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Doula business

You Are Not A Statistic

You Are Not A Statistic

Every new year is an opportunity to compile statistics from the last. I see them broadcasted all over the Internet the first few days of the new year. It's disgusting. I wonder how those clients feel about suddenly being seen only as a number? As a successful outcome? As a negative one? Who decides what is a successful birth outcome? 

You do.  

My agency does not keep track of birthing statistics. There is absolutely no reason. Every birth is different and there is no right or wrong way to bring a baby into this world.  

I have read the comments on such posts trying to determine why the stats were posted in the first place. It became obvious: They want to be able to show clients how good of a doula they are! I saw comments on these Stat Posts that read "Good job!" "Those are great numbers" and "Keep up the good work!"  

Are you serious right now? Those stats seem to be posted for one reason. Self-satisfaction. And that's just gross. Those births are not about US! 

"But studies have shown that birthing with a doula provides a greater outcome!" Who decides what great is?! I'm so tired of OTHER people telling families what birth "should" be like.  

Non-Medicated, Epidural, Planned C-Section, Emergency C-Section, TOLAC, in a house with a mouse! We will support you here AND there. We will support you anywhere. And in any capacity.

As a professional doula, we are trained to provide 100% nonjugmental, unbiased support to every client. Period.  

Perhaps a great interview question would be, "Will you be recording my birth outcome as a statistic for future clients?" 

Our answer? Absoluely not.  

The WHO's who of Placenta Encapsulation

The WHO's who of Placenta Encapsulation

Looking for somebody to encapsulate your placenta? The Issaquah Doula agency currently has the ONLY TWO Postpartum Placenta Specialists north of Olympia. 

But there are plenty of placenta encapsulators throughout King County right?  

True.  

So what makes Issaquah Doula stand out?  

YOUR SAFETY. YOUR HEALTH. YOUR PEACE OF MIND. oh and this little diddy by the World Health Organization:

According to the World Health Organization's Guidelines for the Safe Transport of Infectious Substances and Diagnostic Specimens the following practices should be observed:

  1. Specimen containers should be watertight and leak-proof
  2. If the specimen container is a tube, it must be tightly capped and placed in a rack to maintain it in an upright position
  3. Specimen containers and racks should be placed in robust, leak-proof plastic or metal transport boxes with secure, tight fitting covers
  4. The transport box should be secured in the transport vehicle
  5. Each transport box should be labeled appropriately consistent with it's contents
  6. Specimen data forms and identification data should accompany each transport box
  7. A spill kit containing absorbent material, a chlorine disinfectant, a leak-proof waste disposal container and heavy duty reusable gloves should be kept in the transport vehicle

Issaquah Doula loans you a kit and takes your safety a STEP FURTHER and only processes your placenta in YOUR home. 

Since you are responsible for the transportation of your placenta from your chosen place of birth to the safest environment after, (your own home) you are 100% guaranteed that the placenta being processed (and ingested by you) is in fact the one that nourished your baby.  

No other encapsulator of placentas can guarantee that.

If it is being processed in a "work space" or their own home kitchen, YOU WILL HAVE DOUBT. Doubt that the placenta belongs to you, doubt of their handling process, doubt of their sanitation and equipment. Just as a child's top can make you dizzy, so can the list of encapsulators in our area. 

The training and standards that Issaquah Doula instills within their agency supersedes this dizzying collection. We are deliberate and intentional with raising the bar within our community.  

Why?  

Because your safety, health, and peace of mind are OUR priority.  

With Pride

With Pride

To Whom it May Concern,

Recently Ina May Gaskin and many others signed an Open Letter to MANA (Midwives Alliance of North America) that requested a change of vocabulary used in their organization's Core Competencies document. 

The document has replaced words like "woman" with the updated and politically correct "pregnant individual" and "birthing parent".

These changes however have created quite a stir and thus the Open Letter was created and signed by many.  

I will not be signing that letter.  

The foundation of the letter is biology and women's oppression and autonomy regarding birth. What I don't understand is the need to exclude others who also identify as being a woman or a birthing person.  

The letter reeks of heterosexism.  

I can't imagine working in this industry, one that is based on nonjudgmental support, only to turn my back on fellow humans by signing and agreeing with the Open Letter.  

The Issaquah Doula agency will never turn our back on you. We support every person and every family. As professionals, using inclusive language is just as important as giving all of our clients the same amazing support.

With Pride, 

Denise Foreman 

Interested in other doulas who stand up to nonsense? Check out these blogs:

Intown Doula & Hamilton Doula Group

 

 

 

Weekend Recipe #1 "Issaquah Doula's PB & Chocolate Cake"

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Weekend Recipe #1 "Issaquah Doula's PB & Chocolate Cake"

Being a Postpartum Doula is the best.  I get to help families bond, I get to snuggle babies and I get to cook or bake. 

The Weekend Recipe Blog means you can get in the kitchen too.  

Let's Begin.  

While caring for a family of twins I mentioned to my client (who was in charge of dessert for a weekend event) that I bake cakes. Beautiful and delicious cakes.  So once the babes were asleep I washed my hands and got to work.  

Issaquah Doula's PB & Chocolate Cake

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a bundt pan. Mix all dry ingredients first, then add the wet ingredients stirring until smooth. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake on center rack for about 45 minutes. Use the dry toothpick method to be sure.  

Chocolate Cake

1  3/4 c. Flour

2 c. Sugar

3/4 c. Powdered Cacoa  

2 tsp. Baking Soda

1 tsp. Baking Powder

1 tsp. Salt

*************** 

2 Eggs

1 c. Milk

1/2 c. Oil (I used canola) 

8oz. Coffee

2 tsp. Vanilla

Once slightly cooled, remove from pan and place in freezer. Time to start the frosting and ganache.  

Frosting - Using a stand or hand mixer whip together until smooth:

8oz. Cream Cheese  

1/2 Stick of Butter, softened

1 tsp. Vanilla

1 c. Peanut Butter (I used chunky)

2 Tbs. Heavy Cream

1 lb. Powdered Sugar

Ganache - Use a double-broiler method for the ganache. In the top pot add ingredients and stir until smooth and creamy. Remove from heat as soon as it's done:

8oz. Semi-Sweet or Dark Chocolate Chips

1/2 c. Peanut Butter

1 tsp. Vanilla

2 Tbs. Heavy Cream

Remove cake from freezer and place upside-down on a pretty dish. Coat the cake with the PB cream cheese frosting, be generous! Once done, gently pour the PB ganache over the top and help it drip down to make it look fancy.  

Unwrap a bunch of miniature PB cups and slice them in half to encircle the cake base. Chop up the remainder and sprinkle on top.  

Store in fridge until ready to serve. Don't forget a tall glass of milk.

Interested in hiring Postpartum Support? We'd love to meet you! The Issaquah Doula agency serves families throughout King County Washington.  

 

Issaquah Doula's PB & Chocolate Cake

Issaquah Doula's PB & Chocolate Cake

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I am the Issaquah Doula

I am the Issaquah Doula

Prior to moving to Washington in the summer of 2014, I lived with my family in sunny California. My husband and I began our family in 2000 and the births of our three sons in 2001, 2005 and 2011 led us to be known as the Foreman Five. 

In 2010 I pursued my passion of childbirth. I discovered the role of a Doula and knew that this is the profession I would master. 

By 2013 I had completed my training through DONA to be a Birth Doula. Later that year I certified as a Birth Doula from my city's own doula organization.

Thirty-eight days after arriving to Washington I was hired to support a family. I was making doula friends and my career was panning out. I wanted more though.  

Enter ProDoula.  

I was intrigued by their business stance and superior methods of building up women in our field. I signed up to attend labor and postpartum doula training, taught by ProDoula's co-founder Randy Patterson.  

My. Life. Changed.  

She rocked my world. I couldn't wait to implement what I learned.  

I've since taken the Advance Business Training and the Placenta Prep Training. I'm also now certified with them as a Birth Doula, submitted my certification packet for Postpartum and I am currently working towards my certification as a Placenta Specialist. 

I've now launched my own full service doula agency. Each affiliated doula is hand-selected and has been trained or cross-trained through ProDoula so that my agency remains consistent, cohesive and attuned with our clients. I'm proud to be a ProDoula. To me, being a ProDoula is just that. Professional. I take my training, certification and clients seriously. I strive to be the best.  

I will not falter when others around me or even thousands of miles away behave in a less than professional manner.  

I've drawn my line in the sand.  

Not only am I a ProDoula, I'm the Issaquah Doula. And I can't wait to get to know you!  

Placenta Encapsulation

Placenta Encapsulation

When you choose Issaquah Doula to encapsulate your placenta, you can feel confident in the service you will receive.  

As Professional Postpartum Placenta Specialists we are committed to you. We uphold industry standards to ensure the safety and treatment of your placenta.  

Prior to giving birth Issaquah Doula will provide you with a Placenta Transport Kit and contact information so that you may signal us when you deliver. 

According to the guidelines set by the World Health Organization, you need to be responsible for the transport of your placenta. The kit we loan to you has everything you need to safely store and secure your placenta with proper labels and required spill kit accessories.

Once your placenta is safe in your refrigerator your Postpartum Placenta Specialist will arrive and begin the encapsulating process. Using all of our own equipment and only a portion of your countertop, you will hardly take notice. Being trained as postpartum doulas we are devoted to support you during our stay. Perhaps you need breastfeeding support or someone to listen while you recall your birthing experience? We are there. And we are coming back tomorrow! The entire process requires us to share your space for about two hours for two sequential days. 

These extra details matter. Since you were the one storing and transporting your own placenta after delivery, you know that the placenta being processed in your home is in fact the one you birthed. Having a postpartum doula in your home just days after delivery to provide support, education and comfort will be emotionally rewarding to you and your family during this transitional time. With you in mind we use only latex-free gloves and vegetarian capsules. We even take the extra time to wipe off each individual capsule, so that any leftover residue will not be tasted.

Every step to the entire process has been fine tuned with your comfort and safety in mind.  

When you choose Issaquah Doula to encapsulate your placenta, you can feel confident that you've made the right choice. 

Serving all of King County, Washington.  

 

Placenta Transport Kit #nodoubtplacenta 

Placenta Transport Kit #nodoubtplacenta 

MILK

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MILK

I grew up watching my mother breastfeed my younger siblings. It was the normal thing to do in our house.  

When I was ten my parents became Foster Parents and within a few years our home was shared with over 200 children.  

A lot of these children were infants. It was unusual for me, as a young impressionable girl who only knew about Breastfeeding, to watch and to help my mother formula feed. But it became a new normal. I embraced it.  

When I had my first son, I knew without a doubt I'd breastfeed him. And I did.  

With our second, things got complicated. It hurt. My son screamed and my nipples bled.  

Thankfully my neighbor and friend was not only a doula but a LLL Leader! Jula the Doula. She was my saving grace. She helped me try different nursing positions. She brought me lanolin for my sore breasts. She also passed no judgment when I supplemented with formula while I gave my nipples a much-needed rest.  

After the scabs healed and I mentally prepared myself, she was there to help. She showed me how to get that proper latch.  

I never had these difficulties with my firstborn.  

Finally my second child was nursing like a champ.  

By the time our third son made his boisterous appearance I was grateful for the hardships and for the advantageous experiences I'd already endured. I was ready for anything. 

I'm thankful for watching my mother nurture not only my biological  siblings but my foster siblings as well. 

If you need assistance with Breastfeeding or want judgment free support, I'm here to be your "Jula the Doula". 

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Do Not Touch

Do Not Touch

"Do Not Touch" was recently scribbled on a piece of lined paper and taped to a plastic container in the office refrigerator.  

There's always someone forgetting their lunch and sneaking into your sack to "borrow" your yogurt, apple or sodapop.  

Wouldn't you love to see the surprise in their eyes when they discovered the contents within this particular container?!   

A human placenta.  

Yup.  

A doula took her client's placenta in order to give it to the placenta encapsulator, but first had to go to her new day job for her scheduled shift.  

Solution? Why a piece of paper ordering her co-workers to KEEP OUT of course! 

This is real life.  

But this does not have to be your life. As a PROFESSIONAL Postpartum Placenta Specialist trained by the amazing Deb Pocica and upholding standards set at an industry high by ProDoula, you will have #nodoubt that YOUR placenta is treated with respect, honor and professionalism.  

One of the main differences is we supply our clients with a Transport Kit that meets the World Health Organization's guidelines. You are responsible for the transport, this way your precious placenta NEVER leaves your sight. We arrive to your home to not only process your placenta into encapsulated pills, tinctures and salves, but we are there as Postpartum Doulas. We can answer questions and assist you during this transitional time.  

Our clients are grateful for this professionalism. They know without a doubt that their placenta is in fact the one they birthed and that it was NEVER in a communal refrigerator in jeopardy of being contaminated or worse! 

 

 

The Issaquah Doula agency is proud to uphold ProDoula's high standard of practice here in King county Washington. 

Interested in having your placenta encapsulated? Hire a professional.  

The Baby Whisperer

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The Baby Whisperer

If you google "postpartum" you will be overwhelmed with articles relating to depression.  

Postpartum does not always equate to postpartum depression. Instead, postpartum is simply the time after the birth of your child.  

You know, that fog of time that blends together chock-full of crying, diapers, feedings and lack of sleep.  

Did you know that you can hire a Postpartum Doula to support you in this transitional time? 

What does she do? When does she come? How do I hire her?!

Your Postpartum Doula is professionally trained to provide newborn care along with making sure your needs are met. She focuses on your bond, as this is of great importance throughout this time. She is certified in basic life support and first aid. Your Postpartum Doula is happy to help. She may do light housework like: dishes, sanitize bottles, sweep, laundry and straightening up. She can prepare meals for you and your family. Sometimes you forget to eat! She can make easy to grab snacks so you have no excuse. A bowl of hard-boiled eggs, cut up veggies and fruit and maybe even a batch of cookies would make your life so much easier and happier. 

She is trained to recognize signs that are out of the norm and she can refer you to a professional that can meet that need.  

Your Postpartum Doula is an extension of you. She respects and follows your parenting philosophies. She will not arrive in your home with an agenda. Like your Birth Doula, she supports every choice you make.  

Your Postpartum Doula happily works for your family day and night! She can work day shifts with a minimum of four hours and overnight shifts with a minimum of eight. Overnight Doulas gift you with sleep! If you are Breastfeeding, she will bring baby to you and then retrieve baby after their feeding. She will burp, change and soothe your little one back to sleep so you can rest. If you're using formula, you may sleep uninterrupted for the entire night! Your Overnight Doula will care for your baby so you may be prepared to seize the day. Some Postpartum Doulas provide Live-In packages for a few days immediately beginning once you arrive home. This means her support is constant while your family adjusts to life with a newborn. 

The support that your Postpartum Doula provides is tremendous. The postpartum period can be challenging and sometimes leads to postpartum depression. Lots of women have attributed this depression to feeling overwhelmed, exhausted and feeling judged and unsupported. 

Why not ease this transitional time with professional assistance? 

We're here to help. 

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Advocates and Activists and Doulas, Oh My!

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Advocates and Activists and Doulas, Oh My!

Skipping down the yellow brick road to DoulaLand we encounter others who challenge our thoughts, morals and professionalism. 

The Advocate.  

An advocate is a spokesperson, a fighter, someone who publicly recommends something.  

As a professional doula, I am not an advocate. I will not take power from my clients and speak for them. I do not have a pair of red leather boxing gloves in my doula bag, I will not fight on behalf of clients. The only things I will be recommending are position changes and comfort measures.  

The Activist.  

Vigorous campaigning to bring forth change.  

We are talking about birth. It is not my job to save women from doctors, hospitals and procedures. It is my job to have faith in my client and to support her philosophies. My clients are able to choose their care providers and birthing locations based on what is right for them. 

Birth Activists belong on the courthouse steps with slogan shirts and pickets, not in the birth room.  

I believe wholeheartedly that my clients are strong, capable women who can speak for themselves. As their professional doula I will encourage my clients to find their voice. I will create a pause. I will trust my client and I will always give her all the support she desires.  

It is not my birth.  

Doulas who blur these lines are effectively giving professional doulas a bad name and hospital bans are being put into place. 

I am grateful for understanding the difference.  

I refuse to be a vigilante doula. I choose to honor my clients by upholding professionalism to the highest extent.  

Just as Glinda trusted Dorothy to find her own way, I too believe:

"You had the power all along, my dear." 

 

 

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Provacative Pioneer

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Provacative Pioneer

In the 1860's pioneers arrived in the area now known as Issaquah. Their dreams to mine coal and harvest hops were fruitful. However, the native Indians were not fond of their new land-mates and murderous vengeance ensued.  

Eventually, peace was found.  

George Tibbetts was the town's first entrepreneur opening a store, a hotel and a stage line.  

Many entrepreneurs have followed in his footsteps, and like most new ideas that bring forth change, ridicule, speculation and scrutiny ensues. Hey! Way better than the murderous vengeance of the past.  

I am a pioneer. I am an entrepreneur. I am making change. I am part of the Doula Revolution. This global movement is making headway and I am proud to be one of its supporters here in the beautiful Pacific Northwest. 

What is it? 

This movement is shining light on true professional doulas. We are being recognized not only by the communities we serve but the professionals we stand next to, like doctors, midwives and nurses. This is not a hobby or something we do to change the birth culture. Instead, we provide unbiased support. No. Matter. What. We believe that our clients are capable to birth without us. Yes, by having a professional doula present statisticly it's in your favor, but we know that our clients are strong, educated and able to birth and make decisions on her own. 

Language in my contract reflects this. I trust in my client's ability to call for her doula when she is ready. I do not dictate when that time will be, instead I am prepared to join her when she says it's time. May that be at the first contraction and she feels like having company, or maybe when she's been laboring at home for hours with her partner but the intensity is rising so she asks me to meet her at their birthing location.  Whenever she decides is how I will respond. Once I am there with her, I will not leave her side. I will not go home until after she has birthed her baby.  

By providing language in my contract that puts my client in control, I feel that I am also continuing my support as a doula, on the legal end.  

My role as a professional certified doula is to provide clients with unconditional, unbiased support and that begins at the moment we meet. 

Pioneering through Issaquah has been provacative for over 155 years. I'm proud to be an Issaquah Pioneer.  

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ISO: A doula who knows her worth

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ISO: A doula who knows her worth

As a professional certified doula who takes her job seriously I would never encourage anyone, let alone a fellow birth worker to work for free or even low cost.  

"But what if the doula is a student or in training or in need of certifying births?" 

Here's the deal: A trained doula is a paid doula. Period. A certificate does not make you a doula, training does.  

A doula is an entrepreneur. There are many costs associated not only with training to become a doula, but with starting and running a successful business.  

Did you know that 40% of entrepreneurs FAIL in the first year? Within five years that number DOUBLES to a whopping 80%.  

I will have NO part in that. Instead I will encourage new entrepreneurs to sit down, write a business plan, partake in a consultation, determine the costs associated with running their business and to figure out what a living wage is for them by utilizing the Living Wage Calculator created by MIT. 

"But they have little to no experience?!" 

It is not up to you or anyone else to decide how someone runs their business. I for one, do not wish to see it being ran into the ground.  

"The woman needs/deserves a doula, but can't afford one." 

This one particularly baffles me. Women have been giving birth without the support of a doula since the dawn of time. We are NOT needed. We are wanted. There is a big, big difference. "Seasoned" doulas passing these freebies off is really disheartening. They won't take the birth because they have bills to pay, doesn't the newer doula have similar bills?!  

By uplifting fellow birth workers and deterring society from this absurd norm we can change the way doulas are perceived.  

Let's stand up together, take our businesses seriously and charge what we are worth.  

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