Birth Doula Support
EXPERIENCED PROFESSIONAL | PERSONALIZED SUPPORT
When you hire me, I am there to support your personal birth vision. I want to know your hopes, fears, and how you plan to navigate your birth. I often compare doulas to Sherpa guides. They both help you understand the road ahead, and which paths might increase your likelihood of reaching your goals. They keep you well supplied during your journey, and assist you in accessing information and tools. Most importantly, they can both help you find the flexibility to adapt to the terrain of your unique experience.
I have no agenda for your birth. I am there for you however you need me. I can help you understand what options and resources are available to you, and assist you in formulating questions to ask your care providers. What you decide is best for your family is entirely up to you, your partner, and your care provider. I will be your biggest cheerleader, but I will also support changes you choose to make at any stage of your birthing journey.
Doulas and partners work together to support the laboring woman. Many partners report that having doula support gave them confidence and reassurance during the birth, and allowed them to help in a more hands-on manner. For detailed information on how we work together, please refer to my partners + doulas page.
professional doulas | what we don't do
- Perform clinical tasks, such as blood pressure checks, monitoring fetal heart tones, vaginal exams and others medical procedures. I am there to provide physical comfort and emotional support, not as a medical professional.
- Make decisions for you. I will help you gather the information necessary to make an informed decision.
- Speak to care providers on your behalf. You and your partner will speak directly to the clinical staff regarding your questions and decisions.
- Perform any household duties, walk dogs, run errands, or other related tasks.
- Provide clients with, or instruct in the use of, essential oils.
- Transport the client or their family/friends at any time (prenatal meetings, to the hospital).
As a birth doula, I support women and their partners in a wide variety of choices and circumstances. Every woman has a different vision for her birth. I will respect and provide judgement-free support.
UN-MEDICATED BIRTH | If you are planning a birth without pain medication and/or with minimal medical interventions, I will offer a variety of comfort measures and laboring positions to help facilitate labor progress and aid in pain management. I will remind you to drink and snack to keep your energy up (if allowed by your provider), and offer gentle reminders of your birthing preferences. I can also help you labor at home for an extended period of time, if desired, and assist you in recognizing the stages of labor.
MEDICATED BIRTH | Women planning on using pain medication at some point in their labor can benefit from doula support. An epidural is not typically given until active labor. During the time before a woman receives pain relief medication, I can assist with comfort measures and laboring positions to help facilitate labor progress and aid in pain management. Not all women who have an epidural will experience complete pain relief, and some will need continued support. Labor and birth is often a time of unknowns and anxiety for parents-to-be, and a birth doula's knowledge and support can prove invaluable.
CESAREAN BIRTH | Not every baby is able to be born vaginally. Women and their partners can benefit from doula support during a unplanned or scheduled cesarean birth. Whether your cesarean is planned (i.e. breech baby, medical reason), or is unplanned and occurs during labor, I can help prepare you for what to expect. I will offer suggestions for how to integrate your birthing preferences into a cesarean birth. I am sometimes allowed into the OR along with the partner, but not often. I can join you in the OR recovery room for your first few hours so that your partner is free to stay with baby, if there is a seperation. When you are ready to breastfeed, I can help you get started and offer suggestions for breastfeeding after surgery.
INDUCTION | A woman facing an induction for a medical reason is often unsure of what to expect. I can help you and your partner navigate the induction process and offer labor support. There are different methods of labor induction, depending on the woman and her care provider's preferences. I can help you access information, discuss what differences you can expect from a spontaneous labor, and assist you in integrating your birth preferences into the induction process.
VBAC/HIGH RISK | A woman planning a VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean), or who has a high-risk pregnancy, can benefit from extra support. The addition of potential medical issues can create added stress for a woman and her partner. I can help you to work within your medical perimeters to have your preferences integrated into the birth, and your needs met. While I cannot offer medical expertise, emotional and informational support for VBAC/ high-risk families is vital.
research SUPPORTS DOULAS
A 2011 clinical study published in The Cochrane Library studied 15,061 women and the effects of doula support. That study found that women who had a Birth Doula were:
- less likely to have a cesarean section
- less likely to have Pitocin to speed labor
- less likely to use pain medication
- less likely to rate their childbirth experience negatively
Research shows parents who receive Postpartum Doula support:
- feel more secure and cared for
- more successful in adapting to new family dynamics
- have greater success with breastfeeding
- have greater self-confidence
- have less postpartum depression
- have lower incidence of abuse