Get to know the members of the Tampa Bay Birth Network!
We are happy to give you our next post in this series, an interview with Dee Pullen, who has been a birth professional for eighteen years.
Tell us what you do?
I am a doula, HypnoBirthing® practitioner, lactation counselor, birth videographer and I also rent a water birth tub to moms having home births.
What is your mission?
To educate and empower moms so that they have births that make them thrilled to tell their birth stories.
What do your credentials stand for?
CHBP: Certified HypnoBirthing Practitioner (a teacher of the program)
CHBPLC: Certified HypnoBirthing Labor Companion (advanced training in how to use HypnoBirthing techniques in labor.)
I will be getting my HypnoBirthing Professional Doula certification in October.
I am the only professional HypnoBirthing Labor Companion in the state of Florida.
Some people don't know what HynpoBirthing® is. Can you tell us?
Sure! HypnoBirthing is both a method and philosophy of natural childbirth education enhanced by self-hypnosis techniques that allows women to release fear and have an easy comfortable birthing experience as nature intended. Moms learn deep relaxation and breathing techniques as well as deepening techniques to take her deeper in hypnosis.
How do you teach it? What does it include?
I teach both privately and in groups. We use in-class discussion, videos and practice sessions. The course includes a book, 2 CDs and many handouts. Mom listens to the Rainbow Relaxation every night as well as doing a practice session with her partner or birthing companion. There are scripts given out in class and included in the book, HypnoBirthing, the Mongan Method.
My next group HypnoBirthing class is starting on September 8th.
How is hypnosis actually used?
Before labor we do in-class sessions and mom practices self-hypnosis with the Rainbow CD and her partner. During her birthing time she uses self-hypnosis to take herself into relaxation and achieve a 'Lucy limp' (aka totally relaxed) state so that her body can do the work of birthing.
What differences have you see it make for laboring mothers?
I've seen moms who came to me scared and traumatized by previous birth experiences lose their fear and go on to have comfortable, joyous births. This happens frequently.
Describe the other services that you offer?
As a doula I support women in labor to have easy, comfortable births. I answer questions for moms and help them figure out what is best for them and their babies. I help dads (and other family members) help mom too. I explain what is going on so that the family can make good decisions about their care and that of their baby.
As a CLC, I offer breastfeeding support to help moms and babies get off to a great start in life.
I offer sibling classes. These are private classes I hold for children already in the pregnant household. I talk with the moms prior and we discuss whether she wants me to show a birth video. If a birth video is okay, is the direct shot of the birth okay? The material I choose is based on the age(s) of the child(ren) in the class. We talk about what babies can and can't do, how they eat (breastfeeding), how the older child feels about several things surrounding pregnancy, how they can be helpful during birth if present, and how they can be helpful when the new baby comes. I also read several children's birth related story books.
I offer classes in "how to be a family doula" where I teach family members how to function as a doula at a birth so they can better support the laboring mom in their family.
I also offer water birth tub rentals so that home birthing moms can increase their comfort during labor.
Tell us more about you and how you got into this line of work?
I am a homebirth mom of two. I homeschooled both my children all the way through their educational career up to post-secondary. I was a librarian for 19 years before I retired to become a full time birth worker and homeschooling mom. The short version of how I got into this line of work is that I went to work for the midwife who received both my babies.
I have been a doula and childbirth educator since 1995. I am an active advocate of birthing women. I keep firmly in mind that your birth builds your memories. It's important that your memories be ones that make you feel proud.
We know that you've been one of the founding members of our active birthing community. So tell us about some of the other activities that you've been up to?
I was on the board of directors for a birth center and midwifery school (The Delphi Center for Conscious Birth and The Delphi Center for Midwifery Studies.)
I have been running breastfeeding support groups for years. These are free and open to the public. We meet on the 1st and 3rd Wednesday of every month at Totally Chiropractic in North Tampa.
I have helped put together several birth related conferences and expos. I have attended 343 births, 348 babies!
Are there any other statistics you want to share?
My c-section rate is about 14% out of almost 350 births.
That is within the recommended rate set by the World Health Organization, and you're not even the primary care-provider for those women. Nice work, Dee!
What locations do you service?
Spring Hill to Sarasota, Gulf Coast to Lakeland. If a mom is within this geographical area, I will help her with her birth and breastfeeding.
And in closing...
My philosophy is that women are perfectly designed to give birth when empowered. It’s my job to teach you to do that for yourself. I know that birth can be an amazing, life-changing event!
If you'd like to reach Dee to inquire about her services visit her website here or give her a call at (813) 933-2301.
For more information about HypnoBirthing check out www.hypnobirthing.com.