Join Our Team

MORE FAMILIES ARE REACHING OUT TO SUMMER BIRTH SERVICES

IT’S TIME TO GROW OUR FAMILY!

SBS hiring promo

WE ARE LOOKING FOR:

BIRTH DOULAS, POSTPARTUM DOULAS, CHILDBIRTH EDUCATORS,

PLACENTA SPECIALISTS, LACTATION COUNSELORS

 

Why become an independent contractor with Summer Birth Services?

*Work with dynamic, passionate professionals who are committed to helping you grow and succeed

*Sustainable schedule that balances work and life while maintaining continuity of care for clients

*You get to do your work supporting families while we take care of all the business aspects ~ finances, marketing, website management and more

 

Summer Birth Services applicants are:

*Willing to serve families from Rolla to Fort Leonard Wood to Houston to Sullivan

*Team players ~ Maintaining good relationships with fellow doulas, clients, and medical professionals is a priority

*Ability to be on-call ~ We strive to have flexible schedules and are proud of our team model, though on call availability is a necessity in this career

*Professional ~ No matter where you started, you arrive with authenticity, humility, and focus

*Compassionate ~ You are able to be sensitive to families during this special time and intuitive toward their needs

*Capable of providing non-judgmental support to ALL families ~ Summer Birth Services proudly serves a diverse landscape of families. All our team members work with parents through any experience, regardless of birth or parenting choices.

*Self-motivated ~ You want to grow and learn, earning a living doing what you love.

*Trained or willing to be trained/certified by an organization such as ProDoula. Training for multiple disciplines is not required, but helpful. Application may be made prior to the training, though offers will not be extended until training is completed.

Register for the ProDoula Training:

 August 27-28, Labor Doula

Letters of interest should include:

*Why you would like to join Summer Birth Services

*What position(s) you are applying for

*Why you would like to (or did) become a doula

*What fully supporting a new family means to you and what it looks like

*One personal and one professional reference

Email to summer@summerbirthservices.com with the subject “Letter of Interest – [Your Name]” in the subject line.

Are Doulas for Dads Too?

Doulas are for Dads

 

Dads….some of our families have them, some don’t. For those families who do have a Dad in the picture, we often see concern about how our role as doulas will impact their role during the birth process. We love getting this question, because it allows us to highlight just how much work we put into helping Dad and how our role truly enhances him. Let’s look a little deeper into this:

How does a doula help a father? Most of the men we have encountered are absolutely thrilled to be a part of their partner’s pregnancy/labor and the birth of their child. They want to be involved as much as possible, and to understand what’s happening so they can assist in the process. Their main focus is almost always on seeing their partner and baby safely through the journey, which is only natural. Because they desire safety, it can be difficult to watch their loved one go through pain, or what might appear to be suffering. It can be scary to see the more intense parts of the labor process, especially if someone has never seen birth before. We remind Dad that what is happening is normal, and help him find ways to support his partner.

Another important, yet often overlooked, aspect of helping a father is encouraging him to take breaks, eat, and drink. We see a lot of partners deeply devoted to their significant other, which is beautiful and appreciated. However, when birth runs more than a few hours (which is the norm), basic body functions need to be observed! We remind him that it’s okay to step away for a minute or two to use the bathroom and that we will stay right by his partner’s side. When we offer mom a drink, we ask him if he needs one as well. Same with snacks. These may seem small and insignificant, but we know that once the adrenaline of birth wears off…he’ll be thankful he took care of himself too!

The final help we give fathers is the ability to be vulnerable during this special time and know that it’s okay. We often say…”all you have to do is love her, in the way that only you can.” This can free him from the feeling of needing to be coach as well as father and partner.

dad and baby

How does a doula enhance the father’s role during birth?  This starts during our prenatal visits, where we talk about how important he is to the entire process, how his support (in whatever way feels most authentic to him) is vital to his partner, and how this is his birth too. During labor and birth, our goal is to support the couple in their unique relationship. Often, we can be found doing the famous hip-squeeze while dad is holding his partner and whispering sweet words into her ear. During a particularly intense contraction, she might make a noise that sounds scary to him…upon which he looks at the doula, who in return smiles and nods a signal “she is okay, this is normal”.

We work to take the pressure off Dad so he can be in the moment with his beloved partner, experience the process with her instead of having to play coach, and be supported in his needs as well. We firmly believe that birth is a family event and keep this in the forefront of our doula minds when working with a couple. We strive to help fathers discover their treasured role during this time, and encourage them to participate at the level they’re comfortable.

Birth isn’t just about babies…it’s also about mothers and fathers. 

At Summer Birth Services, we honor the unique and important role of fathers in their partner’s and baby’s world. We work with your whole family to provide the best team of support for you.

Paul

I Didn’t Have a Doula at My Last Birth, Why Should I Hire One for This Baby?

 

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Recently, we posted on our Facebook page and asked what people had heard about doulas, or what questions they had about using doulas. One of the comments:

 

Should a momma hire a doula even though she has had 1, 2, or more births without a doula?

 

 

 

So, what does a doula offer to a family who has already had one or more children? This is such a great question! Typically, we think of doulas in reference to first-time parents, because they haven’t yet had the experience of giving birth and don’t know what to expect. But once you’ve had a baby, you know what to expect, right?

The truth is that no matter how much any of us know about birth, no matter how many times we’ve done it…each pregnancy, labor, birth, and baby are different. Having someone by your side to bounce ideas around with, to help you research, to support you no matter what…these qualities don’t become less beneficial just because you’ve already done it once. Or three times.

I’m going to get a bit personal here. I have four children. It was during my fourth pregnancy, birth, and postpartum time that I needed the most support. Although my pregnancy was normal, I had unusual (for me) anxieties that I just couldn’t quell. I needed someone to listen who wasn’t my husband. He is a kind, loving, and supportive person, but he also needed to not be worried about me and I needed to talk about how I was feeling…over and over and over again. I was lucky to have a midwife who patiently listened any time I called, but I also knew that she had other clients or might have been up all night at a birth. After our baby was born, I had a difficult time recuperating and suffered from a mild bout of postpartum depression. I kept thinking to myself … this is my fourth kid and I’m a doula, why can’t I get my act together?? 

While I hope none of you experience that, it was a stark reminder to me of why doula care is always valuable.

 

Why Do People Hire a Doula?

Birth Calendar

This was the last and final question for our Labor Day Giveaway! The answer options were:

Continuous physical and emotional support

Informational support

Partner support

Guess what? They’re all correct! And, there are many other reasons expectant families choose to hire doulas. The reasons are as unique and diverse as the families themselves. Reasons I’ve been hired include: being the “partner” when one wasn’t available, helping to redirect or refocus energy if things got difficult, a second opinion for whether it was time to go to the hospital, reminders of birth plan wishes, and finally, to assure the birth partner that the birth was proceeding normally.

Let’s take a closer look at those three options:

Continuous physical and emotional support: This is seen over and over again in articles about doulas. Continuous means that as your doula, I come when you ask me to (usually around the start of active labor) and stay until after your baby is born. For extremely long labors, sometimes a backup doula will come in for a bit so I can get some sleep and be fresh for you. No matter how long it takes, though, someone is there for you and your partner. There are no shift changes, no other clients, etc. My sole focus is on you and your birth. Because we’ve developed a relationship prior to the birth, and because I’m there the whole time, I don’t need to be filled in on what’s happening. Emotional support means that while I have developed a deep caring for you and your family, I am still removed enough to remain objective when things get intense. Physical support means that sometimes I spend hours rubbing your legs while partner rubs your back, or I rub your back while you lean into your partner. Once, physical support meant I held up a “base” of pillows for dad so he could hold onto mom without hurting his back.

Doula supporting partner

Informational Support:  Informational support means that you get to ask anything and everything when you have a doula! I will scour my resources, tap other birth professionals, and present you with all the research so you can get the information you need to make an informed decision. This information comes without bias or judgment. Sometimes this is as simple as answering where you can get a nursing bra locally, while other times it’s a more difficult topic like finding a care provider that’s right for your unique family (remember to hire your doula early for this).

Partner Support: This is one of my favorites! It is a misconception that doulas replace or push out the partner of the birthing person. Actually, one of the main goals I have as a doula is to fully support your partner in supporting YOU. In my experience, a partner who has the support of a doula is able to really, truly, be “in the moment” because the pressure of being “the coach” is off. Partner gets to do whatever comes naturally, while also being able to tap into the knowledge of birth I have. This works out amazingly well, because although I may know more about birth, your partner knows more about you. Together, we make a fabulous team!

 

If giving birth is on your to-do list, check out our services today! Whatever your reasons are for wanting support during pregnancy, labor, birth, or postpartum, Summer Birth Services is here to help.

When is the Best Time to Hire a Doula?

That was the question of the day for our Labor Day Giveaway. The options were:

A) first trimester

B) second trimester

C) third trimester

While the answer could be any time, because there is really no wrong time to hire a doula, the actual best time is in the first trimester. (The most common time people start looking for a doula is during the latter part of second trimester or early third trimester)

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Hiring a doula during your first trimester (weeks 1-12) gives you several advantages. Here are three of them:

1. You get access to a trusted professional for a longer period of time. From the moment you put down your deposit at Summer Birth Services, your doula is available to you. This means you can ask questions and get support long before labor begins! Not sure which hospital to give birth at or whether you want an epidural? Talk to your doula! Trying to decide on which prenatal tests you want or looking into a waterbirth? Email your doula! We are here to help you wade through the sea of pregnancy information, so that you can be fully informed and make the best decisions for your family…judgment free.

2. Secure your spot on the calendar. Because doulas provide continuous support to clients throughout active labor/birth (which can last many hours or even days), we can only take on a certain number of clients per month. Booking earlier rather than later means that your chosen doula likely still has openings.

3. Spread the cost over months instead of weeks. Doula services can be one of the bigger ticket items associated with having a baby. We accept payment plans and expect to have payment in full by 36 weeks. Seeking a doula in the first trimester gives you many months to spread out the cost.

Earlier may be better, but if you’re currently 39 1/2 weeks pregnant (or even in labor!) and have decided a doula is right for you, have no fear and call us anyway! It’s never too late to hire a doula!

Interview with Birthed In Joy

For this World Doula Week Blog Challenge topic, I am interviewing a fellow doula. I was lucky enough to meet Melinda recently at a training and felt an instant connection. Melinda expressed a deep devotion to and love of serving families, something which I definitely understand. It’s an honor to interview Melinda, The Marquette County Birth Doula.

Melinda

S: Melinda, thanks so much for agreeing to let me interview you! First, let’s start with where you serve families and what your business name is:

M: My name is Melinda Britton and I own Birthed in Joy, Doula Services LLC. The services currently offered are Certified Doula Services, Placenta Services, and Birth Consultations. I serve women and families in the Marquette area, located in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.

S: Since we can’t hear you speaking, I just want to mention how fun it was to listen to you speak. The difference in dialect wasn’t always obvious, but sometimes it snuck through and gave me pause. 😉 Moving on, my first question is what brought you into the doula world and how long ago was it?

M: I started my journey into becoming a doula over five years ago, after the birth of my daughter, Zemirah. The unwavering support of my husband, along with another woman during my birth left a deep and beautiful impact on me. As I reflected on my birth experience, and the words of encouragement spoken over me, I knew that I wanted to do that for birthing women. From there I found the role of a doula, and mentioned to my husband that maybe someday I’d love to be a doula. A few months later he surprised me with The Doula Book and The Birth Partner. Looking back, it was the best gift he’s ever given me (besides his contribution to our babies), and truly did awaken the dreams of my heart in this way!

S: How neat! Supportive partners really can make a huge difference, can’t they? My second question is most and least favorite parts abotu being a doula.

M: Favorite part of being a doula: the women (couples) and families I get to work with! I have met so many strong, and powerful women through my work as a doula. Five years in I’m still so humbled and honored by the fact that I’m literally invited into one of the most vulnerable and empowering experience a woman (couple) can possibly have. Also the fact that I get to be a part of welcoming babies earthside, it’s a wonder and a miracle every time.

Most Difficult Part: The on-call life, and also making sure I’m not an island. I think any doula you talk to will mention the on call life, especially if she has children of her own. I’m thankful though that I have wonderful childcare and I do have a doula back up doula partner which is very helpful. I am known to get a little bout of insomnia when I am on call, I think it’s just the excitement. Thank goodness I’ve got my oils (cedarwood and lavender) to help get some sleep! Doula work, while absolutely amazing, does bring many situations to work through on a personal level. Self care is a must.

S: Amen to that, sister. Self care is something that doesn’t seem to come easy to many of us, but we learn quickly that it’s a necessity. As for being invited into a family’s birthing journey, you’re spot on! I can’t imagine a better job! Next question, where do you see yourself/your doula biz in five years?

M: That is a very good question! I need to start by saying that my mindset as a doula, woman, and business owner has shifted a ton in the last few months after attending ProDoula’s Advanced Business Training. Also, from the training, I was able to connect with so many amazing doulas, you included! Through networking, sharing ideas, and having finally found my tribe of strong women/doulas that really pour into me, I’ve started making some really big changes. I’m doing a Mother’s Day Essay Contest, and Marquette’s very first Belly to Baby Expo is coming this Fall! I also just recently did my first ever booth at the Holistic Health Fair in Marquette, it was such an amazing time. I felt very embraced by our community as their local doula. I keep planning to work toward that in the next five years along with these others things: continuing to serve my clients with unwavering support, educating our community on what a doula is, providing events for local women/families to connect with their options, and honoring the role of a mother and shouting it from the rooftops (or Hogsback, our local mountain)! I’m hoping to eventually expand my business whether that’s in partnership or agency, and to get my Lactation Counselor Certfication along with my Postpartum Doula Certification. I’m very, very excited about the future!

S: Wow! Sounds like lots of good stuff happening now and planned for the future. I’m excited to see where you’ll go. My fourth question goes back in time, instead of forward. If you could talk to yourself five years ago, what would you say?

M: If I could tell myself something five years ago , it would be this: VALUE YOURSELF GIRL (financially and emotionally) and YOU ARE SMART! When I started off as a doula I charged $200. I was afraid to charge more. I felt like I had to prove myself to be worthy as a doula before I could charge more. I needed more experience, more knowledge, more affirmation from local birth workers, the more list went on and on. I think it’s such a lie and complete shame that doulas are made to feel like because it’s something they love how could they truly be payed well for it. I mean when was the last time you saw a thread of someone asking for a free mechanic or a free chiropractor? I’d be honestly afraid to go to them. My mindset really started to shift after I read a blog that talked about how brand new doulas offer their services for free, and how that ultimately they are valuing themselves less than a Mcdonald’s happy meal toy. Yikes!

Since I didn’t have a background in nursing when I started my doula work, I felt insecure about not knowing how to pronounce medical terms or the fact that I couldn’t spew off exact percentages at the drop of the hat. What I realized though is that we live in a society where people pride themselves on “knowing it all” but I’ve just decided to always stay a learner rather than worrying about having to know all the answers. Through certification, workshops, and relationships with other doulas, midwives, and doctors, I’ve gained a ton of knowledge and do feel more competent now then when I started but ultimately when I look back I’m thankful I had the grace to keep going when I felt so small. Seriously, I’m sure as others read this they can think of something they aren’t doing because they don’t feel they are smart enough, or enough period. I’ve got to tell you: it’s completely a lie. YOU ARE ENOUGH, go after your dreams!

S: Go past you! Finally, is there anything else you’d like to say?

M: Certification: Yes, yes, and yes. It’s like my friend Emily (Mama Bear Doula), says “If someone took drivers ed but didn’t take the test and pass would you want to let them drive you somewhere?” No, no, and no. Certification is not snobbery, it shows that someone has invested into being a doula. For me personally it was a financial investment (continues to be since I’m dual certifying), a time investment (countless late nights while nursing my babe, time away from my family), professional investment (you can be sure I’m not going to go outside the practice of a doula), the list goes on and on.

S: Thank you Melinda for letting me interview you. It’s been fun!

 

Melinda lives in Marquette, MI with her husband Phil. She has five children, three earthside. Along with being a certified doula, she is a stay at home mom, and a distributor of Young Living Oils. She is the Co-Founder of the U.P. Birth Circle. In her spare time she enjoys good food, good drinks, and good company. If you’d like to follow her on Facebook, Pinterest or Instagram, use the tag: /birthedinjoy

 

 

This WDW blog challenge is hosted by Not Just Nine Birth Services.

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Meet Summer, The Rolla Doula

Today’s World Doula Week post topic is “Tell us about yourself”. Eek!

Bonus Fun Fact: When I laugh, my face crinkles!
Bonus Fun Fact: When I laugh, my face crinkles!

I don’t like to talk about myself. This works out perfectly because when I’m working as your doula, it’s all about you, the client. However, I accepted the challenge and so here are some fun little (non-birthy) tidbits about me:

1. I hate wearing shoes. Like, seriously hate. If it were socially acceptable to be barefoot all the time, I’d be first in line to jump on that! I do like a good pair of birkenstocks, though, so during the summer I sport those as a second choice.

2. I rarely listen to music made after 1979. Peter, Paul and Mary are among my favorites, as are Fleetwood Mac. My Pandora stations are mostly folk music, though my kids have convinced me to put a few “hip” stations on there as well.

3. From the age of 5 to around 25, I took classical ballet lessons. If you drive by my house sometime, you might catch a glimpse of me pirouetting across the living room. Considering it’s been years since I danced regularly, it may not be pretty to watch, but I can still do it!

4. I have five tattoos. For now. I enjoy representing different periods of my life with ink and although I have yet to commit to a large piece, there are plans in the works for a full back piece and a twisty leg piece. Lucky for me, an amazing tattoo artist (and now my friend) has a shop close to home. I wonder if she’ll have any babies in the future….

5. I recently tried aerobics for the first time and I LOVE it! It is the perfect workout class for me, with high energy and dance-ish moves.

So there you have it, five fun facts about me that have absolutely nothing to do with birth or doula-ing!

 

 

This WDW blog challenge is hosted by Not Just Nine Birth Services.

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What’s A Doula?

In honor of World Doula Week (March 22-March 28), I’m blogging every day about different doula-y topics for Not Just Nine’s Blog Challenge.

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The first topic is: What is a doula?

I was thinking about this post earlier and wondering what to write. Sure, there’s the same line we see everywhere (including here!) about “a doula is a non-medical support person trained in birth”, blah, blah, blah. Really, though, that doesn’t even come close to describing the unique role that we doulas often play in a family’s journey to parenthood. I find that much like we can’t quite convey *just exactly* what birth is like to someone who hasn’t yet experienced it, so too we can’t quite convey *just exactly* what a doula is and does during birth…partially because it’s not the same for each client and partially because “we bring you water and stuff” sounds insignificant until you’re actually in labor and you think: if I don’t get that drink of water right now I’m going to die of thirst…oh, it magically appeared in front of me! 

So, instead of directly answering the question, I present to you the following for

What is a Doula?

A Doula…. answers your call at 3am, 3pm or any time in between (And do be sure to call instead of text for urgent matters. We doulas have trained ourselves to sleep through pretty much everything, except the loudest, most obnoxious ring tone we could find, which just so happens to be the same one we use for you, the client. No cute little baby giggles here, more like Slash’s guitar solo from Sweet Child O’ Mine!)

A Doula… happily receives your picture texts wondering if that really is your mucous plug. And reassures you that you’re not the only one who sends them.

A Doula… listens intently as you talk about your wildest dreams and biggest fears for your pregnancy, labor and the birth of your baby. Nothing is too small or too much to hear.

A Doula… looks you directly in the eyes when you say, “I can’t go on anymore” (or some version of this) and says, “Yes, you can. You ARE doing it.” And should you find yourself having a birth differently than you hoped and planned for, your doula looks you in the eye and says, “You ARE doing it. It is okay to be upset and relieved and scared and happy all at the same time. There is no failure in birth.”

A Doula…  serves clients having planned cesareans, VBACs, water births, home births, hospital births…you name it, we serve it. Without judgment. Without pushing our own agenda. It is YOUR birth, YOUR body, YOUR baby, and we serve YOU.

What did having a doula mean to you? How would you describe a doula?

KK

In my years of being a doula in the Rolla area, I have yet to get feedback from a client who felt the investment of hiring a doula was anything other than totally worth it. To find out more about doula services from Summer Birth Services, or one of the many other offerings available, simply fill out the contact form below, call 573-202-5386 or email summer@summerbirthservices.com