Sunday, April 10, 2011

Guest Blogger - Operation Special Delivery!

Today I have a very special guest blogger. Her name is Shanon Pruden who is a fellow Navy wife and also a doula. She has written a special blog about doula services available to military mama's! 

Hello lovely Wives!  As a fellow wife of a sailor, no matter what military branch your family serves in, I would like to thank you very much for the debt your family pays to keep our country free! If you are pregnant or thinking about becoming pregnant then this post is for you! And I believe some congratulations are in order!! :)

Being pregnant is a wonderful journey filled with emotions, joys, fears, love, and growth (growth…in more ways that one!). As a Military Wife you have an entire set of stressors that most of the country cannot understand. Will your husband be able to support your pregnancy the way you need? Will he be home for your baby’s arrival? Being a pregnant Military Wife is a challenge, just like being a Military Wife is.

I married my Sailor knowing that I would support his entire career. I thought I knew what I was getting into having grown up in a Navy Family. I already had a wonderful 2 ½ year-old son when my husband and I married and having gone through the pregnancy struggle before, I thought I would be able to handle myself should my husband and I become pregnant at some point.  When I did become pregnant, my husband spent the greater part of my pregnancy out on a deployment with me left to care for my 3 year-old son by myself with an increasingly large middle section making me too tired to function most of the time. 

There is a program out there I wish I had known about then (I have since become very educated on the subject) and I would like to tell you about it! They provide trained volunteer doulas for pregnant women who’s service member is deployed, have lost their lives due to the war on terror, or who have been severely injured during their time of service to our country.  They have volunteers all over the country so no matter where you live you can utilize this program! Before I explain more about this program, let me first explain what a “doula” is.

A doula is a trained professional, experienced in the art of supporting a pregnant, laboring, or new mother. There are many organizations out there that train doulas and a lot of doulas are certified in their craft. A doula can be by your side when you need emotional, educational, or physical support during your pregnancy, labor, childbirth, and new mommy-hood.

The emotional support of a doula can be a blessing and someone understanding to lean on when an expecting mom is stressed and tired. Doulas can be a life saving, listening ear to a pregnant Military Wife who’s spouse is unable to be there for her. They can also offer words of soothing encouragement during birth! Doulas can provide trained educational support to an expecting mama who would like to learn about pregnancy and birth. Although doulas do not provide medical support, they are trained to be able to explain medical options to you throughout your pregnancy, birth, and postpartum period. To a Military Wife who has no one to bounce decision-making ideas off of, this can be an extreme help! If your spouse is not able to be with your during your birth experience, a doula can be the physical support you need to comfort and strengthen you. She is trained to use her instincts and knowledge to provide many different techniques of help for you during your birth.

When you choose to bring a doula into your journey she will arrange prenatal visits with you so that you can get to know each other and you can create a birth plan that she understands. A doula will be there the moment you need her in labor and stay by your side the duration of your birth. She can visit you in your postpartum period and continue to support your throughout your first few weeks as a new mom. A doula’s main concern is the wellbeing of the people involved with your childbirth (you and baby) and is not concerned in telling you which decisions to make about your childbirth. She is only there to support you and provide education on decisions if you need it. So whether you are having a natural birth or a planned c-section, (or anything in between) a doula is a great resource for an expecting Military Wife to have!

Operation Special Delivery is the name of the wonderful group that provides FREE doulas to Military Wives who meet the above criteria! OSD believes that “No one should go through childbirth without support, especially the women who are giving birth while their husbands or partners are making such a great sacrifice for our country and our freedom.”

The doulas who volunteer for this program have a heart to serve you and your Military Family. They respect what your family goes through and use their training and support to thank you for your sacrifice.  I am one of those doulas… 

For more information about OSD you can visit their website at

*If you don't agree with these birth practices for any reason, please refrain from leaving negative comments - just walk away.


Carmen said...

That is such a huge help for those who's husbands are deployed! I admire her for being one of the doulas who participate in this organization and I think everyone should consider it :)

Cat said...

I didn't know about this, and I think it's so cool! Thanks for sharing!

kmelanese said...

Thanks for sharing. I had no idea that doulas were for any kind of birth. I had thought they were only there for natural births. That is awesome to have someone there for you supporting you no matter how you chose to do it. I am glad military wives have this option so they don't have to go it alone.

Trina Baggett, C.H.D. said...

We are for any kind of birth. I am another OSD volunteer. I have attended c-section births, epidural birth, and natural births. it is all about what *you* want and we want to support you in those choices! Trina- AKA Fort Lewis Doula

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