Labor Doula

Labor Induction: Could it have any psychological effects on the baby?                

Labor induction is such a common maternal care practice that it is almost considered to be a normal way of giving birth in the United States. And of course, there are benefits to moms and babies when reasons for induction are medically indicated, such as low amniotic fluid, IUGR and concerning pre-eclampsia symptoms. But with […]

Labor Induction: Could it have any psychological effects on the baby?                 Continue reading »

Timing Arrival to the Hospital During Labor 

Many clients hire doulas because they want to avoid unnecessary intervention, and we all know the best way to do this is to arrive at the hospital at the “right” time. A doula’s job is to balance the ever-evolving needs of the birthing family, their care provider, and our scope of practice. This includes taking

Timing Arrival to the Hospital During Labor  Continue reading »

Navigating Differing Hospital Cultures as a Labor Doula

When I was a new doula, I remember being excited to apply all that I learned in training to support my clients in various birth settings. What I wasn’t prepared for was dealing with differences in birth location policies and working with different providers, who all seemed to have different policies as well. Why was

Navigating Differing Hospital Cultures as a Labor Doula Continue reading »

Supporting Labor Doula Clients Expecting Twins

I began my Labor Doula career when my sister-in-law found out she was expecting twins. She was getting frustrated with her doctors sharing various opinions about how she should birth these babies. Some doctors said the safest option was to schedule a Cesarean at 36 weeks. Other doctors in the same practice said she could

Supporting Labor Doula Clients Expecting Twins Continue reading »

The Evolution of Breathing in Labour

1942, an age where birth had been overtaken by obstetrics and medicalization, Dr. Grant Dick- Read’s book, Natural Childbirth introduced birth in a gentle manner. Exploring the baby’s own experience and the theory that fear and tension induced more pain. At this time these concepts were seen as radical. The Bradley method was developed in

The Evolution of Breathing in Labour Continue reading »

5 Reasons to Still Hire a Labor Doula – Especially During the Pandemic

If there is one thing we have learned since early 2020, it’s that things are ever changing with this pandemic. One thing that has remained the same: people are still going to have babies. At the beginning of 2020, there were so many unknowns with the virus, how it affects a pregnant person and newborn,

5 Reasons to Still Hire a Labor Doula – Especially During the Pandemic Continue reading »

The Subtle Impact of Interference

As labor doulas and childbirth educators, we prepare our clients with information about routine interventions. We go over the benefits, risks and alternatives to these interventions, equipping parents to make the best decisions for themselves and their babies. But no one has to place a needle in an arm to alter the course of a

The Subtle Impact of Interference Continue reading »

Helping Clients Understand the Impact of Labor Hormones (Plus a Teaching Activity)

Early in my doula career, I remember working with a family who knew they wanted a doula to support them through their pregnancy and birth. This particular mother had a previous birth that she felt didn’t go well and felt like she was pressured into unnecessary interventions. She was nervous about going back to the

Helping Clients Understand the Impact of Labor Hormones (Plus a Teaching Activity) Continue reading »

Reframing Cesarean Birth ( Submitted by CAPPA Member Colleen Goidel )

When a person gets pregnant, they unconsciously develop an internal vision about how they expect their birth will unfold. Their personal history and beliefs, their birth team, their coworkers, friends and family, and the media all influence this expectation—which causes the birthing person to make assumptions about what is true. This is especially so with

Reframing Cesarean Birth ( Submitted by CAPPA Member Colleen Goidel ) Continue reading »

Applying the Foundational Attitudes of Mindfulness to Your Doula Practice

Mindfulness meditation is one of the fastest-growing health trends in the United States, according to the CDC. But what is mindfulness, and why might it be helpful for your work as a professional doula? Mindfulness is “The awareness that arises from paying attention, on purpose, in the present moment and non-judgmentally” (Kabat-Zinn, in Purser, 2015).

Applying the Foundational Attitudes of Mindfulness to Your Doula Practice Continue reading »

Supporting Labor Clients During COVID-19 Pandemic

Your CAPPA Labor Doula Faculty team would like to share some ideas for supporting your clients if hospitals are not allowing doulas to provide support during labor. Please remember that it is your professional responsibility to follow CDC recommendations including staying home if you have any type of illness symptoms, following proper hand washing protocols,

Supporting Labor Clients During COVID-19 Pandemic Continue reading »

Your Badge of Honor

How many births have you attended? Your badge of honor. The one piece of information that proves to your clients that you know what you are doing as a birth doula. I have been reflecting on this maxim, do the number of births a doula has attended equal her value as a professional? And how

Your Badge of Honor Continue reading »

Our Heads, Our Hearts, and Our Hands Need Support Too 

As labor doulas, we often say that our favorite and essential things we bring to births are our heads, our hearts, and our hands.  We bring our heads which are full of wisdom, information, and knowledge pertaining to birth to help in each unique birth setting. We bring our hearts as caring advocates for our

Our Heads, Our Hearts, and Our Hands Need Support Too  Continue reading »

25 Tips for Labor Doulas from Hospital Nurses

I have had the wonderful opportunity to work with hundreds of nurses during my career as a labor doula. Whenever we have a blend of professions like Labor & Delivery Nurses and Labor Doulas, it can be a tricky situation to navigate. I truly believe everyone has the client’s best interests in mind, however sometimes

25 Tips for Labor Doulas from Hospital Nurses Continue reading »

Running in Pregnancy

The number of people who run is continuing to climb, so more and more we find our clients are asking if it is ok to continue to run during pregnancy.  The answer to that is twofold.  As a pregnancy fitness educator, personal trainer, running coach and birth professional the basic answer is yes; however… In

Running in Pregnancy Continue reading »

What We Know About Cannabis Use in Pregnancy and Breastfeeding

I have spent the last two decades as a birth worker, doula trainer, and labor & delivery and maternal child health nurse.  I have been able to support families from prenatal education and yoga, labor and delivery, to watching children and families grow in so many directions.  I have been hearing the same question tossed

What We Know About Cannabis Use in Pregnancy and Breastfeeding Continue reading »

Picture of an IV drip.

Helping Clients Embrace Medical Intervention

I am betting THAT got your attention!  As labor doulas, as childbirth educators, we spend much of our time helping clients who have asked us to help them avoid routine medical intervention.  Not every couple who attends childbirth classes or hires a doula wants an unmedicated birth, but it has been my experience that most

Helping Clients Embrace Medical Intervention Continue reading »

5 Tips for Supporting a Home Birth Labor Doula Client

I came into doula work shortly after the birth of my first son who was a #borderbaby. I was one of the few Alabama woman who choose to birth across the state line to Tennessee to receive care from a Certified Professional Midwife (CPM) and have an out-of-hospital (OOH) birth. This choice was easy for

5 Tips for Supporting a Home Birth Labor Doula Client Continue reading »

How to Create a Safe Zone for Communication: 3 Tips To Help When Talking To Families

Working as a Postpartum Doula is one of the greatest passions of my life! I have been so fortunate to support many moms around the country with education on how to care for their precious, new bundle of joy! Even as a seasoned doula, I am constantly still learning from my families. Creating a safe

How to Create a Safe Zone for Communication: 3 Tips To Help When Talking To Families Continue reading »

Helping Our Clients: Fight, Flight, Freeze, Fawn Stress Responses

Did you know there are four types of responses to stressful events? Most of us are familiar with the Fight or Flight response, but there are two others that many people experience as well. Those are Freeze and Fawn. Helping our clients (and their support partner) understand how they might react can be very beneficial—not

Helping Our Clients: Fight, Flight, Freeze, Fawn Stress Responses Continue reading »

Working with Your Beliefs and Biases

I’ve seen many internet posts recently on doula support platforms, discussing how doulas should deal with clients who make choices contrary to individual beliefs or strong biases. Topics such as circumcision, religious rituals, marijuana, and alcohol use are often the source of conflict in these posts. As I read through the MANY responses I was

Working with Your Beliefs and Biases Continue reading »

Active Labor’s Move from 4 to 6: Benefits & Signposts

Doulas are unique, talented and knowledgeable; holding space for families and walking with them as they meet their babies. What an incredible honor! Doulas also have the opportunity to be the perfect guide as providers begin to adjust to the new recommendations from ACOG. But just how do we get there? The American College of

Active Labor’s Move from 4 to 6: Benefits & Signposts Continue reading »

The Why and What of Natural Childbirth

Anesthesia was first used for birth in 1847, 171 years, or roughly seven generations ago. In response to this, Grantly Dick-Read coined the term natural childbirth in the 1940’s. Before that it was just called birth, like organic food was just called food before Lord Northbourne coined the term organic around the same time. Natural

The Why and What of Natural Childbirth Continue reading »

A Book Review – Round the Circle: Doulas Share Their Experiences

They say that experience is the best teacher. However, another person’s experience can be an even better teacher. That is the idea behind the collection of doula experiences by CAPPA Faculty Member Julie Brill, CCCE, CLD in her book, Round the Circle: Doulas Share Their Experiences. The title gives a great glimpse into what the

A Book Review – Round the Circle: Doulas Share Their Experiences Continue reading »

A Heartwarming Update Too Good Not to Share

At the CAPPA Destin conference in 2016 I was honored to speak about my work with pregnancy and addiction as a nurse in a speech entitled, “You are not alone-Perinatal Addiction and Neonatal Abstinence”. The first story I originally planned to share at the conference was a story about my client Kelly B, a story

A Heartwarming Update Too Good Not to Share Continue reading »

Evaluating Credibility in Everyday Sources of Information

As critical consumers of information, it is necessary to evaluate the credibility and legitimacy of resources, especially on the Internet. In a world of free information, which is without guidelines, monitoring, and representation, truth and lies can be as difficult to determine as the supermarket tabloids in the checkout stands. Anyone can post anything in

Evaluating Credibility in Everyday Sources of Information Continue reading »

On Call and Ready to Roll!

You’ve done it! You’ve completed doula training, found your first clients, and life on call is about to begin. Have you thought about what you need to be ready to boogie out the door at any moment? The excitement of getting the “come now” call from a birthing person is even better when you know

On Call and Ready to Roll! Continue reading »

Finding Your Niche

As a former biology instructor I always encouraged students to observe their environments, as they are ripe with individualized roles that are filled by a species with a unique skill. The world of childbirth education is similar. While the variety of options that exists could be endless, with the right research and evidence at your

Finding Your Niche Continue reading »

5 Simple Tools for the Self-Actualized Doula

“Self-actualization” is a term that comes from Abraham Maslow, a leading figure in the Positive Psychology movement. Self-actualization refers to the “realization or desire for self-fulfillment.” In other words, it’s the motivation to realize one’s full-potential. As doulas, we place a lot of emphasis on self-actualization, whether we know that term or not. We do

5 Simple Tools for the Self-Actualized Doula Continue reading »

Melatonin – Not Just Beneficial For “Jet Lag”

As a childbirth educator and labor doula trainer, one of my favorite topics is that of birthing hormones. Oxytocin, melatonin, endorphins, adrenaline and prolactin all work in synchronicity to help the birth process move forward. More specifically, melatonin acts as a catalyst to enhance the amount of natural oxytocin released. This in turn, causes the

Melatonin – Not Just Beneficial For “Jet Lag” Continue reading »

Make the Connections

For the past two years, I’ve had the opportunity to serve on the planning committee for a community event: The Birth and Family Wellness Fair.  This fair promotes holistic family health and birthing options. I have seen the positive effects this event has in our community and urge others to sponsor or support events like these in their areas. I worked with

Make the Connections Continue reading »

Nitrous Oxide in Labor and the Precautionary Principle

An increasing number of hospitals in the United States are offering nitrous oxide to women in labor since the FDA approved new equipment for use in labor in 2011. Among other things, a hospital is a business competing with neighboring hospitals for customers. If they get you to come there to birth, you could become

Nitrous Oxide in Labor and the Precautionary Principle Continue reading »

Connect More

Over the years, I have graciously and humbly watched my practice and experience grow and change.  A decade ago I was flourishing as a private practice Labor doula and childbirth educator for clients fortunate enough to pay for such birth services. Today, I work with young women who have multiple struggles every day, from poverty

Connect More Continue reading »

It’s Not Everyone’s Dream Birth: Understanding the Emotions of a Fast Labor

I will never forget the off-hand comment that changed the course of my life forever.  I was sitting in the living room of our first home, holding my fresh, newborn daughter, Willow Grace, just 5 days old.  Our labor doula had come to our home for a postpartum visit. We happily discussed how breastfeeding was

It’s Not Everyone’s Dream Birth: Understanding the Emotions of a Fast Labor Continue reading »

Scroll to Top