Birth Doula and Postpartum Doula Combo with $500 Discount Applied:
Just one program, with $200 Off:
Birth Doula and Postpartum Doula Combo with $500 Discount Applied:
Just one program, with $200 Off:
When individuals achieve doula certification, they learn different breathing patterns their clients can use through labor and delivery. Different women will have different preferences on which pattern of breathing they prefer for breathing through contractions. Some women will prefer to breath deeply, using their diaphragm to fill their abdomen. Others prefer shallow, lighter breathing, only inhaling enough air to fill their chest. Regardless of the breathing pattern patients prefer, the ultimate goal is to find a pattern that will have a calming and relaxing effect.
Different patterns of breathing will be used at different stages throughout the labor and delivery process. Learning about different patterns of breathing will allow each contraction to be used productively.
There are many benefits that come with learning patterned breathing prior to labor. These benefits can include:
How to Practice Patterned Breathing
It is a good idea to practice patterned breathing prior to going into labor so mothers are prepared. Some of the best ways to prepare are to practice while sitting in traffic jams, at the onset of a headache, or while doing household chores. Have your mothers try to incorporate breathing patterns into their daily routine so it comes easily when it’s necessary.
Incorporating Patterned Breathing into Labor
How to Begin Teaching Your Moms:
At the onset of each contraction, remember to take a deep, cleansing, relaxing breath. This will help to sharpen focus, along with providing extra oxygen for the baby, muscles, and uterus.
Breathing Through the First Stage of Labor:
Start with slow breathing when contractions are intense enough that mom is no longer able to walk or talk through them without having to pause and catch her breath. Continue to breath slowly as long as it is helpful. When it is no longer helpful, switch to a different pattern that is more relaxing.
Light, Accelerated Breathing
Most mothers will feel the need to switch to a variation of light accelerated breathing at some point during the active phase of labor. It is best to use the intensity of the contractions as a guide to determine when it is best to switch your breathing pattern. The distinguishing features of light, accelerated breathing will include breathing in and out rapidly through the mouth, at a rate of about one breath per second. Additionally, this type of breathing will be shallow and light, inhales should be quiet while exhales are clearly audible.
Variable or Transitional Breathing
A variation of light accelerated breathing, this particular breathing pattern is often referred to as either “pant-pant-blow” or “hee-hee-hoo” breathing. The difference between the two different types of breathing patterns is that this one combines light shallow breaths with periodic longer or more pronounced exhalation. Most often, the variable breathing pattern is used during the first stage of labor, or when the mother is feeling overwhelmed, is unable to relax, is in despair, or is exhausted.
Breathing to Control Pushing
Breathing patterns can also be used to help prevent the mother from pushing at the wrong time. It is not uncommon during both stages of labor for the laboring mother to want to push or bear down at the wrong time. As a result, most women are tempted to hold their breath during these particularly difficult and painful moments. The best way to avoid this is to continually breath in and out by raising the chin and blowing or panting. When this happens, it prevents any additional pressure or pushing being applied to the baby other than what your body is already doing.
Breathing Patterns for Second Stage of Labor
This particular breathing style should only be used after the cervix has fully dilated and the second stage of labor is underway.
Knowing the different breathing patterns can be useful as your client brings new life into the world. If you have recently received your doula certification and have been hired as part of a soon-to-be mother’s birthing team, review these breathing patterns and walk your mother through the breathing patterns and the benefits of each.
Attention all doulas – there is a new bill being introduced that sets out to enhance maternal health coverage for new moms with Medicaid, which covers close to half of the births in America. The bill, known as the MOMMIES Act (which stands for Maximizing Outcomes for Moms through Medicaid Improvement and Enhancement of Services Act) is being sponsored by Senators Cory Booker, Kamala Harris, Tammy Baldwin, Ben Cardin, Richard Blumenthal and Kirsten Gillibrand and seeks to extend coverage for moms for up to a full year after childbirth and hopes to take action to expand doula care access to new mothers in order to provide better emotional, physical and informational support, among other incentives that would help to increase maternal health. The bill would also help to decrease the disparity in quality of care across race and class which puts women of color at greater risk for complications.
The MOMMIES Act bill is in response to a recent study that found that while maternal deaths are decreasing in other countries around the world, rates of maternal death are actually increasing in the U.S. The bill essentially enhances Medicaid and CHIP so more women can get the support they need at an affordable price.
So doulas, what do you think? Would you support the MOMMIES Act? Read the entire article in the link below:
Prior to the 1900s, women giving birth outside of the home was unheard of. Around that time, the number of births that took place inside a hospital setting started to increase dramatically. A better understanding of the human anatomy, modern medicine, the mechanics of childbirth, and technology have all contributed to a decrease in the number of hospital births.
A home birth will typically include a trained midwife or a nurse-midwife, and possibly a birth doula, for pregnancies that are low-risk and healthy. But, what is a doula exactly and what can they do that a midwife can’t do at a home birth? Learn more about the difference between a midwife and a doula in this article.
As home births continue to rise in popularity, there are more studies providing a greater understanding of the risks and benefits. This blog is intended to provide you with information regarding home births so you can make an informed decision for yourself and your baby.
Is a home birth right for me?
A home birth might be a good option for you if you meet the following criteria:
On the other hand, a home birth isn’t right for everyone. A home birth likely isn’t right for you if:
If you have made the decision that a home birth is going to be the right choice for you, you can expect your midwife and birth doula to work together to give you the birthing experience you want. Here are a few things you can expect your birthing team to have on hand:
If at any point during the birthing process the midwife feels it is going to be in the mother and baby’s best interest to move to a hospital, transportation will take place. Here are a few reasons why women are transferred to a hospital to finish delivering their baby:
Giving birth at home with a doula and midwife can be a rewarding and amazing experience. If you are considering having a home birth, talk to your doula. Express any concerns or fears that you might have. She will be able to address your fears and concerns, helping you to feel confident in your decision to have a home birth. If you want to learn more about what is a doula, talk to one of International Doula Institute’s certified birth doulas or contact us directly.
Throughout history, everyone from family, friends, and community members have rallied around fortunate new mothers to help support and guide them through the birthing process. Over time, these roles have expanded and turned into a rewarding career as a doula.
You might be wondering, what does a birth doula actually do and what are the benefits of having one throughout labor and delivery?
A doula is a person who assists a mother through labor and delivery by providing support and information. A doula acts as an advocate for mothers and empowers them to take control of the birthing process.
Throughout labor, you might discover that you need or want to change positions to get comfortable or to help labor progress. A birth doula will know a myriad of positions you can try. Birth doulas can also provide a comforting touch by giving massages, applying counter pressure, leading breathing techniques and other comforting touches to help you relax. When a doula is able to provide physical support to a mom, they can often help a baby that is mispositioned find its way through the pelvis and into their mother’s waiting arms.
Simply easing some of the emotional stress that accompanies the birth of a new baby can reduce the need for interventions like cesareans, epidurals, and labor-inducing measures. It’s also nice to have someone who can help create a space for the family to relax, especially when emotions and hormones are running high. Whether you are having a natural birth or are using medication to help with the pain, everyone can benefit from additional emotional support from a nurturing and empowering source.
Regardless of who is in the delivery room with you—partner, friend, family member, etc—doulas are there to provide support them as well. This allows your support person to be as involved in the birthing process as they’d like to be. Having both physical and emotional support available makes a big difference for everyone involved.
Now that you understand some of the support-related benefits of hiring a birth doula, you can decide if having a doula is right for you. For more information about birthing doulas, check out this amazing infographic from our friends at Mom Loves Best.
Learn more about how a doula can benefit you at Mom Loves Best
In our last blog post we outlined the updated air travel guidelines for pregnant women from the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology. Today, we’re giving you our top six tips to make the most out of any travel situation during pregnancy.
The main risk while driving is blood clots. If you’ll be going on a long car ride, be sure to plan plenty of rest stops. Get out and walk around every few hours. In between stops, you can do calf exercises by flexing and extending your ankles and wiggling your feet.
Make sure your seatbelt is fastened properly. The hip belt should sit under your belly and low on your hip bones. The shoulder belt should go between your breasts and to the side of your belly.
Keep airbags turned on. In the event of a crash, the benefits of using the airbags outweigh the risks.
Traveling by bus is similar to the car but presents some additional challenges. You will not be in charge of the frequency of stops, so be sure to do your calf exercises often. Bathrooms are small and aisles are narrow. If you need to get up to use the restroom while the bus is moving, use rails or seat backs for balance.
Trains present many of the same obstacles are buses. However, they generally aren’t as cramped. Stay seated while the train is in motion, and if you must get up, use seatbacks for balance.
Going on a cruise can be a bit more challenging. As relaxing as it sounds, WebMD recommends avoiding going a cruise for the first time during pregnancy. If you do decide to cruise, there are some important precautions to keep in mind.
Being on a boat can exacerbate nausea. Check with your provider about the safety of seasickness medication for pregnant women. As a non-medical alternative, you can try seasickness bands. Make sure there is a medical provider on board the ship. Additionally, map out modern medical facilities at all ports-of-call in case of an emergency.
Norovirus is a common concern on cruise ships. For pregnant women, this can pose a risk to the unborn baby. If you experience vomiting or diarrhea, do your best to stay hydrated. Dehydration and electrolyte imbalance are risk factors for pre-term labor.
Depending on where you are traveling, you’ll need to keep certain factors in mind. If you plan on traveling internationally, plan the trip earlier in your pregnancy. Most airlines will not allow you to fly after 36 weeks. Other recommendations state that women should use caution when traveling after 32 weeks.
Scout out medical facilities in the area and bring your prenatal records and any pertinent ultrasounds with you. Check in with the CDC by calling 800.311.1345 for safety information and immunization recommendations.
Be selective about the types of food and beverages you consume. The American Pregnancy Association recommends only drinking bottled water and canned juices or soft drinks. Make sure milk is pasteurized. Do not eat any fresh fruits or vegetables unless they can be peeled (like oranges or bananas) or they are cooked thoroughly. Make sure all meat is cooked completely.
While travel during pregnancy is generally safe, ACOG states that you should not travel if you are at risk for certain complications. These include preeclampsia, pre-mature rupture of the membranes, and preterm labor.
Look into purchasing travel insurance. This way, you’ll be covered if there are unexpected, last-minute changes.
Of course, it’s always helpful to consult with your provider before making travel arrangements. You’ll also want to schedule a check-up before your trip. Program your provider’s number into your cell phone so you can easily reach out if needed.
Pack plenty of healthy snacks and eat small frequent meals. This is extra important in planes since most carriers no longer provide meals. Bring any items that will help keep you comfortable while you’re away, and of course, don’t forget to pack any vitamins and medications.
While it does require a little extra forethought, traveling during your pregnancy can be a great way to relax and unwind. Book that trip and enjoy!