Best Doulas in Houston

Expertise.com is a website that connects consumers with the best experts in their areas. This year they researched and created a list naming the top 16 Doulas in Houston for 2017. The doulas were scored based on reputation, credibility, experience, availability, and professionalism.

I am honored to be named one of the Best Doulas in Houston by expertise.com!   You can read the full article by clicking the image below.

Best Doulas in Houston

Dear Bottle-feeding Mom, #fedisbest

bottle-feeding mom #fedisbest breastfeed toddler

Hi Beauty! (Oh yes, I’m talking to you, lady sitting across the playground from me feeding her baby with a bottle)

You look so happy sitting on that park bench providing your baby nourishment while you watch your older daughter play with the other kids. Your smile is so genuine. The exchange of love as you and your infant gaze into eachother’s eyes filled my heart with warmth and joy when I noticed you from afar. I know that gaze. There’s nothing in this world like it. Instant mom-heart mush.

Suddenly something happened that averted your gaze, disrupting your bond. My almost-3-year old let out a shriek. Tears began streaming down his face. As he stumbled clumsily, holding out his hands to show me his scrapes, while simultaneously trying to peek at the scrapes on his knees, I knew what was to come. I don’t think you did. I cleaned him up, wiped his tears, and lifted him to my lap anticipating his request.  “Momma, I’m crying. I need boo-boos. Please?” Without giving it any thought, I offered him my breast for comfort. I looked up expecting the usual looks of disgust. Instead, I saw you, your smile had faded. Your loving gaze disappeared. Your eyes became sullen and you looked down toward your baby with sadness in your eyes. My heart sank. I felt as though you thought that me nursing a toddler meant that I was judging you for bottle-feeding. That couldn’t be farther from the truth.

I want you to know that I am not judging you. I want you to know that I think you are a wonderful mother! I see the love you have for your children. I know that you love yours as much as I love mine. I am not in your position and I don’t know why you bottle feed. Maybe you wanted to breastfeed but didn’t have the support you needed. Maybe you have a medical condition that requires you to be on medication that deems it unsafe for you to breastfeed. Maybe you are unable to produce milk. Maybe you are one of two mothers this baby has and you do not lactate. Maybe you adopted this baby. Maybe you don’t want to breastfeed at all but this lady across the playground nursing her toddler has suddenly stirred up some feelings that you don’t understand. None of that even matters.

All the possibilities I can think of shouldn’t matter to me or anyone else. You are doing what is best for you, your baby, and your family.

I hope that if I ever see you at the park again and you have questions about babies or feeding babies, that you reach out to me. I kinda know people. I’m sort of a wealth of resources 😉 Don’t be alarmed if I sit by you the next time I see you and strike up a conversation. Don’t be surprised when I tell you what a wonderful job you’re doing.

All of that to say, YOU ROCK, MOMMA! #fedisbest


Need help with newborn care or feeding?

Contact me to schedule a consultation or to request information on professionals in the Houston area who can help.

Click here to read about how I supported my client, LaKendra, who no family support when she planned to breastfeed her first baby.

What the Heck is Labor Whisperer? (free printable)

 

Labor Whisperer Lourdes Resendez Houston Doula

Let me start out by telling you what it isn’t. Labor Whisperer isn’t hippie dippy doula magic. Labor Whisperer isn’t a labor induction technique. A Labor Whisperer isn’t necessarily a medical professional.

Now, let’s talk about what Labor Whisperer is

There are 4 roadblocks we repeatedly see that can prevent some women from going into labor confident in their bodies, excited about the process, and joyous at the prospect of labor. Labor Whisperer is a protocol developed by Rowan TwoSisters to help address those blockages, make a plan for moving forward, and prepare the mind and body for the labor process.

The Labor Whisperer session begins by the Labor Whisperer getting momLabor Whisperer Lourdes Resendez Houston Doula super comfy on a nest of pillows. (A pillow nest sounds AHHHH-MAZE-ING right about now) We chat and some funny anecdotes about pregnancy and
birth are shared so mom (and her partner, if she chooses) will feel relaxed and secure to share with their Labor Whisperer. Mom gets some muscle work done to help her relax and prepare for labor. During that time, we talk about plans for birth, emotions surrounding the labor and birthing time, previous pregnancy and birth experiences and how they are affecting this pregnancy and plans for this birth, any possible factors that have the potential to prevent labor from starting, assess baby’s position, and discuss exercises for optimal fetal positioning.

Sometimes labor starts soon after. Sometimes mom needs time to work on the things we discussed. The most important aspect is that she leaves her Labor Whisperer session feeling empowered and finds joy in moving forward with the labor process.

Read what my client, Danya, has to say about her Labor Whisperer experience:

I was a little wary of the Labor Whisperer part of Lourdes’s services, but it turned out to be my favorite of all the birth preparations.  My husband and I spent an evening or two going through the questions/thinking points ahead of time – we had a guided conversation just between ourselves using the worksheet.  It gave us both a chance to talk openly about our individual and shared concerns and also to brainstorm solutions.  When Lourdes led us through the actual Labor Whisperer session, we were able to dive even deeper in the discussion – repeating some of our previous discussion helped us reaffirm our views, our birth plan, and our excitement.  I was two weeks away from my due date, but the baby ended up coming just a two days after the Laborer Whisperer session!  My labor and delivery was not what I expected – it turned out to be better!  One of my biggest concerns was that my husband would be anxious and that would cause me to become stressed and anxious.  I believe the Laborer Whisperer session relieved both of us from our anxieties and allowed us to actually enjoy the delivery.  I really did enjoy giving birth to my son – it turned out to be an intimate moment for my husband and me – one where we were both elated.  Afterwards, we kept saying “#fantasybirth” !!!  We both attribute the positive experience to Lourdes’s birth preparation sessions.

Pillow nest, removing blockages, muscle work, feeling empowered…I’m not even pregnant and I want a Labor Whisperer Session! Contact me or any of the other Houston area Labor Whisperers for more information and get your pregnancy pillow nest…er…Labor Whisperer session scheduled.

Free Birth Affirmation Printable

I created this birth affirmation printable with my client, Danya, in mind. She rocked her Fantasy Birth! Click on the image below to download your free #FantasyBirth birth affirmation printable. Post it where you will see it often as a reminder that you will do what it takes to achieve your fantasy birth. Hang it in your birthing space. **Check with your hospital or provider before taping anything to their walls.** Use cardstock for a more sturdy printable that you can save in your baby book.

Labor Whisperer #FantasyBirth Birth Affirmation

Can’t get enough Labor Whisperer Love?

I can help with that! Follow us or join us!

Our central hub for all things Labor Whisperer, including training to become a Labor Whisperer, Labor Whisperers in your area, fun photos, and more. It will be up and running soon!

There’s a Labor Whispering Pinterest Board where we share links to helpful information

We have a Labor Whispering Facebook group where you can join us, chat with us, share information and experiences, and read what we are sharing.

Erin Young of Mothering Nature Birth Services wrote this post about Labor Whispering.

I can’t forget the original Labor Whisperer, the Urban Curandera, Rowan TwoSisters who is a wealth of birthy knowledge.

 

Take these Ice Chips and Pass me the Protein!

eat labor

The fairy dust has been sprinkled, the birthy dances have been danced, the heavens have opened up, and the birth gods have heard our cries! There isn’t much that parallels the physical demands on our bodies during the labor and birthing process, yet for decades, women birthing in a hospital setting have been told that they cannot eat during labor.  Those days may soon be behind us! Earlier this week, the American Society of Anesthesiologists put out a press release stating that most healthy women would benefit from a light meal during labor.

Midwives have been encouraging women at home and in birth centers to snack during labor to keep up their energy while their laboring counterparts in hospitals have been sucking on ice chips and, if they’re lucky, eating “the BEST (sugar free) Popsicle I’ve ever had in my life!”.  Eating is discouraged in hospital births due to the fear of aspiration (a fancy word meaning inhaling the contents of the stomach into the lungs) when anesthesia is administered. According to new research, “improvements in anesthesia care have made pain control during labor safer, reducing risks related to eating”.  Another noteworthy piece of this article is that “aspiration today is almost nonexistent, especially in healthy patients. In the United States, there was only one case of aspiration associated with labor and delivery between 2005 and 2013, involving a complicated case of a woman who was obese and had pre-eclampsia”.

Researchers analyzed 385 studies that focused on women who birthed in a hospital setting. The findings after poring over mountains of research is something childbirth educators have said over and over again: “the energy and caloric demands of laboring women are similar to those of marathon runners”.

If you’re a healthy pregnant woman, talk to your provider about ditching the ice chips and sugar free Popsicles and bringing in the healthy snacks that include protein, natural sugars, and carbohydrates so you can get through your marathon that we call labor. Bring them the new research. Tell your OB to talk to the anesthesia team to determine the best approach for each woman individually. I am hopeful for the day that we see this change in Houston.

Pregnancy and Infant Loss

The Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness movement began in the United States in October 1988 when President Ronald Reagan designated, through Presidential Proclamation, that the month of October should be recognized as National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month.

Houston is home to doulas who support families through loss. Do not feel like you have to experience your loss alone. There is support for you. Visit the Still Birth Day website to find a doula in your area.

Pregnancy Infant Loss

Statistics

There are approximately 6 million pregnancies every year throughout the United States:

  • 4,058,000 live births
  • 1,995,840 pregnancy losses

Every year in the United States there are approximately 2 million women who experience pregnancy loss:

  • 600,000 women experience pregnancy loss through miscarriage
  • 1,200,000 women experience pregnancy loss through termination
  • 64,000 women experience pregnancy loss through ectopic pregnancy
  • 6,000 women experience pregnancy loss through molar pregnancies
  • 26,000 women experience pregnancy loss through stillbirth

Every year in the United States:

  • 875,000 woman experience one or more pregnancy complications
  • 458,952 babies are born to mothers without adequate prenatal care
  • 467,201 babies are born prematurely
  • 307,030 babies are born with Low Birth Weight
  • 154,051 children are born with Birth Defects
  • 27,864 infants die before their first birthday

Source: American Pregnancy Association

Signs of Grief

**This list is not comprehensive, nor is it meant to be used as a diagnostic tool. It is meant to be used as a reference to those who are grieving and to their support team.

Physical:
Tightness in chest
Tightness in throat
Hypersensitivity to noise
Headaches
Weak muscles
Lack of energy
Dry mouth
Trouble swallowing

Behavior:
Trouble sleeping
Loss of appetite
Forgetfulness
Social withdrawals
Dreams of deceased
Avoidance of reminders
Calling out
Restless Activity
Crying
Clinging to reminders
Treasuring objects

Emotions:
Sadness
Anger
Guilt
Anxiety
Loneliness
Fatigue
Helplessness
Shock
Yearning
Numbness
Relief

Mental:
Disbelief
Confusion
Pre-occupation
Sense of presence
Hearing and seeing the deceased

If you are grieving and feeling overwhelmed, please seek help.  There are many excellent resources, both nationally and locally, for people who are grieving from loss. Please do not suffer in silence. If you are in the Houston area and need help finding support, contact me for a list of references.

#iamoneinfour

What is World Doula Week?

Information taken from the World Doula Week website

What is World Doula Week?

World Doula Week #doula #Houstondoula
Have you hugged your doula today? Santis has!

World Doula Week is time dedicated to empowering doulas all over the world to improve the physiological, social, emotional, and psychological health of women, newborns and families in birth and in the postpartum period. Worldwide events take place to educate on the benefits of having a doula for the birth and postpartum periods.  These benefits include:

* Reduces the incidence of c-sections      
* May shorten the length of labor      
* Reduces epidural and analgesic requests      
* Increases breastfeeding initiation and continuation     
* Increases mother’s satisfaction of birth experience      
* Can reduce the incidence of postpartum mood disorders     
* Increases new parents’ confidence in the care of their newborn

When is World Doula Week?

World Doula Week begins with World Doula Day on March 22nd and extends through March 28th annually. March 22  was chosen because it is the spring equinox, which represents the return of fertility in countless cultures.

Where can I find more information?

Find information about World Doula Week, events in your area, and how to get involved at World Doula Week.