*Welcome – Start Here!*

*My 2016 schedule is limited, so please contact me soon to find out if I'm available for your due date. When my calendar is full I'm happy to refer to my colleagues with Great Expectations Birth and if you are birthing in or around Denton, then come check out the Denton Area Doulas group. If you are a repeat client, please call me ASAP regardless of when you are due!*

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

* labor support through Great Expectations Birth Doula collective

* birth photography & first day photo sessions

* childbirth education

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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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!

Posted in Birth, Partners, Photos | Tagged , | 1 Comment

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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Placental Encapsulation & DFW Placenta

FullSizeRenderAs of January 1st there is now a law in the state of Texas that a hospital or birth center MUST release a placenta to the mother. (There is some paperwork to be signed, which I've never had a doula client need to do previous, and the law does say if there's an infectious disease issue the hospital does not have to release it.) But this is great news, as previously some families have been told they could not take their placenta or were forced to have it released to a funeral home (yes, seriously) and pay a fee to have it given back.

DFW Placenta is ready to encapsulate your placenta, and they also provide tinctures and salves. You can contact them on their special placenta phone (yes, it's red) at 844-PLACNTA and they'll get you all set up. While sometimes parents wait until their baby has already arrived to contact them (Maria, Maryn, and Krista) I would highly encourage you to contact them as soon as you've decided. They'll quickly mail you a special delivery package with a cooler (see above photo!), gloves, bags, and all the instructions to walk you through the process. Once your little one is born you'll have everything you need to package up your placenta, call the number, and they'll arrange pick up from you. (They also deliver your pills back to your home, of course.)

You can read through their Frequently Asked Questions here. They're also happy to help answer other questions you may have not listed there - just give them a call or send them an email.

(Disclosure - DFW Placenta does offer a referral program with details on their website. However, I have sent many moms to them and have NOT accepted any referral card in exchange. I did ask for one of their totally awesome coolers - because it's the best lunchbox EVER. :) I genuinely believe they are a fantastic business with excellent customer service, attention to detail, professionalism, and value for your money - that's why I refer to them.)

Posted in Babies!, Birth, Breastfeeding, Community Resources, Links, Postpartum, Postpartum Depression | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Sibling Surprise!

This little arrival was a surprise gender - and everyone in the room was reminded that no one should say, "BOY" or "GIRL" until Mom had seen and announced it herself, which was such fun! Then big sister and brother came in to meet the new baby and find out for themselves. As you can see, they were overjoyed to welcome the sweet addition.

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Midwife Katie

I shared some prenatal photos of Katie earlier and here are some from the birth we attended together recently. You can learn more about Katie here.

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Welcome Baby R!

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Welcome Baby R!

There are so many sweet photos from this little one's arrival, so I'll have to share another post to introduce you to her welcoming committee. :)

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Lactation Smoothie (Good for Any Momma, Pregnant or Postpartum)

SmoothiesLactation cookies are yummy, but not exactly the healthiest option. Energy balls are also great for lactation - and healthier, but you may not want to be eating those all the time either. (There's also a granola bar lactation recipe soon to come.) However, here's another option - smoothies! Whether you are expecting your little one still, cuddling your newborn now, nursing a busy toddler, or not nursing anyone and you just want a healthy beverage - this is for you. Bonus, this is such a flexible "recipe" that you can mix it up and have a new taste every day.

Here is what you need - and feel free to mix and match to suit your tastes, of course:

Fruit: I like the frozen mixed fruit bags from Sams/Costco, but you can find them at most grocery stores these days. Whatever sounds yummy to you! Also, while not a fruit you can toss some fresh spinach into the mix for a green lactation smoothie.

Liquid: This can be milk (dairy or almond) for some extra protein or a juice (my favorite is passion fruit, though it's not the healthiest - orange juice with calcium is great.) You can also try pomegranate, cranberry, or truly any flavor that you love. Be sure to get 100% juice, as the "cocktails" are often a bit of juice with lots of sugar added in and sometimes artificial flavorings.

Other protein sources: Peanut butter or almond butter (good with cocoa powder and banana), yogurt - I like vanilla, and greek yogurt has extra calcium, or a protein powder (verify any protein powder/dietary supplement is safe for consumption during pregnancy/lactation.)

Lactation Support: Oats (quick or old fashioned, as it will all get blended) - around 1/4 cup per serving so if you're doing the full blender you can do a cup or more of oats; Flaxseed - around 1 tablespoon per serving, so if you were doing one cup of oats you would do 4 tablespoons of flaxseed. You can also include brewer's yeast, but I admit that's not my favorite flavor so I leave it out. However, just the oats and flaxseed are beneficial for your milk supply.

Hint - if you like thicker smoothies you can either add ice OR you can pour in a bit of oil into the smoothie after it's mixed well and with the blender still going. Oil acts as an emulsifier and will thicken the smoothie to a more ice cream like consistency - it's how some fast food restaurants that shall remain nameless thicken their milkshakes, which don't actually have any ice cream in them. But unlike them, YOU can use a healthy oil like flaxseed oil or another good omega-3 oil.

Recipe options:

peaches, strawberries, mango, pineapple fruit mix (2 cups)
passion fruit juice (1 cup)
vanilla yogurt (1 cup or 1 serving size container)
oats & flaxseed (1/4 cup oats, 1 T flaxseed)

bananas (4)
milk (1 cup)
peanut butter (1/4 cup)
oats & flax (1/4 cup oats, 1 T flaxseed)
cocoa powder (2 T cocoa powder, depending on how dark you like it)

strawberries, peaches, blueberries (2 cups)
orange juice with calcium (1 cup)
blueberry yogurt (1 container)
oats & flax (1/4 cup oats, 1 T flaxseed)
fresh spinach (1 cup)

My kids aren't impressed with the grainier texture of the oats and flax so I recommend combining those in the blender first and pulsing it a few times until they are smooth. Then add in your liquid or yogurt, fruit, and anything else and mix away!

If you decide this is something you'll want to make often you can also pre-mix your oats and flaxseed and keep that in a separate container. When you want to make some smoothies you can then just scoop in a heaping 1/4 cup of the oat/flax mix per smoothie serving. This can be added to ANY smooth to help with increasing milk supply.

I make a blender full of smoothies at once and freeze them in into individual glass jars - my blender can make four good sized servings. Pull one out, microwave for one minute, stir well and enjoy! It's a quick and easy (and healthy!) breakfast for moms in a hurry.

Do you have a favorite smoothie combo?

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Welcome Baby J!

The tiny details - the peach fuzz on her ear, those itty bitty nails, the sweet cheeks and bright eyes... isn't she perfect???

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