cleveland tn doula

How to Stay Sane When You're Over 40 Weeks.

stressed out knoxville chattanooga pregnant

I've noticed a trend amongst my doula clients... when they reach that magical 40 Week Due Date on their calendars, they feel dissappointed or stressed that their baby hasn't made it earthside yet.  

(I'm not going to go into the reasons for why it's okay to go past 40 weeks or how to talk to your provider about that... I'm saving that for another post).

But, to stay sane after you hit that 40 week mark, there are many things I recommend my pregnant clients do:

1. Don't go overboard trying to "naturally" induce (unless you have a provider who has given you a strict deadline and you feel the need to do so to avoid a Pitocin Induction, if you are hope to avoid such). I know so many of you are tempted to walk up the tallest hill in town. Or have sex 100 times a day. Or drink 20 gallons of red raspberry leaf tea. Or do a million squats. Sure, all of these things will help prime your body. But, LISTEN TO ME: Your body will not go into labor until it's ready. And that's OKAY! (In fact it's a GOOD thing for baby!). 

Plus, stressing and focusing on all of those induction techniques may physically and emotionally wear you out so much so that when labor does actually begin, you may be super exhausted.

2. Focus on enjoying your family at the size it is right now. If this is your first baby, you'll never again be a family of just you and your partner. Soak that in. Enjoy it. Do special projects together. Take special pictures. Go on lots of dates. If this is your 2nd+ baby, have precious alone time with your other child/children. Buy some non-toxic super safe watercolor paints and have them paint on your belly. Or go for a walk. Just breathe it in.

3. Keep busy if that helps you; relax if that helps you. Some moms (like me) need to stay busy to be calm. Some moms need to stay not-busy to help them be calm. Find that place and do it. If doing 100 freezer meals helps, do it. BUT DO NOT OVERWORK YOURSELF. You will need energy for labor. Please remember this!

4. Sleep. Sleep. Sleep. Did I mention that you'll need energy for labor? I think so! It is so important that you are sleeping and resting a ton, not only to store up energy for the labor but also for after baby is born. 

5. Go on a Social Media Hiatus. Don't log onto Facebook or check Twitter or Instagram until after your baby is born, because people will hound you will messages and comments like, "Have you had that baby yet?" or "How long are they going to 'let you' go before inducing you" or "Aren't you worried your baby will be too big". You don't need the added stress! Just don't even go there.

I hope those tips help!

If you need a Knoxville Doula or a Chattanooga Doula (or any area in between) fill out the form below and I'll get back with you ASAP with more info! 

knoxville chattanooga doula martha

<3 Your Doula,

Martha H.

But You Don't LOOK Like A Doula....

As I wrote in a recent blog post "Does Your Doula's Personality Matter?" , people get strange notions in their heads about how a doula is "supposed" to act... and they also think a doula is supposed to LOOK a certain way.

Hippie with braids and a long flowing skirt, anyone?

I do love me some skirts, but I'm a little more mainstream in my appearance. (While I don't normally like pictures of myself, my husband -- photographer/co-owner of Howell Photography -- took some amazing shots to prove my point.) 

And, I may not act like your stereotypical doula either. 

For example, I'm personally not 100% crunchy (although I do love natural living and natural remedies -- I'm just not dogmatic about them). I'm relatively young(ish) (many people think of doulas as older women --- which some are!) I don't push my views on anyone. I don't fight with doctors. I don't make decisions for you. 

But, to tell you the truth, I think it's time we redefined this stereotype of what a doula looks like and how she acts. 

Because, the birth world is changing. And more and more professionals are entering the birth field hoping to educate and support women from all walks of life. And we, as birth professionals, also have unique backgrounds and experiences that will shape the way we do our doula work. 

And, that's okay.

Your Chattanooga Doula / Knoxville Doula,
Martha H.


I DO(ula) THAT. Part I :: What Does a Really Doula Do?

It's noon on a Friday afternoon. Your OB's office is closed, but you probably wouldn't call them about your slight constipation anyway. So, you head over to Google to search for the answer. 

Your head starts to swirl and swim with all the conflicting advice. What should you really do? It's hard to know when you rely on Google for advice.


what does a doula do google

When you hire me as your doula for any East Tennessee (Knoxville, Chattanooga, etc) birth, I'm available to answer unlimited questions via text/phone/email. That means that instead of running to Google (where the advice can be shoddy at best), you can check with your doula, who has tons of experience dealing with simple pregnancy related issues.

Keep in mind, I will NOT give you medical advice. Instead, I will give you options and choices, and if needed, I will refer you to your doctor or midwife. But, for most easy peasy pregnancy questions that you may just not know the answer to as a first time mom (or even a 2nd, 3rd, 4th+ mom!), you can always check with me!

I DO(ula) THAT!

<3 Your East Tennessee Doula,

Want to see if I'm available for your birth? Fill out the Form Below ASAP and I'll check my availability and send you info!

Name *