Doulas guide families to fulfill their individual desires for birth. A doula’s ultimate goal is to help moms experience a positive and safe birth through information and support. In pregnancy, a doula meets with clients to discuss the upcoming birth, answer questions, and to provide assistance navigating the healthcare system. During labor, doulas provide physical comfort to mothers by way of pain relief techniques and suggestions to make labor progress smoothly. Doulas also provide emotional reassurance to mothers and their birth team. Even if you plan on having a family member or friend present at birth, doulas can still be of great help! In my experience, dads enjoy being able to be more present at the birth of their child – knowing a knowledgeable guide is present to care for mom.
I operate from a place of understanding that nearly all people have experienced trauma in varying degrees, and that those experiences shape the people we become and how we show up in life. It is my goal to prevent re-traumatization by making sure that my clients feel seen, heard, respected, and validated in their experiences, feelings, wants, and needs.
Not at all! A doula has no hidden agenda for a client’s birth. A doula’s role is to help the mother navigate the birth she desires. Doulas also can help clients adjust when their birth plans change. What are the benefits of using a doula? Evidence Based Birth® sums up the benefits this way: 25% decrease in the risk of Cesarean; the largest effect was seen with a doula (39% decrease)* 8% increase in the likelihood of a spontaneous vaginal birth; the largest effect was seen with a doula (15% increase)* 10% decrease in the use of any medications for pain relief; the type of person providing continuous support did not make a difference Shorter labors by 41 minutes on average; there is no data on if the type of person providing continuous support makes a difference 38% decrease in the baby’s risk of a low five minute Apgar score; there is no data on if the type of person providing continuous support makes a difference 31% decrease in the risk of being dissatisfied with the birth experience; mothers’ risk of being dissatisfied with the birth experience was reduced with continuous support provided by a doula or someone in their social network (family or friend), but not hospital staff (And because people always ask: YES! I *absolutely* used a doula in every birth experience!)
A doula does not make decisions for her clients. She provides evidence-based information, supports the woman in her decision-making, and ensures the woman’s wishes are made known to her care provider.
Nope! In my experience, a doula really helps dads enjoy birth! Oftentimes women in labor have many, simultaneous needs. I make it a point in my practice to include partners to the extent they are comfortable. My goal is to support the entire family unit in welcoming their newest addition.
As your Doula, it is not my job to replace your partner (unless you are without one).
My job is to educate, emotionally and physically support partners to empower them to support mothers through the birthing process, to be active and confident parents, as well as how to assist and be helpful during recovery. I am an expert but you and your partner are the experts on your body, your pregnancy, and your baby.
I support a partner by:
Childbirth is certainly a natural process, but birth is unpredictable! A childbirth education/preparation course demystifies much of the birthing process. Sessions provide an opportunity to address any of your fears about birth, learn comfort measures to handle labor pain, understand medical interventions, connect with your birth partner, and more. Furthermore, our modern maternity care system is fraught with outdated practices and hidden risks; being an informed consumer is the best way to approach birthing in the American healthcare system. And having a doula by your side can make a WORLD of difference.