What is a Doula?
A doula is a woman experienced in childbirth who provides information, emotional and physical support to a mother before, during, and just after childbirth.
What can you expect if you hire me?
A doula meets with the pregnant woman and her support team in the end of her pregnancy to discuss and prepare for the upcoming birth. She answers questions and provides information and guidance to prepare the birthing team.
During the birth, she is there continuously to coach the laboring woman through her contractions, to provide physical and emotional support, to facilitate labor progression, and to support the birth team. She is a constant calming and knowledgeable presence during the labor.
After the baby has been born, the doula stays with the family to help them settle in. She leaves them to bond and rest when everything has settled down. The doula is available to the new family to answer questions and meets with them soon after the birth to make sure all is well and to help them process the birth experience.
The doula does not replace the partner. Instead, she enhances the support of the partner so that he or she can be there for, and love on the laboring woman. A doula helps to take the pressure off of the partner to allow them to enjoy the experience.
The proof for Doulas
Numerous clinical studies have found that a doula’s presence at birth:
- Tends to result in shorter labors with fewer complications
- Reduces negative feelings about one’s childbirth experience
- Reduces the need for pitocin, forceps or vacuum extraction
- Reduces the requests for pain medication and epidurals, as well as the incidence of cesareans
Mothers receiving doula care are significantly less likely to feel a loss of control in labor.
Women who receive doula care are 27% less likely to be dissatisfied with their births as compared to women who did not use a doula.
Having a Doula can help you to have a more positive birth experience, reduce your anxiety, and reduce your risk of postpartum depression.
The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) says that hiring a doula is one of the most effective tools to improve labor and delivery outcomes and to avoid a c-section.
Having a Doula can also help your partner to feel more confident and involved with your labor.
A Doula is not a medical provider
As a Doula I will not:
- Perform clinical tasks such as taking blood pressure or checking cervical dilation.
- Speak to medical staff on your behalf, however I can remind you of your birth preferences and help you and your partner phrase your concerns or desires to the staff.
- Make medical decisions for you.
- Pressure you to have a birth you don't want, not during prenatal visits nor during birth. I will not judge you for any birthing decisions you make. This is your birth, not mine.
- Take over your partner's role. I will take the pressure off of him so he is free to support you in a way that works best for you. I will also support him physically by making sure he takes bathroom breaks and stays hydrated and nourished.
- Take over your role as decision maker. It's my job to support you, no matter how you give birth. Not to decide how you will birth.
If you think a Doula would be a great addition to your birthing team, email me! We will set up a time to meet and see if we are a good match for each other. I really look forward to hearing from you!