*Welcome – Start Here!*

Welcome, I'm Heidi. I live in Denton, Texas & I love supporting families through their pregnancy and birth! My services can be viewed in the tabs above, and include:

* birth doula support

* birth photography & first day photo sessions

* childbirth education

Are you a friend or family member of a client? You may be looking for gift certificates, which can be purchased here.

Over the last few years I've been fortunate to work with over 300 couples through my various roles. I've created a local online support group to continue helping parents as they navigate this wonderful journey & I enjoy staying connected with families I've served.

I'm now a doula mentor, and I have over a hundred great Tips for Doulas posts available by subscription. For those new doulas with more personalized questions I will soon also offer in person or online mentoring sessions.

Whether you are a birth professional or a new parents, I hope my website will provide useful information for you. Your comments and questions are very welcome, so please feel free to drop me a line. I can be reached at heidi@thadenpierce.org. Thanks, and I look forward to hearing from you!

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Tips for Doulas Testimonials

www.BetterBirthDoula.orgWondering if the Tips for Doulas program is worth it?

I have never found such an informative site as yours… Bless you for your advice and wisdom in posting this knowledge for all of us entering this career. -Michele

Thank you so much for blogging about this journey. You answered questions I didn’t know I had. In fact, you have made me more hungry to pursue this. Thanks again. - Jennifer

Read some more thoughts from readers here. Reading these testimonials makes me blush! I'm so honored to be able to help these doulas on their journey in serving families.

Have you been convinced? Subscribe here!

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Birthy Blog Round Up II – Parents’ Version

BetterBirthDoula.orgAfter seeing several posts recently that I thought were so helpful I decided a blog round up was in order! This is the round up for parents, but there's another round-up for birth professionals that's available through my Tips for Doulas series.

12 Phrases Said to Birthing Women That Steal Our Power - and How to Change the Conversation. I'm sad to say I've heard many moms tell me these were things they've heard from their OBs, but I'm thrilled when moms are able to change the script.

What doulas are doing when we're sitting there doing nothing. This one made me smile - it is so very true!

Maria Pokluda writes about PROM and how it's not about the dress. : ]

While many families have heard about postpartum depression, some have not heard about postpartum anxiety. This article has eight signs to be aware of for moms and their support teams.

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The Gift of Our Presence

Gift This quote jumped out at me when reading a magazine, so I cut it out to save in my inspiration binder. Whether with our partner or children or friends, I think being fully present is increasingly challenging in our very busy, LOUD, and somewhat chaotic world. How often do we give someone the gift of our full presence, our attention and listening and our heart focused solely on supporting and hearing them? As a doula I think this is a crucial skill we need to develop, a way we can better support and nurture the growing family through their pregnancy and birth experience. I love the quote, and thought you may appreciate it, too! Spend some time today giving someone you love the gift of your presence.

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Gift Certificates for Doula Services

The benefits of having a doula present at birth are known, and what better gift can friends and family provide for an expectant mom than helping her have a better birth experience? While baby gifts are so much fun to buy, more families are instead registering for doula services. I'm excited to now offer gift certificates, available in any denomination. Parents still arrange for my services with a contract and retainer fee, but their loved ones can assist in covering the remainder of their doula package. (If gift certificates are purchased for my full fee then my retainer fee is returned to the parents.) Once the gift certificates are purchased then any balance remaining is paid by the parents by 37 weeks, when I go on call for them.

Would you like to help someone have a better birth? Purchase gift certificates here. Any questions? I can be reached at heidi@thadenpierce.org.

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Latergram for Instagram | Tips for Doulas

Have you played with Latergram yet? I think anyone with an Instagram account can benefit from them! As I was searching for ways to schedule Instagram posts I looked at a variety of options, but this one is winning for a variety of reasons. You can upload from your desktop, the layout is very user friendly to schedule or rearrange when you want your posts to go live, you get a push notification to let you know it's time to go up (so you can always change your mind, but you also get that reminder that something is going up) AND you can post up to 30 times per month for FREE! If you want more there's an inexpensive monthly subscription option. You can go check it out here. (Disclosure, that is a link from me - by sharing about Latergram you can earn extra posts per month, though I don't ever go over their free amount so I'm good to go! I just genuinely thought this was a great service and may benefit you.)

Here's a screenshot so you can see where you upload the image, select the date/time, and then the image itself shows up on your calendar. This is my first test post, I'll let you know how it goes.

Latergram - BetterBirthDoula.org

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Public Service Announcement Re: Breastfeeding in Public

Oh, this sone made me laugh! I think it was her facial expressions that were the real icing on the cake. Enjoy!!

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[Off-Call] 2015

I'm at [Off-Call] 2015 this weekend, and after today's pre-conference classes I feel like my mind is bursting with ideas! Tomorrow morning is a doula-birth photographer panel, among other activities. I'll share photos soon of the t-shirt I fell in love with and some of the adventures.

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Another Breastfeeding Position

You've probably seen this article already from Mothering.com about breastfeeding positions and the benefits of having babies be belly to belly with mom (as they should be in most nursing positions) but having baby be belly down, with gravity working in their favor. The article has some great points and I'll be sharing it with my childbirth class students and doula clients. The more resources parents have, the better! My only concern would be that the title says moms have been taught the "incorrect" way to nurse, and I think that's an incorrect assumption! Many moms have great success nursing in a variety of holds that may not be ideal for everyone, but work well with them. Each baby and each mom need to find the best fit for them, which may vary from one nursing session to the next and that's okay. However, the article presents really great information about how some moms and their little ones may experience fewer complications or find better success if they try this new belly-to-belly facing down pose for babies.

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Thinking About Being a Doula? Tips for Doulas

Being a doula is one of the most wonderful things I have ever done in my life. I love this work. That said - doula work has its challenges, and as a new doula I wasn't quite prepared for some of the surprises that may come. As a newbie I was told that the turnover rate seems to be about two years - veteran doulas told me that they see enthusiastic new doulas jumping in with both feet and within a couple years the entire crop of new doulas has already stopped attending births. In just the last few years I've seen this proven true.

My own doula journey began with a phone call - I had four babies of my own, and we were hoping and trying for another. An expectant momma called me and asked, "Would you be my doula?" I didn't even know what the word meant, but I knew I was being invited to attend her birth and I thought that sounded AMAZING. It was a fantastic experience for me, but I also had the parents express their gratitude for my help and support through the birth. Then another friend called (shortly after that much anticipated fifth baby of mine arrived) and asked me to attend her birth, which left me equally ecstatic when I heard the parent's expression of thanks. But with five little ones of my own keeping me busy, I decided to research doula training programs and put it on the back burner to happen "Someday."

When our sixth baby was six months old my husband, knowing training could take awhile, encouraged me to go ahead and get started. My hope was to get certified and maybe attend a couple births a year... little did we know! Just six months later I was officially a doula, and it's been a whirlwind since.

For many people I think they can immediately see the appeal of attending births - it's a BIRTH. It's an incredibly intense, emotional experience. (Though admittedly I've also had some people respond to hearing about my job with, "Yikes - why would people want to be there to see that?") But assuming you think birth is pretty awesome, the appeal is obvious. In part this explains why we have so much interest and so many new doulas joining the field, only to have a quick turnover when these bright eyed and optimistic people discover that doula work is exceptionally hard. It's HARD. Physically, emotionally, logistically, being a doula is not something people should jump into lightly. I'm thrilled to see new doulas joining the professional, I've mentored many and will continue to do so. But I think we do ourselves and parents a disservice when we don't provide a better picture of what doula work entails and better support each other through the ups and downs of doula-ing. (I think "doula-ing" is a made up word, but it fits!)

When new doulas are caught off guard by some of the challenges of this work then they're going to struggle to best support parents and are more likely to stop attending births - then we all lose! I'm being very blunt here - these are the hard parts of this work, and I don't want this to ever talk someone out of becoming a doula, but I want you to be more prepared than I was. So in the interest of encouraging some candid discussions, here are some things new doulas should consider - challenges we face, and some ways to help: Continue reading

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Now Offering – Prenatal & Postpartum Packages

I'm incredibly excited to share that I'm once again offering postpartum doula services and something new - prenatal doula support!

Each week I teach a childbirth group class, which is so much fun. I love meeting these couples, whether they are welcoming their first or fourth babies, and I learn so much from them. I wish I could attend all of their births, and many do inquire about my doula or birth photographer services. Unfortunately because I take a limited number of birth clients and I book months in advance by the time I meet these sweet couples I'm already committed to other clients. After class each week there are also questions from moms that may be of a more personal nature, worries or concerns that really need to be heard but aren't always something they want to discuss in a group class. There may be more detailed things they want to talk about with their unique circumstances or things with their birth plan. It struck me that each of these couples could benefit so much from a session just for them, with undivided attention to address some of these topics. My birth doula clients often do attend my group class, and our prenatal visits in their home provide this exact opportunity to go more in depth. Why not offer that same option of prenatal visits for other families?!

My birth doula clients also receive a postpartum visit during which we may address breastfeeding or newborn concerns, review the signs to watch for with postpartum mood disorders, and overall talk about how they and their partner are adjusting to life with the new baby. For many moms, it seems that talking through their birth experience is the most important and beneficial aspect of having a postpartum visit. I am a certified postpartum doula with additional breastfeeding training (and personal experience!) as well as a mom to six little ones and doula to many more. Moms need a little bit of extra care and support during those first few weeks after birth, and my postpartum doula services are designed to provide just that kind of care. Whether you choose to have just prenatal or postpartum doula services, the entire birth doula package, or some combination then I'm happy to help provide the right services to help you make your experience even better!

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