Insurance reimbursements 2018

In 2018 some insurance companies started not only recognising Doulas as a profession, but they made arrangements to reimburse clients. The amount depends on your insurer and your pregnancy package.

Birth Preparation Sessions

Bookings from May 2018 onwards. You choose the day in the week that is convenient for me to come to you and i will bring all my kit with me. To find out more and for bookings, please email me directly: Upendodoula@gmail.com

What 'continous support' means for me personally

As a doula, 'continous support' is vital when i support clients. When my previous clients say ' I learnt so much from her...still do.🤗' Is because my support to my clients and their families does not end after the baby is born. As a mother most times i share my own experiences other than what i was trained or taught. What life as a mother has taught me and what i adjusted to get what result. Of course every situation is different but most times.. raising babies and growing families is almost similar overboard. Thank you for your review Wendy!

When i meet couples who enquire about Doula support, i attend without expectations because at the end of the day, they need to decide on why a doula is needed in their circle of support. 

BABY BLUES

Would you recognise it if/when you visit a friend in their postpartum period? Would you know what to say or do to help them?

Part of the reason i stay in contact with my clients even past the baby's birth is to provide support when they need it. My support and overal contact doesn't end when baby is born and most of my clients will vouch for how handy my availability has been post birth. To provide that listening ear when they need someone to talk to. 

From many of the women i have supported, the same words are repeated time and time again. 'He doesn't know what to say', 'he doesn't recognise it', 'he doesn't understand it' NOBODY IS BELIEVING ME. If there is a time in the new phase that women need to feel 'heard' is during the sacred period of their postpartum. The moment when hormones are all over the place, everything is new even for second or third time mums, every pregnancy, birth, child AND experience will be different. Why then is the postpartum period so undermined?

The new transition to motherhood can be a stressful one, with hormone changes, lifestyle changes, extreme sleep deprivation and around the clock needs of the new baby. Spells of sadness or moodiness are common for new mothers. Postpartum Blues may begin anywhere in the first two months, but should fade by one to weeks later. Not all mothers will experience these moment of helplessness, overwhelming and tears. It is important to realize that parents of newborns endure stresses that should not be dismissed. Postpartum Emotional Health is important for not only the mother, but the baby and family at large. The mother sets the pace and mood in the home, and if she is affected naturally everyone else will suffer. Recognising the signs earlier could help a great deal. And sometimes even a listening ear can be more than helpful. To be allowed to vent, to moan, to complain, TO BE HEARD 

Blues – the new transition to motherhood is a stressful one, with hormone changes, lifestyle changes, extreme sleep deprivation and around the clock needs of the new baby. Spells of sadness or moodiness are common for new mothers. Postpartum Blues may begin anywhere in the first two months, but should fade by one to weeks later.
 
Depression – Postpartum Depression affects roughly 20% of new mothers, and can present itself at any time within the first year postpartum. PPD is characterized by an extended duration of unusual crying, appetite changes, and thoughts of harming herself or her baby, although not every mother with PPD experiences every symptom.
 
Psychosis – Postpartum Psychosis affects approximately .1% of new mothers. Onset is sudden, usually within the first 4 weeks postpartum. Symptoms include hallucinations, delusions and rapid mood swings.
 
PTSD – Post Traumatic Stress Disorder can impact mothers of live babies as well as mothers of babies who have died. If the pregnancy was traumatic, if the birth experience was horrendous for the mother, she may suffer PTSD. Unresolved issues can compound the pregnancy, birth and early motherhood experiences, such as unresolved childhood sexual abuse or unaddressed grief from a previous pregnancy loss or elective abortion.

Recognising what could be baby blues and earlier in time could really make a difference. If you are a friend, it may be helpful to mention to the partner your observation or speak to someone that the friend will listen to, so that she can be available for the new mother to help her go through the moments of overhwelmingness and bring in calm. You could offer to help with tasks that another person can do, like bulk cooking, grocery shopping, cleaning the house because things can get on top of each other quite quickly in this phase and it can cause loads of anxiety, isolation and sadness to a moment that should be otherwise joyous. 

And sometimes all she needs is someone to be available to say 'it is ok to feel what she is feeling, it is ok to be exhausted in the moment, it is ok to let baby cry for a bit because sometimes no amount of cuddling, soothing, shooshing works. Sometimes babies just need to cry and we need to learn to let them do, that as long as they are safe. To allow the friend understand that it is ok to talk about the hardships and frustrations as she transitions, so that she knows she is being listened to, she will be heard

Photocredit: cureserveredepression.com

Have you heard of a Menopause Party before?


Many women i mentioned to about Menaupose party were stunned. One asked me.. '  a what? Is that even a thing? YES! its a thing! 

Have you heard of a Menopause celebration before? One lady asked me if it was 'a thing' even. YES! It's a phase in life that is not recognised, ackowledged nor celebrated. It is a phase to be celebrated, and last week i was invited to a women gathering in Leiden to celebrate this phase with a dear colleague of mine. It was such an honor

I mentioned this last week and many 'women' were surprised to hear it existed! Those from Mombasa understand WHY we hold Kitchen parties and their importance. Why we are assigned a 'kungwi' before send offs and marriage. Why we keep 'women stuff' amongst us. The young and the old coming together, to teach and learn the wisdom

I attended a beautiful Menopause celebration last week Sunday. I was honoured to have been invited and welcomed to be part of such a meaningful celebration!

I am going to blog about what it is, why its done, its impact and importance soon! Watch out for the publication!

Women gatherings have been going for ages since I can remember. Even now my mum is very much involved in the community around her, be it a kitchen party, a 'chama' etc

THE ROLE OF THE BIRTH PARTNER

What does it mean? As a partner do you know what your position is and what is expected of you?

Men! Be informed that your presence in the birthing room is so vital! I always say to my couples how important it is that they work together, and how important particularly that they sync. I show them how to do a penguin wobble together, and speak about the importance of touch, cuddle, eye contact and closeness and how they support the oxytocin flow which is very important! 

So, to then stumble upon an article from a neurological point of view that confirms this is so reassuring! 

The studies found that interpersonal synchronization could help to decrease pain. 

''Fathers-to-be, take note: You may be more useful in the labor and delivery room than you realize. That’s one takeaway from a study released last week found that when an empathetic partner holds the hand of a woman in pain, their heart and respiratory rates sync and her pain dissipates''. In the study they also found that; when couples synced physiologically to some degree just sitting together. But when she was subjected to pain and he couldn’t touch her, that synchronization was severed. When he was allowed to hold her hand, their rates fell into sync again and her pain decreased. Further reading on the study can be found here: http://neurosciencenews.com/empathy-neurobiology-lovers-6951/?platform=hootsuite

During a birth preparation session with this loved up couple; Kenyan Singer Wendy Kimani and her husband; Marvin, we tried a few hand grabs, and true to the study, every grip had a different feel for her and him as well, and then there was one that really assured her that he was present, it was solid, strong and assuring. This couple was very attached through the pregnancy, birth and life after. When you read their birth story and see the pictures, they speak volumes, they tell what transpired and then you see the perfect example of a birth partner. When Marvin stayed calm, Wendy was calmer. The energies connect and feed from each other.


In the hospital two weeks ago, I attended a birth in Bronovo - my backup Doula Nancy Hart managed to capture the couple in the same moment and then you see how the picture reflects its importance, through the picture you see, you could hear a pin drop! She (Hanna) said she absolutely couldn't have gone through the whole process without him present. She knew that with him around she could concur anything through the process. And in return her husband Jack said ' I wouldn't have missed this for nothing in this world! I felt engaged and more involved, now I can look my son and really feel I was a part of his birth. Nothing beats that feeling when your breathing together, when I stop her in her panics and bring her back on the path of trust and confidence and when we exclaim together when he emerged! 

The back of my neck went cold when he explained to me what meeting before and preparing and then to put to practice the exercises and touch made him feel. He felt in the know. He knew confidently what he was doing. He knew how much pressure to put on when he was massaging her, he knew when she wanted him in her face and when to be gone too haha. Couples working in sync with each other, sometimes in words and other times just gestures.. MAJIC!


Inductions don't have to be dreary

Be mindful of the energy you welcome when you are nearing labor. Horror stories are the last thing you should be lumbered with at that time

This here is a lovely example of how my recent client Hanna prepared for her induction and sailed through her labor and birth!

Last week when my client Hanna was admitted for reduced baby movements, I popped by at the hospital to keep her company, cheer her up and keep her positive. She sent her husband home to keep himself occupied and busy, as there was really not much for him to do, and also she needed to focus on re-energising her spirits the best way she knew how to. She had been in the hospital for 2 days till a decision was made to induce as the team looking after her were not sure and all uncertainties during pregnancy can be worrying and overwhelming. On day 2 of full hospital room occupancy, a friend ( crazy friend as she introduced herself to me haha) turned up a few hours before me dressed in a panda suit tagging with a facepaint box to do the honors. When i arrived she was almost finishing her art work and Hanna seemed more relaxed, more high in spirit and really excited about meeting her baby

We had a picnic from the little space she had as she shared the space with possibly another expectant mother.. and we had a feast with loads of laughter, loads of 'real talk' and positive stories about life with babies and as parents haha. I LOVED the painting of little 'Limpet's' (that was the nickname the parents gave him) first Halloween in utero! :-)


2 days later, she held her bundle of joy in her arms

Keep positive even when events dare to take a different turn. Be observant of the activities through the day and air your concerns in an amicably nice way. The medical team should be your friends when you enter the hospital. Dont enter the space and turn it hostile, it may backfire on you. Be calm, be friendly, be respectful BUT assertive. Feel that your voice is heard when you ask whatever you ask 

Mother-to-Mother Doula Support Initiative

I call it my Doula Extra package. It is customized and discussed in detail. I only have two requests with this package that i will speak about in detail when i meet you

This support system is aimed at pregnant mothers and mothers of all children alike. Sometimes you just want to meet up with mothers and chat about everything motherhood. Its nice to talk about the struggles, the joys, the everyday life as a mother, wife and ourselves. It would be lovely to have a circle of women meeting together and chatting in a collective way about woman and motherhood issues. To learn, to encourage and share with each other how we see ourselves in the role

Last year i supported a refugee single lady and it triggered my being, I was challenged as a person, as a woman. Together with Nancy we supported a second Eritrean couple in Uterecht and even though they did not pay a cheque, their words afterwards will stay with me for the rest of my life. Their gratitude was huge, it was genuine and for me, it was enough. Seeing how they coped and how calm they both were in the presence of a face familiar to them was humbling. It became a reality for me, how much the simple things that we take for granted could have profound meaning to others.

And with that..my initiative was born. I decided with every paying client, i will take another who needs the support but cannot fund it. I decided to divide the initiative in categories. If you can afford just a little bit, If you would rather a student support you due to funds, if you cannot afford the support at all

Today; I am euphoric after a powerful birth yesterday evening (the second one in 4 days for me) that was handled very well by my back up doula, Nancy Hart from Mijn Doula Hart when i couldn't reach the couple the early hours of the morning even if i tried. Nancy was present for this couple throughout till i arrived at the hospital. Her presence was calm and very reassuring as the clients said, and i repeat again, it is one of the reasons i know i can have her in my team!

Back on the initiative, the last 4 days have been great, awesome, stressful, rewarding you name it. I took on a couple in the Hague who were due to have their bundle of joy in November. Baby decided otherwise though as he emerged in the world yesterday evening., 3 weeks early. Here is the twist though. The clients in the Hague (Client A) were a paying couple. After they booked me and we started meeting for Birth preparation Sessions, i decided to prepare to take another couple who needed the support just the same but were unable to fund it. I met a Syrian couple two streets away from me who fit the requirement! She had only just arrived in the Netherlands and could do with support during labor and birth. I took them on! Last week on Thursday 26th October at 5:08pm, clients (B) gave birth to a beautiful baby girl, they named her Nancy, born at 40+4 days. Yesterday on Sunday 29th October at 5:12pm couple (A) had a little boy they named him Joseph.

FOUR days after baby Nancy and FOUR minutes between them!. How special is that? And what are the chances in real life actually? These two babies and their families welcomed me with open arms, I became part of their routine through the pregnancy and at birth, and even now in their postpartum period. Both births very different, both so empowering, so encouraging, so special. The first words clients B said when their baby emerged was thank Hanna for making this moment memorable! She was in her moment, but her first words were full of gratitude. Both partners so strong next to their wives. The beauty of it all? I will get to see them both grow! :-). Both babies adorable, both parents transitioning calmly, and both enjoying their postpartum period.

Here is a picture of both babies! 


Nancy born Thursday 26th October at 5:08


Joseph born Sunday 29th October at 5:12

Now.. I have taken another paying client in December, so if you know anyone looking for Doula support on a low scale, do pass on my details please, and lets see where we can support, because i strongly believe in women supoorting women and the difference i see that support brings new mothers is the reason i started this initiative

Thank you! xNaomie

CONTINOUS SUPPORT

CONTINOUS SUPPORT: Is not continuous when life happens and you are not supported when you need to be. Because I take pride in my work as your Doula, I thrive to make sure that when life happens on my side, the support doesn't end when life has to happen on yours

We have you covered! Meet my colleague and regular backup Doula Nancy Hart from Mijn Doula Hart in Amsterdam

Nancy is a Doula based in Amsterdam. We worked together last year to support an Eritrean couple in AZC Utrecht and we have been in constant contact ever since. We are working with three couples currently and reflect on our work together as a team, which is great because sometimes we need a reflection of our work so we can improve in it. When you book me, there is an appointment where you will meet Nancy so that she can also understand your needs in good time, get to know you also 'in case' she is the one who attends your birth!

As a colleague, I am super excited to her onboard! She is a calm, observant and knowledgeable lady, whose focus in also in making sure that you are supported for your ideal birth. She is the extra Zen in Upendo Doula and we make a great team! :-)

PRIVATE Birth Preparation Sessions

Because i believe in 'comfort' I prefer private in-home sessions for the ease of planning, relaxation effect, and intimacy. Private sessions are not only fun, they are private, intimate, both mums and dads are relaxed and comfortable, they have the opportunity to ask personal questions in a familiar space and they can move around however much!

The things you should know as a husband/partner/boyfriend before baby comes home & life after

I remember as a couple ourselves going through the baby-honey-moon period. When everyone else went about their business and reality checked in, it was us against the world! A few chats every now and then made it easier to see and recognise the other parent's needs also. It can be isolating.. but if we know how to go about it.. it makes it all worthwhile :-)

I attended the meeting but after I left her... I was very scared

When I started my training as a Doula, I guess I didn't picture myself to being invited to only happy birth stories. I knew sometime I would be challenged and find myself in confronting situations but I didn't prepare for this particular one. A story of Hope, Gratitude, Courage, Perseverance and most of all LOVE. This particular birth taught me so much about myself too, it became real for me that training as a Bereavement Doula was inevitable

Choosing a Doula

For some couples, achieving a pregnancy could be easy and for others a lot of interventions are involved before they can achieve a pregnancy. For everyone though we have no indication of how many times we would conceive in our lifetime, and so the moment we find out we are expecting, we want to think about all the arranagements we have to make, to make the experience one that is unforgettable. Therefore choosing your birth support is so vital

What is a Birth Plan?

Very much like planning your dream home or wedding, for sure you will clearly articulate and determine your request, vision and preferences. Keeping this in mind, what is the difference when it comes to your precious childbirth?

Dear NICU Mama and Papa... I feel with you. I hear you!

When you are expecting your bundle of love, you never imagine a different eventuality at the end of that journey. A journey that is focussed on the bump, the nurseries, the cute little outfits, the thought of meeting your little wonder so perfectly formed and imaginations of him already graduating in Havard. The trip to NICU ( Neonatal Intensive Care Unit) is not one you can prepare yourself for. I know, because i have taken that trip myself. These pictures attached here are of my beautiful daughter - Lucia.

PS: My experience is my own, and yours might be different to mine. This is what i know as a NICU mama, i hope it encourages another mama/family

Grieving the loss of the 'Perfect Child'. When a child is born with an impairment or long-term illness

So many of us and almost all parents-to-be dream of a healthy pregnancy and healthy child. Birth as we all know is an event, and sometimes things can either by accident, unknown or known to us go the other way. How do we recover or live with it? How do we proceed from the grief of bringing an impaired child home or not bringing a baby home at all?

Mothers deserve to be nurtured, cared for and listened to, whether they're birthing a full-term, healthy baby , Sick/Impaired baby or a baby who isn't going to live.  It is hard to be a parent and not be able to fix a problem with or for your child. It is hard to feel helpless in situations that are not in our control as much as we understand they are not

Why a Postpartum Doula

I love coaching and supporting couples through the pregnancy and birth. As a Birth Doula i sometimes meet with couples from 18 weeks and i had one book me at 12 weeks gestation before. The moment you touch on the Postpartum period and are met with surprised faces, you realise how much this trimester is under-rated. 

Pregnancy Trimesters

For me personally, The FIRST was worst, the SECOND was my best and the THIRD?

The FORTH Trimester

Because babies dont come with a user manual, many families need extra help to help them transition and thrive in their new or 'modified' roles. That is the support i offer parents in the first few weeks to 40 days postpartum as a Postpartum Doula. 

So what is a Postpartum Doula exactly, you ask. 

A postpartum doula’s role is to come into the home to help the new family.

Postpartum Doulas offer education, quiet non-judgmental support, and companionship during the postpartum period. She

  • Helps mothers gain confidence and increases self-esteem and empowers mothers.
  • Helps the mother achieve her parenting goals.
  • Helps mother to rest knowing baby will be looked after while she recharges
 and the list goes on

What is your role?

Its a question i get asked quite often when i introduce myself to potential clients.  You as clients define my role. My role isnshort is defined by the kind of support you need from me. When i meet you the first time, i have no idea what to expect, where you are at, whare you started your journey, i meet you at your most busiest, sometimes restless with all the planning that has to hapen, most worrying with anticipation sometimes at what is to come etc. So  I come with an open mind and  leave you sometimes with a few answers. And because you cannot build a relationship overnight,  i get to know you over a couple of appointments  

New bookings and availability

Doula support throughout pregnancy, birth and after can be a game changer in a society where negative birth stories and fear of birth is becoming the norm. Find support from someone who will walk with you through the journey, someone who is not emotionally connected with you, someone you feel a connection of understanding with and someone you know you will benefit from. There are many Doulas available now in the Netherlands, shop around, interview them and pick your match

Evidence Birth Research on Due Dates


The traditional way of calculating the estimated due date (40 weeks after the last menstrual period) is not evidence-based. Instead, it is more accurate to give women a range of time that they will probably give birth:

* About half of first-time moms will give birth by 40 weeks and 5 days after the LMP, with the other half giving birth after that time poin

*About half of moms who have given birth before will give birth by 40 weeks and 3 days after the LMP, with the other hal...f giving birth after that

*An ultrasound before 20 weeks is usually more accurate than using the last menstrual period, and the accuracy of an ultrasound is highest if it is done between 11 and 14 weeks

More information on the Evidence Birth page itself: Click: Evidencebirth.com

Hypnobirthing Couple Session - One afternoon

From September 2017, I am starting group sessions in Childbirth Preparation and Hypnobirthing within Leiden, Den Haag and surroundings. If you need a native English Speaking Hypnobirthing session, Please make contact, I will be more than happy to host these! In the meantime, the first session is set for Saturday 2nd September.

You can make contact beforehand if you have any questions. I will more than happy to assist and answer you! 

My recent couple said  ''We had a hypnobirthing / birth preparation course of three evenings. It was what we were looking for. I knew already about medical aspects of giving birth but missed information about the psychological aspects and interaction with the partner. Naomi gave me good tips and mp3s that helped to relaxe and had a lot of attention for the way my partner could help with this. Including massage techniques. She also payed attention to the position of the first child in the family. She is a lovely lady. Very friendly and a good listener and observer''

See you then? Please share also with your contacts who would benefit from a session 

PRIVATE SESSIONS - POSSIBLE

PAYMENT PLAN - POSSIBLE

My Support is for everyone

The worries for any expectant mother even in a family unit can be bearing in a society where you are bombarded with everything negative about birth and all the horror stories that come with the sight of your bump. Going through the same journey alone must be overwhelming with so much information on Google, its enough to drive you up the wall. There are so many 'choices' and suggestions out there it can be hard to follow one route. Maybe a coach would be helpful in this moment? Please read on..

Understanding the importance of Melatonin - My almost six year old daughter gets it

Artwork by my 6 year old. I asked her why the color around baby is black she responded "because in the stomach it's nice and dark mama.. no? 😃 i replied yes but what does that tell you then? She responded Nice & Calm means calm.. uitrusten 😃. My little Doula in the making. She is so fascinated by birth and the process around it. Adores babies absolutely

#upendodoula# #doulainleiden# #leidenexpats# #doulainthemaking#

The importance of finding your Optimal position for childbirth

Finding your optimal position is vital. "I want to try a few positions together so that he can get a feel of them too especially when he is supporting me". Mama is determined to keep upright for as much as she can manage and it was lovely to see her partner join in 😃

And so with my last childbirth preparation session @ upendo we wish you all a happy, relaxing and re-energizing summer break.

Bookings for further childbirth preparation sessions will be from 17th August onwards

#upendodoula# #doulainleiden# #leidenexpats# #childbirtheducation#

Partner Engagement

'I am so glad we did the sessions together, I feel more connected and in tune with not only each other but also I know my position  better and what to do', say most of my partner-clients. At the moment, most of my sessions are private, 1-1. I have had requests to host groups but haven't gotten to it,  planning to start this September . When partner/husband/boyfriend is involved in my sessions, they  come back more eager and enthusiastic than the first time i met them. It is normal to feel a bit apprehensive about what the sessions entail, but i encourage my couples to come with open minds. I find personally that when i come to meet them with an open mind, i more less set the pace. Isn't it amazing how contagious happiness, tranquil and flow of energy is?  

My sessions are inviting, fun, engaging and educative.  Would you like to get your partner/husband/boyfriend engaged in his role as your birth partner? My next sessions begin the middle of August. I am starting group Hypnobirthing sessions in Leiden, Den Haag and surroundings from September . Look out for the class announcements on my facebook and Instagram pages 

No session is the same from the other. I have met couples who are so in the know, who have prepared somewhat already and others who are taking it easy waiting for the right moment to ask for extra support. 


Kraambezoek

POSTPARTUM VISIT: The smell of newborns, the little feet, baby cuddles, the cooing and everything baby - pace is so heartwarming. This afternoon I was on a Kraambezoek in Rotterdam 😃.. lovely to see how families cope after the birth of a new baby and the restructuring that comes with this new phase 😘

Its heartwarming having a one to one with a new mother when she feels like talking about her emotions at this time, particularly when there is another child already, and the fears, the guilt of having to share themselves sets in. This is the moment mothers shouldn't be alone. This is a moment many mothers need tonnes of assurance that it is indeed normal to feel this way at this time, at the beginning of the new phase. Before baby many women under estimate the impact a new baby brings. Even with one baby, your life as a woman changes significantly, it can be overwhelming. Please find someone to chat with, find a group of mamas around you to share these moments with, and if you have nobody, I am here. Shoot me an email on upendodoula@gmail.com. You don't have to be my Doula client, I am here to listen, because i have walked this very same path twice. I know the crunch! Alternatively, WhatsApp 0651329889. Sharing is caring. There is so much comfort in sharing and talking with others
#upendodoula # #doulainleiden#

The importance of finding your tribe, the village

Pregnancy and motherhood can be isolating. Without a support network the times before and after birth can be overwhelming. It is good to reach out to others walking the same path as yourself, others who understand the journey so that you can offload and lean on each other too in times when it becomes too much.

Postpartum Support and its impact

Protecting a birthing mother's space is a task for all of us. Friday till Saturday 23-24th June i attended a symposium with Dr Michel Odent amongst other guests including Debora Pascalli-Bonero from Orgasmic birth. Quite an interesting gathering, a collection of all disciplinaries, including Physiotherapists, breastfeeding consultants, Doulas, Gynaecologists, Obstetric and Embryologist.

Dr Michel Odent is a known Gynaecologist who is pro-birth. I love his lectures, and always make a point to attend. He is a French man, and his humour is something else. His talks are very encouraging, make sense,  leaving you feeling like we are definitely on our way to a new birth paradigm. It is our duty all of us to go back to Physiology and understand best the basic needs of a laboring woman, as according to him and his renown Doula Liliana, less is more. I was privilledged enough to attend a masterclass with him for a whole day on Saturday 24th June 2017. He left me with excitement and joy that his words echoed through a lot of us, opened our eyes, opened our comprehension and understanding of why change is inevitable.

He touched on his book about the homosapiens and the difference in why the placenta and the brain are the two special organs in the birthing process within humans He compaired the birthing process of other mamals to humans, it made sense in a lot of ways. If i was to put up the whole discussion, it will be a long blog. I am still trying with blogging so i want to make sure i don't over do the articles

The main subject he touched on which was a reality was that 'approaches surrounding birth are very diverse! There is no one good advice. He spoke on the differences in babies born pre-labor by C Section and those born after initiation of labor. Labor he said plays an important role in how we develop as individuals too. He spoke about the importance of avoiding stress during pregnancy for the wellbeing of both mother and child. One topic he touched on was about the senses in babies. Labor is a VITAL occurence for birth and therefore essential. I will encourage the mamas i support on its importance and whatever else i learned through the symposium as it all resonated very well with my own questions and those of the ones i have supported before.

Evidence based information on Consumption of Dates during the last 4 weeks

Straight from my email. New Evidence on the benefits of eating dates. Always encouraged the mamas i supported to eat at least 6 dates a day from week 36.. there's new evidence though that is extra to know!

"The researchers found that the women who were randomly assigned to eat dates had a more ripe cervix at admission. Their Bishop score, which measures cervical ripeness, was higher when they were eventually admitted to the hospital, and they were more likely to be more dilat...ed when they were admitted to the hospital, 4 centimeters versus 3 centimeters. They also had a higher rate of vaginal birth after a labor induction. If they needed to be medically induced, they were more likely to have a vaginal birth than the group that did not eat dates, and that was 47% had a vaginal birth after labor induction versus 28% in the control group. Also, fewer women in the date fruit group needed pitocin for labor induction. Only 20% of them needed pitocin for a labor induction versus 45% in the other group. The researchers concluded that they felt that the date consumption in late pregnancy was helpful for cervical ripening"

"The third randomized control trial compared the effects of date fruit and pitocin in the prevention of postpartum hemorrhage. This was a really interesting study that took place at two hospitals in Iran and included 62 women who had just given birth. It was a small study, but it was really interesting and probably could be used as pilot data for a larger study. After the birth of the placenta, 31 women were randomly assigned to receive dates. They had to eat 50 grams of dates orally after the placenta was born. The other group was randomly assigned to receive oxytocin or pitocin, and they were given 10 units intermuscularly in a shot of oxytocin"

More information on:  https://evidencebasedbirth.com/evidence-eating-dates-to-start-labor/

Birth & Postpartum Donations

Last year 2016, I was priviledged to support TWO ladies  from the AZCs (Assylum Seekers Camps) during their pregnancy and postpartum.  Here is a postpartum visit picture with my lovely colleague Doula Nancy Hart, both of us smitten by the beautiful baby Arsiema

POSTPARTUM TREATMENTS


POSTPARTUM TREATMENTS: In June,  I attended a workshop in Amsterdam on Moxa therapy for birth professionals with Corinne Laan.
Very special. Receiving the treatment on each other as we practiced was lovely to get hands on experience. Now i offer Moxa Combustion treatments too. If you would like to know how Moxa can help you in different aspects of your pregnancy AND the Postpartum, please get in touch!
My new postpartum mums, it's a treat you will love too!

#postpartumrecovery# #moxatherapy# #moxawarming# #upendodoula# #doulainleiden#

ENGAGING

In May i attended an event in a school nearby me to showcase my work as a Doula to the community. It was very encouraging how much my teaching files caused interest! Lovely when someone stops by and "checks" your stuff out with interest, it's educative, visual and fun at the same time.

#childbirtheducation# #upendodoula# #lovewhatidoula#


With lovely Collegues; Assia Kraan from Mamadans and KraamDoula Jana 

Supporting and Doula-ing Wendy Kimani. A Home Water-Birth Story

Very rarely do births rely on luck. This here is a story of one birth i coached and supported from a distance that still leaves me in awe when i go back and read it. Of course every birth is different, and a baby born 'safe' and mother is safe is important. Wendy's story is purely to share her joy without the implication that different birth choices or not are not to be celebrated too. Their story is their own. This is Wendy & Marvin Onderwater's birth story

I end the year with...

In the midst of the unknown

The story about a young assylum couple in Uterecht assylum seekers camp AZC. Their determination as they walk into parenthood in a new country, a culture so new and in difficult living situation but the man is focussed and that brings hope for the family to perservere

The need for women to connect

The need for women-chatter in society is crucial. There are those that function ok alone, and others need others for moral support. It is a shame that this culture is dwindling and that is part of the reason why i am bringing it back to Roomburg! I have a group of women who want to come together and share the space with others, and i am humbled to be able to start this

Can eating Dates lead to a shorter labor?

Researchers have found that Date fruit has an oxytocin-like effect on the body, leading to increased sensitivity of the uterus. It also helps stimulate uterine contractions, and reduces postpartum hemorrhage the way oxytocin does.

They also found that it contains many nutritional benefits for pregnant mamas.

Featured in the local newsletter

http://upendo-doula.nl/blog-and-news


Be grateful but also Say it!


I know we have all be guilty of being louwsy ungrateful bastards one time in our lives., right?. Well.. today i want to boast about my parents in law. So this is the thing; as we all know mostly they can make our lives difficult for us as new comers in the families. You read about it in groups at how heavy it is with some in-laws and how relationships are almost done because of tensions with inlaws etc. And I am not saying i have not had my share in the 'odd' discussions but nevertheless, i am very grateful they are in mine and my children's lives. My children are growing up knowing them, connected with their roots, they are taught some stuff too along the way based on their parenting back in the days. They normally would do this 'parenting' bit in their own house for conflict of interest. You see? In my house i am afterall the boss. Once they take my children to their own house, let them correct them according to their 'laws' as long as they bring them back in 1 piece! 

So what did they actually do to deserve such a shout out? Well! What didn't they do? hahaha. Let me start with here. So i married my king last month July, had a full house (African style) but then everyone had to go back and life had to go back to normal in our own house! So the husband planned a few getaways as my brother was visiting from Kenya! We took him to a few places here but planned some more in Germany. Sauerland! We fell in love with this part of Germany from the very first time we went. Last time we went to Kuntergrun. We stayed in my mentor's house up in the hills in Thuringen; Villa Kuntergrun..that place IS heaven. So we planned a return this year too!

Packed up, loaded the car and off we drove..all more than 5 hours of driving. Lovely time we had and then we came back! Sorry i am rushing it a bit, as i have just fed my son and he is ready for another nappy change as i type this paragraph. Ha! The joys of motherhood.. right?

Anyway..we came back fine, and then unfortunately it was time for my brother to go back to Kenya too. So he had a good flight and then we went on our second trip away.. MUNICH. It was lovely with my family, to reconnect with the man, To catch up and play with the kids, to be silly together, to laugh together and just BE a family. Whilst in Munich though, my parents in law moved in to ours for a while. The hinges needed more oil according to my father in law who never sits down with his notepad and pencil always jotting measurements down; bless him. My own daughter will tell you ' Opa does all the tidying up so WELL! And I kid you not, You literally have to bribe him with a cup of coffee and tartje to have him seated, if he makes it to sit down whilst that coffee is still hot that is, and even then he sits like he's wasting time. The curtains, shelves and surfaces were dusty according to my mother in law. She is QUEEN of CLEAN & TIDY! Though she will tell you how you should do it, and afterwards you will spend the afternoon looking for where stuff has been moved to haha.. she does help me clean my house when she comes. More than some get i know.. so i love her still for it and i know how very lucky i am. So all that cleaning frenzy went on in our absence.. the main door even had a coat of pain too! The plants both front and back prunned, trimmed and tidied up, the cupboards re-arranged, the out of date stuff put aside to be gone through on our return and dust was taken off everywhere. My shade all re-arranged.. 'something we are incapable of doing' according to my husband hahaha.

We literally came back to a NEW house. Spankling clean, polished kitchen cupboards (wait another week you will see a map leading to where the candies live) and the sun shone so bright through the clean windows too. I am impressed at how much they did. I am ging to try and maintain it now. I am also going to reduce on the lame 'bulk buying' as the box that greeted me with the out-of-date stuff was a box FULL! I am not guaranteeing it will stay spankling as their ways are not mine and we have small children who do best at messing up. My priority is happy babies and a contented husband. But i promise to TRY!

So this here publicly is a THANK YOU to my Mother and Father -in Love.. YOU are appreciated!

My friend Elorine said to me the following day after i told her what my house looked like 'Do they fancy coming down to mine too for a weekend? Better still if there's a house next to you, I am moving down so they can pop in mine after yours on their way home!  hahaha

The 10 things no one tells you to pack in your Labor and Hospital Bag


We read about it every day, I read about it through both my pregnancies, and thought i was ready. I had packed my bags way in advance so i wouldn't forget anything, went through a list i had found online even, and still i left stuff i wish i had known to make sure were in my bags! Apart from the normal list of camera, batteries, phones, chargers, hair clips and bands, lip gloss, extra knickers, tooth paste/ brush.. there's still more that is so likely to be forgotten

So here goes...

EPSOM SALT

Importance of self care

Photocredit: Aromaticsaltcompany

Treat yourself with every moment!

There's been quite a lot of informatioin about the benefits of Epsom Salt. I have read a few pages on it, and tried it myself too in a soak, and It lives to its name. Many benefits have come ashore about its use and benefit too particularly its use during pregnancy