Ellen Haggerty is a postpartum doula in Cary, North Carolina. Though she is a grandmother of four and an experienced doula, HUG Your Baby enhanced the information and support she offers young families. Here is one of her stories on her journey to becoming a Certified HUG Teacher.
I have gained so much knowledge from the HUG Course. I have been around babies for almost 30 years and have 4 beautiful grandchildren. The bond I am able to witness between a mother and her child/children was a huge factor in my desire to become a postpartum doula. Little did I know, this career path would lead me to wanting to take this knowledge and further my education so I can help mothers who may not have the support that they need.
I decided to take this course to further my education as a doula and have gleaned more than I expected. I am so excited when I am able to “Broadcast” to a mother the actions her baby is doing and what it means. The excitement in her eyes and the love she displays warms my heart tenfold.
One client in particular that has stayed on my mind is a breastfeeding mother of twins. She was past exhaustion. A sweet friend provided her doula services as a gift so she could get some much needed rest. I don’t think her friend knew what she was actually giving her. When I spent time with the mom, dad and babies, I could see and feel the deep love they shared and I could sense the intensity of exhaustion. The father was extremely supportive and eagerly willing to learn new strategies to help his wife. While the boys slept, I listened to what concerned them the most - how many times they were waking in the night. The boys kept waking every hour to feed and with that high demand, there was no time for sleep. The parents said the boys would wake each other up when one or the other would grunt or squirm. Mother was worried she wasn’t able to satisfy their hunger. As the boys slept I observed the different stages of sleep. I was able to “Broadcast” the active/deep sleep and how some newborn’s active sleep seems so light that it is mistakened for hunger. I reviewed some cues for signs of hunger. After 45 minutes of sleep, one of the boys became restless. I suggested that we wait a minute or two to see what he did. Sure enough, he calmed himself and went right back into a deep sleep. As if on cue, the second twin did the same thing. The joy I witnessed on the faces of mother and father were priceless. I am not kidding when I say we all had tears of joy!
I had no idea that I would benefit so much from this course and would be so excited to share The HUG DVD and handouts with clients. HUG Your Baby a new and amazing tool to add to my arsenal!