Attuned Doula Services Featured in Voyage Dallas Magazine

NICU

Voyage Dallas Magazine features “The Most Inspiring Stories in Dallas” in their online publication. They truly capture the voice and spirit of local small business owners, freelancers and artists. We had the opportunity to share our story this month and in return, we were able to nominate some of our favorite entrepreneurs in DFW. We hope to see them featured soon!

“…My pregnancy with her was physically very difficult, but from a rehabilitation standpoint, I was doing great. She made me realize that I wanted to do everything I could to get back to my career as a doula and to give expecting families the same nonjudgmental, compassionate support I had been given. I wanted to leave a legacy for her and show her that no matter what obstacles come her way, she has everything within her needed to power on and persevere. Attuned Doula Services was born out of a desire to meet new parents where they are, reduce their fears and instill confidence as they navigate pregnancy, birth and the early months of parenting.”

To read the rest of our story, click here. Thank you so much to Voyage Dallas and to Dr. Amber Galipp of Legacy Family Chiropractic for nominating us.

#TBT to 2012: My "Why" for Doula Work

Through that surgery and the life-threatening complications that followed, I learned what truly nonjudgmental support can do for healing.

Today marks the start of World Doula Week, where we focus on the work doulas do to improve the social, emotional, physiological and psychological wellbeing of whole families. From pregnancy, to birth and then to the postpartum period, doulas take care of their clients. For most doulas, it feels like a calling or a passion that sparks a career. It takes a heart of service and usually a story about why we decided to become a doula. My story started one way and had a pretty big plot twist.

I became a doula in 2010 because I loved studying everything about pregnancy, birth and babies in college. My “why” was a passion for everything I was learning about birth and babies in my undergrad internship at a birth center in Denton and a natural ability to support others. I was the person who my friends and family came to for advice about pregnancy, birth and breastfeeding and it felt like a natural career choice.

Here comes the real #TBT though…back to 2012. I had been a doula for 2 years and was working as a newborn nanny. I had a car accident and herniated two discs in my back worse than I knew. After a night in the ER for pain and subsequently losing the feeling in my legs and ability to walk altogether, I was admitted to the hospital. For 5 days, I laid in a hospital bed not knowing if I would walk again or if the pain in my back would ever go away. My mom and roommate (turned rock star postpartum doula), Samantha were there with me when the spine surgeon came in to tell us a 360 2-level spinal fusion was my option to regain function in my legs.

Through that surgery and the life-threatening complications that followed, I learned what truly nonjudgmental support can do for healing. For 37 days in the hospital, my mom, my friends and my nurses and doctors safeguarded my dignity, listened to my fears, reassured me and respected my wishes. They trusted me to make the best decisions for myself. Shoutout to all of the nurses on the med-surg unit at Texas Health Presbyterian Flower Mound. I had nurses lift me into wheelchairs and hold me on toilets and in showers, so I didn’t have to use a bed pan and could bathe myself. I had a certified nursing assistant French braid my hair because it had been a knotted mess for days. My mom listened and got me every snack I wanted when I cried and cursed in pain and frustration. She held my hair when I got sick and patted my leg when neither of us had the words to describe how scared we were. She put on a gown and mask to be there while they placed a picc line in ICU, never leaving my side. Samantha held my hand all night, so I could sleep through the hallucinations from my pain pump and helped me laugh again…and again. My surgeons fixed my spine and then went on to save my life. They answered every question, gave me a realistic idea of my new normal and had my back, literally and figuratively. 

I went into doula work because I loved birth and babies, but I’m still in doula work because I now know the difference nonjudgmental support can make. I remember how I was treated through one of the most intense experiences of my life and I want to give that same level of care to each of my clients. When you’re at your most vulnerable, you deserve the very best support and that’s my “why” as a doula. 

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Confession: I’m a Birth Doula and I Had an Elective Cesarean

I have to start this blog post with a heartfelt apology for the doula I used to be. When I started out as a brand-new doula in my senior year of college, I had a whole lot of passion and a whole lot of bias. I was immersed in the natural birth community and I was an activist for everything “natural” birth and breastfeeding. I understood that those things weren’t options for everyone, but in an effort to raise awareness for them and support those who were choosing them, I alienated and likely hurt other parents and for that, I’m so sorry.

There was a time when I thought the perfect birth looked a certain way and I didn’t understand why people would willingly choose anything else. Then, I found a doula training organization that challenged me, made me acknowledge my bias and made me a better doula. It might not be a popular opinion, but I no longer believe I can be an activist and a truly nonjudgmental doula. I had to unlearn a lot of things and really change my perspective. I can genuinely say that the perfect birth to me is perfect because the parents think it is. I feel like the best doula when my clients feel heard, supported and encouraged through their birth experience, no matter how their baby comes into the world. I leave every birth knowing that my clients only got nonjudgmental support for all of their choices from me and I truly believe they made the best decisions for their family.

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Beating Bed Rest Boredom in Pregnancy

Why would I need bed rest?

Bed rest is a pretty general term, usually used to address a need for limiting activities. It can mean different things for different people, but is often categorized into moderate bed rest, strict bed rest and hospital bed rest. Bed rest is not a proven form of prevention for pregnancy complications or preterm birth, but if your doctor has recommended it for you, it can be used as an added layer of safety and protection in some situations. Bed rest is often prescribed for varying periods of time in cases of high blood pressure in pregnancy, pregnancy with multiples, cervical changes or vaginal bleeding in pregnancy and sometimes even for pain in pregnancy.

 

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Bringing Home Baby: Postpartum Doulas

You are now at home with your new baby who you just want to gaze at and soak in every moment. Then reality sets in. How are you supposed to rest and recover from birth? When will you have time to cook? You’re supposed to be taking it easy, but so much needs to be done. Do tidy houses even exist with newborns? What about caring for the rest of the family? Unpacking the hospital bags looks so daunting.

 

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The Nights I Dreamt of My Ex

When I was pregnant with my daughter, I had the most vivid dreams of my ex. I am happily married to the man of my dreams and the most amazing father to our little girl, but my subconscious didn’t care. Almost every night, my ex made a cameo in my dreams. Some nights it was boring and he was just there, making fries or whatever it was he did. Other nights, it was HOT, like wake up blushing hot. Like after many wild nights of REM sleep, I would often get up in the morning feeling immense guilt. I felt guilty, but let’s be honest, I didn’t hate it.

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What is a Doula? {The Attuned Doula Difference}

Your doula is trained to listen to your feelings, plans and wishes and help you to facilitate your best birth and postpartum experience. This looks different for each family and no matter your choices, your doula will be with you every step of the way. Her ability to nurture you, while you nurture your growing family is unmatched. 

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