*Welcome – Start Here!*

*In 2014 I will be taking a limited number of clients, but please feel free to contact me to find out if I’m open for your due date. When I’m booked I am referring to The Birth Group, though you will need to contact them to find out their individual availability. When looking for options I encourage you to also check out DoulaMatch.net. The sooner you begin your doula search the better, as that helps ensure you can find the perfect fit for you.*

I’m Heidi, I live in the DFW area of Texas & I’m a doula & birth photographer. Whether you are a birth professional or a new parents, I hope my website will provide useful information for you. To the right you’ll see some links for expectant parents and new doulas!

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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Doula Podcasts – Tips for Doulas

A comment left recently on my blog told me about a series of podcasts for doulas available here. I’ve only listened to the most recent one about supporting clients when they have a history of trauma, but it was REALLY informative and helpful for me. (The article of mine they discuss is here.)

Thank you also to Kayla for her comment, as the podcast referenced an article of mine and that’s how she found me – and I’m so glad to have found out about what a great resource toLabor has provided! If you are a doula you need to go check them out.

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Sneak Peak – Baby A




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Time & Money

This is only tangential to doula work, but it made me laugh so hard!

We’re teaching a lesson on budget to my kids and I asked them what they think I make as a doula – my 9 year old said, “Seventeen dollars?” My 10 year old said, “I think $20.” I asked, “Per HOUR or per birth??” They said per birth.

So I asked how long do they think I’m normally gone for a birth? My son said, “Usually 5 or 6 hours,” and my daughter said, “No, like 7 hours.”

I can’t stop laughing! For the record, I do cost more than $17 and it’s incredibly rare that a birth is only 7 hours… not to mention prenatals, postpartum visits, editing photos, etc. I’m glad they think I’m not gone that much. :)

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My Baby Scrapbook

untitled (1 of 1)-2When adding a new birth announcement to my scrapbook I was flipping through the pages and smiling as I saw all these beautiful families. I have birthday invitations, birth announcements, holiday cards, thank you notes, and sweet letters from families thanking me for helping them on their journey. These are mostly from my doula and photo babies but so are also childbirth class students. I love this collection, it reminds me of how blessed I am to be part of their experience. I look forward to seeing this grow and grow!

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Peanut Ball Cover

untitled (1 of 1)The peanut balls for labor post continues to be one of my most searched posts, and I continue to use my peanut ball at almost every birth. It’s an inexpensive (under $20) and fantastic resource that I think every doula should own.

It can be slightly awkward to juggle carrying my doula backpack, water bottle, and peanut ball as I walk into the hospital so I was pondering a carrier of some sort. My always talented sister put her creativity to the test and created a carrier for my peanut ball – and I love it! So does my little birth assistant helping me model it. :)

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Family Legacy & Its Impact on Birth

untitled (1 of 1)-2This photo is me as a newborn, I recently found some family photos after talking with my parents about my birth story. During prenatal visits and in the childbirth class I help teach we talk about our family history of birth, as I believe it very much shapes our perceptions of birth – and it can shape our birth, too. Not just the physical inheritance – our body type, our pelvic shape, our labor progress. It also shapes us emotionally – if we anticipate pain and suffering or if we view birth as a natural experience that’s hard, but doable. If a woman comes from a long history of complicated and high risk births or if there are many in her family birthing by cesarean then you can bet that’s going to be in on her mind during her pregnancy. Where we birthed is shaped by this, the care provider we choose, the coping techniques we plan to use. So much of our experience of birth will be shaped by what we grew up hearing about birth.

Do you know YOUR birth story? (If not, go ask!!)

Do you know your parents’ birth stories? I just this year read my grandmother’s journal account of my father’s arrival – it was so neat, and I just wanted more and more details!

Do you have siblings who have birthed? Close friends?

Each of these stories gets into our subconscious and influences how we perceive birth – if it is “safe”, if it’s messy, if it’s empowering or humbling or awkward or amazing.

Not just from our family, but from our friends and the media and random strangers rubbing your belly and sharing their birth stories in the grocery store. But why is it that the stories we seem to hear are always negative? Why are people not sharing their amazing, glorious, fantastic, beautiful birth stories? THEY SHOULD BE! And if you have a birth story that was positive then share it! (If you are experiencing trauma after a rough birth then please, please talk to someone about it – but please be cautious about NOT trying to process it with someone expecting.) Pregnant women need to gestate in peace (GIP) and that means hearing stories of births that were respected and supported, no matter where or how that played out. I’ve been to cesareans that were so beautiful and sacred that there were tears of joy and such a sweet spirit in the room. I’ve been to hospital births that were gorgeous and touched my soul. Birth is not about the location, it’s about how the mom is treated through the experience.

I’ve been reflecting lately on the birth legacy I’m sharing with my children. They all know we’ve and a variety of birth locations and types – hospital, birth center, home, vaginal, cesarean, VBAC, epidural, general anesthesia, meds free, land and water birth! But I want my children to know that I loved them ALL. Each had something fantastic about it besides the super cute baby I got. :) Each changed me forever in so many ways and I’ve learned so much from the journey.

That’s your homework assignment – go find out YOUR birth story, and those of your parents. Record them somewhere so that one day you can share them with your children, too.

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Two of my Doula Babies

BabiesI love these babies! I was honored to be at each of their births, and I love having the chance to snuggle them and watch them grow!

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New Statement from ACOG

The new ACOG statement makes me so very happy. Among other new guidelines – active labor is 6cms (not 4cms) and pushing for a first time mom can be up to 3 hours before they need to start stressing. Probably my favorite part was about doulas, of course:

Published data indicate that one of the most effective tools to improve labor and delivery outcomes is the continuous presence of support personnel, such as a doula.

We knew that already, but hooray for the ACOG getting behind doula support as an effective way to lower the rates of cesareans! Go check out the article linked above, it has great information.

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A Sweet Little Arrival

On Thursday evening I received a phone call from the birth center where I work – they asked if I was able to come in to help postpartum because a mom had just given birth in the park! After I stopped laughing they explained everyone was okay, they just wanted to get some extra hands to get everyone settled back into the center. (Unfortunately I couldn’t attend for another reason I’ll share later!) Across the street from Inanna are the TWU gardens and laboring moms walk there often. This was the first time a mom didn’t make it back to the birth center before the baby decided to arrive. :)

Here’s the Denton Record Chronicle article and video interviews. Baby and mom are well!

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I Have a Little Competition!

Conversation between E (my 7 year old daughter) and J (my 5 year old son) this evening:

J: “Mom, when I get a wife I want you to be her doula.”

E: “You don’t get to pick the doula, your wife gets to pick the doula.”

J: “Okay, but I hope she picks Mom!”

E: “Or I can, because I’m going to be a doula. Or can I take your pictures?”

J: “But Mom said she would do it for free.”

E: “I’ll do it for free, too!”

They were both in attendance at the arrival of their littlest sister, and their passionate opinions about birth make me smile.

(I promise to not pressure any future daughter-in-laws to let me attend their births. Really.)

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