unbiased support

Working in a Salon Made me a Better Doula

That’s right; because I worked as a salon receptionist, I am a better doula. Now, you may be wondering how that works out. What does working in a salon have to do with being a doula? Surprisingly, A LOT!

I’ll be the first to say I never thought I would work in a salon; it’s just not my thing. I took the job just a few months after graduating from college with a degree in the social sciences. Coincidentally, this was also a few weeks after completing my first doula training. My friends and family were baffled, and I felt so judged.

“THIS has nothing to do with your future!”
“How are you going to make time for your clients?”
“You’re going to drive an hour to work to answer the phones?”

but I needed a job...

Feeling judged is not a good feeling. I felt like people thought I was taking a job that was below me. Several comments were made about how I could do better than that. They didn't understand that working was something I needed to do in order to support myself financially.
"That's a job for someone in high school." Yes, a few people actually said this to me. They might as well have told me I was wasting my time and my education meant nothing. 

Like I said, I had just graduated from college and moved back home to Minnesota. Oh, I had also just left my previous job as a caregiver which was very flexible and full of wonderful benefits. I was running out of money fast so I held my head high and took the job nobody saw me working in. Through this I gained self-confidence and so much more.

When I started I couldn’t tell you the difference between an ombré and a balayage or the difference between a double process and a dimensional color; I had no idea how long a perm took versus how long a foil took. Despite my lack of experience and knowledge, the amazing women I worked with at the salon were more than willing to help me figure it all out.

During my time at the salon I saw and heard a lot of things.
-People preparing for their weddings
-Women who had been cheated on
-Young adults who just wanted to fit in
-People who had lost their loved ones
-Girls who let a friend color their hair blonde using a cheap box dye only to have it turn out bright orange (Note: please don’t do this!)

Some of the things I learned while working at the salon include:

-How to connect with customers in person and over the phone
-Knowing what to say to make people feel like their very best
-How to talk people through a major life crisis
-How to hold my tongue when I had a million things I could have said
-How to manage my time to call 35 people in one day.

How to be the best ‘me’ I could be…

Because I worked in that salon I have the skills to support you and tell you we're going to figure out a way to get you through this; even if you’re in a fog at the moment. I specialize in providing you with personalized professional support as we work together to meet the needs of you and your family.

Have you ever taken a job position at a place you never thought you would see yourself in? What was the result?

My ending results turned out to be amazing. Everything we go through in life is a learning experience and I believe there are lessons to be learned, skills to be taught, and knowledge to be gained with each life experience. 

Everything I learned during my time at the salon translates over into helping me provide the best unwavering, unbiased and unconditional support as an affiliate doula at Northeast Iowa Doulas.  Life is not entirely predictable; yet we are always able to learn and to grow from our experiences, and if we're lucky, we can find surprising gifts of insight and experience by enduring what we had hoped to avoid.
This can help us connect with others -- to know that they are not alone.  We are all doing the best we can. We are doing what we need to do in our own unique situation.

For more information about our professional doula services click here or contact us today for more information. 

We look forward to hearing from you!

Written by: Victoria Cartland
Edited by: Kaity Klotzbach 

For more great #WorldDoulaWeek blogs from doulas across the country, visit http://louisvilleareadoulas.com/blog/2016-world-doula-week

Natural Birth Only? Let's Put That Misconception to Rest.

There is a common stereotype that doulas are only for those planning a “natural” birth. This can have many meanings but oftentimes refers to an unmedicated labor resulting in a vaginal delivery. Many have said they haven’t even considered hiring a doula because they already know they want pain relief via IV meds or the epidural. Well, we want to take a moment to shout it from the rooftop:


Seriously...We don’t come in with that “natural birth agenda.”  We support you in whatever your birth preferences are; period.

Unmedicated? Great!
Epidural? We love epidurals!
IV pain meds during labor? Fantastic!
Planned cesarean? Super!
Change in plans? We've got your back!

It is so important for a laboring mother and her partner to feel safe, supported and as comfortable as possible when they are working so hard to bring their baby into the world.

Another misconception is that your doula is your advocate…

This should NOT be the case. It is completely out of the scope of a doula to speak on their client’s behalf. We will not take away your voice by speaking for you in any situation but will empower you to speak for yourself. OB’s, midwives, nurses, and family practice docs did not get into this profession so that they could purposely inflict harm or discomfort in their patients. We truly believe that healthcare professionals want you to have a great experience just as much as you want to have a great experience. We look at our professional birth support as complementary to the clinical care you receive from your providers. Northeast Iowa Doulas has fantastic working relationships with the healthcare professionals in the Cedar Valley and Corridor areas. They know that when one of our doulas walks into the room, we are there to be a team player and collaborate with them to provide the best overall care to the mother and her partner.

"Providers are focused on healthy moms and healthy babies. Doulas are focused on a healthy mind and a healthy bond." --Randy Patterson, ProDoula Co-Founder

So, what can you expect when you hire Northeast Iowa Doulas for something other than a planned ‘natural’ unmedicated birth?

Support for an Epidural
Oftentimes it can take up to an hour before the anesthesiologist arrives in all his glory. It can be very difficult to sit still through contractions while the epidural is being placed. Once in place, it can take a good 20 minutes or longer before the epidural is providing much pain relief.

While waiting for anesthesia to arrive we can offer support by:

  • offering an explanation about what to expect

  • verbal coaching, praise and encouragement

  • massage, counter pressure or position changes

  • relaxation techniques (taught in our childbirth education class)

Once your epidural has been placed and has taken effect we can offer support by:

  • Position changes, massage, utilizing the peanut ball in bed

  • Keeping mom engaged in the process if she desires or assisting her in a position that allows her to get some much needed rest

  • Maintaining a relaxing and comfortable environment

  • Keeping the focus on mom and her partner; not the monitors

There are times when the epidural does not work or sometimes it only works on one side and this can be very frustrating to a laboring mother who is expecting a pain-free labor and delivery. Attempts can be made by the anesthesiologist to place another epidural but sometimes it just doesn’t work. Then what? Then your doula is there with her skills and knowledge to support you through it.

Support for a planned cesarean
This includes but is not limited to:

  • Prenatal discussion about the process:
         -Checking into the hospital    
         -Administration of medications 
         -Preparation for surgery and being brought back to the OR
         -Assistance with creating a family-centered cesarean birth plan

  • Support during admission while waiting to go back to the OR:
         -Creating a relaxing environment   
         -Massage and other comfort measures
         -Helping the family unpack for the hospital stay

  • Providing support to the mother's partner during the time they are separated
  • Assistance with breastfeeding after baby has arrived
  • Extended postpartum support in the hospital to help the family get settled

The 'wait-and-see' approach

Maybe you aren't sure what kind of birth experience you want...Maybe your only goal is a birth that results in a healthy mom and healthy baby. Great--We support that!

Maybe you like the idea of having a 'natural' unmedicated birth but you are totally open to pain relief options if and when they become needed. Fantastic--We support that, too!

Support when plans change

Sometimes things don’t go as planned and that is okay! Just because one part of your plan changes doesn’t mean the whole plan needs to go out the window. All of our doulas are trained and skilled in helping you transition when your birth experience is unfolding differently than you had hoped.

We’ll say it again... We support ALL birth choices! We support you in whatever your plans for birth are and no matter how your birth unfolds.
Feel secure in the fact that a knowledgeable, reputable expert in birth support is there to unconditionally accompany you throughout every part of this experience.

By hiring Northeast Iowa Doulas you can be sure that you will receive only the best professional support that Iowa has to offer. For more information about our doula services click here or contact us today for more information.

We look forward to hearing from you!


For more great #WorldDoulaWeek blogs from doulas across the country, visit http://louisvilleareadoulas.com/blog/2016-world-doula-week

Co-authored by: Victoria Cartland & Kaity Klotzbach



Fuller House - Building Your Village

“It takes a village to raise a child.” It’s an adage we’ve all heard before, but what does it look like in our modern society?

  • Single mothers living or working together, helping each other with childcare and everything else that parenthood encompasses
  • Single parent moving in with their parent(s) to have a more stable environment
  • Moving into the same neighborhood as family to ensure you'll have backup when needed
  • Calling on everyone from family, neighbors, friends, and coworkers for support
  • Hiring a professional postpartum doula

Fuller House was recently released on Netflix and follows the story of DJ Tanner as she navigates being a recently widowed single mother. It is clear to viewers that DJ is nervous about what her life will look like when her family all returns to their regular lives, leaving her alone as a single mother of three young boys. While toasting to family at the going away party DJ realizes that in the morning everyone will be gone. She goes on to say, “But we’ll be fine; there are lots of single moms. I can do this. I just want you all to know I love you so much.”

Feeling Overwhelmed

As DJ’s family prepares to leave her youngest son, Tommy, gets an ear infection. When family members offer to help, DJ says, “No, this is my responsibility.” As she rushes off to take care of her baby her father asks if she’s okay. DJ replies, “Yes, I’m fine! Why does everyone keep asking me that? I have to get to Tommy!” As her family stands in the kitchen, they can hear Tommy crying on the monitor and DJ trying to comfort him. This scene was heartbreaking for me; I cried as DJ said “It’s okay Tommy, Mommy’s here. I’m sorry but I’m having a tough day too. It’s just everyone’s leaving and for the first time we’re going to be all on our own. It’s okay, I know. I just don’t know if I can deal with all of this. I just hope I can give you the beautiful life you deserve.”

Family Steps Up

When DJ comes back downstairs she is surprised to find her family and best friend still in the house. When she asks why people haven’t left yet her father, her aunt, and her uncle all say they’re going to stay and help her. Finally, her sister Stephanie steps in to say, “You guys, sit down, we’re going to have a little talk… You guys did your share for us. Now it’s time for me to step up…I am clearing my schedule and I am moving in with my sister…” Looking at DJ she says, “You are entirely too stubborn to ask anyone for help! You do everything for everyone else. You need me right now.” Finally DJ responds and says, “The truth is I have been so scared about how to make this work by myself. I love you guys so much.”

How can I get that?

Not everyone has family and friends that live close enough to step in to help. Even if your family does live close by it doesn’t mean they are in the position to do what Stephanie and Kimmy did for DJ. It is possible you have the fantastic support of family to help out after baby arrives, but that typically only lasts for a short time.

So how can you get the support DJ has? You can hire Northeast Iowa Doulas for all your postpartum care needs! Our professional postpartum doulas can meet every need your family has. We offer anywhere from daytime shifts, overnight care, all the way up to 24-hour live-in care. With each of these services we tailor the work we do to provide support where it is most needed and desired.

When hiring Northeast Iowa Doulas for your overnight care needs, you can be sure that everyone in your house will receive a full night of sleep. This will help ensure you will be well-rested and ready to care for the baby the next day. No more ‘mombies’! Even if you are planning to breastfeed; your postpartum doula will bring baby to you when it’s time to nurse and then take care of baby’s other needs so you can go right back to sleep. Sounds amazing, right?

Cooking, light housework, sibling care, validation in your parenting choices, a full night’s sleep; the possibilities are endless. All of our doulas will provide your family with unbiased, judgment-free support as your family finds its groove. This means we provide 100% unconditional support for all parenting choices. This is your baby and only you and your partner know what's best. Our job is to help you find a parenting style you like and become confident in it.

For more information about postpartum services click here or contact us today for more information. We look forward to hearing from you!

Authored by: Victoria Cartland
Edited by: Kaity Klotzbach

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