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True Birth

Dr. Yaakov Abdelhak & Kristin Mallon, RN, CNM

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Helping women have better births and better birth experiences. Our experts share their perspectives on pregnancy, childbirth and the postpartum period. These are raw, honest stories about the experience of labor from the professional's point of view. Listen and get inside your OB/GYN or midwife's head. Our goal is to share the truth about pregnancy and birth with the listener and to explain our thought process. We see our role as one in which we guide and inform, presenting facts so that the ...
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Dearest Doula with Nathalie Saenz

Nathalie Saenz chats with top birth workers and birth experts such as Demetria Clark & Maria Pokluda, with Inspiration from Ina May Gaskin, Penny Simkin, Pam England, and Sheila Kitzinger.

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On Dearest Doula we will learn about a host of birth related topics from top professionals in our field, and connect with doulas and other birth workers so they can share their wisdom with you. Our topic based shows are chock-full of knowledge bombs, tips and resources that you can arm yourself with and add to your doula arsenal of awesomeness. Our birth worker features are all near and dear to my heart, and I invite you to let their journey light your path. Listening to their struggles, the ...
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Doula availability is a topic that can cause some anxiety. Being on-call 24/7 is a significant challenge, and adapting to this lifestyle requires careful planning and boundary-setting. Your phone is an essential lifeline to both your family and your clients. Feeling overwhelmed by the need to be available at a moment's notice is common, but there a…
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Managing money is an essential skill for doulas, yet many need time, patience, and effort to develop this skill. Doulas must practice setting aside money for taxes to avoid being caught off guard during tax season. When that tax bill hits, it can hit hard. The unpredictable nature of birth work also requires budgeting your income. Without a budget …
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Navigating the challenges of working with independent contractors as an agency owner is no small feat. Your agency's reputation, especially your own, hinges on contractors doing their jobs well. Many owners feel compelled to control contractor performance to ensure the work meets their high standards. However, regulations for independent contractor…
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Should You Trust Online Reviews? The Pros and Cons of Relying on Online Feedback In our increasingly digital world, online reviews have become a staple for making decisions, especially when it comes to choosing healthcare providers. But with so much information at our fingertips, how do we know if we should trust these reviews? Let's explore the pr…
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In this episode, we discuss recent events that have come to our attention and give our thoughts and feedback. A recent case that has gained national traction involves the passing of a mother and baby. What can we do as doulas if we are in a situation where we don't see a provider meeting the standards of care? Speaking up can be difficult, yet help…
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As a doula, navigating unexpected situations will become a part of our work. Perhaps a client who has a premature baby. Or those whose labors begin and progress too quickly to get to their chosen birth location. Thinking on our feet and embracing the unexpected will inevitably become a part of our work. When navigating these unexpected situations, …
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Today, we're diving into a fascinating and important topic: what to expect during a twin vaginal delivery. Twin pregnancies come with their own unique set of considerations, and understanding the process can help expectant parents feel more prepared and confident. In this episode, we'll explore the stages of labor, the role of the medical team, and…
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For many birth workers, where they enter this work is not the same place where they wind up. For example, some may enter this work providing labor support. Yet they may find once they have their own children, that postpartum work is a better fit. Others may enter into the field via postpartum support. Then, life leads them into childbirth or newbor…
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As doulas, it's not uncommon to encounter individuals with a fear of birth. This fear can be rooted in many sources. First, the way in which TV represents birth. Second, the stories our friends and family share; and third, an individual's lived experiences. The media often portrays birth as a dramatic process. The water breaks and the camera cuts t…
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Doula mistakes come in all shapes and sizes. We're human, so it's understandable that mistakes will happen. Some mistakes will be unavoidable and only discovered through trial and error. Others can be avoided. Common mistakes include a lack of effective communication, such as being slow or failing to follow up on inquiries or client communications.…
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Welcome to True Birth, where we provide raw, honest insights into pregnancy, childbirth, and the postpartum period. Dr. Yaakov Abdelhak, a Perinatologist, and Certified Nurse Midwife Kristin Mallon are here to share their professional perspectives straight from the trenches of the labor floor. Episode Overview: In this special episode, we delve int…
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One of the most common questions we hear is, "How do we navigate the question of how many clients we have supported when we first start out?" The question "How many births have you attended?" Or "How many families have you supported postpartum?" is not uncommon. Certain personality types are more inclined to ask these types of questions. For them, …
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When expecting a baby, among the flurry of decisions to be made, choosing where to deliver stands out as one of the most significant. It's a choice that goes beyond mere geography or convenience; it's about where you'll welcome your child into the world and the first level of care both of you will receive. It's about safety, support, and a positive…
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Supporting single parents through pregnancy, labor, and the postpartum period looks different than supporting those who are partnered. How we approach labor or postpartum support with an unpartnered parent will look different. Many factors will be different when planning for labor. For example, will they get to their birth location? Or who will mak…
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A typical day for an OB/GYN on the labor floor in Labor and Delivery (L&D) is dynamic and multifaceted, blending clinical acumen with compassionate patient care. Their day begins with rounding on patients who are in various stages of labor, assessing their progress, and managing any complications that arise. Throughout the day, the OB/GYN is consta…
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As birth professionals, providing evidence-based information to our clients is essential. However, it's not uncommon to wonder where to find quality research. Knowing how to read and interpret the evidence is also a skill that takes time and discernment. The first step is understanding the types of studies that exist. From randomized controlled tri…
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Easing Back Pain During Pregnancy: Tips and Insights Pregnancy is a beautiful journey filled with anticipation and joy, but it can also bring about a less welcomed companion: back pain. Many expectant mothers experience back pain, particularly in the second and third trimesters. This discomfort arises from the natural changes your body undergoes to…
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According to the American Cancer Society, vulvar cancer accounts for 6% of all cancers of the female reproductive organs. Over 1600 individuals will die from vulvar cancer per year. Cancers of the uterus, cervix, and ovaries are far more well-known, identified, and diagnosed. Yet, cancer of the vulva is a diagnosis that is often hard to obtain. Oft…
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Advanced maternal age is defined as a pregnant individual who is 35 years of age or older at the estimated due date or date of delivery. Pregnancy at or beyond this age is considered a risk factor for adverse outcomes in the birthing person and baby. When one is considered "advanced" in age, it is common for closer monitoring to be recommended duri…
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Navigating the Path toward a Successful VBAC: Essential Questions for Your Healthcare Provider As strong advocates for informed and empowered childbirth, this episdoe addresses a topic close to the hearts of many expectant parents: Vaginal Birth After Cesarean (VBAC). Choosing a VBAC-friendly provider is a critical step in this journey, not just fo…
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Combination feeding is one of many approaches families choose when feeding their baby. It may be the plan from the start. Or, clients may find themselves settling into combination feeding due to postpartum challenges. Some parents may feel that taking on 100% of the responsibility for infant feeding is an overwhelming task. For these individuals, s…
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The No Surprises Act: A Much-Needed Shield in the Healthcare Battlefield In the labyrinth of American healthcare, where the Minotaur of unexpected costs lurks around every corner, the No Surprises Act emerges as a beacon of clarity and protection. Enacted in 2022, this legislation represents a crucial step in untangling the Gordian knot of medical …
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Perinatal mood and anxiety disorders impact 15-21% of pregnant and postpartum individuals, according to the National Institute of Health. As birth professionals, it is likely that you will encounter a client who experiences a mood or anxiety disorder during pregnancy or after birth. We must be able to identify the signs and symptoms of those who ma…
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True Birth discusses new tech in pregnancy. Pregnancy is a time of wonder and anticipation, but it also comes with its share of medical checkups and monitoring. Traditional prenatal care often involves frequent visits to the doctor's office, which can be time-consuming and inconvenient for expectant mothers. However, with advancements in technology…
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It's been a busy, amazing year of growth, learning, and success. Here we are again at the end of another amazing season. Looking back over the past year, it's always fun to see our most popular episodes and share our favorites. As always, your love and passion for the topics we talk about are seen, heard, and felt so very much. We appreciate the in…
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Bringing a new life into the world is a miraculous and life-changing experience. The 24 hours following childbirth are a crucial time for both mother and baby, as they require specialized care and support. In this episode of True Birth, we will take you through what to expect during this period, from the delivery of the placenta to the early stages…
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When it comes to your website, there are a few website essentials that you should be sure to include. There are also common traps that you should avoid. Your website is the virtual storefront of your business. Often, it will be the first impression that a prospective client will encounter. As a result, you must make an excellent first impression. T…
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Choosing between virtual or in-person training is one of the first choices often made when considering the many pathways to becoming a doula. Both formats offer pros and cons to learners. Which format may work best for you will depend on many factors. Do you thrive in more independent learning? Or do you thrive in a classroom setting? Do you learn …
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Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is a common virus that can cause respiratory infections in people of all ages, including pregnant women. RSV infections are more prevalent during the fall and winter months. While RSV infections are usually mild and cold-like in healthy adults, they can lead to more severe respiratory symptoms in certain population…
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Navigating the healthcare payor system in the United States can be a complex and sometimes overwhelming task. Understanding the intricacies of in-network and out-of-network insurance, as well as co-pays and deductibles, is crucial for making informed decisions about your healthcare. Here's a guide to help you through this labyrinth. Understanding Y…
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The methods of support provided during the third stage of labor are many. How the third stage progresses will determine the type of support appropriate for each client. Assistance with bonding, the initiation of breastfeeding, and supporting a client through a perineal tear are all ways in which a client may need the support of their doula. It is a…
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Understanding birth-related trauma is an essential skill for all individuals who work in the perinatal field. The fundamental definition of trauma is: a deeply distressing or disturbing experience. When working with birthing or newly postpartum families, we may encounter clients who will identify their experience as traumatic. It is never our role …
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The expectations vs the realities of doula work can be vast. Many people consider entering this work, thinking it will be sunshine and rainbows. Experiencing birth and cuddling babies is often high on these lists. One of the very first stark realities that most doulas face is the fact that they are starting a business. It's easy to focus on just wo…
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What are some of the reasons someone would choose to transfer OB/GYN providers later in a pregnancy? Say, perhaps after 20 weeks of gestation? There are several reasons why someone may choose to transfer to a different healthcare provider late in pregnancy. These reasons may include: Dissatisfaction with Current Provider: A person may become dissat…
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The landscape of obstetrics is undergoing a profound transformation, characterized by both positive and challenging changes. On the positive side, advancements in medical technology and evidence-based practices are enhancing the safety and well-being of expectant mothers and their babies. Access to prenatal care, maternal education, and support sys…
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Childbirth education is a way for pregnant individuals to learn about the process of birth and what options may exist. It does this through expelling fear and increasing knowledge. In addition, it teaches pregnant people how to advocate for their wishes. However, the role of the doula and the role of the childbirth educator seem very similar but th…
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For many, the pushing phase of labor is an exciting yet scary part of the labor process. Many individuals have concerns or fears surrounding the pushing phase of labor. From tearing to their infant's safety, a doula is needed for emotional and physical support. Supporting a client through this phase begins during pregnancy. Here, we can help client…
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In the world of obstetrics and labor and delivery, statistics often play a pivotal role in shaping expectations for both parents and healthcare providers. Whether it's the odds of a smooth pregnancy, a complication-free childbirth, or a successful outcome in high-risk scenarios, we're frequently presented with numbers that can either bolster our ho…
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We often see questions among doulas about agency interviews. There are a lot of specific questions about what to expect and what questions to ask the agency. Each agency will have specific questions that they feel are important to ask. So, what you may encounter will vary from agency to agency. However, some questions will overlap between businesse…
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While many things have remained the same for millenia, the field of Obstetrics and Gynecology (OB-GYN) has witnessed remarkable advancements over the years, revolutionizing the way healthcare professionals care for pregnant individuals and women's reproductive health. As medical understanding deepens and technology progresses, certain practices tha…
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In the realm of pregnancy complications, vasa previa stands as a rare but potentially life-threatening condition that demands vigilant attention and awareness. Although relatively uncommon, vasa previa requires early diagnosis and appropriate management to ensure the safety of both the mother and the unborn child. In this blog post, we'll delve int…
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There are many benefits to adding placenta services as a part of the services you offer. While there is a benefit to the clients who utilize this service, there are also benefits to those who offer it. Processing the placenta for encapsulation in the client's home brings a wealth of benefits to the client in addition to safety. It also allows the e…
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Learning how to initiate and lead conversations between prospective clients and clients is an essential skill in doula work. Yet at times, doulas often feel unsure about what to ask or how to keep the client conversations going. Beyond the core questions of due date, location of delivery, and basic contact information, what other information a doul…
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Throughout the ages, various misconceptions have surrounded this magical phase of a woman's life, often leading to laughter and disbelief. In this blog, we will delve into some of the funniest pregnancy myths and unravel the truth behind them. Cravings Indicate Baby's Gender: One of the most popular and entertaining myths is that a pregnant woman's…
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In today's fast-paced and dynamic world, the modern woman plays many roles, and none is more profound than that of a working mother. The journey of pregnancy and motherhood is an extraordinary experience, one that transforms a woman in ways that cannot be fully comprehended until lived. As we navigate the complexities of balancing work and family l…
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There are many facets to consider when supporting a client through active labor. This stage of labor is often an opportunity to become more physically active and present in client support. However, it is also important to remember to alternate periods of activity with rest during active labor. When supporting clients through this stage of labor, it…
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The Positive Side of Forced Deliveries: Embracing Birth with Forceps Childbirth is a remarkable journey that brings forth new life and creates an everlasting bond between a mother and her baby. While the majority of births occur naturally, there are instances when medical intervention becomes necessary to ensure the well-being of both mother and ch…
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A common inquiry in many online doula communities is where to find free samples to give to clients. While it's likely true that most people love a freebie, are they actually free? Many individuals don't consider the cost of their time in requesting, processing, storing, and handing out freebies. Additionally, many companies that give out products f…
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The world of genetics is an intricate and complex field, a web of codes that define every aspect of our being. Occasionally, unexpected changes that occur during the formation of these genetic blueprints, and these can lead to various genetic disorders. Among these disorders are Trisomy 18 and Trisomy 13, also known as Edwards Syndrome and Patau Sy…
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As birth professionals, education surrounding the perinatal period is an ongoing process. While it is impossible to learn everything about pregnancy, birth, and postpartum, countless opportunities are available to expand your knowledge base. But how do you decide which topics to choose? When thinking about continuing education, think out of the box…
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