My Doula Journey: Birth #2, Part 2

The 5:45 am drive to the hospital was surreal. The city (Birmingham, AL...a noticeably dangerous place to give birth) was quiet and still on a chilly Saturday morning in February. The sun was just beginning to light the downtown landscape in pinks and oranges. We drove quietly; my husband, still groggy from a half-night’s sleep, and me, feeling listless, defeated. Contractions were about 5 minutes apart and I silently breathed through them as he pulled into the valet and let me out to sit in the waiting area...

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The Fourth Trimester: Caring For The New Mom

In the birth world, we like to call the first 3 months or so after a birth, The Fourth Trimester. This term signifies that in many ways, life is still not back to normal for the new mom. Before the baby turns 3-months-old, he/she is still very clumsy, delicate, and wholly dependent on people taking care of them. Likewise, the mother’s body is recovering from the physical, mental, and emotional demands of childbirth while in a heightened state of fatigue. What can we do as friends, family, and doulas to come alongside and care for these new moms in our lives?...

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Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders: A Personal Story

I am a birth doula with first-hand experience in Postpartum Depression (PPD), Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), and ongoing bouts of anxiety. With every family I serve, I seek to stress the importance of learning how to recognize the signs of depression and other Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders (PMADs). Once thought of as an extreme case of the “baby blues,” we now know that Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders affect at least 1 in 7 pregnant women. Women with clinical depression and/or anxiety during pregnancy or the year following childbirth account for a much larger portion of society than just a seldom “extreme case.” ...

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