What is a doula?
A doula is a trained professional who provides informational, emotional and physical support to families during pregnancy, birth and postpartum. Studies show that using a doula can shorten labor, lead to less interventions, facilitate better pain management and strengthen bonding and breastfeeding.
Sounds great, huh? But, what exactly does a doula do?
I believe in a woman's right to chose her place of birth. Ideally, that is where a woman feels most safe - home or hospital. I have experience with home, hospital, natural, medicated and surgical birth, and I draw on those experiences as well as my ongoing studies to assist you in a warm, relevant, wonderful way. I offer a calm presence, emotional support, physical comfort measures and an objective viewpoint. Some tools I use include affirmations, guided visualizations, gentle touch, couterpressure, position changes and aromatherapy. As a Well Rounded Momma certified Advanced Labor Doula, I have received education and mentoring in order to provide you with quality service.
A doula supports you. As every mother's and family's needs are different, the support a doula offers is different as well. It is unique to that pregnancy, that woman, that birth, that family. Part of a doula's job is to identify what support a woman and her partner are looking for and provide it.
I am always happy to meet for a free consultation. Every person a woman comes into contact with during childbirth affects her birthing journey. Lets talk, get to know each other a bit and see if I am the right support person for you.
I am available by phone and email throughout your pregnancy. Motherhood is quite a journey. I am available to help you find answers to your questions and discuss fears and concerns along the way.
We will meet prenatally to explore your wishes and needs for the birth of your baby. We will explore how you feel most cared for, what helps you relax, what role does your partner play in that and what are their hopes for your child's birth. Would you like to write a birth plan? I can help with that too.
I will provide physical and emotional support during active labor and childbirth. Bringing a baby into the world can be hard work. I help you stay comfortable along the way using a variety of techniques including, but not limited to, position changes, counterpressure, gentle touch and guided visualiztions.
I support you immediately postpartum and throughout baby's first feed. Evidence supports skin to skin contact as being in the best interest of both mom and baby. I help you facilitate and balance this with yours and baby's medical needs. I also provide assistance to help your breastfeeding relationship get off to a good start.
I follow up with you postpartum. Generally, this includes some time on the phone and a visit to your home to make sure you have the resources you need at the beginning of your parenting journey. We will discuss the birth, how you and baby are doing and I will provide appropriate referrals if necessary.
"If a doula were a drug, it would be unethical not to use it."
- John H. Kennell, MD