What is a labor doula?
A labor doula is a birth professional trained in supporting families through pregnancy, childbirth and postpartum recovery. Your doula provides you with emotional support through the decisions you make during your pregnancy and birth, as well as physically throughout your labor. Your doula provides you with continuous care that is not found anywhere else in your birthing experience. Doulas affiliated with Wilmington Coastal Doulas work with every client without judgment. This kind of care helps client’s feel prepared and confident. Continuous care from a doula during delivery takes pressure off of your family, allowing them to be fully present for you and care for themselves while you are not left without support.
Can my doula help me labor in my home?
Yes!There are some situations that your doula is unable to labor with you in your home due to medical reasons. Without these specific reasons present your doula can either meet you in your home to help support you before you leave for the hospital or meet you at the hospital. When you call your doula to let her know that you are in labor she will then be able to provide phone support for you until you are ready for her to meet you at either location.
Is New Hanover Regional Medical Center welcoming of doulas?
Wilmington Coastal Doulas first priority is to support you. With that in mind, we maintain professional relationships with anyone who is part of your support team and that includes your Midwife or OBGYN. Because of our professionalism with all administration and staff, we are always welcome to assist you at NHRMC.
Can I hire a doula for my scheduled cesarean?
Absolutely! Your doula is someone who is going to support all of your decisions and help you achieve your goals. Our clients who have given birth by cesarean have had opportunity to go over options and the need to make certain decisions. The way in which a baby gets here can be different, but the ultimate goal, for you to feel empowered and supported, is exactly the same.
Why do you work in pairs?
Our agency is structured to work in pairs to give you a solid team that you are familiar with from your first consult clear through your postpartum period. There is an extremely small chance that you will have an unfamiliar back up come to the hospital to support you.
How much is a consultation and where do you meet for them?
Our consultations are provided at no cost. They are typically an hour long, giving you time to get to know your doula team. The in-person consultations are provided in the privacy of your home so you are free to speak openly about any personal topics regarding your upcoming birth. At your request, we can meet outside of your home publicly or hook up on Google Hangouts if you are out of our area.
What is a postpartum doula?
A postpartum doula is an expert in helping families with their transition of bringing a new baby home. They are not only there to make sure all of your physical needs are met, but focus on caring for the entire family, giving you the opportunity to thrive as new parents. They are trained to recognize what is in the realm of normal for postpartum recovery, possible mood disorders and connect you with helpful resources in the community. Your postpartum doula will help you discover what parenting philosophy will work best for your family and work with you to achieve that.
What is the benefit of a postpartum doula?
The benefit of hiring a postpartum doula is that you have a professional with you to help you answer those unknown new baby questions, help you build confidence as new parents and be the first line of defense against postpartum depression and other perinatal mood disorders. Your doula can recognize symptoms and be a trusted person to talk with, provide professional resources and support you through it. She can come to you during the time you feel is most beneficial for you. If you need overnight care so you can get rest, you can rest assured your baby is being taken care of by the area’s most dedicated doulas. If having your doula come to you during the day is where you will get the most benefit out of her then she will show up and help you implement strategies that best fit your family’s needs.
How is a postpartum doula different than a night ‘nurse’ or nanny?
When you hire a postpartum doula, you are hiring a professional that is trained to focus on the needs of the entire family. Your doula can help you with establishing routines, scheduling, self-care, meal prepping, light house duties, postpartum recovery as well as caring for your baby. You are hiring someone who understands where you are and is available for your emotional support. Your non-judgmental postpartum doula can be that connection with you that you need during your early postpartum period. If you want a professional to walk with you through those first few months adjusting to being a parent, your doula will leave you feeling refreshed and confident. When you hire a night nurse you could have a great experience with someone who cares for your baby when you need them to, but the trained support for postpartum families as the whole picture, will be missing.
Does my doula help with meal prep and other household responsibilities?
Your doula works with you to ensure your transition is as smooth as possible. One shift with your postpartum doula may look like this: Your doula arrives and comes in quietly to a sleeping baby. You want to head immediately to the shower and finally lay down in your bed alone for the remainder of baby’s nap. You let your doula know the last time your baby ate and head to the shower. When you awake from your nap an hour and a half later, you head to the kitchen to find your doula talking softly to your swaddled baby with fresh water and a snack prepared for you. While enjoying your snack you decide to ask your doula some questions about your postpartum recovery and by the time your conversation is over, you are put at ease knowing that you aren’t alone in your thoughts. Before your doula’s shift is over you are able to do a nursing session so you can show your doula your baby’s latch. Because of the pain you have been experiencing throughout the duration of the nursing session, your doula has an IBCLC that she gives a quick call to and is able to talk you through the reasons for the discomfort. After your baby is done with his or her meal, your doula shows you a couple variations of the swaddle that you can try. Sounds divine right?! So to answer the question, yes, your doula can help with meal prep and household responsibilities, but as you can see the emotional support is not tangible which makes all the extra’s simply icing on the cake.
Can my doula help us overnight?
Yes! Because of our agency structure, we have the availability to provide a doula for you whether you choose day shifts, night shifts or a combination of both.
Will my doula be available to me for questions when she is not in my home?
Yes! You will have your doula’s personal number to send text or call. We know there can be tough times with a new baby at any time of day or night and we want you to have access to someone who can help you through those moments. We do ask that you keep calls in the middle of the night hours on a need to call basis.
What are the benefits of placenta encapsulation?
The positive benefits for placenta encapsulation are anecdotal. There isn’t scientific evidence regarding documented benefits of consuming your placenta, but I can tell you the reasons we receive so many calls for placenta encapsulation. Here are the 5 most common reasons for women to call about hiring a Postpartum Placenta Specialist. 1. Help promote breastmilk production. 2. To fight fatigue. 3. Stabilize hormone ups and downs 4. To replenish iron supply and the most common reason for women to have their placenta processed and encapsulated is to prevent or reduce the risk of postpartum depression.
Where is the process of encapsulation done?
The process of encapsulation is done in your home. We process in our clients’ homes for a few reasons. When in your home your placenta is not exposed to unfamiliar bacteria and you will not have any doubt that the placenta being encapsulated is indeed yours. If we encapsulated in our own homes that would mean at any given time we would have multiple placenta’s to be responsible for. By setting the standard of in clients’ homes only, we eliminate the possibility of any doubt. Lastly, we are Postpartum Placenta Specialists. We provide not only the service of encapsulating your placenta, but within the time we are in your home we are available for any postpartum help, questions or concerns.
What if my visitors are grossed out or uncomfortable?
This decision isn't for everyone and we recognize that. When you decide to encapsulate your placenta, it is a private decision you make about your birth and postpartum recovery that you aren't obligated to share with anyone, especially if you feel you will receive judgment. You know what is right for you and you can be confident in your decision. When your Postpartum Placenta Specialist is finished with your product, it will not look any different than another supplement.
Do I need to be in my home while you are encapsulating?
You do not need to be in your home for any of the process. If it is more comfortable for you to be present throughout the process or not at all, we will support your decision.
How long will it take for the process to be complete?
Overall the process takes about 24 hours, but your Postpartum Placenta Specialist will be with you 2 consecutive days, 2 hours each.
Is there anything I need to have ready for you before you start?
We will have everything we need with us when we arrive to service your placenta. We will need to have access to your stovetop, sink, counterspace and an area to sit the dehydrator overnight with an outlet to plug it into. All of our equipment is sanitized before arriving to your home.
How does this service work?
With each sleep package there is a one hour skype/facetime or phone consultation where your sleep consultant will ask questions and listen to you give details about where you would like to make some sleep adjustments. Together, you and your consultant will create a sleep plan that fits your unique family. Depending on your chosen package, this will determine how hands on your sleep consultant will be with you as you implement your predetermined sleep plan.
How old does my baby need to be before we start?
The techniques used for teaching babies to get good, healthy stretches of sleep is going to depend on the age of the baby. At as young as two weeks you can implement a gentle schedule that they are biologically ready for, called sleep shaping.
How long does the process typically take?
When changing a routine for anyone, there is typically some protesting involved and the amount of time to become accustomed to the change varies for everyone. Babies are no different when it comes to having their own personalities. The process of sleep coaching will depend on the method used, the age of the baby or child and the consistency with implementing your sleep strategy. Always give two weeks for a change in routine to show results you are looking for, but you may be surprised that it can take as little as three nights.
Do you come into my home to sleep train our baby?
This depends on the package you decide on. There is the option of virtual sleep coaching as well as in-person. Your consultant can help you discover what would work best for you during your consultation.
Do you involve the parents?
Parents can be as involved as they like! There are options for coaching parents through sleep training their babies over phone or skype and there is an in-person option as well. This option allows the sleep consultant to model the predetermined sleep strategy for the first few nights allowing the parents to get the rest they need as well as gain the confidence to continue with their plan.
I've heard bad things about sleep training! Can you explain why it's good and not harsh?
When sleep training is talked about publicly it is coming from a place of not understanding a baby's physical need for sleep. The issue on forums is presented as very black and white; bed-share or cry it out. Well, we are here to tell you there is a middle ground that does not involve abandoning your child and leaving them with trust issues throughout their lifetime (a common theme presented on sleep training). Rather, our approach prepares your baby or child to fall asleep independently, setting the whole family up for success and giving your little one a tool that will last a lifetime!
What does a sample of this service look like from beginning to end?
In the beginning your sleep consultant will get to know a little about your family; what's working for your current sleep routine, what's not working and how we can help. Then together we come up with a sleep strategy for daytime, night time and night wakings. Once a day is decided on to start implementing this new routine, your sleep consultant will be present (either virtually or in-person) to help you as you navigate teaching your child a new skill and creating the sleep environment you've always wanted! There are weekly check in's from your sleep consultant and availability for questions if you ever hit a speed bump through our private Facebook group.
Can my partner be involved as well?
Of course! Anyone who is on the same page as you wanting to implement healthy sleep routines for your baby can be another great support person, reassuring you of all the great information you've learned and cheering you on. Often times, partners have different results with putting the strategy in place and you might find it's your preference that your partner take a leading role in the bedtime routine.
How does sleep training work with feedings in the middle of the night?
With sleep shaping and training, we look at the whole 24 hours and base your baby's daily and nightly routine appropriately, according to their age, weight and development. If your baby is waking for night feedings you and your sleep consultant will implement a plan for encouraging your baby to fall asleep independently when finished with nursing or taking their bottle.
Can I sleep train my baby and still breastfeed?
Yes! Sleep training does NOT interfere with breastfeeding as it does not replace providing your baby with necessary nutrients. Sleep training or shaping is the focus of teaching your baby how to fall asleep independently for bedtime like a pro so when they wake in the night (like we all do!) they will have the tools to put themselves back to sleep without you needing to be up and down multiple times.
My baby is 18 months old. Is this too late to sleep train?
Not at all! It is never too late to implement healthy sleep routines. Whether your child is still an infant or further into being more independent, they can all learn new strategies that benefit the whole family. Wilmington Coastal Doulas is here to help you create a customized plan for your family that will literally change your life!
Infant Feeding Services
What is an Infant Feeding Specialist?
An Infant Feeding Specialist is qualified to provide families with infant feeding support and education in a judgment free, evidence-based practice. An IFS does not give medical advice and does not interfere with medical professionals or Internationally Board Certified Lactation Consultants.
What is the difference between an IFS and Internationally Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC)?
An IBCLC is a healthcare professional that manages the clinical side of breastfeeding with their patients. An IFS recognizes an IBCLC as the medical professional (along with the family's pediatrician) and supports the direction and suggestion from the pediatrician or IBCLC. The Infant Feeding Specialist is trained to be able to assist with feeding goals in between the time the family is able to see their doctor or IBCLC.
How does this service work?
Our infant feeding packages include an in-person consultation either prenatally or postpartum as well as 5 in-person or skype sessions until baby's first birthday. Throughout that year your IFS is an ongoing source of information and support. This service also comes with recommended resources from vetted referral networks in the community.
When would we first meet with you?
Meeting prenatally will allow us time to talk about your goals and customize a plan to help you work towards them once baby arrives. While this may be ideal to meet before you bring baby home, we can meet at any time you are wanting feeding support. This can be a one time meeting to help you through a challenge and come up with a plan or you can opt in for the year long support with our infant feeding package.
What does a sample of this service look like from beginning to end?
An example of this service might look like this: We are contacted by an expecting family who has goals to breastfeed their baby, but knows through a previous procedure that they may face challenges. Our Infant Feeding Specialist meets with the family to talk about their goals and create a plan. With the knowledge and community referrals their IFS has, she is able to help them create a personalized feeding plan that supports their goals. After their baby is born and they are home from the hospital, their IFS makes a home visit at their request. She was asked to come to check baby's latch and ensure he was getting a good feeding. Their IFS stayed with the family for an hour and a half, answered some questions that reassured the parents and told them she'd check in the following day. Throughout the baby's first year, their IFS visited their home or met via skype four more times to cover a variety of topics that typically come up within the first year. She helped with pumping and introducing the bottle for the first time getting him used to taking a feeding from a bottle so others could feed him, dropping a feeding at night, weaning and introducing solids. Throughout the year their were check ins from their IFS, phone calls and texts for support that allowed for this family's experience to feel nothing other than supported.
Where do I go for the classes?
Our childbirth education classes are provided in the comfort of your own home, so we come to you! The atmosphere for each class is relaxed and conversational.
Are there other families in the classes?
Our classes are typically one couple at a time, but the flexibility allows them to be combined with friends!
What time do they take place?
Our classes were created to meet busy couples where they are at and that means your childbirth education sessions can be offered during the day or in the evening!
What days are they offered?
Each class is scheduled as needed, so the days will vary. Once you have selected which class you would like to have brought to your home, we put it on our schedule!
Are there different class options?
There are currently three class options. The smallest one is a total of two hours and the longest one is nine hours. The nine hour class can be completed in one full day or broken down into smaller sessions, the most being three.
How many classes will we need to take?
It will depend on what you are wanting to get out of your class. Contact us at 910.707.4507 and we will be happy to help you find the class that fits you best!
Are they offered on the weekend?
Most of our classes are offered Monday -Friday during the daytime or evening. Under special circumstances classes may be held on the weekend.