Posts in Journal
Stop Shaming Moms for Being on Their Phones.

“She walked up to my baby and started talking to him. In my head I was thinking “don’t touch my baby” and kept an eye on her as she got closer and closer. Then she put her hand down on my table to get my attention and told me to get off my phone and pay attention to my baby.”

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The Part of My Birth Story Nobody Knows; Until Now.

“So there I was, sitting in a dark theater next to the man I love watching the feel good movie of my lifetime. Then suddenly, contractions started to pick up. I sat on the edge of my seat, lightly swaying when I needed and squeezing Les’ hand when the intensity rose.”

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How Can I Be A Better Mom For You?

“After rushing around to get everyone ready to leave, I realized sister had piled stuffed animals on top of baby. I overreacted. I spoke to her in a way I’m not proud of and that wasn’t necessary or appropriate. Immediately, I regretted it. She immediately broke down crying. A real, stress filled, tearful cry. She lunged for me, with arms open, and I caught her and held her. She sobbed in my lap and the following conversation took place…“

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Mary's Second Birth Story

“I had not just birthed my baby, but caught baby with my own hands. I had confronted demons and won. Surrounded by those most important to me, I found the inner strength I had lost. I held baby to my chest. I felt the thick layer of vernix, smelled the sweet aroma of the newly born head and suddenly, the battle I had just won felt so far in the past. As if it was already years in the distance. A beautiful memory of a victory…”

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Birth Announcement: #babydukebro is here!

“For years, I’ve educated and supported families through births. Today I proved to myself the awesomeness of my body and the healing nature of a supportive birth team. #dukebrownbro was born Tuesday July 3rd at 1:45am caught by his mother in their home surrounded by love. Weighing 8lbs 3oz and 23inches long…”

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The Overwhelming Vulnerability of Waiting for Baby

“I am writing this to inspire other pregnant women and parents who may be struggling with the same fear, worry and anxiety. To say to them, this too is normal. It’s when moms feel this way non-evidence based care providers can use their fear to sway them to choose interventions they might regret later.”

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Freedom of Movement in Labor

"What struck me as I sat there, was my view in that hospital Labor & Delivery room. In front of me, despite an active birth, was an empty bed with the monitor straps left behind. I want every one of you planning a hospital birth to know that freedom of movement and intermittent monitoring is a safe option for most moms and should be discussed with your care provider.”

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When a Doula Client Has a Cesarean

I've experienced the helpless feeling of standing just on the other side of the "scrubs only" sign. It’s an anxious feeling, as you are suddenly separated from the family you've supported throughout their pregnancy and birth. There you wait. Helpless. Everything is out of your hands. Some relief comes when you hear the cries of a newborn, but full relief never comes until you see mom and baby, both safe, healthy and together in recovery.

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Back in Action: Amanda Woolen CLC

"Earlier this month I got to share a postpartum visit with a Lactation visit at a Doula client’s home.  It was the first time Amanda Woolen CLC (Certified Lactation Counselor) had been out in action since having her baby 4 weeks earlier. It was such a joy getting to see her back in action! This particular family was sent home from the hospital with..."

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Even a Doula Needs a Doula

"Her name is Amanda. Alone, she kneels in the birthing pool surrounded by only water with my hands holding hers. She was distracted by doubts about her abilities to manage the pain and a swirling flood of emotions, as her body began to prepare her for delivery. In this moment, a Doula needed a Doula. When we all find ourselves stripped down to our vulnerable places, may we all lift each other up. In labor and in life."

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Crowdfunding For Change

"As most of you know my life’s work has become advocating for improved maternal health and increased birth options for KY families.  This fall I have the opportunity to take that work to a national level while learning advanced advocacy skills to help me better serve KY families..."

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When Volunteer Work is a Part of Your Business

"It’s hard balancing advocacy work and running a business. Throw in motherhood, nurturing your marriage, participating in farm life and self-care, then it all starts to seem impossible. It was through hearing your stories and understanding the need for increased maternity care options, education and support that My Sunshine Services was born."

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Journal, AdvocacyMary Duke
Obstetric Violence: How it Made Me a Better Doula & Educator

"Suddenly, my birth experience went from beautiful to traumatic. It was fast; only lasting 4 minutes from the time the on-call doctor arrived, to the time my baby was born via instrument delivery. It was however 4 minutes of my life I’ll never forget. I searched for someone to reassure me I'd be ok, and there I found my Doula. Somehow, her support was still there even amongst the chaos."

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