Dealing with Mom Guilt | Guest Blog Post

mom guilt jax, Fl

Dealing with Mom Guilt

I dealt with mom guilt for a good 2 years after my son was born. I had to return to work very early on. It wasn’t a choice I had at that time. I questioned myself as a mom…a lot. It was hard. Hard on top of it already being hard with having a baby (my first!) and being a parent in this crazy world we live in.

Whether it’s your 1st baby or 4th you never know how things are going to go.

You can plan as much as possible, but frankly, between the baby and your body, things are going to just happen. What happened with your first may be completely different from your second and so on. No matter your situation, a new baby changes the dynamics. There is a level of adjustment no matter what. 

I think mom guilt is something that almost comes with the territory of being a parent in 2019.

We feel pressure coming at us from all angles. We are bombarded with messages as moms. Messages about where and how you should plan to deliver your baby. Is a birthing center better than the hospital? Should you have the baby at home? Then there’s breast feeding and the pressure to make it work because “breast is best.” There are opinions about every stage babies experience. 

If you are a working mama, you may experience this dreaded mom guilt from being away from your baby. Are you doing the right thing? Is this going to affect my baby negatively? Am I being a bad mom? On top of the stress of going back to work and having a new baby, emotions like guilt can be super charged.

If you are a stay-at-home mama, you may question if you’re doing enough. Should you be working outside the home? You may question your sanity daily. You may question your identity as a woman as you pour out yourself every day so your little ones can thrive. 

The expectations are crazy unrealistic for parents these days.

It doesn’t really help that with all the technology available, we see what other parents are doing from all over the world. First birthday parties are a great example. Some of us put SO much pressure on ourselves to throw an amazing party for someone who won’t even remember one second of it.

If any of this resonates with you, hang in there mama. Here’s a few tips to deal with the guilt.

  1. Try to be more aware of the fact that you are having these thoughts that are making you feel guilty. You can’t change something if you don’t know it’s happening.
  2. Write those guilty thoughts down. It can be in a journal, notebook, or even the notes section on your phone.
  3. Reframe them to something positive. If you wrote the thought down, below it, re-write the statement into a more positive one. You can also do this in your head or out loud if that makes more sense for you. An example is if you wrote down, “I’m not a good mom” then you can re-write it to say something like “I’m the right mom for my kids and I’m doing the very best I can” or “there’s no perfect parent, I’m doing a great job.” Choose words that make sense for you.
  4. In addition to reframing the guilty thoughts, I think it’s super helpful to have a quote, scripture, or mantra that is meaningful for you. That mantra or statement can even be based on what you wrote above in #3. I like keeping it short and simple. For example, telling yourself, “I’m doing a great job as a mama” is a great way to show yourself love. Repeat your positive statement as often as needed. Speak to yourself with the same kindness and love you do your children. 

Guilt is just one of the many emotions we feel as moms.

Society has set a bar for parenting that no one can realistically achieve. Listen mama, you set your own standard for the parent you want to be. Do what feels right for you and your family. Be consistent with speaking gentleness and kindness to yourself. 

Authored by: Maria Inoa

Maria Inoa is a licensed clinical social worker and the owner of Full Potential Counseling. With over 12 years of experience, she specializes in working with women on building healthier relationships with themselves and others. She strongly believes that women are warriors and that every woman has worth, significance, and purpose. Maria provides in-person sessions at her office in the Ortega area as well as online sessions for the busy woman.

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

Pregnancy, Birth, and Parenting Affirmations

Pregnancy, Birth, and Parenting Affirmations jax placenta

Pregnancy, Birth, and Parenting Affirmations

Pregnancy, birth, and parenting affirmations are one way to stay positive and feel more grounded and centered. October is the perfect month to begin a daily affirmation routine and we are going to help you get started!

The best news is you’ve already seen and used some affirmations in your everyday life. Think about those positive memes you read on social media sites and posters you see in the conference rooms, those are affirmations!

Pregnancy, Birth, and Parenting Jacksonville, Placenta

Pregnancy will test your limits in every way.

In fact, pregnancy is a really great time to start a daily affirmations routine because it helps you become more positive-minded and relaxed before your upcoming birth! Being the best parent for your child begins with feeling good each day. Starting now in pregnancy will give you more time to practice before your baby is born and improves your chances of continuing your practice once your baby has made their arrival.

The last few weeks of pregnancy presents with its own set of unique challenges.

Your belly seems to bump into everything, you have to pee at least a hundred times a day, and two-hundred times at night. You’re not sleeping well and your feet hurt. It seems likely your baby can’t get here fast enough and you know this because every single person keeps asking, “Have you had that baby yet?”

During labor and birth you will do best of you are relaxed and at peace.

Affirmations are designed to do just that! There are very few times in your life when you’ll birth a baby. No matter how or where you are choosing or need to birth you’ll look back and remember the details of the day for the rest of your life. How you felt and how you were treated will matter. Creating a set of personalized affirmation cards that you really connect with to use through labor and birth is on my list of “Top 3 Must Haves For Birth”. Following right behind hiring a great doula, and taking an excellent birthing class! You, your partner, and your doula can utilize these cards in labor. Not only to help you directly, but to help yhem feel more grounded, confident, and calm indirectly influencing all who are in your birth space!

There is no harder or more rewarding job in the World than parenting!

Being a parent is not for the faint, you will be tested on every level and pushed beyond what you ever thought possible. From day #1 your life is turned upside down in a good, but crazy way. From one age and stage to the next, children change so quickly.

Affirmations help you connect with your inner self. They can help ground you and refocus you in times of stress. Taking time to practice and repeat affirmations will help you be the very best you can be for yourself and your family!

Be The Best You Can Be in Pregnancy, Birth, and Parenting With Two Rules for Daily Practice:

Intention

  • Set a reminder on your phone.
  • Practice daily for a minimum of 20 minutes.
  • Make the most of your time. It allows you to be the best you that you can be.
  • Create a space as a visual commitment.
  • You have to believe what you want to achieve. When beginning your practice choose affirmations that you connect with and believe in.

Attention

  • Silence your phone
  • Set an alarm for 20 minutes and do not think about the time while practicing.
  • Practice in a way that allows you to get the most of your time. You may only use one affirmation for 20 minutes or you may focus on several.
  • Completely submerge yourself while you’re practicing.

Each day in the month of October First Coast Doulas is sharing affirmations to our Instagram account making it easy for our followers to begin or add to their daily practice! Begin today with the affirmations in the attached picture, “I am stronger than my fears!” Follow us on Instagram @ fcdoulas

An Alligator, Gorilla, and A Coward Walked Into A Bar

An Alligator, Gorilla, and A Coward Walked Into A Bar

An Alligator, Gorilla, and A Coward Walked Into A Bar

An Alligator, Gorilla, and A Coward Walked Into A Bar

While the tragic events that have happened recently are no joke, the way many are responding is. What kind of people judge others on their parenting skills and for the love they have for another human being? Since when has judgement trumped love and compassion? What good can come from throwing stones, name calling, and finger pointing?

We have no right to judge. Have we forgotten that we are not perfect, that we make mistakes, every damn one of us? You are an imperfect person, we are all imperfect people!

What nightmare are we living here?

We are humans, but we’ve become apex predators, more violent than any wild animal. This is our reality and it’s not good at all. The animals are being animals. The children free-spirited, fearless, and learning through play. Our children play, explore, and are curious!

Most people love their children, even those facing drug addiction and debilitating mental disorders. Majority of the time they do not want harm to come to their children.

We have a responsibility to our children. Physical, emotional, and intellectual well-being. Sometimes that is holding their hand every step of the way and other times it means letting go and being there, close by when they ask or need for our help. Have you survived teen years yet?!

We have marriages, mortgage payments, other children, jobs, sick or dying loved ones, and ourselves to care for too!

Meanwhile we parent with life in motion, while juggling work, while balancing life!

You take a quick phone call quick while they play in the tub.

You engage in conversation about the big game last night with another father at the park while you kids disappear from your direct line of sight for a few chaotic minutes.

You let your baby keep that blankie with them as they finally fall asleep on their tummy after hours and hours of crying with no sleep. You dare not risk waking him.

You allow an older, more responsible sibling to take your youngest to the potty who can’t hold it at a restaurant while you deal with your infant who just projectile vomited in the car seat.

You allow your child to run around with a lollipop so they will stop screaming so you can have five damn minutes to gather your thoughts after getting the news your mother has cancer.

You come out of the bathroom to find your toddler has learned operate the child locks and has bleach in her hand or how to get out on the back patio near the pool which he could easily have fell into.

These are situations where accidents could have happened, and they have happened.

Most of us have had a baby fall from a bed. Could we have done more? Maybe! Are kids going to be kids? Yes! Are parents going to make mistakes? Oh hell yes we do, don’t insert “but” here. No buts! Accidents do happen!

Your child could have been these children, you could have been those parents, we all could have been. So please, stop! Stop the judgement and hate, choose love!

Humans have become more predatorily than wild animals. More deaths occur in our country every year than all accidental deaths by animals combine.

So an alligator, gorilla, and a coward walked into a bar and all hell broke loose. This animal disguised as a person took the hate and anger he had for himself and projected it onto others. He killed so many for no reason other than hate. What he did was heartless and senseless, but prepare to see more of this hate if we do not decide to change.

It starts with you, it starts with me. It starts with stopping!

We are all mirrors! What we say, do, and project onto others is a direct reflection of how we feel about ourselves. Are your words kind and compassionate or full of hate and judgement?

I know you’ve heard these: sometimes less is more, those who live in glasses houses shouldn’t throw stones, and two wrongs don’t make a right. We are responsible for our actions, our words, and our thoughts. Perhaps we judge less and love more!

Feel, think, process… then respond!

Hate breeds hate. Love changes things! Choose love!

 

Our colleagues at Hampton Roads Doulas also wrote a fantastic blog. Please go over and show them some love too!

First Coast Placenta Services, What’s That About?!

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First Coast Doulas has expanded!

Our professionalism, safe practices, and compassion make us extraordinary! People, including healthcare providers love the way we’re providing placenta encapsulation. This part of First Coast Doulas has grown so much so that we’ve decided to branch into First Coast Placenta! We unveiled at The Prego Expo in Jax. this past Sunday!

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Have you ever heard of placenta encapsulation?

Yes? No? Well, let me tell you all about it!

After birthing your baby you will also birth your placenta. The placenta is the life sustaining element between yourself and your baby. Many women give very little thought, if any to their placenta. It’s not uncommon to think back on your birth and wonder how you didn’t see it, since after all you birthed it.

Your placenta is discarded as medical waste, used in cosmetic products, and even used in stem cell research. OR it can be used to nourish the mother after birth. Full of nutrients it’s made perfectly by you, for you!

Bizarre I know!

Not only is it not gross or weird at all, but it also makes complete sense if you really think about it!

In very simple terms placenta encapsulation is a process which involves making an all natural supplement from one’s own placenta. The placenta is handled respectfully, and in a safe manner, dried, ground into a powder, and put into capsules. The placenta capsules are made for the woman who grew it, not anyone else. Your capsules last approximately six weeks and after that, if you had a tincture made you can use that to extend the benefits!

PLACENTA SERVICES placenta capsules jacksonville, florida

Benefits Include:

  • lowering the risk or symptoms of postpartum depression and anxiety
  • helps boost your milk supply
  • reduces bleeding and helps your body heal faster
  • #1 reported benefit- Energy

How is First Coast Placenta doing things differently?!

First Coast Placenta not only follows the strictest guidelines and highest standards, is dual trained and certified, and upholds our ethical responsibilities, but we also provide an added layer of protection.

First Coast Placenta’s No Doubt Policy guarantees and that the placenta your ingesting (taking into your body by mouth) is yours and noone else’s.

Our clients trust us to handle their placenta with great care, to honor their placenta, and to stay up to date on new information as it becomes available, but we’re the only ones in Jacksonville that can guarantee the placenta our clients ingest is their own because our clients remain in possession of their placenta at all times, every time.

Every encapsulation we do happens in the client’s home only, every time.

When we are hired we meet our clients face to face, provide a transport kit, paperwork, and a way to discuss their decision with their provide. Healthcare workers love the way we are providing this and many our trusting us to handle their placenta encapsulation because they love that we set the highest standards in Jacksonville, Florida.

Your birth team will bag and label your placenta and you don’t have to see it at all, unless you want to, in which case you just ask. You, your partner, mother, or other family member takes your placenta home within 24 hours after birth and put it in the fridge. You contact us and we schedule a time to come to your home to put your placenta into capsules!

Yep, in your own home!

REMEMBER- you can be as involved (view or handle your placenta), or as removed (you don’t have to see it at all) from the process as you wish to be.

Our clients love safety, transparency, and how much thought we put into the experience!

We provide this service to first time moms and fifth time moms alike. Most of our clients are moms that have given birth before. They tell us that this time around they would like help healing and feeling better faster than before and they aren’t writing off placenta capsules for sake of the “weird” factor.

First Coast Placenta has taken the weird right out of it!

We tell all of our clients that these are the non-magic, magical pills! You still need to set yourself up for the best fourth trimester possible. Placenta capsules work best in conjunction with taking care of yourself during those first six weeks after birth.

Placenta encapsulation with First Coast Placenta is affordable and starts at just $250 which can be broken into two payments.

First Coast Placenta bringing love, energy, and healing after birth!

Delivery Room Etiquette

Delivery Room Etiquette

Delivery Room Etiquette best doulas in jax

Wedding and delivery room etiquette blogs are becoming more popular for good reason. This blog goes right along with some of the benefits of hiring a doula to support you and your partner while you’re giving birth to your baby. This blog was inspired by the above linked blog!

 

To Rest or Not to Rest

Your doula can give your partner a rest. Your doula actually helps both you and your partner to get sleep and rest that’s beneficial through-out labor. yes, sleep and rest in labor. It looks different at different stages in labor and depending upon the couple’s needs.

Phone Calls or Power Off

Your doula phones home! She can reply to text messages or stay with you while your partner steps away to update family and friends if that is needed. Your mom, mother in law, best friend, and sister all need an update. You don’t have to choose, your doula is happy to help in several ways to support your birth experience!

Paparazzi or Nah

If you opt to not to have a professional photographer join your team in the delivery room your doula is happy to snap the pictures you want and leave off the rest. Sometimes support is holding your hand and helping you remain “in the zone” and sometimes it’s getting pictures using your camera or phone, we have you covered!

Feeling Faint

Doulas are there to support your partner too, our top priority is to support you both in the way that is best for you specifically. That may look like hip squeezes and counter-pressure through a few contractions and getting your partner a cool glass of water and a fan in between.

Complaints or Compliments

Partners bust their ass! They are expected to be and do so much through pregnancy, labor and birth. Hold down the calls and texts, carry the bags, get your drink, hold your leg, stroke your skin, take care of older siblings, and stay awake. All of that with no complaints! They are amazing, but doulas are there so your partner can be an intricate part of the birth experience. With a doula there to support and help lighten the expected load your partner is able to attune to you and be “in the moment”.

T.V. On or Off

Let’s face it, if your partner is a sports fan and it’s on television they may be apt to watch the game or at least the highlights. Perhaps it’s the love of the game, or perhaps it’s just needing a way to release and refocus. Doulas have you covered so mom is not alone when she needs support and you don’t have to feel guilty for stepping away for 5 minutes.

Advocate or Support

The last piece to the “delivery room etiquette” puzzle: no one takes the birthing woman’s voice from her. Her voice is powerful and can be a source empowerment for the mother. Often times people say my doula stopped my doctor from x, y, and z. Doulas have a non-medical scope of practice and we have one job, one very important, underestimated job. Our job is to support! Support, period. That is not to say we can’t help the mother articulate with her own words her wishes and desire. We do not argue with care providers or “make sure” things are done as outlined. We will remind you of your wishes, validate your feelings, and help you find your own words!

Delivery room etiquette can be easily achieved with First Coast Doulas by your side! Our clients love the unique support they receive. Your birth experience is one you will carry with you for a lifetime.  With First Coast Doulas you will gain confidence and feel supported on your path to birth and parenting.

 

Stop Robbing Your Children

Stop Robbing Your Children

As requested by a few of our readers I have decided to write a blog addressing well meaning, but overbearing grandparents. It’s direct, without fluff, but with the intention of helping new families build healthy relationships with those they love and who love them!

 Stop Robbing Your Children

Many woman and men dream of becoming parents, sometimes it’s planned and other times it happens when they least expect it and they’re taken back. Do you remember what it was like to be a brand new parent? To feel vulnerable yet completely over joyed? To feel completely in love, but overwhelmed at the same time? You probably do, but very vaguely.

Becoming a parent is a profound experience!

New parents are fragile, yet they are incredibly strong. They are naive, but fully equipped. They are worthy of their own joys, their own mistakes, and the right to parent as they choose.

New parents need support. They need to hear “You’re doing a great job!” New parents want know you’re there if they need advice or a helping hand, but don’t want your unsolicited advice. Remind them that it get easier. Ask what you can do to help! Bring them a meal. Offer to hold the baby so they can shower. Pick a chore to do while they take in their new love and let the rest of the world fade away if even for just a short time.

Don’t remind them of the places they fall short, we all fall short. Build them up and let them know when you see them shining, even if it’s hard to do. Just do it!

New parents need to know that they are enough, because the truth is, they are!

At one time you were new parents, you didn’t know what you didn’t know and guess what? Your kids survived you! Sure, if you knew then what you know now you would have done some things differently, but that’s the beauty of it. There is no black and white, right or wrong in parenting!

One way isn’t better than another, it’s all just perspective.

With all due respect, grandparents, stop robbing from your children the joys and woes of parenting.

Set up some boundaries for yourself and stop over stepping boundaries your children have established. One example of this is how the baby is fed. Their choices for feeding their infant or child may be very different than your own choices, for different reasons. Car seat safety and co-sleeping are other examples.

It is not a parent’s job to justify to you or anyone else why they chose what they chose. But they may share with you why they do. Listen! Listen to what they are telling you! I bet it’s more than the reasons why, but because they feel it’s the best decision for their child, and that is a powerful reason.

One of the beauties of being a grandparent is that you don’t have to understand the whys, or do the research. It’s simple, respect the parent’s choices and enjoy loving your grandchildren.

Stop warning them of all the craziness that’s to come. Please stop telling them what you feel they’re doing wrong or jumping in to do it your way without being asked. Don’t tell them all the things they should and shouldn’t do or know. 

Grandparents, stop robbing your children and grandchildren of a happy fourth trimester, please! The fourth trimester, the trimester most people don’t talk about, is a delicate time in a mother’s life. She is learning her baby and her baby is learning her. There’s opportunity for risks and rewards. Which one do you want to foster? Her chances for postpartum depression and other issues increase when she is stressed due to many factors, one being lack of positive support.

STOP instilling fear in new parents.

Embrace your new role as grandparents and accept that while you are the parents you do not have the right to parent your grandchildren. Why rob these parents of opportunity and time with their infant and children? It’s hard sometimes to stand by and watch quietly as others do things differently, but it’s necessary.

It’s necessary for parents to learn their own lessons, to find their own path.

Not sure if you are one of these grandparents, not sure if you’ve been robbing your children and grandchildren? It doesn’t matter! Start being supportive now! Start by reminding yourself daily, even hourly if needed. Remember no one loves your grandchild more than your child.

There are no better parents for your grandchild than their parents.

Also, remember, just as you parented your children and they looked up to you and learned from your behaviors, your children are still learning from you even if it’s not the lessons you are intending to teach them. Now you have another set of eyes, ears, and a heart following your lead!

Ask what you can do to be supportive and help them!

A grandparent’s love is a special kind of love. Like a mother and a father, there are no replacements for grandparents. Your love for your grandchildren will live on forever through your actions and your words.

Grandparents, you have given the greatest gift to your grandchildren already, you have given them parents who are strong and capable.

What do you want to be remembered for?

Google Is Not Your Doula

Google Is Not Your Doula

google is not your doula best doulas in jax

Google is not your doula! Let’s face it, the internet, a.k.a. the World Wide Web, a.k.a the information super highway is exploding with information, lots of information. Good, bad, and some just downright nasty information! D.I.Y. videos, recipes, home remedies, studies, articles, and diagrams, it’s all spewing all over the place.

Every topic imaginable and even the unimaginable can be found online.

Most of us have a love-hate relationship with the internet. At time there seems to be too much information to sort through online. Understanding what is legit and what is bunk can be daunting, especially when you are pregnant!

Commonly googled questions pregnant moms ask include:

  • I am spotting, could I be having a miscarriage?
  • I am worried about x, y, and z, is this normal? I feel like something is wrong.
  • I feel so tired, why?
  • Will my body know what to do in labor?
  • How will I know when I’m in labor?
  • Which vaccines are best for my baby?
  • Should I circumcise or leave my baby intact?
  • Is massage o.k. during pregnancy?
  • When should I get an epidural?
  • Can I breastfeed with small breasts?

And the list goes on and on!

As a newly pregnant mom, be it the first time or third, there’s a really good chance you’ll google at least one question. Parents can be left feeling unsure and even scared after they google.

Everyone can google, we know that, but Google is not your doula!

One benefit of hiring a First Coast Doulas is not having to sift through the sea of craziness that is the internet!! You’ll love being able to email, text, or call us with questions or concerns anytime day or night 24/7, from the moment you hire us. Your concerns about your pregnancy are our priority and we support, comfort, and guide you through this time in life because when you choose us as your compassionate guides you are getting a Sherpa, a birth Sherpa if you will.

“Asking your husband to be your sole guide through labor is like asking him to lead the way on a climb of Mt Everest. He may be smart and trustworthy, you may love him, but in the Himalayas you’d both be a lot better off with a Sherpa!” – Pam England

A couple of our clients have actually said, “Google is not your doula”, you should blog about that! We love this and decided to share so others are in the know!

First Coast Doulas doesn’t replace your internet. That’s obvious, but we’re in the know and help you make sense of the info overload. We also don’t take over your partner’s role. We support the both of you! We listen to your concerns and help you sort through how you feel about it all.

We do all of this, wait for it… without an agenda!

What does “without an agenda” mean you ask? In simply means judgment -free, we stand for what you stand for along your journey. We do this confidently and with our whole heart because we know this isn’t about us, it’s about you!

Let me dig a little deeper into this.

Many women think that doulas are for those who want a natural birth, that they don’t like vaccines or Pitocin, that they are hippies who love homebirths and avoid obstetricians and hospitals like the plague.

Well, that’s a misconception with First Coast Doulas it’s a misconception! We come to you agenda and judgment-free, guaranteed. It’s one of the reasons we are proud to say that we are the best doulas in Jacksonville, Florida. We say it un-apologetically and with all confidence because we live up to our word.

We don’t force unsolicited advice or studies on you; you want information and a natural birth, great we can help you with that. Do you give no fucks about studies? Great, we support you too!

We can support your without needing you to explain anything, ever!

First Coast Doulas can, if you’d like help you look at risks versus benefits for everything under the sun; homebirth versus hospital, un-medicated versus medicated, moving around in labor, versus just lying still.

In the end though, no matter what you decide you will be supported, not tolerated. You will feel validated, not shunned, because that’s how we roll!

Simplify your life during this pregnancy, hire First Coast Doulas. Remember Google is not your doula and First Coast Doulas supports you!

Menstrual Cup GIVEAWAY for Moms

Menstrual Cup GIVEAWAY for Moms

healthy mom jacksonville placenta

Many of my friends, family members, readers, and clients have asked about menstrual cups. Wait, have you heard of menstrual cups?!

A menstrual cup is a reusable, eco-friendly cup that is worn internally. Yes, in your vagina. Made from medical grade silicone, the cup sits in the vaginal canal and collects, instead of absorbs your menstrual blood. These cups have been around since 1937 when the first was patented. The menstrual cup can be worn during the day, at night, even in the water for 4-12 hours depending on comfort and flow of your period.

Imagine a world where pads and tampons didn’t end up in a landfill. Imagine not having to spend money and time to purchase these items. Many women say they have less cramps and produce less blood when using a menstrual cup compared to tampons. No chemicals (bleach is just one) like those used in tampons and disposable pads, no toxic shock syndrome!

What a difference a menstrual cup could have made if you and I knew about them when we were young ladies beginning our journey into womanhood!

First Coast Doulas knows our healthy mom readers want to try these cups for themselves or know someone who they would love to give them to! So, we are giving away not one, but TWO menstrual cups (size 2) to one lucky winner! These are two brands I personally use and love. My DivaCup stays at my house and my other is a traveler. In addition to the cups I am adding in a little something special for the healthy mom winner!

I want you to experience the magic too!

I know everyone wants one and I’d love to wave my magic wand and play Oprah for a moment. “A menstrual cup for you”, “One for you”, and “You’re all getting a menstrual cup”, I’d announce!

I mean, think of the difference these would make in countries where girls miss out on education because of their periods. I’d love to see young ladies embrace their body’s beauty!

Menstruation is a beautiful thing isn’t it? A PITA sometimes, but still a beautiful gift! Let us help you make it less of a pain and more empowering!

Healthy Mom jax placenta encapsulation

Menstrual Cup GIVEAWAY for Moms contest rules, requirements and details:

  1. Read this blog and comment here on the blog. It can be a question you would like an answer to or just a comment.
  2. Like First Coast Doulas Facebook page and share this Facebook post on your timeline.
  3. Comment on this contest post on our Facebook business page that you have completed steps 1 and 2.
  4. Tag your friends. One tag per comment.

Rules and Winner: Follow all steps!! Winner must live within the United States, shipping address must be within the United States. Contest ends on 3-18-2016. No limit to number of friends you can tag, each comment with a tagged friend is an entry. Winner will be drawn at random and announced on 4-2-2016 on our Facebook page, after verifying entries. Once announced the winner must contact us with their mailing address within 7 days or they void their entry and a new winner will be selected. The winner must have completed step 1-4 above.  The prize will be mailed out to the winner within 7 days of receiving their mailing address. Prize package is valued at $55!

Good luck to everyone who enters the Menstrual Cup GIVEAWAY for Moms!!!

Promises, Promises in Pregnancy and Birth Support

Promises, Promises

Promises Jacksonville Florida

 

Unlike the lyrics from the 1983 song, Promises, Promises says:

You made me promises promises
Knowing I’d believe
Promises promises
You knew you’d never keep

 

You can absolutely can count on First Coast Doulas to keep their promise to you because we do not make unrealistic promises or guarantees, or feed you false hopes, ever!

 

If you’re interviewing doulas, inquiring about support, or see them post in a group on facebook promising things like:

“I can make sure you get that VBAC!”

“If you want an unmedicated birth, we will make that happen.”

“A cesarean isn’t in the cards for you. I know a great provider who will approve your VBAC”

“I can help you turn your OP (malpositioned) baby.”

“There’s lots we can do to “turn” your baby.”

“I’ll make sure you stay off monitors and walk the halls in labor.”

“If you go to Dr. Miracle for your care you’ll get exactly what you want!”

or anything of the like, please know that these promises give people the wrong idea about what doula support is and ultimately what professional doulas do.

 

It’s the truth! Like it or not!

If you are seeking the support of a professional doula, one who knows and stays within a doulas scope of practice and has ethical doula boundaries and you find a doula making these claims?

Run, Forest run!

Keep scrolling!

Smile, nod, and move right on!

All of these ideas will work!

However, if these things sound great to you, I ask you to take a long, hard look at why they sound promising to you?

What is it you are searching for?

Can you make absolute sure you can follow through on those promise to yourself? What about if an emergency arose or you change your mind in the moment?

NO! 

Then I would heavily suggest not hiring someone who is making these unrealistic promises?

There is no glory in false claims, honesty really is the very best policy!

 

Noone can guarantee you a birth outcome aside from guaranteeing that your baby will be born;

full term, before 42 weeks, vaginal, home birth, safe birth, water birth, fast birth, long birth, unmedicated birth, cesarean birth: yes even cesareans can’t be promised, the mom who was scheduled for her cesarean who went into labor early and by the time she realized it was true labor she was pushing a baby out in the hallway of the hospital can attest to that one!

Shoot, even experienced providers can’t promise you these things. They know the things that can change the tides, and are prepared to see you through those changes with the medical support they provide!

One thing that sets First Coast Doulas apart is this;

We know our scope of practice and understand what it means to be a professional doula. In short our role is to support you.

Not to tell you what is best, but to help you work through things so you can figure out what is best for you.

Not to save you, but to support you through whatever comes your way.

Not to protect you, but to help you feel safer.

Not advocate for you, but to help you feel comfortable enough to have your own voice, even if that means you don’t use it.

And, most certainly not to lie to you! That is not a doula’s role, ever!

We support you in your choices, through whatever comes your way, by addressing your questions with honest answers, not false hope!

We can help you work towards your goals for your birth. We’ll listen and help you map out a plan!

We help you prepare in a way that works best for you! We provide comfort to you and your partner in pregnancy, labor, birth, and even into the postpartum year!

We can support you by helping you have valuable conversations with your provider when things arise that are out of our scope of practice.

We can help you create a memorable experience for your birth, one where you feel supported, period!

We won’t sell anyone an unrealistic dream or promises!

 

A common question we get asked is, “Can you help me get my baby in a better position for labor?”

There is no guarantee that anything you do or anyone else does will “turn” baby. Not your doula, not your provider, not a chiropractor!

Could your provider or chiropractor help your baby turn, yes! There are techniques they can use to help turn your baby!

Will they work?

They may or they may not.

Will baby stay turned?

They may or they may not!

Can First Coast Doulas help turn your baby?

The answer to that is yes and no.

First Coast Doulas are knowledgeable and experienced in gentle exercises that can help make you more comfortable and that may help create space for your baby within the uterus, but we make no promises that it will happen, because we can’t, noone can!

We are skilled in helping you cope if positioning causes issues for you!

 

At First Coast Doulas it is against our personal and professional beliefs to guarantee outcomes outside of absolute, unbiased support and compassionate care.

What you see is what you get, you are not fed false hopes, dreams, or unrealistic promises, promises!

 

Phoenix Family Birth, this agency understands the promise we make as professional doulas!