Have you considered having a birth doula for your childbirth experience? For this episode, we welcome Alex Mente, a professional birth doula in Milwaukee and owner of Mind Body Spirit Birth Services. Alex supports families and helps them prepare for pregnancy, labor, delivery and postpartum. It is Alex's goal to provide mothers and families with the support and knowledge they need to make informed decisions about their pregnancy and labor process. Alex and I talk about some of the common misconceptions out there about a birth doula and how she supports both mom and dad during labor. We chat about how a birth doula is one of many resources families can take advantage of in order to set themselves up for a more successful postpartum period. Plus, we discuss how a birth doula can work alongside medical staff in a hospital birth setting to advocate for the mother without being combative. It is always such a joy to sit down with Alex. She is kind and passionate, and we know you’re going to love hearing this conversation!
- [6:24] Alex Mente, birth doula with Mind Body Spirit Birth Services, explains what a doula is and how the role of a doula differs from that of a midwife.
- [7:43] Alex explains how she stepped into the role of a doula.
- [9:32] We discuss whether or not there is an “ideal candidate” when it comes to who can benefit from using a doula during their childbirth experience.
- [11:00] Alex emphasizes the importance of preparation for birth, regardless of the type of birth plan a family has, and she explains how she helps with the preparation process.
- [15:32] Dr. Brenda shares her experience with Alex as her birth doula and describes the ways her family benefited from having a doula present during labor and delivery at the hospital.
- [16:33] We talk about dads and how a good doula will involve dad as much as possible and will never replace the role of the dad.
- [19:44] While many people view services like a birth doula and a pelvic floor physical therapist as a luxury, they are game-changers when it comes to childbirth and recovery, and moms should see them as an essential investment.
- [20:33] Dr. Brenda gives us an update on the pregnancy research study led by Revitalize Physical Therapy. *UPDATE: Since the recording of this episode, the pregnancy research study has received IRB approval and is officially underway.
- [23:02] In this information age, we often don’t know what advice to believe when it comes to pregnancy and delivery. But the impact childbirth has on the female body is undeniable. We discuss the ways the current model of postpartum care falls short and how we need more education for women in this area.
- [26:20] Alex tries to help fill in some of the information gaps for new parents by being a source of a variety of resources to families, whether it is community, breastfeeding, pelvic floor issues, etc.
- [27:40] Alex shares her advice for someone who is researching a birth doula. She also explains what sets a good doula apart, how to find the right fit, and what to consider when it comes to choosing the right birth doula.
- [31:00] We talk about the dynamic between a doula and medical personal and how Alex approaches the relationship between family, medical staff, and birth doula in a hospital setting.
- [35:26] Alex explains some of the techniques and preparation she uses with families to make decisions during childbirth, especially when it comes to pain management options.
- [39:10] Dr. Brenda asks Alex her opinion on whether a doula who has not had children is more or less equipped for the job than one who has given birth herself.
- [42:00] We talk about how becoming a mother can change your perspective and allow you to relate better to mothers in your job in many cases: as a pelvic floor physical therapist, a birth doula, or even as a teacher.
- [45:45] Alex shares her biggest piece of advice for pregnant moms.
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Links Mentioned In This Episode:
The Better Sex Event: Wednesday, March 18, 2020
Mind Body Spirit Birth Services Website