Personalized Pregnancy & Labor Support

Author: Lisa Raynor

Lessons from the Worst OBGYN

As I sat in the waiting room of my doctor’s office each month, many thoughts ran through my mind. I was 19, almost 20, and knew nothing about pregnancy except what I learned in my high school Sex Ed classes. I didn’t know how important it was to choose a supportive, caring OBGYN. I had never even heard of a midwife at that time either . Needless to say I was very limited in my options for providers for my surprise pregnancy. I selected a doctor who took my insurance and was in my city, nothing more than that.

I would wait patiently for my doctor who would soon be delivering my baby and who would be present on the single most important day in my life.  I thought to myself, “is he going to spend 5 minutes with me this time or even less”. I wondered if he would remember my name without looking on the chart like he usually does.  I wondered if he would be rude this time or just ignore me.  I thought to myself, “are all doctors this bad? Does he hate his job, does he hate me?”

I was treated like a baby having a baby!

Every appointment was the same. Check my weight, check my blood pressure, check the baby’s heartbeat and then out the door. No small talk, no genuine concern for me or my baby, just stats and tests and exams. The only time our conversations would last more than a few minutes is when he would reprimand me for my weight gain. One month I gained 10 pounds and he scolded me like I was a child! In reality I was a child, and needed guidance and education about proper nutrition during pregnancy. This was 1998 and there was no Google, I had to read books and take classes to learn. He never once recommended a book, a class or offered suggestions on what to eat and what not to eat.

I needed a doula before I knew what a doula was!

When it came time for me to ask questions, he acted like I was bothering him.  I was a first-time mom, a young first-time mom and needed help. I wish I would have had a doula back then, but I didn’t. I was on my own with a doctor who acted irritated if I called the office with a concern, and often didn’t call me back. I started asking the nurses questions because I hated having to talk to the doctor because of the way he treated me. I am so thankful for the nurses who answered my questions and didn’t treat me like a dumb kid!

What He Taught Me!

This OBGYN has long since retired and even though he wasn’t the best OBGYN, he did teach me so much. He taught me exactly what NOT to do when working with pregnant women. As a doula I am attentive, caring, and available!  These are three things he never was. I answer my phone, I return calls, I answer questions and I pay attention to what my clients need.  I offer suggestion on books to read and classes to take. I never take more clients than I can handle. I don’t overextend myself and don’t make clients feel like they are a burden to me.

Individuals who work with pregnant women need to be patient and need to be supportive.   Looking back, with the knowledge I have now, I wish I put a lot more effort into the important decision of choosing a great OBGYN (or midwife). Everything in life is a learning lesson and I am thankful for the lessons I learned from a not-so-great OBGYN!

 

 

 

Photo by www.paulinasplechta.com

This blog written by Lisa Raynor, a childbirth doula  and mom of 3 boys in Coral Springs, FL. Over the years, Lisa has work with many families, including first-time moms, VBAC, teen moms, high risk moms and moms working with fertility doctors. Lisa offers compassionate support to moms in Boca Raton, Parkland, Coral Springs, Ft. Lauderdale and Surrounding areas. Lisa has attended births at every hospitals in Broward County and Boca Raton. Call today to schedule your complementary consultation 954-914-3933. 

 

 

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Documenting Your Birth in Pictures

Photography by www.paulinasplechta.com

You’ve picked your hospital, you’ve chosen your obgyn or midwife,  you’ve hired a doula and taken childbirth classes. Great job, but have you thought about who will take on the role of capturing those first precious moments after your little one is born? Most soon-to-be parents plan out every last detail of their little ones arrival, but they don’t always consider who will be taking pictures during baby’s birth. An increasing number of moms are leaving that important task up to a professional.

 

Who Do You Trust?

You probably didn’t trust your wedding photos to be taken by a relative, friend or employee of the venue, so when it comes to your birth, shouldn’t you hire a professional? Every member of your birth team has their own important role. A professional birth photographer will have one role and one role ONLY, to capture those precious moments for you to treasure forever. Your partner and doula are busy keeping you relaxed and comfortable, your nurses are busy attending to your medical needs and your doctor’s role is to deliver a healthy baby in the safest way possible. Your child’s birth is such an important day and it should be documented!

A Picture is Worth A Thousand Words!

Have you ever wondered what your reaction will be when you see your little one for the first time? Do you wonder if your partner will cry when the baby is born?  A birth photographer can capture these images and so much more!  A trained birth photographer sees through a different set of eyes than you and me. They can find beauty in the smallest detail, they don’t see an object, they see a memory. Birth photos capture a moment in time and freeze it forever.  Most people have an idea of what these photos will look like, and a lot of times they are wrong. Birth photography isn’t bloody and gross, it isn’t full of nudity or scary images that you can’t share with others; It’s actually beautiful! Take the time to sit with a professional birth photography and see how amazing birth photos can be.

 

Photo by www.paulinasplechta.com

You’ve Got ONE Chance!

Your child is only born once, this is her only “birth”day. You’ve got one chance to capture pictures of this birth. You can redo newborn photos and maternity phones, but you can’t redo birth photos.  Baby makes her grand entrance only once, make sure you capture that memory!

 

Photo by www.paulinasplechta.com

This blog is written by Lisa Raynor, a childbirth doula and mom of 3 boys in Coral Springs, FL. Over the years, Lisa has work with many families, including first-time moms, VBAC, teen moms, high risk moms and moms working with fertility doctors. Lisa offers compassionate support to moms in Boca Raton, Parkland, Coral Springs, Ft. Lauderdale and Surrounding areas. Lisa has attended births at every hospitals in Broward County and Boca Raton. Call today to schedule your complementary consultation 954-914-3933. All photos were taken by Paulina Splechta  of www.paulinasplechta.com

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Pregnancy and Cravings!

When you think of pregnancy, you think of cravings! Most women will have either sweet or salty cravings during their pregnancy. When I was pregnant with my first son back in 1998, I craved everything sweet. The sweeter the better! I needed Dairy Queen Blizzards, gummy bears, Nerds and of course, chocolate! If you are like me and craving unhealthy foods, such as sweets or chocolate, try not to over-indulge. Too much sugar can cause excessive weight gain and dental problem. I gained almost 60lbs during that pregnancy and got 2 cavities! With my second and third pregnancies, I craved healthier foods and gained half the weight that I did with my first pregnancy. I wanted watermelon, grapes, smoothies, salads and pineapples all the time. I ate pineapple chunks everyday with my youngest son and now he loves pineapples as well. I am not sure if there is a connection between the two, but I would bet money there is!

Why do we have food cravings?

No one knows why we develop food cravings. It seems logical that cravings might be due to something lacking in the diet, or an increased need for certain vitamins and minerals. However, this is always not the case. Pregnancy books will mention moms craving strange food combinations, like pickles and ice cream, but I personally don’t know anyone who ate anything weird during pregnancy. A lot of expectant moms have no cravings at all and just eat the same foods they ate before pregnancy.

 

Finding Balance

Having a balanced diet is so important during pregnant, so make sure to have incorporate protein and healthy fats into your diet. In addition to food cravings, many pregnant women also develop a sudden dislike or aversion for certain strong-tasting foods. For me, I hated hot dogs and hamburgers during my three pregnancies. Always talk to your doctor, midwife if you develop cravings for non-food craving suck as chalk, clay, laundry detergent or soap.

 

 

 

 

 

 

This blog is written by Lisa Raynor, a childbirth doula  and mom of 3 boys in Coral Springs, FL. Over the years, Lisa has work with many families, including first-time moms, VBAC, teen moms, high risk moms and moms working with fertility doctors. Lisa offers compassionate support to moms in Boca Raton, Parkland, Coral Springs, Ft. Lauderdale and Surrounding areas. Lisa has attended births at every hospitals in Broward County and Boca Raton. Call today to schedule your complementary consultation 954-914-3933. 

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What is a Doula, and Why Do Pregnant Moms Want One?

Pregnancy is one of the most wonderful, confusing, exciting, and sometimes scary moments of a women’s life. From morning sickness, to crazy cravings (who says apple sauce on pizza is wrong?), to feeling those first flickering movements of life within you – pregnancy is an incredible experience. If you’re like many to-be moms, you probably spend countless hours online trying to learn as much as you can about pregnancy, babies, and motherhood. So, why not take a few minutes to learn about a great service that pregnant moms have relied on for decades: doulas!

What is a Doula?

The world “doula” is a Greek word that means “women’s servant.” Doulas are non-medical professionals who assist mothers before, during, and after birth. They offer expectant mothers necessary support throughout early motherhood including:

  • Educational support. Doulas are very knowledgeable about pregnancy, various birthing methods, and mother-baby care. They will help guide you according to your personal wishes about pregnancy, birth, and motherhood, so you can have a memorable experience that is perfect for you and your baby.
  • Emotional support. Motherhood can be difficult. Though doulas do not provide medical care, they offer what many medical providers don’t – compassionate emotional support. She will walk with you on your unique journey while offering support each step of the way, so you can fully enjoy every moment.
  • Physical support. Doulas are labor-coaches at their finest. Whether you want to go natural, or prefer some other method of labor and delivery, a doula will ensure you are as comfortable and prepared as possible.

Doulas are highly-trained and experienced in prenatal care, labor and delivery, and post-partum care. But that’s not all. Doulas are your best friend, someone you can trust who will partner with you and your family during one of the most important times of your lives.

What Can a Doula Do for Me?

Doulas fill many roles within the educational, emotional, and physical support they offer. Here are some of the benefits of having a doula during each phase of early motherhood:

  • Prenatal care. Your doula will ensure you and baby receive proper nutrition, while offering you support as you adjust to the emotional and physical changes within you. Whether you need a late-night friend to talk to, or advice on creating an ideal birth plan that suits your values and environment, your doula is your go-to support system and advocate.
  • Labor and delivery. As mentioned above, doulas are remarkable birthing coaches. She will help keep you comfortable, focused, and encouraged when you feel you can’t go any longer. Helping you maintain your wishes for labor and birth, while keeping you and your baby safe are her highest priority. Your doula will also offer massage, guide you to appropriate laboring positions, help you through relaxation techniques, and offer support for your partner and family.
  • Post-partum care. After delivery, your doula offers support for you and baby including breastfeeding guidance and encouraging a strong bond between mother and baby. If you have a caesarian delivery, your doula will offer additional support during your recovery.

Whether you’re planning your first pregnancy, or are expecting your second, third, or even fourth child, each pregnancy is unique and deserves individualized care. A doula will help make your pregnancy and birth as memorable and joyous as possible.

This blog is written by Lisa Raynor, a childbirth doula  and mom of 3 boys in Coral Springs, FL. Over the years, Lisa has work with many families, including first-time moms, VBAC, teen moms, high risk moms and moms working with fertility doctors. Lisa offers compassionate support to moms in Boca Raton, Parkland, Coral Springs, Ft. Lauderdale and Surrounding areas. Lisa has attended births at every hospitals in Broward County and Boca Raton. Call today to schedule your complementary consultation 954-914-3933. 

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Should I Take Maternity Photos?

The short answer is YES! Yes, you should document this beautiful journey with maternity photos! Maternity photos freeze a moment in time when your baby is safe and secure inside you, kicking and moving, and waiting to meet his/her loving parents. Below are some of the most popular types of maternity photos.

Photo by Alissa Delucca www.alissadeluccaphotography.com

Beach maternity photos have been popular for years! Expectant moms can wear a bathing suit, a skirt and bikini top or a beautiful dress.  Many moms opt for sunset or sunrise beach maternity photos, while other actually like to be photographed in the water. The choices are endless. The only downside to beach maternity photos is the weather. It could be too hot, too cold or it could rain. A great photographer will inform you of the best days and times to schedule your maternity shoot.

Photo by Erin Martin Photography www.erinmartinphotography.com

In-studio maternity photos are great for moms-to-be who prefer to be dressed up and photographed indoors. Your growing belly can still be accentuated but you’ll be covered more than a beach shoot and don’t have to worry about the weather causing any problems. Many photographers work with a hair stylist and make up artist who will complete the look for your glamorous maternity pictures. A great photographer will provide gowns and accessories to for your photo shoot.

Boudoir maternity photos have gained popularity and my clients love them. Pregnancy can be very sexy and having a boudoir maternity shoot can document this time perfectly. Boudoir photos can be done in your home where you’ll feel most comfortable.  You would provide the lingerie and accessories but your photographer will offer suggestions that will help you look and feel your best. The pictures generally aren’t shared with friends and family, they are usually something special and private to share with your partner.

 

Maternity photos can range in price from just a couple hundred to thousands. When asked about hiring a professional photographer, my answer is always YES! Yes, you should hire a professional photographer for your maternity photos. Hiring an experienced professional photographer will make the difference between pictures that are just” OK” and pictures that are breathtaking and worthy of being hung in your home for all to see! Ask local moms, your doula or your OBGYN or midwife for a reputable photographer in your area.

 

This blog is written by Lisa Raynor, a childbirth doula  and mom of 3 boys in Coral Springs, FL. Over the years, Lisa has work with many families, including first-time moms, VBAC, teen moms, high risk moms and moms working with fertility doctors. Lisa offers compassionate support to moms in Boca Raton, Parkland, Coral Springs, Ft. Lauderdale and Surrounding areas. Lisa has attended births at every hospitals in Broward County and Boca Raton. Call today to schedule your complementary consultation 954-914-3933. 

 

 

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Doulas and IVF

IVF boca

While many women conceive with no issues at all, there is a rise in the number of women needing fertility treatments such as IVF. Fertility doctors will help identify any issues keeping you from conceiving, and then address those issues with medical interventions, if necessary.  Once your fertility treatments are successful, and you’ve chosen a supportive OBGYN or midwife, the next step should be hiring a childbirth doula. The American Pregnancy Association defines a doula as “a professional trained in childbirth who provides emotional, physical, and educational support to a mother who is expecting, is experiencing labor, or has recently given birth.” Trying to conceive isn’t always easy and, once you do conceive, having someone to provide emotional support during your pregnancy can very beneficial.

“After a fertility doctor helps you conceive, a doula can help guide you through the rest of your pregnancy journey. “


 

Hiring a doula to support your family during this journey can help create a more positive experience. While your healthcare provider focuses on your medical needs, a doula’s attention is focused on supporting your physical and emotional needs. The process of addressing infertility often comes with a lot of challenges, losses, and stress.   An experienced and knowledgeable doula understands these challenges.


“A doula recognizes the unique needs of families who undergo fertility treatments and offers nonjudgmental support every step of the way.”


 

A doula is also a great source for local referrals for IVF moms.  If you are seeking the care of an acupuncturist, nutritionist, or massage therapist, your doula can recommend some of the best around.  A doula can help educate you on what you can truly expect when expecting.  As many IVF moms know, going through IVF can be physically, emotionally, and financially demanding. The guidance and support from a doula who understands your needs can be invaluable.  From the first positive pregnant test, to your baby’s first breath, she’ll be there holding your hand along the way!

ivf boca parkland

 

 

 

Coral Spring DoulaThis blog was written by Lisa Raynor, a childbirth and postpartum doula in Coral Springs, FL. During her decade of experience, Lisa has worked with many families who struggled to bring a baby into the world and understands the physical, emotional, and financial strain it can place on families.  Lisa offers compassionate support to moms who have battled with infertility in Boca Raton, Parkland, Coral Springs, Ft Lauderdale and surrounding areas. Call today to schedule your complementary consultation 954-914-3933. 

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Read This IVF Story Before You Make An April Fool’s Pregnancy Joke!

 IVF doula pregnancy parkland                                 Each Month – An Infertility/IVF Story

As a little girl, all I dreamed about was being a mom. As an adult, I never thought I would struggle with infertility.

Each month when I would get my period it was a reminder that I was failing at something that I wanted so badly.

Each month was a reminder that things weren’t happening the way I planned.

Each month was a disappointment.

Each month I wasted money on pregnancy tests and never saw a positive result.

Each month my husband tried to console me as I cried myself to sleep.

Each month I pretended to be happy when my friends announced their pregnancies and delivered their babies.

Each month I wished I was in their shoes but was in denial that there was a problem.

Each April 1st, people would make April Fool’s jokes about being pregnant and they didn’t know how much it hurt me.

Each month I wandered into baby stores and envisioned the items I would need.

Each month I talked myself out of going to see a fertility specialist for IVF.

Each month I grew deeper and deeper into depression and thought my dream of being a mom would never happen. This went on for year and years.

Then…….One day I made a call, made an appointment, met with a fertility doctor, listened to his advice, got on medicine, made healthy changes in my life, believed that IVF could work for me, believed I was worth the time, the commitment and the money, I believed that I would be a mom………and now I am!

 

ivf pregnant doula boca raton

Please be sensitive this April Fool’s Day and think about the moms struggling to get pregnant or the ones who have been pregnant and miscarried. Think about the moms going through IVF who are patiently wait to hear the words “you’re pregnant”! Pregnancy is not a joke. So many of my friends have struggled with infertility and can relate to the story above. A story of courage and strength and determination to be a mom. As a doula, I have supported many moms through their pregnancy journeys after IVF, but some have been friends before and during IVF. I have been there for the emotional rollercoaster, the highs and lows, and the tears of joy and tears of sadness. IVF moms are some of the most amazing people I know and some of the strongest.

 

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Is Gender Disappointment a Real Thing?

boca ivf doula babyThe short answer is yes. Yes, gender disappointment is a real thing and it is more common that you think.  Think of this scenario, mom is pregnant with her 4th child and already has three girls at home. Every person she meets assumes she wants a boy… hopes she’s having a boy and even says, “this one better be a boy”.  How is this mom supposed to feel when she finds out she is having “another girl”? She might be elated, over the moon with happiness, but society might not be. The neighbors and friends might not be and there you go, gender disappointment and it’s not even their child.  There’s a chance she wanted a 4th girl and didn’t prefer a boy. But now people will make her feel guilty that she can’t give her husband a son or her daughters a brother. Or in some way her family or life is not complete without having at least one of each, one boy and one girl.

boca ivf doula

My 3 sons at Boca Regional Hospital 2005

 

I know that feeling all too well. As a mom of 3 boys myself, I felt extreme pressure to have a girl when we were pregnant with our third child. A small part of me wanted to give my husband a daughter (daddy’s little girl) but a huge part of me wanted to stay the only girl in the house and be the queen of the castle. I ultimately got want I wanted, but to this day feel like my husband would have loved to have a little girl to spoil. I think he might have been a little disappointment when we first learned the gender.  We wondered what a little girl would look like, would she have my curly hair, his blue eyes? Would she be a tomboy because of having two older brothers? We will never know those questions and that’s OK. We have three beautiful, smart, healthy boys and we are a content with that. Unfortunately, people still ask us if we are going to try for a little girl, assuming our life wouldn’t be complete without one. They are disappointed for us, I guess.

ivf boca  doula south floridaOver the years, as a doula, I have had clients confide in me that they have been a little sad finding out the gender of their child.  The truth is, to some moms they do have a preference and feel bad saying it aloud for fear of being shamed by others. With so many moms struggling with infertility and having to go to fertility specialist and spending thousands on IVF just to conceive, it seems selfish to be concerned with the gender and not just having a healthy baby.   Each situation is unique, it doesn’t mean that don’t love this child with all their heart, it just means that were visualizing something in their heart and in their head and it wasn’t going to be a reality. I tell them to talk to me openly and honestly and I don’t judge them in anyway. Once the baby arrives, it’s always happiness and joy. The gender doesn’t matter, a healthy baby is all that matters.

 

 

Coral Spring DoulaThis blog written by Lisa Raynor, a childbirth doula  and mom of 3 boys in Coral Springs, FL. Over the years, Lisa has work with many families, including first-time moms, VBAC, teen moms, high risk moms and moms working with fertility doctors. Lisa offers compassionate support to moms in Boca Raton, Parkland, Coral Springs, Ft. Lauderdale and Surrounding areas. Lisa has attended births at every hospitals in Broward County and Boca Raton. Call today to schedule your complementary consultation 954-914-3933. 

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Fertility Doctors, Doulas, Dreams and Free Advice!

fertility doctor boca doulaCongratulations on your expedition into motherhood. Whether it was the old fashion way or with the help of a fertility doctor, it’s time to celebrate and to prepare for the journey ahead! As a mother, and a doula, I know that you are in for the ride of your life! At times it’s scary, uncomfortable, and not fun and other times it’s amazing! Your body is changing, foods you once loved will now make you vomit and suddenly you want watermelon 4 times a day? Don’t stress too much about foods or your growing belly, focus on the important stuff, like finding the best, most supportive OBGYN or midwife! Ask for recommendations from local doulas, labor and delivery nurses and fertility doctors, they know who’s the best in the area because they work with so many providers!

 

fertility doctor doula boca ratonAfter you choose the right provider, focus on resting as much as possible. Dreams are another funny part of pregnancy. One night you dream about having a gigantic baby, the next night you dream about giving birth to a toddler (at least that what I would always dream about during my pregnancies). Just be happy that you can sleep and have dreams for the time being.  Towards the end of pregnancy, sleeping through the night will be a distant memory. I think this is your body’s way of getting you ready to be up all night with a newborn. For the moms who need help once baby arrives, hiring a postpartum doula or baby nurse will give you the opportunity to sleep while baby is being cared for by a professional. Breastfeeding mom still need to nurse or pump in the middle of the night because the most milk production happens overnight. Make sure to contact an IBCLC for more information about breastfeeding and attend local breastfeeding support groups if you choose to breastfeed.

fertility doctor doula boca ratonNow let’s talk about the fun parts of pregnancy like shopping and baby showers. Shopping is inevitable during pregnancy! New clothes for you, clothes and furniture for baby, car seats, high chair, strollers, and so much more! Creating a registry and having a baby shower can help you get all the baby items from your list before the baby arrives. If you don’t mind gently used items, check local mom groups for items for sale or take hand-me-downs from friends and family, but always buy car seats and mattresses new!

During the pregnancy enjoy the free advice everyone will be giving you! Choose wisely which advice you will take, not everyone is a pregnancy expert, like doulas, fertility doctors, OBGYNs and midwives. Make sure the books you read are the newest edition with the most up-to-date information. Take a class or two at the hospital and hire a doula to help educate you on birth plans, comfort measures during labor and postpartum care.  You are embarking on an incredible journey and it goes by fast. Slow down and appreciate the life that’s growing inside you and enjoy the next 9 months!

 

 

lisa raynor doula in coral springs parkalnd and bocaThis blog written by Lisa Raynor, a childbirth doula  and mom of 3 boys in Coral Springs, FL. Over the years, Lisa has work with many families, including first-time moms, VBAC, teen moms, high risk moms and moms working with fertility doctors. Lisa offers compassionate support to moms in Boca Raton, Parkland, Coral Springs, Ft. Lauderdale and Surrounding areas. Lisa has attended births at every hospitals in Broward County and Boca Raton. Call today to schedule your complementary consultation 954-914-3933. 

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A Letter To Moms Wanting a VBAC

Dear moms wanting a VBAC,

One of the first reasons I wanted Lisa at my sons birth was her laid back personality and calming voice. I immediately knew she would be a great fit for my family. You can feel her passion and love in everything she does. I had concerns going into my second birth because I was attempting a VBAC. Lisa had great advice on books to read, exercises to do, proper hydration, mental preparation, birth plan, and laboring at home. She encouraged me to attend Birthing from within classes to be better prepared to a natural birth and join the ICAN Facebook group so I could hear more successful VBAC stories.
She checked on me daily and always returned my calls and texts promptly.
During labor, Lisa comforted me physically, mentally and, emotionally. She assisted me by giving me techniques to use to ease discomfort and also to get ready to active labor, she was a great presence in the delivery room and helped both myself and my husband through the entire process.  Lisa is an amazing person and awesome at what she does.”

Fabiola M.

Successful VBAC mom (Boca Raton, FL)

 

VBAC

This letter was written by my VBAC client, Fabiola in Boca Raton, FL. She hired me to be her doula when she was around 20 weeks. I helped her achieve a sucessful VBAC at Boca Regional Hopsital in Boca Raton, Florida. She had a VBAC supportive provider and a very supportive husband, which added to her chances of having a successful VBAC. A VBAC is a vaginal birth after cesarean (also called c-section).  As a doula, I support women who have had a prior c-section and now want a VBAC. If you are pregnant and looking for a doula for your VBAC for your birth, please contact me for a free consultation.  Accepting client in Broward County and Boca Raton.

 

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