"Then I found Brandi, who happened to live only 15 minutes away, and I knew she was someone who would be able to bring the energy and knowledge I wanted in my pregnancy and birth! She came over several times during my pregnancy to spend time with me and my daughter so that my daughter would be comfortable with her (and my daughter absolutely loves her), and made sure she got to know my husband and mother in law as well since they would also be at the birth."Read More
"Without Brandi I don't think I could have had the birthing experience I wanted. She was amazing! During my pregnancy she was available to answer all my questions and also provided words of encouragement when I had any doubts on my ability to do a natural birth."Read More
"She supported me through each contraction with soothing encouragement and holding my hands. She was great support and a team member for my husband. She gave him tools and techniques to use that allowed him to be an amazing birthing partner."Read More
We are so excited to share - this is the first in a new blog series we are working on called Our (extended) Family! We have decided to rid our website of our lackluster "referral" and "resource" lists for something much more thoughtful, interactive, and useful! We will be featuring our favorite local businesses, services, organizations, and people. Our (extended) family that we are constantly referring our families to. We want you to know who they are, what they stand for, and how they can actually help you!
If you know anyone who is featured here- please feel free to leave a
comment telling everyone what your experience has been in working with
them! We love building this big beautiful community with y'all!
This first organization to kick off this series is one near and dear to our hearts. The Tampa Bay Birth Network is a local non-profit that aims to connect birth professionals with the families that need them!
"This story comes to us from a previous client who, despite several obstacles, had an amazing birth. This story highlights in detail what it is a doula ACTUALLY does. Stereotypes and preconceptions aside, this is how we as doulas help support families to feel confident in themselves. We are not there to do it for them, we CAN'T do it for them....we are there to make sure they are informed, loved, and feel heard every step of the way without our own agenda. Even when things don't go as planned, a doula helps you to find your path and feel confident in the decisions you're making."
At the time, she was dubbed “Baby Poptart,” and no one but God and my very precocious 3 year old knew she was a girl. We were, of course, already in love with her, but worried a bit too. Not about her health, no, everything seemed on track and we had no reason to expect anything was off - and I’ll save you skipping to the end - nothing was, she was perfectly healthy. No, we were worried because we ended up in the middle of a situation in which we had far less control than we should have we had. Let me start at the beginning, 3 years prior.
More and more we are hearing about women being "denied" a VBAC (Vaginal Birth After Cesarean) by their OBs, Midwives, or local hospitals. Here is some information that can help you get the birth you want and deserveRead More
My story is a tad different from many women. I knew what I wanted from my birth experience. I knew from the very beginning that my body was made to do this so I treated my pregnancy as a blessing. In month 4 I went to my OBGYN and handed over the rough draft of my birth plan to see what their thoughts were. I was a member of a practice of 6 doctors, 5 women, and 1 man. The doctor during this visit sat down with me and said “You are going to need some sort of classes to help you get through your first birth naturally. Try either Bradley Method or Lamaze classes. But you’ll need something. We get a lot of women that want to do it naturally…..until they get into the labor suite. Women who prepare have a better chance.” That afternoon I got on my computer, contacted Melissa, the local Bradley instructor, and by 6 pm I was sitting in week 3 of a 12 week session. I got all the materials I needed and my partner, Anthony, and I looked forward to how the class would prepare us for the birth of our child. Weeks went on and on and Bradley Method graduation day came. After completing the course I started toying with the idea of switching to a birth center birth though I planned on a hospital birth. Unfortunately, due to my pregnancy history of anemia, I was risked out of that being an option. Because of this same reason I did not consider a home birth because our house was too far from a hospital should anything go wrong. I had my final birth plan approved by the obstetricians who were on call around the time of my due date, I had two wonderful doulas, bags were packed, and I was prepared to deal with a hospital staff who may scoff at my desires to do things naturally.Read More
This is a phrase I hear quite frequently from other birth professionals. Whether they are childbirth educators, doulas, or midwives. That statement seems to be an automatic reply in the birth community when a women chooses something that we know, on a professional level, is an unhealthy choice. Whether it be birthing in a hospital, allowing interventions, or choosing not to breastfeed. Are we, as a birth community, standing idly by while mother’s make uneducated choices because it is politically correct? As a doula, I feel it is my duty to educate women on the options they have regarding their birth. With my daughter I desperately needed someone to educate me. I needed someone to say that the hospital is not the place for a healthy woman to give birth. Someone to explain that out of hospital births are just as safe, if not safer, as hospital births. I wish someone would have told me my choices were not the best. I wish someone would have been brutally honest with me. Sure, it was MY BIRTH…but doesn’t every mom want what is best for themselves and their babies? Don’t we all as mothers want to give our children the best start possible?
Birth is an internal process that is easily disturbed by unnecessary interventions. According to midwife Ina May Gaskin, “sphincters are shy”.
A woman’s dilated cervix can easily close in the presence of disruptive people or actions (cervical reversal). In a normal birth, vaginal exams and other handlings of the perineum during labor are interventions that can interfere with the natural birthing process.
At any other time in our lives, our vagina is considered "private". During birth a woman is told to lay back, open her legs and allow her body to be explored by strangers. A laboring woman loses her dignity, privacy and trust in herself in the hands of the people that she has hired to assist her in this sacred moment.Read More