Birth Doula Package

Birth Doula Package
Two Prenatal Appointments:
During pregnancy we get to know you and your partner through 2 prenatal appointments, usually lasting 1-2 hours each. During these appointments we assist you in creating your birth plan and gain a solid understanding of your desires for birth. These are conducted in my home office or yours.

On Call Time:
We are on call from the moment you sign up with us. We reserve your estimated due date in our schedule from 37-42 weeks and are available via phone and email at any time for the support you need.

During Birth:
During your birthing time we provide continuous support that begins as soon as you want it. One of the unique aspects of a doula is the continuous support. There is no shift change and you get exactly who you hire. We provide emotional support and physical comfort measures and assist the partner in providing the birthing mom just what she needs.

Establishing Feeding:
We stay with you after the birth until you have established breastfeeding, usually about an hour.

Postpartum Appointment:
We will keep in touch via phone the first few days and schedule a postpartum appointment to review your birth experience and answer any questions or concerns.  This appointment usually lasts 1-2 hours.

30% off Belly Casting Holiday Special

Schedule your belly casting now through Christmas and receive 30% off any belly casting package.

Princess Kate & Hyperemesis gravidarum

I was surprised this morning when I turned on the news. Princess Kate Middleton is suffering from hyperemesis gravidarum, a very severe form of morning sickness. I thought I would take this opportunity to talk about hyperemesis a bit.

Morning sickness usually begins right around 6 weeks. It is characterized by a feeling of nausea, vomiting, and a strong sensitivity to smell. It typically lasts from about 6 weeks to 12-16 weeks, however sometimes morning sickness can last through the entire pregnancy, or stop and return in the last trimester.

HG is the more severe form that Kate Middleton has. Women with HG often need to be hospitalized due to malnutrition and dehydration due to excessive, almost continuous bouts of vomiting where very little, if anything can be kept down.  They will receive IV fluids, nutritional support and medications.

Always call your doctor/ob/midwife if you think you may have hypemesis gravidarum. 

Please read the wikipedia page for more detailed information on hyperemesis gravidarum:

For online support please visit Help Her: 

If you just need someone to vent to, please feel free to call us here at Main Line Doulas and we'd love to be an ear to listen: 1-855-MY-DOULA

Exton Babies R Us Seminar: The Ins and Outs of Diapering

I am looking forward to teaching tomorrow's FREE class at Babies R Us Exton, The Ins and Outs of Diapering. Everything you need to know about diapering a newborn including both disposable and CLOTH diapering basics! Even if you're a diapering veteran, this class may be for you if you'd like an intro to cloth diapering.

Babies R Us King of Prussia Comfort Measures

Thanks so much to everyone that came out to the Simple and Easy Comfort Measure for Childbirth class at King of Prussia Babies R Us tonight. What a great turn out! I had a wonderful time and hope that everyone gained a few tools for your upcoming births.

Congratulations to Desiree O. who won the Keepsake Belly Casting session!! See you at 30+ weeks:-)

Free Prenatal Message in York, PA


Pregnant Volunteers Needed

For Prenatal Massage Therapy Class
Baltimore School of Massage, York campus
170 Red Rock Road
York, PA 17406

Saturday, November 3, 2012
10:15am to 12:30pm

How would you (or a pregnant woman you may know) like to enjoy a full body massage (or two) by a licensed massage therapist, free of charge?

The professional certification workshop
“MotherMassage®: Massage During Pregnancy" is coming to the Baltimore School of Massage, York campus on September 7-9. This course trains professionals and childbirth educators how to massage pregnant women. We are looking for healthy pregnant women who can spend Saturday morning with us,

November 3rd from 10:15am to 12:30pm.

It’s a fun way to get rid of your backache and other common  discomforts while helping professionals learn their new skills. If you can join us, please bring a snack and some water with you.

To confirm, get directions or for more information,
please contact:

Jessica Porter
Continuing Ed Coordinator, SEG


Thank you! We wish you a very happy and healthy pregnancy.

Main Line Doulas serves the entire Philadelphia and surrounding area, but does not reach York. Main Line Doulas is not associated with this massage school, but we like to pass along great info about fun events for preggos in the surrounding areas.

Walgreens Kale Smoothie Commercial

As I was watching the Today Show this morning, a commercial came on for Walgreens. It featured a woman in her robe obviously sick with a cold/flu in the kitchen. She was making a smoothie. She started with orange juice, then added kale, then added a raw egg, then finally added chicken noddle soup. She had a look of disgust as she poured it into a cup, and they never showed her drink it, because... The narrator in the background was telling us that we shouldn't use crazy remedies to get healthy, we should come straight to Walgreens.

So Walgreens, eating healthy whole foods is an absurd way to take care of our bodies when we are sick? I'd like to know what they would prefer to offer us. Advil? Tylenol? The flu shot for next time? Vitamins in a bottle?

I prefer to go with Hippocrates.

 “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.”

My favorite recipe for a kale smoothie:
  • Banana Strawberry Orange Juice from Trader Joes
  • An entire bunch of kale, rinsed
  • A handful of frozen strawberries
  • A handful of frozen blueberries
  • A few tablespoons of walnut oil
  • Half a cup plain whole milk kefir
I put the juice and kale in first, let it blend until as smooth as possible, then I add the rest. This is also a great recipe to use in the juicer.

Main Line Doulas recognizes the importance of nutrition during pregnancy and the postpartum period. Our postpartum doulas are all highly experienced in cooking healthy meals using whole foods to help you transition smoothly during the early postpartum days. 

Our postpartum doulas serve the entire Philadelphia area and beyond including but not limited to
Philadelphia, Manayunk, Roxborough, West Philadelphia, UPenn area, Pennsylvania Hospital patients, HUP patients, Lankenau patients, Merion, Wynnewood, Ardmore, Haverford, Bryn Mawr, Rosement, Radnor, Wayne, Berwyn, Malvern, Exton, Downingtown, King of Prussia, Phoenixville, Collegeville, Chalfont, Abington, Hatboro, Doylestown, 

King of Prussia Babies R Us Seminar

Main Line Doulas is teaming up with Babies R Us to provide you an exciting new seminar series this winter.

Our first topic:

Simple and Easy Comfort Measures for Childbirth
Come to this hands on event to learn the simple and easy tips and tricks the experts use to help you have a comfortable birth.

Babies R Us/Toys R Us 
King of Prussia, PA
7pm on November 8th, 2012

What are air-fresheners made of?

Ever wonder what air-fresheners are made of? How about that delicious apple scented one? Is that really apples or is it something else. I just read an article discusses the make-up of air fresheners and their effects on us and was flabbergasted... although not surprised.

Here's the short list:
  • Acetone
  • Butane
  • Isobutane(lighter fluid)
  • Petroleum gas
  • Propane
  • Benzene
  • Formeldahyde. 

All of these products cause cancer and are toxic to every single organ in your body including your heart, lungs and brain.

Here is a link to the article:

What is a doula?

 What is a doula? Here is a great answer from Randy of Northeast Doulas up in New York. 


Happy 3rd Birthday to my daughter Ivy

Ivy, almost 3
Ivy, 3 days old
In honor of my daughter Ivy's birthday, here is my condensed birth story of her amazing birth.
  Happy 3rd Birthday to my amazing daughter Ivy
3 years ago tonight, I took my second big walk of the day, saw our neighbor Sarah who was 9 at the time, and she gave Ivy a little talking to and asked her to "come out sometime in the next few hours" for mom please! I was laying on the couch around this time and started getting some light contractions, like I had been for a few nights in a row. Each night they would subside after a few hours.

I assumed this night would be the same. I watched a movie, tried to go to sleep, took a shower, but they never subsided. I was trying to go to sleep when I felt my water break slightly! We called The Bryn Mawr Birth Center and they told me to try to sleep and call them in the morning or if anything changed. While laying in bed, Craig and I were talking and I would pause our conversation when a contraction came. Suddenly he said, wow, you are pausing like every 2 minutes. Pretty soon after that I decided it was time to go in to TBC!

I called my doula who was waiting for me in the parking lot and after just an hour and a half at The Birth Center, Ivy Eden was born in the Blue Room with midwife Ann and nurse Sabina at 6:01 am! Happy Birthday Ivy .
I look back on the experience with glowing pride and admiration of my body, my husband, my abilities and my amazing baby. It is my hope that my clients experience this same glowing, exploding pride and admiration of their body, their abilities, their partner and their baby.
It was special this week to also be able to attend a birth as a doula in the very same room I had Ivy! Perfect timing:-) Happy 3rd Birthday my sweet wonderful Ivy, you find new and wonderful ways to amaze me every single moment.

Breastfeeding in Public on What Would You Do?

The ABC television show What Would You Do featured the issue of breastfeeding in public tonight. They had an 18 month old and 4 year old feeding at a coffee shop. The other actor in the coffee shop, a woman sitting at the table next to the breastfeeding child, berates the mom/child for breastfeeding in public and for breastfeeding a child of that age.

The question was, what would you do if you saw a person berating a woman feeding her baby/toddler/child? Or even what would you do if you saw a woman feeding her baby/toddler/child?

The bystanders responses were almost all thoughtful and caring toward the mother/child. There was only one table shown that was not supportive of the mom/child. That was very uplifting to see extended breastfeeding featured on national television in a positive light.

From their website:
"Breastfeeding Tot:  Breastfeeding in public is controversial, but even more controversial is the age at which breastfeeding should cease at altogether.  So what would you do if you publically saw a mother breastfeeding her toddler?"

Tbe Birth Center Family Reunion 2012

What a great time we had at The Birth Center Family Reunion today! It was so much fun planning this awesome event and so great to connect with other moms a bit. Benji and Ivy had a blast with the arts and crafts table, Gymboree and playing with the other kids. I was so happy that a number of The Birth Center staff made it out including the director Cynthia Flynn! Open Connections was such a wonderful place to hold it. Yay for a all-over great event today.-Aliza

Sally's Music Circle

Gymboree Ardmore, PA

Benefits of Labor Support

Benefits of labor support:
Decreased medical intervention in labor*
Reduces need for cesarean by 50%
Reduces length of labor by 25%
Reduces use of oxytocin by 40%
Reduces pain medication use by 30%
Reduces the need for forceps by 40%
Reduces epidural requests by 60%
6 weeks after birth, mothers who had doulas were
Less anxious and depressed
Had more confidence with baby
More satisfied w/ partner (71% vs 30%)
More likely to be breastfeeding (52% vs. 29%)

Postpartum Doula Packages

Many people are familiar with a Baby Nurse, but not as familiar with the term Postpartum Doula. They are very similar, only the postpartum doula has expertise and training in not ONLY baby care, but also has professional training in the specific physical and emotional needs of the newly postpartum mother. This means that a postpartum doula is able to care for the very special needs the the postpartum mother has, both vaginal birth recovery and cesarean section birth recovery. 

We provide both DAY and OVERNIGHT care. 

International Doula Institute defines a postpartum doula as a professional support person trained in the needs of the family in the days, weeks and months after birth or the addition of a new baby.  The doula offers non-judgmental support, guidance, evidence based education and practical hands-on support immediately after birth through the first year. Doula originates from the Greek word meaning woman servant.

A postpartum doula will do everything to educate and care for the mom, partner, baby, home and siblings. We help your home run smoothly as you make this transition, from laundry, dishes, light housework, meal preparation, food shopping, sibling support and guidance, to education, and newborn care overnight to help you get well rested for the next day. 

Click here for the benefits of a postpartum doula.

Tasks of a postpartum doula:

-Assessing the needs of the family
-Providing Recommendations and Referrals
-Emotional Support of the individuals parenting choices
-Encouragement and positive affirmations
-Newborn care hands-on education and care including:
  • Normal newborn behavior
  • Newborn appearance
  • Sleep habits
  • Feeding
  • Bathing
  • Dressing Baby
  • When to call the doctor
  • And so much more 
-Breastfeeding counseling
  • Advanced breastfeeding education
  • Help knowing what is normal or when you need specialized care 
  • Help with comfortable positions for mom and baby
  • Establishing helpful routines
  • Establishing a good latch
  • Establishing a good milk supply
  • Learning to use your pump
  • Proper milk storage

-Preparation of bottles and washing/cleaning/sterilizing
-Assuring a safe environment
-Cord and circumcision care
-Screening for PPMD's
-Establishing routine 
-Organizing the nursery
-Light house work
-Sibling education and transition
-Care of big siblings
-Creating shopping lists
-Food shopping
-Meal preparation
  • If you choose to meet with our dietician, the two of you will come up with a specialized meal plan designed for your specific needs taking into consideration postpartum needs and breastfeeding needs, this consultation will include recipes that your doula will be familiar with and follow)

Click here for side by side package comparison.

Click here to take an assessment to find the Main Line Doulas Postpartum Package right for you.  

Package 1: Get you Through the First Year with Ease and Confidence

What you get:
  • A primary doula that you interview and choose(with our help) and two secondary doulas assigned to you. This doula blocks off space in her schedule and is on call 2 weeks before your estimated due date(or more depending on special circumstances, such as multiples).

  • A postpartum planning session including a needs assessment lasting one hour with your primary doula. You meet your postpartum doula before the birth of your baby to establish a relationship, discuss the special needs of your family and develop a postpartum plan. This meeting usually lasts 1 hour and is included for free with the purchase of all packages.

  • Postpartum doula support for a minimum of 12 week  and up to the first year for between 40hrs per week and up to 24 hrs a day. Live in care available.

(Optional: Full or part time mature babysitter care during the day and doulas at night available AFTER 12 weeks of age)

Shifts available:

Overnight 10pm-8am or 8pm-8am
Day time 8am-4pm, 4pm-10pm

Package 2: The Full Postpartum Period

What you get:
  • A primary doula that you interview and choose(with our help) and a secondary doula for hours over 40 per week. This doula blocks off space in her schedule and is on call 2 weeks before your estimated due date(or more depending on special circumstances, such as multiples).

  • A postpartum planning session including a needs assessment lasting one hour with your primary doula. You meet your postpartum doula before the birth of your baby to establish a relationship, discuss the special needs of your family and develop a postpartum plan. This meeting usually lasts 1 hour and is included for free with the purchase of all packages.

  • Postpartum doula support for a minimum of 6 weeks and up to 12 weeks for between 40hrs per week and up to 70hrs per week.
Shifts available:

Overnight 10pm-8am or 8pm-8am
Day time 8am-4pm or 4pm-10pm

Package 3: The First Weeks

What you get:
  • A primary doula that you interview and choose(with our help) and a secondary doula for hours over 40 per week. This doula blocks off space in her schedule and is on call 2 weeks before your estimated due date(or more depending on special circumstances, such as multiples).

  • A postpartum planning session including a needs assessment lasting one hour with your primary doula. You meet your postpartum doula before the birth of your baby to establish a relationship, discuss the special needs of your family and develop a postpartum plan. This meeting usually lasts 1 hour and is included for free with the purchase of all packages.

  • Postpartum doula support for a minimum of 2 and up to 6 weeks for between 40hrs per week and up to 70hrs per week.

Shifts available:
Overnight 10pm-8am or 8pm-8am
Day time 8am-4pm or 4pm-10pm

Package 4: The Basics

What you get:
  • The on-call doula available to do everything a doula does, from education, breastfeeding support, to nurturing, to laundry and dishes and light housework.
  • Minimum of just 4hrs per week.
Shifts available:
Flexible to your needs based on availability when baby arrives.

Package 5: Help, We Didn't Plan Ahead!

We designed this package specifically for the families that call us that have suddenly realized their need for extra support after the birth of their baby. Typically families will book our services in the second and third trimester. But sometimes families don't realize how much they really want or need our services until after their baby is born. This is the package for you. We may even be able to arrive the same day you contact us! We CANNOT guarantee availability at any given time. Please call immediately to check availability for your desired hours.

Text or call now for more info or to see if a doula can come tonight: 484-802-6100

More benefits of continuous support for women during childbirth

The primary role of a doula during birth is to provide continuous support. It just amazes me the benefits that have been found by just having that continuous support in which the care taker does not leave moms side. I've posted this before, but it's just worth posting again. The Cochrane review did a great study which discovered these wonderful benefits of the continous support, it can be found here:

Freedom for Birth Philadelphia Screening Success!

Last night was the Freedom for Birth Global Premier screening hosted by Main Line Doulas. We had a really wonderful time. We discussed the film a bit, and then the evening turned into an impromptu birth story circle. Multiple generations were represented from my grandma and mother, down to a mother and her 19 year old daughter to new moms.  It was wonderful to share our birth stories with mother/daughter present as well as women who have not gone into motherhood yet. Thank you everyone who came out for a wonderful evening.

Perfect Baby Shower Gift

Will you be attending a baby shower soon? The belly cast is one of the most memorable shower gifts you could give your friend. Sure, the diapers, cute clothes and baby swing are useful, but they will be used up and gone very shortly after baby arrives.

A professionally done belly cast or belly bowl will last a lifetime and be a cherished piece of art for the entire family. Your friend will remember your gift forever, what a great way to honor your relationship with her and give her something that truly honors and recognizes her.

People often ask me about giving birth doula services as a baby shower gift or blessingway gift. Although this would be a wonderful gift, it would not be appropriate to purchase my doula services without first having a consultation with mom. If you are considering giving the priceless gift of a birth doula, first talk to the special mom-to-be in your life, and then we can discuss setting up a private consultation for your friend and I.

Belly Casting Belly Bowls

**Fall Special** 30% off Select Appointments

I wrote a post a few weeks ago about my belly casts. In addition to the belly casts, I also do Belly Bowls. The process is very similar to the complete belly cast, only the end result is slightly different: a bowl! And it sure does come out beautifully. It's perfect for someone in a smaller home who doesn't have the space for the full belly cast to display on their wall. I create the belly bowl cast in the comfort of my home studio in Bryn Mawr. Clients come from all over including but not limited to Philadelphia, Wynnewood (near Lankenau Hospital) Merion, Ardmore, Upper Darby, Drexel Hill, Media, Springfield, Riddle, Bryn Mawr, Wayne, Paoli, Roxborough, and surrounding areas.

Please email me at or call 484-802-6100 to set up an appointment for your belly bowl.

Cost for Raw Belly Bowl: $129

Nesting Bowls
Capture the beautiful progression of your growing belly. This is a series of 3 casting sessions done at 22 weeks, 30 weeks and 38 weeks. 

Cost for Raw Nesting Bowls: $299

Certified Breastfeeding Counselor Philadelphia Area

I am so excited to become a certified breastfeeding counselor! We meet in King of Prussia and there are 7 other women in the class coming from South Philly, Roxborough, West Chester, Hatboro and a few other areas I can't think of right now.

Prenatal Yoga in Havertown

Wanna know more about prenatal yoga? Read this article from Main Line Health, then check out East Eagle Yoga!!

Sarah Trout will be teaching a prenatal class on Monday's at 7:45, here is the facebook page:

Improving Birth Philadelphia Rally

Today I attended the Improving Birth Philadelphia Rally right in Center City Philly at Independence Hall. The purpose of this rally was to create awareness regarding the need for change in currently accepted birth practices that are not evidence based.

I had a wonderful time connecting with other doulas, midwives, birth activists and their children. My daughter Ivy attended with me!! I hope to have some photos soon of this wonderful event that is improving birth.

Here is a link to their website for more information about this wonderful movement:

Freedom for Birth Ina May Gaskin Documentary Press Release

For Immediate Release


Philadelphia, PA 8/27/2012 -  A new documentary that reframes childbirth as the most pressing global Human Rights issue today is launching with hundreds of premieres all over the world on the same day, Thursday 20th September 2012.

Local Merion Station mother and business owner, Aliza Bancoff of Main Line Doulas, LLC, is hosting a screening in Bryn Mawr.

Freedom For Birth is a 60 minute campaigning documentary featuring a Who's Who of leading birth experts and international Human Rights lawyers all calling for radical change to the world's maternity systems.

Hermine Hayes-Klein, US lawyer and organiser of the recent Human Rights in Childbirth Conference at the Hague, the Netherlands says, “the way that childbirth is being managed in many countries around the world is deeply problematic. Millions of pregnant women are pushed into hospitals, pushed onto their back and cut open. They are subject to unnecessary pharmaceutical and surgical interventions that their care providers openly admit to imposing on them for reasons of finance and convenience. Women around the world are waking up to the fact that childbirth doesn't have to be like this and it shouldn't. Disrespect and abuse are not the necessary price of safety”.

Made by British filmmakers Toni Harman and Alex Wakeford, Freedom For Birth film tells the story of an Hungarian midwife Agnes Gereb who has been jailed for supporting women giving birth at home. One of the home birth mothers  supported by Ms Gereb decided to take a stand.

When pregnant with her second child, Anna Ternovsky took her country to the European Court of Human Rights and won a landmark case that has major implications for childbirth around the world.

Toni Harman, one of the filmmakers says, “the Ternovsky vs Hungary ruling at the European Court of Human Rights in 2010 means that now in Europe, every birthing woman has the legal right to decide where and how she gives birth. And across the world, it means that if a woman feels like her Human Rights are being violated because her birth choices are not being fully supported, she could use the power of the law to protect those rights. With the release of “Freedom For Birth”, we hope millions of women become aware of their legal rights and so our film has the potential to spark a revolution in maternity care across the world. In fact, we are calling this the Mothers' Revolution.”

Cathy Warwick, Chief Executive of the Royal College of Midwives (RCM), says: “A safe childbirth should be a fundamental human right for women. Sadly, for many, many millions of women and their babies across the world this is not the case. The world is desperately short of the people who can help to ensure and deliver this human right; midwives. There is a real need for leaders of nations to invest in midwifery care in their countries. I hope that the making of this film which the RCM is supporting with a screening will go a long way to help make skilled maternity care a reality for those women who currently do not have access to it.”

Lesley Page, President of the Royal College of Midwives adds, “Too many women across the world are dying or suffering terribly because of a lack of skilled maternity care. This is unacceptable and I call on all Governments across the world to give women the right and access to safe care in pregnancy and childbirth.”

Ms. Hayes-Klein concludes, “Freedom For Birth” holds the answer to changing the system. Birth will change when women realise they have a right to meaningful support for childbirth and claim that right. Birth will change when women stand up against the abuses that are currently suffered in such high numbers and say, No More.”

A local screening of Freedom For Birth will take place at xxxx [Add details of  location, date & time of screening] organised by [Add your details].

Additional Notes

Additional information about Freedom For Birth can be found on the website:

The filmmakers are aiming for 1,000 screenings happening across the world on Thursday 20th September, 2012. The countries with confirmed screenings include the UK, Germany, France, Denmark, Spain, Greece, Italy, Norway, the Netherlands, Austria, Poland, Croatia, Slovenia, Slovakia, Belgium, Hungary, Israel, Sweden, Finland, Iceland, Russia, Iceland, USA, Canada, Mexico, Colombia, Brazil, Australia, Malaysia and New Zealand.

Each screening is being organised by local birth campaigners.

The film has been selected for screening in the Cambridge Film Festival on 20th September.

Toni Harman and Alex Wakeford are a filmmaking couple who have set up a cross-media global film project called One World Birth to provide educational videos featuring the world's leading birth experts

Freedom For Birth is Harman and Wakeford's third documentary film about birth. They were inspired to make films about following their own difficult birth of their daughter four years ago. A cascade of interventions in their birth led to an emergency caesarean section.

Contact Information:

Toni Harman, Producer/Director, Freedom For Birth +44 (0) 1273 747837 Website:
High resolution still images available on request.

CHOP Special Delivery Unit: Hospitals We Serve

The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia Special Delivery maternity Unit was specifically designed to be a safe haven inside CHOP designed specifically for the needs of a laboring mother and their family. Families come here knowing that their baby will have very special medical needs immediately at birth and after. Often times babies come from surrounding hospitals, and mom is required to stay in the hospital they birthed in for 1 day or more, while baby is transferred to CHOP.

Birthing directly in the CHOP Special Delivery Unit, mom's are not separated by many buildings or even miles away from their baby. They are able to actively participate from minute 1 in their babies care and decision making. This is something that would not be possible for babies expecting to be born with very special medical needs and born in a hospital without the abilities of such an advanced NICU and surgeons.

For more information on CHOP's Special Delivery Unit, please visit their website:

Philadelphia area Childbirth Classes on the News

I was happy to find this article, Top Childbirth Classes in Philadelphia, from May 2012. Some very deserving local childbirth classes were the features of this great article about childbirth classes in the Philadelphia area. Check it out!

Bryn Mawr Birth Center Friends Alumni group

Four years ago The Birth Center in Bryn Mawr started an alumni group.

Taken from their facebook page:

"A group for alumni families and clients of The Birth Center in Bryn Mawr, PA. The community of TBC Friends is a vital support network for families as they go through life's stages. Through a variety of communications and events, TBC Friends will keep families connected to each other and to TBC. The members of the TBC Friends will continue as advocates, community resources and supporters of TBC’s programs and mission. TBC is not formally affiliated with TBC Friends Events."
The group offers fun events throughout the year, including play ground  play dates, CPR classes, film screenings, How-To lectures etc.
This year I decided to join the organizing committee. We are currently preparing for the 4th annual TBC Friends Picnic scheduled for next month. After the picnic is over, we look forward to planning some more really great, FREE events!
 Please visit the facebook page for more information about events or how to get involved in the committee:

Lankenau Hospital in Wynnewood is 150 years old!

I had no idea that Lankenau hospital in Wynnewood is over 150 years old, wow! I live just about a mile away from it, and have for most of my life. I went to my pedeatrician there as a child, had many a ER visits there growing up, and now I attend births there as a doula. I love the continuity that comes with living in the same town that I grew up in.

It was also the place that health insurance was conceived. If you paid 25 cents per month, you would be entitled to free admission. Amazing.

Lankenau hospital is such a blessing to have so close to home. 

Here is a link to the article about their 150th birthday story:

Philadelphia Bryn Mawr area Hypnobabies Education

Hypnobabies Philadelphia offers a complete childbirth education course. Today I connected with Carrie Ballek of Hypnobabies Philadelphia. Although the title is "Philadelphia", she also has a class location in the Bryn Mawr/ Wayne area.

The next class session starts September 8th, 2012 and will be held for 6 consecutive weeks at Aly's Wagon in Fairmount section of Philadelphia. Consider this course if you are due from December 2012-January 2013

Karen Zamperini will be offering the same class in her Bryn Mawr area location starting on September 23rd. Consider this course if you are due late December 2012-Feb 2013.

I am so excited to be able to tell you all about their classes. Hypnobabies is a truly amazing program. I teach many aspects of the meditation programs in my two prenatal visits. But I would very highly suggest these programs in addition to the prenatal appointments that I offer.

From the Hypnobabies Philadelphia website:

Hypnobabies Philadelphia offers group and private Hypnobabies classes to expectant couples, single moms and birth professionals in the Philadelphia and Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania areas. Visit this page often for updates, latest news and links.
Why choose a natural, easier birth using Hypnobabies? The benefits are many:

● Most of our moms use fewer drugs or no drugs, which means less risk of side effects for you and your baby, due to elimination of the Fear/Tension/Pain Syndrome, and using post-hypnotic suggestions.

● Most Hypno-mothers have shorter labors since there is less resistance of the birthing muscles when pain and fear are mi
nimized or eliminated.

● Hypno-Moms generally have much more energy throughout first and second stage, due to your total relaxation throughout the birthing process.

● The birthing environment is much more calm and peaceful when you, the natural childbirth mother are comfortable, relaxed and confident.

● Breech and posterior babies can be turned using hypnosis.

● Blood pressure, heart rate, and temperature can be lowered and nausea, back and hip pain eliminated with hypnosis during pregnancy and labor.

● There are fewer interventions for failure to progress and therefore fewer complications during labor for our mothers and babies.

● The deep relaxation in Hypnobabies sessions has also helped many a nervous birth partner to enjoy their partner's pregnancy and childbirth, and the skills that the Hypno-couple learns for relaxation and hypnosis will benefit them for the rest of their lives.

● As a Hypno-Mom, you are easily "deprogrammed" from the usual negativity of childbirth stories and scenarios you may have heard or read, by way of training in Hypnobabies classes and audio CDs which have positive messages and hypnotic suggestions. This automatically allows you to have a much more positive attitude and confidence in birthing. It is truly a gift that you are giving yourself, an amazingly easy way to enjoy your pregnancy more and actually look forward to your baby's birth!

Belly Cast in Philadelphia

Main Line Doulas is excited to announce that we will now be offering belly cast service!
My studio is fully equipped with all materials and equipment necessary. You sit back and relax while we create this beautiful memento of your pregnancy.

Click on the "Belly Cast" button above for belly casting package information.

FREE Bradley Method Course Philadelphia!

I was visiting the Holly Vicki Bradley Method course website to find the link for one of my clients... and I discovered that  for the Grand Opening of her Bradley Method of childbirth education courses in Ardmore, the first FOUR couples to register will receive the entire 12 week course completely free!!

Quick, run, register NOW, seriously, this is a $240 value(although I'd say it's an even greater value than that).

Here is the link to her website:

P.S. I have no connection with Holly, other than that I recently discovered her website and will be attending a few of the classes in her upcoming series to listen in a bit and learn more about the Bradley Method. And of course I really want to support new local child birth professionals and foster close relationships with others in the field.

Philadelphia Area Doulas

Philadelphia area doulas

Find a Doula in Philadelphia

Main Line Doulas not only serve the Main Line, but also the entire Philadelphia area need for doulas. We serve all of the Philadelphia area hospitals. The Main Line is such a perfect location to be able to serve the Main Line Health system, as well as hospitals in Philadelphia.

 If you are interested in finding a doula, please click above to learn more about all of our services!

Kourtney Kardashian Pregnant Belly Cast Philadelphia

Kourtney's Belly Cast:
Last night as I was winding down, I decided to watch a little of my guilty pleasure, The Kardashians(wow, I am publically admitting this)

Although in real time, Kourtney has already had her baby Penelope, but watching it on tv, she is still pregnant. In this episode, she had a midwife come to her home to create a belly cast of her pregnant belly. I was so happy to see belly casts featured on national television. They are such a wonderful keepsake of pregnancy and a beautiful piece of art to display in your home.

I learned how to create casts from a very young age, around 7 years old. My mom was a sculptor and would take casts of my face, hands and arms to help her create her sculptures of children. I learned the techniques along with her at professional art institute, The Fleshier Institute in Center City Philadelphia.

So needless to say, I've been doing casts for a long time. Please contact me if you would like to hire me to do your belly cast. I suggest that belly casting be done between 30-39 weeks.

Bradley Method Holly Vicki Ardmore PA

I am so excited to be sitting in on a Bradley Method course being taught by Holly Vicki right here in Ardmore, PA. Such a convenient location right by the R5 train station, close to center city Philadelphia, Delaware County, Montgomery county and of course, the Main Line.

It's every Saturday for 12 weeks. Gosh that's a lot of weeks. I don't know if I'll be able to get to every class. But I really like that it's more time than the average childbirth education course. I always wish that pregnant women had more support at the beginning stages of pregnancy, more community. It's so helpful for mom's to have that early peer support, that comradery during the tough stages. And that extra practice time to really remember things and get them right. I suspect that I will shortly learn that Bradley being so long, purposefully is this way to allow couples to gain that comradery and community that would lack in shorter courses.

This is my introduction to the Bradley Method. I've learned a bit about it through my studies(I've read the book), but have not gone in depth learning about how I can best support a couple using the Bradley Method as a doula. This course is for expecting parents, not doulas. But I think this will be the best way for me to really learn the ideologies of the method, by learning what the expecting couples learn.

You can find out more about Holly Vicki and her Bradley Method classes by going to her website,

Her next two course series start August 25th, 2012 and November 17th 2012. They are on Saturday mornings at 10am for one hour. Pick the one that will bring you closest to your due date(but not over... like a game show;-)

Abington Hospital: Hospitals ML Doulas Serve

Under construction. We love serving moms birthing at Abington Hospital!  Browse my other posts while I am working on this one.

Einsten Medical Center Montgomery VBAC Webinar

I was just reading a news article about the new Einstein Medical Center Montgomery and fell upon an invitation to a webinar they are conducting in just two weeks, Trial of Labor after Cesarean Section: What you need to know, August 7th from 12:30-1:30.  I signed up and look forward to hearing what Dr. Elizabeth Zadzielski has to say about vaginal births after cesarean sections!

Join the free webinar here:

Birth Freedom Ina May Gaskin Huffington Post

I just read a great article on Huffington Post from Ina May Gaskin with important information we all need to hear. As a doula, I am so happy to be able to help educate families so that they can make the choice that is best for them.

Penny Simkin(doula and founder of DONA International) study about moms memories of their birth experiences suggested to us that when a woman feels that she is autonomous and able to make her own decisions without force, she is most pleased with her birth experience. Penny is also the author of a study that tells us that a mothers birth experience is not just about getting the baby out. It is a momentous day that matters for the rest of her life, whether positive or negative.

So yes, birth choices matter.

Check out the article here:

Wayne, PA Lactation Consultant Guest Writer

I am excited to post a guest article today, written by my good friend: a mom to two beautiful children from Wayne/Radnor area, wife to amazing chiropractor Paul Sinnott at the Chiropractic Spine Center, a highly skilled lactation consultant at Paoli hospital, and my doula for the birth of both of my babies, Donna Sinnott, IBCLC (aka Boob Donna)

To Sleep or Not to Sleep: That is the Question 
by Donna Sinnott, originally appeared in Nursing Mothers News, a publication of Nursing Mothers Alliance

The birth of a baby is truly a wonderful mystery of life.  The birthing process hasn't changed much over the last 5000+ years.  In the beginning, before there were clocks and schedules, babies were always breastfed by mom, on demand, day and night.  Only in the last 200 years, cultures began adding on more rooms, and only in the last 10 years or so, have we seen the rise of "sleep training" methods.

In a survey of 172 societies, all infants in all cultures do some co-sleeping at night, even of only for a few hours.  The U.S. consistently stands out as the only society in which babies are routinely placed in their own beds and in their own rooms.  But, for many breastfed babies, night waking is normal and necessary.  Night waking is as normal as co-sleeping with your child in almost every culture, except the United States.

In some Western cultures, such as the United States, artificial feeding is a norm and the expectations are different.  Babies are expected to sleep for long stretches alone, often in a separate room, by the time they are three or four month old.  This is an arrangement that has grown over the last 200 years because of cultural reasons, not out of biological appropriateness.  In almost all cultures around the globe, mothers and babies sleep close to each other at night for many reasons, mainly so that the baby can be nursed with less disruption of sleep.  Parents in these cultures expect babies to wake frequently to nurse at night until they have matured enough to naturally outgrow this behavior, a process that may take years.  A wakeful baby - even a wakeful older baby or toddler - is not considered unusual or a problem in these cultures.

Besides the practical reasons of co-sleeping, science is now learning that sleeping with mom is a biological need.  Infants don't develop the ability to easily navigate types of breathing until they are at least three or four months old.  James McKenna, Professor of Anthropology, has published many studies that provide evidence that when mother and baby sleep together, the mother's breathing and movement affect the baby's breathing and arousal patterns. Babies get more practice at the transitions from one kind of breathing to another.  Also, mothers and their breastfed babies can then develop the same sleep cycles which encourages less disruption to sleep for all.  Breastfeeding moms can't get any deep sleep anyway: Lactation women are hormonally programmed not to have the fourth and deepest sleep cycle, possibly to be able to tune in to the waking cycles of our babies.

So, how could we Americans cope with such a change in our cultural norm? A working mom or a stay-at-home mom may be asking, "I need my sleep. How will I function well?"  Well, there are many alternatives to the usual sleeping arrangements that can make night nursing a lot easier.

  • The baby's crib (or bedside co-sleeper) can be attached to the parents' bed in a "side car" arrangement (with one side open).

  • A mattress could be put on the floor in the baby's room or in the parents' room so mom can lie down and sleep while nursing the baby back to sleep.

  • A bed rail can be used (on that floor mattress) or on the parents' bed even if baby simply sleeps in their bed part of the night.

  • Mom can wake and feed the baby every two to three hours in the day if she is constantly nursing at night.

  • Wake and feed your baby just before you go to sleep so you can get a longer sleep cycle before the baby wakes again.
Like many parenting decisions, there are pros and cons to developing a co-sleeping arrangement.  A family bed can help prevent Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), it matches breathing, matches body temperature and makes mom more aware if something is wrong.  Co-sleeping creates less disruption to sleep and continues to give nourishment and comfort throughout the night hours.  A family bed can help make the necessary night nursings easier and reconnect a family after a long day.

Yes, there are cons to a family bed.  It can be harder for mom to settle in due to squirming and diapers crinkling.  It can create less privacy, making it harder to turn in later or get up earlier.  A family bed can also create ongoing doubts such as "Am I doing the right thing?"  or "When should it end?"

Just remember, no matter what the sleeping arrangements are in your home, where mom and baby sleep is a personal, parenting decision that should be made based upon what is best for your baby, you and your family.  Like the first of many parenting decisions, trust yourself when making whatever choice is best for you and your family.  Remember, night waking for nourishment and comfort is often a biological need and not a choice to the infant.  In the words of Dr. Sears, author of "Nighttime Parenting" and other books, "In the first few months, the infant's needs are the highest, but his ability to communicate those needs is the lowest."

"Nighttime Parenting" Sears
"Three in a Bed" Jackson
"The Breastfeeding Answer Book" Mohrbacher and Stock
"Mothering" magazine Nov/Dec 1998
Special thanks to Jo Matey  

Main Line Doulas thanks Donna Sinnott for allowing us to reprint her article.

Penny Simkin Quote on Benefits of Continuous Support

"Many studies show that continuous support benefits laboring women, especially when the support begins in early labor and is given by someone whose only role is to provide it. Benefits include the following: • Shorter labors, with less need for medication to speed up labor • More spontaneous vaginal births (that is, births that don’t require forceps, vacuum extraction, or cesarean delivery.) • Fewer requests for pain medications • Less dissatisfaction with birth experiences. "
Penny Simkin

Frequently Asked Questions: Is it better to tear or be cut?

Is it better to tear or be cut? 60Sec Doulas give some great responses to if it's better to tear or be cut. I like to use the analogy of tearing a piece of fabric. If you hold a piece of fabric in your hands, and choose to tear it by pulling it, it's very difficult. It can be done, but it's hard. How would you tear that fabric then? You would take scissors and snip a bit, then it would be easy to tear! Although your perineum isn't exactly fabric, the analogy works pretty well.