Many of the Minneapolis and St. Paul parents I work with are interested in having a waterbirth. The amazing news is that in the Twin Cities, families can choose a waterbirth at home with a midwife, at one of our many freestanding birth centers, or even in a hospital.
Providers that support Twin Cities' families during birth know the evidence around waterbirth is strong, which means the option is widely available in the area. Unlike many other states, a majority of the hospitals here in the Twin Cities support a family's desire to have a waterbirth.
If you're interested in having a waterbirth, start by double checking with your provider to make sure the entire practice is comfortable with supporting a waterbirth. While most midwives are incredibly supportive of waterbirth, it can be hit or miss with OBGYN practitioners. If you do have an OB, ensure they're supportive of waterbirth as well as the rest of their team, as you never know who may be at your birth. If it's not guaranteed you'll get a supportive provider, consider switching to a different birthing location.
Many Twin Cities' hospitals offer waterbirth with certain circumstances for when it isn't advised. Double check with your birthing location to make sure you'll be able to not only labor in the tub, but also birth your baby there as well. Few hospitals do not offer waterbirth, or have very strict guidelines, these include Maple Grove Hospital, Mercy Hospital, Fairview Ridges and Southdale Hospital. Though amazing places to have your baby, if you're looking for a waterbirth, you may want to check elsewhere. Woodwinds Hospital in Woodbury, St. John's Hospital in St. Paul and Methodist Hospital in Minneapolis are all really well-known for waterbirth, though many Twin Cities' hospitals can be a great option!
For families looking at midwifery care, a freestanding birth center may be an excellent option! Twin Cities' birth centers really emphasize waterbirth with amazing amenities, including gorgeous, large birthing tubs! Check out the Minnesota Birth Center, with both Minneapolis or St. Paul locations, Willow Birth Center near Lake Calhoun, Roots Birth Center in North Minneapolis, or Health Foundations Birth Center on Grand Avenue in St. Paul.
Lastly, if you're seeking the comfort of home, Minnesota embraces home birth options. The Twin Cities and suburbs have many wonderful home birth midwife practices! From Nourish Midwifery who serves the East and Southeastern Minnesota area, to North Star Midwifery right here in the Twin Cities, there are many choices for families looking for a home water birth. Often times, these practices will also offer birth tub rental for your home.
If you're looking to have a wonderful waterbirth here in the Twin Cities, you're in luck!
All of the gorgeous waterbirth photos included in this blog are by my photography partner, Meredith from Meredith Westin Photography.
Looking for the perfect team for your home birth? Book Birth Doula Support with me and receive a special discount with Meredith. You'll get awesome support and receive amazing photos of your mermaid baby in all their glory!
It took many years and being the busiest I've ever been to say "I think I'm just going to sit and do nothing for 15 minutes at least once a day, every day."
I started to meditate because I'd noticed I was more stressed, easier to anger, overwhelmed, scatter-brained and hard on myself. Ehhem... doesn't this sound like every parent ever?
No matter what you have going on, I'm sure you've felt the above feelings and most likely spiraled into cycles of these negative vibes that have left you wrung out, tired, eating poorly and unhappy.
I'm not trying to be super new age, but meditation yanked me out of this spiral and helped me get back in touch with the awesome things in my life and in me.
Carving out a little time each day made it easier for me reconnect with myself, think about all I am grateful for and get the much-needed me time I was craving.
I've noticed I'm much slower to anger, I have much more energy, I make smarter choices during the day, feel more creative and less cloudy, all because I took time to start my day with a blank slate.
All of the wonderful benefits of meditation not only made me happier, but it made me a better parent and partner. Who do you think was benefitting from my patience and increased energy? The people around me, especially my husband and daughter.
So how do you get started? There are so many ways to build your own meditation practice, but here's some tips on how I started mine.
Make it Routine
If you're going to commit, actually commit. Set aside 15 minutes of your day, at the same time every day to meditate.
Get your family on board. Let your partner and children know that during that small window of time each day, you're busy.
When you tell other people of your intentions, it makes it more likely you'll stick to your plan.
I meditate first thing in the morning after I've washed up. My husband and daughter both know I'll be available to them when I'm done.
Get Some Help
Starting off meditating can be really tricky, so try using guided meditation to start your practice.
You can find a lot of wonderful guided imagery videos online. I really love using the app Calm. There are several free series, including a 7-day introduction to meditation for beginners. I sprang for the subscription and am so happy I did.
If listening to guided meditation isn't your thing, at least set a timer for yourself. It will be much easier to clear your mind and focus on your breath if you aren't constantly wondering if it's been 15 minutes already?
Be Kind to Yourself
You are not going to be perfect right away or maybe ever! Your mind will wander thousands of times and that's okay! The point is that you're taking time to check in with yourself.
Focus on your in and out breath. Let thoughts cross your mind, think them, then let them go. Try again.
Nobody will ever be perfect, but it does require daily practice to get better.
Even if you feel today's meditation was a hot mess, just thank yourself for showing up and taking time for you.
You really can have it all" was definitely something said by a man.
That being said, it really can be possible to return to work, pump and still breastfeed your baby, it just takes mastering this art so you don't drive yourself crazy.
I'm sharing a couple of tips I learned both as a working and pumping mama, as well as a doula who has worked with mamas to make their goals a reality.
Tip 1 - Invest in Mobility
At some point, you're going to find yourself in a position where you need to pump and there are no outlets available. It will happen, but if you're prepared, this event will be a lot less stressful.
You can prepare to be outlet-less in one of three ways: purchase a pump that is chargeable and doesn't require an outlet to run, invest in a car adapter, or buy a quality hand pump you feel comfortable with.
Knowing you have a back-up option will do wonders if you need to pump in an odd location, are out and about, need to pump in the car or just forgot your plug-in at home.
Tip 2 - Make Your Pump Pieces Work Overtime
I'm a firm believer in in life-hacking my way to success, so I'm a big fan in using your pump pieces in multiple ways.
No one wants to spill their freshly pumped breastmilk, it's definitely something worth crying over. Instead, use your flange as a funnel when combing your breastmilk into one bottle. You can also use the flange to help funnel milk into your pumping bags as well, not wasting a single drop.
If you forgot your ice pack, use one of your pumping bottles or bags as a make-shift option. Fill a bottle or bag with cold water or ice to help get you through until you get home.
Tip 3 - Avoid Unnecessary Cleaning
First, rope your partner into cleaning pieces. You're already doing the legwork taking up to an hour and a half each day to pump, get them involved by having them clean and sanitize your pieces at the end of the day.
Don't want to wash your pump pieces at work in-between pumps? Place your pieces in a gallon bag, then into a lunch box and place them in the fridge. This tactic helps you avoid that awkward moment in the office kitchen and can keeps your pieces sanitary. Plus the cool pieces feel wonderful when pumping.
Being a working and pumping mom is hard work! My last tip is a big one: be kind to yourself.
Remember you're doing a really great job providing for your family in more ways than one.
Try to move on from spilled milk. Don't start measuring your worth by how much you pump. Remember your baby loves you and is thankful for what you're doing.
Need additional support? I offer breastfeeding support to moms in Minneapolis, St. Paul and the greater Twin Cities area. Learn more about my Working Mom Wellness & Success Support package for some extra help.
A friend gave me the best reality check before I became a mother. She said, "It took me almost a year to start feeling like myself again, like how I did before I became a mom."
That little comment help set expectations for what I could expect from myself as I navigated my first year as a mom. It made me a little kinder to myself and helped me remember I'd figure out my identity as a mom all in good time.
I've received a lot of wonderful and candid advice from moms that helped me through that crazy first year, the one where at times, you feel like you're just surviving. I wanted to share some of that wisdom, plus some of my own experience that has colored what I share with my clients becoming first-time moms.
Have Zero Expectations
Literally, zero. A very wise mama I worked with told me this and it helped me make it through many sleep regressions, fussy periods, witching hours and public outings.
Your baby will appear to get on a pattern. You'll think, "This is great! I know exactly when she'll wake up, this will make my life so much easier!" Then your baby will go from waking up at 7 a.m. every morning for two weeks, to waking up at the butt crack of dawn four days in a row. Babies don't care if you're expecting them to be on a schedule.
When you think about it, the amount of developmental leaps and sleep regressions that happen over that first year make it difficult to assume a pattern. At some point, your baby will be learning something new, which throws them off, which then throws that expectation you assumed for nap time, feeding or fussiness out the window. Throw in teething and you've really got a free-for-all on your hands.
I went into the first year assuming every pattern my daughter developed would be quickly changed. You know what, they were. Having the expectation to have zero expectations helped me weather that storm a bit easier. I knew eventually even this bad period or early wake-up call would soon be a memory.
Even better news, as you start to wind down your first year with your baby, patterns start sticking. You can start developing more expectations on when your baby will go to bed or when they'll wake up. As they become a toddler most of those surprise moments start to fade away and you get predictability back.
You Can't Fill Someone's Cup if Yours is Empty
I had just gotten back from maternity leave and was freaking exhausted. I remember sitting in my office with several moms and one very patient dad, complaining that I felt like the life was being sucked out of me. Now, as a pumping and working mom, it really was, but everything else felt depleted as well.
That's when my coworker turned to me, who at one time made it through mothering the first year of twins along with a toddler, and said "You can't expect to give to other people if you feel drained. It will help you and everyone around you if you prioritize time for yourself." If that mom, who definitely has her hands full, could figure that out and felt it was important, I thought I should listen.
I came back home that day and told my husband I needed to start prioritizing self care. At the time, I had a new baby, was back at work, taking classes and starting my business, clearly I was over-stretching myself. He was immediately supportive of my need for me-time and put a plan into action.
Since that day, every morning, my husband gets Tess breakfast, unloads the dishwasher and gets everyone out the door. Each morning he brings me coffee in bed. The man is the best and I'm super lucky to have him. That new routine of getting hot coffee in the morning and being able to get ready for the day was life-saving.
Each morning I know I get me time and it made coming home to chaos and staying up late to side-hustle worth it. It also helped me save my sanity, which made me more patient with my husband and daughter, making me more giving in the process.
Self care is crucial.
Know What You Need & Ask for It
Never be afraid to ask for help. Our culture today places a very unfair expectation on moms to do it all on their own, all while smiling. Where this expectation came from is beyond me, because not even a century ago most women were immediately surrounded by help after their baby was born. Every woman knew there was no way this new mom could make this through these first couple of weeks, months and year without support.
When you need help, ask people for it. If you need a girlfriend to come over and chat with you while you're on maternity leave so you don't go crazy, do it! If you're really struggling with breastfeeding, ask for help. You're not expected to know how to breastfeed right away! It's super hard, man. Get advice from professionals and friends. Do you need someone to bring you some coffee and dog food? Call up your mom, I'm sure she'd be happy to help her baby.
Most importantly, let people know what you don't need. Often times with new babies, we feel obligated to let people into this moment with us, but never give ourselves the space to experience it. If you know that you don't need visitors today, let people know. If someone is putting up a fuss, they obviously don't care about supporting you the way you need. Buh-bye, now.
It's okay to set boundaries with people, your friends and family will understand. We had a hard and fast rule about bedtime with Tess: we had to be home to put her down at 7 p.m. Tess was use to a 7 p.m. bedtime and my husband and I depended on that time to reconnect or get personal work done. We let our friends and family know and they were amazing. Dinners were planned earlier so we could be home on time. Friends came to us so we could put Tess to sleep then hang out like adults.
Your tribe will support you, but you have to ask for it.
You'll Start to Feel Like You 're Not Just Surviving
This is the number one thing I say to every family I work with. I say it during our prenatal visits & postpartum visits. I say it to mamas I'm supporting as they breastfeed. I say this to couples I do photoshoots with. Little by little, you'll start to feel like you're not just surviving. You'll feel like maybe you can actually kick ass at this parenting thing after all.
We had a little victory early with my daughter. Headed out to her two week appointment, I made sure to grab another outfit, just in case. We get to our nurse practitioner's office, start to strip her down to be weighed and she has blown out absolutely everywhere. As my husband begins changing her, I started pulling out her back-up clothes. Our nurse said, "Wow! You guys are so prepared, way to go!" My husband and I looked at each other and high-fived. We did it! We parented!
As the year goes by you become more confident. You get more little wins. You'll have hard moments too, but at the end of that first year, you'll look back on how far everyone has come and be super proud. You did it! You survived.
I love being environmentally-minded with the decisions I make. I also really appreciate knowing products in my home aren't full of toxic chemicals. But really, I'm super cheap and pretty lazy.
That's why I make my own cleaning products. I know what's in them, they're not going to harm the planet, they save me money and I don't have to put on a bra and drive to the store. It's my dream.
Here are a few of my favorite DIY cleaning products made with as few ingredients as possible, that smell good, save you money and take five minutes to prepare. Not five minutes a piece, five minutes total. Woo!
Glass & Window Cleaner
Combine the following ingredients in a glass spray bottle:
I love this Borax-free alternative that works in both HE and non-HE machines!
Combine the following in an air-tight container:
Add 1-2 tablespoons per load.
Combine the following:
Sprinkle into your toilet and scrub with a toilet brush. Follow with:
Combine the following in a glass spray bottle:
Spray on surfaces and wipe with a damp cloth.
It's no secret, having a baby is a lot of work. What seems to be more of a secret is how much tenderness comes with those first couple of weeks after your baby arrives.
Everyone focuses on how you're sleeping, but few people dig into everything else that may be going on.
You're new to this- either to parenting or this baby, that's hard! You may also be having a hard time adjusting to the idea your a mom. Breastfeeding may be difficult. Let's not even get started on the physical healing that's happening.
You need help.
What you need is a team of people you trust that will be there to support both the physical and emotional needs you have as a new parent.
Ask for Help
First off, ask for help. Do it sooner rather than later, even before your baby is born. If you can set expectations early, not only will your select tribe of helpers actually be helpful, you'll also feel a lot less stressed about asking.
Talk with friends and family before your baby is born about what you may want from them after your baby arrives. Tell your aunt you'd really appreciate if she could bring over meals for a couple days. Let your friend know you'd like her support with some light cleaning and laundry.
The secret here is everyone will be jumping to help you- you just need to tell them what your needs are. When they know ahead of time, they'll be even more excited and prepared to support you.
Say "No" to Hosting
Set expectations to friends and family about what visits will look like when your baby is born. Start by letting people know that, even though you love them, shorter visits are better and easier to adjust to.
Also, it's usually much easier to adjust to visitors if they come one at a time or in pairs. Larger groups of people can be overwhelming and leave you feeling like you're hosting a party.
Everyone wants to come and see your baby, but remind people that this is fresh, and they're coming for the baby and you! While it's easy to want to welcome people into your home, be kind to yourself. No one will be upset if your counters are dirty, if you haven't showered or there isn't any food in the freezer.
Reach Out When Emotions are Tough
Being a new mom comes with a lot of emotional adjustment and changes. Know who you can turn to when you need to let it all out.
Motherhood can be so wonderful, but it is also super hard. You're never going to get it perfect, so find someone who will remind you that you're doing your best.
Need a larger tribe of women? Check out our awesome Facebook Group, "Hey Mama, You're Doing Just Fine." This group lifts mamas up when its rough and sometimes you need the support of a bunch of moms to get you through.
There's Help for That
There is also a lot of professional support out there for some of the trickier moments in motherhood.
Not everyone has family and friends that live close, but that doesn't mean you have to do this on your own. Getting support from a postpartum doula can be an amazing way to get through those first couple of weeks and feel like you aren't just surviving.
Breastfeeding Educators and Lactation Consultants are available when breastfeeding feels challenging or you haven't gotten the hang of it.
There is no shame in getting extra help. In fact, you'll be better off in the long run knowing you've received support you need and you aren't completely depleting yourself just because you feel you have to do it all.
Want that extra support as a new parent? Need some extra attention with breastfeeding?
The Sown Seed offers both Postpartum Wellness Support and Breastfeeding Success Support.
I was excited when Gina first asked me about writing what it’s been like to become a dad, but I was quickly disoriented when I realized I’ll already be celebrating my third father’s day on Sunday, more than two years and three months after Tess was born March 3, 2016. The guy in her first weeks in the world has given way – instantly, it seems – to being the father of an increasingly independent, funny and all-around-awesome toddler.
We have a saying in our house: “What a time to be alive.” That’s certainly applicable to my experience of becoming a dad; looking back at that time, everything was a heightened experience. Things were intense, in good ways and bad, and I felt every bit of it more acutely than I had ever felt anything. Put simply and with dad-approved cheesiness: I felt truly alive.
Every experience is going to be completely different for every guy, but there are definite things that stand out about what it was like for me to become a dad. The first thing is in the word itself, which represented a complete identity shift. In an instant – as Tess took her first breath and cut loose her first scream in the world – I went from being Jordan the husband, son, brother, friend, writer, etc., to being a dad, first and foremost. That was suddenly the number one (and maybe two through five at some points) aspect others and I identified about me. The first weeks and months were all at once the mourning and celebration of that fact: Parts of what had made me who I was to that point had slid further and further down the list of how I identified myself. That’s a natural thing, of course (we’re biologically wired by evolution to prioritize our children) but it’s a complex situation with a boatload of complex emotions to manage with it. (It doesn’t necessarily help that emotional navigation to be consistently sleep deprived at the same time.)
The second aspect I remember so well is in my relationship with Gina. Going through the process of pregnancy and labor was the ultimate building of trust, intimacy, love and respect. I felt such a profound appreciation and thankfulness for this incredible gift she had done so much to bring us, and getting to share our lives, suddenly so much richer and fuller, was amazing. That reality has not faded over time and continues to be a defining aspect of what being a parent is to me: sharing it with Gina.
Thirdly, I remember being scared. Scared of somehow hurting Tess physically; scared of not doing the right things; scared of not being a good dad; scared of not being a good husband; and scared of the fact I was scared. It’s a difficult path to realizing how much you have, because of how much you’re scared of losing it. What a beautiful thing to know.
Beauty. That’s probably the last thing I would mention. Like a lot of other words, becoming a dad made me realize that for 26 years I had a completely inadequate sense of what beauty meant. Tess expanded my understanding of the world – and the words we use to describe it – onto a completely different plane. I loved Gina before I became a dad and she became Tess’ mom, but the boundaries of what that meant were so much smaller than they are now. Everything I loved about Gina is still there, and has kept growing, but it fits within the wider boundaries of life now. Tess made my world bigger. What a time to be alive.
Self care is hard. It's hard for everyone, because most people have a tendency to be people pleasers.
As a mom, it can be even more challenging. We have little people relying on us for survival, their emotional nurturing and growth. With good reason, that often times feels like top priority.
What sucks is we often keep giving and giving and giving, until there is nothing left, but we still are required to give more.
How do you break the cycle of prioritizing other peoples needs, even your kids, over your own?
Start By Letting Go
Guilt is often times what stands in the way of our ability to really give ourselves the time and care we need.
When we have other people who rely on us, it's really easy to justify putting their needs above your own. Sooner or later however, you'll find yourself sluggish, overwhelmed, in the same yoga pants you've worn for the last four days and not wanting to get out of bed.
So let go of that guilt. You are not a selfish person for needing to take time to meet your needs. You're a smart person who is not only benefitting yourself, but others as well.
You can't fully give your time and care to others if you're running on empty. So if by no other inspiration, let the fact that you can better take care of others be your motivation to focus on self care.
Think Small But Big Impact
What small things can you build into your day that will have a huge impact on your mood and sense of well being?
For me, it's getting uninterrupted coffee in the morning. This half hour of time is just what I need to mentally prepare myself, refresh and start the day on the right foot.
You don't need to set aside time for a spa trip every week, but by all means do that if it feels right!
Instead, find those little nuggets of self care. Maybe make a pact to yourself to shower in peace. Whether it's waiting until the kids go down or having your partner wrangle them, give yourself that uninterrupted time.
The little acts of love for yourself build up over time, just like the do when you share them with others.
Get On The Same Page
Make sure everyone in your life is aware you're making self care a priority, especially your family.
Let your partner know you'll need to start building these moments in and why it's important to you. Ask for their help when you need that half hour or Monday night off.
Try and get your kids on board too. It may not make much sense to them, but you're also modeling an important message: taking care of yourself is a big deal and it's okay! You can try and set a different example for them, hopefully breaking the self care/guilt cycle!
Be Kind to Yourself
You're not going to get it perfect right away. Often times prioritizing self care is a small habit that takes breaking a lifetime of bad habits that stand in the way.
Just remember, you're a better person, happier person and a hell of a lot more fun to be around when you feel refreshed and fulfilled.
"I am safe."
"My body knows how to birth my baby."
"I am a badass."
All of these are birth affirmations, all of which can be effective ways to build the confidence you need to really own your birth and keep it positive.
Birth affirmations are a great way to continuously send yourself positive messages about birth necessary for an experience you feel you have control over.
Today I'll talk a little bit about birth affirmations, what they are, how to use them, and share some of my favorites you can use to have an awesome birth.
What is a Birth Affirmation?
I don't need to tell you that most of the birth stories we hear from people are often dramatic and really negative.
Though well-meaning, most mamas share their birth stories like it's a warrior's tale. Let's be honest, dramatic stories always fair a lot better than ones where everything goes to plan.
Hearing all this negativity translates to most women being fearful of birth, concerned they won't have any control, their bodies will fail them and they'll be left with a super negative and traumatic experience.
Birth affirmations try and change that.
These affirmations aren't little white lies, they're facts we can tell ourselves and perspectives we can remind ourselves of to remember we do have control over birth and it will be positive. It's when you jump into birth already resolved that it will be negative and frightening that a self-fulfilling prophecy takes place.
Instead, birth affirmations help get you in the mindset that birth can be full of control, confidence, positivity and dare I say, enjoyment.
How to Use Birth Affirmations
Start by finding birth affirmations that feel relevant and powerful to you. If one affirmation doesn't feel authentic, don't use it! Only choose to surround yourself with affirmations that speak to what you want your birth to be, reminders you need regularly and even the language that feels most like how you speak to yourself.
Once you've found the affirmations that really click, start surrounding yourself with them. Say them to yourself regularly, print them out and post them around your home, put them in your car, set alarms on your phones that pop-up your birth affirmations regularly, really steep yourself in the positivity.
When we surround ourself with the positive messages we want in our life, we start to firmly believe in them. Just think of how affective negative self talk can be. If you keep telling yourself "I'm just not talented," you start to believe that and close yourself off from opportunities and positive life experiences.
Now imagine if you did the opposite for your birth. Instead of giving into the unfounded fears you have, change the messages you tell yourself and start building trust and confidence in your body and birth. By the time labor starts, you'll feel like a badass ready to own her birth and take what she knows is possible!
My Favorite Affirmations
I couldn't just talk up birth affirmations without sharing some of my favorites!
Click here to check out my favorite affirmations I've saved on my Pinterest page.
Now go out and find yours, post them everywhere and take that positive birth you deserve!
It's happening, you're finally in labor! This is so exciting! Ok, let's get to work; I need to start breaking out all the positions I learned during my birthing class and get this baby out. They'll be here any time now!
Excitement is the most common emotion at the start of labor, but it can drive you to over-exert yourself too early during the process, leading to fatigue and frustration later down the road. Here are my top tips to help ease into labor, making the early stages feel more manageable and set you up for success later on.
Resting and sleep can do so much for you during the beginning of your birthing time. I tell all of my mamas and their partners to immediately hop into bed and try and sleep as long as possible.
When labor progresses, there will be a time when it's more difficult to relax between contractions, let alone sleep. Get the rest you can now to give you ample energy for later on.
As you sleep, your body relaxes, allowing your uterus and cervix all the energy it needs to keep opening. I advise mamas to sleep until they can't anymore. If you're worried about laying down, try sleeping upright in a cozy chair or with several pillows between your legs to keep gravity in your favor.
2. Eat & Drink
Much like sleep, keeping hydrated and fed gives you that all important energy you need to last through birth.
Have your partner remind you to drink a little bit after each contraction. Have several beverage options available, including ones with electrolytes like a sports drink or coconut water.
Eat simple, but complex foods to keep your energy up. Great examples are oatmeal with honey, toast with butter, rice and fruit. Try to avoid large meals that may sit wrong in your stomach later. Eat little bits as often as you can.
3. Take a Bath or Shower
Water therapy is an amazing comfort tool during all stages of labor. I encourage mamas to take a shower or bath earlier on to help them feel clean and refreshed for birth.
Baths are a wonderful tool to sink into and relax. Light some candles, sip on your drink and nibble on snacks while listening to soothing music. Use this time to rest and take care of yourself.
A shower is a great option if you need to feel fresh and rejuvenated. I recommend a quick shower for mamas when their waters have broken and they need a pick me up. Cleaning up in the shower is comforting and helps press the reset button for the next stage of labor.
4. Avoid Spreading the Word
You're excited, I know, but try and avoid telling too many people you're in labor. My typical advice is to keep this moment between only the people who will be present at your baby's birth.
Family and friends are going to be excited too, which may lead to extra checking in. Even if they don't reach out, you may now feel an obligation to let people know how things are going, or even feel stressed at how much time is passing during labor.
If updates are really necessary, pass your phone off to your doula to keep track of. You and your partner should be completely focused on birthing your baby and each other.
5. Have Plenty of Support
There is a lot to remember during birth, it's nice to have a professional with you from start to finish. A doula's job is to remember the things you can't and guide you on options that will help your birth be more comfortable and progress.
If you're concerned about remembering everything, being influenced by your care team, managing other family members or preventing a stressful environment, a doula would be an excellent tool for you.