*Welcome – Start Here!*

*My calendar is closed for 2014 arrivals, but I will be taking a limited number in 2015 so please feel free to contact me to find out if I’m open for your due date. If I’m booked I am referring to The Birth Group. 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, and 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. I’m also now a doula mentor, and I have over a hundred great Tips for Doulas posts available by subscription.

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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Happy Birth Day Cupcakes!

BetterBirthDoula.orgIt was almost two years ago when I got a phone call from a laboring mom. She wanted to let me know things were happening, but she didn’t feel like it was time for me to come yet. Her husband, however, disagreed – he thought she was further along than she realized and asked me separately to head their way. Not wanting to ignore her opinion but wanting to also respect his input I suggested I would come by to check in with them and if it was early and she wanted privacy I would head home. Also feeling like I shouldn’t show up empty handed for this reconnaissance mission I decided to bake her some cupcakes for her baby’s birth day. They turned out to be a hit, and I’m so glad I listened to the dad because she was laboring so calmly that I don’t think she realized she was closer than she thought to meeting her baby!

Last month I received a similar phone call but this time the mom asked me to go ahead and head her way. (Honestly, I probably would have snuck over even if she didn’t feel ready yet, remembering last time!) Knowing she had been warming up we had baked some cupcakes again because now it was tradition! Not long after I arrived we were welcoming another beautiful baby boy. I was thrilled to share in their journey.

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Do You Have Questions?

www.BetterBirthDoula.orgI’m ever so slowly working through reviewing my 100+ Tips for Doula posts on the website. I chronicled my journey during training and the first couple years as a new doula – writing helps me, but I also wanted to help other new doulas by sharing some of the steps involved.
So, not that I have much wisdom to share of my own, but I have very wise mentors and birth professionals friends! They are kind enough to let me ask them questions, and I’m passing on the favor of sharing things I’ve gained from them. If you are a newer doula what do you wonder about? What questions do you have after training or after attending your first few births? If you could sit down with some experienced doulas to ask them questions, what would you focus on?

(Please feel free to message me or email if you prefer to keep it private.)

And curious about my Tips for Doulas? Sign up is here: $30 to subscribe for one year to all my Tips for Doulas posts! Checkout via paypal or use your credit card here:

Whether you are a brand new doula or very experienced, I’ve received feedback that these posts are great for doulas at any stage of their journey. You can read more about some of the topics covered here.

Read what other birth professionals have said about my posts here (Reading those make me blush, but there’s also a fantastic pick-me-up after a rough day! Thank you to each of you who left such kind words and feedback for me.)

But now back to the questions – I want to hear from YOU. What are you wondering about? If I can’t answer it myself then I promise to go ask the wonderful, insightful women I’m privileged to work alongside in this birth community.

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Quiet Around Here! :)

www.ThadenPierce.orgIt’s been quiet around here as I take some time off for family needs. (Well, quiet on this website – not so quiet in real life!)

As I work my way through previous Tips for Doula posts I am updating those, and I’m thrilled each time I’m notified that there’s a new subscriber. For those birth professionals newly visiting, my Tips for Doulas section had become gigantic! I wanted to review & revise them all and set up a special subscription program for anyone interested in having access. (You can read some feedback from people on those posts here and sign up here.)

This summer I have three repeat mommas welcoming new babies (one here, two joining us soon!) I LOVE attending births, but I admit it’s an even more enormous thrill when someone invites me to join them not just once but twice for their babies’ arrivals. It’s humbling to be invited to be part of their story!

My own family is still having some local adventures as we work through Ben’s vision list. Once my doula babies arrive then we’ll be taking some out of town trips. If you would like to read more about those you can check out Ben’s Wish List on Facebook. And of course I’m also there with my (currently quiet) Better Birth Doula page. Come say hi!

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Peek-a-Boo World!

www.BetterBirthDoula.orgIsn’t he handsome?! Two years ago I was in this same room when his big brother entered the world. These sweet boys have wonderful parents, and it was a joy to be part of their story.

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Testimonials

untitled (15 of 154)This little one really kept us on our toes! While I admit I often tear up when I see parents welcoming their new baby and there’s so much joy in the room, this time I was in tears BEFORE the baby arrived! The parents worked incredibly hard together as a beautiful team, full of faith through the challenges that came up. While we were preparing for a possible cesarean, when we discovered it wouldn’t be necessary I cried tears of relief and happiness for this sweet family and just minutes later they welcomed a perfect, healthy baby boy:

We hired Heidi on the recommendation of a friend, who said that hiring Heidi was the best money she spent during her pregnancy. Heidi was absolutley great! She had already done so many births at the hospital we choose to birth at. It was so comforting to have someone with us who could tell us what to expect. Heidi was with us for about 13 hours and, when the doctor told us that we would probably need to have a c-section due to my son’s size, Heidi helped us to come to terms with the unexpected outcome. She continued to work with us and our nurse on positioning and two hours later, to everyone’s surprise, our son made his appearance without further intervention! – Rebekah

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Martha Sears – My Hero

untitled (31 of 42)My firstborn baby was spirited, to put it mildly. Nursing at least every two hours around the clock (or every 45 minutes), PASSIONATE about expressing his opinion, not needing much sleep, wanting constant touch. As a new parent hearing so many different ideas about how to parent I was drowning in uncertainty – let him cry it out, people said. Start him on solids at 4 months, the breast isn’t enough. He should NEVER sleep in your bed, he’ll be there until he’s 10. But so much of it just felt wrong to me, and I was torn between listening to the loud voices around me and trusting my instinct that said this little boy needed more from me than any parenting tips I was hearing.

Then my big sister gave me a copy of The Fussy Baby Book. I admit the title bothered me, though it certainly fit the situation. :) Then I started reading – and reading, and reading, because THIS WAS MY CHILD! But instead of saying I should discipline him or stop nursing him or let him cry it out this book was saying WEAR your baby, keep him close, nurse him when he needs it, co-sleep if that helps you feel better rested (it did!) Unlike many of the other parenting books, this wasn’t being written by a doctor with maybe one or two kids – this was being written by a doctor and nurse BUT they were parents to eight kids (including some spirited kids) and that gives them WAY more credibility in my book. They had lived the exhaustion, they knew my pain! They also knew that babies need respect, deserve compassion, and keeping them close helps them feel safe and comfortable in the world so that then they WANT to go explore!

And for the record, that co-sleeping, high needs baby is now 12 years old and he hasn’t slept in our bed for over a decade. :) He left our bed when he (and we) were ready.

All that to say – these books changed my life. I truly thought my firstborn was going to be an only child because I thought I was a failure. I thought I was going to ruin my child, and I had no confidence in myself because what I felt was right (nursing, co-sleeping, baby wearing) I was being criticized for… their book helped me have the confidence to trust myself. That changed everything. Continue reading

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Southwest Birth Round Up!!

So when I found out that the Southwest Birth Round Up was going to be held the same week as my husband’s annual work convention (that he helps run, like he’s in charge of all the tech stuff and it’s enormous) I felt sick. I was horrified, because it’s the one week of the year that my husband cannot leave work and is gone ALL day and late into the night. (Normally he works half days at home, and has a super flexible schedule – which is how I can do doula work!) I cannot take clients for the month of April and half of May because of his work convention – so I knew there was no way I could attend the conference. (I cried.)

However, after visiting with one of the amazing roundup coordinators earlier this week I found out that (a) there were just a few tickets left for the Friday night dinner with Martha & Dr. Sears AND (b) it didn’t start until 7pm. I called my husband and begged and he went to his bosses and said, “HEIDI’S HEROES!” and they said yes!! He could sneak away so I could attend!!!!!!! He told them if anything broke they were on their own, as he would have six kids with him. :)

untitled (1 of 42)Which means that last night I drove down to Fort Worth with Mary (my neighbor/doula mentor/dear friend) and WE MET MARTHA AND BILL SEARS! Well, technically I didn’t introduce myself to Dr. Sears because I was talking with Martha and so many other amazing people (Donna of Banned From Baby Showers & Birth Boot Camp fame, Sarah from Mama Birth, one of the Round up speakers – Lesley (an amazing doula and doula trainer.) I know I’m missing some names… it was an incredible evening. (Good food, too! Joe T. Garcia’s! Here’s the lovely party hall.)

I’ll have to write up a post about my conversation with Martha and Mary – IT WAS WONDERFUL!!!

Here are Mary & Lesley (one of the speakers) then Mary & me with Maria (the Dallas BirthNetwork chapter leader, one of the coordinators of the Roundup, and a beautiful friend.)

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Martha & Dr. Sears, along with many of the coordinators, speakers, chapter leaders, etc!
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Doula Posts Update

www.BetterBirthDoula.orgIt’s up! We appreciate your patience as we work out the kinks but sign up is here: $30 to subscribe for one year to all my Tips for Doulas posts! Checkout via paypal or use your credit card here:

Whether you are a brand new doula or very experienced, I’ve received feedback that these posts are great for doulas at any stage of their journey. You can read more about some of the topics covered here. For those of you wondering if the Tips for Doulas posts are worth it, I wanted to share some comments I’ve received about them – and thank you for these kind words!

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

Hi Heidi,
I have to say I am incredibly impressed with the information available on your website. It is purely AWESOME and such a great resource for a new doula like me. Thank you very much for sharing this information!! – Leslie

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Testimonials

www.BetterBirthDoula.orgOur family has three August birthdays – our fourth & fifth babies and my husband’s. I was on call at the end of the month and wondered if I would miss a birthday, but my family is VERY flexible and understanding. (Besides, we like any excuse to celebrate birthdays early, on the day, and afterwards! When Mom is on call there is lots of partying around here.)

Just after midnight on my husband’s birthday I got called to a birth, and I tried to sneak out the door quietly. Normally he gets up when I’m called to help grab my stuff, give me snacks, and get me out the door faster, but I wanted to let him sleep this time. The funny thing is that I met with the couple welcoming their second baby having absolutely no idea how long I would be with them – and this little baby surprised us by coming VERY fast! So fast that he was here, I spent a couple hours with them postpartum taking photos and making sure everyone was settled, and I was back home before my family even woke up. So while technically it was my husband’s birthday, he slept through the entire birth!

Heidi was my doula and birth photographer for my second son. She was a great resource throughout the pregnancy and she always made herself available. She has such a calm and sweet spirit about her that made it very easy for me to share intimate details about myself with her. Even though I had a very short labor (3 hours), I am so grateful that she was there to help! I can only imagine what a comfort she would be to a mom with a lengthy labor. Her and my husband made the perfect team to help me through the toughest parts when I wanted to give up, and not to mention the photos I have from the birth are so beautiful. I know I will treasure those for years and years to come. I can tell Heidi truly cares about the families she assists through this journey. What other person would leave her family on her husband’s birthday to help someone to give birth!? I am so thankful for her and I know she treats every client just as special as she treated me. :) – Catharine

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Doula Belt | Tips for Doulas

I saw the FlipBelt on Pinterest and I was intrigued. Not that I’ve run in years (it’s designed for runners) but I do chase children around a lot, and we love to do hikes as a family. I’m always hesitant to leave my bag unattended at the park with my wallet & keys, but it’s bulky and a pain to carry it with me while pushing kids on the swings or going down slides.

Not to mention as a doula I need to keep my phone on me whenever possible, so if I’m running around the park or hiking or in the museum with the kids I want to keep my phone close when I’m on call. So this FlipBelt looks very intriguing to me – as a mom and as a doula.

Then I started thinking – I bet this would be great at BIRTHS! I could keep my phone in it for quick notes on their birth timeline, my chapstick, even my little essential oils bottle! This could be BRILLIANT for births! My hands would be free to help moms, but I could still have some of the essentials from my doula bag immediately accessible. I’m curious how many and what things I can keep in it!

So I ordered one. :) I’ll post a review after I try it out at home with my kids and when I attend my next birth. I’m really excited!

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