How to prepare for labor, getting educated, birth plans, hospital bag checklist, who will be in the birth room and more.


First Trimester Checklist: What To Do in the First Trimester of Pregnancy

By Christie Collbran | August 31, 2021

The first trimester is exciting! Congratulations, you’re pregnant! And now your mind is probably swirling as you think of all the things you need to do. For this reason, we’ve prepared a first trimester checklist to help you get through your first twelve weeks of pregnancy. 1. Remove stress from your life.  Yes, this is…


My Surprise Breech Baby and Tips

By Christie Collbran | April 29, 2021

My first baby was breech and was born via an emergency c-section. We only discovered he was breech when I was well into labor, which is pretty unusual. “I think we need to head to the birth center,” I told my husband. At 37 ½ weeks pregnant, I had gotten up in the middle of…


Six Tips for a Natural Birth at the Hospital

By Christie Collbran | March 31, 2021

So you want to have a natural birth at the hospital!? Navigating our current maternity health care system can be a little tricky. However, a natural birth in the hospital is possible. Lots of families before you have done it. It is a feasible and realistic goal. So we say – you can do it!…

Virtual Doula

Virtual Labor Doula Support

By Christie Collbran | March 31, 2020

During this current health crisis families are still having babies and in need of labor support. In this time of social distancing and with hospital doula/visitor policies are in flux, we’ve got a plan. We are still here and able to support our clients virtually with the same level of compassionate care. Our Virtual Labor…

Tampa Bay birth classes, Tampa HypnoBirthing

New Group Classes forming in January, 2020

By Amy Lewis | November 29, 2019

We’re pleased to add several new group classes to the Buddha Belly schedule in 2020! Group HypnoBirthing Class Series In our five-week group HypnoBirthing classes you will learn the full relaxation techniques of the program along side other pregnant couples. Some laboring women have found the HypnoBirthing method has resulted in a faster and shorter…

Birth Plans Change

Birth Plans Can Change

By Amy Lewis | August 9, 2018

“When our birth plan changed and I needed a surgical birth, my doula held my hand in the operating room and helped us to stay calm.” – Haley, St. Pete Beach Birth plans can change, like Haley describes. Many people (mistakenly) think birth doula support is only for a “natural” birth or vaginal birth. What…

right way to give birth

Childbirth: There Is No Right Way

By Christie Collbran | April 3, 2018

Is there a right way to do childbirth? My mother was a hippie. She gave birth to all of her children at home with a home-visiting doctor. Her experience influenced my views of childbirth and how I wanted to birth my babies. Once I was pregnant I did everything that I thought was “right.” I…

Getting ready for birth

What Should I Be Doing Now to Get Ready to Give Birth?

By Amy Lewis | September 28, 2017

This is a very common question that we hear as birth doulas in our prenatal sessions with clients. In this session, we meet with the pregnant woman and her partner, in their home, to discuss their birth plan, if she has written one, her birth preferences, the routine procedures and protocols at her birth facility…

Labor Progress

Ugh, Why Am I Not in Labor Yet?

By Amy Lewis | May 19, 2017

As I got to the end of my first pregnancy, I was so ready to meet my baby. I’m not quite sure that I was ready to be in labor – that sounded hard – but I really, really wanted to find out what he or she looked like. Technically we didn’t know the sex,…

dog care

Woof! Don’t Forget About Me!

By Christie Collbran | April 21, 2017

Who is going to take care of your dog while you are in labor? I wish I had thought more about this. I was planning a homebirth with a licensed midwife. Our dog, Nikita, would just hang out at home with us. Planning for something else never even crossed my mind. She was really sweet,…


What Is It Like to Have an Epidural?

By Christie Collbran | March 7, 2017

Many women in the U.S. choose to use medical pain management in labor and birth, and the most common option is an epidural. Sometimes it is referred to as epidural anesthesia or epidural analgesia. It is a regional medicine (versus local) – this means it only blocks pain in a specific part of your body.…

shaving or waxing for childbirth

Not-so Private Parts: Should You Shave or Wax Before Birth?

By Amy Lewis | November 18, 2016

If you’re currently pregnant, have been pregnant previously or thinking about getting pregnant in the future, chances are you have wondered about this. Given the incredibly personal nature of this topic, though, you most likely didn’t talk about it with anyone. Maybe your sister or a very, very close girlfriend who has given birth. Most…