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  • What is a Doula? A Guest Blog by Ana RapoportDoula : pronounced : "doo-la" A doula is a woman experienced in childbirth who provides continuous physical, emotional, and informational support to the mother before, during and just after childbirth. Doulas can advise laborning women on comfort measures such as breathing, relaxation, massage, movement, and positioning. Doulas do not offer medical diagnoses or advise but may facilitate positive communication between provider and client, helping both partners and providers address and consider the woman's emotional needs, questions, and fears. Doulas respect patient self-determination and do not impose personal values on patients. They follow a code of ethics and are committed to patient confidentiality.Doulas are trained to offer support during c-sections as well ...
    Posted Jun 28, 2014, 9:14 PM by Lisa Baracker
  • On The Road Again... As I  pack and prepare for another summer road trip  (traveling east to our mountain lake home in WV) I can't help but reflect on the first 6 months of 2012. This was not only a period of growth for our practice, but for me personally, as well. Never in my wildest dreams did I envision being in this place at this phase of my life - what an adventure! When I first dove into the Doula world I thought I knew a lot about women and birth, based on accumulated knowledge from my nursing background and personal experiences. Since then I have had the honor of sharing in the wondrous birth journeys of so many amazing, diverse women + partners ...
    Posted Oct 5, 2012, 2:20 PM by Lisa Baracker
  • Disparities in Home Birth I present to you one of my MPH writing assignments for Health Disparities & Community Organizing which I completed with Felicia Dunlap in the Fall of 2011.Disparities in Home Birth: The Status of Home Birth in the US by: Lisa Baracker & Felicia Dunlap Touro University CaliforniaAbstract This paper highlights the state of home birth disparities in the United States. It seeks to explore the reasons that home birth is not as main stream as evidence suggests that it could be among women who have low-risk pregnancies. The paper focuses on 5 key issues in home birth, each with a resounding need for change. Considering the culture of birth in the US, socioeconomic disparities among home birthers, insurance coverage ...
    Posted Mar 7, 2013, 3:12 PM by Lisa Baracker
  • First Assist It's funny how things just land in your lap, don't you think?  There I was talking to another student at school, when the midwife I work with at a local birth center calls me and texts me to see if I can come assist at a birth later that day. "Sure," I say thinking that would be a fun thing to do tonight.  I have waited for this day to come for so long, that I had forgotten that it could even happen.  So, I get some lunch and go to a postpartum visit with one of my amazing families.  Going about my day like nothing is really any different.  I was surprised about the lack of nerves ...
    Posted Jan 11, 2012, 10:49 AM by Lisa Baracker
  • Pregnancy & Childbirth Education Policy I present to you one of my MPH writing assignments for Health Policy & Management Class which I completed in the Summer of 2011.Expanding & Adjusting CPSP: A National Policy Proposal OVERVIEW: The current health care system in the US has a significant black hole when it comes to the care of pregnant women and their babies; physicians tend to utilize the medical model of wait and see rather than the midwifery model of prevent, educate and inform. This is a serious gap in prenatal coverage, which needs to be bridged, so that pregnant women are not treated as diseased but rather accompanied on a journey. Besides, when is comes to pregnancy what is there to treat? Is pregnancy a disease ...
    Posted Jan 11, 2012, 10:53 AM by Lisa Baracker
  • VBAC Policy Memo I present to you one of my MPH writing assignments for Health Policy & Management Class which I completed in the Summer of 2011. To: Senator Ed Hernandez, O.D., Chair, Senate Committee on HealthCc: Subject: VBAC Support at Every California HospitalFrom: Lisa Baracker, Doula and Birth Advocate, WhatadoulaDate: 23 June 2011 Problem Statement            California is the most progressive state in terms of healthcare. California’s teaching hospitals and research facilities represent some of the worlds best advances in medicine, its constituents have passed laws allowing access to medical marijuana, and yet California women are still subject to hospital policies that impede their right to birth the way they choose. This is especially true after they have had ...
    Posted Jan 11, 2012, 10:53 AM by Lisa Baracker
  • Are we in the Zoo? When I was in college I took an Animal Ecology class during my senior summer that was fascinating. We discussed several topics, but the one that always stood out in my mind was Stereotypic Movements in Zoo Animals. These movements are the manifestation of animals being kept in habitats that are not natural to them.  You would never find a tiger pacing at a fence in the wild, because there is no fence in the wild.  You would not find a bear circulating in figure eights in the wild because they would have further to walk then the confines of there zoo habitat.  In fact, the animals in the zoo can rarely be released to the wild because they ...
    Posted Jul 26, 2017, 11:11 AM by Lisa Baracker
  • Forceps I have always cringed at the used of forceps in childbirth, and I still do, but on Saturday morning I saw a mind-blowing birth.  A mom was laboring very hard to push her baby out and pushed for a very long time.  Something just wasn't working.  This mom was trying for a Vaginal Birth After Cesarean (VBAC) and she was having a lot of pain in her C-section incision scar.  The doctors could have just jumped on it and pushed her into having a C-section, but that wasn't their game plan.  They were worried about the incision pain that she was having, but they wanted to let her push the baby out on her own ...
    Posted Jan 11, 2012, 10:54 AM by Lisa Baracker
  • Experience I was at a birth once where the mother to be was doing an amazing job laboring away, when the hospital staff told us that they had all the experience needed to help her have her baby.  It was sort of out of the blue, but they wanted us (the family and I) to know that they knew what they were doing.  I think that they were trying to reassure the mother that the combined 52-years of experience that they had was going to keep her safe in labor, but I didn't hear it that way at all.  And the question that immediately popped into my head was whose experience is this anyway?  It doesn't seem to ...
    Posted Jan 11, 2012, 10:55 AM by Lisa Baracker
  • Protected = Strong I think that women should be cared for when they are in labor.  I think that means that you should have people around you that protect your birth and care about making sure that you, and thus your experience, will be protected while you are giving birth.  Women are so much stronger than they know.  I hear women everyday tell me that they don't know if they will be able to take the pain.  They just don't know if they can do it.  Well I am here to tell you that you can.  If your circumstances are normal, if your Midwife tells you that you and your baby are healthy and doing great, then you CAN do it ...
    Posted Jan 11, 2012, 10:55 AM by Lisa Baracker
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