The I word ?! Inductions…


They can be intense, if you don’t know how to navigate them. Im here to tell you the process, the options, the side effects and when they are necessary or not.

“Inducing labor is the artificial start of the birth process through medical interventions or other methods.”(1) Inductions can start many different ways and end many different ways. The one thing that is the same at every labor and induction is, you have options. Know your options, ask questions and remember to use your BRAIN: Benefits, Risks, Alternatives, Intuition, and No or Nothing. Some times decisions need to be made quickly though. So knowing your options before anything happens is key. As a doula and child birth educator I know there are times inductions are necessary and other times they are not.


  • High blood pressure
  • Hypertension
  • Bleeding in pregnancy
  • Preeclampsia
  • Gestational diabetes
  • Water broken longer than 24 hours
  • A pregnancy past 42 weeks
  • A uterine infection known as chorioamnionitis


  • “Big baby”
  • Timing for Drs benefit

Labor Brain InductionsThe process:                                                                                                                                          Most hospitals have you arrive in the morning, depending on the circumstances with your induction they may start by inserting a prostaglandin into your vagina. A prostaglandin is a suppository, it’s  inserted into the vagina. It can help the cervix soften and efface. Your prostaglandin may kick start your labor starting regular contractions, if this happens it is possible you may not need pitocin. Pitocin is a synthetic form of oxytocin which the body produces naturally during labor. Depending on how you labor is going thus far and how you and baby are tolerating the medication, you may be able to wait and see  if your labor pattern picks up before starting pitocin. If pitocin is needed you will be hooked up to an iv if you don’t already have one, your pitocin will drip with your iv fluids.  Pitocin helps your contractions become more frequent and regular. It can make your contractions become so intense that they are too much for you to handle without pain relief. Most of the time, after pitocin is started, your dosage increases every 30 min.

Pitocin side effects (2)

  • redness or irritation at the injection site
  • loss of appetite
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • cramping
  • stomach pain
  • more intense or more frequent contractions (this is an expected effect of oxytocin)
  • runny nose
  • sinus pain or irritation
  • memory problems

Tell your doctor if you experience serious side effects of Pitocin including:

  • fast, slow, or uneven heart rate;
  • excessive bleeding long after childbirth;
  • headache
  • confusion
  • slurred speech
  • hallucinations
  • severe vomiting
  • severe weakness
  • muscle cramps
  • loss of coordination
  • feeling unsteady
  • seizure (convulsions)
  • fainting
  • shallow breathing or breathing that stops
  • dangerously high blood pressure (severe headache, blurred vision, buzzing in your ears, anxiety, confusion, chest pain, shortness of breath, uneven heartbeats, seizure).

Another option for your induction is a foley/cooks catheter. Foley/Cooks catheter(3): a catheter with a ballon at one end and a bag of saline at the other end. The balloon is placed just inside of your cervix to help dilate your cervix. The balloon is slowly filled with saline. Sometimes your nurse will place a string around the catheter with an additional bag of saline attached to it for added traction to help more with dilation and effacement.

Catheter Side effects(3)

  • acute transient febrile reaction
  • non-reassuring FHR tracing
  • vaginal bleeding
  •  pain necessitating removal of catheter
  •  altered fetal presentation from vertex to breech

Inductions can be quick or they can be long. It’s a coin toss.

During your induction to help your labor further along with the least interventions make sure you stay hydrated, and you move around as much as possible. If you cannot be up and moving stay as upright as possible. When prostaglandins are administered you may have to stay reclined for a period of time. The birth ball and peanut ball can be your best friend in labor, Both can help your hips stay wide so baby has a chance to move lower to further along your labor. Your birth team can help you relax and remember to breathe. I often see my clients during a contraction holding their breath. I promise you the easiest way to try to avoid the annoying oxygen mask is to remember to breathe. Talk with your birth team well before your induction, about what pain relief you would like. What ever your choice is remember its your choice, not theirs, not the nurses, not the Dr’s, and not your families, Its YOUR choice. What ever happens during your labor and delivery, remember to breath and use your BRAIN. I hope you have a wonderful labor and delivery. If you would like more information on preparing for your labor, delivery and bringing your newest addition home contact The Nurturing Doula:

The Nurturing Doula, LLC                                                                                                            Katy Schmidt


* The Nurturing Doula is not a Doctor, please consult your Dr for further information on benefits and risks.


(1)http://americanpregnancy.org/labor-and-birth/inducing-labor/                                         (2)https://www.rxlist.com/pitocin-side-effects-drug-center.htm                                                (3) http://contemporaryobgyn.modernmedicine.com/contemporary-obgyn/content/tags/foley-balloon/transcervical-foley-balloon


Epidural vs No Pain Medication

As a doula I get the feeling most women believe just because I help women cope with the pain I think they should avoid pain medication. This is an incorrect fact! As a doula I believe and know all births are different and all birthing women are different. Some feel they can cope with the pain without pain medication, some don’t, and some want to try to cope without it but are open to it. I do not care which you choose, as long as it is YOUR decision not someone else’s that they forced upon you.

Did you know that more then 50% of laboring mothers use an epidural?

Some Pros and cons of epidurals vs no pain medication:

Epidural Pros

  • allows you to rest from the pain, sometimes you may even be able to sleep
  • with the pain relief some women have a more positive birth experience
  • may give you the extra strength needed to move forward with delivery
  • with the epidural in place you may stay awake if a cesarean is necessary
  • can help you deal with exhaustion and fatigue

Epidural Cons

  • can cause your blood pressure to suddenly drop
  • may get a severe headache
  • slowed or stopped labor
  • the following are side effects from the epidural: shivering, ringing in ears, backache, soreness where needle was placed, nausea, or difficulty urinating.
  • some women find the epidural makes pushing more difficult
  • in rare cases permanent nerve damage may happen where the catheter was inserted
  • baby may have trouble latching on
  • baby might experience respiratory depression, fetal malpositioning, and an increase in fetal heart rate variability, thus increasing the need for forceps, vacuum, cesarean deliveries and episiotomies. *1

For a few hours after the birth, the lower half of your body may feel numb. Numbness will require you to walk with assistance.

“Natural” Pros

  •  freedom to move around during labor
  • allows you to work with your contractions which can speed up labor and delivery
  • during pushing you can choose which position to birth in
  • faster recovery
  • no pain medication can make the birthing woman feel more empowered

“Natural” Cons

  • more fatigue during labor
  • possible increase in blood loss
  • breathing and position changes only provide some pain relief

When deciding pain relief for your labor a delivery remember its YOUR birth, make an informed decision. Do your research, check out americanpregnancy.org for more information.

If you would like help creating a birth wish list, please contact The Nurturing Doula, LLC

~ Katy Schmidt

The Nurturing Doula, LLC


thenurturingdoula@hotmail.comEpidural vs No Pain medication


-Please note I am not a medical provider, talk to your Dr regarding your decisions.-


*1 reference- americanpregnancy.org


Why should you consider hiring a doula? 

You may be thinking wait what ? What’s a doula?

A doula, is someone who helps you navigate through pregnancy, labor, delivery, birth and parenthood. She can provide comfort measures to the laboring mom, give suggestions on positioning during pushing,  and provide information on any pregnancy, labor or parenting subject to moms and dads for them to make their own informed decision. Doula’s do not give medical advise or perform any medical tasks.

Ask me how to have your best birth, is my motto. When moms or dads ask I respond with first, a goofy “Hire a doula!” but in reality its not for everyone. I understand that!

So how can you have your best birth?  Research your options, hire a doula if you choose, remember it’s never too late to discuss options, and remember you can and have a right to say no.

Hire a doula

Why consider hiring a doula?

A doula is many things

  • She is your confidant when you doubt yourself
  • She’s your cheerleader
  • She’s your spouses cheerleader
  • I love being able to guide a spouse into where the laboring mom needs him or her, this helps meet both of your needs
  • She’s your google when you don’t want opinions you want facts
  • She’s your shoulder to cry on when your unsure of your parenting or feeding or why won’t baby sleep
  • She can be your sanity when your baby won’t stop crying or won’t sleep
  • She can become a great friend
  • No birth is better than the rest.
  • No mom is better than the rest.
  • We’re all doing what we can, when it comes at us.
  • A doula can help get you on the easier track to Labor, birth and parenthood.
  • She provides non judgmental support, reassurance your heading in the right direction.
  • She can be your sounding board when you need to make a decision
  • She can provide and teach comfort measures while your in labor

Having a doula is know to reduce the following:

  • intenseness of pain
  • time your in labor
  • cesarean rates
  • induction rates
  • postpartum depression
  • stress and anxiety
  • epidural requests

And to increase the following:

  • satisfaction of birth outcome
  • the bond between mother and baby
  • the bond between mother and partner

A Doula is for all moms

  • vaginal birth
  • cesarean
  • no pain medication
  • epidural
  • hospital birth
  • home birth


Hardwork-001As a doula it is my job to help you find your way to labor, birth and parenting. After all they say it takes a village to raise a child! The same goes for pregnancy and birth. Think of a doula like pregnancy and baby navigation. Pregnancy, birth and parenting can be magical, beautiful and easy. It also can be and is, HARD work. It can take a toll on us mentally and physically.

Having a doula can ease those uncertain, doubtful and stressful times.

Sometimes moms and dads need me to provide comfort measures for most of the birth. Sometimes they only need me for suggestions or even just for moral support before the birth. What ever your pregnancy need I’ll be there rooting you on!

I hope you have an amazing pregnancy, labor and birth. Your going to be an amazing parent! You got this!

For further information on hiring a doula or to schedule your complementary consult please contact:

The Nurturing Doula, LLC

Katy Schmidt







Effective Birth Plans

Effective Birth Plans

You’re talking to your best friend who made a birth plan for her first child and she says    “ Don’t make a birth plan, they never work out!” “ Birth never goes as planned”  So you think to yourself, Oh ok I won’t make one.

True, most birth plans don’t “work”. However an effective birth plan is just a guide line of how you hope your birth goes. Writing a birth plan does not mean your birth will be on point to a T with said plan. Remember a birth plan is like a road map. A road map can have detours. Detours, you will be ready for because of your birth plan.  An effective plan provides answers to your wishes if they arise. It helps your partner, nurses, and Dr, remember your wishes so they do not need to interrupt you mid contraction. Along with that having a written plan doesn’t mean the staff wont check with you for a procedure. Your birth plan also does not guarantee a certain birth experience.

So how do you make an effective birth plan? As you read, watch and learn about labor, delivery, and postpartum, write down what you want for your own birth. Research your options for each procedure and policy at your hospital. Also make sure you write down what you don’t want or hope to avoid. A birth plan can look like the one below, (feel free to print and use), you can write your own wishes, or you can schedule a birth plan writing session with me and receive a visual birth plan.

I like to play the “what if” game with my clients, it helps them with writing a plan. If they don’t want to write a plan we still play the game so they understand their options. So many things happen when you give birth. I love helping my clients learn their options for their birth experience. The majority of moms talking to a pregnant mom, mainly talk about the pain from labor and suggest receiving an epidural. Which is fantastic for pain relief but did you know this is not the only option for pain relief? Labor, Delivery and your newborn come with many different options, knowing them and making your choice helps you have a more satisfying birth experience.

For more information on pain relief and birth plans contact The Nurturing Doula.

Click the link for more information on visual birth plans.

Katy Schmidt


Birth PlanBirth plan 2




Early Labor Emotions 

This is an exciting time! This is the day you’ve been waiting for since you found out you were pregnant, maybe longer. You may feel anxious and excited. Maybe even a little nervous. In early labor your emotions can pave the way for how your labor progresses. Trust in your body and mind to help you through your contractions. Remember this is the longest stage of labor and to relax, go on with your daily activities. Keeping yourself busy will keep your mind off of labor. If your main focus is on your labor in this stage labor is likely to stall or take longer.


Some things to try to distract your self or maybe even your partner would be:

  •  watching a movie
  • go for a walk
  • take a nap
  • play a game or put together a puzzle
  • continue with your plan for the day

5 relaxation or stress relieving techniques to help during early labor are :

  • light massage from head to toe
  • slow deep breathing
  • listen to calming music
  • take a warm bath
  • imagine a relaxing place

For more information on the Early labor please contact The Nurturing Doula, LLC to schedule your personalized Childbirth Education Class.
Katy Schmidt



Postpartum Expectations

The birth of your baby is an exciting time in your life. Before your baby arrives you may think to yourself how your life after baby comes, will be wonderful. You may think it’s going to be magic rainbows, lollipops, and sparkly unicorn poop, I’m sorry it’s not. Don’t get me wrong there will be more happy moments then sad. Life as a new mom is hard, sometimes sleepless, selfless work.

Motherhood is a job that takes its toll on all of your body.

After your baby arrives it may take time for you to get back to feeling like yourself. The media makes life after baby magical and it can be, just not all the time.

Physical recovery after birth is hard on a body. You may expect to bounce back to your pre-pregnancy weight after birth and for most women thats not the case.

Every body and every pregnancy is different. Take it easy on your body.

Getting back into an exercise routine too early can make your recovery take longer. Before baby if you were working out regularly you may bounce back quick or it may take time. It’s important to remember the weight you gained in pregnancy took min moths to put on, it may take you nine months to loose it. If you had a vaginal birth you are going to be sore, like really sore. Pushing a baby out uses all of your vaginal muscles, which is hard work, so you will likely be swollen.

If you are brave enough to look in a mirror at your freshly birthed a baby vagina remember it will go back to normal.

The ice pack pads, witch hazel pads and the perineal irrigation bottle will be your vagina’s best friend for a little while. When you birth by cesarean your body not only heals from the incision site but also your uterus. Abdominal muscles were cut open to help deliver your baby. These muscles will hurt, so the Dr will prescribe pain medication which can make you constipated and have hemorrhoids. Your uterus will need to be massaged no matter how you birthed your baby. This process will be painful, it feels like contractions. Another way your uterus shrinks back to its normal size is through breastfeeding. Breastfeeding releases the hormone oxytocin, which can cause uterine contractions and lochia. Lochia or postpartum bleeding will happen for a few weeks after birth, yes even If you had a cesarean. For some women breastfeeding comes natural in the beginning and others have to work hard to keep up. Breastfeeding can cause sore cracked nipples, this can be due to positioning or latch. Every one will tell you to sleep when the baby sleeps, they are right and they are wrong. You can try to sleep when the baby sleeps but then your less likely to get a shower in, eat or use the restroom. This is when good postpartum support comes in to save the day.

The process of birth brings on many emotions. The media has left this stipulation on birth that you should be happy and glowing with a happy baby in your arms.

This does happen on occasion, but most of the time you are mentally and physically exhausted. There is a chance you could feel overwhelmed. The needs of your baby are coming before your partner, your household, and your own needs.

Anxiety can creep in and think to your self “Am I enough, can I do this?!”.

For the first couple weeks you may cry, feel sad or irritable for no reason, this is called the baby blues. Baby blues can last about two weeks. If you are feeling depressed and/or your baby blues last more than a couple weeks ask your Dr or postpartum doula for help. You may have postpartum depression. Medication is not always the answer to this mental illness, support groups and counseling can help a lot. Your emotions can take over your mind if you let them. You may feel guilty if you take time for yourself. Please try not to feel guilty for taking time to care for yourself.

I believe taking care of yourself the hardest and most important part of your postpartum life.

About six weeks after you have a baby your partner may want to have sex. For most women they don’t even want to be touched, let alone have sex. This pressure from your partner can put a strain on your relationship. Try to remember your relationship came before your baby. If you make time for just the two of you your relationship will become stronger than ever.

The first hour of life is important for bonding between the baby and its family. Skin to skin during this first hour helps the baby regulate it’s temperature and helps with milk production. Bonding with your baby is physical and emotional. Im sure you imagine the moment you meet your little bundle of joy like a scene from a movie. A happy mom, a smiling dad and a cooing baby swaddled and looking up at its parents. This can happen, but most of the time mom has a look of relief on her face. Relief that the baby is out labor is done, I can sleep and I can eat but mostly sleep. If you don’t get to bond right away its ok. Bonding is not about the quantity it is about the quality.

The reality of bonding after your baby is born, your hair is a mess, you can’t remember if you brushed your teeth, and  your baby is just staring up at you like you rule the world and you are an amazing mom!

Whether this is your first baby or your fifth baby you will learn baby love is real. Bonding can look different for every parent and even different from the first baby to the next baby. Remember if you are feeling down to talk to someone about it.

Feeding your baby can be stressful. It can take a toll on your emotions and on your personal life.

Before your baby is born you may expect your baby to eat, sleep, poop, pee, and be happy.

In reality breastfeeding is hard, tiring, and can hurt. In the early days and months your baby and you are getting to know each other and learning how to breastfeed together. Take time helping your new nursling learn to properly latch. Try not to get frustrated. Ask for help from your postpartum doula or a lactation consultant if you are having any problems. When your milk first comes in your breast will feel full and heavy, nursing should relieve the pain. If they feel like you might have rocks are on your chest you may be engorged. If you cant get baby to latch on right away try hand expressing some milk either into a bottle or onto a spoon to feed to baby later, then try getting baby to latch on again. Some mothers find after trying to breastfeed they are unsuccessful and thats ok! You can try pumping to express milk if you cant not get baby to latch.

A fed baby is a happy baby.

Remember how you feed your baby isn’t important, you are caring for your baby and don’t let the people who say other wise affect you. Also try not let unsuccessful breastfeeding get to you. If you are feeling down about it try talking to someone like a postpartum doula, a counselor or a friend.

When you have a baby you will need time to recover, heal and bond with your baby. Time to rediscover your self, and create a new normal. This time requires support. Many moms expect family and friends to come over and help with what ever you might need. Unfortunately most family and friends only come to see the baby. Before baby is born you can make a post part plan. A postpartum plan can help you organize the chores and other house hold items you can have people help you with when they come over. I’ve had moms post a note on the door asking people to run a load of laundry, hold the baby so mom can shower or eat, or bring food for the family. All of these things are so helpful to a family when a new member is born. A postpartum doula is an awesome support person. Postpartum doula’s help with light household chores, make sure you get a meal and a nap, help with feeding issues and much more.

Life with a new baby can be wonderful, terrifying, tiring, sleepless and beautiful.

Remember there will be a time when all of the scary things I just told you will fade away. You will feel like you again, you might even feel like new you. Take time for yourself even if its just a few short minutes. Enjoy those sweet newborn moments where your baby is content and starring at his or her beautiful mom.

You are enough, you are a strong capable mother!

If you are interested in learning how to prepare for postpartum life please contact The Nurturing Doula, LLC for information on a personalized Childbirth Education class that includes preparing for postpartum life.
Katy Schmidt


#postpartumlife #nurturingdoula


Car Seat Class




I want to help inform you about proper car seat use. I myself at one point have made most of these mistakes. My hope is to help parents keep their precious cargo safe the correct way. In class we will discuss proper seat installation and proper harnessing. I also fill you in on ways to help make installing easier. We will discuss car seat “no no’s”and common miss use. As of right now I do not have a set date or time on when a class will be happening. I will update this page and my Facebook page when I have more details. Please feel free to contact me with more urgent questions.

~Katy Schmidt

Birth Doula and CPST

The Nurturing Doula, LLC








My doula beginning

My work as a doula began in 2013. My sister in law called me and asked if I could go sit with a friend who thought she was in labor. I said of course. As soon as i arrived she looked a little reassured but also sorry. I asked her how her contractions were she said the were a little rough but she could handle it. Lets sit down and try not to think about them, I said. She grabbed my hand as a contraction hit her like a brick. as the contraction subsided she said I’m sorry my hands are so sweaty and I squeezed your hand so tight. It didn’t hurt and your sweaty hands aren’t bothering me either, your in early labor, I’ve  been there too. It’s going to be ok and I’m right here. This went on for another couple hours. Her husband was on her way home so she sent me home, she said I’ll be ok he’ll be home soon. I left her house in this feeling of “this is what i need to be doing”! A few months later a friend of mine was pregnant and I asked her if she wanted me to be her doula. She knew she was going to need all the support she could get. So she said of course! Her birth was beautiful as are all births. however it most defininatly was my hardest. My first step in becoming a doula was attending a child birth course. I took my class on base, Marine Corps Camp Lajeune, the instructor was Jeanette a fellow doula. She introduced me to my second client. Shortly after I took my doula training. A few months after that was my second birth. This mom (shared with permission) labored for 32 hours and pushed for and hour. He was a 10 lb 13 oz sunny side up, baby boy. ST rocked her birth. She was a power house. I watched her labor, in a rocking chair, she would scrunch her face little and then relax. Late in labor she would fall asleep right after a contraction and wake up right when a new one came. This birth confirmed my passion so much I run the whole thing through my head before every birth. From then on I met with clients and drew up birth plans with them, practiced labor positions, talked about their fears and hopes and made sure the were comfortable with their birth team. Every birth is important. Every mom deserves to have a memorable experience. I try my hardest to give that to my moms. I hope you have a wonderful day.

~Katy Schmidt

The Nurturing Doula, LLC