*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. If you are in Nottingham, I'll be taking a leave from births while my family settles into our new home but will update when I'm able to accept clients again.*

Welcome, I'm Heidi - a doula and birth photographer recently relocated 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 joining here.

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?

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 post titles below & read testimonials about them here! Then subscribe here to be able to read the article links below.

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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Tips for Doulas – Anniversaries and Changes!

Five years ago this month I completed my certification as a birth doula! I can hardly believe how much has changed and how much my business has grown over that time. It's been an amazing, overwhelming, and beautiful, challenging experience.

As you may have heard, our family has recently relocated from DFW, Texas to Nottingham, England! We're thrilled, and loving our new home. While I'm in the process of setting up my business here in a new country, I'm continuing to update here on Tips for Doulas. Among other things I'll be writing about the FearFreeChildbirth.com training I'm attending this weekend, conferences for birth professionals here in the UK, and more.

However, I'll also be taking a step back from attending births for awhile, and making some changes here on the website. Until now the Tips for Doulas has been offered as a yearly subscription. Starting next spring, as we hit the three year anniversary of the Tips and the six year anniversary of my website, we'll be switching over from the annual subscription option to a one time fee for access to the Tips. The cost will be one time only, as I will no longer be consistently adding new content. You'll continue to have access to the archives with well over a hundred posts crammed full of helpful information - and I will be updating various posts or adding new posts on occasion. There will just not be the consistent new information, and thus the change in subscription format. If you are a current subscriber then your access will remain the same through the year, but you will receive an email that your subscription payment has been cancelled. This is because going forward you will not pay the annual fee - your membership will be switched over, and you will still be able to come explore the entire website and Tips for Doulas posts. If you have any questions with this change, please contact me here - at heidi@thadenpierce.org.

Whether you are a new or experienced doula you'll still find wonderful information and you can read what others have thought about my Tips for Doulas here. You can join the Tips here.

And thank you for joining me on this journey!

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Fear Free Childbirth

FearFreeI was fortunate to visit with Alexia from FearFreeChildbirth.com and we had a great talk about births & how she serves families. Since I'm recently relocated to the UK it was great to also hear a bit about the birth community in my new area, and Alexia's work in particular.

Come check out her book here and you can explore her many podcasts here. Her website also has loads of other goodies for birth preparation, both emotional and logistical.

While Alexia is here in the UK, her services are available wherever you may be and she has clients around the world. I think it's wonderful that expectant parents who may have tricky schedules don't have to worry about transportation or childcare for older children, you can set up sessions with Alexia and work with her in your own home. When teaching private childbirth classes I've offered something similar by using Skype, and I've gotten really great feedback from parents about it so I think online video or audio work can still be incredibly beneficial and often much more convenient for families. Whether this is your first pregnancy and you have concerns, or you've had a previous birth that left you with worries, this is a resource for you. I know after our cesarean birth that my husband and I both were left with fears that we brought into our next pregnancy. Being able to work through them with trained support was crucial in helping us have a more peaceful labor experience with our VBAC babies. As a doula, childbirth educator, and cesarean support group leader I found that many, many mothers are facing similar challenges and I'm thrilled to learn about Alexia's program.

If you are a birth professional then you know firsthand how much the emotions a mother is feeling impact her birth experience, and Alexia is creating a program to help in your role, too. Go check out her training for birth professionals here and sign up to be notified on upcoming programs.

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Pregnancy & Fear

BetterBirthDoula.orgFive years ago this month I wrote a guest post for Birth Without Fear on the topic of coping in pregnancy after a loss, premature arrival, or traumatic birth experience. As Kit and I collaborated on it we discussed what got us through our scary pregnancies with the hope we can help other parents. It's been on my mind as we come up on the anniversary of when I went on bedrest with our super preemie, Ben. All these years laters the memories can still catch me off guard, but I promise that over time and with strong support it does get easier and it's possible to heal after a traumatic pregnancy and birth.

So go check out my post on January's blog, whether you are a parent or a birth professional - hopefully it will help you or someone yo know. Here are the suggestions we shared, but check out Birth Without Fear if you want more of the story: Continue reading

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TED Talks for Birth

I'm working my way through this list of videos - let me know which you like, or if there are others I should watch!

TED Birth Talks

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Expressing Thanks | Tips for Doulas

Over the last year my work has been blessed by countless friends, old and new. I've been introduced to amazing families, wonderful birth professionals, and loving mentors.

I try to incorporate my own branding into my business. It's simple to get creative with some gifts, wrapped up special to fit into my brand with a wrapping paper. These are Trader Joe's belgium chocolate bars. (Delicious!) Any gift can be made more personalized by incorporating your colors or logo, such as using a custom stamp or stickers. You can also find cute ribbons to hole punch and hang your business card along with these gifts.

I've used a variety of little thank you gifts to share with birth professionals I work with, clients, or anyone who has provided referrals. Sometimes parents will ask me for ideas to provide thank you gifts for their OB, midwife, or nurse. Here are some ideas I've used, received, or shared. Some of these are more for a fellow professional, others for the parents.

* warm baked cookies!
* chocolates
* a small plant for their home or office in a cute pot (succulents are great, and low maintenance)
* fruit or muffin baskets
* a photo print, framed or not
* a photo album from the birth
* Willow Tree Figurines
* a charm bracelet or necklace
* Picasso's nursing mother poster
* a "doula" jacket (gift from a client after a cold hospital birth - in July!)
* a gift for the birth professional's family (I've received presents for my kids.)
* Christmas ornament (with baby's photo!)
* onesie or t-shirt for baby
* gift cards for gas, a restaurant, or their favorite store
* gift certificates for a manicure or massage
* their favorite essential oil
* something for their work place, such as a birth supply

Truly the most wonderful gift of thanks I've ever received are the notes of thanks, and hearing that I've helped a family have a better birth experience. Knowing how much that has meant to me I try to take the time and send a note to thank care providers, nursing staff, and anyone who has referred clients to me. I also try to thank parents, to let them know how honored I am to be given their trust. Never pass up an opportunity to express your gratitude. It can make them feel wonderful, builds your personal and professional network, and makes you feel great, too!

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The Joy in the Moment


This photo makes me tear up - this sweet momma worked so hard to welcome her third baby into the world, and the joy and triumph and relief is so apparent on her face. Her little one looks a bit startled, but was absolutely content so long as he was there in his momma's arms.

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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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