Have you ever had that experience where your mind is completely blown by something simple that you didn’t even realize was a thing? I had this experience recently with a friend who showed me how to duplicate a tab in my browser (right click, duplicate). Here I thought I was well-versed in all things browser technology but THIS? This blew my damn mind.
This post has nothing to do with browsers or duplicating tabs, BUT it is hopefully going to blow your mind. Being a photographer who works intimately in the birth world, I am privy to a lot of information and resources in the Lincoln and eastern Nebraska area that seem obvious to me, but the more people I talk to, the more I realize that many of these resources are truly hidden gems.
So today, I’m going to share my top 5 resources in Lincoln, NE that I think every pregnant mom needs to know about. I hope some of these blow your dang mind — Or at the very least, give you some great ideas as you build your support system and plan for the incredible journey of pregnancy, birth, and new parenthood.
#1 – BIRTH DOULAS
The number one resource/service I recommend to all expecting parents (besides photography, of course) is a doula. If you’ve never heard of a doula before (or have, but aren’t really sure what it means), a doula is a non-medical professional who has training in the birth process in order to provide educational, emotional, and physical support both during pregnancy and the birth itself.
The reason I recommend a birth doula to every pregnant person I meet is simple – birth is one of the most challenging, transformative experiences you can go through. As a birthing person, you will need a lot of support to get through this challenge. And your partner will also need a lot of support – to feel confident and prepared to give you the support you need from him or her.
Make no mistake – a birth doula does not replace your partner. A birth doula is like the coach, and you and your partner are the team. Your doula will help you discover what is most important to you for your birth experience, help you plan for all the “what-if’s” so you feel prepared going into birth day, and provide invaluable emotional encouragement and physical support to help you reach your birth goals. Most birth doulas will also meet with you after your baby is born to help you process your birth story – listening to your experience with an open and non-judgmental ear.
And for you numbers/logic people, a birth doula is not just a lovely idea that isn’t worth the fluff. Numerous scientific studies have shown that the use of a doula reduces the likelihood of cesarean section, reduces the amount of pain medication needed during birth, and increases the birthing person’s overall satisfaction with their birth. Check out this amazing article by Evidence Based Birth for more information about what doulas do and how they help birthing parents reach their birth goals.
Did you know I am also a doula?! I started my journey in the birth world as a photographer, because I’m absolutely in awe of the power of women during the birthing process and am obsessed with showing them how powerful they are from the outside looking in. BUT, I also realized that I can’t help but educate, encourage, and support the women I photograph during birth as well, so I decided to also get certified as a birth doula. Soooo (shameless plug) – if you’re looking for a doula who can also capture amazing photos for you – we need to talk.
Inviting someone into your sacred birth space should not be taken lightly – so I recommend meeting with at least 3 doulas to find one that you connect with the most. If they are the right fit, they will absolutely not feel like another stranger in your birth space. Besides yours truly, here are a few of my favorite doulas I’ve worked with to give you a starting point:
Mary Schomer – specializes in natural hospital/birth center birth
Amanda Heath – Attends both hospital and home birth
Hannah McMahon – specializes in unassisted home birth
#2 – MIDWIFERY CARE
Most women (especially for their first pregnancy) seek out an OB-GYN to provide prenatal care and to “deliver” their baby (I put “deliver” in quotes – your provider doesn’t actually deliver your baby – you do – but that’s a subject for a whole other blog post). And it’s no wonder – almost 90% of births in the United States are attended by an OB-GYN. Most women simply don’t even realize there is another option.
So what’s the difference between a midwife and an OB-GYN? Long story short – an OB-GYN is a physician who is trained in birth pathology – i.e. – they’re great to have on your team if you are high risk for some reason. An OB-GYN is also a trained surgeon – so they are able to perform a c-section if it becomes necessary.
On the other hand, a midwife is trained to assist with normal pregnancy and birth. In many other countries, including the UK, 50% or more of births are attended by a midwife – and the reasoning for that is simple. Most pregnancies and deliveries are healthy and normal, and do not require a higher level of medical intervention. Going with an OB-GYN for a normal pregnancy is a bit overkill – it’s like hiring an exterminator to come and kill a spider in your bathroom.
Unless your pregnancy is high risk, a midwife could be a great choice for you. Midwives generally have the perspective that birth is a normal, physiological process that your body knows how to do. Therefore, they often offer or require less intervention, if that’s your goal. And while midwives cannot perform surgery, they *usually* work under a physician who can step in if and when a higher level of medical care becomes necessary.
However, Midwives are not just for “natural” (unmedicated) birth – they can also provide birthing parents with pain management medications, such as Nitros Oxide and even an epidural. So going with a midwife does not necessarily mean you have to give birth in the woods surrounded by baby deer and burning sage (although that would be pretty cool…)
If you’re interested in finding a Midwife in Lincoln to provide care for your birth, here are a couple of offices with great options for midwives:
Williamsburg Women’s Health
CHI Birth Center
And yes, home birth midwives DO exist in Nebraska! If you’re curious about what options are available to you for pregnancy and birth providers in Nebraska, check out a more detailed blog post called “How to find the right provider for you”.
#3 – CHIROPRACTIC CARE
Oh how I wish I had known about chiropractic care when I was pregnant! There are soooo many aches and pains associated with pregnancy that can be easily helped with chiropractic care. Chiropractic care can help ease pain and discomfort, and also help get baby in a good position for birth. It is also an amazing way to help your baby adjust to life outside the womb (no pun intended). Many people are surprised to know that chiropractic care is safe all the way through pregnancy (and even during labor), as well as safe for your newborn within minutes of birth.
When searching for a chiropractor, you want to make sure you find someone who is well-versed in treating both pregnant and postpartum mothers, as well as newborns. Some great options in Lincoln are:
Everwell Family Chiropractic
Healthy Start Family Chiropractic
Rooted in Wellness Chiropractic
#4 – POSTPARTUM DOULAS
If I could go back in time and do anything differently with my pregnancies, besides hiring a birth photographer (which I never did…sad face), I would absolutely, 100% hire a postpartum doula – specifically a postpartum doula who provides overnight services.
Can I stand on a soap box for a minute? In our culture, mothers are held to an absolutely impossible standard. We are the only culture where it is not only acceptable, but expected, to push an entire human out of your body (or have major abdominal surgery), and be up running around within a week still doing ALL.THE.THINGS. All with cracked nipples and engorged boobs, complete sleep deprivation, and the expectation to entertain visitors who only care about the baby. And if you struggle with this, then you are somehow less of a mother because you can’t “handle it all.”
Not only is it okay to ask for help, but arguably necessary. During the postpartum period, you are recovering from one of the most challenging (physically, mentally and emotionally) events of your life. Your baby is not supposed to sleep all the way through the night, and you are not supposed to keep up as if nothing happened. Hiring a postpartum doula will give you the support that used to come from our “village”, which has completely disappeared in our 21st century, individualistic society. Support in the postpartum period is crucial, and unless you have an amazing support system you can call on 24 hours a day, I highly recommend reaching out to one of these ladies to help you in your postpartum journey:
Kimberly of Rest and Nest Postpartum Doula
Rachel of Village Life Parenting
Sylar of Deep Roots Doula Care
#5 – ALL ABOUT MAMA
Have you heard of Lincoln’s newest consignment shop just for mamas?!?! All About Mama is a hidden gem in Lincoln where you can shop for gently used maternity and nursing clothing, as well as other items for pregnant, postpartum, and nursing mothers. This is also a great place to sell your gently used maternity clothes after you’re done having your babies.
Check it out on IG and Facebook at @allaboutmamalnk or visit the store at 5930 S 58th St Suite T in Lincoln, NE
I hope at least one of these suggestions blew your mind… or at the very least, gave you a list of things you can start looking into as you prepare for your big day.
Bonus tip – many of these services (including birth photography) can be added on to your baby registry. If your experience of this pregnancy and birth is more important to you than having the newest, most trendy baby items (spoiler alert – you don’t actually need most of them), then I highly recommend making these services a priority and recruiting your friends and family to help cover the cost (most people love throwing money at a new baby – you just have to tell them what you want most).
And by the way, did you know that Lincoln now has its own baby expo now?! This is the perfect event for you to come and learn about all the resources available to you during the season of growing your family. Some of the services I mentioned above will be in attendance at the expo – come meet them and learn about what they offer in person. There are also many services / retailers that aren’t mentioned above who specifically serve families from the earliest stages of trying to conceive, through two years postpartum and beyond.
The 2nd annual Babe Lincoln Expo is happening on April 1, 2023 at the Courtside Banquet Hall at 333 Speedway Cir #2 in Lincoln, Nebraska. There will be a variety of vendors, food trucks, goodies, and raffle prizes. This is a MUST attend for anyone in Lincoln and surrounding areas who is trying to conceive, pregnant, or newly postpartum.