Volume 1, Issue 1
April showers brought May flowers, and flowers aren’t the only things that grew this past month. We have added 225 more ProDoulas to the ProDoula family.
The highly anticipated answer to your question, “How should I dress when I am supporting a client” has finally arrived! ProDoula researched, designed, stocked and is selling the perfect outfit for labor and postpartum doulas. The hooded sweat jacket and pants are soft and comfy and are a trendsetting asset to every doulas wardrobe. Check them out in this month’s newsletter!
ProDoula took the Advanced Business Training (ABT) to Dublin Ireland and due to such an overwhelming demand, ProDoula will be returning to Ireland this week to host labor and postpartum workshops!
Toronto Canada welcomed the first ever International Virtually Present workshop and the ProDoula home team received rave reviews and feedback. Meaghan G, said, “I had high expectations for the Virtually Present training, and not only were my expectations met, they were exceeded. The knowledge presented was in-depth, relevant, and a wonderful addition to the other trainings and consultations that ProDoula, Randy, and Erica provide. Since the training we have seen a huge increase in interactions on all our social media platforms and I can’t wait to implement even more of what we learned!”
ProDoula wants to give a special thank you to Jennifer Bredin, Nancy Freeman, Angie Porter, Heidi Shulista, Lauren Standridge and Erin Stephens for the relentless dedication and time they all spent developing outstanding systems for Operations Special Delivery.
The ProDoula home team will continue dreaming up creative ways to ensure the doula industry continues to educate, grow and provide professional compassionate care.
On behalf of the ProDoula Home Team,
“The question is not who’s going to let me, its who’s going to stop me.” ~Ayn Rand
When human lives are taken in numbers too unbearable to imagine and the whole world is in crisis it is human nature to experience grief and sadness. The horrifying events that took place in Orlando have not only had agonizing effects on us emotionally, but have also put our businesses in a troubling situation.
We are pissed off and want to react by utilizing social media to express our anger and sadness, but we fear that doing so will interfere with the professional presentation of our brand online.
There is a thoughtful and deliberate approach when utilizing social media for marketing during times of crisis. There is a way to connect on an emotional level while continuing to market our business in a respectful manner.
The following tips are for you to help you in navigating such a delicate situation.
1) Propel Positivity
2) Heal with Humor
3) Focus Forward
Things to avoid when utilizing social media for marketing during times of crisis.
1) Avoid sharing your view
2) Don’t complain
3) Don’t constantly promote your brand
Although violence and world crisis is a horrific issue that we are confronted with all too often, as business owners we must see the value in being able to professionally communicate with our followers on an emotional level.
Social Media Marketing During Crisis – Click the link to learn more.
Being comfortable while appearing professional is every doulas dream. ProDoula’s new warmup suit is ultra soft and allows the doula to be both professional and comfortable while attending births as a labor doula or working a shift as a postpartum doula! Whether you are an experienced doula or you’ve just become a doula, this warmup suit will help you put your best foot forward!View this Product
Review: ACOG Debate – Elective Induction at 39 Weeks
By Catie Mehl of Columbus Birth & Parenting
One of the hardest things to come to terms with when it comes to the phrase “evidence based care” is when the evidence goes against what we want to believe is best. But as Charles Lockwood, M.D. said in the ACOG Colloquia debate “If No Elective Inductions Before 39 Weeks, Why Not Induce Everyone at 39 Weeks?”, “The data is what the data is.” And the data that we currently have goes against what many in the natural birth world believe to be true.
Before I unpack the evidence, though, let me backtrack a bit and give you the full context of how this debate and its conclusions came about.
ACOG, the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, had their annual meeting in May. The meeting included “The Edith Louise Potter Memorial Lecture—If No Elective Inductions Before 39 Weeks, Why Not Induce Everyone AT 39 Weeks” with Charles Lockwood, MD and Errol Norwitz, MD, PhD poised to debate each other on the timing of birth.
“The timing of birth is a critical determinant of pregnancy outcome. Both preterm birth and post-term pregnancy are associated with an increased risk of adverse pregnancy events. While the optimal timing of birth for low-risk singleton pregnancies had yet to be determined, if pushed, many authorities would point to 39 weeks of gestation. This debate will highlight the trade-offs to both mother and fetus between routine induction of labor versus continued expectant management at 39 weeks.”
Rather than each person picking a pro or a con side to this argument and selectively picking out the literature to support their position, Dr. Norwitz and Dr. Lockwood decided to read all of the literature available on the topic and present their own conclusions.
To be fair, Dr. Norwitz already agreed with the stance of inducing labor at 39 weeks before starting his research. He comes from the belief that “nothing good happens after 39 weeks”. In his defense, there is quite a bit of research to back his statement up, especially when the estimated due date is ascertained through an early dating ultrasound. In Dr. Norwitz’s opinion, the baby who is born at 39 weeks is not at risk for still birth at 40 weeks. More than that, the current body of research indicates an increased risk of infant mortality, neonatal mortality, and neuro-developmental delay after the 39-40 week point in pregnancy. He notes that the belief of iatrogenic prematurity, an often cited risk of induction of labor, is of historic importance only as this is now incredibly rare due to better and earlier dating via ultrasound.
Dr. Norwitz’s conclusion was no different from his starting point: “When you take the research in its totality, there is strong indication to include at 39 weeks.”
Dr. Lockwood, however, started from a different place and was very critical of the initial research he presented. After reading through all of the available research, Dr. Lockwood initially concluded that “it remains unknown whether elective induction of labor at 39 weeks (eIOL-39) favorably affects maternal or perinatal outcomes versus expectant management with induction of labor at 41 weeks (EM w/IOL-41).” He explains “To detect expected differences in perinatal and/or maternal mortality, a randomized controlled trial of 2.2 to 12.6 million women would be required” and without this there is “uncertainty about effects of eIOL-39 vs. EM w/IOL-41”. Therefore, “When empirical studies do not exist, or are difficult to conduct, modeling may be the best option available to derive rational policy.”
So that’s exactly what he did. Through computer modeling, he found eIOL at 39 weeks to always be better strategy:
He did note that cost was never a factor taken into consideration in his modeling and conclusion, and before such a policy could be implemented, the financial piece needed to be examined. But if cost were taken out of it “I do think that it is overwhelmingly evident that eIOL is a more logical strategy and I hate to say it. I was absolutely opposed to it when I started. I kept reading through these articles and getting angrier and angrier and trying to find anything I could to argue against it. The more I read, the evidence became overwhelming.”
It is essential to understand one thing about the conclusions both Dr. Norwitz and Dr. Lockwood arrived at in the presentations at the ACOG Annual Meeting: they do not represent an official recommendation from ACOG. Recommendations come in the form of a Committee Opinion, like the one released just this month titled “Refusal of Medically Recommended Treatment During Pregnancy” which provides OB/Gyns “with an ethical approach to addressing a pregnant woman’s decision to refuse recommended medical treatment that recognizes the centrality of the pregnant woman’s decisional authority and the interconnection between the pregnant woman and the fetus.”
Errol R. Norwitz, M.D., Ph.D. is a Professor of Obstetrics & Gynecology with Tufts University School of Medicine and a Chair in the Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology Tufts Medical Center.
Charles Lockwood, M.D. is the Senior Vice President of University of South Florida Health, Dean of the Moroni College of Medicine, and Professor of OB/GYN and Public Health with the University of South Florida
On May 24th & 25th a team of amazingly competent and tremendously passionate women gathered from various parts of the United States at the ProDoula office with one focus; to build and enhance the policies, processes and bylaws of OPERATION SPECIAL DELIVERY!
We accomplished so much! EVERY single goal we set out to meet, was met. We worked till exhaustion and we all felt amazing about it! There is still plenty to do, but the workflow was amazing!
In the weeks following our meeting we have created and implemented the systems and forms that were developed during our time in the ProDoula office to keep Operation Special Delivery running smoothly now and in the future. The new Operation Special Delivery website has been launched and the feedback on the program and the updated website have been overwhelmingly positive!
If you haven’t yet joined Operation Special Delivery as a labor doula, now is the time. Information on how to join and the requirements for becoming an Operation Special Delivery labor doula are on the website. Take a few minutes and visit our new site and sign up to become a “Battle Buddy for Birth!”
ProDoula Member Testimonial – Meaghan Grant
When I first trained to become a doula, I thought that I would never find a place in the doula world. I didn’t want to advocate for, or be an activist. I didn’t think there was a right way to give birth, feed a baby, or be a parent. I regularly joked that I was going to have my “crunchy doula card” taken away because I didn’t conform to the stereotype of a doula.
But then I found ProDoula, and I found my home.
With ProDoula I found a system of support that valued who I was as a person, while also pushing me to be a better person. I found a place of judgment free support, not just taught as something we provided to clients, but something that we can and should practice with each other and in our every day lives. For me, ProDoula has been a puzzle, and each component of my experience has been a different piece.
Worth: I have struggled with self-doubt for many years. I didn’t always see my worth. ProDoula’s message that I am enough resonated deep in my spirit. Everything about my training, my mentorship, and my interactions with ProDoula as an organization have shown me that I am valued.
Training: My training with ProDoula has touched every aspect of my life. Not only did my skills grow and expand and improve from what I already knew, but the communication skills that are taught have truly changed my life. Not only has DISC allowed me to be a better doula, but because of it, I am a better mother, wife, daughter, friend, and colleague.
Relationships: There are people I have met because of ProDoula that I cannot imagine my life without. Not only did ProDoula bring me my business partners, it also introduced me to some of my closest friends and most valuable mentors. People who push me to be the best version of me, but also support me in my struggles. People who won’t let me make excuses, but hold me while I cry. Relationships that have enriched my life in indescribable ways.
Self-discovery: I never believed that I would be a good business person. I floated through life, dabbling in different jobs and careers. Nothing ever fit quite right and I never felt quite fulfilled. But it turns out I am actually a pretty damn good business woman and ProDoula helped me to realize that. ProDoula also gave me the skills to make sure that my drive had momentum and helped to limit my mistakes along the way.
Lastly, ProDoula encouraged me to represent myself in the best way possible, at all times. After years of motherhood, I had let myself and my appearance go. But the gentle, and not so gentle, reminders that I was representing my brand mean the stained yoga pants and mom bun are gone. I have found my style and love of clothes again, something I had lost somewhere under a pile of burp clothes.
I cannot imagine where I would be without ProDoula and the Leadership Team, but I doubt I would be a doula and business owner with a thriving agency, multiple certifications, and fantastic red lipstick.
On May 21, 2016 No Child Wet Behind hosted it’s first ever national event.
Doulas in more than 17 cities across the United States hosted “NCWB” events that included 5k road races, 1 mile fun runs, vendors and tons of family focused activities!
Over 202,000 diapers were collected to support each doulas chosen local beneficiary!
We anticipate the continued growth of the “No Child Wet Behind” 501c3 and if you are registered for the ProDoula “Share The Vision 2016 Conference” start getting excited about being able to bring this event to YOUR city next year!!!
What is the most embarrassing thing that’s happened at a training?
The first time we brought Randy to Olympia to teach Labor and Postpartum trainings for us, she was teaching one of our favorite position/comfort measure combos: The Fire Hydrant. She had me, leg up on a big table in the room, demonstrating the position, when a random guy who worked in the building innocently walked into the training to find Randy’s hands on my ass and everyone else waiting for a turn…
Share with us the moment you realized the importance of doula work.
When I started to not only hear the struggles families were having with feeling heard & validated, but also saw the difference that being heard & validated in their hopes, dreams, goals, & priorities made as they moved forward into early parenthood. Fanning the sparks of confidence so that they become flames is so much easier when you have someone behind you helping get the cord plugged in.
Share with us an epiphany you had at your own doula training.
Realizing how alone I had felt during my own pregnancies & births, and how much that was still with me.
Blue -have you seen my hair?
Must have item when traveling to a training.
As a trainer you spend a lot of time on airplanes traveling from training to training. What is your favorite thing to do when sitting on a plane?
Tracking where we are on our route with ground navigation and knowing what’s going on with the airplane by listening & watching, imagining the conversations with air traffic control, and looking for great photo ops. (Editor’s Note: She’s a pilot too!)
Growing Up Doula – Lara
23 year old daughter of Angela Horn – ProDoula Trainer
How long has your mom been a doula?
17 years, since I was 6 years old
What is the best part about your mom being a doula?
As a child it was fun to go on vacation adventures with the money she earned. I was able to prove my best friend wrong when we were 11 and she insisted that unborn babies had gills and that’s how they breathed before they were born.
As a teen and now an adult all the knowledge I’ve gained about being a woman has allowed me to help my friends with questions about sex, birth control and having babies. My mom is known by my friends as the Vagina Guru and they call me the Vagina Whisperer.
What were/are the down sides to your mom being a doula?
Occasionally finding a placenta in our fridge when I was younger, that was weird. Because my mom has been a doula for as long as I can remember I don’t really feel there are “down sides” because the lifestyle we live to accommodate her work is something we’ve always done, it’s my normal. We’re used to her being gone and not knowing when she’ll get back and she’s been on call ever since I started school so it’s actually kind of weird to have her not be on call.
This is a fun, easy and cool snack that you can make and share with your clients or make for your own family. These frozen yogurt granola cups are a perfect treat for those hot summer days!
1 cup granola
1 Tbsp. butter (melted)
1 Tbsp. Honey
24 oz yogurt (any kind/flavor)
Your choice of fruit (we used blackberries, raspberries, and chopped strawberries)
In a bowl, combine one cup granola, one Tbsp. melted butter, and one Tbsp. honey. Mix well.
Line a muffin tin with muffin papers, divide granola mixture into each cup, evenly covering the bottoms. Fill each cup with yogurt and top with fruit. Freeze for two or more hours.
Makes 12 granola cups.
June 9-11th the ProDoula Training and Development team took Las Vegas by storm for the annual ProDoula Leadership Conference. This action packed 2 1/2 day adventure was a whirlwind of learning, bonding, relaxing and pampering the ProDoulas who work hard to offer top notch trainings around the world.
The team learned about leadership and how to grow and evolve as leaders both in their own communities and as trainers. Our leadership session focused on how to navigate their evolution as leaders while navigating the personal relationships that are often formed along the way. Learning how to balance friendships when also in a position of leadership and/or authority with those who also work for or under them is an often difficult but necessary role to navigate. The training and development team came away with skills and strategies to navigate their roles as leaders in their agencies, community, and as trainers that will benefit them for years to come.
While in Las Vegas it just made sense to expose our team to the wonderful learning experience at Zappos corporate headquarters. Zappos has been named on of the FORTUNE’s 100 Best Companies to Work For® for 6 years running! Zappos strives to create a culture where people love to come to work, are happy and engaged while there and whose customers rave about their experiences with the company. Sounds kinda familiar . . .
It’s no mystery that Zappo’s core values are shared by ProDoula.
Of course we gave the team a little time each evening to let down their hair and made it a point to spend a few hours at the pool each day. There may have been some work happening there too, but we all know that multitasking is essential for any business owner and there’s no better place to do it than poolside with a drink in your hand!
We are looking forward to seeing our team take what they’ve learned home and to incorporate it into their businesses and their trainings.
Can’t wait for next year!
New Orleans, here we come!