This is the blog for Houston Central Doulas. We provide the following to families in Houston:

Birth Doula Services
Postpartum Doula Services
Placenta Encapsulation
Birth & Parenting Classes
Virtual Postpartum Parenting Support

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Meet Kelley Ellis

Doula Support - Houston Central Doulas

What services do you provide?

I am a birth doula, and I love my job.  No matter how you choose to have your baby, I care that you are supported, well informed, and empowered in your choices.

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Meet Moriah Burke

Houston Central Doulas

Meet Moriah Burke

What services do you provide? 

I’m a birth doula matchmaker. Before I launched and started managing Houston Central Doulas, I was the birth doula for all of the clients. Now I’m delighted to have a wonderful birth team and facilitate the overall client experience. I do most of our client inquiry and consult requests. After I learn more about the client, I help connect them to the member of our team that best matches. 

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ZZZzss – Sleeping In Labor

Sleep

Go to sleep in labor. Yes, to sleep. You heard me right.

Sleep is a powerful natural labor pain management technique. Why? When you are asleep, or even just consciously making the choice to rest, you let go. When we are awake, we are focused on all of our senses, and are more aware of sensations of pain and pressure in our bodies.

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Having An Authentic And Informed Birth

losing control

Yielding In Labor

The way a mother feels after giving birth is important. Does she feel that she was safe? Did she feel like she was losing control, or completely in control? Did everyone respect her, and her wishes? Was she informed of what was happening in her body, with her medical decisions, and with her baby? Did she feel like she was in control? Did she feel encouraged? In a room full of people, did she feel like she was alone, or like everyone was on her team?

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From Water Breaking To The First Postpartum Poop

labor and postpartum recovery

There Are Parts Of Labor And Postpartum Recovery That Aren’t Talked About Enough

We’re going to talk about some of the things that aren’t commonly talked about regarding labor and postpartum recovery. The truth is that labor is a marathon of physical, mental, and emotional endurance. Birth is also super messy.

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Heat As A Comfort Measure For Labor

Heat As A Comfort Measure For Labor

Using Warmth As A Comfort Measure For Labor

Warmth, or heat,  can be such a useful tool during labor, but is often a tool that must be packed or prepared ahead of time.

 

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Visualization In Birth

Visualization

Visualization As A Tool For Labor

Visualization is a useful tool that can be used during labor while you are working hard to meet your baby. The act of visualization means holding an image of something in your mind that is used to bring you feelings of peace and contentment.

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Virtual Postpartum Support Group

Houston Central Doulas

 

This week, we’ve connected with Kathryn Tipton, licensed counselor at Houston Center For Valued Living and guest blog author today. We were excited when she reached out to us to let us know about her services. We’re especially excited about her virtual postpartum support group. 

 

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Feeding My Baby Is So Boring

feeding your baby

Feeding Your Baby Sucks Sometimes

Sometimes, feeding your baby sucks.

What? Can I really say that aloud? Yes, I can. And you can, too. I won’t judge you if you feel this way.

Common Infant Feeding Methods

When your baby is a newborn, you are usually feeding them one of four ways:

  1. Breastfeeding with direct breast to baby transfer.
  2. Pumped milk that is fed to your baby in a bottle.
  3. With formula in a bottle.
  4. A combination of some or all of the above.

The First Latch When Breastfeeding

I’m totally fine with you deciding before your baby is born to never breastfeed at all. Your body, your baby, your choice! However, what I commonly see is that women choose to try breastfeeding for at least the first few days.

No lie, the first time you try to breastfeed your baby, it’s weird. Other mammals squeeze out their young and the babies latch by themselves. But with you and your baby, getting a great latch is like a dance where you don’t feel like you have enough hands.

Sometimes you feel like either you or your baby is broken. I promise neither of you are broken. Sometimes babies have lip or tongue ties, or sometimes your breasts are doing things you never realized. For example, it’s normal for some women to have flat or inverted nipples. There are tips and tricks to navigate every type of breast and baby. If you have questions about that, call me or let’s do a “boob whispering” session!

Pumping Breastmilk

I want to detour into pumping or a quick second. Pumping is when feeding your baby literally sucks. Like a vacuum cleaner.  I can’t recommend enough a pump that is double electric and hands free like a freemie cup. You feel less like an octopus if you can use your hands. And none of us want to be an octopus.

Feeding My Baby Was Great, But Now It’s Not

So you finally figure out the baby feeding situation like the awesome mom you are. It’s day 3, and your milk finally looks like milk, or you’ve finally settled on a formula brand.

The first few days that you’re feeding your baby, it’s magical. Baby is here! Baby is snuggled up with you! They are cute! They smell good! You don’t mind feeding them because you are so present in that moment with them.

But then time ticks by and you have to either return to work, or get back into your daily routine. And you feel trapped. Trapped by this tiny human you would do anything for. You feel tied down. You start to realize it may take 45-60 minutes for a baby to eat. And by the time you do that, and shower, and eat, and take a quick nap, it’s time to do it all again. At first, if you try to extend the time by even an hour, your breasts feel like swollen watermelons, or your baby is pissed.

Small Tips To Make Feeding Your Baby More About You

I want to share some tips with you that help turn feeding your baby into something that resembles your self-care.

It’s normal for women to get so focused on the task of feeding their baby that they forget they can do anything else.

Bring baby to you, don’t bring yourself to baby. Get comfortable. Prop yourself on pillows. Get a foot stool. Even with formula feeding. Don’t crouch over baby. Bring yourself a cold glass of water and a snack.

Guess what? You can turn on the TV. Binge watch all the shows you’re behind on in Netflix.

Listen to podcasts, or music. You’re allowed to relax.

You can call a friend or a family member you don’t get to talk to very often.

Breastfeed or formula feed with the baby in a sling so you have one or both hands free to eat, hold a book, or scroll through Facebook.

When you realize that you’re important and part of the feeding equation, it becomes a little bit more bearable to ease into it feeding your baby while enjoying it.

It’s easy and normal to think of feeding your baby is a chore. If you can, try to think of it as a way to unwind. I know there’s so many things on your mind. You want to get to those things. You don’t want to sit for an hour. Allow your mind and body to unwind and relax for this time. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself to feed a certain way, get a certain amount, or any other factor. You’re doing the best you can.

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I Didn’t Plan A Labor Induction

Induction of Labor

Induction Wasn’t In The Birth Plan

You’re expecting your first baby. You took a birth class that prepared you for a routine labor where your body begins labor on its own. Your notes were meticulous on how to tell when you are in labor and when to head to the hospital or birth center. In your opinion,  labor and birth are a completely normal experience. You trust your body and you trust that labor happens a certain way. In your opinion, birth is not a medical event, but you feel safest having a baby in the hospital just in case.

And so you wait patiently for baby. By 39 weeks, you are so ready for baby to come. Because all you want to do is sleep on your stomach again. You’ve got a bit of pregnancy insomnia, so you stay up late. You are propped up against the headboard with an awesome birth book in your hands and a steaming cup of hot chocolate on the night stand. You’re so excited that baby can be here literally at any moment.

 

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