5 Things Everyone Should Know About Cesarean Birth

5 Things Everyone Should Know About Cesarean Birth | Jax FL Birth

5 Things Everyone Should Know About Cesarean Birth

There are 5 things everyone should know about cesarean birth! Cesarean birth just doesn’t get discussed as much as “natural birth” or vaginal birth. If it does, it is often in passing or in such a way as to incite fear! As your friendly, neighborhood doulas, we wanted to take a minute and talk about some aspects of Cesarean birth so that whether you are planning a C-section or not, you at least have a little more information on them, because let’s face it, birth is rarely black and white!

  1. Cesarean birth is birth, but it’s also major abdominal surgery

First and foremost, Cesarean birth is unequivocally birth. There is no “right” way to birth. That said, it is also major abdominal surgery. As such, the recovery can be fairly difficult for the majority of the population.  The body needs more time and more gentleness as it recovers from surgical birth (ß—see, surgery and birth!). Just think: the doctor has to cut through multiple layers to get to the prize! That is no easy feat and your body knows it. So, please be gentle with yourself for at least six weeks following B-day!

  1. It could take all day

If you are looking forward to cesarean birth because you are happy to schedule your baby’s birthday and you are arranging it to coincide with visits from the grandparents, this may be a little disappointing.  Yep, that 9:00 AM appointment could actually turn into a 9:00 PM birth. C-sections don’t guarantee that you’ll get to adhere to the itinerary! Emergencies happen all the time which means that your non-emergent birth time could get repeatedly pushed back depending on the hospital’s load and facilities. It isn’t likely, but it does happen often enough that it’s worth being aware.

  1. It can be just as scary

This doesn’t apply to everyone (I mean, really, when do birth scenarios ever apply across the board?), but Cesareans can induce fear and panic even in the coolest cucumber. So while you may enjoy the feeling of control that C-sections provide, you may also notice yourself shaking and trembling when the doctors explain the procedure or when you enter the stark room. This is normal. See point #1!

  1. You will feel

Yep. Even with the anesthesia, you actually will still feel! Before you panic, read on.  As weird as it is, most people report that they were not completely numb; however, the sensations were not painful. You will most likely feel the pressure and the pulling as the surgeon works, but it doesn’t hurt, even if it is unsettling.   This could partly be due to the fact that we can see what it is going on (partially) and therefore our brain expects something, so we perceive the sensations and partly because the epidural and spinal do not always completely block proprioception.

  1. You still need support

A good portion of people think that a C-section is the “easy way out”. Not only is this patently false, it is dismissive to those people who know that it’s false!  We often hear from people who’ve had Cesareans that they were so surprised that it wasn’t easy at all and they didn’t count on needing validation, emotional support, and practical help from outside their close family and friends. As a matter of fact, they felt relieved when they found out that C-sections are just as deserving and demanding of birth and postpartum help as vaginal births are. So, ensure you line up the perfect support team so that you feel at ease during and after the birth. See points #1, #2, #3, and #4

As usual, if you have further questions or would like to add a point to this list, leave it in the comments! The Jacksonville Baby Company and its team members support all parenting styles, choices, and needs! If you are planning for a cesarean birth our Cesarean Birth Prep Class is just for you! If you’re hoping for a vaginal birth and to avoid a cesarean birth, but want to be prepared for either, The Confident Birth & Baby Class is just for you! We hope you found these 5 things everyone should know about cesarean birth helpful!

You’re a Rock Star Even if Nobody Tells You

you're a rock star | best doulas in jax florida

You’re a Rock Star Even if Nobody Tells You

We’ve got to get something off our chests.  It’s a secret that shouldn’t be. It’s something that doesn’t, for some reason, get said enough or only gets said when the “right” conditions are met.  And it’s a shame.

You’re a Rock Star! Yes, YOU!

Birthing a baby and parenting said baby until they run your refrigerator out the door, is hard work no matter what. Even for us folk who seem to be floating on cloud 9 in the best breeze, there are days that are just hard. And you’re a rock star for showing up.  Giving birth to this tiny human is also an incredible feat, no matter the mode of delivery.

Society at large seems to place a higher value on certain types of birth though.

We’ve even noticed that the professionals with whom so many new parents place their trust have demonstrated public preference to birth and are biased in what they deem worthy of public merriment. As care providers and professional support persons in a position of authority, this behavior implicitly ascribes a morality to this value and as such, shames different choices and outcomes. And while it may be unintentional, many parents end up feeling like shit about their birth.


“I don’t know why it bothers me so much, but it does. I did all the things. I took an eight week childbirth class, hired a well-known doula, read articles, and I joined a moms group for women who were and had birthed narturally. In the end it was just me, all alone. Noone cheering me on and telling me, ‘You’re a rock star’, or ‘You rocked your birth’ after a 12 hour labor turned cesarean. I was heart broken, it would have just felt good to know others saw how hard I tried. Instead I felt like I let my doula and closest friends down.”


Our birth experiences shape us, whether we like it or not. How we feel as we enter parenthood matters! Words matter! Hearing, “You’re a rockstar” matters, and not hearing it matters too!

When the most popular doctor, midwife, or doula in town always posts and shares the “best” births on their social media platforms, and you notice that they always say, “Congrats to this Rock Star mama who had an non-medicated vaginal birth” but doesn’t mention the rock star parents who labored for hours and chose to pursue relief via pharmaceuticals, or the parent who chose a cesarean birth from the get-go, it hurts.

We get it.

We hear you.

Having a “natural” birth (which is a misnomer, by the way) is definitely something to be proud of and it is worth celebration. No doubt, at all. But choosing an epidural or opting for cesarean birth is an equally valid choice and one that deserves the same frequency and intensity of accolades.

This isn’t simply a matter of target market or ideal patients/clients on the part of the midwives or other birth professionals in regards to their statements/behavior online and off, because

a). not all of their patients/clients want the same things for their birth that the provider wants

b.) a provider and/or doula shouldn’t necessarily “want” anything other than a healthy, safe, and happy experience and outcome to begin

c.) they are all held in esteem in the greater health community and because of this, have influence and

d.) even if, by some chance, all their clients/patients did want a completely drug-free/intervention-free, vaginal birth, there will always be some who, for their safety and health, cannot and will not birth as originally intended.

The consequences from feeling like one “failed” at birth are very real and entirely damaging.

Not to mention, it isn’t a test to pass. By saving our “You’re a rock star” for specific people, we are effectively setting people up to believe that birth is a test of their abilities and ultimately, of their parental devotion and/or suitability. By always exclusively referring to these “mamas” (another issue for another day), we do a disservice to all those parents who need and want validation and…shared joy in their hard work.  Because let’s be clear here: non-medicated vaginal birth is hard. Medicated vaginal birth is hard. Cesarean birth is hard. Birth is hard.  So what are we saying?

There is no right or wrong way!

YOU’RE A ROCK STAR. With capital letters.  Unequivocally.  All day, every day!

P.S we recommend surrounding yourself with people who will tell you you’re a rock star without any strings. It doesn’t have to be us-we just want nothing more than your fully knowing your power.

Authored by: Heather Horrell and Elizabeth Luke

Private Childbirth Classes in Jax, FL

private childbirth classes | Jax FL | Best Birth Classes in Jax., FL

Private Childbirth Classes in Jax, FL

Considering private childbirth classes means you’re a dynamic individual!

When preparing for birth it’s much easier to know what you want when you are aware of what is available to you. You need an educator that is as forward-thinking as you are. Someone that can lay out all of your options, knows the ins and outs of the local birthing facilities, and presents the information in a way that allows you to explore what is best for you and your family. That’s exactly what you get with The Jax Baby Company!

When attending The Confident Birth & Baby Class with The Jax Baby Company you can expect to learn about:

  • pregnancy & common ailments
  • the stages of labor & birth
  • comfort measures
  • your rights
  • how to navigate labor in a way that works best for you in the moment
  • the physiological process of birth

You’ll also learn:

  • how to work with your body to feel more comfortable
  • positions that are helpful during birth
  • when those positions are most helpful

What’s better than that?

How about also learning tips and techniques from someone who works intimately with families giving birth and during the first six weeks after birth. Information to prepare you for what you can expect based on your birth choices, and how to care for your postpartum body, are also included.

The private classes we teach are the perfect place to explore how you will define a satisfying birth experience.

We provide you with information on un-medicated vaginal birth, various options for pharmacological pain relief including epidurals, and what to expect if you choose or require a cesarean. All the information is presented in an unbiased and judgement free manner. Regardless of your desires for your birth experience, gathering knowledge of the most common options and variations will help you feel prepared should your plans change along the way.

All of this in the comfort, privacy, and safety of your very own home.

Overall, these amazing classes will help you find what works best for you. You will complete your class feeling prepared with tools to navigate the unpredictability and intensity of your baby’s birth. Using research based information and proven techniques, you can expect to feel safer and less fearful of the birthing process. Are you ready to meet your baby?

Authored by Lacey Park agency owner at Chinook City Doulas, serving families in Calgary!

Delayed Cord Clamping

delayed cord clamping | Birth Classes Jax, FL

Delayed Cord Clamping

Delayed cord clamping is a term that you’ve likely heard of or read about if you are expecting a baby in the near future. At birth babies are attached to their placenta via their umbilical cord. The placenta is attached to the wall of the woman’s uterus. Once the baby is born the cord is clamped. This stops the flow of nutrient rich blood containing iron from the placenta to the baby. When the baby’s cord is clamped matters.

Some of you just thought, “So what’s the research say?” We got you!

The World Health Organization (WHO) says that, “delayed cord clamping (performed approximately 1–3 min after birth) is recommended for all births, while initiating simultaneous essential neonatal care.” Furthermore they say that early cord clamping (less than one minute after birth) is not recommended for pre-term and full-term babies unless they the baby needs to be moved immediately for resuscitation.

I especially love that they also address the fact that keeping the cord unclamped for a 1-3 minute period also helps to prevent and treat postpartum hemorrhage in the birthing woman.

Postpartum hemorrhage (PPH) is defined as a rapid loss of blood after giving birth. PPH can happen anytime immediately following birth up to 6 weeks postpartum. The most common causes of PPH are poor contractions of the uterus, separation of the placenta or pieces of retained placenta, or a tear in the uterus. Some women are at higher risk for PPH. Women birthing more than a singleton baby, are of advanced maternal age, who are birthing via cesarean, and those who have had labor augmented with medication are at greater risk. So, it may be important to you to note that delayed cord clamping can help prevent and treat PPH.

Even more exciting, yesterday the American Congress of Obstetricians andGynecologists (ACOG) released their latest statement and the results show the following benefits:

In preterm infants:

  • improved transitional circulation
  • better establishment of red blood cell volume
  • less need for blood transfusion
  • reduces the incidence of brain hemorrhage
  • reduces the risk of necrotizing enterocolitis (intestinal disease)

For term infants

  • increases hemoglobin levels at birth
  • improves iron stores for several months
  • helps prevent iron deficiency during the first year of life

ACOG also states that in most cases, delayed cord clamping doesn’t interfere with the immediate care the infant receives including the first breath and immediate skin-to-skin contact. Delayed cord clamping alone does not affect whether or not a woman can have her placenta encapsulated. Majority of women who are planning for or who need to have a cesarean birth can also consider delayed cord clamping.

So, if you’re in the midst of creating a birth plan or preference sheet, delayed cord clamping just might be something you want to include. In addition to taking a great childbirth education class be sure to talk with your provider if you have questions and make your wishes known to your support person(s) and your entire birth team.

Fun tid-bit of the day; delayed cord clamping is also known as optimal cord clamping! From us to you, happy birth and parenting! ~Elizabeth Luke

What Do Miss Universe Pageants and Birth Have In Common

What Do Miss Universe Pageants and Birth Have In Common Sometimes?

I want to preface this by saying that First Coast Doulas respects and supports all types of birthing experiences from elected cesarean births to un-medicated home births and everything in between! This blog is written for those who had their hearts set on a (fill in the blank) birth and ended with something other than their heart’s desire.

What Do Miss Universe Pageants and Birth Have In Common

Being center stage waiting for the title of Miss Universe to be announced has to be nerve racking. Your competition has been narrowed way down; you are a finalist! Competition to your left, competition to your right, when it happens…

Steve Harvey announces you’re the winner!!

Then, as fast as you received the crown, it’s taken away in a blink. The wrong winner was crowned! You were Miss Universe for a moment in time.

What do you do?

What any winner does! You hold you head high, smile, and think to yourself, “What in the exact hell just happened?” You were announced the winner of the pageant and then crash, the crown was gone. The crowd stopped cheering; your heart sunk into your stomach. You’ve never felt anything quite like it.

Now, imagine your perfect birth is unfolding just as you planned. It’s really happening you think to yourself! Your partner and birth team are there to support you and keep you and your baby safe.

Sometimes though, things don’t always go as planned. Birth is one of those times. You really just never know!

Everything can change very quickly and you could find yourself thinking, “What in the hell is happening? This isn’t the way it’s supposed to be.” First Coast Doulas is there to help you get answers, know your options, and navigate the changes that are taking place .

Before you know it, you’re left with all of these feelings inside. Feelings you aren’t sure what to do with. You have pain, a beautiful new baby, a partner who just doesn’t understand.

You have people telling you, “No one gets an award for a (fill in the blank) birth. You did the best you could” and, “At least you have a healthy baby.”

What do Miss Universe pageants and birth have in common?

Sometimes we do everything right-we’re set, all is going perfectly. We’re in the home stretch and shit gets real, real quick! Your crown is snatched right off your head and you’re hurt, you’re angry, and sometimes you don’t even know what you feel.

You wonder, “what happens now?”

You are left to piece it all together, all while being a new mother. You have this precious little life depending on you and perhaps more children at home.

Your crown isn’t taken away by not having a (fill in the blank) birth. It’s taken when your choices are taken from you and when people feel like it’s not necessary to allow you to process the vast change that has taken place.

First Coast Doulas allows you that space to be angry, to process without judgement or guilt.

First Coast Doulas understands these feelings and emotions. We know that although you may have this beautiful healthy baby in your arms, you may feel lost or loss. We are here to help you process your birth experience. For better or worse. We listen with open ears and a loving heart who knows your feelings are valid and real.

We’re here when you bring home the crown and when it’s snatched right off your head.

The postpartum support we provide families is a huge part of recovery for the mother and helps the entire family unit bond. Our postpartum support relieves tension that can arise when no one else is understanding what you are going through.

Let First Coast Doulas help you recover your crown!


FC Doulas Postpartum Support;

While we can’t diagnose or treat, (we are not medical professionals), we are trained to identify signs of postpartum blues, postpartum anxiety, postpartum depression, and postpartum psychosis by:

Listening/Processing Birth Experience

Assistance with Breast or Bottle Feeding

Connecting You with Resources As Needed

Assistance with Mobility

Mother-Baby Bonding

Help with Pain Management/Relief

Meal Prep/Cooking

Easy Snack Prep for Mom

Light Housekeeping

Sibling Care



Steve Harvey Announces The WRONG Winner of Miss Universe 2015



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Never Say These 10 Things to A Mom

Never Say These 10 Things to A Mom

never say these 10 things to a mom jacksonville doula

It happens more times than you might realize, a woman’s feelings are invalidated by other people. When a new mom comes away from her miscarriage, stillbirth, live birth, postpartum, or breastfeeding experience feeling sad, disappointed, hurt, or upset, her feelings are anything but satisfying to her.

Regardless of how she feels her feelings are hers!

This blog is not to point to fingers, or place blame, but rather to raise awareness.

Every one of us is likely guilty of invalidating another person’s feelings, unknowingly or otherwise. I know that before I started my journey in birth work I said something to discredit the way another woman felt about her own experience without even realizing I did it. Luckily she was my dear friend and she was able to communicate that what I said made her feel worse. It helped me reevaluate my words.

How many other times had I done this? 

I am sure that like me, most of you are well meaning individuals. Maybe you, like me experienced a moment of awkward silence and in effort to try and make someone feel better you invalidated their feelings because you didn’t know what else to say, it happens.

It’s time we understand that the awkward silence is o.k. That noone feels more about an experience than the person who experienced it.

I compiled a list of the top 1o most invalidating statements. How many have you said, heard someone say, or never even gave a second thought to?

never say these 10 things to a mom jacksonville doula

Never Say These 10 Things to A Mom:

  1. “All that matters is a healthy baby.”

No, that is not all that matters, knock it off! In the big scheme of things of course a healthy baby are what a mom would say is the pinnacle of importance, but a healthy mom; mind, body, and spirit is very important.

  1. “Well when I ____________”

Stop right there! Yes, your experience is important, but this is about her right now, not you, not me, not anyone else. Her experience is unique no matter how similar anyone else’s is. Telling her about yours when she has opened up about her own can be helpful, but can also take what ownership she had over the experience away. Tread lightly.

  1. “There’s no award for having a baby natural birth!”

Wait just a damn minute! Her goal of having an un-medicated birth is something she set for herself, something of great importance to her; otherwise she wouldn’t have set that goal. Her award is achieving the goals she set for reasons she felt the goal was important. By telling her there is no award you are saying the reasons she set the goal are not important.

  1. If anything you says begins with, “you should or shouldn’t” or “at least”, then you are invalidating her feelings and being unsupportive.

Examples: “at least you had a vaginal birth”, “at least you know what it’s like to be pregnant”, “you can always try again”, “at least you knew adoption was the best choice”, “you shouldn’t worry about that”, ” you have other kids that need you”, “you should be grateful you got your homebirth”.

  1. “Why did you give up on breastfeeding?”

Give up? Are you serious right now? The choice to breastfeed or not is very personal. Some women choose to breastfeed for a week, some for a year, and some for 6 years. Just because she doesn’t breastfeed as long as she set out to originally, or doesn’t breastfeed as long as you think she should doesn’t mean that she gave up. Perhaps there were medical reasons, perhaps there were personal ones, perhaps she changed her mind, and it’s ok. and doesn’t mean gave up! Unless she says she gave up, then she did not give up, she shifted gears!

  1. “So, when you going to have another one?”

Seemingly harmless right?! Tell that to the couple who has been trying to conceive and struggling? Is it really anyone else’s business?

  1. “You have no idea what it’s like.”

No, for you she doesn’t. She knows exactly what it’s like for her though and telling someone they have no idea what it’s like is a bit condescending.

  1. “Sometimes things happen in labor that we don’t like, it is what it is.”

Sometimes things happen that we don’t like. Well, of course, that’s a given, that’s life, that she knows, and she doesn’t need to hear that from anyone. What she experienced could have been very traumatic for her, by her definition, not anyone else’s.

  1. “Some babies don’t want to be born vaginally”

Really? How would you know if her baby wanted to be born vaginal or by cesarean? If it were that simple she would know and plan accordingly wouldn’t she?

  1. “There’s always next time”

No, there will never be a next time. Not for this baby, this birth, this moment, or experience. Never again, this is it. There may be more times, but never this time again. Please try and understand this, honor this, at very least respect it.

In the words of my Doula partner, Heather Horrell, perhaps this might be a better way to respond to a person experiencing grief, “I’m sorry your birth/postpartum didn’t go/isn’t going as planned. I know how important that is to you. What are some parts that you feel were/are good? What are some that are bad and you’d like to process? I’m here to listen and help”.

So whether or not she gave birth vaginally, by cesarean, at home or in the hospital her feelings about her experience matter.

Whether she breastfed for a week, a month, a year or never, her feelings about it matter!

If her baby was carried to full term, born prematurely, miscarried before anyone knew she existed, or adopted, her feelings matter, they are important and are valid.

Nothing we say should be anything less than supportive. Sometimes all a mom needs is someone to just listen in silence. Sometimes all she needs is someone to just hold her and say I’m sorry. Sometimes she needs someone to say what you are feeling sucks, but it’s o.k. to feel that way, your feelings are valid!


If My Birth Doesn’t Go As Planned

Have you ever wondered; what if my birth doesn’t go as planned?

if my birth doesn't go as planned

From the moment I saw two lines on that stick I started planning and preparing for the birth I wanted. The last thing I ever thought about was; what if my birth doesn’t go as planned?

We found a great provider, we hired professional Doulas who were knowledgeable and provided continuity of care with placenta encapsulation, and postpartum Doula services which we planned for too. I had the best chiropractic, acupuncturist, and massage therapists around. Our chiropractor even adjusted me in labor.

Months went by and we finished the nursery, researched and bought everything we needed, and we hired a photographer. We met with our Doulas who assisted us in creating an official plan for our birth and also helped us create a contingency plan.

We also decided it was best to take a series of childbirth classes. Our Doulas recommended one based on our goals for our birth, we took it. The classes were incredible, informative, and as much as a class could prepare us for something we had never experienced, it prepared us in every way for labor and birth. I was healthy, baby was healthy, I ate healthy, and attended a great prenatal fitness class, and my pregnancy was textbook perfect. Baby was ready, I was ready, we were all ready!

Then my due date came, and it went.

I stayed in good spirits, but the naysayers began texting, calling, and messaging me. Strangers would put their two cents in and the pressure I felt from well-meaning family and friends was overwhelming in every way. Surely they must know I wanted to meet my baby much more than they did, surely they knew I would announce her birth after I had her!

Labor started on its own.

It began with contractions that increased in intensity, duration, and began to come closer together. Textbook first-time labor. Our Doula recommended we sleep, rest, and get into a groove together through this part, and we knew she was right, we learned about this in our classes. This was early labor.

About six hours passed between the start of labor and us requesting for one of our Doulas to come. She arrived, reassured us, explained things to us, and helped us get things ready as I labored. Several more hours passed, our other Doula arrived, and things began to become more intense, requiring more focus. This was active labor. Our Doulas helped us decide when to call our provider.

Everything progressed as a normal labor for a first time mom would have.

We trusted the process and everyone we hired to be there. Our Doulas encouraged me to eat to keep my energy up, but I still rested a lot during the first twelve hours to conserve energy. I didn’t sleep, but dozed here and there. I stayed hydrated; our Doulas ensured that I had cool water ready. I labored in positions that were favorable, danced with my partner, utilized water therapy, moaned, rocked, utilized the techniques our Doulas had in there toolbox, and did everything to help my cervix soften and open. I listened to my body, welcomed my baby to come, and followed all recommendations made.

About twenty hours after labor began I started feeling like I needed to push, my husband helped me into positions and our Doulas guided us through this. I pushed in every position imaginable for several hours, maybe six or so. Then, I rested again. I talked with my provider and made some decisions and I continued on, doing what I trusted my body to do and pushing and resting in between. Listening to what my provider suggested, our Doulas helping us through the many aspects that goes along with this.

After about 2 hours I reached a point that I didn’t think I could continue laboring with literally no change in the progress I made. I was fully dilated, effaced and baby remained healthy and safe, but with no new downward or outward motion. I was running out of steam. After almost thirty hours of laboring and six hours of pushing with no drugs I needed some relief.

So my husband and I talked with our Doulas and provider and I decided I wanted to get an epidural. I knew the epidural would help me relax enough that I could rest and get some of my energy back to push my baby out. So that is what we did.

Our Doulas knew our desires for our birth, and they kept that in mind, but they also helped us navigate in muddy waters, they supported us completely in our decisions and it was nice not to feel pressure or disappointment from them in any way.

I rested, but didn’t sleep and I pushed again in every position I could.

After another six hours baby and I were still well, but I was worn out. I found more energy after the epidural, somehow. I value my sleep, and take naps any chance I get. How I even make it this long is amazing to me and everyone around me kept saying how strong I was! I couldn’t go on and I didn’t want the birth to turn into an emergency situation. So I knew instinctually what my baby and I needed, a cesarean. We were fully supported in this decision.

In the operating room we were fortunate to have received a clear answer as to why our baby wouldn’t come down, many never find out.  We knew the problem wasn’t something we created and there was nothing we could do to correct it, but we still wondered why.

How do you do everything “right” and still have this happen?

Well, just like many things in life birth is just unpredictable. Life and birth is journey, a progression of things, the ride is unique, it truly is. Our Doulas told us this early on in pregnancy, but no matter how they could have explained it we would have never fully understood this until we walked through it ourselves.

Neither of us could imagine doing this without our Doulas, both of them were incredibly helpful and in so many ways. While we knew the first time how important they were because everyone told us they would be, we now had first-hand experience with our Doulas and it’s impossible for anyone to put into words the importance of hiring a Doula. Our Doulas were a huge help to both me and my husband. Trust me when I tell you, hire professional Doulas, you won’t regret it.

Our provider was terrific, she made sure baby and I were safe, for that I am forever grateful.  I am grateful for modern medicine and machines, I needed them this time. The support from the women in my fitness classes and our childbirth classes couldn’t be replaced. Everything I did and learned humbled me when it came down to delivering our baby.

We don’t regret doing any of these things, they were all things that were important and beneficial to us. Ultimately we’ve chosen to do them again, only a very short seven months later we are pregnant with our second! Only difference, we now know without a doubt that if my birth doesn’t go as planned, it’s okay because we will be fully supported and have set ourselves up for the best birth experience possible again whether un-medicated, medicated, vaginal, or repeat cesarean, it will be just as it was supposed to be.

Paige’s Breastfeeding Journey

In honor of World Breastfeeding Week we thought it would be great for mother’s to share a bit about their breastfeeding journey. As new mothers we all face challenges, sometimes breastfeeding can be challenging. Today I sat down with Paige Schicker who graciously shared her story because she feels sharing her story could help mothers by hearing multiple experiences. So they know they aren’t alone and to show them there are other options if they can’t breastfeed.  She believes the more women know, the better their chances are of succeeding.

Paige is the mother of one sweet 5 month old baby girl (picture below), wife to a hard working and loving husband, owner and local photographer at True Era Photography who specializes in portraits, weddings, and lifestyle photography.

birth in jacksonville


We opened the interview

FC Doulas~ Can you tell us why you wanted to breastfeed?

Paige~ I took a Bradley Method class while I was pregnant and learned a good bit about the benefits of breastfeeding. I also did a lot of research on my own, and knew that I really wanted to give it a try. Breastmilk is the perfect food for baby; I wanted her to have the best start.

FC Doulas~ Before trying to breastfeed did you think it would be easy or hard to breastfeed?

Paige~ I knew breastfeeding wouldn’t be easy. It’s a very natural thing, but it doesn’t always come naturally to mom or even baby.

FC Doulas~ Did you expect challenges?

Paige~ I expected it to take a while to get the hang of, but I had no idea how challenging it could actually be.

FC Doulas~ What challenges did you face?

Paige~ Well, after a traumatizing labor/birth, complete exhaustion from losing 2 full days of sleep and pushing my body to the limits to get my baby out, and then the end result being a cesarean birth anyway (after 38 hours of labor), I don’t think my mind was in the right place. The several hours following her birth are a blur, I don’t even remember the first time I breastfed her, I was so out of it. But after several frustrating attempts, I asked for the lactation consultants at the hospital. Baby would just scream when I tried to latch her, and it was the most excruciating pain. I compared the pain to contractions, that’s how awful it was. I cracked, bled, and dreaded every feeding.

FC Doulas~ How did you overcome those challenges?

Paige~ We tried everything. After two lactation consultants took a look inside her mouth to check for any lip/tongue ties (and giving us the clear), I started to believe it was my fault it wasn’t working. No matter what hold I tried, my baby got extremely frustrated trying to latch, and even once she did she would let go and cry. Recovering from my surgery, trying to catch up on a little bit of sleep, and being well, depressed that my birth didn’t go as I had envisioned, I just couldn’t continue.

Yes, I gave up. I struggled through a lot of guilt within myself for doing so. Two months later, being in a better place mentally and physically, I wanted to try to relactate. A lot of people don’t know this is even possible (I didn’t until someone mentioned it). I had another lactation consultant come by my house to help, and with just one quick look inside baby’s mouth she noticed both a tongue and upper lip tie. Finally, an answer! It wasn’t me. It wasn’t my failure, or my baby’s. It was an issue that was overlooked. Had it not been, would have made all the difference. So I reached out to fellow moms via a wonderful Facebook page called Human Milk 4 Human Babies, and over the last three months have received several generous breastmilk donations!

We wrapped up the interview with;

FC Doulas~ What do you want other moms to know about breastfeeding?

Paige~ It’s ok if you can’t do it! The guilt I went through was horrible. You hear “Breast is best”, and it is, but when you make that decision to stop, it can make you feel like you are depriving your child, or not giving them what they need, that you are a failure, or a bad mom. Don’t think that way. Sometimes you just have to do what’s best for you and your sanity. There are amazing moms out there who are more than willing to donate their breastmilk to other moms in need; it’s such a great option. But even if you switch to formula, or supplement, it’s totally fine! Don’t let anyone shame you. Other than that, if you are having difficulty breastfeeding, absolutely get help! Figuring out the issue right from the start (or very first latch!) can make all the difference!

We hope that Paige’s journey can be an inspiration to all of you, at very least we hope you find solidarity here.

Be sure to like First Coast Doulas and True Era Photography on Facebook and follow us on Instagram @fcdoulas and @trueeraphoto


#worldbreastfeedingweek #liquidgold #doulagit2quit

Safest Placenta Encapsulation on the First Coast, Part 4

This is part 4 of a 4 part blog series discussing Placenta Encapsulation and your safety. The inside scoop.

You decide; mountain or mole hill?

Part 1 found here

Part 2 found here

Part 3 found here

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“I have a quick turnaround time. I want to have it finished and deliver capsules back to mom before they have even left the hospital. I have been known to smuggle placentas out of the hospital” Mountain! Red flag alert!

As a doula with First Coast Doulas we don’t make decisions for another woman, none of our clients rely on us to make decisions for them. Why is this any different?

Our clients are smart, some of the smartest in fact, they know what they want and what they need. If the hospital’s policy where she is birthing says they don’t allow her to take her placenta home until she’s released than this argument is a moot point.

We respect hospital policies, doesn’t have to mean we agree with them, but we do respect policies. Providers trust and respect us for that, as do our clients.

If the hospital allows her to take it shortly after birth then her partner can bring it home, and place it in the fridge. We have clients who’ve given us a key to let ourselves in and lock up when we leave being completely removed from the process and we’ve had partners come to meet us at the house and hang out with us to see the process and take pictures.

“Placenta Encapsulation Specialists don’t normally mix up placentas.” What the hell? Normally? Mountain or molehill? I would hope we all agree here, but apparently we do not; one time is far too many in my book!

“My partner is unsupportive and doesn’t want it in our house.” Molehill! We have clients whose partners don’t want to see the placenta in a raw fresh state, which is understandable. These partners run errands, take older children to the park and to lunch, head back to the hospital to be by their partner’s side, or just catch a nap in the room. We only need the kitchen for up to 2-3 hours each day, the first day is what I call the ick factor day. Day two involves nothing raw or what most consider ick.

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As I advanced in my decision to take a stand for my business, my clients, and ultimately all women who want the right to their placentas I sought out an additional training. I chose Placenta Prep to help me close up some loose ends, to build upon repertoire, and to put it all in place.

I’ve learned that it’s never what happened that matters most. It’s always the mothers perception of what happened that truly matters above all else.

We know, without a doubt that what matters most to women during this highly sensitive and memorable time surrounding their pregnancy, labor, birth and postpartum period is what they perceived happened. How they feel and think about what happened is what is most important to them, not what others tell them happened.

If a mother perceived you to have mixed up her placenta with another, there’s no way that you could prove to her that you didn’t unless she brought it to her own home and you prepared it there. Why even create that doubt when you can eliminate it?

We never want our clients to have wonders, unanswered questions or doubts. The only way for a woman to know without any question or doubt that the capsules she ingests are from her own placenta is if her placenta is transported by her or her appointed representative to her home where the encapsulation process is started and completed there, in her own home, only!

We proudly provide the safest placenta encapsulation on the First Coast.

Q & A with FC Doulas

How do I know it’s my placenta I am ingesting?

When you book placenta encapsulation with FCD you will be given proper handling instruction to ensure your placenta is not only handled, but labelled properly with your information. You, your partner or your appointed representative (mother/father, sister/brother, or best friend) are the only one transporting your placenta to your home, where a (C.I.E.S.) certified independent placenta encapsulation specialist from First Coast Doulas comes to start and complete the encapsulation process. There is no chance your placenta is never mixed up with someone else’s because it is never taken anywhere except from your place of birth to your home.

What if me and my partner don’t want to see the process?

Our clients can be as involved or removed from the process as they would like to be. There is no reason you would be subjected to being involved if you don’t want to, period.

Will it be disruptive to have the C.I.E.S in my home?

Nope, your C.I.E.S. is professional, respectful, and friendly. She is a birth and postpartum doula and has a lot to offer your family while she is there; having that resource available in your home for a few hours each day has been appreciated by clients in the past.

When we arrive to your home to prepare your placenta, you know, without any question, that it is your placenta being prepared. You are right there to tell us where to locate your placenta because you transported and stored it. Even if someone is using a commercial-grade style kitchen at a brick and mortar location, and prepares your placenta there, that does not eliminate all the doubt that it is only your placenta.

Having a postpartum expert in your home, answering questions about not only placentas, but newborns, postpartum care, breastfeeding and so much more the day you arrive home is something we are very excited to offer. The average time our placenta specialists will be in your home is approximately 4 hours. This is 4 hours of an expert available to answer any questions, or if you just like to have someone to talk to, she is there to joyfully chat it up with you!

Is there currently a regulation on placenta encapsulation?

No, there is not currently regulation in the U.S.A, but there is in other countries. It’s up to you, the consumer to do your homework and hire accordingly. In a desire to uphold our own standards and we want to see this service continued to be offered to women in years to come, we only prepare your placenta for you in your own kitchen. This is similar to private chefs who prepare food in their client’s homes. Everything is completed transparently in your home. The clarity in which this happens is very desirable to many.

Some questions to ask;

Can you tell me about the process you use for encapsulating my placenta?

Where is the process completed at?

Do I need to be in there with you when you come to encapsulate my placenta?

What do you use to disinfect and sanitize?

What items do you use that are disposable?

What items are reused?

How long does the process take?

Do you offer anything additional aside from capsules? Can you tell me about those?

What do you need from me?

These are some things to ask, keep following our blog to answers to these questions and more!


If you don’t want to sacrifice safety or professionalism choose smart, choose First Coast Doulas and feel secure and confident!