*Welcome – Start Here!*

*If you are birthing in or around Denton, I'm referring my repeat clients and any new inquiries to the Denton Area Doulas group.*

Welcome, I'm Heidi - a doula and birth photographer relocating from Denton, Texas to Nottingham, England! 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

Are you a friend or family member of a current 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 as a doula, birth photographer, midwife assistant, and teacher. I've created a local online support group to continue helping parents as they navigate this wonderful journey - I love staying connected with families I've served.

I'm now a doula mentor, and I have over a hundred Tips for Doulas posts available by subscription.

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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Want to Be a Doula? Tips for Doulas Compilation Post!

untitled (45 of 65)You can read my entire section on Tips for Doulas here if you are a subscriber. If you've not yet subscribed then you can see some of my topics below, and read testimonials here!

Some of my most popular posts for doulas getting started, well experienced doulas, or anyone wanting to make their business even better:

Getting started - certification options and more.

Going paperless with your business.

A doula's fee - setting your price.

Marketing and branding your business.

Finding clients! Continue reading

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A Doula Does NOT… | Tips for Doulas

Doula-Does-NotWhile doulas are becoming more common, I am still frequently being asked, "What is a doula?" I've explained that here. So let's talk about what a doula is not:

* I do NOT provide medical care or advice. I am increasingly concerned when I hear of moms calling their doula with pressing medical concerns rather than calling their care providers. If you are experiencing any signs of preterm labor then you call your care provider FIRST (or head straight to the hospital) and you call your doula on your way so we can meet you there. But if you call me and are experiencing any significant physical symptoms then I will tell you to hang up on me and call your midwife/OB. If you are having round ligament pain or sciatica or heartburn then of course - I can help give you some tips, but I'll still tell you to discuss this at your next visit with your provider. Sometimes people confuse the roles of doula and midwife so to reiterate - a doula is NOT a medical professional and provides absolutely no medical care. We do not check your blood pressure, perform cervical exams, listen to your baby's heart tone, or monitor you in any medical way. We cannot tell you when it's time to go the the hospital/birth center (but we can help read your cues and support you and your partner as you decide when it's time) and we absolutely do NOT provide medical advice. That is the job of your midwife or OB.

* I do not speak for you. The hospital staff will listen to YOU (the patient) and your partner (if they are listed on your paperwork as someone they may discuss your care with.) In some circumstances when I've known the staff I've been able to mention things and they are happy to respond, like a gentle reminder, "They wanted delayed cord clamping." But I am your guest in the hospital, and the staff has absolutely no obligation to listen to anything I have to say. In fact they cannot legally even discuss the situation with me without having your consent and making note in your records! I've had parents say it would be nice to have someone at the birth to speak for them and to tell the staff what to do - that is NOT the role of a doula. I can remind you of your birth plan, I can make sure you are informed of what's going on in the room, I can encourage you and your partner to speak to the staff and ask questions, I'll remind you about BRAIN. But as a doula I do NOT speak for you.

* I cannot guarantee any specific outcome. While I work with you to help express your desires for the birth and to work towards that goal, a doula cannot ever promise anything will go the way you hoped! (Wouldn't that be an incredible skill??) Many parents hire a doula because they want to increase their chances of a natural, vaginal birth. But sometimes plans need to change and that epidural or cesarean may become necessary. This does not mean you (or your doula!) have failed in any way - it means birth is full of surprises and we cannot predict what may happen. Yes, births with a doula present are on average shorter, less likely to have an epidural, and less likely to be cesarean births. But having a doula does not guarantee any of those things. Having a doula means that no matter what happens, you'll have the support and care you need to make the best decision for you and your baby for YOUR situation.

For doulas, clarifying our role at the birth is so important to avoid any assumptions, incorrect expectations, or miscommunication with clients. This should be addressed in our consults, prenatal visits, and specified in our contracts. Doulas are invaluable and beneficial and amazing! But we have a specific role on the birth team, and it's crucial we help parents understand how we can help.

For parents, I hope this helps to better define what my role is - and is not - at a birth! By ensuring everyone is on the same page as to what a doula offers, we can help ensure we provide the best possible support to families.

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Hello, World!!

BABY9 Her midwife was doing her exam and about to weigh her and this gorgeous little one was just checking out the world and wondering what was going on around her. She was so bright eyed and beautiful!

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Baby Toes Make Me Smile!

Baby Toes

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Tiny Perfection

BabyFingersThose sweet, perfect little fingers holding onto momma's hand just minutes after birth just captured my heart.

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Postpartum Bran Muffins

MuffinsI've not tried these but I hear they are quite fantastic for moms dealing with some of those postpartum "challenges." My sister mixed up a batch for a new mom and I wanted to share the recipe for any of you in need!

Bran muffins
4 eggs
1 qt. buttermilk
5 tsp. baking soda
3 C. sugar
5 C flour
1 C shortening, oil or butter
1 15oz. box raisin bran

Mix together. Let stand in fridge for two days for best results. It is good up to 6 weeks. When ready to cook, fill greased muffin tins and let sit on counter to get to room temperature for better rising. Cook at 400º for 15 minutes.

Yields 4-6 dozen

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Sweet Baby Three-Peat!

When this three-peat client told me her due date my heart sank, because I knew my sister was due a couple weeks later and I would be flying out of town. My client and I talked it through and we both felt good about the timing and my back up doulas and felt pretty sure he would arrive with time to spare. Then, much to our surprise, this little one kept us waiting. And waiting. My flight was approaching fast and I was heartbroken at the idea of missing their birth - and then, keeping us in such suspense, he arrived just a few hours before I needed to head to the airport! I was so honored to support this family through their three births, so grateful for my talented back up doulas, and so humbled by the beautiful timing.

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Guess What??

webIt still feels very surreal, and very bittersweet. We will miss this city we love, but even more I will miss the people we have grown to know and love and all my doula babies!! ❤️

My sweet repeat clients and any new inquires I'm referring on to DentonDoula.com for some amazing ladies - you'll be in very capable hands! My Tips for Doulas will continue as I learn more about the birth community in a whole new community and different country! I hope you'll continue to follow along on this adventure.

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Why Your Partner Needs the Birth Photographer

Yes, there will inevitably be phones out when baby arrives as everyone wants a photo of your adorable new addition. However, having a professional birth photographer at your birth is an investment I think is worth having for a variety of reasons! I could expound more, but I think I'll let the photos speak (mostly) for themselves. :)

Both parents deserve the chance to focus entirely on these precious first interactions, without worrying about pictures or texting photos to eagerly waiting family. Those first couple hours pass in the blink of an eye, and having a photographer there to capture these reactions and cuddles is so very worth it!

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Lactation Goodie: Granola Bars for Pregnant & Postpartum Mommas

Granola Bar

Here are a few variations and these recipes are pretty forgiving, so play around with them!

Peanut Butter Granola Bars:
2 1/2 cups crispy rice cereal (or any cereal, or more oats)
2 cups quick-cooking oats
1/2 cup raisins/craisins/nuts/chocolate chips/whatever
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup (I did honey.)
2/3 cup crunchy peanut butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a large bowl, stir together the cereal, oats, nuts, dried fruit. (NOT the chocolate chips, save those for later.) Set aside. Grease a 9×13 inch baking pan. Combine the brown sugar, honey & peanut butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Heat just until boiling, then remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Pour over the cereal and oat mixture, and mix well. Allow to cool a few minutes then stir in chocolate chips and quickly press into the prepared pan (or the chips will melt.) Allow to cool, then cut into squares.

Vegan Version:

2 c quick oats
1/4 c ground flax
1 c flour (1/2 whole wheat, 1/2 white)
1/2 c brown sugar (could skip this and do extra honey)
1/2 t salt
1/2 t cinnamon (could do more)
1/2 c nuts and/or coconut (optional) – I did finely chopped almonds so they’re not a choking hazard
1/2 c chocolate chips (optional) – I would do the IKEA vegan chocolate bars
3/4 c raisins or craisins (optional)

Mix in big bowl, in another bowl combine:

1/2 c canola oil
1/3 c honey
3 T ground flax combined with 6 T water (It will make a gooey texture - if you don't want vegan you can use 2 eggs instead of the flax/water combo.)
2 t vanilla (or 1 t vanilla, 1 t almond extract)

(Alternative – decrease canola oil to 1/3 cup and add & 1/2 cup smooth peanut butter.)

Combine wet and dry, batter will be thick (like cookie dough) and spread in greased 9×13 pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes until edges are golden. Cool completely, turn onto cutting board and slice into bars or squares. These freeze well if wrapped individually and are a great quick breakfast.

We like 1/2 c cranberries, 1/2 c chopped almonds, 1/2 c coconut with 1 t vanilla & 1 t almond. The kids like 1/2 c peanut butter and 1/2 c chocolate chips. It’s a very flexible recipe, play around with it. Do NOT overbake, you want soft and chewy still.

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New Year, New Goals, New Tips!

SubscribeHappy New Year! 2016 is going to be amazing, and I hope you'll come join us to make your doula business even better. If you've been considering signing up for Tips for Doulas then jump in now - if you want to read a bit more about it then you can do so & register through this link. Or sign up right here:

Hearing reviews from others I know can help when making decisions - check out some of the testimonials I've received from doulas here, such as this sweet comment:

I just have to say how much I’ve loved and USED the information available on your website. I recommend it to others because it’s so great! - Kelly

I just wanted to say thank you for all of this! I am just starting my doula dream and all of the information you post here on your blog is so extremely helpful! I think I have about twenty of your pages bookmarked.  - Jessica

This next year will include updates on some of the (hundreds!) of previous posts, as well as new tips, book reviews, and practical suggestions to help you on this doula journey. Whether you are new to the field or just wanting some fresh perspective and insights for your established business, there's so much here for you to explore.

Any questions, please contact me at heidi@thadenpierce.org Thanks for joining us!

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