When you get pregnant, there are so many things to consider, including who you want to help you throughout pregnancy and at birth. Of course, you have the OBGYN and maybe a midwife, but a birth doula is another wonderful assistant for new moms. But what is a doula?

In ancient Greek, “doula” means, “a woman who serves”. And even though the concept of a doula goes back thousands of years, they’re incredibly relevant today, too. Modern-day doulas are professionally trained women who provide physical, emotional and informational support to mothers.

They provide services during pregnancy, during labor and birth, and after the birth, too.

When a mother is still pregnant, doulas help her to develop a birth plan to help identify what the mother wants and how she can create a birth experience that she’s comfortable with.

Doulas also equip expectant mothers with breathing and relaxation techniques to help them move through labor. They also educate the mother on different laboring positions to help her feel both empowered and informed when it comes time to give birth.

One of the wonderful benefits of having a doula is the continued support you receive from her. That’s because even if you have an OBGYN, he or she may not be present at the birth. And at this very crucial time, you may have to interact with unfamiliar faces and medical personnel.

And even though a doula isn’t medically trained, she can offer consistent support before, during and after birth. And research shows that when women have this kind of support, they are more likely to have spontaneous vaginal births, and “less likely to use pain medications or to have a caesarean birth.”

So, if you’d like to have a wonderful and supportive team for your pregnancy and birth, consider a doula.

Painful sex might be caused by vaginismus

Painful sex is a common problem for many women. In fact, close to 75 percent of women have painful sex. Nonetheless, it’s a condition that’s widely misunderstood, or not spoken about enough. But one probable cause for painful sex might be something called vaginismus. And if you’re not sure what this is, and whether it’s something you’re dealing with, keep reading.

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3 exercises to sculpt your upper body 

Upper body strength is something women need to build up. We just have less of it than men. And this exercise circuit combines three simple, but super effective moves to tone your chest and sculpt your shoulders and triceps. Plus, it seriously engages your core. So, when you need a break from your lower body exercise routine, and want to focus on your upper body, give this circuit a try.

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