Lisa Raynor Childbirth Doula

Personalized Pregnancy & Labor Support

What is a Doula?

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                                                                   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 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. Your doula is someone you can trust who will partner with you and your family during one of the most important times of your lives.
                                                               20160911_173223                                                       What Can a Doula Do for You?

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 offers 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. 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 c-section, 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 written by Lisa Raynor, a childbirth and postpartum doula in Coral Springs, FL.  She is also a mom of three boys, a wife, and loves to blog about pregnancy, childbirth, postpartum care and breastfeeding. Lisa attends births throughout Broward County and Boca Raton. Call for a FREE consultation today! 954-914-3933

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In Labor ON Labor Day!

Me with my mom and 4 sisters on Ft. Lauderdale beach Labor Day 1984

Me with my mom and 4 sisters on Ft. Lauderdale beach.

The year was 1990, I was 12 years old, almost 13, and my mom was one week past her due date with her 6th child.  The day started out like any other Labor Day, but would turn out to be the most memorable Labor Day in my young life. My 4 sisters and I were off from school and my dad was off from work. My mom woke up with contractions and started timing them, but this was something she’d been doing now for weeks. I would often rub her feet, bring her water and help her time contractions during this pregnancy and this day was nothing different. She always tells me I was her doula and helped her so much during her pregnancy.

Eventually the contractions got closer together, got stronger and started lasting longer. My very passive mom was starting to show signs of being in active labor. Her and my dad called up our neighbor to babysit the 5 big sisters, as my parents started heading to the hospital (Broward General in Ft Lauderdale, about a 30 minute drive from the city of North Lauderdale where we lived).

We patiently waited and waited and waited and talked about how funny it was that our mom was IN labor on Labor Day.  We wondered if our mom would have another girl, the 6th girl in our family, or if she would finally have a boy (a prince to be spoiled by his 5 older sisters who would turn into 5 tiny mothers).  Finally at 2:14am on September 1, 1990 we got the call we’d been waited all day and all night for………. IT’S A BOY!!!!!!! We have a baby brother!!!!! We all screamed with JOY,  we had such excitement for ourselves and our parents…finally a boy after 5 girls!!!!!!!

My family in 1990

My family in 1990

My mom’s labor was 20 hours and ended in an emergency c-section, my brother was her biggest baby ever at 8lbs 14 oz. I remember visiting him in the hospital and instantly falling in love with this cute little boy.  We all still talk about mom’s Labor Day labor, and now as a doula, I look forward to one day having a client go into labor on Labor Day. It hasn’t happened yet, but one day it might and memories like the ones I have, will be made.

 

 

This blog written by Lisa Raynor, a childbirth and postpartum doula in Coral Springs, FL.  She is also a mom of three boys, a wife, and loves to blog about pregnancy, childbirth, postpartum care and breastfeeding. Lisa attends births throughout Broward County and Boca Raton. Call for a FREE consultation today! 954-914-3933

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Beaches, Bikinis, and Post-Baby Bodies

post-baby bodies beach

Ft Lauderdale Beach Staycation

  As a doula, I can’t always leave town for a summer vacation and often have to take local staycations, usually to the beach. After spending a week on Fort Lauderdale beach for my staycation this summer, I saw so many post-baby bodies in bikinis. Some people don’t think that the words “beaches”, “bikinis”, and “post-baby bodies” can’t go together, but as a doula and a mom, I disagree. It was encouraging and refreshing to see women proud to wear bikinis after having babies. Some women wore a one piece, but the majority of the women decided to bare it all on the beautiful South Florida beaches in really cute bikinis and looked great!


 

It was refreshing to see moms let go and have fun!


I talked to a few mom who recently had babies and was so proud when the women didn’t feel insecure about their post-baby bodies. A lot of women have stretch marks, a lot of women have cellulite a lot of women have scars, but it doesn’t make them any less beautiful! It was wonderful to see so many moms chasing their little ones on the beach now worrying about being judged for not having a flat stomach or six pack abs. It was refreshing to see moms let go and have fun!

pregnant mom south floridaSociety put so much pressure on women to get back to their pre-baby body ASAP and it’s just not that easy. It took you 9 months to put the weight on, give yourself at least that long to take it off. Your body has been through the most miraculous change and needs time to get back to the way it was. Also, some moms may never get back to their pre pregnancy clothes or pre pregnancy weight and that’s okay. Your body carried a beautiful child for 9 months, you went through hours and hours of labor, give your body time to recover before stressing about the number on the scale or the way your old jeans fit. Focus more on your baby and the weight will come off slowly, but surely.


 I actually focused on enjoying the South Florida sun and beach and not what I looked like, as a mom of 3 children! 


After my week on the beach I am proud to say that I am more comfortable in the skin that I was in as well. Some days I still wore a one-piece, other days a two-piece and sometimes  I just stayed in a sundress, but I was comfortable! I focused on just enjoying the time with my children and my husband! I actually focused on enjoying the South Florida Sun and beach and not what I looked like, as a mom of 3 children!

 

This blog written by Lisa Raynor , a childbirth and postpartum doula in Coral Springs, FL.  She is also a mom of three boys, a wife, and loves to blog about pregnancy, childbirth, postpartum care and breastfeeding. Lisa attends births throughout Broward County and Boca Raton. Call for a FREE consultation today! 954-914-3933

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South Florida Hot Spots for Pregnant Moms

beach ft lauderdale south floridaDuring your pregnancy you’re definitely going to want to check out a lot of hot spots in South Florida. And speaking of hot… South Florida is very hot! It’s a good idea to check out some of the beaches in South Florida. Walk on the pier, go down by the sand and enjoy the warm water. I personally love Ft. Lauderdale Beach and Lauderdale by the Sea. Remember to stay hydrated and wear sunscreen, you don’t want to burn your baby bump with the intense South Florida sun!

belly love maternbity spa south florida coral springsAnother great idea to beat the heat is to stay indoors!!! And what better place to stay indoors than a day spa. I highly recommend checking out Belly Love Maternity Spa in the Coral Springs/ Margate area in South Florida. Get yourself pampered and feel relaxed in this one-of-a-kind Oasis for pregnant women. You can get a 3D ultrasound and a manicure and pedicure the same day. But definitely check out their prenatal massages because they are amazing. Stay for a facial and you’ll get that pregnancy glow all day long!

Once your Pampered and beautiful head over to dinner at one of my favorite places The Melting Pot in Coral Springs. It’s quiet and romantic and gives you and your partner a chance to talk quietly.  Talk about baby names, how you’ll decorate the baby nursery, discuss hiring a doula or a baby nurse or anything else you’d like.  After dinner is the best part… chocolate fondue! The dessert is my favorite part and will satisfy that pregnancy chocolate craving that most expectant moms have!

19525_629128523854051_2563871966277126230_nShopping is a huge part of pregnancy!!! Shopping for baby items, maternity clothes and nursery items are a necessity. My top pick for shopping for babies in South Florida are Babies R Us, Buy Buy Baby and Target for your baby registry. There are other locations to shop for pregnancy but these are the most popular in the area of South Florida. There are many locations from Boca Raton to Pembroke Pines and everything in between and you can always shop online if you are on bed rest or just feeling tired. Sawgrass Mall in Sunrise, Florida is  a great place to walk around and get exercise in the air conditioning and do some shopping as well. Make sure you stop frequently to rest and to stay hydrated.

Pregnancy is only 40 weeks so make sure you check out some of my favorites spots in South Florida before baby gets here.  Also, take a childbirth class, breastfeeding class, interview doulas and baby nurses and spending time with friends and family as much as you can. These 40 weeks will fly by and your baby will be here before you know it! Enjoy every minute!

Lisa Raynor -Childbirth and Postpartum Doula

This blog written by Lisa Raynor , a childbirth and postpartum doula in Coral Springs, FL.  She is also a mom of three boys, a wife, and loves to blog about pregnancy, childbirth, postpartum care and breastfeeding. Lisa attends births throughout Broward County and Boca Raton. Call for a FREE consultation today!

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A Letter for Couples Looking to Hire a Doula from a Previous Client

Dear couples looking for a doula,

If you are looking for a Doula, Lisa comes HIGHLY recommended by not only myself, but also my husband. Since Grace is our first baby, we both had no idea what to expect during labor or delivery. I’ll be honest, my husband Joey was a bit skeptical at first about hiring a doula. Once I explained the benefits of having her there, and explained to him how comfortable I felt with her, he knew she was the perfect fit for us. From the first time I met her, I knew there was something special about her. She has been my rock throughout my entire pregnancy. When either of us had a question we didn’t know the answer to, the first thing I did was text Lisa. She always had an answer, and if she didn’t know it, she always got one for me. There is nothing I felt uncomfortable with asking her. 

My birth was absolutely AMAZING. As soon as she got there, I felt a sense of calm in my delivery room. Don’t get me wrong, of course my husband was phenomenal. However, Lisa always knew exactly what to do to make me feel better. Of course the pain was there. But she knew exactly what I needed to make me feel comfortable. I’m beyond grateful that she was there, not only as my doula, but also as my friend. I will never be able to repay her for what she has done for me, my husband, or my beautiful daughter. I’m so happy that our little Grace will have this wonderful woman in her life literally from her first breath. Thank you again, Lisa.

With love,

 Carie, Joey, and baby Grace ( Hollywood, FL)

Lisa Raynor -Childbirth and Postpartum Doula

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Being a Great Doula Sometimes Makes Me a Bad Mom

 

coral springs boysBeing a great doula makes me a bad mom, but only sometimes. And not a bad mom according to most people. I’ve missed basketball games, baseball practices, school events, parties, overslept and made my kids late for school, missed conferences, open houses and book fairs. I’ve been too tired to cook more times than I can count and not been home for multiple meals in one day. I have taken more midday naps than a toddler after I’ve attended a long birth, leaving the boys to do homework or study on their own. Does all of this make me a bad mom? My boys don’t think so, my husband doesn’t think so, but sometimes I think so.

south florida great doulaBeing a great doula doesn’t make me a bad mom ALL the time, in fact, most of the time I am a better mom.  I am able to spend MOST days home with my kids. I get to be with them most days in the summer and take them to school almost everyday and pick them up almost everyday too. My job isn’t a 40 hour week job. I am not gone 8-5, fighting South Florida traffic an hour each way like alot of parents do, but I might have a 20hr birth twice a week instead. I can almost always pack them a lunch for school, help them study for a test and take them fun places on weekends, like our amazing South Florida beaches. I am there for doctor visits, birthday parties, and most family events and holiday. I will always respond to an invite and say, “I’ll be there, unless I’m at a birth”, but most times I can actually go.  My phone will always be on, usually in my hand with the ringer to the max volume, but I am still there. I text alot, talk on the phone alot, email alot, but I’m next to my children watching a movie, or watching one of their games while I am doing these things. I am a multi-tasker, as any great doula should be.

coral springs  great doula great Being a great doula shows my boys that doing what you love can also be your career!  Being a great doula shows my children they should also pursue a career that they are passionate about and give it their all! You can love your job and look forward to going to work! I love my job, I love being a doula and being a mom! Yes there are sacrifices we all have to make, my kids included, as well as my husband, but it is all worth it. My children seeing me happy is important to me, just as it is important for me to see them happy.  I know I am a great doula and a great mom too.

 

 

This blog written by Lisa Raynor , a childbirth and postpartum doula in Coral Springs, FL.  She is also a mom of three boys, a wife, and loves to blog about pregnancy, childbirth, postpartum care and breastfeeding. Lisa attends births throughout Broward County and Boca Raton. Call for a FREE consultation today!

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A Letter To My Younger Self

 

young lisa coral springs doula

My dad and I dancing at my 5th grade dinner dance in North Lauderdale, FL.

Hello Younger Lisa. You are a smart and beautiful girl and have a great future ahead of yourself. You might not know what your full potential is now, but you are destined to do wonderful things. You have a gift of helping people and caring about others. You can accomplish things when you put your mind to it. In your life you will face challenges and obstacles and you won’t always make the right decisions, but that doesn’t mean you aren’t smart and strong.  During your childhood, teen years and as an adult, you will make huge impacts on others’ lives.

My advice to you is to take risks, but don’t be reckless. Listen to your parents, they actually know what they are talking about (most of the time).  Make friends with people who are different from you; be nice and accepting of everyone regardless of race, religion or sexuality. Spend time with family, especially your grandparents, they won’t be around forever. Take classes and read as much as you can, especially about things you love. Never stop learning, be a sponge!

Lisa Raynor Doula

Me, age 17, working at Supercuts in Plantation, FL.

Eat healthy, don’t smoke, exercise and go to the beach once a month (but wear sunscreen). Take a trip with your sister or girlfriends. Have a spa day with your mom and not just because it’s Mother’s Day or her birthday. Go to dinner with your dad, so he can show you how a lady deserves to be treated. Stay in school, get good grades, go to your senior prom and look like a princess for one night, go to grad night and have fun before high school ends and real life begins. Go to football games and act silly with friends.  Don’t give your heart away to the first boy who has a crush on you, he won’t be the one you’ll live happily ever after with. Don’t lose sight of who you are and what your goals are, don’t ever let anyone tell you that you are not good enough! Remember to never stop loving yourself. There will always be someone prettier, skinnier, smarter or funnier than you, but that doesn’t make you less amazing.

One day in the future you will become a wife and mother to three wonderful boys who love you unconditionally. You will become a childbirth and postpartum doula. Your future career allows you to witness the miracle of life and birth and be a part of a child’s life from the moment they take their first breath. It’s a job that is rewarding and demanding but one you will be amazing at. Enjoy your childhood and teen years, they fly by. Live, Laugh, Love and be yourself.

Love,

Your Older Self

 

This blog written by Lisa Raynor , a childbirth and postpartum doula in Coral Springs, FL.  She is also a mom of three boys, a wife, and loves to blog about pregnancy, childbirth, postpartum care and breastfeeding. Lisa attends hospital births, birth center births and home births throughout Broward County and Boca Raton. Call for a FREE consultation today!

Lisa Raynor -Childbirth and Postpartum Doula

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Tips for Doulas to Relax After a Long Birth

If you are a doula, you know what a Birth Hangover is! You have had a few or more in your career. You wake up after attending a long birth and feel as if you had been out all night partying, drinking or running a marathon. You are tired from being up all night, you are sore from getting mom massages and supporting her as gets through countless contractions. You are hungry because you didn’t take breaks to eat because your client needed your support and encouragement to make it to the final line and deliver her baby.

After a long birth, I have found a few things that help me so much and wanted to share them with newer doulas, student doulas and ladies thinking about becoming a doula in the future.  Taking care of yourself is key to sustainability in this profession.  YOU MUST TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF! Here is a list of thing I personally do to handle my birth hangover and unwind after a long birth.

1. Relax in the hot tub or take a hot bath. I am lucky enough to have a hot tub at my home but a hot bath does the same to relax the sore muscles and help you de-stress.

Childbirth coloring books are great for doulas, expectant moms and anyone wanting to relax and unwind.

Childbirth coloring books are great for doulas, expectant moms and anyone wanting to relax and unwind.

2. Eat a great meal with friends or family, preferably one you didn’t have to cook.

3. Coloring is a great way to relax. I have several adult coloring books that I use and always recommend by client color during their pregnancy as well.

4. Go for a massage! You have just given your client many massages and now it is your turn to get one!

5. Treat yourself to a manicure and pedicure, its relaxing and you’ll look great when you are done!

6. Blog or write in a birth log about the birth, sit someone quiet where you can reflect and remember everything.

My birth log helps keep track of important stats about my clients births

My birth log helps keep track of important stats about my clients births

7. Take a staycation! Doulas are always on call, so a staycation is the best way to take a break, but still be accessible to clients if they need you. If you live in South Florida, I suggest going to Ft. Lauderdale beach.

8. Sleep!! This will usually be the first thing you will do after a long birth, but sometimes it isn’t possible. Make sure to take a nap and go to be early if possible.

9. Talk to other doulas. Sometimes its great to talk to someone who understands what you are going through. Friends and family might not fully understand what it’s like to be a doula, but other doulas definitely do and are great to talk to.

10. Give yourself a pat on the back! You helped another women become a mother and witness the miracle of life! You were strong and you supported your client and gave everything you had to help her achieve her birth goals.

 

This blog written by Lisa Raynor , a childbirth and postpartum doula in Coral Springs, FL.  She is also a mom of three boys, a wife, and loves to blog about pregnancy, childbirth, postpartum care and breastfeeding. Lisa attends births throughout Broward County and Boca Raton. Call for a FREE consultation today! 954-914-3933

 

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Push Presents in South Florida

push present south florida

Push Presents are a growing trend among expectant moms in South Florida.

If you are pregnant or know someone who’s pregnant in South Florida, you’ve probably heard the words “push present” before. A “push present” or “push gift” is a present you give to a new mom, in celebration of the new life she’s brought into the world. Unlike the gifts a new mom gets from a baby shower, a push present is a gift that’s all about her, and not her baby. A push present is generally given by the baby’s father and may be presented  before, during or after the delivery of the baby. This is definitely a very common trend among pregnant women in South Florida and all around the country.

As a doula in South Florida, I often hear my clients talk about what their push present will be.  Sometimes it’s something small and sentimental, other times it’s something huge. Not all of my doula clients have gotten a push present, but a fair share have.  This is currently quite a followed trend, so to all the dads out there: your wife may have high expectations from you. Here’s a list of some of the most popular Push Presents for moms-to-be in South Florida

push present south florida

A glider or rocking chair is a popular push present for moms in South Florida

Top Popular Push Present Ideas for Moms-to-Be

1. Jewelry

2. Massage or Spa Gift Card

3. Diaper Bag

4. Glider or Rocking Chair

5. Car

 

When I had my children, we didn’t have “push presents” but times have changed in the decade since I delivered my last son and push presents are here to stay!

 

This blog written by Lisa Raynor, a childbirth doula in Coral Springs, FL.  She is also a mom of three boys, a wife, and loves to blog about pregnancy, childbirth, postpartum care and breastfeeding. Lisa attends hospital births throughout Broward County and Boca Raton. Call for a FREE consultation today! 954-914-3933

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What is a Doula? A 15 yr old boy’s perspective.

andrew and doula baby coral springs

Andrew with one of my doula babies in 2015

I didn’t know what a doula was until my mom started to take classes on it and take it really seriously.  She loves to tell me all about the doula babies that she has had and all of the clients that she has helped.  My mom also loves to teach me how doulas are beneficial for birth and why they are always useful. I know she gives her clients massages and keeps them calm during labor.  I know she buys her clients pregnancy books and coloring books and takes her clients to childbirth classes. She even goes to the doctor with her clients.

childbirth game andrew

Andrew and I playing Down the Canal, a childbirth board game.

Doulas know A LOT about birth! I’ve played a board game with my mom about birth but she is impossible to beat because she knows almost everything!  You can ask her anything about birth, babies, and postpartum and she knows it.  I helped her study for her doula certification and I learned a lot too.  I don’t know as much as her, but I probably know more than most kids do.

andrew and doula baby plantation

Andrew and his baby cousin in 2014 in Plantation, FL.

At first I didn’t know if she would get many clients because I didn’t think it was very common to have a doula.  But now I see her have clients every month and she is always on call. My mom is constantly on Facebook and other social media sites helping moms. She is always texting and calling her clients and asking them how they feel and if they need anything. Sometimes she will have to leave at night because her client starts to go in labor really late.  She could stay at a birth anywhere from less than 3 hours or be there almost the whole day. Even though she might be there the whole day, she loves the experience and the job that she does. My mom loves being a doula and I’m glad that she loves being one. I love when my mom’s doula babies come to visit because they are all cute and funny.

 

 

This blog was written by Andrew Raynor, age 15. He resides in Coral Springs, FL with his parents and two brothers.  He enjoys video games, sports and loves spending time with friends. He is a freshman in high schools and hopes to be a computer engineer when he grows up.

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