doula help

Doulas Can Help Turn Lemons into Lemonade

Having a doula is not a magic wand. Sometimes I dearly wish it was. However, things don't always go how you/we planned --- whether it's in birth or postpartum / physical or emotional. But, even though I can't guarantee outcomes, I can guarantee support. And with that support, I can provide you with options, choices, and resources to make the best of any situation. 

doula support in knoxville and chattanooga

I'm your professional doula lemonade maker, if you will. 

If you're handed "lemons" during labor, as your doula, I can give you options and alternatives and support to make the difficult decisions.

If you're handed "lemons" after labor, again, as your doula, I can give you options and alternatives, as well as outside resources (I have a huge list of support persons in the area ranging from postpartum counselors to lactation consultants). 

However your birth goes --- beautifully as planned or beautifully as unplanned --- I'll be there for you. Holding that beautiful pitcher of lemonade begging you to drink from it.

<3 Your Chattanooga & Knoxville Doula,

Knoxville & Chattanooga Doula Support. More than just "healthy".

knoxville doula chattanooga more than

When a new mom describes her traumatic birth and the person she's talking to says "healthy baby and healthy mama are all that matters", I cringe. While, it probably is the most important thing in the birth -- that baby and mama are healthy at the end; it's not the only thing. If you've ever had a birth where you didn't feel like an active participant, or perhaps you didn't give your permission for a certain procedure, or maybe it was just disappointing, then you know that there are other things that important. Bad birth experiences can even cause post-partum anxiety, depression, or post traumatic stress syndrome. 

To help avoid that, a doula can help you determine what matters to you. Maybe it's feeling in control. Perhaps it's being comfortable. Or knowing all of your options. Or not being medicated. Or having a vaginal birth. Or having your partner be an active participant. 

Whatever is important to you -- a doula can help support you. A doula can help you determine ways to try to achieve your desired outcome, in addition to a "healthy baby / healthy mama". 

<3 Your Knoxville/Chattanooga Doula,

Want more info about Martha's doula & birth photography services? Click here or fill out this form to get more info!

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I Needed A Doula When... I Was Going Through Post Partum Anxiety

I've been procrastinating about writing this post, but I was challenged by an amazing doula to write about a time when I needed a doula in my life. So, let me share my personal story with Post Partum Anxiety (PPA) and why I could have used a doula to help me cope.

chattanooga newborn

After the birth of my second child, I was ecstatic. Breastfeeding was going well; baby was sleeping like a ... well, baby; and I had almost lost all of my "baby weight". But, then about 2-3 weeks postpartum, it hit me. 

Extreme never-ending-constant-fear anxiety and panic.

That's when I could have used a doula. A doula could have given me my options and choices for what to do and how to cope. 

A doula could have told me "this is normal" and "you are going to make it through".

A doula could have given me encouragement and cheered me on.

A doula could have helped me find my own voice and speak with my medical provider about what exactly I was feeling and going through.

When I thought there was no hope and I would never make it through this, a doula could have told me that there was a light at the end of the tunnel --- that this too would end --- that I was stronger than my PPA.

After a couple of months I finally figured how to cope with my PPA and although anxiety sometimes rears its ugly head, it doesn't define me anymore. 

But, you see, a doula could have been an amazing support tool for me (and for my family). All of those things that I wish I had a doula by my side to do and say are exactly what I, as your doula, do for you and your family during your pregnancy/labor/birth. 

When could you have used a doula?

<3 Your Knoxville + Chattanooga Doula & Birth Photographer,
Martha Howell

Want Martha to be Your Doula (Serving Knoxville, Chattanooga, Cleveland, and Surrounding East TN Areas)? Fill Out the Form Below for more info!

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Your Support Person & The Doula >>> Husbands, Dads, Moms, & More!

I often get told by women that they want me as their doula because they aren't confident in their support person's ability to adequately support them during the labor and want me to be able to provide the care that their husband/mom/dad/friend just can't do. 

My response is always two-fold.

support person in labor knoxville chattanooga

A. How do you know he/she won't be a great support person? (If they've had a baby before, they may be going on past experience, but, if they are a first time mom, then they could be guessing.) Never underestimate the ability of your husband (or other support person) to be there for you during labor. This isn't to say you don't need a doula - but, I never want a mom to expect that I will replace her partner. I want a mom to be able to see her partner as the knight in shining armor, which brings me to my next point...

B. I will NEVER replace your support person, but as your doula, I can help give them tasks to do to better support you while you're in labor. For example, I can mix up some message oil for them to rub on your back. I can hand them a cold wash cloth to place on your neck or forehead. I can have them give you the ice chips. I can have them stroke your hair. I can have them support you while you're squatting. When you look back on your labor, I don't want you to remember me (your Doula) as the one supporting you, but rather your partner (mom/dad/husband/etc), as they will be in your life forever and the support they provide you during labor and the bond formed during that time can strengthen a relationship like no other.

As your doula, I will be there for support, education, choices and more --- not just for your partner as well. <3

Happy Birthing!
Your Knoxville Doula/Chattanooga Doula,
Martha H.