The Top Questions I am Asked as a Doula

“So, I have a few questions I’d like to ask you!”

That’s how most of my consultations generally start out. I thought, why not write a blog about what I am asked the most to give potential clients a heads up?!

Below you will find the top questions I am asked, as a doula:

I’m always asked, “Where do you live?”

My business is based out of Berryville, AR but, we accommodate families throughout Washington and Benton Counties.

Following that question is ALWAYS, “How will you make it to my birth on time?”

That’s a simple answer. I have a standard doula contract that states I have two hours to get to you from the time you request my presence. When you are about three weeks out from your estimated due date, my doula bag is in my car and with me everywhere I go so that when you call, I can leave where I am at and head to you. “But, you live 45 miles away!” Yes, yes I do. I have never been late to or missed a birth. I typically have an hour drive and still have that extra hour as cushion.

“What if some extraordinary circumstances keep you from being at my birth?”

In the unlikely event that that should happen, I have a back-up doula who will be on call with me. This doula is equally as qualified as I am and can do a wonderful job for you.

Then comes, “Have you ever had to utilize your back up?”

I have been attending births since October of 2014 and not once have I ever used a back up doula to fill in for me. Which also answers the question, “How long have you been doing this?” Well, since October of 2014!

“How many births have you attended?”

To date, I have attended 12 births, non of which have resulted in a cesarean.

“What type of births do you support?”

I support ALL births. Natural, Epidural, Cesarean, you name it, I will support it. Why? Because I am here to support you and what you want. My desire for you is to have the type of birth you want, regardless of what kind it is.

” What made you want to get into this work?”

There’s two factors that got me into this. The first being my own birth experience. Let’s just say it was not what I desired. I decided then I wanted to do something to help other women achieve the births they wanted. The second factor was being present while my cousin gave birth. As I was coaching her the doctor asked if I was her doula. I didn’t know what a doula was and the doctor explained it to me! Then I sought out a training, completed all of that work, and now I am a certified doula!

“What will we do at my prenatal appointment?”

At our prenatal appointment, we will go over comfort measures; things I can do to make you more comfortable, things your husband can do, things we can both do for you. We will work on  your one page birth plan and discuss and concerns you have for your upcoming birth. I’m also always available by phone, text or e-mail once you have signed the contract!

What will you do for me while I’m in labor??

There’s so much I do! I will do everything within my scope and power to make sure you get the birth you want and deserve. I will provide you with comfort measures. Need me to do a double hip squeeze for a few hours? I’m on it! I will support your partner by helping him support you or grabbing him a snack. I had a client whose husband needed to go home and let the dog out. He did because he knew she was in good hands with me! Maybe your partner doesn’t want to leave you, I can update your family in the waiting room! That’s just a fraction of what I physically do for you! I will also support you emotionally. If you want someone to push you to keep going, I’m there. If you want someone to stand back and just do what you request, I’m on that! I will also provide you with fact-based information so you can make an educated decision, should the need for that arise.

And now you know what people typically ask me!

-Kory Houser

Three Things I Wish I Knew Before I Was in Labor

If I could turn back time, there are 3 things I would have educated myself on before I was in labor. Well, there’s a TON of things I wish I’d known but, I’ll just tell you my top 3 biggest ones!

 

First of all, I wish I’d known about the “cascade of interventions” during labor. Many maternity care interventions have effects during labor and birth that were unintended. Usually, these effects become new issues that require further interventions. Some things that can lead to a cascade of interventions are laboring in bed rather than moving around and being upright, using Pitocin to help labor progress faster, artificially breaking your water during or before labor and being given medication for pain relief.

 

Secondly, I whish I knew I could say NO. I could have said, “No, please let my waters break on their own” or, “No, I want to keep laboring if my baby isn’t in distress rather than going straight to a cesarean.” I thought that whatever the doctor said I had to do. I should’ve been more educated.

 

Lastly, I wish I’d known about a gentle cesarean since, I ultimately ended up having a cesarean. And it wasn’t a gentle one by any means. I didn’t know I could ask to not have both arms strapped to the table so I could touch my son. I would’ve asked for the drape to be lowered so I could have seen him being born. I would have requested skin-to-skin in the operating room.

 

You only bring a child into this world 1-3 times on average. My very best advice to you is to become educated on everything birth! Write a birth plan, take a child birth education class. Just be as prepared as you can possibly be! If you want the help of someone experienced in all things birth, hire a doula!

3 Effective Strategies to Writing a Birth Plan

Your birth plan is a list of what your preferences are during labor, birth and immediately after birth; What you want and don’t want.

Just a few examples are things like, who you want present before and/or during labor, if you want to be mobile during labor, whether or not you want an epidural, etc. For an amazing birth plan checklist, click here. I am going to give you three effective strategies to assist you in writing your birth plan:
  • 1.) KEEP IT SIMPLE – If your birth plan doesn’t fit on one page, it probably won’t get read over thoroughly. Don’t put down things that aren’t relevant such as, if your birthing facility doesn’t offer an enema as standard procedure, don’t put on your birth plan that you do not wish to receive an enema. Put what’s most important to you! If you want intermittent fetal monitoring and to not be on a monitor the whole time, put it in your birth plan! If you don’t want your labor augmented, put it on the list! I think you get what I’m saying here!
  • 2.) PREPARE FOR THE UNEXPECTED – Births don’t always go as planned. If your labor isn’t progressing and your care provider is wanting to augment your labor, how would you prefer them to do that, if it is medically necessary? Would you prefer to try natural methods first such as nipple stimulation? Are you okay with them breaking your waters? Also, if a cesarean becomes medically necessary, how would you like that to look? Do you want the screen lowered so you can watch your baby come out? Do you prefer your hands left free so you can touch your baby? Do you want immediate skin-to-skin in the operating room as long as your baby is healthy? There’s so much to think about so do your research and, if you can, take a Childbirth Education Class.
  • 3.) GO OVER YOUR BIRTH PLAN WITH YOUR CARE PROVIDER – Go over your one page birth plan with your care provider so you can rest assured you are both on the same page. If he or she decides that something you want is too risky or they simply say no, ask them why they are against it. After that, if it’s a no go and your okay with that, mark it off your birth plan. Once you and your care provider have approved your birth plan, have them sign it! Take the signed copy to your birthing facility so the staff knows your care provider approves of it.

Just remember, keep your birth plan as concise as possible. Go over it with your partner and any relevant family members. If you are utilizing a doula, give them a copy and go over it with them as well. Remember, the staff can sometimes be notorious for not reading birth plans thoroughly so, keep it short and rely on your partner or doula to help ensure that your birth stays as close to what you have planned, as long as it is medically safe.

Still needing help writing your birth plan? Go to our contact page and reach out to us! We’d love you help you!

The Best Places to Buy a DockATot

So, before we get into where the best place to buy a DockATot Deluxe is, a lot of people ask us, what exactly is a DockATot??

A DockATot Deluxe is an all in one baby lounger, sleep  positioner, portable crib and bassinet. It is for babies ages 0-8 months. It has so many functions and that’s why we LOVE it!

This product is great for safe co-sleeping with your baby!

The DockATot Deluxe is safe and comfortable. It is designed to be a snug, safe and soothing environment for babies. DockATot says, “We like to think it’s the next best thing to the womb.”

It is also great for tummy time and diaper changes as well.

Travel a lot?

The DockATot Deluxe is lightweight and portable. It is so easy to travel with! And baby always has a bed no matter where you go!

All the materials are breathable, washable and hypoallergenic. That’s always a plus in our book!

DockATot also makes the DockATot Grand for ages 9-36 months. This one is great for transitioning from a crib to a bed. The built in air bumpers act as bed rails and gives your little one a sense of security.

Please note this is in no way intended for use in cribs or bassinets!

So, where’s the best place to buy a DockATot Deluxe?? Did you know you can purchase one right here in Northwest Arkansas?!

You can visit Oh Baby Boutique – NWA on their Facebook page or visit their website. The DockATot Deluxe runs around $185.00 at this boutique.

So, where else can you purchase a DockATot Deluxe? You can purchase it online, directly from the manufacturer by going to their website. A plain white DockATot Deluxe runs you $165.00 while any of the prints or patterns run $185.00. So, if you’re opting for a print rather than a plain white DockATot, keep in mind that Oh Baby Boutique sells them for $185.00 plus tax. If you spend the same on the manufacturer website, you will have shipping costs on top of that price.

Wanting a Caribbean Vacation but Not Sure Where to Go?

Are you ready to go somewhere TROPICAL that you can truly relax and be at ease, but you have children to consider?

We’ve done all the leg work for you and found the most kid-friendly place in all of the Caribbean! After a lot, and I mean months of research, and input from a mom of a two year-old who went there, we’ve found just the right place for your family vacation!

Ready to know the place?!

Franklyn D. Resort and Spa located in

St. Ann Jamaica!

norah-beach-1

Why this resort, you ask?

The list of reasons are endless! Besides the fact that it is all-inclusive, I would say our top reason would be that it is the ONLY resort or hotel in all of Jamaica that has a Nanny Vacation Service. So what exactly does this service entail? Your family is assigned a FREE, that’s right, FREE NANNY! This resort truly is all inclusive. She has been specially trained to take care of you and your family’s needs. When you arrive at the resort, you are greeted by your Vacation Nanny. She will be with you from check-in to check-out. She can participate in family activities, which is nice because you have an extra set of eyes on your child/children while playing on the beach, etc. allowing you to relax a little easier with that added peace of mind. Or she can watch the children and do fun activities with them while you enjoy adult activities such as snorkeling, kayaking, scuba diving, etc. When you want to spend time with just your family, she will care for your suite by tidying up and cleaning it. Unlike other resorts in other countries, your nanny is yours and yours alone for your entire trip as part of your all-inclusive package. She will be with you free of charge from 8:30AM to 4:40PM each day. (Additional services are $9/hr) At the end of your stay here, she will feel like part of the family!

What else makes this resort a great destination? Aside from the FOUR restaurants (one of which is on the beach!) to choose from, they have a “Kidz Buffet” that runs from 5:30PM to 7:00PM each day.

To see all the other amenities that this resort has to offer, check out their website, Franklyn D. Resort.

A Beginners Guide to Bathing Your Newborn

Are you a new parent and a nervous wreck thinking about that first bath you have to give your newborn?

Don’t be! We are here to walk you through it!

So, how often should you bathe your new baby? Many experts say that three times a week should be sufficient for the first year. Bathing your baby more often than that can dry out their skin. You should make sure to thoroughly clean the diaper area when changing diapers though.

For the first few weeks, until the umbilical cord stump falls off, you should not submerge your baby in water, causing the stump to get wet. You should only do sponge baths while the stump is attached to avoid getting it wet.

Babies lose body heat very fast!

For that reason, the room you are bathing baby in should be between 75 and 80 degrees.

Bathe your baby on a flat surface, placing cushioning such as another towel under the baby.

Before beginning, make sure you have gathered all your supplies. You will need mild baby soap, 2 soft washcloths, a towel, cotton rounds, a clean diaper, and clean clothes.

Start by dampening the cotton round in warm water and gently clean around each eye. Use a new cotton round for each eye.

Next, start with a little soap on a warm damp washcloth and begin with baby’s face, neck, and scalp.

Then, use the second washcloth, make sure it’s warm and damp, and rinse the soap off of what you just washed with soap. Dry baby’s head and face and cover with the towel to keep your baby warm. Start washing down the front of baby, again going behind with the damp, warm washcloth and then drying.

Again, DO NOT wash the umbilical cord stump or get it wet.

Do the same with baby’s backside. As soon as you have bathed your baby and they are dry, put on the diaper and clothe the baby.

Once the stump has fallen off, you can place your baby in a small tub for infants. Put approximately 2″ of water in the tub, keep a warm washcloth over baby to keep them warm, and bathe baby in the same manner as before.

Still nervous or have questions? Give us a call and arrange for one of our postpartum Doulas to be there with you! (870) 654-0649.

5 MUST HAVES for Pregnant Women

What do I need to be the most comfortable I can be during the end of my pregnancy?

We get this question A LOT! So, to answer your questions, after a ton of research, we have compiled a list of the top five items you need!

  1. A Pregnancy Pillow. The consensus from several websites was the Moonlight Slumber pillow by Comfort U. Although pricey at around $110.00 on Amazon.com, you will not regret spending that money. Its hard to find another pillow for pregnant women with as much comfort and support as this pregnancy pillow. Even non-pregnant patients use this pillow for back and full-body relief.
  2. A Maternity Support Belt. I recommend, from personal experience as well as many reviews, the Best Cradle maternity belt. It helps reduce swelling of the feet and ankles and helps with back pain. I used this particular belt that was recommended by my care provider because I have scoliosis. This belt significantly reduced my back pain. You can find it on Amazon.com for $54.00. It’s totally worth the investment!
  3. A good Maternity Bra is a must! After reading many, many reviews, women most liked the Women’s Body Silk Seamless Nursing Bra by Bravado. It has removable foam molded cups, super soft fabric, NO horrible underwire and it can be easily used after pregnancy, especially if you plan to breast feed. It has one handed nursing clasps. It comes in sizes Small to XXL and can be found on Amazon.com for $49.00.
  4. Shoes are sooo important! In my research I found that Women’s Go Walk by Sketchers are a must! They are light weight and, lets face it, you’re already carrying around enough extra weight so that’s a definite plus! They are very soft, comfortable, and very supportive. Another plus is they can be found in a variety of stores for around $50.00!
  5. Lastly, maternity jeans are obviously a must. AG Maternity Jeans fit most all body types. The material is soft and comfortable and certain styles have great support bands. You can purchase these jeans on destinationmaternity.com starting at around $150.00 per pair. That seems like a lot but several pregnant women swear by these jeans over all other brands!

We hope this blog helps to steer you in the right direction!

#premeirdoulasofarkansas #pregnancy #doulafusionblogchallenge #northwestarkansasdoulas