oc doulas

The Marathon of Birth: Part 2, Active Labor

Welcome back to the Marathon of Birth, an overview of the stages of labor plus tips & tricks from your favorite Birth Doulas! If you haven't already done so, review Part 1: Early Labor to get a good understanding of how to manage that phase of labor. 

Remember that birth has 3 distinct stages: Labor, Pushing, & Birth of the Placenta. The first stage of labor is broken down into 3 parts: Early, Active, and Transition... I know, it's kind of confusing. Today, we'll share all about the Active Phase of labor to better prepare you for your own birth marathon. If you're interested in delving further into the stages of labor, we recommend registering for our Confident Birth series or Weekend Intensive, offered in group & private settings. 

If you recall, we compared Early Labor to the first few miles of the marathon where you're finding your stride and own unique rhythm. When active labor hits, you'll begin to tap into your instincts and all the mental and physical training you've accomplished in pregnancy. 

Why a Judgment-Free Doula Matters

You'll here us talk about non-judgmental support A LOT in our work as doulas. This is the pillar on which our agency stands. But we're often asked, what does non-judmental support really mean? 

I remember the exact moment when I realized how important being a judgment-free doula was. I was at a baby shower chatting it up with some friends, including the guest of honor, the mama-to-be. Someone in the group asked if she had a birth plan. I saw her face fall as she looked directly at me, then looked quickly away. Her demeanor changed as she told us that she had already scheduled a repeat cesarean. 

Earlier in her pregnancy she had come to me asking about VBACs (Vaginal Birth After Cesarean). I remember gushing about how amazing VBACs were and how empowering they can be. I remember telling her that she should go for it! I recall side-stepping her fears about uterine rupture, explaining that they are a rarity and I recall dismissing her fears about going past her estimated due date and needing to be induced. I cringe now thinking about the assumptions I made and how I projected my personal beliefs onto her. 

It was there at that baby shower that she held a mirror up to my face. After sharing that she was choosing to have a cesarean, she shared that she was nervous to tell me. She was scared that I wasn't going to be supportive or that I would try to talk her into having a VBAC. 

My spirit was crushed.

I was mortified that my passion for supporting natural birth had come across as judgmental and that my words and actions had caused shame and fear. As a doula, I often touted myself as non-judgmental and while I intentionally never made anyone feel bad about their birth experience, it was at this baby shower that I began to wonder just how non-judgmental my support really was. 

Talk about a wake up call!

In that moment I made a decision that changed my approach as a doula. As I apologized to my friend for my judgments and for making her experience seem less than, I made a commitment to myself to do better and be better. I became a doula to make a positive impact on birth and the best way I know how to do that is to be open and unconditionally supportive of all choices. And it is that attitude that we look for in all the doulas we bring onto our team. 

Our support involves no judgment.

None. Nada.

zip. zilch.

completely, 100% Judgment free.

Your birth is yours and yours alone. Yes, there will be family, friends, care providers, and your doulas surrounding you with support and love. But it is your body and your baby, therefore the choices you make are yours. We vow not to project any certain agenda or philosophy onto your unique experience.

Our doulas offer a safe space to share your beliefs about birth and parenting, your fears, and your desires.  Together, you and your doula will create a birth and postpartum plan that encompasses all your needs. And while she is there to answer your questions and offer guidance, she trusts in your capacity to make the informed decisions that are right for you. Even if your plans change down the line, the non-judgmental support will continue. 

It is our belief that with the support of your judgment-free doula positivity will surround your pregnancy, birth, and parenting journey. It is our belief that in providing space to learn and make your own decisions you will find confidence. It is our believe that in being there 100%, no questions asked, you will find comfort and peace of mind. 

The birth of your baby will forever change you. This is your experience, and we will be by your side, no matter what. Your choices are yours, not ours. Your birth is yours, not ours. Your body is yours, not ours. Your baby is yours, not ours. What is ours is our desire and passion for spending this time with you, your partner and your family, offering unconditional support and care. And we offer it happily.

When Should I Hire a Doula?

"Am I too early?"

"Am I too late?"

"When do most people hire you?"

If I had a dollar for every time I got a call inquiring about doula support...

It's a common query from Orange County families beginning their doula search: "When should I hire a doula?" To which I answer, "As soon as you know you're ready!" 

For some the doula search can take a while, for others, they meet one amazing doula and know it's a match made in heaven. Personality, connection, confidence in their support - these are all things expectant couples are looking for, in addition to training and expertise. And when that connection is evident, I say you should snatch that doula up ASAP!

Holiday Cheer and Holiday Sales!

Our tummies are full of delicious food and we're gearing up for the excitement and joy of the holiday season. You could say that we're full of holiday cheer and we're in the mood to spread it around. What does Buddy the Elf say? "The best way to spread holiday cheer is singing loud for all to hear!"

Well, we aren't going to sing for you, but we're definitely going to shout!!

shop small and save BIG this weekend

with Doulas of Orange County!

Save the Date :: Doulas of OC Grand Opening!

It is our extreme pleasure to announce that we'll be having our Grand Opening event on January 20th from 1-6pm. This "Open House" style event will be fun for the whole family! We invite you to join us for food, drinks, hourly giveaways, and a raffle in our new and improved space in Irvine, CA. 

Friends, family, clients, community members, care providers, and fellow birth workers are all welcome! The first 75 people in the door will be gifted a curated swag bag full of items to support pregnancy, birth & postpartum. Each attendee will be automatically entered into our hourly giveaway and given additional chances to win prizes and gifts during our event-long raffle. Raffle tickets will be available for purchase at and prior to the event and 50% of the proceeds from our raffle with go to benefit Postpartum Support International. PSI provides resources for those struggling with postpartum mood disorders, as well as comprehensive training for therapists and practitioners to better treat new parents. We are honored to partner with PSI to shed light on the importance of mental health and access to resources during the postpartum period. 

As we prepare for this special event, we are seeking sponsors, food vendors and giveaway partners. With varying levels of involvement, we invite you to join us in sharing your business or your service with our community.

Not sure what you could contribute? Here are just a few ideas!

  • Gift certificate for your service (Massage, Photography Session)
  • Tickets to your venue (Symphony, Playhouse, Movie Theater)
  • Gift card for an amount of your choosing (Restaurant, Retail Store, Service)
  • Pregnancy or postpartum products (Skin Care, Breast/Bottle Feeding Support)
  • Baby products (Swaddle/Blankets, Skin Care, Toys)
  • Healthy & delicious treats 

Whatever your unique product or service, we welcome your collaboration! More information and a sponsor application is available on our website. Please contact us directly at hi@doulasofoc.com with any questions. 

We eagerly count down the days to share this joyous occasion with all of you!