When you work with Buddha Belly Douas for labor support you get two doulas who are on-call for you 24/7! During pregnancy your doulas are available to answer questions, provide support and help you prepare for your special day. When you go into labor, whichever doula is on-call at the time will be the one to provide face to face labor support.
Throughout your pregnancy you can reach out to your birth doulas at any time by phone, text or email to discuss any questions you may have. Maybe you are experiencing morning sickness and looking for some remedies or suggestions. Text your doulas! Perhaps you are looking for recommendations on choosing your OB or Midwife? Call your doulas! It may be that your doctor says you need a specific medical screening and you want to understand what it is all about. Reach out to your doulas! No topic is off limits.
When you get closer to your due date, usually between 30 – 35 weeks of pregnancy, your birth doulas will come to your home for an in-person prenatal meeting. Staying home is more comfortable and convenient at this point in your pregnancy so we come to you. Both doulas will be present at this prenatal meeting allowing you to continue to build your relationship, trust and comfort level with each of them.
What is covered in this Prenatal Meeting with your birth doulas?
1. Birth Planning
In this prenatal meeting we will talk about all the things that can happen during labor and birth. By understanding the stages of labor, interventions and potential options you and your partner can determine what your preferences are in different scenarios.
Your birth doulas will start from the beginning and walk you through how labor may begin whether it is spontaneous, with augmentation or by induction. We’ll review how to know when it’s time to head to your birth facility, and what that looks, sounds and feels like.
Topics also include what typically happens when you arrive at your birth location: triage, monitoring, vaginal exams, etc. We’ll discuss how labor progresses, medical pain management options, the natural options and what the pros and cons are. Common interventions, pushing, c-sections, and newborn tests and procedures will be thoroughly explained. With your birth doulas you will talk through each step to understand choices you have along the way.
Of course, none of us has control over exactly what is going to happen on the day. It’s important to be flexible, but if you don’t know your options you won’t have any! So this meeting is your opportunity to really dive in and learn your preferences for labor and birth. By the end you should have a clear picture of what your birth plan is. Your doulas would be happy to review your written plan before you finalize and share it with your care provider as well.
2. Reviewing Protocols and Practices of Your Birth Facility
One benefit of having our birth doulas is their extensive experience working with the hospitals and care providers in Tampa Bay. While going through the labor and delivery timeline, your doulas can share customized information about your specific birth facility. Questions like: do they have any labor tubs and will they allow us to use them? What are their practices regarding food and drink during labor? What are their policies on intermittent monitoring? Are they likely to allow my doula to join me in the OR if a c-section is needed? etc. Your doulas are a wealth of knowledge with first hand experience supporting families at various locations in our community. They can help you to further understand what to expect by sharing their personal experiences and knowledge of the different birth centers, hospitals, midwives and doctors in Tampa Bay.
3. Hands-on Demonstration and Practicing Comfort Techniques
Now it’s time to actually do some practical learning! Your birth doulas have an abundance of expertise and are proficient in a host of comfort techniques to help you feel relaxed and cope with the sensations of labor. At this point in your prenatal meeting they will demonstrate techniques or positions for labor such as: the double hip squeeze, counter pressure, massage techniques, use of a rebozo (a birth scarf), swaying, dangling and more. You and your partner will then have a turn to directly practice these strategies.
Your doulas will coach your partner so he or she feels confident in their ability to provide support to you using these methods even before your doula arrives on the big day. This leaves you both feeling empowered and ready to participate and manage your own experience with more ease.
4. Postpartum Planning and Preparation
Lastly, but certainly not least, it’s important to think about and plan for the postpartum period and life with your new baby. Labor and birth only last for a couple days at the most. However, once that baby is in your arms you will be caring for her everyday forward. On top of your already existing life and duties, you will now have a newborn to look after.
It is a joyful, exciting time and it can also sometimes be overwhelming. Have you thought about having extra support? Maybe you have extended family coming to help out. You might consider preparing and freezing meals in advance.
Will you and your partner share the night time duties? Newborn babies need to be fed and wake up throughout the night. It’s a good idea to discuss this with your partner in advance. Do you need a postpartum doula to help with overnight care? Are you planning to breastfeed or bottle-feed? Consider lining up your support network for any feeding issues.
You may want to even think about your personal mental health and self-care requirements.. When things get hard do you have a friend, counselor or other resources you can lean on? Your doulas will be able to make recommendations to outside resources as needed to help you with recovery and the adventure of life with your new baby!
Your Buddha Belly Doulas are your dedicated team helping you reduce anxiety and gain confidence. This prenatal meeting with your birth doulas is a major step in preparing you to feel ready and confident for a positive birth experience.