Who is Richmond Doulas: Sarah Hendricks

Who is Richmond Doulas: Sarah Hendricks

Doula Spotlight
Sarah Hendricks
 

Business Name: DouLife
Facebook, DoulaMatch
Services: ToLabor Birth Doula
Years in practice: 1
Number of births attended: 4 (with lots coming up!)
What is your fee? $550

Sarah is a kind and knowledgeable woman who brings so much to the birth community. She is dedicated and so passionate about this work. If you're pregnant, take some time to sit down with her and chat and find out if she has any availability for birth!

She is the tenth doula featured for Who is Richmond Doulas. If you want more info on what the series is about, click here.  

 

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Doula Talk: What to Consider When Hiring a Doula

Doula Talk: What to Consider When Hiring a Doula

So you're pregnant and considering hiring a doula. Maybe you knew all about doulas for months before you were expecting or maybe this is all new to you! You know that you're inviting this person into your birth space and those first few vulnerable and sweet weeks postpartum...what should you consider when hiring them?

What is more important: how many births they've attended, what kind of training and certifications they have? Or their personality and whether you vibe with them? Of course their fee has a lot to do with your decision. If you qualify for Medicaid and are located in Richmond, be sure to check out Urban Baby Beginnings to connect with a volunteer birth or postpartum doula. (You can self refer on their website).

If you're able to afford the standard birth doula fee of $500-1000 or postpartum fee of $25/hour, you can find yourself with a long list of potential available doulas! (If you have questions about the cost of a birth doula, check out this blog post where we talk about getting covered by insurance and other questions about what goes into a birth doula fees.)

We asked some of our members (many of whom entered the birth world by hiring their own doula for their pregnancies) what they think is important to consider when hiring a birth or postpartum doula. Here are their four major themes to consider.

As doulas, we consider being hired an honor, and we know that being invited into this time of your life is a very special decision!

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Cost of a Birth Doula

Cost of a Birth Doula

Truly, this is what you are paying for. Presence. A birth doula is ready to join you and your family for your birth at any time of day or night. Birth doulas answer your email, your text, your phone call, your question. We are here for you.

Until insurance and Medicaid catch up to the amazing work that parents and birth doulas have been doing together for the last thirty years, we appreciate clients' partnership in navigating this ever evolving market. Humans have been supporting each other at birth for as long as we have been giving birth. But professional labor support is rather new in the long view of things! Controversies and uncertainties over fees, whether doula services are a luxury or should be accessible to all, even at a doula's expense, whether we should charge extra for longer births, or charge less for precipitous labors, what to charge as we gain experience--all of these discussions are just evidence of our profession's ever evolving growth and push towards legitimacy. Just like in pregnancy and postpartum, there is sure to be uncertainty, questions and discussions as we evolve and grow. Thank you for walking this path with us, as we walk your path with you.

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Guest Post: Music Therapy and Birth

Guest Post: Music Therapy and Birth

Guest Post: Music Therapy and Birth
by: Megan Martin, MA, MT-BC
Music Therapy Assisted Childbirth Clinician
megan@healingsoundsrva.com
(804) 244-0193
Healing Sounds RVA

Imagine this: you're pregnant and you're nervous. Maybe you're nervous about labor and delivery. Maybe you're nervous about bonding with your baby. Maybe, you've heard stories about birth and newborn babies that have made you afraid. Pregnancy. Birth. Newborns. These are all words that bring enormous amounts of excitement and an enormous amount of fear to women. There are a lot of resources and strategies available for women these days to help you have a healthy pregnancy, a low-intervention birth, and support in those first months post-partum. One resource is not as well known- music therapy.

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Forget Self Love and the Truth about the Superwoman You Already Are

Forget Self Love and the Truth about the Superwoman You Already Are

Mothers and women, this one is for you!

No sleep, weary to the point of tears, stained shirt, messy bun, piles of dishes and laundry. The kids calling you every time you go to sit or eat. In fact, when was the last time you ate? Showered? What on earth happened to your other sock?

People like to talk about motherhood as beautiful, angelic, where you look amazing in leggings, messy bun, and still find time to put on a smidge of makeup. Not everyone will talk about the time you realize you only shaved one leg in the shower, and forgot the knee cap on the other leg. Or how your oldest child mentions the dark circles under your eyes.

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Who is Richmond Doulas: Sarah Newton

Who is Richmond Doulas: Sarah Newton

Doula Spotlight
Sarah Newton
"You are already doing what you are telling me you can’t do! You ARE strong enough."
Business Name: All Things Doula
Facebook, DoulaMatch
Services: Certified birth doula, twice-trained postpartum doulaBirth Doula, DONA
Years in practice: 6.5|
Number of births attended: 93 ( 95 by the end of the year)What is your fee? $875 / this fee varies by military discount, etc.

Sarah is kind, competent, friendly and so knowledgeable about all things birth! If you're pregnant, do yourself a favor and set up a time to sit down with this knowledgeable and compassionate woman.  New to Richmond this year, I think she is such an asset to our birth community! She never hesitates to reach out for support from the birth community, and also is so generous with sharing her own wisdom and is supportive of newer doulas in the area.

She is the ninth doula featured for Who is Richmond Doulas. If you want more info on what the series is about, click here.  

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Who is Richmond Doulas: Hunter Moore

Who is Richmond Doulas: Hunter Moore

Who is Richmond Doulas: Hunter Moore
Business Name:
The Mindful Birth
Facebook, DoulaMatch
Services: Birth Doula, toLabor
Years in practice: 1

Hunter has a wonderful presence, bringing a compassionate and supportive energy to a room. I feel like she must bring such a calming, reassuring and yet joyful presence to the families she supports in labor. In this following interview, you'll get to learn more about this empathetic and competent birth doula.

She is the eighth doula featured for Who is Richmond Doulas. If you want more info on what the series is about, click here.  

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Richmond On Call: 7 Day Trips

Richmond On Call: 7 Day Trips

Richmond is a wonderful place to be on call! There are so many fun things to do within city limits or within an hour of Richmond if you can afford a day trip. And cell phone service doesn't fade out in Richmond like it might in some mountain cities.

There are judgment calls--it's hard to promise my sons anything in advance because I am not going to head an hour out of town if a client has had contractions all night, has been advised by their care provider to take castor oil, or just texts me that she has gastrointestinal upset and moodiness. My kids will probably grow up thinking their mother is a super spontaneous person who loves last minute day trips! "Guess what, we're going to York River today!" I'm sure they think the idea just struck me, instead of it being planned but not promised for a week.

Still though, if you can afford a day trip, you have solid child care set up so you won't need time to find a sitter, and all is quiet, the list below may give you some ideas! 

Here are some of my favorite places to go within an hour of Richmond.

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Who is Richmond Doulas: Claire Prendergast

Who is Richmond Doulas: Claire Prendergast

Business Name: clarity postpartum
Services: daytime postpartum doula, DONA
Years in practice: 2

Claire is such a lovely woman and I can only imagine the quiet and thoughtful attention she pays to her postpartum clients. She is very knowledgeable, competent, professional and warm. In the following interview, you'll get to learn more about this nurturing mother and doula. 

She is the seventh doula featured for Who is Richmond Doulas. If you want more info on what the series is about, click here.  

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Who is Richmond Doulas: Donna Westcott

Who is Richmond Doulas: Donna Westcott

Doula Spotlight
Donna Westcott CPBD
Richmond Doulas Social Media Officer


Services: Birth Doula; Acupressure; Rebozo
Years in Business: 4
Max clients per month: 2
Clients served: 28

What drew you to doula work?

I went to childbirth education classes at A Brighter Birth and found my doula through them.  Her help was invaluable to my husband and me. Even with an unsupportive environment during my first birth, I felt a difference. I’m pretty sure my doula helped me avoid a cesarean. After my second birth I was hooked on anything birthy: books, research, everything. The more I learned, the more I realized that doulas helped to improve birth. Plus, they were there supporting families in such incredible moments. It really is amazing and humbling to be invited to such intimate times.

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Day in the Life of a Postpartum Doula

Day in the Life of a Postpartum Doula

What do postpartum doulas do? You can read about the benefits here and if you’re interested in becoming one, there is a great training coming to Richmond in November. But what might a typical 3-4 hour shift look like?

This entry describes a typical four hour day shift in the life of a postpartum doula. Overnights are very different! Stay tuned for "Night in the Life of a Postpartum Doula."

*This is a fictional client to protect privacy.*

My client’s baby is six days old and she has two older girls, a five year old and a three year old. I met her prenatally for an hour to get to know her, to meet her girls and to get familiar with her house and where everything is. She signed up for a twenty hour package. When her new baby boy is born, she emails me a picture and I send her congratulations and a list of my availability for the coming month. She picks out five shifts of four hours each.

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Who is Richmond Doulas: Ruth Green

Who is Richmond Doulas: Ruth Green

Ruth is a source of wisdom for the birth community and the family she serves. She goes out of her way to advocate for doulas in Richmond and to mentor new doulas. In the following interview, you’ll get to learn more about this nurturing and knowledgeable woman. 

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Doulas and Epidurals: Are They Compatible?

Doulas and Epidurals: Are They Compatible?
"I don't need a doula, because I'm getting an epidural! In fact, I may ask for one as soon as I walk off the elevator!"
"What would a doula even do once an epidural is in place?"
"I don't want a natural birth. Aren't doulas a little...you know...hippy? Aren't they all about no drugs at all?"

I'm pretty sure that every doula has heard some variety of the above. There are many different misconceptions about doulas. For instance, I'm pretty sure there's a certain percentage of the population that thinks we all smell like patchouli and throw essential oils all over the room when women are laboring. Others combine our job description with that of a midwife's. And, of course, others think that the only reason someone would hire a doula would be to help with a completely drug-free, "natural" birth at home or in a hospital.

Here's the secret: a few doulas smell like patchouli (because they love patchouli perfume), no one throws essential oils anywhere, and women who want "natural" births hire us....and women who want the most textbook, medicated births hire us as well. Essentially, there's a doula for everyone.

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Who is Richmond Doulas: April Titler

Who is Richmond Doulas: April Titler

Doula Spotlight
April Titler
"Authenticity is the daily practice of letting go of who we think we're supposed to be and embracing who we are." -Brené Brown

 

Business Name: Encourage Doula Services
Services: Postpartum Doula (DONA)
Years in practice: 3
Families Served: 20+ 

When meeting April for the first time, I noticed her positive energy. She came to my Centering Pregnancy group to introduce us to the idea of postpartum doulas when I was pregnant with my second son, and I remember thinking how lovely it would be to have her in my home. She is a source of sunlight in a room and a lovely person to spend time with. I can imagine her bringing a sense of quiet joy to a family's postpartum period. In the following interview, you’ll get to learn more about this knowledgeable, competent and kind woman. 

She is the fifth doula featured for Who is Richmond Doulas. If you want more info on what the series is about, click here.  

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What to Expect at a Meet the Doulas Event

What to Expect at a Meet the Doulas Event

So maybe you've heard that Richmond Doulas is hosting our quarterly Meet the Doulas on August 31 at Richmond OB/GYN from 6:30-8:00. Maybe you are a curious expectant family, or maybe you are a doula who has never attended one of these events before. Are you wondering what to expect? This blog post will answer questions that both families and doulas may have about this fun event that RD sponsors four times a year! Maybe you'll decide to mark it down on your calendar and come on out to sit with us in person and learn

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Who is Richmond Doulas: Joy Kraynak

Who is Richmond Doulas: Joy Kraynak

Doula Spotlight
Joy Kraynak

Business Name: Joyful Birth
Services: Birth Doula; Hypnobirthing Instructor; Photography; Acupressure; Breastfeeding Counselor; Placenta Encapsulation
Years in Business: 4+
Max clients per month: 2
Clients served: over 200 (including childbirth education); 63 birth doula clients

Joy was so much fun to interview. I would sum her up in a few words: amicable, knowledgeable, and funny. It's easy to see how so many people love her and enjoy her classes.

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Who is Richmond Doulas: McRae Brittingham

Who is Richmond Doulas: McRae Brittingham

When meeting McRae, you’d notice her laugh and the way she puts people at ease. She is extremely knowledgeable yet presents her wisdom in a very easy going way. In the following interview, you’ll get to learn more about this nurturing woman. In addition to working tirelessly with her postpartum clients, she advocates for postpartum doulas in Richmond and mentors those who are new to the field with enthusiasm and generous wisdom. I'd highly recommend chatting with her early on in your pregnancy to see if she has availability in her calendar for postpartum support.

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Types of Doulas and FAQ

Types of Doulas and FAQ

You're pregnant and you've just heard someone ask if you are hiring a doula. But you're sort of confused about what a doula is, what she does, and what she doesn't do. And maybe there's more than one type? Is that true? It can get confusing! Hopefully this blog post will help differentiate between the types, figure out which kind you'd like and/or need.

[Note: I use the gender pronoun "she" throughout the post, though men and/or those who do not identify as female may also become doulas and midwives. This is for simplicity's sake and not to be exclusive.]

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Who is Richmond Doulas: Jess Turner

Who is Richmond Doulas: Jess Turner

When meeting Jess, you can feel her quiet and peaceful energy. She brings calm to a room when she arrives. In the following interview, you’ll learn more about this sincere, self-reflective and knowledgeable woman. If I were to summarize Jess in one word, I’d use “reassuring.” I can only imagine what her calm presence would bring to a birth or postpartum room and recommend all families to check on her availability for birth or postpartum or check out one of yoga classes.

Jess is the second doulas featured for Who is Richmond Doulas. If you want more info on what the series is about, click here.  

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