5 Reasons to Attend Our Monthly Meet the Doulas Events
Every month we host a Meet the Doulas event at a different coffee shop around Cincinnati and N. Kentucky and you're always invited.
These Meet the Doula events are a wonderful opportunity for the community and families to connect with our doula team.
5 Reasons to Attend Our Monthly Meet the Doulas Event
1. Meet our Doulas to see if we are a good fit for your family. While all of our doulas are available for free private consultations, these monthly events provide the opportunity to meet all of our doulas in one place at the same time.
2. Have your questions answered by our experienced doula team.
Our doulas can answer any non-medical questions that you might have.
Common questions include ''How can a doula support my husband or partner?'' ''Do I need a birth plan?'' ''What should I pack in my hospital bag?'' We have years of experience and would love to share it with you.
3. Meet other expecting couples and people interested in doulas, birth and postpartum options.
We hear that it's rare to have people around you who don't turn their head to the side when you mention that you're thinking about hiring a doula or exploring your options around childbirth and postpartum support. Surround yourself with people who truly ''get it.''
4. Continue connecting with our doulas throughout your pregnancy. The more time that we get to spend time with you and you with us, the better. You'll be more comfortable and more able to open (literally and figuratively) during your labor, birth, and postpartum. No time together is wasted time.
5. Learn about local pregnancy, birth, and postpartum resources.
We freely share all of our resources that might be of value to you and and your family. From yoga classes to lactation counselors, and everything in between, we would love to connect you with all of your resources. It's what we doula!
Our next Meet the Doulas event is Sunday, November 9th from 1-3pm at Muse Cafe and we would love to see you there!
Unable to make this event? Feel free to schedule a free, private consultation with any of our doulas on our Contact page or join our private Facebook group to connect with other families and find out when the next Meet the Doulas event will be.
See you soon!
November Natural Birth Class at Mercy West
Every other month, Molly Murray, Cincinnati doula and owner of Cincinnati Birth and Parenting, LLC puts on her Clinical Educator hat and hosts a 4 week natural childbirth series at Mercy West Hospital.
This comprehensive, multiple day class series is essential for expectant couples who desire a low intervention birth without the use of an epidural. Women and their birth partners will gain the knowledge, skills and confidence to have a natural birth. Each class includes focused practice time to learn natural pain relief techniques and comfort measures.
All families, no matter where you plan to deliver, are welcome to attend the class.
Dates: November 4th, 11th, 18th, and 25th from 7-9pm
Cost & Registration: Call 95-Mercy for more information
Still looking for your childbirth class but unable to make this series? Visit our Classes page or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org for more information on private childbirth classes.
My mom had me at home and told me stories about my birth all of the time. It was a powerful and positive birth and I have always been interested, fascinated, and intrigued by birth because of this. The biggest impression it left on me was that she had to take control of her own birth in order to get the care she deserved. It is important that a mother feels empowered and confident in her birth choices but that is not always the narrative told in our society.
As a doula, it is so important to me that you are listened to, given options and that you have respectful care. For my mom that meant a homebirth but that can be true for any birth from homebirth to hospital birth, vaginal birth to cesarean birth, medicated to un-medicated, induction to spontaneous labor.
I started my training for doula work when many women in my life were pregnant. I am a nurturing person who naturally helps and cares for others and felt called to birth work. I have always been a feminist and believe in building others up with encouraging words and affirmations.
With all of the darkness and ugliness we have in our world, one of the biggest reasons I became a doula was to bring more beauty, more positivity, more love, and more connection to this life. I truly believe we can change the world by honoring and respecting birth and postpartum. Which, in turn, improves outcomes for both.
It is always an honor to be invited into someone’s birth space and it is always beautiful, no matter how the unpredictability of birth unfolds, to witness new life being born. It’s an honor to witness people born into mothers and fathers and families grow. To witness that initial bond establish between parents and child.
As a queer woman who is married to a trans man, it is especially important and close to my heart to serve LGBTQ+ families. During my first year working as a doula I didn’t put my focus on that as I was just learning, growing and evolving so rapidly. Moving forward I will be putting more energy on that focus as a birth worker.
I am still learning, growing, evolving constantly as a doula, as informed birth work always is. I have had the opportunity to meet and work with so many amazing women and families over this past year and I am so excited for all of the families I will have a chance to serve now and in the future.
''It’s Okay to Not be Okay.'' By Josie Parent
It’s Okay to Not be Okay. There... I said it. And I will continue saying it because I didn’t believe it at first when someone first told me that it’s okay. It’s okay that life is a mess sometimes, or that you may cry for no reason. It’s okay that motherhood is scary, and confusing and sometimes (ok... most times) messy. It’s okay that sometimes you may feel helpless, or lost, or that you may feel like the walls are closing in on you. Bottom line is... it’s okay.
I tell you this as a proud mother of 2 beautiful and amazing children. My son, Rowen, is almost 4 years old and my daughter, Parker, will be 19 months old in a few short weeks. From the beginning of time, I always always ALWAYS wanted to be a mother. I had a younger sister growing up, and taking care of her and of others in my life as I grew up was my true calling. I even went into the healthcare field in order to take care of my patients, and so I became a pharmacist and am still helping others to this day.
I had a few bleeding complications post delivery, which required me to stay an extra day in the hospital but was cleared to go home with no restrictions. So on a cold February day, we were able to leave the hospital and bring home our newborn son. And while I wish I could say things were perfect and not at all difficult, I witnessed firsthand what it felt like to have those rose colored glasses ripped off of my face. From the moment we came home, it was like a dark cloud had risen above me and wouldn’t move. I held him, looked at him, and while I felt joy and love, I also felt a deep deep sadness and worry in my heart of hearts. Looking back on those days now, I realize that the worst part for me was not the sadness, nor the worry that I was feeling. The worst part for me now is that I didn’t realize what was happening - and thankfully my husband did.
After a long shift at the firehouse, my husband came home from work one morning to find me at the sink and washing some dishes, sobbing my eyes out. Rowen was sleeping peacefully in his swing, and when Ryan asked me what was wrong, I blurted out “I HAVE NO IDEA!” in between tears. Once he put all of the pieces of the puzzle together, that’s when everything sunk in for him. He knew something was amiss, but wasn’t sure what was going on with me. Over the few weeks prior to this, I had been having extreme mood swings, anxiety, sleeplessness (more than what was caused by the newborn), bouts of uncontrollable crying, loss of appetite and a complete feeling of overwhelm. And despite my best efforts to take care of my baby and to try to take care of myself, which as I told you was the ONE thing I was sure I was good at, I was failing. I was failing at recognizing that something was wrong... but only because I didn’t know that something was in fact wrong.
Once I saw the doctor, I was diagnosed with something called postpartum depression. I had heard of this diagnosis from my medical background and from other people in the past but I never thought it could happen to me. I had taken care of myself during pregnancy, I never once felt depressed while I was pregnant so I had no clue that this diagnosis could apply to me. How could I be depressed after bringing to life one of the best things I’ve ever done?! Simple answer? Hormones. My doctor once explained what happened to me in a way that I will always remember - before you give birth, your hormones are released from a teaspoon at a time... but after birth, they get released out of a pitcher and all flow at you at once. So while it is normal for us to experience “baby blues” after delivery, what becomes abnormal is when it gets to a level that just won’t go away or makes you feel worse, or to a level that is debilitating - which is what happened to me.
I’m not sure why there is such a stigma against mental illness in our society, but I think that may be why I was so hesitant to seek out help or even to admit that something was wrong. Though things were seemingly going great to everyone on the outside looking in, things on the inside were falling apart. Once I was able to get to the doctor and air out my problems (which I hated doing, by the way), it was like a weight was immediately off of my shoulders. My doctor was able to place me on medication to help my body level itself out, and while they took a few weeks to really take effect, they helped immensely.
My second pregnancy with my daughter was much different than the one with my son. I had “all day morning sickness” until about 4 months in, but no blood pressure complications with her. While my second labor experience was much different with her, I started developing similar postpartum depression symptoms a few weeks after delivery. The major turning point in my second experience with this disorder for me was that I knew the signs and symptoms to look for. And as soon as I realized what was happening, I called my doctor right away and was able to get help the second time around. Though it was possible that I would not experience PPD after the birth of my second child, I was not able to dodge it.... and that’s ok!
If this is happening to you, please let me tell you that postpartum depression is NOT your fault - it is not something that you did to yourself, it is not a flaw within you. It is simply a complication from childbirth, and it is a disorder that can be fixed. The point of this article was to bring an awareness to a subject that is so near and dear to my heart, and to a subject that may be closer to your heart than you might be willing (or aware) to admit. It’s totally okay not to be okay. I wasn’t okay for a long time... but with the help of my amazing support system, a wonderful physician and some medication, I was able to get back to enjoying and getting to experience my new life as a mama. Because honestly, you can’t begin to be someone else’s world without taking care of your own self first. So put yourself first for once, mama... I promise it is worth it!
Music Therapy for Pregnancy, Birth, and Parenting
“It helped me to withdraw when I felt I needed to take the opportunity to sleep… I think it did comfort me when nothing and nobody else could.” -Mother who used music therapy during labor and delivery of her child (Browing, 2001)
“’I couldn’t have made it without the music.’ ‘The music really made a difference.’ ‘The music made it feel so much more like home.’ ‘We were all brought together in a musical celebration of life.’ -Mothers and coaches who experienced music therapy during delivery (Hanser, Larson, & O’Connell, 1983)
“It was a way of connecting and maintaining that bond at a really difficult time… and especially in the early days, that was the only way I felt I could bond with him.” -Carol, mother of a child in the NICU who received music therapy. (McLean, 2016)
We have all experienced the power of music. Many of us belt out our favorite songs in the car, play an instrument, sing lullabies to our kids, and go to concerts. Music can bring us connection with others, help us to express ourselves, and transport us to different times and places in our lives.
Music therapy is an established allied health profession in which a credentialed professional (the music therapist) uses these positive aspects of music in a therapeutic environment. Music can be used to enhance communication, facilitate self-expression, and assist in wellness and healing.
Perinatal music therapy is simply when music therapy techniques are applied during fertility, pregnancy, birth, and postpartum. Research shows that music can be used to lower stress levels, reduce pain, and provide emotional and relational support to mothers and families, as well as enhance self-regulation and relaxation for infants.
As in all therapies, perinatal music therapy sessions are different for everyone. Some mothers seek music therapy because they need extra emotional or relational support during the perinatal period. Others are looking to enhance their birth experience through music. Some are struggling through the transition of postpartum, and others go to a music therapist because their baby needshelp with this adjustment!
Music therapy has been shown to assist in many ways during the perinatal period:
• Supports relaxation and gives emotional support for mothers and families experiencing infertility (Birth Music Therapy, 2017)
• Provides a family-centered way to prepare everyone for the arrival of a new baby.
• Provides a comfortable environment, reduction of pain and tension, mental focus, emotional comfort, and rhythm for organized movement during labor and delivery (Hanson-Abromeit & Gerweck, 2010).
• Fosters family and partner support (Hanson-Abromeit & Gerweck, 2010)
• Assists in bonding the mother with her child (especially through use of song and lullaby)
• Aids in breastfeeding support (Loewy, 2016)
• Provides a stabilizing, uterine-simulating environment through sound (Standley & Walworth, 2010)
• Increases oxygen saturation and decrease agitation for babies in the NICU (Schwartz & Ritchie, 1999)
• Provides developmental stimulation for infants who are indicated (Loewy, 2016)
• Provides emotional support after loss of a baby
• Music therapists can provide heartbeat recordings to music for family keepsake At Music Therapy Services, LLC, we can work with parents in a variety of ways.
For expecting parents, our Prenatal Music Therapy Package could be a great option if you are looking to incorporate music into your birth in various ways. The package includes four sessions that cover:
• Self-Care • Assessing needs during pregnancy
• Tools and techniques
• Creating a care plan for pregnancy
• Lullaby Creation • Choosing “Song of Kin”
• Creating a personalized lullaby
• Recording lullaby
• Music-Assisted Childbirth Plan • Choosing music for birth
• Integrating music into birth plan
• Review of coping skills for labor
• Postpartum Support • Integration of “Song of Kin”
• Creation of new lullabies
• Processing birth experience
For parents who are interested in just one of these areas, we also offer single sessions to address your specific area of need. In addition to this package, we also can schedule individual parent-only or parent-child sessions to support emotional wellness, bonding, expression, etc. We are here to support any needs that may arise during this time through music experiences.
If we can assist you in any way, or if you would like more information on music therapy, feel free to reach out to us via email, phone, or visit our website! We provide free, 30-minute phone consultations and would love to speak with you.
Birth Music Therapy. (2017). Fertility.
Retrieved from http://birthmusictherapy.com/fertility
Browning, C.A. (2001). Music therapy in childbirth: Research in practice. Music Therapy Perspectives, 19(2), 74-81.
Hanser, S.B., Larson, S.C., & O’Connell, A.S. (1983). The effect of music on relaxation of expectant mothers during labor. Journal of Music Therapy, 20(2), 50-58.
Hanson-Abromeit, D., Gerweck, J.S. (2010). Obstetrics. In D. Hanson-Abromeit & C. Colwell (Eds.), Medical Music Therapy for Adults in Hospital Settings (pp. 21-96). Silver Spring, MD: American Music Therapy Association, Inc.
Loewy, J. (2016). First sounds: Rhythm, breath, & lullaby [RBL] trainer compendium. New York, NY: Satchnote Press.
Mclean, E. (2016). Exploring parents’ experiences and perceptions of singing and using their voice with their baby in a neonatal unit: An interpretive phenomenological analysis. Qualitative Inquiries in Music Therapy: A Monograph Series, 11(2). Retrieved from https://www.barcelonapublishers.com/resources/QIMT11/McLean_Parents_Experiences.pdf
Schwartz, F. J., & Ritchie, R. (1999). Music listening in neonatal intensive care units. In Dileo, C. (Eds.), Music therapy and medicine: theoretical and clinical applications (pp. 13-22). Silver Spring, MD: The American Music Therapy Association, Inc.
Standley, J.M., & Walworth, D. (2010). Music therapy with premature infants: Research and developmental interventions. Silver Spring, MD: The American Music Therapy Association, Inc.
Who are we?
Cincinnati Birth and Parenting, LLC was founded by Molly Murray, a birth and postpartum doula and childbirth educator. Through this growing company, Molly connects parents with information, resources, and support while also staying committed to building up fellow professionals and connecting them with the people who need their services most.