Yes, You Still Need a Doula!

Yes, You Still Need a Doula!

Even if you’ve found yourself saying any of these things while you’re preparing your birth (and postpartum!) plans, there’s a good chance that you will still benefit from having a doula support you throughout your pregnancy, birth and postpartum! Do any of these apply to you?

My partner says, “I’ve got this!”

First, let’s be clear, we can’t say this enough – A. Doula. Does. Not. Replace. Your. Partner! Your partner is amazing – we can already tell that by how involved and engaged they are. However, a doula can help support your partner or free them up to help you. Your partner knows you better than anyone, and while a doula will work to get to know you better throughout your pregnancy, they cannot provide the same level of intimacy that your partner can. Doulas know birth. They are trained in the physiological aspects of the natural birth process and can be like a handy cheat sheet of all the things you learned in your childbirth education classes. There’s no pressure to remember every phase and stage of labor on your own! It’s also important to remember that your partner is going through an emotional transition too and may benefit from doula support or even just a reminder to drink some water or use the restroom from time to time. Just like they’re looking out for your needs, a doula keeps your partner’s needs in mind as well.

“It’s not my first rodeo.”

Just like each baby is different, no two birth experiences are exactly the same. Your first birth may have left you with high expectations or a need to emotionally heal, but either way,  your first birth experience will have an impact on how you enter this one. Those are all things that you can talk through with your doula leading up to birth that will help them provide the most personalized support possible. The second time around you may also be thinking about how your oldest child can be involved in your birth experience. A sibling doula can be a dedicated support person for your first child by getting to know them ahead of time and being on-call for when you need them during labor. They can help children feel safe when mom is “roaring like a lion” or even help them to bake a birthday cake or draw a birthday card to welcome baby.

“My midwife already supports my choices, so I don’t need additional support.” 

Shout out to all of the supportive, loving and knowledgeable providers who engage in shared decision-making and honor your choices! It is SO important to have a care team that fully understands and respects your wishes.  A midwife and doula work together, but actually hold very different roles. They’re both professionals who understand the physiology of birth and work to make sure you and your baby are fully supported throughout your pregnancy, birth and postpartum. Midwives are medically trained to examine, diagnose and provide medical support and care for healthy, low-risk pregnancies. Doulas provide emotional, physical (such as touch and massage), and informational support for the birthing person and their family.

Why did you decide to hire a doula? What impact did that decision have on your birth?  Tell us in the comments.

Michelle Petkovic

Michelle Petkovic

Social Media Manager, Babymoon Inn

Michelle Petkovic received her degree in International Affairs from Sweet Briar College. She is a mother of one energetic toddler born at a birth center and loves spending time outside camping, hiking and traveling with her family.

Too Blessed to be Stressed

Too Blessed to be Stressed

The holiday season is upon us and along with it can come extra demands on our time. Let’s all commit to having a stress-free, guilt-free and enjoyable holiday season this year with these simple reminders.

“We elves try to stick to the four main food groups: candy, candy canes, candy corn and syrup” – Buddy the Elf, Elf

The holidays are full of our favorite comfort foods and there is nothing wrong with enjoying a big family meal. Food can be so much more than nourishment for our bodies, it can be a way of spending time with loved ones and enjoying each other’s company. Eat without guilt, mama! If you’re dealing with nausea or heartburn, eating smaller, more frequent meals can help alleviate some discomfort. We also can’t wait to try out some of these holiday mocktail recipes this year!

You’re skipping Christmas? Isn’t that against the law?” – Spike Frohmeyer, Christmas with the Kranks

Is the thought of hosting a large gathering of family and friends overwhelming? Is the thought of traveling equally daunting? It’s perfectly okay to skip the parties this year and stay cozy together in front of the fireplace with your favorite blanket and a mug of hot cocoa. If that’s what brings you joy, do it! If you’re energized by having people around you and want to host, remember to delegate tasks to anyone attending. We’re willing to bet that they want to help, they may just not know what is needed! If you’ll be traveling any distance this year, make sure to take breaks to stand up, move your legs and change positions to help prevent leg cramps.

“I like your pants – they’re jolly” – Noelle Kringle, Noelle

Does your baby bump have you stumped on what to wear this year? Spending some time picking out a holiday outfit that makes you feel totally fabulous can automatically put you in a festive mood, or might we suggest an adorable t-shirt and maternity leggings? Now that we think about it… maternity leggings might need to be their own category because, well… they’re amazing! Maternity leggings for the stress-free, guilt-free win, mamas!

“Maybe Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store. Maybe Christmas…perhaps means a little bit more!” – How the Grinch Stole Christmas

If finding gifts for everyone on your list feels overwhelming this year, adorable announcement gifts like mugs, ornaments or t-shirts can be a fun way to celebrate baby and a sweet keepsake at the same time. To keep it super simple, pick up some gift cards during your next grocery run and put them in envelopes along with a copy of baby’s ultrasound picture.

“Seeing is believing, but sometimes the most real things in the world are the things we can’t see.” — The Polar Express

Most importantly, during the busy holiday season take time to keep doing the things that make your body feel good! For you, that might be going to a prenatal yoga class or taking a walk. Don’t let busy schedules get in the way of taking time for yourself, and always remember to hydrate! If you find yourself feeling overwhelmed, pause amid all of the commotion to take a few deep breaths, place one hand on your heart and one hand on your belly and connect with your baby to re-center yourself.  

Bonus reminder! 

If your little one has already made their festive arrival, make sure to prevent holiday mastitis by keeping baby close and nursing frequently, even though many eager hands may be waiting to snuggle your little one. If you plan to be away from baby, make a plan to pump to avoid engorgement. Delegate, delegate and delegate – give yourself the grace to rest, relax and enjoy your first holiday season with your new addition!

Michelle Petkovic

Michelle Petkovic

Social Media Manager, Babymoon Inn

Michelle Petkovic received her degree in International Affairs from Sweet Briar College. She is a mother of one energetic toddler born at a birth center and loves spending time outside camping, hiking and traveling with her family.

You CAN still transfer care to a birth center: Five myths busted!

You CAN still transfer care to a birth center: Five myths busted!

Transferring care to a birth center more than halfway through my pregnancy turned out to be one of the best decisions I ever made. All of the concerns I had about switching providers later in pregnancy turned out to be myths, as you’ll read below!  

“I won’t have time to get to know my midwives.”  I easily spent more time with my midwife in my first appointment at a birth center than I did with my prior provider in the first 20-plus weeks of my pregnancy. The amount of time the entire team – from midwives to office staff – will spend getting to know you, your family and your pregnancy will amaze you. With 30-60 minute appointments, there’s ample time to build a relationship and discuss any concerns you may have before birth. In a hospital setting you may rotate through several providers during a long labor or only see your OB for a short time during delivery. The midwifery model of care focuses on personalized and continuous support throughout labor, which has been shown to lead to better outcomes.  

“It’s too late to make a completely new plan for my birth.”  If you’ve been hearing, “we do/don’t allow,” or it seems taboo to bring up requests with your provider, or you’re feeling like you don’t really have input into your own birth experience, change providers! Shared decision-making is a key component in a client-focused environment. It’s a process where you work together to make evidence-based decisions that balance benefits and risks with your preferences and values. Birth center care is always personalized, and your midwife will help support your plan for your birth whether you started care at 4 weeks or 40 weeks.   

“It will be too expensive.” While everyone’s financial situation is different, birth centers provide transparent billing practices, and care is often covered by insurance. The world of hospital billing is complex and can be full of hidden costs and surprise billing.  


Transferring to a birth center late in pregnancy still gave me plenty of time to join the community and soak up all birth center care had to offer.

“I’m not going to fit in or be part of the community this late.” Birth center care is individualized – it’s not a cookie-cutter approach. With personalized childbirth education classes to fit your time table, you and your partner will feel more prepared to rock your birth than you ever thought possible. Community also rarely stops when your baby is born. Most birth centers welcome you back (even to visit the room where your baby is born for the sweetest photo op ever!). From postpartum and lactation support to community playgroups, well-woman and family care, the community bonds are so strong among birth center families that it becomes an extension of your support network. It’s a village that will love on you, lift you up and celebrate you and your family for years to come. 

“A hospital is safer for my first birth.” The way you are made to feel during and after your birth will stay with you for the rest of your life. There is no do-over. Studies continually show that for healthy, low-risk people, birth centers are a safe (if not the safest) place to have a baby. And while they are home-like and rarely feel sterile or medical, they contain medical equipment and medications. Additionally, midwives are skilled medical professionals trained to handle complications of pregnancy or birth, such as shoulder dystocia, hemorrhage, or neonatal resuscitation. 

If you know a birth center birth is right for you, I encourage you to follow that instinct now rather than waiting for the next one – even if you’re currently in your second or third trimester. Every birth matters and you deserve the very best start into the journey of parenthood. 

Michelle Petkovic

Michelle Petkovic

Social Media Manager, Babymoon Inn

Michelle Petkovic received her degree in International Affairs from Sweet Briar College. She is a mother of one energetic toddler born at a birth center and loves spending time outside camping, hiking and traveling with her family.

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