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Essential Tips for Expectant Parents Written by a Connecticut Doula

Updated: Jun 11, 2023

If you are reading this and are currently experiencing the excitement and anticipation of becoming a parent...Congratulations!

As a Doula in Connecticut my role is to help you to prepare you for parenthood and to support you after your baby arrives. This blog post aims to provide essential tips and valuable parenting advice from me, a knowledgeable Connecticut Doula ;-)

So first things first: What is a doula anyways?

I am a trained professional who provides continuous support before, during, and after childbirth. I provide emotional and physical support as well as information and advice. Pregnancy, Childbirth, and Postpartum are some of the most vulnerable times in a person's life and it is so important to build trusting relationships with your support time! A doula can help!

Now...let's get to those Essential Tips for Expectant Parents

1. Educate Yourself!

The process of giving birth can be scary, overwhelming, empowering, painful, joyful, sad, anxiety producing and exhilarating all at once!

A lot of the anxiety and fear can be greatly reduced by arming yourself with knowledge! Check out your birthing center's childbirth education classes or sign up for a virtual class.

2. Establish a Supportive Network!

Postpartum healing and caring for a new infant is a lot of work! Reach out to your family and friends beforehand to set up a MealTrain or have a Freezer meal prep party.

Lean on your friends and family to prioritize postpartum healing and to get rest.

Connect with other pregnant and postpartum parents! It's so amazing to walk side by side with other parents going through the same experiences.

3. Self-Care and Wellness

Prioritize your physical and mental well-being during pregnancy. If you're feeling exhausted, prioritize a nap or early bedtime. If you are feeling tense, prioritize stretching or a yoga class.

Consider your sleep hygiene routine and tweak it if you need to. Insomnia can be rough during pregnancy and good sleep hygiene can help.

Practice relaxation techniques, exercises, and nutritious eating habits (to the best of your ability). These techniques will serve you well when you have a crying baby on your hands!

If you are interested in Prenatal Yoga in Connecticut check out Molly from Peaceful and Prenatal. She serves Hartford County but also streams her classes to anywhere so you could do prenatal yoga from the comfort of your home!

4. Create a Birth Plan!

The purpose of a birth plan is for you(& your partner) to have an idea of what you'd like your birthing space to look like, what types of interventions/pain management you are interested in, and how you are hoping your "ideal" birth will unfold.

You will want to discuss your birth plan with your provider but this is also where a Connecticut Doula can assist. During your prenatal appointments with your doula you will talk in depth about your birth preferences and you will work together to make a plan (and a back up plan too!)

You'll be considering things like:

  • Do you want music in the room?

  • Do you want lights on or off?

  • Do you want access to a tub/shower during labor?

  • Are you interested in pain medication? If yes, what kind of pain medication

  • Would you like your doula/partner to offer counterpressure/massage during contractions?

  • What positions would you ideally like to try pushing in?

  • How long would you like to wait before delivering the placenta?

  • Do you want to delay cord clamping?

  • Do you want baby to go straight to your chest?

  • If you are having a C-Section, would you like to watch?

  • Would you like to have pictures taken during delivery?

The list of questions could go on and on! If you're interested in learning more about prenatal servicees, you can check out my prenatal and birth services here!

5. Partner Involvement and Communication

Sometimes it's easy for non-birthing partners to feel left out during pregnancy and early postpartum.

They don't feel the pregnancy symptoms (though some may have sympathy symptoms haha!), they don't get asked about how they are feeling constantly, they are not making big decisions about how to deliver baby and they are (usually) not the partner breast/chestfeeding baby.

Try to keep open lines of communication with your partner during pregnancy.

Keep them informed of your symptoms day to day and let them know how they can support you. Talk to them about their excitements and anxieties about becoming parents.

When it comes time for labor and delivery, be explicit with your plans and keep your partner involved. "During contractions you can help me by xyz" or "I'd like you to try to keep the room as peaceful and interruption free as possible".

Give your partner the power to be the gatekeeper of the birthing space.

6. Postpartum Planning and Support

A ton of time and effort gets spent on planning the baby registry, baby shower, and birth but not so much time gets spent planning for postpartum. The birthing partner is going to be in pain and will be bleeding, likely for weeks.

Make sure to stock up on postpartum supplies! (Extra large pads/disposable underwear, perineal ice packs, witch hazel pads, nipple pads, nipple cream, stool softeners, peri bottle etc)

Having a doula at your side can make postpartum so much easier. You will have someone experienced helping you to make your supplies list before baby and then at your house when you need support during the day or overnight.

Your doula will help you to care for baby but will also help you to care for yourself! Check out my postpartum services here.

Ready to Work With a Doula in Connecticut?

These 6 tips will go a long way in making you feel empowered in childbirth and parenting. Go forwards in confidence, you've got this and I'm here to help!

Reach out to your friendly neighborhood Connecticut Doula(that's me!) today for personalized support and guidance! Click the button below to get started.


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