We live in a world where almost everything has to do with efficiency, speed, and time.
There are studies that show a little less than half of website users will abandon a site if it takes more than 3 seconds to load, and that even a 1 second delay decreases customer satisfaction by about 16%.
Schedules are strict, lateness isn't tolerated. In 7th grade my science teacher taught us "To be early is to be on time, to be on time is to be late, and to be late is not to be".
Multiple day shipping times were too slow, enter two day shipping for a yearly fee. Two day shipping was too slow, enter one-hour local shipping.
Various pizza websites now have trackers so you can see exactly where your pizza is and when it will arrive.
This world of time, schedules, and instant gratification makes for a difficult mentality going into pregnancy, birth, and postpartum. We are so used to getting what we want, when we want it, and it feels uncomfortable and dis-satisfactory to experience otherwise.
Due dates are the most unpredictable day you will ever have written down. Highly inaccurate, only ~5% of women will give birth on their due dates; but in our calendars they are written, and the acceptable amount of lateness clock begins. The longer time goes on, the more uncomfortable everyone feels.
Failure to progress is the number one reason obstetricians give for unplanned c-sections. When women are simply given more time, c-section rates are reduced. Although a small study, it was found recently that even just giving laboring women an extra hour of pushing time (4 hours instead of 3) the c-section rate went from 43% to 20%. Many women will be told they are "complete", fully effaced and dilated, told to start pushing, and they end up pushing for a longer time than if they let the baby descend on its own before actively engaging in pushing efforts.
Cervical checks, although policy is different with every care provider, are done about every two hours. Every time a woman is given an exam her rate of infection increases. It also disrupts the laboring woman's rhythm of coping. Instead of observing the woman for changes, or simply leaving her to labor on her own, care providers "HAVE" to know what state her cervix is in. Check if it feels like there's a reason to, not because a clock said to.
It is difficult to handle decades of specific feelings regarding lateness, schedules, time, and instant gratification. Labor is organic, and will unfold naturally at its own pace and time.
Some activities to help prepare your body for the unknowing feeling of time in labor
- Don't check your phone as soon as you get a message, wait in that unknowing discomfort
- Go camping and leave your clocks at home! Not only will this help reset your sleep cycle, it will also help you become in tune with your body's inner clock. Eat when you're hungry, nap when you're tired. Rest and be centered within yourself
- Walk a labyrinth, twists and turns that take you farther from your end goal, but are a necessary part of your journey
Talk to your care provider about letting labor start on its own and unfolding naturally. As long as mom and baby are healthy and thriving, you always have more time. Have your doula help you BRAIN (Benefits, Risks, Alternatives, Intuition, Nothing) your options and see if more time is all that is needed.
At Embrace Births, placenta encapsulation is about more than just the finished product. It is about providing the best chance for a smooth and happy postpartum experience. This is done not only through having placenta capsules, but through the additional postpartum support that comes from having the encapsulation preformed in your home.
From start to finish, experience Luxury Placenta Encapsulation Services.
Disclaimer: These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
No ifs, ands, or buts about it.
In some interviews, a question from naturally minded potential clients comes up: "Will you leave if I choose to get an epidural?"
I get why they think they need to ask this question, as I've encountered other doulas who do say yes. Doulas that do retain judgement about their clients choices and will leave.
No one knows how their labor will go. Even from one pregnancy to the next. You may set out with the goal of avoiding an epidural, but in the moment of labor, when there is this option of pain relief presented to you, you may change your mind. You may need to rest if you've been dealing with labor for days, heck even a few hours. Getting an epidural is perfectly ok! Even when you had initially not wanted one.
You didn't fail yourself.
You didn't fail your baby.
You certainly didn't fail me, because I'm not your grader.
You didn't make the wrong choice. You made the best choice for you, your body, your baby, your labor.
As your birth doula I will not leave you. I still have a role and can add value to your experience. Just as your job is not done, mine is not done.
You should be proud of whatever choice you make. You should be proud if you had a natural birth. You should be proud if you chose an epidural. You should be proud of the incredible strength it takes to go through a cesarean.
If you do experience trauma and regret about what happened, I don't leave you alone for that either. I provide postnatal appointments and continued postpartum support that allow you the opportunity to process the birth as you wish. I also have the resources to recommend additional support if needed..
A doula's job is about Continued Support, through pregnancy, birth, and postpartum. Judgement free, guilt free, shame free, unbiased support.
To use the 12 hour language or not to use the 12 hour language
There is this debate going on in the doula world regarding this thing called the 12 hour language.
The 12 Hour Language: A component in a doula's contract that states her flat fee covers prenatal visits, on-call time, 12 hours of in-person labor support, and a postnatal.
This stipulation is not a new concept in other business fields, or even a new concept in the doula field. It is not exclusively used by ProDoulas, nor is it required by the organization.
And yet doulas who use this language are being attacked by doulas who don't.
This debate does not need to be so confrontational. Some doulas offer their package to include unlimited continued support for a flat fee, and some doulas offer their package to include 12 hours of support for a flat fee.
In favor: Doula Sustainability
Against: Client Impacts
The pros and cons of each aspect are not black and white, and are often misunderstood by both sides.
For example there is a misunderstanding that a doula will stop supporting after 12 hours if she has the 12 hour language; whereas most doulas who use this have an hourly rate, which they charge if they need to stay longer.
Why can't doulas respect each other's differences in business structure and get along?
Doulas support clients without judgement or criticism even when the client makes a choice the doula adamantly opposes for their own family.
But ask some doulas to do the same for another doula and all support goes out the window.
Stop arguing, start respecting. Doula the Doula.
Embrace Births Doula Support Package currently includes unlimited support for a set fee.