Happy Healthy Spine, located in St. Petersburg, is pleased to host guest blogger, Chrystin Pflum, CLD, CIMI, of Serene Birth Services. Read on to learn more about her offerings as a doula and birth photographer.
What Does a Doula Do?
Even though doulas are becoming more popular, there are still a lot of questions and misinformation about what doulas actually do. The original definition is “woman who serves woman.” The newer generation defines doulas as informational, emotional and physical support for the birthing person and their family. But what exactly does that support look like? I can really only speak for myself because doulas are as unique as the births they attend. For example, I’m also a photographer specializing in maternity, birth and newborn portraits. So all my doula clients receive the bonus of a birth photographer too.
When an inquiring family contacts me about my doula services, we usually start with a quick call or email to get some of the basic questions out of the way. From there, we meet in person. It is so important to have a connection with your doula! You should feel comfortable and confident in her support! It’s also important for the other parent-to-be to connect with the doula too. Especially since they will be working as a team to support the birthing person.
Partnership In Pregnancy, Birth and Beyond
When the family makes the decision to hire me. My support begins immediately, I’m now on-call for you no matter what gestational stage you are in. My clients gain access to my online portal and additional resources. You’ll find my recommendation of amazing providers like Dr. Shannon Whitlock and more on there. We will meet in your home for the birth prep meeting. Here, we will discuss your birthing desires, what the protocols are of the hospital, how to communicate with your provider and so much more. Clients often say they feel more confident and have a clearer understanding of what to expect after this meeting. This can significantly reduce fears and anxiety about the upcoming birth.
Now we wait till the moment begins and your baby is ready to meet you earth side. Oftentimes, my client can go days of start-stop contractions before their body goes into active labor. I still provide comfort techniques and help you navigate through the early stages of labor over the phone. When labor picks up and you’re ready for me to join you, I evaluate you and your surroundings, making sure you have your basic needs to help you during your labor. I’ll ask if you’re ready for music, adjust the lighting and possibly get the essential oils going if that’s what you like. Throughout your labor, I’ll continue to gently guide you in ways that are beneficial to you. When faced with making decisions that might not have been a part of your desires, I’ll be there to offer information and emotional support. Birth can be a roller coaster of many different emotions. With my support, knowledge, and warm presence, I hope to make my clients feel more confident and empowered by their birth.
Once you’ve delivered your baby, I stay a couple hours to lend a helping hand. This postpartum support looks a little different for everyone. It could be anything from ordering your food, hand feeding you as you feed your baby, allowing your partner to get a quick nap, breastfeeding support and so much more. Then I’ll say my goodbyes and follow up with texts to check in until our official postpartum visit. During the postpartum visit, we chat about your baby, I’ll ask how everyone is adjusting. Sometimes clients need help figuring out baby wearing, cloth diapers, feeding questions and so on. This closing meeting is always a little sad for me. I hate saying goodbye!
I hope that I’ve answered some of your questions about what doula support looks like. If there’s anything I haven’t covered, please reach out by calling 727-439-5468 or e-mailing Chrystindoula@gmail.com or Info@serenebirthservices.com. I’m happy to help! Visit Serene Birth Services website to learn more about doula and photography services.