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perinatal doula mentoring esali birth

Private Perinatal Doula Mentoring is the Future of Birth Education

Is doula mentoring or taking a birth class series more beneficial for birth education?  Obtaining information about the birth industry, the physiology of birth, and your options for a happy healthy birth is a well known step during pregnancy.  But, are birth class series a thing of the past?  Lamaze was so popular it is a household name for birth classes and taught in numerous hospitals across the world.  Bradley Method came in strong for empowering families to make choices that supported the birth they want.  Now birth education and doula organizations are around every corner and parents are wondering if they should take a class or hire a doula.  What differences are really being made here when we're seeing decreases in perinatal health, rises in cesareans, and more moms experience breastfeeding and postpartum difficulties despite the increase in big organization one-size-fits all approaches, even to natural childbirth.  I want to present you with the new holistic approach to perinatal care.

Perinatal Doula Mentoring is a one-on-one approach to the modern family.  Researching the plethora of options available to you as an expecting mother, or father, can be overwhelming to say the least.  Fitting in a sit-down class of information being thrown at you after you've worked an 8+ hour day, went to the gym, spent time with your family, and tried to get an hour of down time can be exhausting.  You know there are professionals out there trying to blog all the must-knows, but you just don't have the time or energy to read through every little detail and double check the studies.  You want to make your time count and you want to find the person that specializes in having well-rounded information and resources.  Perinatal Doula Mentoring is right for you, and geared towards millennials, meme-driven social media fans, and your typical modern family.

Perinatal Doula Mentoring is Individualized

Well of course I would love for you to sit through 20+ hours of birth classes and learn everything there is to learn about the basics of birth and all the remedies to labor variations and every single thing the modern birth industry might throw at you.  The truth is, psychology makes your brain lose interest on just about anything pretty quickly.  Your brain gets hyperfocused, though, on a few certain things you're experiencing right now or have been planted in your head in the past.  Perinatal Doula Mentoring means finding answers and support for those very specific questions when you need it.  After a prenatal appointment.  In the evening when a thought comes to you.  Not an hour into a birth series with five (or more) other couples, but whenever you want to ask.  Get your questions answered for your specific birth with #MOVdoula of Esali Birth.

Perinatal Doula Mentoring is Modern

Many birth series don't update their material after their initial "method" is developed.  Moreso, most birth series are focused on a standard set of information over a standard number of days and because most classes are group classes, deviating from the standard is difficult.  Perinatal doula mentoring with Esali Birth allows your one on one time with your doula to maximize on all the questions you have, and still have access to all the perinatal education series stuff in a virtual format available 24/7 so you can research and learn to your hearts content whenever and wherever you want.

Perinatal Doula Mentoring is Full Service

Many birth professionals only focus on one area of the childbearing years.  Antenatal doulas, birth doulas, birth education, postpartum doulas, lactation.  While there is a time for specific focuses, the childbearing years throughout history have been best experienced with the wise people of the culture passing down knowledge from generation to generation.  With Esali Birth perinatal doula mentoring, you're taken care of from questions and emotional care from TTC and pregnancy through labor discomfort and informed decisions as well as the postpartum stages and breastfeeding.  You have someone that you create a relationship with through the childbearing years.

Perinatal Doula Mentoring Creates Happy Healthy Births

Full Service Perinatal Doula Mentoring builds trust.  Trust builds oxytocin.  Oxytocin creates comfortable progressing labor.  Oxytocin balances the risks during labor and postpartum and breastfeeding.  Oxytocin is the key to Happy Healthy Birth.

Perinatal Doula Mentoring Avoids Awkward Conversations with Strangers

Perinatal Doula Mentoring can feel more relaxed as you communicate with one person well versed in the industry that knows the ins and outs of the good bad and in between of the childbearing years through a non-judgemental approach.  While traditional group birth classes create the opportunity for you to meet other families experiencing the same event and you can learn from the questions they have, they're not the right fit for everyone.  Many communities, Mid-Ohio Valley included, have great regular meetups for pregnancy, birth, and breastfeeding making an amazing opportunity to meet other people with questions just like you in the same stage of life (and beyond).

Perinatal Doula Mentoring is Flexible

Learn about birth and allay your fears on your own schedule with a perinatal doula mentor that is focused on meeting your personal needs.  Day jobs can be long stressful intense hours, shift work means one person isn't available at a regular time every week, and real modern life means a lot of activities on the schedule.  Perinatal Doula Mentoring with Esali Birth is flexible, meeting you when it fits in your schedule even virtually.  Topics can be completely customized to this pregnancy, this moment in time, and the questions you want answered at this stage.  Doula mentoring can happen in the morning, afternoon, evening, weekends, randomly, and spaced out through each trimester.  Mentoring can also happen routinely, even part of the time, and we can start with a set standard and veer off the path any time a thought pops in your head.  This emergent style approach is known to be more thorough and remembered because it follows your lead for the desires you have now, creates a lower stress environment because now the Perinatal Doula Mentor is meeting your needs instead of you trying to cram everything in to meet the needs of a standard birth class.  This is how we reach more families, make bigger impacts, and improve happy healthy birth for more modern parents.

Perinatal Doula Mentoring is #StackYourLife

This flexible, emergent-style, approach can be easily blended in a Walking Birth Class approach.  No more having to sit on the floor labor breathing (but we can do that if you'd like), we can meet at the park or at the mall, over dinner, or while putting together your nursery and postpartum care pack.  We can learn relaxation, positions, and comfort measures anywhere... your own special space or normal daily life, which is more the reality you'll find yourself in during labor anyway.  You don't have to fit this extra activity in,  because perinatal doula mentoring can happen anywhere it is convenient for you during any activity you already need to do.  Then you reduce your schedule, you get your movement in, you get your social time, and you learn about birth options - #stackyourlife.  An Esali Birth Perinatal Doula Mentor can help you finish up your nesting, make dinner for your family, go shopping, walk at the park, stretch and move, take care of your kids, and do all the things you have to do during normal life WHILE answering your questions and providing you with the information you need to make informed decisions for birth.

Perinatal Doula Mentoring is Affordable

With the traditional birth class approach, couples are spending money on a birth class, then they are spending money on a doula, then they are spending money on breastfeeding consultants, then they are spending money and time to get away from other must-do activities.  Having an Esali Birth Perinatal Doula Mentor provides you with birth education, emotional support, labor doula care, postpartum care, breastfeeding guidance and birth counseling all in one package.  You improve your opportunity for a happy healthy birth by creating more trust and a stronger relationship with your birth team, and you can invest in this holistic approach without needing to research and negotiate with multiple different professionals.  Many insurances, even some medicaid, and FSA/HSA and other health spending accounts cover doula care which, with a perinatal mentor, includes birth classes and breastfeeding counseling.

Perinatal Doula Mentoring Improves Birth Team Relationships

When you meet someone that can provide you with all the aspects of perinatal care including TTC counseling, birth classes, researching, emotional support, labor doula care, postpartum care, breastfeeding counseling, and birth counseling, the trust that is created is strong.  You're more likely to reach out to someone that knows your story.  You're more likely to reach out to a perinatal doula mentor that understands multiple aspects of the perinatal stages.  You're more likely to provide details that improve the way the doula can support you through labor and all the childbearing stages.  Trust increases oxytocin.  Oxytocin increases spontaneous labor and labor progression.  Oxytocin balances the risks during labor and postpartum and breastfeeding.  Oxytocin is the key to Happy Healthy Birth.

Perinatal Doula Mentoring is for Dads Too

While many dads are highly involved in the childbearing stages in our modern life, traditional birth classes don't always meet their individual needs.  Many dads are hesitant to open up in a traditional group birth class.  Many dads really need information that caters specifically to their emotional needs during pregnancy, birth, and postpartum.  Perinatal Doula Mentoring guides dads to support mom through these stages with to the point information, but also provides them with guidance on the reality that this can be a difficult experience for dads as well and they can't just be told to be strong and suck it up for mom.  Esali Birth Perinatal Doula Mentoring helps them find resources, supports them through the labor with guidance of support techniques, shows them how to help mom, and teaches them to care for themselves as well and reach out to outside support instead of trying to manage everything.  Dad is often the main one that will be supporting in the postpartum stages, and they are susceptible to depression and PTSD as well.  In addition to this same individualized support for dads, a Perinatal Doula Mentor with Esali Birth provides Man 2 Man classes that are specific for, and only for, dads.  Whether that is one on one with a dad that has been there before, or over a beer at the bar with the guys, a Man 2 Man class gives dads the opportunity to talk about the real questions they want to ask without judgement.

Perinatal Doula Mentoring is More than Education

Moms need more than just information on the birth industry and knowledge of how to make informed decisions.  Perinatal Doula Mentoring can support you with the information you've been given at prenatal appointments, and through symptoms you may be experiencing.  An Esali Birth Perinatal Doula Mentor can help you with stretching, movements, and active techniques that prevent labor discomfort as well as remedy these individual circumstances.  More than a basic prenatal yoga class or a standard set of exercises, perinatal doula mentoring can help baby get into a good position through abdominal massage, belly mapping, Spinning Babies techniques, and knowledge gained through experience of many mothers that have come before you.

#MOVdoula Perinatal Doula Mentoring

While group birth classes in a traditional, yet more comprehensive than other birth classes, will always be an option, Perinatal Doula Mentoring is the way most birth education is happening now with Esali Birth.  (Although, this same exact approach can be used with group classes, too, especially when it is a group of people that already know each other and want to receive care together for even just a few sessions).  Moms don't have time, and are often overwhelmed, with mom group variety answers, their friends' and family's advice, and all the blog posts and books thrown at them every time they have a twinge or fear.  Let's move past all the overwhelm and meet you where you are now with all the information and resources when they are needed.  With 10 years of experience, let me answer your questions without telling you to do more work than you already are.  You know you need to research, that's why you're asking the questions.  With the knowledge of traditional birth classes vs. the real support I can provide through Perinatal Doula Mentoring, let me give you all the same information on a schedule and in a location that caters to you.  Think of it as pampering, or just a super educated best friend.  Let #MOVdoula do the work so you can just breathe and just enjoy your Happy Healthy Birth.

A doula perinatal mentor is like your best friend.  Remember that love you had growing up with a friend that would listen to all your stories, ideas, and imaginary worlds you snail-mailed to each other?  Remember when you were sad, and she gave you a hug?  Remember when you had a question, and she'd help you find the answer?  A doula is your best friend through the childbearing years with an inside scoop about the modern birth industry and your amazing body.  Not every doula practices the same way, but an Esali Birth Perinatal Mentor strives to encompass all of the needs of the childbearing years through knowledge, skill, and networking.

What does a doula do?  What DOESN'T a doula do?

What a Doula Does

  1. Tells you her personal abilities to support YOU through whatever stage of birth you're experiencing
  2. Doesn't pretend to be superwoman, but offers you love and guidance through your personal birth experience
  3. Massages your feet, hands, face, and whatever will make you feel better
  4. Walks with you prenatally providing informational and emotional guidance
  5. Provides education and support that encourages you to make informed decisions
  6. Seeks to build your confidence so you can become aware of your personal power, knowledge of yourself, and capabilities as a mother or father
  7. Understands the birth industry and hurdles you may have to cross, and helps you navigate these paths
  8. Offers physical guidance to improve your overall health for a happy healthy birth
  9. Offers nutritional guidance to improve your overall health for a happy healthy birth
  10. Helps you find area professionals that can support you through happy healthy birth
  11. Helps you find area professionals that can support you through postpartum and parenting
  12. On call 24/7 (not just after 37 weeks and not just for active labor)
  13. Helps you find answers to questions and may perform many hours of research for clients
  14. Looks over your food journal to help see where you could improve from timing of eating to what you're ingesting
  15. Finds time for you and your family's needs
  16. Goes with you to the grocery store to help select healthy balanced food items
  17. Help you prep for postpartum by blending herbal baths, stocking your pantry, and packing your labor bag
  18. Reviews your birth guide (birth plan) for language, efficiency, and necessities to help you communicate with your birth team
  19. Networks with area professionals to help maintain a positive image in the community that will reflect on your birth experience
  20. Leads birth comprehensive birth classes that help you become aware of ALL your options for ALL births
  21. Leads perinatal comprehensive classes that help you become aware of ALL your options from pre-conception through postpartum and early parenting
  22. Can drive with you to long distance prenatal appointments to chat about what you want to talk about, and help you reflect on your prenatal appointment after it has occurred
  23. Provides consistent support prenatally, even when you are choosing to birth without a doula or with another doula
  24. Provides consistent support prenatally for mothers includes those experiencing PTSD from Previous Sexual Trauma while working with your therapist to ensure you have the best support team available no matter when you have your baby
  25. Supports #ALLthebirths because a doula is supporting YOU
  26. Supports the birth team's interaction with the laboring mother to improve her experience and memory of the birth
  27. Guides you and your birth partner on positive communication skills to improve your labor experience
  28. Provides physical support during labor for comfort
  29. Provides physical guidance during labor to help a baby move into a more comfortable position
  30. Provides emotional support during labor for comfort and birth progression
  31. Communicates with the staff about your needs for quiet and privacy during labor
  32. Doesn't flinch when your water breaks all over their shoes and the doula is in the middle of counter pressure for your comfort
  33. Helps you roll from side to side during a medicated birth and you have little feeling from an epidural
  34. Holds your baby on your breast during the first hours after a cesarean when you're a little in and out from the medication
  35. Cares for older siblings whether at a home birth, during the hospital, or when you need childcare during a scheduled cesarean
  36. Meets you at your home, in the woods for a walk, and at your labor facility to support you whenever you need support
  37. Watch your labor signs to help provide information that helps you decide when to transfer to your birth facility
  38. Encourages you to listen to your amazing body and all the signals it is providing you to move, breathe, and dance with your baby
  39. Helps comfort you through transferring to a birth facility
  40. Can drive you to your birth facility while your birth partner supports you during transfer to a birth facility
  41. Help setup a birthing tub for hydrotherapy
  42. Help tear down and cleanup a birthing tub after a water birth
  43. Get in the birthing tub with you to provide back pressure and position support
  44. Is comfortable with birth fluids near and on them
  45. Helps you find the labor noises that opens your cervix and brings baby down
  46. Reassures your birth partner that all these noises are expected and opening the cervix, bringing the baby down
  47. Help cleanup the house after a home birth
  48. Rotates and wiggles your hips to help baby move through the pelvis
  49. Dances with you during birth for emotional and physical support
  50. Offers birth ball use guidance
  51. Offers peanut ball use guidance
  52. Tells you how amazing you are to build your confidence, and oxytocin, in pregnancy and birth
  53. Tells your birth partner how amazing they are to build their confidence, and oxytocin, in supporting you through birth
  54. Takes the lead on supporting you as you desire
  55. Guides the direction of your birth partner so they can support you in a leading role
  56. Works alongside your birth partner
  57. Holds your hair back and a bag for vomit
  58. Provides support even when there are shift changes at your birth facility
  59. Turns down the lights to help oxytocin build to its fullest potential
  60. Encourages privacy to build oxytocin for labor progression and an enjoyable birth
  61. Encourages intimacy to build oxytocin for labor progression and an enjoyable birth
  62. Reminds you to listen to your body for positions and movement
  63. Reminds you to listen to your body for needs of rest and relaxation
  64. Reminds you to listen to your body for pushing birthing
  65. Reminds the facility of your birth guide
  66. Reminds you to speak up for your desires
  67. Reminds you of your human rights during labor and birth
  68. Reminds you that you CAN birth vaginally when others are telling you that you don't have a choice
  69. Reminds you that you CAN choose a cesarean when others are telling you that you don't have a choice
  70. Fills up your water bottle, adds a little cucumber and fruit for electrolyte balance
  71. Reminds you to take sips of water for hydration
  72. Reminds you to eat light balanced foods, broths, and fruit as desired during labor
  73. Reminds you to communicate with your provider and staff for your wishes
  74. Reminds you that, "No Thank You" and "Not Right Now" are powerful words in the labor space
  75. Gets cooling wash cloths for your face and neck
  76. Gets warm towels for perineal support
  77. Provide hip squeezes to allow comfort and room for the baby
  78. Uses a rebozo for comfort and encouraging baby to rotate through the pelvis
  79. Works with the rest of the birth team and the staff to ensure you have all the perspectives when needed
  80. Answers the phone at 3 am to help you find calm in the early hours of labor, and breastfeeding
  81. Shares area contacts for perinatal services such as breastfeeding or osteopathic therapy
  82. Makes you a cup of tea and a sandwich while you're nursing your baby
  83. Brings your family dinner so you all can rest during postpartum
  84. Listens to your birth story and encourages you to feel all the feels
  85. Helps you wrap your baby for a more hands-free and connected postpartum
  86. Guides you on breastfeeding latch and positions for more comfort
  87. Guides you on when to seek more support for any issues that may arise during postpartum or parenting
  88. Go-to for perinatal-related information and support
  89. Connects the dots between birth choices and birth experience to help you process and understand your birth experience
  90. Checks in on you in the days after birth to ensure you are holistically supported
  91. Offers LOVE - hugs, tears, laughter and love

I can't say that a doula is right for everyone.  I can say that when you have a relationship built with your doula, the ability for better support during labor grows.  A doula is that best friend willing to be by your side through every experience, day or night, weekday or weekend, holidays and spur of the moment.  If you're looking for labor options, a doula perinatal mentor can be a beacon of light through the childbearing years.

Let's chat about how you can be supported through pregnancy, labor, and postpartum.

Audible Books for Doulas Esali Birth

Audible books for doulas are a great way to add depth to professional doula training, continuing education, and pleasure reading for birth pros including midwives and birth educators.  I'm a fan of Kindle books, digital books, and other ebook options and we use our local digital library regularly for homeschooling and general reading.  However, it isn't often I want a digital reference book for herbalism, midwifery, or birth wisdom where I can't hold it in my hand, easily share, and have when the batteries run out.  I have on many occassion chosen to have both digital and physical copies for a sort of the best of both worlds for bookmarking content or sharing with clients, but Audible books for doulas and birth professionals brings a whole new level to these busy callings.

One amazing thing Audible books for doulas can do is free up our time and get us moving.  Having a job where you do a lot of bending over and sometimes driving can be taxing on the alignment of the body.  Driving many miles and hours to reach clients for prenatals, postpartum appointments, and start and stop births can give you a lot of listening time for not only educational literature, but motivational and entertainment reading as well that you may otherwise not make the time for during your down days.

Here are Audible books for doulas you can start listening to on the way to your next birth.

Audible Books for Doulas, Midwives, Childbirth Educators and Birth Pros

Call the Midwife Trilogy

If you've enjoyed watching the highly popular BBC series, Call the Midwife, you'll really love listening to the memoir trilogy as it was originally written (plus an additional fourth book not yet available on Audible as Jennifer Worth recounts her post-midwifery days, doulaing those at the end of their earthly life as many birthworkers go on to hold space full circle and other paperback gems).

Book 1 - Call the Midwife: A Memoir of Birth, Joy, and Hard Times

Book 2 - Shadows of the Workhouse

Book 3 - Farewell to the East End

Book 4 - In the Midst of Life (paperback)

Correspondance Letters to the Midwife (paperback)

The Midwife's Sister (paperback) - by Christine Lee, Jennifer Worth's sister

The Midwife of Hope River

Patricia Harman, West Virginia author and former midwife, takes you on a relatable journey as you travel to your birth clients with real life inspired stories and a series of books enjoyable by all birth professionals.

Other Audible Books by Patricia Harman:

The Midwife of Hope River: A Novel of an American Midwife

The Reluctant Midwife: A Hope River Novel

The Blue Cotton Gown: A Midwife's Memoir

Beautiful Birth Meditation Guide

This one is for the audio device during a prenatal or birth.  When you or the rest of the birth team need a little break, or mom is simply relaxed in the birth tub - play this softly in the background if it feels desireable to her.  This is also a good guide to listen to on the way to a birth to remind you of the meditative guidance you can use for your clients.

Supernatural Childbirth

Author Jackie Mize writes to inspire families to trust God in their body's design for pregnancy and birth.  This positively motivational and scripture-supported audible book is a great option for doulas and parents to inspire and encouraging for the perinatal stages.

If you're traveling near and far you may be running low on time spent cozying up by the fire for your next down-time-book.  Audible books for doulas are great when you don't have extra time, but drive a lot or as movement motivators to anticipate your daily walking habits, or while you're prepping snack bags for the littles when you're on call.  So, whether you're taking your doula agency to the next workshop or soaking up the personal time on your way to a birth, you'll love these audible books for doulas.

Looking for other book shelf items?  Take a look at this book list for your birth book shelf.

What books have you enjoyed listening to as a birth mentor?

Birth Professional Training From the Comfort of Your Home

Ready to support families on their journey through the childbearing years?  Now is the time!  I've totally transformed the way I'm offering the 9 years of energy I've put into developing Esali Birth thus far.  Training, simply.

Did you know?  You don't actually need to have a regulated certification to offer childbirth support services?  Sound crazy?

Did your mom need a certification to teach you how to cook?

Did you need certified to hug a friend in need?

Did you need a certification to use your innate logical abilities to find research that is available at our fingertips?

No... and that's exactly the same with childbirth educators, doulas, and helping families get started on the right foot with breastfeeding and parenting.

Then why should you spend upwards of $3000 just to get started in this industry before you ever start gaining experience?  You shouldn't.  You were designed to support your fellow humans.  You were designed for THIS!  This is knowledge our culture lost because of scandalous marketing practices from those desiring to change the birth scene in their favor.  This is not a marketing ploy to get my business into every hospital childbirth educator system like many certification agencies... its just me wanting to share information you deserve so that we can actually change birth options for families across the world.  Not to mention... the whole package of TTC support, childbirth educator, doula, and breastfeeding counselor like Esali Birth offers just can't be beat.

Why Esali Birth?

I've simply made it a WHOLE lot easier for you to get started through an in-the-box format of perinatal mentor training.

  • No long distance workshops.  All training is online at your own pace.
  • No need to create your own curriculum (though that option is available - and even for a discounted price!).
  • No mandated CEU's (though you'll naturally desire more education the further you go as a perinatal mentor).
  • No annual membership fees (because I do most of my own marketing, web design, and graphic design so I rarely need to pass those fees along to someone else's salary... this keeps my business small, but enables me to provide you with the information you need).
  • Get started supporting families throughout their entire childbearing years from pre-conception through pregnancy, during birth, and throughout breastfeeding and early parenting.
  • Totally independent.  No... really... your business - not mine.  Just like college, workshops, and other training abilities, they do not mandate how you have to practice for the rest of your life.  You're simply given a certificate of completion - and the whole entire course manual and get-starting-business-material should you desire that option as a bonus.

Want to learn more?

Visit the Perinatal Mentor Training page for a more in-depth look into Esali Birth mentor training or get in touch.

 

5 Books for Childbirth

Birth books never get old at my house.  Are you looking for some great reads this winter?  Here are five birth books you can cozy up by the fire with and really start digging deep into birth practices, their influences on maternal-fetal health, and how to get started now helping your mentoring clients or making your pregnancy more holistic and comfortable.

Safer Childbirth? by Marjorie Tew

This book is a hard look at the history of maternity practices - from cultural and anthropological influence to studies and evidence completely disregarded and twisted - that literally changed the way we believe about birth and the misconceived perception of safety that runs rampant with many providers and birthing facilities, with research to back.  If you're new to the birth scene, definitely grab a copy of this!  If you're seasoned, especially if you have formal education and find birthing practices and helping women intriguing, definitely grab a copy of this!

Tew tells us, "Action to reduce losses in childbirth still further would have to concentrate on improving the health of the neediest mothers.  In the light of past performance, there is not the slightest reason to believe that the desired objective would be achieved by increasing the medical input into maternity care. On the contrary, fewer losses would result if the medical input into maternity care were greatly restricted, while access to, and uptake of, healthy diets and social support became universal."

Hear, hear!

Move Your DNA by Katy Bowman, M.S.

Many of you may have read Katy Bowman's interview years ago about the negative impacts of kegels (read: mono-movement) and importance of [proper] squatting (though, in reality - it is movement she's getting at - not just squatting).  You may not have realized that within that time, that interview exponentially increased her traffic and in addition to her amazing Nutritious Movement website, she has many amazing books that are an absolute must read for any... modern human!  What I love most?  She further instills my annoyance over "exercises" and instead encourages fun and functional balanced daily movement.

Movement - rather body alignment which is created from healthy daily movement - is crucial for the body's biological ability to birth smoothly.  There's only so much healthy eating can do for you.  While not a perinatal-specific book, this is a foundational look into some of the most common health conditions of our modern cultures which directly relates to many common birth and breastfeeding complications.

Bowman urges us, "I want you to keep exercise and movement separate in your mind because there are many movements we wouldn't consider exercise that are essential to the tissues of the body.  For example, the workings of an infant's mouth while feeding at the breast are different than the workings of an infant's mouth while feeding off a bottle.  In the end, the task of getting milk is accomplished no matter if you take a boob or a bottle, but the process of milking the breast, it turns out, is important to the optimal formation of the jaw and face bones.  The structure of the face bones and established motor patterns of the face muscles end up affecting other processes, like breathing and swallowing, as ell as the space available for tooth eruption."

mmmmhmmm.... I know - all you mommas out there that have ever interacted with me for breastfeeding support are probably hearing my voice in your head repeating my caution of things like pacifiers, am i right?  This is a great lead into the next dig-deeper book recommendation.

Impact of Birthing Practices on Breastfeeding, 2ed. by Linda J. Smith and Mary Kroeger

Still one of my most absolute favorite books.  Period.  If I could quote the entire amazing information here, I would.  It is just so good and I am constantly astonished by the persons that work within the maternity industry that not only haven't read this book, but are completely unaware of the information within.  This title is a picked apart, intensely researched, look at birthing practices from the big ones - like cesarean and pain relief - the seemingly insignificant ones with big impacts - like IV fluid and mother's position at birth.  I mean, wow!  It is worth every single penny and I do so hope that if you're a perinatal mentor, that this is already on your bookshelf.  If not, please add this one soon!

The authors explain in the chapter on Effects of IV Hydration on Maternal Stress, Breast Edema, and Lactogenesis, "Postpartum breast engorgement is a major barrier to establishment of effective and comfortable breastfeeding.  Only recently have clinicians differentiated between onset of copious milk secretion (lactogensis III) and edema... Many mothers have left birth facilities by day 2-4, and may not have access to adequate professional support in the critical first week postbirth."

Then the snowball just keeps rolling.

Dr. Jack Newman's Guide to Breastfeeding, Revised Ed. by Dr. Jack Newman and Teresa Pitman

Dr. Jack Newman has some of the most thorough and equally the most effective - simple - breastfeeding information available.  There are a lot of great resources out there, but if you're looking for that one title to add to your shelves, this is it.  It is great for expecting mothers without having to filter through a lot of opinions or outdated support techniques to get to the basics of breastfeeding and likewise a great flip-through reference for perinatal mentors.

Have you experienced this yourself?  Newman explains, "A baby who 'latches on just fine for the first few days' and then cannot latch on when the mother's milk comes in and she becomes engorged probably didn't latch on in the first few days: he pretended to.  If a baby breastfeeds well in the first few days, the mother may feel full when her milk 'comes in,' but she should not be so engorged that the baby cannot latch on."

Did your mentor share this information with you?  This is only the tippity top of the iceberg of information contained within these pages dispelling myths - even in the birth support community.

Herbal Healing for Children by Demetria Clark

You know I couldn't do a list like this without some recommendation of herbal wellness.  Many new mentors and parents are looking for compact information that makes their lives easier and healthier.  This is a great book for the shelf that does just that.  Not limited to children, despite the title, it is great for the whole family by offering pages and pages of whole-family safe recipes and basic herbal care knowledge sharing.  Everything from cradle cap and diaper rash remedies to infestations, infections, and fever support - this is a great go-to for feeling more confident in parenting (always helpful) and having resources available for mentoring clients.

A little excerpt encourages, "Treating a child with herbs can be an effective way to fortify the body and cure illness.  Herbal medicine is the right choice for kids because it blends modern medical research with ancient practices and remedies.  Children generally respond well to herbal remedies, even when they are administers in tiny doses.  Children's bodies are sensitive and react promptly to an herb's synergistic, efficient, gentle effects."

This was one of the first books I ever bought on herbal wellness when my littles were tinies and it just fed my obsession of obtaining herbal awareness.  I still reference this at times for my personal mentoring clients when time is of the essence.

BONUS!

Man's Guide to Birth by Danielle Bergum

Last but not least, a little bonus book - and free with Kindle Unlimited - though I may be a little biased on this title, is Esali Birth's Man's Guide to Birth which is a pocket-guide style summary of the holistic knowledge shared from Esali Birth Mentoring.  From conception through pregnancy, into birth, and during postpartum and early parenting - each page is a tip to follow with a quick summary.  No new parent should be without this guide, and every mentor should have this in their lending library.

danielle bergum mentoring doula support

Birth Classes + Doula Support for #ALLtheBirths

The Esali Birth Perinatal Mentor Doula Package is an excellent option for:

  • First-Time Mothers
  • VBAC Mothers
  • Families searching for guidance and information
  • Mothers with more than 4 weeks before their estimated birth time
  • Families with basic to limited knowledge of birth physiology and the birth industry
  • Families undecided of birth location and/or care provider
  • Families planning a birth center or hospital birth
  • Mothers with previous birth or life trauma
  • Mothers fearful of birth trauma, pain, manipulation and coercion from care providers and birth facilities
  • Mothers timid or shy with new experiences, people, and/or places
  • Mothers experiencing a high stress pregnancy or life situation

Keep in mind that doula packages are based on your personal needs and are more specifically discussed during consultations and as we lay out our doula-client agreement.  Prices are estimates and add-on options are available.

Esali Birth Perinatal Mentor Doula Package Description

As a perinatal mentor, I provide you with thorough education and support and nurture a connected relationship over the course of your pregnancy which enhances my ability to support you and your family through a trusted relationship.   A comprehensively holistic birth class with Esali Birth ensures you have the information that is the most helpful to achieving a happy healthy birth in whatever environment you choose and makes sure we're on the same page with what routines may be presented to you that may or may not match your personal birth philosophy.  I come to you during labor whenever you desire my presence, whether that be at home or your desired birth location.  If you're preparing for a home birth and transfer is needed or desired, I will transfer with you.

  • 20 hours birth mentoring sessions (a full birth series or private custom Q&A and mentoring - locally and/or online)
  • Access to the complete online self-paced perinatal Esali Birth Class until you birth your baby
  • Attendance at prenatal appointments and/or prenatal support at your home for optimal fetal positioning and alignment, birth counseling and general prenatal support (amount is determined by you)
  • Full labor support until first breastfeeding latch and you're ready for private family bonding (with guidance on gentle latch techniques and what to look for over the first few days)
  • Birth photography with all digital files and printing rights (limited - your support will be the first priority)
  • Postpartum visit for birth counseling, breastfeeding support, and postpartum care within the first 1-2 weeks after the birth
  • Unlimited messaging and phone support

Price Approximates:

  • Home Birth - $1500
  • Hospital or Birth Center - $1750

The final cost of this packaged is based on the specifics of your desires for support including the number of prenatal appointments you desire, your birth location and if you are a former doula client.

Doula packages are based on your personal needs and are more specifically discussed during consultations and as we lay out our doula-client agreement.  The following are basic options with various add-on services available.

I accept approximately 3 clients per month.  My radius for labor and birth is within approximately 1.5 hours of zip 26164.

I provide doula support for:

  • Home Birth
  • Hospital Birth
  • Unassisted Birth
  • Medicated Birth
  • Cesarean Birth
  • Parkersburg, Marietta, Athens, Charleston, & Bridgeport and surrounding areas
  • CCMH
  • MMH
  • UHC
  • CAMC
  • Teays Valley Birth Center
  • Whatever kind of birth you're having, wherever that may end up

Locations beyond those listed are available, just ask!  Mentoring and classes are held online as well as Ravenswood or Parkersburg or in your home.

Financial Arrangements
A deposit is required upon signing an agreement to secure your birth time in my schedule.  Payments are then made according to the schedule outlined in our agreement.  Gift Certificates are available and doula support is an excellent item to add to your gift registry.

Perinatal education and doula support is a holistic investment for you, your baby, and your family.  Studies show doula-attended births result in more spontaneous births, lower intervention rates, better breastfeeding rates, and happier families both from education received, awareness of options, and continuous care from a trusted ally.  Your birth will change your life whether you plan for that or not.  Education and adequate support can be an immense preventative measure for the health and happiness of you, your baby, and your family's future whether that's by improving your birth experience and/or improving your ability to enjoy and understand your birth experience.  Many insurance companies will reimburse for doula services and you're encouraged to submit a claim.  Though I do not submit claims, I do have an NPI number and provide submission information for clients.

Insurance Reimbursement

My doula services, including antenatal doula mentoring, labor doula, and postpartum doula care may be reimbursable by your insurance company.  Fees are required to be paid in full and you must submit your own claims; however, I will provide my NPI number and supporting information to help you with your claim submission.  In many cases, a well-written letter explaining how you believe doula support reduced costs for your birth, as well as persistence, will provide you with a reimbursement.  Please contact for any questions.

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