If you are looking for a doula, you have likely already started thinking about your “birth plan.” I would like to encourage expectant moms, dads and partners to think more along the lines of “birth preferences.” Birth is really hard to “plan” for. You don’t know exactly how you will feel in the moment and what your baby may feel like doing! It is incredibly beneficial to know your options ahead of time, think about how you would like things to go, maybe even have a “Plan B,” and then just roll with it.
In our prenatal visits leading up to the birth of your little one, we will go over an array of preferences and create your birth preferences worksheet together.
Some things to consider:
As your doula I will provide evidence-based research to help you create your preferences worksheet in our prenatal visits. These preferences will be shared with your care provider and changed if necessary. Then during your labor and delivery I will help you achieve your preferences and be a sounding board if things need to change.
I am so excited to meet you and am honored to be a part of this process!
Click here to get more information on my birth doula services.
If you Google this question you will come across a number of articles… I’m going to break it down into four major differences to give you a better understanding of what I do as a postpartum doula!
Bringing a new baby home can be overwhelming! As your postpartum doula, I will support your entire family in your home in whatever capacity is most needed. I can answer questions on newborn care, help with the first bath, answer questions on feeding your baby, assist you in wearing your infant in a newborn carrier, take care of your infant while you nap or shower, prepare meals, run errands for you or with you, and perform some light housekeeping such as laundry and cleaning baby bottles.... plus so much more!
Even if you have TONS of family support, doula support is incredibly valuable. Both you and your partner will receive evidence based education (if you want it) and non-judgmental support, which will allow you to gain confidence in your new roles! I’d like to take a minute to point out that I do a lot of listening. I recently worked with a family facing some pretty intense breast-feeding struggles… there were nights of crying, phone calls of desperation, and also moments of shear joy. Sometimes all you need is someone to listen. As this family’s postpartum doula I also scheduled a late night visit with an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC). I spoke with the family about options, relayed that info to the consultant, and ultimately scheduled this visit, which proved to be a total game changer for the family.
As for overnight support, I can be the sole caretaker of your baby overnight, or, if the birth mother is breastfeeding, I can stay in a separate room with your baby and bring your baby to you when he/she needs to nurse. Then I will burp, diaper, soothe, etc. your baby so that you can get right back to sleep!
Now what is the role of a baby nurse? A baby nurse’s focus is on your newborn, not on you, your partner, or other siblings. She may be a wonderful individual and have the best of intentions – fabulous with your baby – but she will not personally call up an IBCLC and get you a last minute appointment, nor will she be available by phone for your questions.
Who actually comes to your house?:
If you hire me, then you will see me at your doorstep. Most baby nurses are a part of large agencies and you often will not know ahead of time who your baby nurse will be.
I have worked with families for as little as two weeks and as long as four months. For some families I have only provided support during the day, others only nights, and others a combo of the two! My number of contracted hours has varied a great deal as well. Some families need support every day and some only one day a week. The bottom line is that I offer extreme flexibility as a postpartum doula!
A baby nurse requires a set schedule. Furthermore, if you are hiring a baby nurse for overnight support, she will require a set schedule that doesn’t change from week to week. I, on the other hand, may be there the night before a busy day and then return later in the week to accompany you during your little angel’s pediatrician appointment.
My services cost more than that of a baby nurse. Why? By offering you such a flexible schedule I am limited in the number of families I can work with. Furthermore, I am available by phone and email throughout the day and even night for last minute questions and those moments where you just need reassurance that you are an amazing parent!
So what’s the take home? Well of course I want you to hire me as your postpartum doula. I am flexible, compassionate, a good listener, and resourceful. I have also recently added a package to my services that includes just overnight support at a slightly reduced rate.
Hopefully I’ve given you enough information to make the best choice for you, your baby, and your family. All the best with your new little one!
Click here to get more information on the postpartum support services I offer!
When I was a teenager “Pride Month” was a time for me to wear rainbows, kiss my girlfriend in public and march in the NYC parade. I was president of my high school gay/straight alliance and of Rutgers University’s BiGLARU so each June was filled with activities that made me feel important and included.
Pride month is going to be a little quieter this year… our son, Finn, is on a stringent nap schedule so there will be no marching in parades… and we were going to go to Pride in Asbury Park but we actually got my sister to babysit for the day and we decided we would much rather go to a spa!
So what is Pride Month to me now? It’s a time for me to reflect on the amazing family I have but also a time to remember the struggles we face. I could go on and on but I’m just going to focus on one aspect of our lives because I believe it may resonate with some of you out there: Babies, Fertility and Adoption.
Finn is now 20 months old. I literally knew since I was five years old that I wanted kids. I wanted to start young (first kid by 25). That’s not what happened because a lesbian couple having a child takes some doing and costs a lot of money! We went to a fertility specialist shortly after my mother passed away, when I realized that life is too short to wait for the perfect moment to do something big. We walked out of the office completely overwhelmed and I remember thinking “If we were straight, we would just have sex and make a baby.” Of course there are many families (of any orientation) who this is not true for; but for me, I didn’t have any preconceived fertility issues, I just didn’t have sperm. So for those of you who haven’t gone through this process, the following were some requirements: track my ovulation and go for bloodwork and ultrasounds on various days to get a “baseline,” pick a sperm donor, read through all of the donors issues to make sure he would be a good fit genetically, seek genetic counseling, get clearance from a therapist (yes you read that right), get a hysterosalpingogram (HSG), get a saline sonogram, medications, shots… I think I got it all. At the end of it all, I felt defective and like I knew way more about my uterus than I ever wanted to know. But, I was cleared to move forward so I did a cycle of intrauterine insemination (IUI). I was sure I was pregnant because not getting pregnant never even crossed my mind. I didn’t get pregnant during the first round and I was completely crushed. I always assumed it would just work and when it didn’t, the fears started to creep in. Luckily for me I did get pregnant during my second round of IUI. We had a perfect baby boy (Finn) and launched into parenthood.
My issue with all of this is that it was such a process and it was very expensive. New Jersey does not cover IUI treatments for lesbian couples because there is no perceived fertility issue. I will never forget the conversation Molly (my wife) had with the health insurance rep, she said, “Well I keep trying to get her pregnant but it just isn’t working.” The rep laughed and apologized for the lack of support on the side of insurance companies but there was nothing else she could do.
I have a number of very dear friends (heterosexual) who do in fact have fertility complications and some have had to spend quite a lot of money so I know this is not all unique to Molly and I. My issue is that we are thrown into this process and financial hardship because we want children and we are a lesbian couple, there is no other reason.
Where does adoption come into play? Well believe it or not, Molly has to adopt our son. We need a lawyer (actually found a great one), background checks, home check, court date, and more money. Molly’s name is on his birth certificate and we are legally married but those documents aren’t enough. I was completely blown away and am sad to say that for various reasons, we have not yet completed the adoption process.
New Jersey, the United States, much of the world: there is more to do, I hope those teenagers keep marching and I will join them again in a few years.
So tell me about your pride month, or fertility and baby-making journey. And to end on a happy note, here’s a picture of our beautiful family. One of our dogs even managed to do a photo bomb and smile :)