What Does A Doula Do?

What is a doula? What services do they provide? How much does a doula cost? Certified Birth Doula Elissa Lash answers some commonly asked questions about doulas and what to consider when deciding if using a doula is right for you. 

Elissa Lash has worked as a prenatal yoga instructor, doula and childbirth educator for over ten years in New York, Boston and on Martha's Vineyard. She teaches a free prenatal yoga class every Monday night at the YMCA (membership not required) and can be reached at eelash@hotmail.com. 

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Eating for Two: Nutrition during Pregnancy

Paying close attention to your nutrition during pregnancy can help you have an easier, happier pregnancy, a better birth experience and make it easier to return to pre-pregnancy weight. Here, licensed nutritionist Prudence Athearn Levy shares tips and advice for a healthy pregnancy and birth. 

Prudence Athearn Levy earned her Masters’ degree in Human Nutrition from Colorado State University in 2003, and completed her internship and credentialing in 2004. She provides nutrition therapy and counseling in all areas of nutrition, specializing in diabetes, weight, eating disorders, maternity, postpartum, childhood nutrition, cardiovascular health, GI health, and food allergies. She can be reached at prudence@vineyardnutrition.com. 

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Newborn Sleep Tips: Establishing Healthy Habits

Like parenting in general, how we approach sleep is very personal. Parents must decide for themselves what they feel comfortable with, what meshes with their values and philosophy, and what works for their baby’s unique temperament and needs. With young babies, almost everything revolves around feeding, including sleep. Making sure their feeding needs are being met is essential to their health and growth, as well as any early sleep success.

Rebekah Thomson is a Gentle Sleep Coach, trained and certified by Kim West (AKA The Sleep Lady), author of Good Night Sleep Tight. She works individually with families struggling with sleep challenges and offers workshops regularly. Rebekah and her husband live in West Tisbury with their three children, who offer her ongoing professional development opportunities. She can be reached at www.countingsheepmv.com.

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What I Didn't Get to Tell You Then

Our culture has many national days or months of observance.  We set aside time for people to come together or individually pause, remember and reflect on beginnings and endings. Some endings are more openly spoken of than others. Some are held close to one’s heart and while they dim with time the poignancy never completely recedes. Between 10 and 20% of pregnancies will end in miscarriage. One in 160 will result in stillbirth. Making the death of a baby in utero far more common than many realize. Yet the sorrow is silent, borne in parents hearts, usually without supportive ritual to offer solace, a bit of comfort.

Susan Desmarais is a counselor who specializes in working with women and families who experience miscarriage, neonatal death, and stillbirth. After Susan retired from working as a bereavement counselor, she chose to offer this specialty as it is dear to her heart. She can be reached at obsusan@icloud.com.

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