Tulsa Family Doulas Welcomes the New Owner!!

Hi Everyone!

 

My name is Kirsty Ray, and I am officially the new OWNER of Tulsa Family Doulas!

Probably pretty obvious, but I’m a little excited!

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So let me tell you a little about myself and my journey to where I am today,

 Many years ago on November 1st, my mothers favorite child was born… Ok, maybe I won’t go back that far!

I was born and raised in Broken Arrow, with my 47 siblings and  we were all home-schooled throughout our school years.
The skills that I learned by being raised in a home-school environment definitely led me to where I am today (This is my “thanks mom” portion).

I began working at 15 at Chick-Fil-A and worked there for 5 years, so “my pleasure” is just ingrained in me for all eternity. Not to mention the work ethic and experiences that shaped me in those years.
Then I transitioned to working at Hobby Lobby for 2 years where I continued to learn high quality service and values that I still hold dear.

In that time I became a young mother to an absolutely gorgeous little girl that completely turned my world upside down. I was terrified as a new mother but also knew exactly what I needed to do and we built a pretty wonderful life and routine together. 
A pretty sweet guy joined our circle eventually and became an amazing father to my little girl and an even better husband.

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I spent a little time as a stay at home mom and quickly learned that wasn’t my calling at all, I stayed very busy watching babies and even started up a MLM business. 
Then I found out I was expecting my second little girl and I was just overjoyed at being a mom to another sweet baby!
I spent that nine months reading everything I could and trying to prepare for my labor and new baby.

Fast forward to the morning of October 24th 2014, I went in to be induced I was just beyond excited, things progressed pretty normally other than having a nurse that rolled her eyes when I handed her my birth plan. In hindsight, it was definitely the most poorly written plan on the planet, but the defeat of my hard work not being taken seriously really left me feeling discouraged.

I delivered that sweet and giant baby that evening and she was the squishiest little redheaded baby and I was just head over heels!

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She was born late in the evening so I didn’t have many visitors and moved over to the post partum suite and settled in to get some sleep.

Sleep didn’t come though, something felt off, I couldn’t explain what it was but I just knew that I needed something so I called my nurse. 
She was not having the best evening and didn’t appreciate me bothering her, she told me I was fine and to just go to sleep.

I felt so defeated and belittled at that point, who was I to think that I could prepare for my own birth or know anything about all of this medical stuff that doctors and nurses take years and years to learn. Or dare to just “know” that something was wrong with my own body.

By the early morning hours I found out that I had actually been hemorrhaging all night and at that point things got scary pretty quickly.

Thanks to absolutely amazing nurses and doctors I was able to come out without lasting physical damage and made a full recovery!

At least physically I was better, emotionally I struggled a lot over those next few months.

What could I have done differently? What did I need?

I started searching and I found a funny word… “Doula”

Would she have swooped in and saved the day and kept anything bad from happening? Not necessarily.

She would have done something much more valuable, she would have listened, encouraged and believed in me. That was all I needed. 
I knew what I wanted, I knew how my body felt and that I needed something, I just needed someone to encourage me to believe in myself.

And in that journey of finding out what I was missing, I found repeated descriptions of myself, the supportive nature and desire to serve women.

It was as if a light was turned on and I knew what I had been preparing for my whole life, I was a doula.

From there I sought out trainings and found the agency where I began working for the next 4 years, and then the opportunity arose to take over the agency myself and once again I had that same feeling of just knowing that it was exactly what I was supposed to do and leaped into this new journey! I have so many plans and goals for the immediate and long term future.
Tulsa is going to be full of supported, confident and empowered women.

 

So join me on this adventure, it’s going to be great!!

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12 Gifts of Christmas - Day 7 Baby Shusher

It’s day 7’s giveaway and we are doubling up to catch up!

The next gift we would like to gift is, The Baby Shusher!!

Everyone does it, the baby starts to fuss so you stand and bounce and start “shushing” and when you really think about it, do you ever wonder why that’s drilled into your head as a soothing technique..?
I mean, if someone is upset it’s kind of rude to ‘shush’ them!

Remember a few days ago when we talked about the swaddle and re-creating the snug environment for your baby and how comforting that is?
Well here’s another tip!
Babies are used to a constantly loud environment inside the womb, and the level of noise is comparable to turning a vacuum cleaner on right next to you.. Let that sink in for a minute.

That is really loud!

Imagine you’re having a day of house cleaning and you turn the vacuum on and you take 20-30 minutes and go through every room cleaning the floors, connecting the hoses and getting the edges and corners, you finally finish and shut the vacuum off, your ears are ringing and the silence is deafening. Magnify that feeling times.. ‘Insert math here’ to try to wrap your head around how much harder that is for a baby who has only ever known that level of sound.

So maybe you never knew the reasoning behind that instinct, but now you know!

Now it’s a little inconvenient to carry a vaccuum around to soothe your baby every time he’s upset so we have a solution for you, The Baby Shusher!!

This handy little device runs on batteries and easily fits in a diaper bag.

We are giving one away, you guys know what to do!!

12 Gifts of Christmas - Day 6 Night of Sleep

We’re so glad you’re back!

It’s been a busy few days and I think it’s the perfect time to pull out this amazing gift!!

Of all the gifts that you can give a new mom, this is by far the BEST.

We are gifting one family a 10 hour night of Post Partum Doula support.

Now what does that mean exactly?

I’m glad you asked!

Overnight post partum support looks a little different for each family but the gist of it is this, you have a highly trained professional come into your home to stay with your baby, that can be in the baby’s room or a bassinet out in the living room. She will soothe the baby when he wakes up but maybe isn’t hungry, she will listen to all of those very sweet noises they make but usually keep mom awake. When baby is ready to eat she will either give a bottle of pumped milk or formula, or bring baby to you to nurse. She will do all the changing and burping and soothing throughout the night so no matter how much baby sleeps that night, you will get solid and peaceful sleep knowing your baby is being loved on and cared for by your Post Partum Doula.

Like, share and tag someone in the comments that would love this too!

Merry Christmas!

12 Gifts of Christmas - Day 5 Muslin Swaddle Set

What fun it is to give away, allllllll of the things!!
O’ Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle all….

Oh hey, welcome back! Time for some more gifts!!

Lets talk SWADDLE.

If you are expecting a new baby and have no idea what this is… Oh honey, come let us enlighten you!
Babies are used to constant tightness inside the womb, I mean just think about if after you’ve delivered your baby and you’re looking at your stomach thinking, how in the world did she fit in there?? Quite snugly, actually!
And when you’re used to something for your entire existence it’s kind of terrible to go to the complete opposite. Here is how we recreate that snug and tight feeling that keeps them so incredibly calm and happy, we swaddle!

Swaddle is a method of wrapping your baby tightly in a blanket of some sorts, you can purchase fancy designed swaddles with velcro and zippers, (and don’t get me wrong, those things are very handy) but the traditional swaddle is done with a blanket and our most favorite is that velvety soft muslin.
Muslin blankets are thin and large, but because of the thin-ness, it is very easy to fold in half and get the tightness that you need.

So we would like to gift this gorgeous swaddle to wrap your little one!!

Merry Christmas!!

12 Gifts of Christmas - Day 4 Mason Jar Bottles

Ok, I’m especially excited about this one!!

You know we love Mason Jars, I mean come on, they’re adorable!

We plant succulents in them, sip tea out of the ones with the handles on a cool summer day, sometimes we even can some strawberry jam! (Ok, not really)

But did you know, you can turn them into baby bottles??
No, this is not a joke, breathe ladies!

You can purchase silicone sleeves to go over the jar portion and silicone nipples that fit perfectly inside the ring of your lid, and once you’re ready to upgrade from the bottle you can switch out the nipple for a straw top!! (They are equally adorable)

If you’ve been around for long you’ve probably heard that you should never heat something up in plastic, can cause cancer, you’ll absorb plastic toxins into your body, grow wings. (Ok, not the last one! lol) etc.
Now granted, they have new plastic bottles that are safer and if you warm them up in a bottle warmer it’s not the same as the microwave.
But some people are wanting to go back to glass bottles anyways just be safe.
Lots of your favorite bottle brands have super cute glass options, but my goodness, how can you resist with this Mason Bottle!!

We would like to give away a starter set!!!

This set includes two nipples, one silicone sleeve, one lid and two mason jars. Everything you need to get started!!

12 Gifts of Christmas - Day 3 Placenta Encapsulation

It’s day 3!!

We are just loving getting to giveaway these gifts to families!

Rachel, I hope you love that baby wrap from yesterday.

Today we would like to gift Placenta Encapsulation to someone!!

Ok, so what is this placenta encapsulation? I mean, the placenta is supposed to be thrown away after you deliver, right?
There is another option!

So think of it like this, your body is growing this baby and placenta over a nine month time frame, the hormone and nutrient levels are rising higher and higher each day.
And then its baby day! You birth your beautiful baby and then moments later your placenta is also delivered.. Along with all of the hormones and nutrients.

How will you react to this sudden drop in high hormone levels your body has become used to? Will the mood swings be severe?
Will you develop post partum depression or anxiety?
Will all the stress on your body lead to struggles in milk production?

These are the questions that usually lead to the decisions to have their placenta encapsulated.

The method used by Tulsa Family Doulas is the steamed method, we do the process in your home so you can witness the process if you’d like and you can also know without a doubt that if is your placenta, also being such a delicate organ you can be assured that it’s not mixing with another homes germs and microbiome.

We will add there have not been enough studies to prove the validity of the results, so at this point they are listed as “anecdotal”.

You know what to do, Like the post, tag a friend that would love this service, and share away!!

12 Gifts of Christmas - Day 2 Baby Wrap

We’re back!!

Congratulations to the winner from yesterday, we hope you love your HaaKaa!

Today’s gift is a baby wrap!

Your new baby’s whole world has been with mom, she has always felt your warmth and listened to your heartbeat, she’s always enjoyed the sway of you walking around and that snug and safe feeling.
What better way to bond with your baby than to recreate that feeling and get some much needed cuddles?
Baby Wearing!
Yes, I said ‘wearing’ this years winter accessory is, babies!
When it comes to your options on baby carriers there are dozens of styles and brands and colors it can be very overwhelming.
You can ask any mom and they will probably have a carrier that they just swear by and their baby loved, but you’ll turn around and have another mom that hates that carrier. So who is right? Both!
Using a carrier is all about personal preference and taking into account the size and age of your baby and your own size and body type to know whats going to fit the two of you the best.
One way I would recommend deciding on a carrier is going to a baby wearing group/meeting and trying on all of the carriers and feeling the materials etc.
There are also Lending Libraries in some areas (we do have one in Tulsa) where you can pay for a year membership and check out carriers throughout the year. Some people use this as a chance to try all of the carriers before buying one, and some love the option of switching around to different prints and styles throughout the year because they just love all the carriers.
Whatever the reason, it is a great resource.

The carrier we will be giving away today is a traditional jersey knit wrap specifically designed for newborns and adjustable for mom or dad!

Merry Christmas!!

12 Gifts of Christmas - Day 1 HaaKaa

Merry Christmas!!

Tis’ the season for making memories with your family and friends, for taking time to give back to others and showing love to everyone around you, we would like to show our love by giving away some gifts to our wonderful community.

Each day from now until Christmas we will feature an item and do a giveaway!

Here is how you get entered into the drawing;

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  1. Like (or Love) the post

  2. Tag a friend you think would also love the item

  3. Share the post to your page

And that’s it! There is no limit to how many items you can win, you can enter each day for the different items. The contest ends once the next giveaway is posted so we will announce the winner at the same time.

Now on to our first giveaway!!

The HaaKaa!!

This item is from a company based in New Zealand.
If you have ever pumped while nursing a baby you know the struggle of sanitizing the pump parts, the giant bag you have to carry around, the cords, the tubes…. I know, you’re already having flashbacks, aren’t you?
One thing that you will hear over and over again from lactation specialists is that you should hand express, and yes, that is a very good option that can work amazingly! But sometimes you want that suction as well, so here is the solution!
The HaaKaa is a completely silicone item made from non toxic materials and is very easy to clean in between uses. Many moms love using this on one side while nursing baby on the other while other moms use this when going back to work in lieu of a traditional pump altogether!

Click the picture of the HaaKaa if you would like to order a set, but of course enter into the drawing!!

New Director of Tulsa Family Doulas

New Director of Tulsa Family Doulas

You know those events or conversations that become a defining moment and you can look back on them and pinpoint the exact instant a decision was made, your life changed and you absolutely KNEW what you needed to do next? I've had a couple of those and I want to tell you some sweet stories about them. 

Free Sibling Class this Saturday

Free Sibling Class this Saturday

Is your little one about to be promoted to a Big Sibling? Come to Pottery Barn Kids Utica Square this Saturday, March 24 from 11am-3pm and join in on one of three FREE sibling classes. 

  • 11:20am-12:00pm
  • 12:20pm-1:00pm
  • 1:20-2:00pm

Sleep Issues for a 6 Week Old Baby

Sleep Issues for a 6 Week Old Baby

The wealth of knowledge from your birth and postpartum doulas is almost limitless. This is a copy of a group text string between a client and her two doulas. Sidebar - yep, two. Any time you hire doulas from Tulsa Family Doulas, you get two. Twice the support, twice the experience, twice the information. These doulas immediately go on call for you. We don't wait until 36 or 38 weeks to go on call. Whomever is on call is the doula that attends your birth and then comes back to your home for the two postpartum visits including 4 hours of complimentary postpartum doula support. Sounds lovely doesn't it? It really is.

Okay, back to the reason for this blog - 6 week old babies, 6 week old mamas and sleeeeeeep.

Happy 3rd Birthday, Tulsa Family Doulas!

Happy 3rd Birthday, Tulsa Family Doulas!

Where do I start? How do I even say everything I want to say? This year has been amazing, to say the least. We topped well over 1,000 in-home postpartum hours and are still going, more birth clients than ever, so many lactation clients that are still going strong breastfeeding after their consults, happy placenta clients, belly bindings and so many classes. My goals for the agency were met this year and I couldn't have done it without the amazing women in the agency and all of our beautiful clients!

We are pleased to see the babies of our clients grow, and the confidence in their mamas blossom. Every client we serve reminds us of and reinforces our mission:

"To increase confidence in birth and in parenting for every client we serve."

So to celebrate, we want to lavish some gifts on YOU! Our business BOOMED this year because of referrals from our clients and care providers. So, it would only make sense to let those that refer receive some love.

Each of the following specials runs now through December 15, 2017. So figure out how many you can sign up for and best wishes on your beautiful gifts!

New Your Baby Experience and Your Breastfeeding Experience Classes for Tulsa Community

New Your Baby Experience and Your Breastfeeding Experience Classes for Tulsa Community

What a great week! There were 9 of us at the first ever YB Doula Training Retreat and y'all, it was more than amazing. I've done a whole heck of a lot of trainings for doulas and this has been my favorite one thus far and it gave us more to give to you, our wonderful Tulsa Community! 

This training was coordinated by Missy Boudiette, owner and found of the incredibly successful Your Birth Experience curriculum.

Fall Placenta Encapsulation Sale

Fall Placenta Encapsulation Sale

Placenta encapsulation in Tulsa is growing by leaps and bounds! It is so exciting to be on the service side of working with new moms and babies and seeing first-hand what is working for our clients and then hearing from them a couple weeks later ecstatic about their choice to encapsulate.

So much education is out there about the reported benefits of encapsulating your placenta, and even (for the strong stomached) a blog about our process of encapsulation.

Now we know there aren't any significant studies that detail why encapsulation works for some women. We know consuming one's placenta and the resulting experiences could be a complete placebo affect, and we are very open to sharing that.

Now Accepting Applications for Birth and Postpartum Doulas

Now Accepting Applications for Birth and Postpartum Doulas

I am thrilled to announce that Tulsa Family Doulas is officially accepting applications for Birth and Postpartum Doulas for contract work with the agency!

This agency is my heart and soul and has been nurtured, fed, loved, grown and is now again spreading its wings as I open the doors for more work for Birth and Postpartum Doulas.

Do I need a night nanny, baby nurse or postpartum doula to help with my newborn?

Do I need a night nanny, baby nurse or postpartum doula to help with my newborn?

It was only a couple years ago that postpartum doulas started becoming consistently more common in Tulsa. For the most part, doulas were associated with helping women in pregnancy and birth have a positive experience through education and support. Now, the term doula encompasses so much more than simply birth support, and extends to going into the family's home and helping the entire family adjust to life with a newborn.

In these last few months, Tulsa Family Doulas has been hired for, completed or will complete soon 842 hours of in-home postpartum doula support. That means for all of those blissful hours, the entire family is well-cared for. Postpartum doulas are trained to not only assist with basic newborn care, but to help ease the whole family into their new roles with the new baby.

Tulsa Dentist Offers Tongue Tie Revision

Tulsa Dentist Offers Tongue Tie Revision

Angie Nauman with Glisten Dental provides laser frenectomy procedures to help increase breastfeeding comfort and success for mothers and babies struggling through lip-tie and tongue-tie. 

The longer I'm in birth and postpartum work, the more I see the need to make sure that those providing much needed services are hailed in our community. One of those services is tongue-tie revision. A quick google image search of tongue-tie brings a whole host of pictures of babies, children and even adults with their red mouths gaping, lips splayed and their tongues lifted to see the sometimes very noticeable frenulums holding tightly to tissue where there should be freedom.

Most local families have been referred to Oklahoma City or Wichita to receive laser revisions for tongue-ties or lip-ties for their babies, but sometimes the thought of traveling even 90 minutes with a newborn can be daunting. But these families will, many times, do whatever is necessary to save themselves pain or risk having their nursing relationship cease because of a physical abnormality. 

Listen up, northeast Oklahoma, you have an option here! 

How do I find reliable childcare when I have to go back to work?

How do I find reliable childcare when I have to go back to work?

The thought of going back to work after having a baby can bring up a whole mess of emotions for many new moms. Until our employers, and heck, our country, can figure out how to promote exceptional maternity leave, the reality is that going back to work and leaving your baby with someone that isn't you is all to real.

One of Tulsa Family Doulas' most popular services is postpartum doula support where we provide certified support for the new mom during the vulnerable transition to life with a newborn with daytime, overnight and live-in care when family may not be nearby to provide help.

Many times, when our postpartum doula work is beginning to end, we will help transition the family to working with a childcare provider, most often a nanny. Our favorite nanny agency is E-Nanny and the owner, Erika Slade, is incredibly passionate about providing exceptional nannies for her clients.

The Mystery of the Magical Doula Fairy Dust

The Mystery of the Magical Doula Fairy Dust

Every single doula out there wants to make sure you know about ACOG's (American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists) recent recommendation "Approaches for Ob-gyns and Maternity Care Providers to Limit Intervention During Labor and Birth in Low-Risk Pregnancies."

The beginning of the fifth paragraph of the article states that, "The recommendations also suggest that women benefit from continuous emotional support and the use of non-pharmacologic methods to manage pain. Support offered by trained labor coaches such as doulas has been associated with improved birth outcomes, including shortened labor and fewer operative deliveries."

Yes! Job security! Validation! The epitome of true collaborative care for our clients! Let's do a little shoulder shimmy, booty shake and high five on proving our effectiveness for our clients AND their care providers! Alright, keep your smile and work with me on what all this actually means. Because I don't know if it is just me, but after my grin sits there slapped silly on my face, it fades a little and my first reaction is to take a deep breath and whisper under my breath, "No pressure, Sarah."

Birth - The Best Run Ever

Birth - The Best Run Ever

Who here enjoys running? With as many running groups as there are in Tulsa, trails throughout town and even places like Turkey Mountain, there are some fantastic places to get in a short jog or a long, blissful run.

There is something about plodding through those first five minutes to get the kinks out and then finding your pace, focusing on your breathing and just letting your body move smoothly and naturally.

You then start to take in your surroundings, enjoy the feeling of blood pumping through your body, and feel your muscles being activated and challenged. If you listen to music while running, your brain finds the rhythm and your body starts to follow the beat. Well, I guess that all depends on your music choice, right?

Sounds to me a lot like what your body does in labor.