Denton Doula

Hands On Birth Classes in Denton, Texas

Are you and your partner ready for your upcoming birth? Maybe you have taken a class at one of the local hospitals, Texas Health Presbyterian Flower Mound or Denton Presbyterian hospital. You've learned lots of great information about what will happen on the day your family grows by two more feet. You know what interventions the hospital has for pain and what their policies and procedures are for things but do you Know how to help your partner in labor? 

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Do you know what you can do to physically bring her comfort? 

Have you read ideas of labor positions or different things you can do in labor but you aren't sure how to actually do them? 

This class is for you! If you are having a baby this spring or summer in the Denton area I will be joining Callie Corless, an excellent Birth Boot Camp Instructor to teach the Comfort Measures for Labor Workshop. Come and learn hands on techniques you can implement on your upcoming Labor Day!

Come learn from two birth professionals who have supported families in all settings for birth and leave with practical knowledge that you can put to use to have an Amazing Birth!

The class cost is $95 is 3-4 hours long you you receive 2 booklets with the information we cover in class to use as a reference for labor. 

Rebekah Lewis is a birth doula and offers postpartum belly binding and placenta encapsulation. She serves families in the Denton County area including Denton, Flower Mound, Lewisville, Carrollton, Sanger, Krum, Keller and surrounding areas.  

TENS unit for Labor

I currently include the TENS unit in the price of all of my doula packages. After training to use the TENS with my clients I realized how wonderful this tool was and how helpful it is in birth! I couldn't imagine not using every tool I have at my disposal to help my clients achieve the birth that they desire. It seemed silly to me to deny a client this option just because they didn't know how helpful it would be and they didn't rent it or choose a package that included it before labor. 

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I am excited to offer TENS unit rentals for doula clients! This is a non-pharmaceutical option to help bring pain relief in labor! 

What is a TENS? 

TENS stands for Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation. It is a hand-held devise that connects via wires to 4 special stickers/pads attached to the laboring woman's back. The electrical pulses go just below the skin to stimulate the nerves. 

How does the TENS create pain relief? 

The TENS unit provides pain relief in two ways. The consistent nerve stimulation creates an increase in endorphins and that helps to reduce your perception of pain. It also works through what we call Gate Control - the nerve fibers in your body that carry pain receptors are smaller and slower "highways to the brain" than those that carry the touch receptors that the TENS unit stimulates. It is kind of like touching a hot stove, you knew you touched it because you felt your hand touch a hard object. You knew intellectually that it was hot and you should react and you have lifted your hand off before your brain has registered that it hurts. With the TENS unit, your brain recognizes the contractions but is previously occupied with the stimulation the TENS unit is providing and it reduces your perception of the intensity of the contraction. 

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I have a TENS unit that my chiropractor gave me, can I just use this instead? 

No, probably not. TENS are not made the same. Some stimulate the muscles rather than the nerves. Not all of them are set up to change settings like you need to in labor to meet the demands your body needs with the contractions. The TENS unit I exclusively use with doula clients is imported from the U.K. where TENS units are commonplace in hospitals as an alternative to epidurals (they don't use epidurals routinely) and the mother is able to control the intensity for upper back from lower back, left and right so it is exactly what she needs at that moment! These units also have different settings to change the pattern of the stimulation pulses. With other TENS units it's recommended that you turn them off and on to create a similar effect... what a hassle! 

Benefits of using a TENS unit

  • You maintain your mobility, you aren't attached to the bed to use it! It can be used in any location (not water, it is electric) so it's a great option for laboring at home, birth center or hospital birth! 
  • It does not have side effects! Just about every other thing that you might receive for pain relief has a side effect of some form (even seemingly benign things like a bag of IV fluids!) so this is a great low-risk option! 
  • You can take it off or put it on at any point in labor. It's a no obligation option! Research does show that it is most effective when used in early labor and then throughout but it's beneficial regardless. Unlike any intravenous drugs or epidural, there is a wearing off period where you have to wait for the drugs to leave your system. This isn't the case with the TENS. When you take it off, it's done. 
  • In a study regarding the use of a TENS in labor, the majority of women who used one in labor said they would do it again in a future labor! 
  • It can be effective for back labor! This is a big deal considering even epidurals are not always and effective pain relief option for back labor! 
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What else should I know?

  • You should not use a TENS unit before 37 weeks of pregnancy (unless you're already in active labor).
  • It can't be used in the water, so if you're planning a water birth it has to come off before you go into the tub. It is still fine to use it when you aren't in the water! 
  • It doesn't completely take away labor pains, this is just something to help - another coping tool. Some women report that they didn't realize how much it was helping until they took it off, so they asked to have it back! 
  • You cannot use it if you have epilepsy or a seizure disorder. You cannot use it if you have very high blood pressure or pre-eclampsia. 
  • You cannot use it if you have a heart arrhythmia or a pacemaker

 

I teach all my clients the ins and outs of the TENS unit at one of our prenatal visits so you aren't learning the device when you are in labor. Let me know if you have any questions! 

 

 

Rebekah Lewis provides birth doula services and postpartum belly binding in the North Texas area including Denton, Decatur, Gainesville, Krum, Aubrey, Flower Mound, Grapevine, Coppell, Highland Village, North Fort Worth, Keller, McKinney, and surrounding areas.

Denton is getting Nitrous Oxide

Update: I wanted to let you know that Texas Health Presbyterian Denton does not currently offer Nitrous Oxide. As with many things in the hospital system, change does not happen quickly. We will be excited when this option does become available but it has not come as quickly as it was expected. (2/2/18) - Rebekah

 

This past Monday night was our most recent meeting of the Denton County Birth Network. Dr. Heather Bartos of BE Womens Health and Wellness (in Crossroads just outside of Denton on Highway 380) joined us as our guest and was speaking about Inductions. 

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Dr. Bartos had a great way of making a sometimes not so fun topic really enjoyable and relatable regardless of your knowledge about the medical induction procedures. She used the comparison of your cervix to an avocado. She said that sometimes we really want guacamole -it's what we're craving and all we can think about. So we go to the store and get avocados except none of them are ripe. You want guacamole so badly that you're willing to buy that unripe avocado that you know isn't any good for your guacamole. You take it home and put it in a paper bag, you put the paper bag in the window. You try everything you can to try to ripen the avocado so you can hopefully make your guacamole. Sometimes it's just ripe enough after all your tricks to make some okay guacamole but not always. Sometimes all those tricks and methods you used to ripen those avocados before they were ready isn't enough and try as you might, that avocado is too tough and just won't make  guacamole. 

This is sometimes what it's like to be pregnant, all you can think about is getting the baby here and not being pregnant anymore! Or maybe we have high blood pressure, diabetes, pre eclampsia or many other medical issues that would be an indication we need to medically induce and not be pregnant anymore. Regardless of the reason you're looking at inducing. We can try all kinds of non-medical induction options like evening primrose oil, sex, increased physical activities and combine them with medical options for cervical ripeners, augmentation like pitocin and many others. Sometimes these things work and labor is kick started and we get guacamole... er, a baby! Other times no matter what we try your body isn't ready, your cervix isn't ripe and labor won't keep going on it's own. Depending on the individual situation, sometimes there is time to wait until labor can start or if it was a medically necessary induction for health reasons it might end in birth by cesarean. 

At the end of the meeting Dr. Bartos announced that she is excited to share that Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital of Denton will be offering Nitrous Oxide for patients as a new pain relief option very soon! 

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Nitrous Oxide is a pain relief option that fell out of favor in the US in the 60's when the epidural came on the scene and gained popularity. According to the Journal of Midwifery and Women's Health Nitrous Oxide is a safe pain relief option for both baby and mother. Since it doesn't disrupt the release of the hormone Oxytocin it doesn't change the normal progress of labor or affect baby's alertness at birth. The Nitrous Oxide or "laughing gas" doesn't take away the pain of labor, women still perceive pain but it helps them relax through it and it seems like the pain is less. Nitrous Oxide is a great pain relief tool if you would like to have some medicinal relief from contractions but aren't comfortable with epidurals or narcotic pain relief. 

Dr. Bartos also made mention of the potential of a very new and exciting option for pregnant families in and around Denton birthing at Presbyterian Hospital of Denton... but it's still a secret - I hope it's something I can share soon! It's an exciting time to have a baby in Denton and the DFW area! We have more options than ever for expecting families to have the birth they desire! 

If you're in the Denton County area feel free to join us for a Denton County Birth Network meeting! They are free and open to the public! We meet every other month on a Monday night at 7:00 at the North Branch Library. Meetings are always announced on our Facebook page you can check out here! The Denton County Birth Network is your local resource for mother-friendly care, connection and community! 

Rebekah Lewis is a Birth Doula serving families in Denton Texas and the surrounding areas. Contact her today to schedule a consultation. 

Rebekah Lewis provides birth doula services in the North Texas area including Denton, Decatur, Gainesville, Krum, Aubrey, Flower Mound, Grapevine, Coppell, Highland Village, North Fort Worth, Keller, McKinney, and surrounding areas.

Pinterest for the Modern Doula

Denton Doula Pinterest

As a doula I provide information to clients about various topics related to pregnancy and childbirth. When a client contacts me with a question, I answer and after our conversation I send her resources with articles and research so that she can make an informed decision on what is best for her (because it's her birth and what she wants is what I want!). In an email or a text I'll send a link to my Pinterest board on that specific topic. 

There are so many great articles on Pinterest but we all know that can be a deep dark abyss of endless pins. Some of those pins don't hold information that's all that great and certainly not evidence based. On my Doula page I have specifically picked good resources and saved them for my clients in easy to find organized boards. 

I've found that expecting families seem to be inundated with paperwork and articles. By using Pinterest to send articles, that's less paper for you to keep up with and  the response can be immediate instead of waiting for me to bring print outs to our next prenatal. As your doula I try to only give my clients one print item, the beautiful Supporting Arms Booklet (see a sample here). It provides such great information, it's worth having it in print and easily referenced! 

I'm constantly adding more pins and information - you can check out my Pinterest page here

Contact me today to schedule a Free Consultation! 

 

Rebekah Lewis provides birth doula services in the North Texas and South Western Oklahoma area including Denton, Gainesville, Krum, Aubrey, Flower Mound, Grapevine, Coppell, Highland Village, North Fort Worth, Keller, McKinney, Ardmore, Marietta, Thackerville and surrounding areas.