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Chelsea is not currently taking doula clients in Los Angeles.  She is available for phone, skype, and email consultations if you want to talk with an experienced doula who had no horse in the game.

Contact Information

Chelsea Shure, CD(DONA), HCHD
chelsea at

(440)WS-Doula (440) 973-6852

Hypnobabies Childbirth Hypno-Doula

LA Family Contributor (Birth Brouhaha)

ICAN of West Los Angeles (now ICAN OF LOS ANGELES)

Former Chapter Leader, Chapter Founder

Doulas Association of Southern California

Former Co-Director of Public Relations, Former web mistress for, Former Circle Co-Leader for West LA Circle group.

Holistic Chamber of Commerce

Proud founding member,


An article by Sheridan Ripley

Dear I-feel-like-I've-been-pregnant-forever,

I'm writing to encourage you to let your baby grow in the safety of your womb, and to avoid an induction for any reason, save for the most dire medical emergency.  You said in your birth plan that you wanted a vaginal delivery, well, here is my best effort to support you in that decision.

A really wise person once said, "Deciding to induce is the last decision you will ever make."  It's true.  Once you're strapped to that bed, with the monitors on, the final moments and decisions about your pregnancy are taken out of your hands. 

You think induction will be successful?  It might be.  But it's not like jump starting a car--jump the battery and the whole think kicks into gear.  It's more like opening the hood, turning the fan belt, manually turning the wheels, pushing fuel through the fuel pump, and then steering down an icy hill at 50mph.  Sometimes you land on a grassy pasture, but sometimes you end up head over heals in a ditch, and either way, it's a bumpy ride.

A bishop score can give you a hint if it's likely to end in a vaginal deliver or in a cesarean.  You can find info about your bishop score on the top left hand side of the induction page.   Remember, an induction to a womb that is not ready to birth is extremely stressful to mom and baby.  

BTW, good for you for reading this letter.  Please take a few days to mull it over.  Heck take a few weeks.  Your baby will tell you when it wants to come out (I promise, you'll notice).

I hope that you do not spend the next week stressing about whether or not the contractions have begun.

If you don't mind, I'm giving you some homework.  I want you to read up on the origins of due dates.  And remember that they are the E STIMATED Due Date .  Look at different ways to calculate it.  Look at how long first births go for.  Look at statistics from countries with high natural deliveries (like Australia and England).  Ask yourself what the dates mean to you?  If ACOG (who is hardly the strongest advocate for natural birth) says to wait until 42 wks, why not wait?

You've got a "big baby" in there?  Great!  Bigger babies tend to be healthier and spend less time in the NICU.  They weather the post birth weight loss better.  And, by the way, what jerk would try to make you feel scared about a normal and healthy weight for your baby?   You've done a great job growing such a healthy baby!  Guessing the weight is like saying, Your baby will definitely be born between Monday and Sunday.   Big deal.   Besides, those weights can be extremely inaccurate, and even the best estimate should not be relied on as exact.  YOUR BODY HAS GROWN A BABY THAT WILL FIT THROUGH YOUR BIRTH CANAL .  

Trust your body.

If there is a medical reason that the baby needs to come out, so be it. 
If there is evidence that the baby is not doing well, or you are not doing well, or that if the baby stays inside it will cause you or the baby harm--then by all means give the birth a kick start.  But the assumption of a "too big baby" is not empowering to you and not based on sound science.  (A 30lb baby is too big.  But a 10 pounder? not even a little)  Do your research.  Can you find evidence that a 10lb baby won't fit through a healthy woman?  You CAN (and will) birth your baby, and you can do it when your baby is ready to come out.

(Note:  If you do induce, it is much more difficult to force a larger baby out--heck, it's hard for small babies too.  All the movement involved in a normal birth works the baby down through the birth cannal. If you are stuck sitting on a bed because you're hooked up to monitors, IVs, it is harder on you to move that baby through.)

I really empathize with you, and with your doctor.  It's hard to sit around and "do nothing."  But you're not doing nothing.  You're gestating.  And the last bit of the gestation seems like it takes forever.  Do you ever tidy an already tidy desk or room?  Brush your hair even if it's already brushed?  Take a dish off the stove or out of the oven before it is fully done cooking?  Well it's the same thing at the end of a pregnancy.  There is  nothing else to do, but we feel compelled to do something.  You have to keep asking yourself, "What's the rush?"

My advice?  Unplug the phone.  Turn off the cell phone (you can always turn it back on if you need it).  Unplug the computer.  Turn off the TV.  Read positive birth stories from Ina May Gaskin.  Cook.  Tell whatever family members staying with you to take a hike.  Go out for walks along the beach.  And then go home and take off all your clothes and spend the next 5 days just hanging out naked with the love of your life .  This is a special time and you only get it once.  Invite that baby into your home and it will come.

Remember, your baby will fit through your body and it will fit in your heart.  Your body was designed to bring this child into this world.  Trust it.

Good luck, my thoughts are with you.  Call me if you want me to talk you off that cliff.




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