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Pregnancy A-Z Blog Series

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Readers of my blog will be treated to a blog series with pregnancy, birth, and postpartum categories starting with each letter of the alphabet. It has been some time since blogging has been a focus of mine so this undertaking should get my writing skills flowing again.  Some of the blogs will be technical and some will address more emotional aspects of pregnancy, et al. I hope you are as excited about this project as I am. If you have a suggestion for a letter topic, drop a comment below.

Kimberly Sebeck, AKA Knoxville Doula
All Rights Reserved, 2018

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Q&A with a Hypnobabies Instructor

Q. Tiffany, I understand that you used Hypnobabies with one or more of your births and these were vbacs? Could you tell us a little bit about how you learned about Hynobabies and why you decided to use it?
A. Yes, I used Hypnobabies for two of my three VBACs. One birth was in the hospital, and one was at home.
When I was pregnant with my third baby I knew I wanted to actually enjoy my birth. During my first two births, an urgent cesarean and VBAC,  I experienced a lot of suffering and trauma as well as under preparation despite self education and professional birth classes.  So, when I had two births that didn’t go by the books and ended up being traumatic, I was devastated at the amount of suffering I had to endure to bring my babies into the world. Pregnancy number three and the rise of the internet made it possible for me to find a new way. In my search I came across a YouTube video of a mom using Hypnobabies to breath her baby out, smiling in between contractions and I was instantly hooked. I knew I wanted to have that kind of calm control and joy during my babies birth. I was able to have wonderfully healing and comfortable VBACs using Hypnobabies with zero interventions and great recovery and post partum periods.
Q.  How did Hypnobabies work for you in those births?
A. The first time I used Hypnobabies I was diligent at following the daily and weekly schedule. I remember hitting the 39 week mark and avoiding scheduling an induction at my doctor visit. At a time in pregnancy when most moms are ready to meet their babies I was able to use Hypnobabies to remain comfortable and really pamper myself that last week. I went into our birthing time at 39 weeks and 6 days while running errands. I kept my earbuds in and was able to stay comfortable even swinging at the park with my older children in the evening. Once I got them to bed things picked up and I continued to only feel pressure while using what Hypnobabies calls Eyes Open Hypnosis. It was great. Being able to snack, and spend relaxing time with my husband while in my birthing time and remaining completely comfortable was so new to me that I didn’t realize I was as far into my birthing as I was. It was an hour after I put the kids to bed that I decided it was time to head to the hospital and once we got there I was able to walk myself to the elevator and continue using my hypnosis while the nurse was checking me in. Then I sat on my ball, still with my ear buds listening to my hypnosis birthing day tracks, for about 30 minutes until I felt pushy. He was born in three pushes thanks to the unique Hypno-anesthesia tool Hypnobabies teaches! It was incredible! I was able to comfortably push my baby out and smile afterwards. When we got the pictures back that my mom took the entire room was smiling! Hypnosis really worked! I birthed an 8lb 4 oz. baby via VBAC remaing calm, comfortable, and it was so easy! I had nurses and doctors come by our room all day to find out how I did it so easily and all I could say was Hypnobabies! I was also surprised to find out that Hypnobabies techniques worked amazingly well to remain comfortable after birth as well which made my recovery period easy and comfortable.
My next Hypnobabies birth went a little differently. I had a major water skiing accident and knee injury right before I got pregnant so I was going into pregnancy with a body that wasn’t performing at it’s best. I then had Hyperemesis Gravidarum and could barely function for 6 months. (I did not look into the Hypnobabies track “Eliminate Nausea Now” which I regret) I did not do my Hypnobabies practice as diligently as the first time either so I feel like I caused myself some discomfort early in my birthing time by not preparing as well. I went into my birthing time at 40 weeks and 6 days which once again, Hypnobabies helped me remain calm, healthy, and comfortable so my baby could choose his own birth day. We had a planned Home Birth so my midwife and her assistant came over once I knew it was my birthing time. One thing that can happen to Hypno-moms is that time feels half as long so my 25 hour birthing time only felt like 8-12 hours to me. I was able to lie down in my bed and listen to my tracks to remain comfortable while I progressed slowly from 7-9 cms. Then I was able to use Eyes Open Hypnosis once again to move from our birth pool to the bathroom and follow what my body needed and finally getting in the pool and leaning over the side on my kneeling. I was also able to be comfortable and wait for the fetal ejection reflex letting my baby and body work together. One thing that surprised me was he had a slight shoulder dystocia (from misalignment due to the knee injury right before pregnancy) and I was able to remain comfortable, thanks again to Hypno-anesthesia,  while my midwife unstuck his shoulder. Once he was out my midwife said how happy she was that I used Hypnobabies and what a different birth it could have been if I didn’t.  I was surprised once again that I was able to use Hypnobabies to remain calm and comfortable to birth a 9lb 2 oz. baby in my bedroom. Six hours after his birth I was in my kitchen (my husband had finally succumbed to exhaustion) holding my new baby and making a small sandwich for my 4 yr old.
Q. When did you decide to become a doula?
A. After I had my first VBAC in early 2003 I knew I wanted to help women have more support, better birth education, and happier birth experiences than I had. So 6 months after I had her I went to a Doula Workshop, pumping or nursing during breaks, and knew I was in the right profession. I took some time off from Doula work to attend Nursing school and then came back to Doula work lightly in 2010. In 2016 I went to Childbirth Educator training and then in 2017 I added Hypnobabies Classes and Hypno-Doula Support to my menu of services that I offer. In early 2018 I began working with Susannah’s House, a non profit, out patient treatment facility for substance use, teaching prenatal classes and offering pro bono Doula services to my students there helping moms and babies.
Q. When did you decide to become a Hypnobabies instructor?
A. I knew I wanted to become a Hypnobabies Instructor a couple of years after my 2nd VBAC and once I used Hypnobabies for the second time I knew I needed to bring Hypnobabies to Knoxville and surrounding areas in a big way. I attending training in April of 2017 and became Certified a few months later. I’ve been teaching for almost a year now and my students have had several great Hypnobabies births of all varieties and settings. I have had students come from up to 2 hours away to attend classes.
Q. Can you tell us a little about the classes themselves?
A. Hypnobabies Classes are once per week for 3 1/2 – 4 hours for 6 weeks. It is an adult education class so there is “Home-Play” which my students enjoy doing together with their partners. Hypnobabies is great because it’s the only birth class you need. It’s a childbirth preparation class as well as childbirth hypnosis which teaches true, medical grade, self hypnosis techniques and tools so moms can stay calm, and comfortable, during their birthing times and after. All needed materials are received in class as well and Birth Partners are encouraged to attend since much of the material is geared toward how they can help Hypno-moms remain comfortable although birth partner participation isn’t a must to take the class and do Hypnobabies.  I like my students to be relaxed and comfortable so moms get to use Anti-gravity lounge chairs if they would like during class and/or Hypnosis sessions. We also have a break with yummy snacks, usually with water, fresh fruit,  and veggies on the menu as well as some type of added protein. Moms and Birth Partners leave class feeling refreshed, educated, and comfortable making the pregnancy and birthing choices that are right for them knowing they have Hypnosis tools they can utilize.
Q.  How can anyone interested get in touch with you to find out more about your services?
A. To find out more about my Hypnobabies Birth Services as well as non Hypnobabies Birth Services I offer you can reach me by email at queenbeeandbaby@gmail.com or phone at 865-266-0909.  You can also find me on Facebook at Queen Bee and Baby Birth Service or Queen Bee Hypnobabies.
Thank you so much for this information, Tiffany! I have loved being a hypnodoula with Hypnobabies for the last several years and know that having local classes will only increase the interest in an easier and more comfortable birth experience that Hypnobabies offers. Please let Tiffany or I know if you have any questions.
All Rights Reserved, Kimberly Sebeck, Knoxville Doula 2018
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Julie’s Hypnobabies Experience (Birth Story)

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This summer I’ve had the occasion to have a nursing student, Kait, getting some service hours with me. She has helped me stuff goody bags, re-typed my Comfort Measures Class handout, and helped update important local lactation consultants lists and childbirth class offerings. One thing we also did was interview one of my previous Hypnobabies doula clients. Even though I was present at the birth, it was fascinating to hear Julie retell her story. I am paraphrasing many of her words as I didn’t tape record her but certain images are burned into my memory from her description.

Julie’s story:

Julie had previously taken Bradley method of childbirth education with her previous pregnancy. She was very committed to going naturally and unmedicated but when she was induced for postdates and the labor went very long she opted for an epidural.  The pushing phase had lasted for over 4 hours. She did not have a doula with her first baby. The second time around she hired me and she chose to do Hypnobabies.

She said Hypnobabies really appealed to her and the more she progressed into it she realized the vast difference between it and Bradley. She said she found her birth plan from the first pregnancy and noticed how it came from a place of almost fear and things she didn’t want. She didn’t want to be induced. She didn’t want to have pitocin. She didn’t want an epidural. Yet, it didn’t address any of the things she did want. With Hypnobabies she was learning to manifest what she did want. She felt confident with her practice of Hypnobabies and my support as her doula that this birth would be different.

Fast forward to the very end of pregnancy and the mention of induction came up again as she was beyond her estimated due date. I do remember this well. She had an appointment with her provider and they discussed some options and what would happen if she hadn’t gone into labor within a certain time frame. She called me crying. I suggested she meet me at my office immediately.  She came over and I rubbed her feet and pressure points and we talked. I suggested she employ her practice and training of Hypnobabies and really believe and envision she would go into labor on her own. She began having pressure waves (contractions) in my office. We didn’t know if they would continue but it was a lovely and positive sign and she left leaving much more relaxed and at peace.

The pressure waves did continue, gently. She told us that she went home and made it like a cave. She told her husband to stay out, had her mother pick up her child and envisioned herself like a mama bear in her cave, warm and comfortable. This went on for some time until she called to let me know she would like for me to come over. It has been a couple of years so I don’t recall the exact time she called me but when I got there she was in the tub/shower, sitting on a birth ball, looking very peaceful. Waves were coming strong and regularly. I timed some to assess where we were at and we were shortly on our way to the hospital. She said she had absolutely no pain. As we were leaving she vomited in the driveway — another good and normal sign.

I followed them to the hospital in my car and called the student doula who was shadowing me to join us. Julie had been very gracious to allow Emily, a newer doula, to come to the birth not only to learn but also to assist Julie’s husband, who was new to the Hypnobabies idea of birth. As we pulled in to the hospital parking area, Julie was sick to her stomach again, another good sign things were progressing. I was able to park quickly and help Julie out of her car while Emily helped Julie’s husband park the car and get their things.

Once in the room, Julie was admitted and we all answered as many questions for the staff as we could so she could stay in her Hypnobabies hypnoanesthesia. We turned the lights off, kept the door shut.  The tub was filled, she remained comfortable.  Emily and her husband chatted and we all took turns getting her ice and bringing cool cloths. I kneeled by the tub and sponged her off.  Eventually it was suggested by the midwife for her to get out and go to the bathroom. This was not something she was very excited about, she related to us as she related the story.  After using the restroom she got into the bed. What I remember at this point was how dark and quiet and calm the room was. Her waves were coming very strong and beautifully at this point. The midwife had not seen many Hypnobabies births at this point and her eyes widened at seeing the strong contractions on the monitor and yet Julie remaining completely calm and at ease with them. Julie tells us that at this point in her birthing time, I still had no pain. I felt blue mountains erupting from my abdomen. It was so spiritual and magical.”

Soon after it became time to push and because of her extended pushing experience before, I suggested turning and leaning over the head of the bed to be in a semi hands and knees position but supported so she could remain in hypno-anesthesia. Julie says, “I turned into a mountain lion. A fierce and powerful mountain lion.” Julie pushed her second daughter out in around thirty minutes.

She uses words such as “magical” “awesome” “spiritual” “empowering” . She says the combination of having a doula and using Hypnobabies was “pure magic”. It “makes her want to have 12 more Hypnobabies just to experience it again– but I won’t”. Julie tears up, and so do we. She says she manifested this birth and we believe her.

Julie wants women to know that using Hypnobabies and a doula is a magical combination. I also agree with her that many childbirth education discusses things women do not want versus what they do want. It is possible to change the language and fear surrounding birth! Kait, the nursing student plans to use Hypnobabies in the future when she herself begins a family.

Thank you for sharing your story, Julie!

All Rights Reserved, Kimberly Sebeck, HCHD, CCCE, 2018 Knoxville Doula

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Postpartum Perineum Recovery Tips

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If you had a vaginal delivery, with or without stitches, you may experience some soreness and discomfort. Here are some tips that can help soothe your perineum and bottom. And remember that you just had a baby so good old fashioned resting is important, too!

  1. Peri bottle. Your midwife or hospital should provide you with one of these bottles and have shown you how to use it. Simply fill it with warm water and squirt it over your perineum as you urinate. Be careful to not get water into your vagina, however. While some blogs or forums may suggest using essential oils added to the water it may be best to forego that. You don’t know if you will have a reaction to an oil or if it will sting, especially if you had stitches.  Use as much water and squirts as you need to avoid using toilet paper as it can be irritating.
  2. Ice, ice, not for baby, but your swollen tissues. Any inflamed or swollen tissues and muscles usually respond well to ice. A nice thing you can do ahead of time is freeze a few overnight maxi pads you’ve soaked in water and you have instant “padsicles”. Additionally some women choose to use a newborn diaper — soak it in water and freeze ahead. It’s a great size. It’s important to remember to not leave ice against your skin directly or for too long, however. 15-20 min out of an hour is a good rule of thumb. Some hospitals provide special pads that have a special ice inside of them. Other women bring home some of the mesh panties that are provided and use them at home and still others buy a pack of adult diapers as they tend to stay in place and prevent leaks.
  3. Sitz baths. Again, this should be provided by your midwife or hospital. It’s a small basin that fits over the toilet seat. Fill with warm water so your vulva and perineum are submerged. This may be a good time to try some herbs, especially once you are home. There are herbal kits you can buy, recipes you can find online,  or you can simply try some oatmeal, which is good if you have any itching occur from tears or stitches healing. Forgot to bring your sitz basin home? No worries, you can make a sitz bath in your tub. Fill your tub just enough to submerge your hips and buttocks. Sitz baths can be done a few times a day for 15 to 20 min.
  4. Air dry! After using your peri bottle or sitz, try to not inflame or irritate the area by using toilet paper or a towel. Some fresh air is good for your perineum and can help prevent yeast infections. You can even use a hair dryer on the cool, low setting -yes, seriously. Stand or lay over for a few minutes over a towel protected area if you are still having a heavy flow of blood.
  5. Use a pain spray. Hospitals sometimes give Dermoplast (also available at drugstores) and there are ones you can buy from places like Earth Mama Organics.
  6. Witch Hazel. When you are ready to get dressed again, use witch hazel. It has tannins in it that reduce swelling and fight bacteria. You can buy a container of witch hazel hemorrhoid pads and stash them in the refrigerator so they are extra cooling. Each time you change your sanitary pad line it with 2 to 3 witch hazel pads. The witch hazel will be right up against your tender tissues and you will have instant relief. Alternatively you can make some “padsicles” with witch hazel. Use 2 tbsp of alcohol free witch hazel, pour on an overnight pad and freeze.
  7. Use your breastfeeding pillow to sit on. What? Yes, keeping pressure off of your perineum can relieve some of the soreness. If you find you are using your pillow too frequently for its intended use — to breastfeed — there are donut shaped pillows you can purchase. Or you can firmly and tightly roll up a large towel into a U or donut shape. This can be particularly helpful if your tailbone hurts. I even had a clever client use a pool noodle!
  8. Ibuprofen. Ibuprofen is an anti-inflammatory and is generally approved for postpartum. Of course, always check with your healthcare provider.
  9. Mama Cloth. Postpartum bleeding can last for weeks. Some women find that using disposable pads for that length of time can leave them chafed. Consider using cloth pads after the heavy flow is over, perhaps. Cloth pads are much softer.
  10. Poop Talk. After pushing a baby out the thought of your first bowel movement can be frightening. You will probably be offered stool softeners and it’s a great idea to take them. Also, be sure you are having fiber and plenty of water. I usually tell my clients to get their fruits and veggies in! If you haven’t heard of the squatty potty, now is a great time to think about getting one, or a similar version. Don’t rush your first BM, but when it is time to go, have some privacy and take your time. Apply some counter pressure to your perineum if it seems helpful, using clean hands. Try to relax and not strain, especially if you developed or aggravated hemorrhoids. Use the above mentioned tips (peri, air drying, witch hazel, etc.).  Cantaloupe has been called nature’s laxative. Mangoes are good for hemorrhoids. Water is essential for moving fiber through. While rest is important, being completely sedentary is not.

Postpartum recovery need not be feared. Your body is capable of not only growing a baby but healing and recovering. These tips should help you feel more comfortable during the process.

This is not intended as medical advice. Always check with your healthcare provider regarding herbs and medicine.

All Rights Reserved, Kimberly Sebeck, 2018 Knoxville Doula

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Repeat Clients — Or Not?

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Oh, doulas love repeat clients! There is just something so rewarding about working with a family for a second or third time — or even more! Often a doula is the first one to know that another pregnancy has happened. We get a text with a positive pregnancy test photo attached or a question of, “Hey are you available for a (fill in the blank) due date?”.

But sometimes, especially with flourishing social media, we find out a family hasn’t rehired us. It has absolutely happened to me. And I am writing this not only for people interested in doulas/have used doulas but also newer doulas. What is the etiquette regarding this?

First, I’d like to acknowledge there are very real reasons to not be rehired! Just off the top of my head:

  • Funds may be an issue, especially as a family grows
  • Perhaps the client went natural last time and is choosing not to this time and feels a doula isn’t necessary
  • Maybe they learned so many techniques in their other birth(s) they feel they can handle this on their own (I believe in them!)
  • Maybe they have become close to another doula and want to try her out (yes, I 100% support that!)
  • Possibly they had a traumatic birth experience and having the same birth professionals feels like a trigger (yes, a traumatic birth can happen even with a doula present)
  • It could be they hired a midwifery team that provides extra support like birth assistants or even doulas
  • A new medical condition has changed their perspective of birth (same for pregnancy loss(es)
  • They may be trying a different type of pain management like hypnobirthing or hypnobabies and planning to use medical grade hypnosis
  • Another local doula has skills they feel more drawn to or simply feels more connected to them
  • Or… It is none of your business

Yes, I have had some of those scenarios play out for not getting rehired and I am here to say it is totally fine! It doesn’t hurt my feelings one bit. While I hope if it’s over funds that I could connect them with a lower fee or sliding scale doula, I also understand a budget is sometimes set in stone and cannot be stretched. Additionally it can be awkward for some people to say they are low on funds for something. It can be awkward if you run into your doula and feel you have to explain why you aren’t/can’t/don’t want to rehire her.

Please let me reassure you that there is no reason to feel awkward. While I would love to support your family again I also trust you know what you need. I still want to hear how your pregnancy is going. I still want to hear how your birth went, watch your birth video or see your photos. I still want to be your friend on social media if that is your comfort level. Any good doula will feel this way. It’s not about us, it’s about you. If you feel like sharing the reason, feel free, and if not, that’s ok, too.  Doulas empower women and families. You do you and we will cheer you on.

All Rights Reserved, 2018
Kimberly Sebeck, Knoxville Doula

 

 

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If Your Husband Wants Family To Watch The Birth But You Don’t

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There was a post going around on social media sites about a woman saying her husband was forcing her to have her in-laws in the delivery room but she didn’t want to, what should she do? The chosen answer was for her to challenge her husband to have a bowel movement and be naked, spread eagle for 12 hours, in front of her parents first. If he did so, then she should allow his parents in for the delivery.

Apparently a lot of people thought it was funny. And I get that it was a joke. It might not have even been real. Many things on the internet aren’t. However, it got me to thinking.. what if it was a real question? What would my answer have been to this woman?

I wouldn’t have used a poop/bowel movement analogy. Yes, there can be poop involved with birth. But that is such a small part of it and ignores all the beauty and wonder surrounding birth. A human– your baby, your child– is coming into the world! As for some bodily fluids that go hand in hand with this arrival, definitely think about only having people in your space that you would feel comfortable with seeing you at your most powerful and most vulnerable.

What I would have said instead to the woman is to encourage her to have her husband think of birth as an intimate time. As a baby is conceived, so it is born. Low lights, music, your partner’s touch and embrace all encourage oxytocin. When you think about it that way, most of us wouldn’t have our in-laws involved in the conception, would we? Most couples are going to choose/need some professional guidance during the process, it’s true, but professional midwives, nurses, doctors, doulas, etc, know professional boundaries and remain… professional. It is a different dynamic.

Another part of the answer was for the husband to be “spread eagle” for 12 hours. Well, that’s just silly. I have yet in 18 yrs of being a doula to see anyone be spread eagle in labor for 12 hours. Women labor differently, it’s true. Some remain quite modest and wear clothing or use sheets and others feel comfortable being naked but they do not sit around spread eagle for hours on end. Some like photographs of the birth and others do not. Some women are fine with relatives watching and that is okay, too. The woman posing the question was not fine with her in-laws being in the room.

An honest and open conversation with your partner is a good starting point. A childbirth class is also a good option to learn about labor and birth. Most educators will bring up a conversation about visitors and family as well as the need for privacy and how hormones of labor can be disrupted by interruptions. Bringing up what a special and intimate, relationship strengthening time labor and birth is sounds so much better than a poop challenge. Couples grow together as their family grows from two to three (or whatever number baby you are adding).

Kimberly Sebeck, Knoxville Doula 
All Rights Reserved, 2018

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Where Did Your Doula Train?

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Today I read on www.doulamatch.net that there are 67 different doula organizations listed on their site. Wow. While there has been an increase in recent years of different certifying paths I had no idea there were that many.

As with just about everything in life and business there are pros and cons to this explosion of new ways to train doulas. Respectfully I submit a few of my thoughts on this matter:

Pros:

  • More professionals and parents are seeing and reaping the benefits of doulas
  • Easier access to training, along with likely various payment methods
  • Doula has become a household name
  • Being a doula does not have to be synonymous with charity work; more doulas are rightfully charging a living wage, which in turn allows for more pro bono or volunteer work when their own financial needs are met
  • Teams of doulas can partner up or create agencies which can lessen the hard work of being on call
  • Fresh organizations can bring fresh ideas and instill new energy
  • More families are being served

Cons:

  • The trusted and well known organizations who have been around for years have a well crafted method of making sure they are creating professional doulas, do the newer organizations also have the same ethic or are they jumping on an opportunity to sell an online program to as many people as possible?
  • Clients and professionals may find that there is no standard of ethics, codes, or grievance policy — essentially there is no national standard for doulas.
  • A person seeking to become a doula may not be able to tell the difference and spend their educational budget on a program that is not suited to them or does not equip them to be a doula. They may choose one solely based on ease of training, location, or budget price.
  • Doulas who are fresh out of training, in my opinion, require mentoring from their organization as well as continuing education and hands on experience. Will they receive this from a course that only includes a booklet of skills they check off and submit?
  • The doula profession has a high burnout and turnover rate. The initial interview process and reference check can save an applicant much time and money — sometimes being a doula isn’t a good fit for everyone or it isn’t a good fit for a particular time in someone’s life. If it isn’t a good time or fit for the doula it is not going to be a good fit for their clients or the professionals they are in contact with.

I mentor newer doulas in our area who reach out to me and go through an application process and are a good fit. My view is the world needs more doulas. Experienced doulas should be available to help the newer ones where possible but one of my requirements is for my mentees to have completed a training through an approved certifying organization and either to have been certified or actively working towards that certification. Certification is for everyone’s benefit. It demonstrates the doula understands and is committed to a scope of practice and follows it. It gives any families and medical personnel a place to file a grievance should that ever be necessary. It gives the doula ongoing support through the certifying organization and continuing education. I myself trained and certified through CAPPA (Childbirth and Postpartum Professional Association) and kept my certification active for many years. Eventually I moved my certification over to Hypnobabies once I became a Hypno-Doula but I still attend CAPPA conferences when I can and I was an ICAN (International Cesarean Awareness Network) leader for 7 years and received extensive training, support, and continuing education through that organization as well.

So if you are considering becoming a doula, carefully consider who to train through. How long has the organization been around? What do they offer in the way of not only training and certification but also in ongoing support and continuing education? Their low training fee may not be a bargain if their philosophy does not mesh with yours or if you are getting an incomplete education. My advice is to always try to round out any training with local volunteer opportunities such as a Birth Network or La Leche League, etc, in your area.

If you are considering hiring a doula, how can you know if they have had a good training? Ask who they trained (and hopefully certified or are working on certification) through. Google the organization and see if there is a public scope of practice listed, if there is a grievance policy, if the organization has been around for some time. There could be a new organization that is wonderful and has just begun so also listen to your instinct! Was there any in person or hands on training or was it completely on line? Do they connect their trainees with any mentors? Do their trainees attend yearly conferences or continued educational opportunities? Are there clearly defined guidelines of how to achieve training goals (ex: a set amount of births in a set time frame with satisfied clients as well as satisfied medical personnel giving reviews). Do they do background checks or at minimum, call references? (you probably wouldn’t want a doula with an arrest record, for example).

Growth is good and at times it can be messy. For the first half of my career I usually had to explain what a doula was. Rarely do I have to do that now and I love that! Few people are going to go into birth work unless they have a desire to help families. I feel most of the newer organizations are trying to make it easier to have training easily accessible and are trying to bring in fresh ideas to improve on trusted outlines.  We just have to make sure there are some professional standards and that everyone is getting the training and the trained doula they expect and deserve. Happy doula-ing and birthing!

 

All Rights Reserved, 2017, Kimberly Sebeck, Knoxville Doula.