Andi Stracner's Doula Blog

A blog about natural childbirth and being a doula in Little Rock, Arkansas.

Contact Me!

I'm currently available to anyone looking for a good doula. So if you are interested and live in or around the Little Rock area, feel free to contact me. I love talking with new people.

Andi Stracner, Doula
Cell: (501) 838-0486

Thursday, November 15, 2007

The Hillcrest Hypnosis TV Commercial

Here is the TV commercial that occasionally runs on channel 42 here in Little Rock. I thought I would post it here so my visitors could have a look.

New doula video

Here is a video that was created by Birth Works to give some information about doula services.

Friday, August 11, 2006

9 months of gestation in 20 seconds

Interesting video: 9 months of gestation in 20 seconds

Thursday, March 23, 2006


I am so very glad to announce the opening of HillCrest Hypnosis. This is my new Hypnosis office at 3000 Kavanaugh, Suite 207A HillCrest Square, Little Rock, Arkansas. I am certified with the 'National Guild of Hypnotists'. My aim is to help people with a very wide range of problems. Hypnotherapy can be used to help with so many issues it is amazing. Things like: stress, smoking, weight loss, test apprehension, study habits, anger management, insomnia, public speaking and, of course, child birth. I have a new site at which I will keep updated with the latest information about my hypnosis practice.

See the top of this page for my new banner ad.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Natural Family Boutique

I recently became a consultant for Natural Family Boutique. So feel free to look at the products there and see if I can help you find anyting. Here is a link:

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Belly Foot Picture

Click here for an interesting picture. I think it is a friend of a friend of Andi's.

Thursday, October 28, 2004

The Truth about C-Sections

Here's some disturbing information about cesarean births in the US:

  • Women are four times more likely to die during cesarean birth than during vaginal birth.
  • Cesarean deliveries increased 7 percent from 2001 to 2002 to reach a rate of 26.1 percent of all births, the highest ever reported inthe United States. Source: (2003) Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
  • The US ranks 21st among nations in infant mortality and has not improved measurably since the 1970s.
  • The World Health Organization (WHO) states that no region in the world is justified in having a cesarean rate greater than 10 to 15%.
  • Cesarean sections are sometimes performed for other than maternal or fetal well-being, such as avoidance of patient pain, patient orprovider convenience, provider legal concerns or provider financial incentives.
  • In the 1960s, the cesarean rate in the U.S. was just 6.6 percent.

Statistics for 2002 and 2003 from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

The five states with the highest cesarean rates in 2003:
  • Mississippi = 31.1%
  • New Jersey = 30.9%
  • Louisiana = 30.4%
  • West Virginia = 29.3%
  • Alabama = 28.7%

The states with the lowest cesarean rates in 2003:
  • New Mexico, (where 25% of babies are delivered by midwives), = 19.1%
  • Utah = 19.1%
  • Alaska = 19.4%
  • Idaho = 19.7%
  • Wisconsin = 20.6%

The five states with the highest cesarean rates in 2002:
  • Mississippi = 31.10%
  • New Jersey = 30.90%
  • Louisiana = 30.40%
  • West Virginia = 29.30%
  • Arkansas = 29.10%

The states with the lowest cesarean rates in 2002:
  • Wisconsin = 20.60%
  • Idaho = 19.70%
  • Alaska = 19.40%
  • New Mexico = 19.10%
  • Utah = 19.10%

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Doula Statistics

A 1993 study by Kennell, Klaus and Kennell showed that women who have doulas during their labors experience:
50% reduction in cesarean rates.
25% shorter labors.
60% reduction in epidural requests.
40% reduction in the use of pitocin.
30% reduction in requests for pain relief.
40% reduction in forceps deliveries.

What is a Doula?

Doula \DOO-luh\, noun:

1. A person who stays with a woman during her birth, helping her to feel safe so she can more easily let go to give birth.

2. A Doula is a woman experienced in childbirth who provides continuous physical, emotional and informational support to the mother before, during and just after childbirth. Trained Doulas understand the physiology of birth and the emotional needs of a woman in labor. Generally, Doulas believe that pregnancy and birth are normal, natural and healthy processes. This includes preparation for birth, helping the laboring woman with encouragement, comfort measures, relaxation techniques, and an objective viewpoint, as well as support after childbirth, such as help with breastfeeding.

3. A woman who gives continuous physical, emotional and informational support during labor and birth. Doulas may also provide postpartum care services in the home.

4. Professional labor support person.

5. A caregiver who provides continuous physical, emotional, and educational support to the mother before, during, and just after childbirth.

6. A woman who assists during childbirth labor and provides support to the mother, her child and the family after childbirth.

7. Refers to a supportive companion (not a loved one) with the labouring women. She may be professionally trained to provide labour support but provides no medical care.

8. A doula is a woman (typically) who helps with the childbirth process. They can also help out after the baby is born. Not to be confused with a midwife, who replaces the hospital (or at least a doctor) in the childbirth process, a doula prepares the mom at home and helps you through the labor process at the hospital. They are often advocates of walking around during labor, while hospital policy tends to wire the mom to her bed via IV and monitor cables. It is well known that the most painful position for labor is in bed on your back, while a doula would likely have you walking or sitting on a 2' ball, which helps the hips and takes the load off the back.

{Derived from an ancient Greek word, meaning "woman's servant", "servant", "handmaiden" or "slave to the mother" (literally translated “slave”).}

Sunday, September 07, 2003

Breast Feeding

Here is a paper that I am working on.

"Benefits of breast feeding, and how society sometimes discourages it." - By Andrea Stracner.

Breast feeding has been slowly becoming more popular since the 1970's. It is unfortunate that the trend is not catching on in certain parts of the population such as, teenage mothers, the poor, and African American women. We should find a way to convince them all that the “breast is the best”. There are so many advantages for both the mother and infant. We really should try to educate people to those advantages. But society has fought with breast feeding mothers in the U.S for some time now.
The benefits of breast feeding for the mother are very good. Breast feeding immediately after the baby is born helps your body produce a natural hormone called oxytocin. This oxytocin is similar to pitocin or methergene that doctors give you to make your uterus contract back down to its normal size after delivery. Obviously the oxytocin helps the uterus shrinks as the baby gets the nurishment it needs. This sometimes helps a mother get her figure back after having a baby, which can be a real challenge. Another thing that breast feeding does for a woman is that it helps lower the chance of her getting breast and ovarian cancer. Also there is the maternal bonding that a mother feels when spending this special time with her new child knowing that she is the only one that can be with her child in this way. There is also a cost issue. Formula can cost more than $400 a year for the family.
The benefits for the baby are endless. In a policy statement, published in the December issue of the journal Pediatrics,the academy said that “studies conducted in industrialized countries have shown that breast feeding can decrease the incidence or severity of conditions such as diarrhea, ear infections, and bacterial meningitis. The research has also shown that breastfeeding may offer protection against the sudden infant death syndrome,insulin dependent diabetes, and allergic diseases, among others.” There was also a report in Jama that suggest that adults who as babies were breast feed for seven to nine months, had a higher intelligence level than those breast feed two weeks or less. There is also a bond between the mother and baby that is made during feeding time.
Many factors are to blame for only twenty percent of American infants being breast feed for six months of life. Many blame it on the formula companies. To many the companies are “a bunch of fat cats getting rich at the expense of babies health.” Unfortunately the formula companies have lots of money to spend on add campaigns promoting their product. It seems that they aim there adds many times to poor women. If only breast feeding could be promoted in such a way. Then there are some people in the public that view breast feeding as a disgusting thing that “middle class granola eaters” do. This is a big problem that keeps mothers scared to leave the house if they are breast feeding. I know many people that have been told to leave a public place such as a restaurant. One person was told not to feed her infant, because” this is a family place”. I guess that person wants his children to think that breasts are only for selling tooth paste and fancy cars, because breast feeding is the most natural of family activities.

Doula Services -