The Resource Doula

Trust Yourself and Trust Your Baby with Doula Educator Laura Nance

December 14, 2022 Natalie Headdings Season 1 Episode 23
The Resource Doula
Trust Yourself and Trust Your Baby with Doula Educator Laura Nance
Show Notes Transcript

Show Notes

On this episode, I chat with Laura Nance about what type of support and education is best if you're going through the motherhood transition and her experience as a doula trainer for the last 20 plus years

You're listening to the Resource Doula Podcast, a place where we provide information to help you make informed healthcare decisions for yourself and your family.

Resources Mentioned

For moms:

For professionals:

Laura’s #1 Tip:

“For clients, for families that are pregnant or having babies, my one piece of advice is dig deep and listen to your intuition, trust yourself, and then also really trust your baby. It's a relationship that's going to last, forever. So start that relationship really, really young where you have this relationship of trust between the two of you. And it pays often and is pretty cool when you can have older kids that still trust you. So start at a young age.”

“For professionals, I would just say be yourself as an educator or a doula and don't be afraid to really jump in there and do it. If you have a passion for it, jump in and do it, but then do it as yourself. A lot of times when I train people, a lot of times people become a doula because they had a doula, and they love their doula, but then they kind of try to be their doula. Follow your passions and be yourself as a doula or an educator because people are going to be attracted to you for you. But if you're trying to put on somebody else, you're gonna struggle with that because you're not going to be as natural with people are going to pick up on that.”

Connect with Laura:

Please remember that that what you hear on this podcast is not medical advice. but remember to always do your own research and talk to a trusted provider before making important decisions about your healthcare. If you found this podcast helpful, please consider leaving a 5-star review in your favorite podcast app, it helps other people find the show. Thanks so much for listening!

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Interview with Laura Nance

Natalie: [00:00:00] On today's podcast, I chat with Laura Nance about what type of support and education is best if you're going through the motherhood transition and her experience as a doula trainer for the last 20 plus years. I'm Natalie, and you're listening to the Resource Doula Podcast, a place where we provide information to help you make informed healthcare decisions for yourself and your.

Natalie: Laura Nance has been working with families and professionals for over 20 years. Laura loves to support families as they navigate the early weeks after a baby is born in a way that helps them to heal and recover, as well as build a relationship of trust with their new baby. She owns a doula and educator collaborative. She also loves to inspire and ignite passion in professionals to support families in ways that help them [00:01:00] thrive and feel empowered and confident. She serves on the leadership team with Kappa as a senior program advisor for the postpartum doula and new parent educator programs, and has been a trainer with Kappa since 2005. Laura lives in the foothills of North Carolina with her husband of over 30 years. She also has two children who are in their twenties, and they taught her so much about birth babies and being a parent, as well as how much she didn't know as a parent and how much support families need. She isn't working. She loves to sit on the beach for hours and read, go to concerts to sing and dance, explore new places, and get muddy and sweaty running trails.

Hey Laura, welcome to the show.

Laura: Hey, I am so excited to be here. Thank you for asking me.

Natalie: Yes, absolutely. So I wanna kind of hear from your beginning what. Led you into this career in women's health that you.

Laura: So it started actually almost 25 years ago with the [00:02:00] birth of my, my own, my son who's my oldest, and it was for me, I. I was terrified of the idea of somebody sticking a needle in my back. So my whole reason for like wanting to have a natural childbirth was because I didn't want a needle in my back. And I took this class at the hospital and there's like 25 other couples in there, and it was very much, this is.

How to get your epidural. And this is, you know, you can breathe a little bit and then you get to the hospital and we'll put your epidural in and oh my goodness. Why would you do it without an epidural? That's a no-brainer. And I actually, one of the classes the next day went and asked my, my ob, I had an appointment that day and I was like, um, Am I allowed to do this without anal because of the way it was presented?

And he's like, yeah, sure. Whatever you wanna do. And so I had this absolutely amazing nurse who was [00:03:00] super excited when I told her that I was not doing this with any kind of medication. And she was so fantastic, and so I thought I wanted to be her. When I grew up, I was like, oh, when I, when my, I'm gonna have a second kid for sure, and then when they go to school, I'll go back to school and I'll become a Labor and Delivery nurse, and somewhere between Baby one and baby two, I found out about doulas and decided, oh, no, that's, that's really what I wanna do.

I don't. Do all of that medical, clinical stuff. So I decided I wanted to be a doula, but now I had a two year old and a newborn. And for me, you know, running out to other people's births in the middle of the night while I still had two little ones at home didn't make sense. So I became a childbirth educator first, and.

Fell in love with the education aspect of it, so I did it eventually. I did become a doula as well, but I am super excited and I mean it just really happy for the way it turned [00:04:00] out because I don't know that I would've learned. Early on how much I love educating, and that's really a huge piece of it. So I, you know, then I was teaching childbirth ed classes, I was attending people's births, and my students and my clients would then start asking me breastfeeding questions and postpartum questions and newborn questions.

And so it just kind of all, you know, transpired to where each, each thing that people would ask about. I. Live in a more rural area and to refer them out would mean either there was nobody local. So they either had no local support or they had to drive like an hour and a half, and a lot of people weren't doing that.

So I just kinda kept adding all of these things, um, to, to what I, what I did. And yeah, that's kind of, that's kind of the beginnings of it.

Natalie: I love it. I love it. And you recently became the owner of the [00:05:00] prepare to push and birth like a boss programs, which I have advertised in the past and taught, um, the prepare to push at least, so. That's really exciting. We'll be sure to link that, um, all

in the show notes as well for people to, to access. Um, yeah.

So what would you say, like, I really like this question, , what would you say is a common myth about kind of the, the postpartum and the newborn phase, and what's your response to that?

Laura: Um, so probably the one, and it's maybe not like really just put out there specifically in these words, but is really kind of encompassed in the idea that babies are born almost programmable and you can, you know, you have to teach your baby. Sleep through the [00:06:00] night and they need to learn to self soothe and they, you know, they need to learn to, they need to be scheduled, uh, and you know, things like that.

And so I am pretty much known for saying a few different things that kind of go along with that. One of them being that your baby didn't read the book. So if you know, if you read this book that says that your baby is supposed to sleep this amount of time, or you can teach your baby to sleep this way, that's well and good, but your baby didn't read the book and your baby might have a different personality or a different sleep style.

And then. Another thing that I say kind of along those lines a lot is just that why do we ask babies to do things that we don't do? Do we eat and drink at the exact same increments every single day? Do we always go to bed at the same time? Do we sometimes have nights when we wake [00:07:00] up more than others?

And even. The, the whole self soothing thing is kind of a triggering thing for me because when we look at adults that self-soothe, it's not always in the healthiest manner. Uh, you know, it's, you're, the whole thing is, oh, well, you know, if you, if you're having problems, then you should. Talk to a therapist.

Well, how about we let our babies talk to us and we listen to them instead of saying, oh, you know, you are, you're three months now, or nine months now, or 15 months now you can, you can take care of that on the, on your own. I mean, do we do that? We have a bad day, we wake up scared in the middle of the night.

What do we do? We reach for our partner. We call our mom. We call our best friend. Uh, so those are some of the things that, for me, uh, kind of myth that I, I feel pretty strongly about

Natalie: Yeah. Yeah. No, it's almost like babies are human.

Laura: Yeah. What a concept.

Natalie: crazy.[00:08:00] 

Laura: I quote Dr. Seuss a lot as well, that um, a person's a person no matter how small, 

Natalie: Mm-hmm. 

Laura: because it's that same thing.

Natalie: Yeah. Yeah. And we like, there's so much pressure from society, like, is your baby sleeping through the night? Like, that's one of the first questions new moms get asked on the regular. My response to that, I, I just, you know, just tell, ask the person who is presenting that question. Do you sleep through the night?

The answer is probably no.

Laura: No, 

Natalie: get up to go to the bathroom or whatever, but yeah. Um, okay, so what do you. Is lacking in our world today in regards to like parent preparation prior to this whole pregnancy, childbirth, and postpartum period where people are assuming these maybe not so optimal or, or normal things.

Laura: Right. So definitely I, something that I've seen, you know, over the, the, the last, you know, 22 [00:09:00] years that I've kind of been in this field is that there is a lot of. Focus on the pregnancy, a lot of focus on the birth, and there's not a lot of focus on what is going to happen afterwards. And so people go into this and they think, well, once the baby is born, I'll, I'll read a book then, or I'll, you know, I'll follow the mom's groups then, or I'll read a blog or whatever.

They're too tired. , once they get there, they're way too tired and that's not happening anymore. And so they end up in this period of, you know, sleeplessness for them. They're not sleeping either. They're stressed out, they're worried, and they don't know what's going on, and so then they're just kind of.

Winging it and you know, going through this, they're being drug along by the tide of this period of time. [00:10:00] So I think that. Really helping people to know that you don't have to do this on your own. You absolutely can have help. You should have help. Uh, uh, lots of other countries people have help. And so accept that help.

And also just learn things ahead of time for sure. Uh, that's another, you know, big piece of it. And then, and then of course, you know, kind of away from. The, the parenting and newborn part is, you know, like you brought out with that. I just am, I'm now the owner of Prepare to Push. Definitely the whole pelvic floor and core piece is another thing that's just a huge thing that people aren't.

You know, again, they're not preparing for it. They, they don't even know half the time. And then once they do have a baby and they think, oh well yeah, I'm just gonna pee my pants for the rest of my life, cuz that's what's normal and it's [00:11:00] not. And so they're not preparing for that either. And it's more of a, oh, well, we'll rehab that later if we have to instead of preventing it.

So I just would love to see so much more education and people taking advantage of the education, but they don't know what they don't know. Um,

Natalie: Totally, I think, think it's changing slightly. Like on Instagram I see a lot more accounts talking about the pelvic floor, talking about closed knee pushing, you know, all of those little snippets, but it's really hard to present that in a way where every single pregnant person or you know, preconception person is going to see that and take it in and, and understand it and use it.

So, putting together, Like a class, like you're doing the, the boots on the ground. People really make the difference because they bring it all together for their clients and, and those women who are like, okay, I'm ready for, ready for learning and ready for education. Um,

[00:12:00] so okay. This scenario, if you were to like walk through pregnancy, preconception, pregnancy, birth and postpartum with someone, if you were their best friend, doula, who, whoever you want to be, um, what would you say would be the most crucial points during that journey for them to learn something new?

And what would you recommend they spend their time, energy, and, and resources on

Laura: Wow, that's vague . So I, I would. Say that for that really early pregnancy part, that's where I would really introduce that the, the pelvic flooring core. That really, this is, this is something that is important to your pregnancy, it's important to your birth, to your labor, and it's important to your, your postpartum and your, your life, you know, for the, for the rest of your [00:13:00] life as a.

You know, as, as a parent, and, you know, we've, we've, we, the, the number one reason why, you know, women post menopausal people are in nursing homes is because of incontinence. So again, let's, let's prevent that. So that would probably be like a big early piece. I think that for. of the mid-pregnancy part, really bodily autonomy.

And this is your body, this is your baby. You get to make the decisions. Sometimes there's an aspect of, I can't go against what my care provider is saying. Uh, some people it's almost like they feel like the hospital owns the baby until they leave. And so helping them really to. To know what is going to happen and how they have options, and they have a deciding [00:14:00] factor in everything that that happens to their body.

And then I think kind of third trimester, my focus at that point would really be about. the baby and life after having a baby, like really trying to prepare people for that, for forewarned as forearmed that they can walk into this and. No, that's not necessarily going to mean that their baby's going to sleep more, but when they're prepared for it and they kind of have a plan in place about how they're going to do things, how are they going to handle it?

If they have a lack of sleep, how are they going to make sure that they have really good healing foods in their house? And how are they going to be able to really focus on their baby and building this relationship of trust from the very, very beginning. And they have to have, they have to be in the right head space for that.

And so really being prepared. So that's kind of my, my three trimester walk probably of my focus is,

Natalie: I like it. Yeah. And, and then postpartum [00:15:00] too. Is there anything, I mean, you can prepare for postpartum, but you never really know exactly what it's gonna look like until you're there. What are some of the, the pillars that you would recommend for people like to abide by during that, during that fourth trimester?

Laura: So I definitely teach the rule of fives for the first two weeks, which is five days in the bed, five days on the bed, and five days around the bed. So basically just really, really focusing on rest and recovery in those first two weeks for the body where that placenta was. Uh, implanted in the uterus for the cervix to heal, for the, the bottom, to heal the, the perineum for making breast milk, for really getting to learn the baby and, and things like that in those, those first couple of of weeks.

And then after that, still just, you know, really taking things easy and then starting to slowly build [00:16:00] up that kind of recovery. Public floor and and core, and then also just really a focus on. Don't be afraid to ask for help. Uh, whatever help that is, if you need help with getting the trash out and somebody to vacuum and uh, to, you know, do laundry.

You don't have to do it all on your own. In fact, you shouldn't. Uh, to, to really give your body a chance to heal. You know, we have other countries that have such a good roadmap of how to take care of folks who just had a baby in the first, usually kind of six weeks. But we know that. That's just the initial recovery period.

It, it takes much, much longer than that. So allow people into your lives, whether it's friends, family, or, uh, you know, obviously I'm a really big proponent of higher postpartum doulas. Uh, that's, that's what they, they do. And, and postpartum doulas are. Different than friends and family [00:17:00] because they do have more knowledge.

They do have more education. They know what's normal. They know what's not normal. They know how to help with these things in a way that's very, very different than friends and family. Friends and family are great, but they don't. Know the normal healing process and they don't know, you know, what's normal with breastfeeding a lot and things like that.

So really helpful to for that. So those are some of the things I definitely like. Just get, get that help and take care of yourself and allow yourself to, to heal.

Natalie: Yeah. Yeah. Such, such good advice. Um, I think it's just, I don't know what it is. people feel like they have to provide advice or encourage moms to get up and do things and compliment them by saying, oh, you look like you. You know, you weren't even pregnant or you didn't even just have a baby. And, um, yeah, those things are not helpful,

In fact, they might be, they might be harmful. Um, we could argue that. I think, [00:18:00] um, I wanna turn towards breastfeeding a little bit more. What are your like top three tips for someone who currently is pregnant and wants to breastfeed? Has never, this is their first pregnancy. Um, so they want to establish that really well and, and breastfeed for as long as.

Laura: Um, so my probably, you know, it starts at the, the very beginning that. Trusting your baby and allowing your baby to, to build trust in you, which is when the baby says they're hungry, go ahead and feed them. There's, you know, it's sometimes people are afraid that they're, you know, creating bad habits or, or things like that.

And then also there's, because with breastfeeding you can't measure what's going in specifically just by go what's going in. And so people do have a tendency to be, have a lot of fear around it. Allow your baby to really set the pace with, with breastfeeding. Uh, the first three [00:19:00] days are really, really critical with, with stimulation of the breast and so really encouraging people.

Again, that's part of that like first five days in the bed. If you're in the bed the first five days and you have that baby with, you just let that baby feed at the breast as much as they want to because that's really establishing not just the milk. Then and there, but for the rest of the breastfeeding relationship.

So that's a, a really big one. And, um, That babies are going to have days where they're going to eat more. They're gonna have days that they're going to eat less. But really trusting your body that you can make enough and trusting your baby that when they say they're hungry, they're they're hungry. But that doesn't necessarily mean that you're not making enough.

It just means that it's just one of those days. And again, as adults, we have those days where, man, it's just like you're constantly going to the refrigerator. You can't get enough to eat. And then we have other [00:20:00] days where we're kinda like, oh wow, it's four o'clock I haven't eaten today. And babies are going kind of be this the same way.

So just kinda going with the flow and trusting, trusting the body for sure.

Natalie: Well, and like your body created this human just fine and birthed this human just fine regardless of how you birth. Right? Uh, you have a baby, so it. It follows that you can nourish that baby really well. That's what I, I try to remind people.

Laura: Yes, exactly.

Natalie: Um, any specific products that you would highly recommend for breastfeeding to make it more suc successful?

Laura: Uh, one of my favorites is definitely the, the haka or any of the other, you know, silicone. Pumps that are, you know, not really a pump, but those are definitely one of my favorites just because they make it super easy that sometimes if you do have a baby that's a weak sucker at the beginning or something like that, [00:21:00] if you're using that on the other side, then you can feed that immediately to the baby.

But it doesn't. Time. It just, you know, and it's better than letting all of that milk go into a nursing pad. Uh, so I do, I love, I love the haka. That is probably one of my favorites. And then I do love the hydrogels. A lot or the sooth These, depending on which brand it is, they aren't going to heal sore nipples.

But man, do they feel good? So if, if they, if somebody is having some nipple pain, nipple trauma at the beginning, they can make it feel better, which then makes it easier to watch the baby on. Again, it's not going to heal it, but it. Can at least help. And then probably my, my other big favorite would be a lactation professional in their life.

Natalie: Yes.

Laura: that they can, they can call at any time [00:22:00] and, you know, that is going to encourage them and really, really help them and, and be supportive. And again, it just goes back to that don't be afraid to ask for help. You know, if, if somebody is struggling with breastfeeding, They need to call somebody, they need to call a professional, somebody that can help them.

And again, I just see so often that the automatic reaction is, well, we'll take care of this ourself and we'll just run down to CVS and grab some formula. And that's how we're going to fix the problem instead of co contacting a lactation professional who can help them to actually fix the problem of whatever is going wrong with breastfeeding.

Natalie: Yeah. Yeah. And I think if that's your goal to breastfeed, then it's easy in this world to give up quickly. Um, especially if you have other people. Encouraging you to switch to formula. And formula obviously is not a bad thing. It's awesome that it exists and it's, it's great that we have it. Um, but if you have a goal to [00:23:00] breastfeed for longer and you're having struggles like Yeah, contact somebody, let's, let's figure it out and figure out if there's a, there's a lip ties, tongue ties, there's something wrong with the latch.

Yeah. That, that professional can really make a huge difference for. Um, okay. I am going back to newborn , newborn things. So what are some of the common, um, maybe issues with newborns that you see that are distressing to parents that you could speak into and give them a little bit of encouragement there?

Laura: Oh wow. Um, probably the, oh my goodness, there is again, probably those, those first few days with breastfeeding can just really be, be. Crazy and difficult to understand and, and really be [00:24:00] prepared for. But again, just kind of like knowing that your baby in those first few days, your, your body is continuing to make colostrum.

That's definitely one thing that I want people to know is that your body is continuing to make food for your baby. I don't like the terminology your milk came in because that would indicate that you. Feed, you didn't have anything previous to that. But colostrum continues to be made. It just means a baby needs to eat more frequently, and so baby will eat more frequently.

But a baby that sleeps a lot in the early days is a baby that needs to be awakened to to feed. So the rule of not waking a sleeping baby doesn't go into play until about two weeks. So , that's one thing is that you. Feed those babies really, really frequently. And a baby that wants to eat a lot doesn't necessarily mean that they're not getting enough.

It means that baby's really, [00:25:00] really smart and baby is saying, Hey, we really need to get this factory running. And so I'm, I'm gonna keep sending in workers there. So that would probably be, again, kind of one of my biggest things. And then, Just the sleep is another really, really big one that people have these kind of expectations.

Uh, I hear, you know, my baby has my, their days and nights mixed up. Not really. Babies don't have a circadian rhythm until around two-ish months is when they start developing a circadian 

Natalie: I didn't know that. 

Laura: And so, yeah, that's an another thing that you. So they, they are just gonna s they're gonna sleep when they're tired because the only thing they have regulating their sleep is sleep pressure.

So sleep pressure is what builds up, uh, when you're awake and after a while you've been awake for so long and that sleep pressure just keeps building, building, building. And so now you have to sleep. So that's the only thing that's regulating sleep for about the first two months. And then they [00:26:00] start developing some of those circadian hormones like melatonin.

And so, At that point, you may start to see a little bit more of a rhythm, and there's lots of amazing things that you can do to really help babies to develop a really good circadian rhythm. And so, you know, those are, those are some of the things that you can, can really help with. and that can help with, with sleep.

But in the end, some people just sleep better than others. We all know adult friends. I mean, I, I know these adult friends who like need four or five hours of sleep at night and the, they're just so,

Natalie: the unicorns.

Laura: so much done. And I'm like, how do you do that? I, I need sleep. I love sleep. So . Um, and so that's probably, yeah, another thing.

Would be that, and then probably my, my other kind of big. that I have, I, I try to talk to a lot about, with, with parents is that, [00:27:00] well, it made me think of something else too, , 

Natalie: Share it all. 

Laura: a cr, a crying baby isn't always a hungry baby. So a lot of times what we see, and this can go with both kind of both ways, uh, particularly when we're talking about partners, we're talking about both of our parents there, that we have a lot of times like our birth parent, our, our breastfeeding parent, that the minute that baby starts to cry, they're like, gimme my baby, gimme my baby, gimme my baby.

And, and partners, particularly men, our dads, a lot of times when a baby cries, they're like, oh my goodness, I don't know what to do. And they hand the baby. To their partner, to to mom, and. What that really does is it teaches baby that this other parent doesn't know what they're doing. . Um, and not in those words.

Babies don't have that reasoning, but they do feel that. They're like, oh, I start to cry. They get scared. They, they don't know what to do with me when I'm crying. And so now, [00:28:00] The baby doesn't feel that safety with that other parent. And so I, I see that a lot. I get a lot of phone calls at three, four months and it's, you know, usually moms in distress that are saying, my baby hates their dad. Um, and so, you know, but uh, like I said, a piece of that is we have this natural instinct as birth parents and especially when we are rest, are chest feeding our babies. And we have that like hormonal response that when our baby cries, we're like, give me the baby. Uh, so sometimes that parent, they need to leave the room and they need to let that other parent, that partner and that baby work it out.

Natalie: Hmm. 

Laura: Um, you know, if the baby isn't hungry. Let that other partner learn how to really, really, really work with that baby and really, uh, have their own ways of soothing that baby so that they can work together and build that relationship of trust. [00:29:00] And that really does kind of translate into knights as well, particularly again, when we are breastfeeding.

With a family that's breastfeeding because you know, breast babies fall asleep at the breast and it's a great way for a baby to fall asleep. And then you have a baby that wakes up during the night, so our breastfeeding parent gets up and they feed that baby. And then the only way that baby knows how to fall asleep is.

At the breast and I have zero issue with that. That's totally fine. I'm, you know, we all have sleep associations. Like I get in bed and I fix my blankets and my pillows exactly the way I want. Um, the problem is, is that when there's only one sleep association for a baby, then that's the only way baby can know how to go to sleep.

So again, kind of getting partner involved in. Bedtime, getting them involved in the going to sleep process, even if it's while the baby is being breastfed. That other parent is patting baby on the back. Sh, you know, shushing the baby, singing a song, [00:30:00] whatever. And that way now, you know, if we, if we have that scenario, baby has three ways that they can fall asleep.

They can fall asleep to padding, they can fall asleep to shushing or that belly and the breastfeeding. So now it makes it easier to take the breastfeeding piece out of it. So involving partners. as much as possible because again, it's those early days. It's like, oh yeah, it's no problem. I'll just get up.

I'll feed the baby. Not a problem. But after a few months, that gets old and that's when, again, I get a lot of phone calls, three, four, five, six months. And they, they need respite, they need help. And now trying to bring this other parent in at three o'clock in the morning and the baby's already got. You know, idea of how things are gonna go down makes it a lot harder.

So if from the very beginning, if we can involve partners in everything and in that breastfeeding and in that soothing relationship, then it does make it easier to involve them at [00:31:00] other, at other times when it's really hard, like three o'clock 

Natalie: Yeah. Yeah. No, I like the, the whole family perspective on that for sure. And just to clarify for our listeners too, um, breastfeeding to sleep is not a bad association. It's a great thing, , and you can do it however long you want to. I mean, obviously everybody makes their decisions, but. Yeah, I wanna say I hear that from people like, don't, don't breastfeed to sleep, cuz you'll, you know, your baby will rely on it or don't rock them to sleep, put them down when they're drowsy.

But awake goes against a lot of like parenting intuitions, especially mom's intuitions. Um, so yeah, do do what you want with your own baby. , that's


Laura: And then, and it also just like adds stress when you add all these rules, it just adds so much stress to the parents instead of them just being able to follow their baby's cues and, and follow what comes [00:32:00] naturally to them. So, yeah.

Natalie: Totally. Yeah. Um, okay, so if you were to recommend someone. Certain books, resources, accounts to follow. What are all the things that you would recommend, um, for someone who is interested in learning about this for their own pregnancy and postpartum journey?

Laura: So for sleep, definitely one of my favorite people is Lindsay Hook Way. She's phenomenal. She has a fantastic book for, well, actually she has several books, but she's just amazing when it comes to sleep. She's also a lactation consultant, so all of her sleep information is very breastfeeding friendly. Uh, so she's definitely one of my favorites to follow as far as.

Uh, like Instagram, sleep and, and breastfeeding stuff in there. Uh, Debra McNamara is amazing as far as the [00:33:00] relationship building between parents and their, and their children and their babies, uh, from a what is a, a normal emotional development for babies and children. She has a fantastic book. Um, and I never say it right. Rest, play and grow. Or those words could be in any order, , it could be grow, rest, and play. I don't know. But it's those three words. Uh, so that book is really, really good. And her Instagram, uh, she's kind of like me. She's spotty on Instagram. Like she'll be really, really good for a while posting, and then you kind of don't hear from her for a while.

And I'm like, solidarity. But, um, so her, her account is really good as, as well. So those are some of my favorites for that. For, for breastfeeding, I love legendary. Dairy, like it's spelled like a dairy, like a cow [00:34:00] dairy, uh, legendary milk is one that I love. And then, oh, oh, what? It's, her name is Angela Doss. D a s, and I think it's motherhood untamed lactation.

I think she's, she's really, really, uh, phenomenal as well. And oh my goodness, now I can't think of, there's a third Instagram account that I really, really like for breastfeeding and I can't even think of the name of it right now, but it's really good. And maybe I'll message you and you 

Natalie: Yes, send it to 

Laura: stick it out to the message

Natalie: I'll put it in the show


Laura: those are some of my favorites. Okay. Alright. 

Natalie: Awesome. Um, okay, so then I wanna kind of flip gears to your, your doula education that you provide. So you educate doulas, you certify them, um, what does that look like? What do you offer? And then, um, another part of that question is what re what resources would you recommend them?

Laura: All [00:35:00] right. So yeah, I do, I, I have been a trainer with Kappa since 2005, and since 2014 I have been the, uh, senior program advisor for the postpartum doula program and the new parent educator program, well, actually new parent educator program since 2014 because our. Since 2017, because that's when we designed that program.

Um, but anyway, so I do, I train, um, mainly the, I mainly train postpartum doulas and new parent educators. So postpartum doulas are, you know, doulas that work with families after the baby is born. Uh, support, uh, typically in home, although. Thank you pandemic. We learned how to also do it virtually, which was really helpful and is not going away.

Uh, and then I also do the new parent educator program, which is, it's childbirth ed, except for it's what happens after the baby is born. So it's all about a [00:36:00] lot of those things that I've been talking about with, with newborns and, uh, the, those relationship building and, and things like that. So, how to. How to really teach it is what that new parent educator program is about.

Um, we do go into some of the basics, but a lot of it is how, how do we teach today's parents in a way that's relevant and helps them to remember? So there's that piece of it. Um, I do also teach the lactation educator training for Kappa. , which is, you know, it's a, for teaching classes for breastfeeding, as well as one-on-one support for breastfeeding.

Uh, so that's a really fantastic program. And I do still teach some labor doula trainings, uh, just here and there, uh, depends on the situation, but I, I may, my main focus is the postpartum dula and the new parent educator, 

Natalie: Awesome. 

Laura: for those. So, um, and I, you know, my. You know, my go-to resources for those would [00:37:00] be, you know, come talk to me,

I'm more than happy to help people who are really looking to support families and, and really give families that, that, that support and that education, because I think it's just so important for, for families to have that and. I, I'm pretty passionate about teaching those trainings. I feel like I'm, I'm a rock in a pond that when, when I, I can't reach hundreds of families, but I can teach, you know, 15 people and then they can reach.

10 people and, or, you know, 10 families. And so that just makes, makes the reach bigger. So, um, and then Kappa, the organization that I work for, we, we have a lot of continuing education and a lot of education pieces for people as well. We have a conference for our members every year, and actually in [00:38:00] 2023 we're doing four mini conferences instead of one big conference.

We do have virtual. Support for, for those professionals as well. So those are some of my, you know, I, I have been with Kappa since, uh, 2001 and have really watched the, the programs and the organization to grow and change with the times. And so I. I do think it's a fantastic organization, which is why I've been with it for, for so long.

Natalie: Yeah, that's what, 21 years . That's a long


Laura: Yep. It's almost as old as my kids, so.

Natalie: Amazing. Okay. Um, a couple questions that I ask every single guest who comes on my, my podcast is if you could boil it down to one piece of advice for our listeners, and you can do, I'll give you two, you can do one for clients , one [00:39:00] for professionals if you'd like. Um, what do you want everyone to know?

Laura: So for, for clients, for families that are pregnant or having babies, is that my one piece of advice is dig deep and listen to your intuition, trust yourself, and then also really trust your baby. It's, it's a, it's a, a relationship that's going to last, you know, f forever. So start that relationship really, really young where you have this relationship of trust between the two of you.

And, um, it pays often is, is pretty cool when you can have older kids that still trust you. So start at, start at 

Natalie: Yeah. 

Laura: Um, and then for professionals, I would just say that. Be, be yourself as, as an educator or a doula and don't be afraid [00:40:00] to, to really jump in there and, and do it. If you have a passion for it, jump in and do it, but then do it.

Do it as yourself. A lot of times when I train people, a lot of times people do, they become a doula because they had a doula and they love their doula. Um, but then they kind of try to be their doula and. So I am, you know, follow your passions and what are your passions in this and, and be, be yourself as, as a doula or an educator because people are going to be attracted to you for you.

But if you're trying to put on somebody else, they're, they're, that you're gonna struggle with that because you're not going to be as natural when people are going to pick up on that.

Natalie: I find, I found that to be true when I was doing, like doing doula work years ago. I became a doula when I was what, 17 years old? 18, something like that. And people hired me, even though I had no children of my own, and I had no birth experience either. I maybe attended like [00:41:00] three births as like a, a co doula, kind of an observation doula.

And they're, yeah. So it was amazing to see that. And I think it's really more about if you click with a person and. Like them for them rather than their certifications and their experience and their knowledge and all of that. Because that will come, that

will come with time. 

Laura: Yeah. It's, it's a vulnerable time. People want somebody in their space they can trust, so yeah, that's, that's huge. 

Natalie: Alright, so where can listeners find you online? What services do you offer right now?

And then how would someone book with.

Laura: All right, so you can find, l a u r a n a n c I am. On Facebook and Instagram and Twitter. And again, like I said, sometimes I'm there and sometimes I'm not. But the, uh, they're all, some sort of [00:42:00] configuration of Laura Nas education. Some of them have some little underscores and things like that, but you can find me there.

And then also, The, you know, the new programs are under prepared to, so you can find that information there. And for anybody that is, you know, interested in becoming a, a doula or an educator, then absolutely you can, you can reach out to me, you can, you can probably email. Best way in most cases you can do Laura for love of

And also, you know, you can always DM me on social media even though I am not big at posting. I. Typically see my notifications. So, uh, that's, those are the ways that you can usually get ahold of me. But yeah, if you want to talk about any of those things, I am more than happy to talk to people and more than happy to chat with [00:43:00] people about any, any of these things, professional or for families.

Natalie: I love it. I think that goes for most birthy people. . We love talking about all things surrounding pregnancy, postpartum, pelvic floor, birth. So, and t m I is not a thing, right? So if

people have questions yes, then feel free to send them Laura's way. So Laura, thank you so much for being here today and sharing your passion and energy with us.

Um, I know all of our, our listeners, both professionals and moms themselves, will really find it informative, so thank you.

Laura: Yes. Thank you so much for asking me. I am super excited to, to be able to talk with you and it's always fun to talk with you, so I appreciate it.

Natalie: My top takeaway from my conversation with Laura was that we really need more education on the realities of what that postpartum time can really look like and what type of help is out there and [00:44:00] available for you. I love how she echoes many of my previous guests by talking about lactation consultants, education on pelvic floor, and learning as much as you can from all of the resources that are out there.

 Speaking of resources, I've linked all of the ones she mentioned, as well as her sites and social pages for you to follow in the show notes for this. Please remember that what you hear on this podcast is not medical advice, but remember to always do your own research and talk to your healthcare team before making important decisions about your wellness.

If you found this podcast helpful, the best compliment is sharing it with a friend. Thanks so much for listening. I'll catch you next time.