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Benefits Of Hiring A Birth Doula

Posted by Live Love Mom on January 14, 2021 at 8:05 AM Comments comments (0)

by: Rev Dr. Stéphanie McEndree





You've read one of our previos posts which lists what a doula is, and frequently asked questions. But, do you know exactly what the benefits of having a birth doula are? Well, you're about to! Adding a doula to your birth team is a decision you will never regret, and will keep reaping the benefits for the rest of your life. Here's why!


The statistics don't lie. According to evidence-based research, people who hire doulas have:

 

- A 28% less chance of having a c-section

 

- Are 40% less likely to need pitocin to speed labor

 

- Are 60% less likely to use an epidural

 

- Reduced amount of anesthesia and for how long it's used

 

- Reduction of the use of any type of pain medication

 

Higher APGAR scores in newborns

 

- Woman report being more calm and relaxed during the birth

 

- Women report a more positive birthing experience

 

- Fewer births need forceps or vacuum extraction


- Fewer cases of fetal distress


 

How exactly are all of these benefits possible? Here's how a doula does it.

 

Doulas offer informational, physical and emotional support. They offer prenatal classes while you're pregnant for you and your partner and teach you exactly how your body, pregnancy and birth works. Doulas also physically support you by providing acupressure, massage, and more for pain relief. They also offer emotional support as they encourage you and empower you to make your own decisions and cheer you on through your labor and birth.

 

They can help you make your birth plan and choose what's right for you. They explain every procedure possible and what to plan for if things go unexpected. They will help you write your birth plan and support you in whatever choices you make and they will never judge you. If you're giving birth at a birth center or hospital, they also help you make a list of things you will need to pack for the big day. 

 

They can help your partner figure out what to do during the birth. Some partners are like deer in headlights and have no idea what to do when they see their partner in labor. Your doula will offer various options for your partner to help you during the birth. You will also be able to express what you would like your partner to do, such as show you affection, catch the baby, or cut the umbillical cord, and everything in between. Your doula also works with your partner to meet your needs. They can take turns feeding you ice chips and putting a cold compress on your head or changing the bath water, massage you, and anything else.

 

They are also called birth coaches and are great for encouragement. They are your own personal cheerleaders. They will remind you that you can do this, and empower you to assert your rights and preferences. They will give you strength when you need it and be someone to lean on when neccessary. They will also usher people out of the room that you have not agreed to be in there, so you can rest assured your nosy neighbors won't be allowed to enter your sacred space if you don't want them to! They're like a night light, they watch over you and ensure that you're well taken care of.

 

They help the entire family adjust to their new roles. You only have nine months to wrap your head around the fact that you will become parents. A doula helps you prepare for everything, even if it's just making a list of baby items you will need. They can also offer advice to your loved ones on how they can best support you during and after your pregnancy. They can encourage you to maintain a routine once the baby is born and teach you how to breastfeed or bottle-feed, whichever you choose.

 

Doulas are certified and undergo training so they know what they're doing. They have experience and know how this works, and most of them are parents themselves. Whether they are fresh out of school or have decades of work behind them, each doula is full of knowledge and is excited to help you and your family. They want to give you the best experience of your life and give you space after the birth to bond with your baby and to be a family. 


So what are you waiting for? Hire one today!

 

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What Is A Doula?

Posted by Live Love Mom on December 18, 2020 at 8:30 AM Comments comments (0)

by: Rev Dr. Stéphanie McEndree




What is a doula?


A doula is someone trained in pregnancy, childbirth, postpartum and breastfeeding who is there to provide support (informational, emotional and physical) to the mother throughout the birth process.

 

A doula is a woman who provides support to the mother and her partner or single mother that is unconditional. She will listen, and not judge, she is there to help empower you to make the right decisions that are best for you and your baby. A doula is a special part of your incredible journey of birth, doulas create a bond of trust, comfort, knowledge and positive encouragement. A doula is someone that is consistently with you throughout your entire labour, the relationship between you is a bond held together by sincere compassion and trust. A doula has experience recognizing cues, sounds, and facial expressions and is able to respond with the appropriate comfort encouragement.

 

Doulas generally hold consultations in your home or where you are most comfortable. She helps to remind your partner or support person the tools they learned in prenatal classes and doula consultations.

 

What does the word “doula” mean?


The word “doula” comes from ancient Greek meaning ‘woman caregiver or servant’. Throughout history women have supported other women in their community during the childbirth process, which typically took place at home. Today, professional birth doulas take on this role when mothers are looking for someone to provide the emotional and physical support they need during their birth experience.

 

Are doulas accepted in hospitals?

 

Doulas have been working in hospitals for many years and doulas have been cultivating positive relationships with staff at the hospital. Hospitals recognize us as health practitioners. Nurses are often very happy to see a doula since this can mean the client is well educated on birth matters and she has extra support in the delivery and postpartum room.

 

Do I need a doula if I have a midwife or I am having a home birth?

 

A midwife has a very different role then a doula. A midwife is your primary care provider she will take care of all your medical needs and has huge responsibilities just as an Obstetrcian does. Her time is spent monitoring the baby, and charting your labour, she is responsible for the health and well being of you and your baby.

 

Doulas will be there for you often sooner then your midwife to help you through your labour providing labour tools such as massage, breathing techniques, acupressure, doulas will never leave your side unless for a washroom break. A doula is consistent in her care for you and your partner.

 

If I have a doula, will my husband/partner still be able to participate in the birth?

 

Absolutely! The doula provides support to both the mother and her partner. She ensures the partner plays a key role in the process, to the extent he/she is comfortable.

 

What happens if I end up having a cesarean section?

 

Advocacy is extremely important whether it’s a c-section or vaginal delivery. Doulas sometimes are allowed in the operating room for support. When things are moving quickly we can help you to gain perspective of the situation and help to slow things down and take the “emergency” out of a non-emergency situation. Doulas are there to help remind the partners, doctors and nurses of your birth wishes and help to keep the mother calm and relaxed.

 

Doulas help to facilitate skin to skin after a c-section. This is very important for breastfeeding, bonding, temperature and blood sugar balancing for the baby.

 

Does a doula replace my nurse? doctor? midwife?

 

No. Doulas do not replace any medical personnel. Doulas do not perform any medical tests or procedures such as taking blood pressure, temperature, monitoring fetal heart rate, etc. Their role is to provide comfort and support and to make sure the requests of the mother are being met. She can also help with communication between the family and the medical staff. A doula does not make decisions for you, but can assist with making your needs clear to the medical staff.

 

What are the benefits of a birth doula?


Research has shown that when a birth doula is present, labour tends to be shorter and with fewer complications. Women who use doulas report having more positive feelings about their childbirth experience. Doula assisted births have a reduced need for pitocin to induce labour or any other delivery assistance, such as forceps or vacuum. There is also a reduction in the request for pain medications, epidurals and cesareans when a birth doula is used.

 

Are doulas licensed?


Most doulas are trained and certified by recognized organizations and attend a program. Be sure you are hiring a certified birth doula by asking for their certification. Some organizations that provide certification in Canada are: CAPPA, CBI, DONA, ICEA, and Birth Arts International.

 

How do I find a doula?

 

Any of the above organizations have a search page to locate a doula in your area. When you find some prospects (they are available around your due date), you should meet with each of them and bring along a list of questions. It is important to meet a prospective birth doula in person to make sure you are compatible. Here are some sample questions which should assist you in making your final decision.



What To Put In Your Hospital Bag

Posted by Live Love Mom on April 14, 2020 at 7:35 AM Comments comments (5)

by: Stephanie McEndree



As a mother of two, I know a thing or two about packing a hospital bag, or even a bag for a birth center. It's good to have everything on hand when you're leaving your home to give birth. Pack the comforts of your own home. You can pack up to three days worth of items for a vaginal birth, and about five to seven days worth for a c-section. Here are the essential items I brought with me.

  1. Diapers
  2. Bottles and formula if formula feeding
  3. Nursing bra if breastfeeding
  4. Nipple cream if breastfeeding
  5. Breast pump if breastfeeding
  6. Breast pads if breastfeeding
  7. At least 3 baby outfits per day you'll be away from home; 2 day outfits and pyjamas
  8. 6 Recieving blankets, or 2 per day
  9. 3 Warm blankets, or 1 per day
  10. 3 pairs of socks, or 1 per day
  11. 3 pairs of mittens, or 1 per day
  12. Car seat
  13. 3 Hats or 1 per day
  14. 3 Changes of clothes for mom or 1 per day
  15. Chap stick for mom
  16. Granola bars or other snacking items
  17. Juice bottles or water bottles to stay hydrated
  18. Warm socks for mom
  19. Snacks for dad 
  20. Changes of clothes for dad, 1 per day
  21. Reading materials for dad
  22. Toothbrush & toothpaste for each parent
  23. Camera
  24. Mobile phones
  25. Phone chargers
  26. Camera chargers
  27. Hair brush
  28. Deoderant
  29. Travel-sized shampoo, body wash and conditioner bottles
  30. Winter coats if it's winter
  31. Burp cloths
  32. Old underwear
  33. Adult diapers or maxi overnight postpartum pads
  34. Q-tips
  35. Nail file
  36. iPod for music
  37. Mints for a sugar boost and to freshen breath
  38. Tennis ball for massaging the mom's back
  39. Pyjamas for the parents
  40. Slippers for the parents
  41. Birth plan
  42. Makeup to make you feel better

Can you think of anything else you brought along that helped you? Comment below!

I Got Pregnant On The First Try With These Tips

Posted by Live Love Mom on April 7, 2020 at 9:00 AM Comments comments (0)

by: Stephanie McEndree


Getting pregnant can take a young, healthy couple up to twleve months. But who wants to wait that long? Here are the tips I used to get pregnant on the first try, not once but twice!


Chart your cycle. There are plenty of free charting websites out there. Personally, I am partial to fertility friend. Record the first day of your period and you will recieve a fertility estimate of the days which you are the most fertile. It will even predict your ovulation day. This way, you know which days you should be having sex to maximize your chances. You should have sex the day before and the day of ovulation.


Use ovulation predictor kits. Never use first morning urine, however, as LH is synthesized in the morning. By peeing on these sticks, the lines will let you know whether you are ovulating or not. If the control line is darker than the test line, then you have not ovulated yet. If the test line is darker than the control line, then you are ovulating and it's time to get busy!


Take prenatal vitamins. You should take these three months before you even start trying to get pregnant. These vitamins prevent neural tube defects, and the folic acid boosts fertility. If you take certain SSRIs, be sure to take 4mg extra of folic acid as well. Be sure to check with your doctor first.


Don't spit. It can be tempting to use lube, water, or even spit as lubricant. Saliva kills sperm, so it's better to avoid using saliva as lube. If you want to have oral sex, wash thoroughly after with soap and water to avoid the sperm dying. If you require lots of foreplay to self-lubricate naturally, I highly suggest lots of kissing and manual stimulation.


Lay still. After the deed is done, put a pillow under your hips and lay still for at least 5 minutes. This gives ample time for the sperm to swim up the cervix and to your waiting egg. Scientifically, it hasn't been proven that more than 5 minutes works, so you can go ahead and get up after 5 minutes.


 

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How To Get Through The Two Weeks Wait

Posted by Live Love Mom on April 3, 2020 at 11:05 AM Comments comments (0)

by: Stephanie McEndree



For couples who are trying to concieve, it can be hard to pass the time during the two weeks wait. The two weeks wait is, for women with regular cycles, the period of time between ovulation and a missed period. This is often two weeks long, and goes by very slowly. The urge to take a pregnancy test too early is overwhelming for many couples. Here are some tips to take your mind off of it and to keep busy.


Keep busy. This is the number one way to keep testing off of your mind. It's important to wait until those 14 days have passed by to make sure a positive would show up on the test if you were pregnant. Keeping busy is the #1 way to keep you occupied.


Do chores. There are things to be done around the house all the time. Whether it's cooking, baking or cleaning. It's springtime, so it's time for a nice deep clean. You can also take this time to do some yard work. Prune trees, pick weeds, and prepare your flower beds and garden for the spring. During all times of the year you can shovel snow, rake leaves, mow the lawn, cut down dead trees, and more. 


Have a hobby. Whether you already have one or not, now is time to start doing it. What do you like to do in your free time, and as a pasttime? Some examples can be scrapbooking, crocheting, writing, photography, gaming, or gardening.


Practice self-care. Take a hot bubble bath, go out for a spa day, or indulge in some pampering. Paint your nails or have them done, put on a face mask, brew your favorite coffee or tea, watch your favorite movies or tv shows. Even as simple as using your favorite body wash that smells great can lift your mood. Put on makeup and dress up if that makes you feel great.


Spend time with family. Have family over and have a game night, or have a homecooked meal together. Spending time with your family strengthens ties and gives you the support you need. Catch up on your lives, chat about current events, or talk about the latest book you've read. 


Spend time with friends. Go out together and hit the town. Go dancing, go out for a drink, or go shopping together. You can also combine this with self-care and have a day of pampering at the salon together. 


Have a date night. Go out to see a movie, or go out to eat at a restaurant. Reconnect together as a couple and remind yourselves what it's all about. Do something romantic, have a fondue night at home with some candles and flowers.


 

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To Those Who Struggle With Infertility: I See You

Posted by Live Love Mom on March 22, 2020 at 1:20 AM Comments comments (0)

by: Stephanie McEndree




The months, years of trying to concieve. The pile of negative pregnancy tests, the negative ovulation tests, the hormones, the shots, the lifestyle changes, the sperm tests, the IUI, the IVF, or all of the above. I see you.


I see the heartache in your eyes. I see you gazing longingly at children and babies. I see the emptiness you feel when you're asked if you have any children. I see the discomfort you feel when your family tells you to have some children. You are not alone.


Millions of men and women around the globe deal with infertility. It's a daily struggle. There are support groups out there for those who want it. You don't deserve to be questioned like that, by anyone. Feel free to distance yourself from those who make you feel uncomfortable about it.


Stay close to those you love and who support you. Indulge in some self-care. Be sure to take care of yourself. This journey isn't for the weak. You can do this.


To those who want their baby more than anything; you are warriors. You are strong. You are angels. You deserve to be parents, and a baby would be lucky to have you to call mom or dad. It's okay to take a break or to stop if you need to. It's okay to keep going. Do what is best for you and your family. Just remember, you are amazing. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise.


 

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