Free USA Shipping for orders over $100

yourdoulabag — doula

RSS

Unboxing MamAmor's Birthing and Breastfeeding Doll 2

MamAmor is the company “with those awesome birthing and breastfeeding dolls.  Yes, you probably have heard of this company or seen the dolls.  I heard about MamAmor a few year ago and saw the dolls up close and personal at a DONA conference, but hadn’t made a purchase…until now!

I invested in a MamAmor birthing and breastfeeding classic doll! 

Birthing and Breastfeeding DollI finally decided to make my purchase decision when I was looking for a good teaching tool for older children expecting a sibling.  I have a fetus/placenta/uterus model, but those seem a little too abstract for children.  I can just hear the questions with that model. "Where does the baby come out?"

The MamAmor Birthing and Breastfeeding Doll is an excellent teaching tool for my collection and I would be remiss to not mention the beautiful quality!  Tulip (my doll's given name) is wearing a gorgeous hand knit cardigan sweater and matching shoes.  She has on a lovely sundress and is accessorized with a flower in her thick multicolored yarn hair.  Tulip's baby is outfitted in a soft flannel diaper and matching blanket (but is usually naked because of the importance of skin to skin).  

  

I decided to create an unboxing video to share my excitement and thrill for finally making this purchase!  I hope you enjoy the video and get to really see a detailed look at this one of a kind birthing and breastfeeding doll. 

 What can you demonstrate with a birthing a breastfeeding doll?

  • Fetal positions: breech, posterior, anterior
  • Delayed Cord Clamping
  • Delivery of the placenta
  • Breastfeeding positions
  • Skin to Skin

I can't wait to put this doll to good use.  In the meantime, my four kids are having fun with her.  The baby has been named Bartholomew and has been birthed countless times! The next purchase they would like me to make is a MamAmor Puppy! Yes, the puppy gives birth too. 

What are your favorite teaching tools?  Please share in the comment section!

Doula Book Club - Mindful Birthing 0

Doula Book Club

In our first doula book club we featured Mindful Birthing: Training the Mind, Body, and Heart for Childbirth and Beyond.  Published in 2012 and written by Nancy Bardacke, CNM this book focuses on using mindful techniques for working through labor, birth and early parenting. 

I chose this book after hearing about it from a few of my doula clients.  I have had a little practice in mindfulness and thought that using this technique for childbirth could be such a useful technique. 

On February 24th I hosted a book club to discuss this book.  Below is the recording from that discussion.

 

  

The author, Nancy Bardacke, CNM is the founding director of the Mindfulness-Based Childbirth and Parenting (MBCP) program and leads a MBCP class.  In the book, she gives a lot of real quotes from her students about using the practice for childbirth. 

Here are a few pieces of the book that I really enjoyed:

Chapter 1 - Nancy describes the conversation that she has with all of her students before the class starts.  She makes sure they are aware of the concept and style of class.  This is an excellent idea.  We all want to fill our classes, but isn't it more important that our students get to the class that is right for them.

p 24.  The way in which Nancy describes labor is really unique and thought prvoking.

p 69.  Horticultural Time vs. Industrial time is an excellent concept!

p 130-131 Nancy describes how NOT to stimulate the thinking mind of a woman in labor and why that is important.  This section is a must read for all birth partners and doulas.

I really enjoyed the book and would definitely recommend it to parents interested in mindfulness and looking for more techniques to manage the challenges of pregnancy, labor, birth and parenting.  I think couples that practice mindful birthing techniques will have a powerful set of tools for labor, especially those interested in natural childbirth or avoid intervention. 

Thank you Nancy for putting a great resource out in the world.

 

 

Setting Your Doula Fees With Confidence 2

As a doula, the process of fee setting is one of the first challenges that we face.  New doulas are given a wide range of advice on this topic.  Some trainers recommend doing their first few births for free, others say charge enough to cover expenses and some even suggest charging the same as what seasoned doulas are charging.  The question is what is right?

Once a doula has experience the question of 'what to charge' never seems to go away.  It is a topic that gets a lot of mentions at doula conferences and doula networking events.  Do other professions have this struggle?  

I have created a fee setting method that will allow you to set your fee with confidence.  Join this free webinar on Sunday February 8th at 8PM ET.  While I won't give you a magic number, I will give you the tools to help you determine what is right for you. 

 Participants will discover:

  • How to research your current market
  • What to consider when setting your rate
  • How to talk about your rate with confidence

 The webinar will be recorded if you can't attend, but live participants will have the ability to ask questions and get real answers!

 

 

Doula Business Chat #3 - Life on Call

Doula Business Chat #3 - Life on Call 0

Doulas often will list the challenges of life on call as the primary reason for doula burnout or leaving the profession altogether. It is difficult to live a life on call, but being available for our clients is something that makes the doula role unique. Traditionally doulas did not practice in a group that shares call, but more and more doulas are finding that a shared call relationship is their preference. 

doula life on call

How is "on call" defined?

For many doulas, the on call period is between 1-2 weeks before and after a client's due date.  During this period the doula makes themselves available 24/7.  

 Limitations of an on call life include

  • Having to keep a cell phone always on and close by
  • Staying relatively close to home 
  • Limit drinking of alcohol (maybe one glass of wine, but usually no more!)
  • Getting enough sleep (no late nights)
  • No last minute travel (spontaneous trips aren't really possible)
  • Limit commitments (don't want people to count on you and then you aren't available)
  • Have a backup for your own life (need to have one of more people to fill your shoes)
  • Appointments are delayed in fear that you might miss them (putting off dentist, hair cuts etc.)

Strain on friends and family

Being on call can often put a strain on family and friends.  How many times can our village hear the words "As long as I'm not at a birth?" before it becomes an overused phrase?  This "up in the air" approach to life and not being able to give firm commitments can be difficult to deal with.  I know that my village of support gets tired of always making contingency plans.

Ideas on how to make on call life easier

1) Client Communication

I think a great place to start is my really sharing with our clients what being on call means.  Let them know that it means you won't be far from home or drinking a second glass of wine.  Make sure they know of pockets of time that you won't be available (example: long run, yoga class, child's school performance).  I think clients appreciate the honesty and like to know more about our lives and commitments.  Also, set the expectations with clients upfront.  Let them know realistically how quickly you can get to them.  

2) Respite Days/Nights 

Talk to your backup doula about taking a day off call. [view our Backup Doula Contract]  Schedule it on your calendar and do something for yourself on that day.  This might be an important family event, date night or special occasion.  Instead of crossing your fingers and hoping you don't have a client in labor on this special day, schedule yourself to have a backup cover you and let your client know.   This is a concept that I plan on adding to my practice this year. 

3) Sharing Call

Working with another doula (or doulas) to share a call schedule is definitely an answer to making life on call more manageable.  This certainly makes things easier to schedule and takes away the uncertainty of work.  I see the negative aspect of this arrangement to be a client/doula relationship that more like an OB/midwife practice where the client gets whoever is on call for that day.  One could argue that clients can't guarantee her doula will be there, but there is more of a chance when call isn't shared. 

Doulas, what are your thoughts on this topic?  Am I missing anything?  Please post a comment and let's learn from each other!

 

Doula Bag Items - Our Top 5 Must Haves 3

Doula Bag - 5 Must Have Items

After doula training is done, the doula bag seems to be the next project to tackle.  Your list of items will likely evolve as you get more experience.  Many doulas start out carrying a lot of items and then end up with a lean bag.  Sometime I even hear doulas say that they don't carry any tools in their bags but instead carry items just for themselves.  

My bag has definitely changed through the years, but there are 5 items that I feel are my must haves.  

 

 

What do you think are your doula bag must have items? I would love to find out! Please click on the 'comment' link on the side of the blog and share your knowledge.

Also, we are happy to send you our list if you would like. Click here!  

Doula: Not just a job 2