knoxville doula

One of My Favorite Doula Moments

As a doula, I get to experience all sorts of milestones alongside a woman, a child, and a family. So, with that I acquire quite a few "favorite doula moments" for each client I support.

However, I think one of my favorite moments of the past month has been with a mom who has learned to ask questions.

Question-asking really is a skill. And it takes confidence and courage. But, it's a huge step in becoming an active participant in your own pregnancy and birth experience.

So, who should you question? Everyone! What questions should you ask? All questions! 

Okay, that seems a little open-ended. But, I'm serious. If someone -- anyone (birth related or not!) presents something as fact, there is no shame in asking for evidence to support it. There is no shame in presenting your own evidence to counter other evidence. There is no shame in being a question-asker. In fact, quite the opposite.

There is power in being a question asker.

So, kudos to the question-asking mom! 

<3 Your East Tennessee Doula,

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,

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.