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Should you hire a birth photographer?
Gillette, Wyoming Doula, Kaci Jensen
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DAY IN THE LIFE

Gillette, Wyoming Doula, Kaci Jensen

Today on the blog we have Kaci Jensen who is a doula and a midwifery assistant for Rose Mountain Midwifery. I am SO excited for you to learn about Kaci because she is very passionate about providing for the needs of pregnant women through labor and delivery. You will see in the images the attention and care she provides. I asked Kaci to share some information with us so we could all get a better idea of a doula's role. So let's jump right to it!

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- What is a Doula? A doula provides support for the mother during labor.

- What does a Doula do? A doula stays with the mother during labor, and provides massage, or counter pressure during contractions and provides all around comfort.

Jenny-Lees-Photography-Birth-Photographer- How long have you been a Doula? I have been a doula for 5 years.

- What made you want to be a Doula? I wanted to learn more about being a doula when I was in massage school from 2008 - 2010. I have always loved pregnant woment and what their bodies are capable of. It wasn't until I moved home that I was able to fulfill that, and became a doula in 2013.

Jenny-Lees-Photography-Birth-Photographer- Tell us a little bit about yourself. My husband's name is Levi. He has an 11 year old daughter named Kendra, my stepdaughter. We also have my niece, who is also 11, living with us. Right now I am a full time mom, running these two girls to school and events and working part time while going to school here at the community college. I have my Massage Therapy degree, but have been out of practice for 8 years. I moved home to help my family run The Main Bagel Co., and that occupied a lot of my time until recently. This April (2018) we sold the business and I have been able to focus on being a doula and midwife assistant, while also concentrating on my studies to become a dietitian.

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- What services do you offer? Being a doula is a great thing, and I love that I can help women. Right now I offer my services to those who reach out to me. Being a midwife assistant, I am on call through the week, and as long as I can make it work I will take on other clients. Hospital and home.

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- What has been your biggest accomplishment as a doula? My biggest accomplishment being a doula is being able to help a woman have a natural labor. I do hospital births where women do get epidurals, but I am still right there beside them helping them the whole time and still get a sense of accomplishment in a hospital setting.

- Do you have any advice for other doulas? My advice to other doulas is to not take anything personal, and understand that every birthing mother is different. I have had some moms who I cannot give enough pressure too, and some moms who just want someone to sit beside them and not touch them. Every experience is different and I learn from each one of them. Keep doing what your are doing, because we need more doulas in this world!  Jenny-Lees-Photography-Birth-Photographer

- Do you have any advice for someone who would like to be a doula? Anyone looking to be a doula I encourage to the fullest. It can be strenuous hours, and not ideal for growing families, but this shouldn't stop them from being able to help other moms. I have been recruiting woman anytime I see there is a doula training, to help the birthing mothers realize how important it is to have someone on their side, encouraging them.

- What type of training do you have? The training I have was done by a midwife and a doula herself (now the midwife I work with). Having my associates in massage therapy has helped tremendously with being a doula, but it is not necessary. You learn great techniques in the doula courses.

Jenny-Lees-Photography-Birth-Photographer- When do you recommend people book you for their birth? I do recommend at least by 6 months to contact your doula and meet (or interview a few!) and get to know each other and make sure you both feel it is a good fit to be at the birth. Give yourself and your doula enough time to meet at least once and create a birth plan you are both comfortable with.

- How would you describe your doula style? My style is nurturing, and flexible. I can give humor or sit in silence and offer comforting words and gentle massage. It really depends on the client and how they birth.

- How many births do you book in a month? I do not have my own business and only book clients if they reach out to me. I do doula work for the midwives clients and have been on call for 4 in one month. It is possible, but can be a lot if they overlap. Give yourself some grace and start slow or gradual and once you have done it for awhile, sleep deprivation is no big thing. :)

Jenny-Lees-Photography-Birth-Photographer- How many births have you been there for? How many births have I been to? Well over a dozen, but not all of them was I a doula for. I do provide doula work even when I am not hired as one, and am there as an assistant, but because moms need the support!

- When do you arrive for the birth? A doula arrives at the birth when the mom feels she needs to be supported and contractions are getting harder to handle on her own. It could be from the moment she thinks she is in labor, to 1 hour before she delivers. Depending on what the doula and mom (family) discussed prior to the birth.

- Are you there for the whole birth? The doula stays til the baby is born and just a little afterwards to make sure mom, baby, and daddy are all situated. Like the previous question, the doula arrives and stays as long as the family feels the doula is needed.

Jenny-Lees-Photography-Birth-Photographer- Do you have any tips to help get through contractions? Getting through contractions is tough and everyone handles them differently. The most used methods though is simply breathing and counter pressure. Some moms do not realize it but they tense their whole bodies during a contraction instead of focusing on relaxing and letting their body open up. It's hard and not always effective, but we have lots of tricks up our sleeves to help out!

- What labor coping techniques do you think are helpful? Coping techniques that are helpful are again how the mom is responding to the birth in general. Some good coping techniques are honestly positive affirmations and confirming to the mother that they can do it.

Jenny-Lees-Photography-Birth-Photographer- What are the benefits of having a doula? Benefits of a doula are not doing it alone, and providing the support in whatever capacity is needed. A mom and family benefit from a doula because they are trained to handle contractions and provide positivity to a mom who wants to give up and get a c-section because of the pain. Doulas can help in labor being a little shorter, and more manageable than on their own.

- Do you have any tips to relieve stress? Relieving stress during a birth can be difficult, but having the right conversations before labor, and even during can provide them with the methods she needs to get out of a mental block. Lavender oil is a good oil to use to promote relaxation, and also getting in the bath can help a mom relax enough and get rid of some stress.

- Do you attend home births and hospital births? I attend home and hospital births.

Are you ready to let Kaci support you through labor and delivery? Contact her at kacimcstay1@gmail.com

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