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Doula Services

Doula = Woman’s Caregiver

 

Doulas are trained and experienced labor companions for both you and your partner to provide continuous emotional support and physical support before, during, and just after childbirth. 

 

As a birth doula, I recognize birth as a key life experience that you will remember all your life. I understand the physiology of childbirth and the emotional needs of a woman in labor; while assisting the woman and her partner in preparing for and carrying out their plans for the birth. I will stay by your side throughout the entire labor while respecting boundaries and providing physical space when requested. In providing emotional support and physical comfort measures, I will facilitate communication between you, your partner, and the clinical care providers.

 

My agenda is to help ensure that your birth plan is acknowledged and followed as much as possible. When labor is intense and your experience is happening rapidly, I can remind you and your partner, or the medical staff present, of some items on the birth plan that may have been overlooked. While I do not make the decisions for you, or your partner, I am able to prompt you to ask the right questions when additional information may be helpful so you, and your partner, can make an informed decision. Alas, I perceive my role as one who nurtures and protects your memory of your birth experience.

 

The Doula. The Mother. And The Partner 

 

Some couples worry that the partner will be pushed out, that the doula will assume that she can do the job better and will relegate the partner to a minor role. On the other hand, some women worry that their partners will not be able to help very much, but are hesitant to suggest a doula for fear of hurting the partner’s feelings. And some partners want help, but they feel insecure about their ability to meet all the woman’s needs. 

 

Besides the partner, doulas may be the only other constant during the laboring experience. The nurse, doctor, and midwife have other responsibilities that compete with the emotional care of the woman (i.e. breaks, shift changes, clinical responsibilities, hospital/birth center policies). My priority and responsibility is YOU. While I may begin as a stranger to expecting parents, I can quickly become a stable support to both you and your partner. 

 

Having a doula can bring couples together by making sure the partner’s needs are met (i.e. food, drink, occasional back massages, and reassurance) and allowing him/her to participate at their comfort level. The partner may not know how they want to be involved in the birthing process and are encouraged to follow their intuition and desire to be involved in a way that feels most supportive to themselves, and to the mother. For the partner that is shy, uncertain, or unversed in his/her role I may suggest simple but truly useful tasks such as timing the contractions, holding the woman and supporting her in a particular position, or massaging her. While I may know more about the birth process, birth center, or hospital - the partner knows more about the woman’s personality including her likes and dislikes, and needs. The combined contributions of partner and doula, and medical personnel, give the woman the best chance of optimal outcome.

The Do's and Don'ts of Doulas.

Before labor I will meet with you and your partner at least once (ideally three times) to become better acquainted. We'll chat about your priorities, fears, concerns, birth plan, and how we might best work together. When you are in labor or even when you think you are in labor, I prefer you call me - even if you don't need me yet. I'd rather you call me with false alarms than wait until the last minute! We'll decide where to meet (your house, the birthing center, or the hospital) and I will remain with you throughout labor and birth. After you've welcomed your sweet one into the world I will remain with you for one to two hours until you are comfortable and your family is ready for quiet time together.

I do not perform clinical tasks such as vitals, fetal heart checks, or vaginal exams.

I do not make decisions for you but I will help you get the information necessary to make an informed decision.

I do not speak to the staff on your behalf but I will discuss your concerns with you and suggest options.

Scheduling a Meet & Greet

These are commonly held at a conveniently located café or a local park. 

You may schedule a Meet & Greet by:

1) Calling or texting the number listed below

2) Emailing the address listed below

We will chat in detail about what to expect, fees for services provided, and specific services offered for emotional support, physical support, and nutritional support.

Image by Emiliana Hall
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Image by Taisiia Shestopal
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