Birth Stories, postpartum doula

Virtual support for expectant families

If you’re expecting a baby in the next few months, chances are you’re trying to navigate a birth experience like nothing you could have imagined. Maybe your in-person birth class was canceled, or your birth doula won’t be able to attend your birth in person. With the current global health crisis, policies and recommendations for expectant moms are changing day by day.

The good news is that local birth professionals are stepping up and finding new ways to support you during this challenging time so you are not alone! There are new online/virtual options for childbirth classes, lactation support, fitness, and labor/birth doula support.

I hope you will find this list of resources helpful as you prepare to give birth in the coming months. If you have any questions, or would like to talk more about what postpartum support could look like during this season, please get in touch.

Count the Kicks

If you’re not familiar with Count the Kicks, now is a great time to download their FREE kick counting app in the iTunes or Google Play app stores. Starting in the third trimester (28 weeks, or 26 weeks if you’re high-risk), this easy-to-use app helps you get to know your baby’s normal movement pattern so you can speak up and contact your healthcare provider if you notice a change.

This is especially important during a time when your provider may be making changes to your prenatal appointment schedule, and you may be wary of going to the office or hospital. Count the Kicks gives you the peace of mind to know what is normal for your baby, so you will know when to stay home and when to seek guidance from your care provider. A change in baby’s normal movement pattern can be an indication that you or your baby are in distress, and should be checked by a healthcare professional. Visit the Count the Kicks website to learn more.

Virtual Doula Support

Though hospital polices may prevent your labor/birth doula from attending your birth in person, there is still so much they can do to help support you before, during and immediately after birth. Central Iowa doulas are providing virtual prenatal visits, helping partners learn comfort measures and skills to serve as your in-person support, and are staying up-to-date on the latest research and information related to COVID-19 and its impact on birthing women, newborns, and hospital policies.

If everyone is healthy, your labor/birth doula can support you at home before you head to the hospital, and transition to virtual support for the remainder of your labor/delivery. Or, if you are open to it, a labor/birth doula can discuss your options for home birth and connect you to the resources available in your area.

It is more important than ever to go into your delivery knowing what to expect, how to ask questions and advocate for yourself, and to feel prepared and supported. Doulas play a key role in each of these areas.

If you’re considering a doula, please visit the Central Iowa Doula Association website for a list of member doulas or reach out if you would like a recommendation.

Childbirth Classes

Many childbirth educators have moved their classes online to help families prepare for their upcoming birth from the comfort and safety of their own home. Below you’ll find a couple of local childbirth options, as well as a couple of national ones.

Hypnobabies by Blessed Births of Iowa

Powerful Mamas Online Natural Childbirth Class

Evidence Based Birth: They are currently offering a free YouTube birth class, as well as moving their childbirth classes online. Additional resources, including their podcast, are also available.

Know Your Options Childbirth Course from The Birth Hour

Lactation Support

Basking Babies: Angela Swieter, a Central Iowa IBCLC, is currently offering virtual lactation support appointments, and also has several breastfeeding classes available online.

Prenatal/Postpartum Fitness

Empowered Pregnancy and Birth: This local birth doula and yoga instructor has an online prenatal yoga series starting April 19, as well as online Baby and Me yoga classes.

Heather Osby: Heather is a certified prenatal and postpartum fitness instructor in the Des Moines area. She has at-home fitness programs tailored to both pregnant and postpartum women, as well as several free workout resources available.

Birth Story Writing

Giving birth during this public health crisis will be a unique experience, and you are sure to have a memorable story to tell. I’d love to help preserve your story for the future. I am currently offering my personalized birth story writing service via Zoom calls. Once your story is written and approved, we’ll design your book and have it shipped directly to your house. You can view an example of the finished book design here.

Contact me to grab a spot on my writing calendar. I’m offering $50 off your personalized birth story if you book during the month of April.