BIRTH DOULA

Being invited into the birth space of a family is a tremendous honor and a gift that I treasure dearly – it is my desire to provide you and your partner with the support necessary to make your pregnancy and birth a positive and joyous experience. During our journey I can assist you in discovering what kind of birth you want and doing everything we can to make it a reality. My mission is to lead you to trust and tune in to your body’s God-given abilities. I am committed to serving you with compassion, love and gentleness in hopes that my work would be of eternal significance.

Informational Support:
My first role as your Doula is to support you in the birth process – to help you find your voice and advocate for the birth that you want by encouraging open communication between you and your team of medical care providers. We do this through pre-natal education, creating a birth plan, and giving unbiased, evidence-based information throughout the birth process and working harmoniously with you and your team of medical care providers to help reach your birth goals.

Physical Support:
Being your Doula is more than just advocating for your wishes – my second role is to get you through labor as comfortably as we can. My goal is to minimize your discomforts, making the birth a joyful more positive experience. I accomplish this by offering labor massage throughout the birth. Massage helps the body to relax, but most importantly, it facilitates circulation, which allows for proper hormone distribution, including endorphins (nature’s painkillers) and oxytocin. Having a licensed, confident, experienced practitioner by your side can also ease your partner’s fears, which will allow a more active, comfortable and supportive role. Between soothing massage techniques, tranquil music, aromatherapy and a relaxed body, mind and spirit, the labor process will be over before you know it.

Emotional Support:
My third role is to support you emotionally – as a mother myself, I empathize and sympathize with the full gamut of emotions, the roller-coaster highs and lows of the entire process, up to and including immediate post-partum. I know exactly what it’s like, what feels good, what works and what doesn’t. Birth is an emotionally charged experience for you, your partner and your baby – I understand those emotions and can help you and your birth team navigate through them.

Spiritual Support:
For many, birth can be a spiritual journey (it was for me). Attuning my spirit to be sensitive to your needs as they arise is an integral part of our journey together. I rely heavily on the leading of the Holy Spirit to give me the discernment necessary to be able to serve you as best I can, trusting on His strength and guidance to see us through the miracle of life, your birth.

It is never too early or too late to hire me as your doula. However, choosing me as your doula early on will ensure availability. In order for me to be the best doula I can be for my clients, I limit the number of births I accept per month.

Check availability and let’s schedule a consultation.  Packages start at $250.

 

LABOR MASSAGE

Birth leg massageMassage therapy is much more than a mere luxury, and has become increasingly popular among pregnant women as they plan out the birthing process. Administering massage therapy throughout labor can drastically decrease anxiety and stress, thereby easing the overall process and potentially lessening the time spent in labor. The more stressed you are prior to and become during labor, the more pain you’ll ultimately experience. Why? Pain actually triggers your fight or flight response which then causes your body to produce hormones called catecholamines. Catecholamines, combined with adrenaline, will slow down, even stall out contractions, resulting in a prolonged labor period—and a painful one at that.

When a person is stressed, muscles naturally tense up. Contracting a muscle is more difficult when other parts of the body are tensed, resulting in additional pain. Massage during labor helps to relax , releasing tension and thus decreasing pain. Simultaneously, during labor a woman needs to relax mentally as well, “switching off” her thinking part of the brain and allow the hind brain (which controls reflexes) to take over, so her body can feel safe and open up.

Massage, when done correctly, stimulates the release of endorphins, naturally occurring painkillers, and oxytocin, the crucial hormone of labor contractions. More endorphins means less pain, more oxytocin means more effective contractions. The key to this is making labor massage effective, done by repetition, a slow, steady speed, comfortable pressure and a confident therapist. Repetition allows the thinking brain to tune out. There’s no thinking of ‘what are they going to do next’ or ‘go back to what you were doing’. If you’ve ever stroked a cat, you’ll know the effects of this – go too fast or keep changing what you’re doing and the cat will stay wide-eyed and interested. Keeping a slow and steady pace just stroking down the back will have the cat purring and lying down in no time. Laboring women are the same… slow and steady repetition will have her relaxed very quickly, even through contractions.

During labor, the ligaments in the hips start to stretch, aches and pains can become greater and greater. One of the most intense sensations felt is known as “back labor,” a deep sense of discomfort residing in the lower back. Massaging the sacral area is one of the best and most effective ways to address this resounding discomfort. Having a trained practitioner by your side can help mom and, sometimes more importantly, her partner, to relax and tame their trepidation. Between soothing massage techniques, peaceful music and a relaxed body and mind, the labor process will be over before you know it, at which point the final push can begin.

 

MASSAGE

In-Home Massage Sessions – I bring my services to you in the privacy of your own home for added convenience and comfort.

60 minutes – $100
90 minutes – $120 

Swedish Massage
A relaxing massage that relieves tension, stress, discomfort and increases blood flow through the body. Your enhanced circulation provides more oxygen to the tissues which creates more energy for you. Swedish Massage relaxes tight muscles and clears your mind of anxiety. It also promotes healthy sleep which in turn supports the healthy function of the immune system and relieves anxiety and depression.

Deep Tissue Massage
Uses many of the same movements and techniques as Swedish massage, but the pressure will be more intense. It is a more focused type of massage that releases muscle tension, chronic pain and knots. Benefits include improved flexibility, pain relief and greater freedom in movement.

Prenatal Massage
A massage specifically designed for pregnant women. It creates relaxation by relieving muscle aches, joint and sciatic pain, reduces swelling and fatigue, and it provides flexibility to birthing muscles. Prenatal massage aids the circulatory and lymphatic system, which keeps blood flowing to both the mother and the baby. It helps stabilize hormone levels, relieves nervous tension throughout the body, and the nurturing touch during pregnancy massage promotes relaxation and provides emotional support.

Labor Preparation/ Labor Induction Massage
Similar to a Deep Tissue massage that prepares your body for your birthing time. It helps relieve tension and stress as well as opens your pelvis to assist in your baby’s descent. Pressure points as well as aromatherapy are also used to help start labor.

Postnatal Massage
It helps restore a mother’s body to its pre-pregnancy condition and it helps to realign the body weight and tones the over-stretched skin over the belly. It reduces hip size, relieves fluid retention and helps return the uterus back to normal. Postnatal massage also helps speed healing after cesareans and vaginal births as well as relieves muscle tension and stress from mothering duties.

Bed Rest Massage
Staying in bed at home or the hospital can keep your muscles stiff and tight causing more discomfort to you during your pregnancy.  With our bed rest massage, this will help relieve tight muslces, assisting with blood flow and oxgygen to your baby.  This massage can be done at your home or in the hospital.

Infant Massage
Whether your baby is a newborn or several years old, massage can bring immediate and lasting results. Some of the benefits for babies and children include:

• Provides a special time of communication that fosters love, compassion, and respect
• Helps with congestion, gas, and colic
• Improves overall functioning of the gastrointestinal tract
• Promotes relaxation and helps babies self-regulate calm, which reduces crying
• Helps to normalize muscle tone
• Improves circulation
• Enhances immune system function
• Improves midline orientation
• Helps to improve sensory and body awareness
• Enhances neurological development
• Helps baby/child to sleep deeper and more soundly
• Helps to increase oxygen and nutrient flow to cells. Improves respiration.
• Helps to improve pain managament; can relieve discomfort from teething.
• Enhances release of hormones in the body. The growth hormone can be stimulated which helps weight gain.
• Reduces levels of cortisol, the stress hormone.
• Stimulates all of the physiological systems. Massage sparks the neurons in their brains to grow and branch out to encompass other neurons.
• Provides all of the essential indicators of intimate parent-infant bonding and attachment: eye-to-eye, touch, voice, smell, movement, and thermal regulation.

C-Section Scar Tissue Massage
Scar tissue lays its fibers down very haphazardly which means it may also adhere to tissues you don’t want it to, like fascia and organs. With c-sections it’s very common to have an adhesion on your colon, ovary or between your bladder and uterus, which is why scar tissue massage can be very beneficial. Scar tissue massage helps the tissues to lie properly and keep it from growing in unwanted places like, fascia and organs. Massage also facilitates increased blood flow, which is very beneficial for healing.

THE BRADLEY METHOD

The Bradley Method® of Husband-Coached Natural Childbirth is a comprehensive 12 week series that teaches natural childbirth, developed by Robert A. Bradley, M.D. The classes teach nutrition, relaxation and natural breathing as pain management techniques, along with active partner participation as coach.

Classes are limited to eight couples to keep it personal and interactive. We use a variety of teaching methods such as lectures, games, craft projects, videos and hands-on practice. You’ll also receive a student work book containing the class curriculum. We end each series with a graduation ceremony where you’ll be awarded your official Bradley® Coach card. The best time to attend a series is around your 25th week of pregnancy, but you can enroll as early as you’d like.

Course Curriculum 

  • Week 1: Intro to The Bradley Method®
  • Week 2: Nutrition & the Importance of Protein
  • Week 3: Pregnancy – What’s happening to your body?
  • Week 4: The Coach and his role
  • Week 5: First Stage Labor
  • Week 6: Second Stage Labor
  • Week 7: Creating a Birth Plan
  • Week 8: Variations, Complications & Postpartum Preparation
  • Week 9: Advanced First Stage Techniques
  • Week 10: Advanced Second Stage Techniques
  • Week 11: Being a Great Coach
  • Week 12: Preparing for your new family

The National Institute of Health found that relaxation is one of the most effective forms of pain management; but since relaxation is a skill, it needs to be practiced to perfect it. Attitudes and habits take three months to change. Statistical analysis shows that 90% of women who attended a full 12-week series have had spontaneous, un-medicated vaginal births. Other studies show students learn 50 percent of what they read and 90 percent of what they do, which is why we incorporate practice rehearsals and labor exercises, along with information right from the beginning of class one. Each class builds on the last, fully preparing you and your partner for the arrival of your child.

Classes are held at Grace Lutheran Church located at 4325 Commons Drive West in Destin on Thursday’s from 6:00-8:00pm.

                    2015-2016 Course dates

  • Nov 5th-Jan 21st (Feb/March/April birthdays)
  • Feb 4th-Apr 21st (May/Jun/Jul birthdays)
  • May 5th-Jul 21st (Aug/Sept/Oct birthdays)
  • Aug 4th-Oct 20th (Nov/Dec/Jan birthdays)

Tuition: $400, including a $150 non-refundable retainer to reserve your seat; the remaining balance is due by the first day of class. Payment plans are also available, if needed.
Tuition includes:

  • 12 week class
  • Student Workbook
  • The lending of “Husband-Coached Childbirth” by Dr. Robert Bradley & “Natural Childbirth the Bradley Way” by Susan McCutcheon.
  • Access to a lending library of books & DVD’s ($50 deposit required)
  • Handouts & Craft supplies for interactive games
  • Birth related prizes are always on hand

For more information please visit our academy sponsored web site: www.bradleybirth.com/jennyhernandez

This website contains information about my classes in Destin, Florida and is not the official website of The Bradley Method®. The views contained on this website do not necessarily reflect those of The Bradley Method® or the American Academy of Husband-Coached Childbirth®.
For more information on The Bradley Method®, for an international listing of instructors, or to contact the American Academy of Husband-Coached Childbirth® directly, please contact:
The Bradley Method®
1.818.788.6882
www.bradleybirth.com