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Doula Bag Starter Pack 0

If you are a doula then you have probably had a conversation about 'what is in your doula bag?'  Our company was created around the idea of providing items to fill this bag, but the truth is that a doula doesn't need a doula bag to do great work.  I've often heard doulas say that all they need is their 'heart and hands' for their work. 

 Doula Bag Starter Pack

I would agree, however I also think that a few key items can make doula work easier and more fun too.  For this reason, we have put together a 'Starter Pack'.   This pack contains 9 items to get your doula bag and doula work off to a great start! 

 The pack is a mixture of tools for labor, snack for the laboring team, an item to show doula pride and tools for awesome client communication. 

Below is a video with more information about each of the Starter Pack items and how to use them. 

 

 

What are you favorite starter items for the doula bag?  Please let us know in the comments! 

Looking to Purchase a Starter Pack?

 

  • Alice Turner

What is a Birth Doula? My Doula Elevator Speech 10

When I jump in an elevator wearing my doula tshirt and another passenger asks "What is a doula?", it is time to bring out the "Doula Elevator Speech"  

What is a doula? Doula Elevator SpeechBefore I perfected my 'doula elevator speech' this question often resulted in a very confusing jumble of descriptions that left the person who asked the question with a puzzled look on their face.  If I didn't start with an easy description that they could quickly understand I often lost them before I even got started.  They tuned me out and didn't get to hear about the most amazing profession that I am so passionate about!  I spent some time working on this speech and not have it down to a one-minute concise description highlighting what I feel is most important about my role as a birth doula.  

I took some time and worked on this speech and now have it down to a one-minute concise description highlighting what I feel is most important about my role as a birth doula.  I don't try to convince the listener to use a doula.  My goal is to clearly explain the role and my job to the listener in under one minute. You can download the text of the speech here.

 

 What Is Included in My Doula Elevator Speech

I wanted the speech to start with a comparison to something that most people understand.  I think this is a great way to begin and a quick win for me!  The listener gets an immediate picture of what I do.

From there I expand with details about what a doula does and I give the details that I think are most important.  Doulas know that we do a lot, but I tried to use top level descriptions.  I then tried to cover the most common things that people ask.  This includes "Do you catch the baby?" and "Do you do medical procedures" and "Do you only work with moms that want to go natural?".  

What Is Not Included in My Doula Elevator Speech

I don't mention my training, experience or background in the speech.  While this information is important, I don't think it is needed to make my point.  This is the type of information that I would go over during an interview or when a am speaking to someone who is interested in my personal story.  I also don't mention anything about my personal opinions on tricky topics like birth choices, c-section, epidurals and circumcision. 

What does your elevator speech include?

I would love to hear about how you quickly describe your job as doula.  What do you include or omit?  Please share in the comments below. 

 Download my Doula Elevator Speech now

Visitors At Your Birth? Infographic 0

Deciding who will be at  your labor and birth can be a tricky decision.  As a doula, I have seen first hand how this decision can have a significant impact on labor and birth.  I have also seen many times how the lack of planning on this topic has created chaos, confusion and hurt feelings.  In 2013, I created the Labor/Birth Visitor test and have been using in with my own doula clients and childbirth education students.   Per the request of other birth professionals, I have created the 'Visitors At Your Birth? Infographic' seen below.


This infographic is designed to get mothers-to-be and their partners thinking about the important decision.  It promotes the idea of creating a plan for visitors and communicating this plan with their support team.  There is no right answer to the question of whether or not to have visitors at your birth. We are merely suggesting that the decision be carefully considered and that women know that they have the right to say no to any visitor for any reason.  

This infographic is available in a two page PDF file for anyone to purchase and download.  We encourage doulas and childbirth educators to purchase and print copies for their clients and students.  It is a great way to get this important conversation about visitors started.

Get My Own Copy For My Clients

   

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 Business Chat #7 - Client Services 2

 

 

 

 

IDoula Bag Client Servicesn this seventh edition of the Doula Business Chat (#doulabizchat) we discuss client services.  Many doulas offer services that are complementary to their doula services.  We discuss the different services that doulas are currently being offered, brainstorm on other possible complementary services and discuss how and why we would want to add to our current practice. 

 

Advantages of adding additional services
  • Provide quality services to our clients
  • Increase the earning potential of each client interaction

Most Common Complementary Services Offered

  • Childbirth Education
  • Lactation Consulting
  • Placenta Encapsulation (this one is the most talked about right now!)

 

One of the doulas on video with me, Erin, brought up a great question. How does offering additional services have an impact on our Doula Code of Ethics? This is an excellent question!  Each of us must evaluate this process and make sure that we are working within our scope.  One thought that came from the chat box, was to create separate contracts for each of the services we offer.  I also think that we need to make sure that our clients are aware of our training and certifications for all services that we offer.

   Get Worksheet with 40 service ideas

Services Discussed on Video with links to training

What services do you offer?  Are there trainings that you recommend?  Please share in the comments! 

Doula Business Chat - Session #6 - Hot Topics 0

Doula Business Chat March 15th we hosted our 6th Doula Business Chat (#doulabizchat).  The Doula Business Chat is a discussion open to anyone who is interested in talking about doula work.  The discussion takes place as a Google Hangout on Air and is completely free to participants.   

The Our 6th Doula Business Chat (#doulabizchat) was a free form chat where we opened the discussion up to any hot topic that the participants wanted to talk about.  It turned out to be a lively discussion about everything from doula rates to how to be a doula when you have small children.  There were several doulas that joined on the video and loads that joined in the chat box. 

What hot topics did we miss?  Please enter your ideas for a Doula Business Chat Topic in the comments of this post.

Mark your calendar for the next Doula Book Club Chat featuring the book Natural Hospital Birth. The Chat will take place on May 14th at 9pm ET.