marie Lang ~ Postpartum Doula & Postpartum Placenta Specialist

We all have our own paths to our careers.   Marie tells us about her journey to becoming a doula:    “Through my own mothering experience and helping friends and family through their postpartum time, I came to realize how natural this work was to me. Whenever anyone I knew had a question about pregnancy, birth, or babies, they always came to me. When my youngest daughter was an infant, I became active in my local La Leche League and that really opened my eyes to how important it is to have mothers supported through this time of their lives. When I found out I could actually make a career out of this, it was like a dream come true!”

“Marie was fantastic. She quickly built up a rapport with our toddler. He enjoyed having her around, which was so important to us. My stress was greatly decreased knowing that he trusted her. She was also very comfortable and skilled with our newborn. I enjoyed having her around. It was great to have someone to talk to and I always felt like things were under control when it was time for her to go home.” – Postpartum Doula Client

What do you love about being a doula?    “The early postpartum days can be full of so much anxiety and emotions, so I love to be there helping the new parent to feel confident in their new role. Also, I love the sweet baby cuddles :)”

Tell us about your family!  “In my house I live with my awesome and supportive husband Dan, my creative and hilarious 9 year old son Tyler, my independent and sweet 3 year old daughter Eleanora, and my thoughtful and helpful Mother-in-law Mary. We also have two dogs (Charlie and Lyric) and a cat (Madeline).”

If we turned on the radio in your car, what would we hear? “Well, right now my 3 year old commands the track listing with the Frozen soundtrack all of the time.  But, if I had my way it would probably be a mix of current pop music and indie rock.   I also have a love for 80’s new wave and 90’s alternative, so it would really depend on my mood that day. 🙂 ”

“Marie was the voice of confidence that I needed to get through the first few weeks of motherhood. She reassured me and comforted me. She let me vent about anything I needed to and was passionate about my bond with my baby.” – Postpartum Doula Client

Marie’s take on parenting philosophies and support:   “I think it’s important to follow the family’s lead and help them through this time without judgment.  Everyone has their own philosophy and ways of doing things.  My job is to support and help you with YOURS.”

When Marie isn’t busy being a Postpartum Doula or a Postpartum Placenta Specialist she loves taking spontaneous day trips with her family.  Living in Southeastern Michigan there are so many things to do!  Her and her family enjoy going to the Detroit Zoo and Toledo Zoo, Frankenmuth, Cedar Point, Greenfield Village, or even just spending the day at the beach on one of our beautiful lakes!

We think Marie is full of superpowers but if she could chose one what would it be?  “I think it would be super cool to have healing superpowers. I hate seeing people sick or injured and would love to be able to make it better!”

“You are the expert on your baby! Listen to your intuition, it’s the best tool you have in your parenting toolbox.” – Marie Lang

Lastly, what is your favorite song to karaoke?  “I cannot help from singing  Whitney Houston’s ‘I Wanna Dance with Somebody’ every single time I hear it!”

Contact Metro Detroit Doula Services today and have Marie there for you during your postpartum time!
586-960-5993
info@metrodetroitdoulaservices.com

Don’t Forget Her.

By: Andrea Stainbrook, Doula & Co-Owner of Metro Detroit Doula Services

 

Babies.  They are so adorable.  When a new one comes it is so fun to shower him with gifts.  Baby toys, bottles, don’t even get me started with all the cute outfit options.  Watch out Buy Buy Baby and local boutiques.  I love baby things.

Our society loves babies too.  When it comes to pregnancy, birth, and especially after baby’s arrival the main focus is baby.  And baby deserves a LOT of focus.  But so does someone else.

 

Don’t forget her.

Don’t forget the person whose whole life shifted months ago.  The woman who tolerated nausea.   The woman who worried for 9 months.   The woman who had back aches, mood swings, and is simply always exhausted.   This person birthed a human, after growing that human.   That woman is healing, recovering, and no longer recognizes her life.

Call her by her name.  She may not know where she begins and baby ends anymore.  She may not know when she will be herself again.  It may feel as if she is no longer an individual.  She loves her baby.  She wants you to love her baby.  But she wants you to love her too.

Love her as the woman she is.  Strong.  Beautiful.  Capable.  Love her for her interests.  She still has her own interests.  Don’t forget that.

As a doula I have some ideas for you to do when visiting a new mom.  Aside from coming when the new family says, not staying long and helping by bringing a meal:

Bring something for HER.  For the woman who just gave birth.  Acknowledge her.

LISTEN.  Let the conversation go where it needs to.  But follow her lead.  Listen to what she needs and wants to talk about.

New moms are at a huge transition and adjustment.  No matter how easy or hard the adjustment goes every woman at one point may feel overwhelmed and consumed by this new life.  They may feel they are no longer who they were.   They may feel they don’t even know themselves.  They may feel no one notices them.   These women are still the women that love Game of Thrones, or a good glass of wine.  Value them as they are.  Of course they are a new mom and that is amazing,  but don’t discount them as an individual.

So shower your friend’s new baby with Sophie the Giraffe, and Betsey Johnson’s new line of baby wear, and also shower your friend with your friendship.  Bring her favorite Biggby coffee and always remember to remember her.

 

 

Guest Blogger Kate Rich: Discomfort in Pregnancy

5 Things I Know About Discomfort in Pregnancy

 

Written by Kate Rich of Tender Beginnings Birth Services

Pregnancy and pain: unfortunately sometimes it feels like the two go hand-in-hand. From the nausea and fatigue of the first trimester, to the heartburn, breathlessness, and just general aches and pains of the third trimester, you might experience some discomfort at some point in your pregnancy.

As doulas, we are focused on your comfort, and that is not just during labor! Remember that we are there for you throughout your pregnancy, and there is no better person to call than your doula when you are in need of some trusted advice and tips.

Here we share five common pregnancy complaints, and our tips for finding relief:

  • Nausea: Often times this is caused by hormonal shifts that are normal part of your pregnancy. Pregnancy nausea can be compounded by not eating often enough throughout the day, or not staying hydrated, which is especially tough in the heat of summer! Make sure to talk to your doctor or midwife, but sometimes relief can be found by simply eating a protein paired with a complex carb and a big glass of water. Many women also swear by eating things with ginger or lemon, or they have success wearing a motion sickness band like “Sea Bands.” If the nausea is really bad, though, definitely ask your doctor about prescription options for keeping the nausea at bay. There are options, such as Diclegis or Zofran, and it is important for you and your baby to get adequate nutrition and water during your pregnancy.
  • Heartburn: Thank you again, hormones. Progesterone surges in pregnancy cause a relaxation of the muscles in the esophagus, which gets compounded by the uterus squishing the stomach up closer to the esophagus as time goes on and your baby grows! Aside from talking to your doctor or midwife about antacids, eating smaller, more frequent meals can help, and try to take a gentle walk or do something else upright for at least 30 minutes after.
  • Pelvic pain: This is one of those things that many women see as unavoidable during pregnancy, but there are things you can do to help your aching hips and back! Try doing some gentle, healthcare provider approved stretches such as the cat-cow yoga stretch. Some women also love to wear a pregnancy support belt during later pregnancy, or even create one out of a babywearing wrap. If things get really bad, get a referral from your doctor or midwife to see a Women’s Health Physical Therapist for an assessment, and relief.
  • Leg cramps: There are a few reasons this might happen in pregnancy, including restricted blood flow and compressed nerves, or even a possible dietary deficiency. When it happens, stand up and flex the your foot up, pointing the heel out while rubbing the muscles with your hand to relieve the tension. If it is happening frequently, check your diet with your healthcare provider for adequate calcium, potassium, and magnesium intake.
  • Hemorrhoids: Pregnancy is oh-so-glamorous sometimes, right? Hemorrhoids might not be avoidable as your baby grows and pressure builds up down there, however a warm sitz bath can feel nice. For a more folksy home remedy, try putting grated raw potato on the hemorrhoids. Sounds crazy, but it works to bring cooling, soothing relief, and helps to reduce any swelling!

What are some of your pregnancy aches and complaints, and what remedies and relief did you find? We would love to hear about it!

 

 

 

Kate Rich is a Certified Labor Doula and Childbirth Educator, and the owner of Tender Beginnings Birth Services located in Ohio.

Don’t forget your B.R.A.I.N.

By: Andrea Stainbrook

Decisions.  Parenting (as well as life in general) seems comprised of decision after decision.  It starts in pregnancy and will continue.  Some are easy, most are not.  You want to make a well thought out choice.  What to do when you are at a crossroads?  As a doula I remind my clients to use their brain.  Well that one and this one – B.R.A.I.N..

This acronym is handy when making all of life’s decisions.   Think about being in labor perhaps, a truly difficult time to make decisions.  Things are going along much like you expected and then something comes up.   You don’t know what to do and you feel like you need to make a decision.   You and your partner can look to your doula and she will walk you through B.R.A.I.N.:

Brain Graphic with Instinct Corrected

This tool is useful in so many situations.

Taking a moment to walk through and weigh out everything involved will likely lead you in a clear direction and will certainly make you feel more confident about your choice.  When you are presented with a choice you are not sure about you can turn to your doula.  She can help you answer what the benefits and risks are.  You can discuss the alternatives with her.  She will ask you what your intuition is telling you and how you are feeling about it. Your doula will always remind you to ask, “What if I do nothing?”   (Often waiting and revisiting the option later is okay to do.)  Then you and your partner can discuss together and decide which option suits you.

Many times we are comparing apples to apples.  There aren’t always clear choices.  With your doula to listen and guide you with this tool you will know that the decision made was yours.  Being active as part of the decision making process is a positive step to a more satisfying birth experience.

This also comes in handy in all of life’s decisions.  Maybe you are deciding on a color for the nursery; Blue Grey or Green Grey?  Maybe you are at the vet and deciding on care for your puppy.  Use B.R.A.I.N.!

So whether you are pregnant, in labor and it pertains to your health,  dealing with a parenting choice, or you just don’t know where to go for dinner tonight…just use your B.R.A.I.N.!