Please Visit my "Blog" above for more information about Pregnancy, Birth, and Postpartum.
And Visit my Doula Services page to view types of Doula Care offered
What is a Birth Doula?
"Birth Doula" is Greek word whose definition has come to mean in modern times as- a women educated in the art of childbirth. It is someone who provides continuous physical, emotional & informational support to the mother, father, & their family. This support begins with the pregnancy, and continues through labor & postpartum. Doulas are trained & experienced in the birth process. They understand what is normal for the labor & birth process. And they know how to keep labor progressing while keeping the mother comfortable.
Everyone can benefit from a Doula's support- first-time parents; as well as those parents who have already been through the birth process. Both women who choose to have a natural birth and those who elect to use pain management can benefit from a Doula's support.
Doulas honor your privacy & your choices.
Doulas do not replace your doctor or midwife; they do not provide clinical care.
Doulas do not make decisions for you.
A Doula is able to remind you about simple things that are often forgotten-like going to the bathroom, drinking fluids, & eating. Doula services are perfect for any setting: hospital, birth center, or home births.
A Doula can inform you on medication options as well as alternatives to medications. Knowing your options ahead of time will make pain management decisions easier during labor. The decision is a personal one that only the mother can make. Whatever choice you make, your Doula will support you & help you make your birth experience.
Do Father's feel Left Out?
No. Doulas do not replace the father's role in any way. A Doula is there to relieve back pain and observe tension in other areas of her body. The father is there face-to-face, holding hands, and giving emotional support to his wife. Doulas can take the pressure off of the fathers, which allows them to do what they do best- to love their partner.
Some fathers have a hard time remembering what was taught in class, and often were not prepared to see what labor and birth was really like. A study performed by S.M Copstick, et al, published in the Journal of Psychosomatic Research reported that "women were unlikely to use techniques learned in childbirth classes beyond early labor unless their partners were trained & willing to help coach them." Doulas can remind fathers how to help the mother & be there for her.
Birth can be a scary thing for first time fathers. Doulas can also reassure the father that everything is happening as it should. In fact, many fathers have said that having a doula present made them feel less anxious and were better able to enjoy the birth.
Why Should I Be Your Doula?
Giving birth with confidence means that you have the trusted support of an experienced Doula. I have experience in hospitals, birth centers, and home settings. I have assisted women in natural childbirth, as well as births using pain management. I have assisted in twin births, lotus births, and water births.
My massage therapy background, as well as my skills learned through the Massage Doula program can help alleviate some of the discomfort of natural childbirth. Husbands love having someone else do the massage so that they can focus on giving their spouse loving support. My training in acupressure can help keep contractions regular as well as speed up the labor process. It can release endorphins that can take the edge of labor. It also releases oxytocin that can help prevent hemorrhaging after labor.
During our visits, I will help empower and prepare you for your birth. I can help co-create a plan that is perfect for you. This may include: regular prenatal massages; finding appropriate childbirth classes; learning and practicing different techniques; and writing a birth plan.
Benefits of Having a Doula at your Birth
Studies done on the effects of continuous labor support show that women are :
* 60% less likely to have an epidural or other analgesia
* 30% less likely to use any type of pain medicine
* 40% less likely to need to be induced
* 50% less likely to give birth using cesarean section
* 40% less likely to give birth using vacuum extraction or forceps
* 25% less likely to have a lengthy labor
Long-term benefits include:
* A greater satisfaction with the birth experience
* Fewer incidences of postpartum depression
* Greater breastfeeding success
* Increased bonding between mother & baby
* Klaus, Marshall H., M.D., Phyllis Klaus, M. Ed, & John Kennel, M.D., Mothering the Mother, N.Y: Addison-Welsey '93
As more women are choosing doulas as part of the pregnancy and birth team, and more research is being done proving the benefits of Doula care, more insurance companies are covering the cost of Doula service. Many insurance providers also cover the cost of childbirth classes, whether those classes are private or in-hospital. However, insurance companies vary on if and/or how much of a Doula's services they will pay for. Many times, a "prescription for Doula Care" can influence the company to cover a Doula. All receipts you need for filing for insurance reimbursement will gladly be provided.
How Can a Doula Help a Woman
Who Wants to Use Pain Management?
We have had many women ask whether or not we attend births other than natural births. They wonder how we can help them if they are not able to get up and move around.