What’s a Doula anyway?
The word doula is a Greek word that means women’s servant. Women have been serving other women in childbirth for centuries and have proven that this support from another woman has positive effects on the labor process.
A doula is professionally trained in childbirth, provides emotional, physical and informational support to the mother who is expecting, in labor or has recently given birth. The doula’s role is to help women have a safe, memorable and empowering birthing experience.
What does a doula do?
Most doula and client relationships begin a few months before the baby is due. During this time, they establish a one-on-one relationship that gives the mother complete freedom to ask questions, express fears and concerns, and take an active role in creating a birth plan. In adition, most doulas make themselves available to the mother by phone to answer questions or explain any developments that may arise in pregnancy. Doulas do not provide any type of medical care. However, they are knowledgeable in the medical aspect of labor and delivery so they can help their clients get a better understanding of procedures and complications that may arise in late pregnancy or during delivery.
During delivery, doulas are in constant, close proximity to the mother at all times. They can provide comfort with pain relief techniques, such as breathing, relaxing, massage and laboring positions. Doulas also encourage participation from the partner and offer reassurance. A doula acts as an advocate for the mother, encouraging her in her desires for her birth. The goal of a doula is to help the mother have a positive and safe birth experience, whether the mother wants an un-medicated birth or is having a planned cesarean birth.
After the birth, many labor doulas will spend a short time helping mothers begin the breastfeeding process and encouraging bonding between the new baby and family members.
Why Hire a Doula?
Women have complex needs during childbirth. In addition to medical care and the love and companionship provided by their partners, women need consistent, continuous reassurance, comfort, encouragement and respect. They need individualized care based on their circumstances and preferences.
Doulas are educated and experienced in childbirth and the postpartum period. We are prepared to provide physical (non-medical), emotional and informational support to women and their partners during labor and birth, as well as to families in the weeks following childbirth. We offer a loving touch, positioning and comfort measures that make childbearing women and families feel nurtured and cared for.
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 (a labor-inducing drug), forceps or vacuum extraction and cesareans
- reduces the mother’s request for pain medication and/or epidurals
Research shows parents who receive support can:
- Feel more secure and cared for
- Are more successful in adapting to new family dynamics
- Have greater success with breastfeeding
- Have greater self-confidence
- Have less postpartum depression
- Have lower incidence of abuse
From the moment you hire your doula, you have unconditional support for your pregnancy. Finally, someone is as excited as you are about your growing family and here to help you navigate through the sometimes overwhelming and confusing world of pregnancy and childbirth.
You’ve likely already found a doctor or midwife who will follow the medical aspects of your pregnancy and your partner or family who knows you best is there to help. But you may feel that something is missing. Choosing a doula to be part of the experience means that you have a trained and certified birth support person during your pregnancy, labour and birth. We specialize in providing non-judgmental, baggage-free advice, support, and coaching so you can experience these milestones in the most positive and confident way possible.
Doulas are not just for natural birth hippie types planning home births. Do you want to have the best possible birth experience, no matter how it unfolds?
Perfect! A doula is for someone just like you!
Once you’ve signed on with us, we’re here for you 24/7. You have access to information, resources and support above and beyond what you might have imagined. You can call, e-mail or text me whenever you need.
Spending quality time together during our prenatal meetings means that we can develop a relationship, discuss a flexible plan for your birth that makes you feel comfortable and prepared, and go over any lingering concerns you might have about your upcoming birth.
Dr. Google, The Girlfriend’s Guide to Pregnancy and your Facebook groups aren’t cutting it anymore? You want an experienced and trained doula to meet you where you are with down-to-earth and well researched knowledge and hands-on labour support so you can have a birth you feel good about.
When Do You Call Your Doula? Even if you’re wondering, “Am I really in labour?”, we’re on-call for you at any time and ready to jump out of bed at 3am to join you at your home or hospital. We’ll keep in touch during early labour and when you’re ready to have extra support your doula will be there when you request her. From that moment until the birth of your baby your doula will be there supporting you in whatever way you need.
Hands-On Birth Support
We are there to help you find your strength when you need it, help you communicate with the medical staff, provide guidance and suggestions to ease your pain and focus on your emotional well-being. We truly want you to have a birth you can look back on with pride and happiness! If you have a specific type of birth experience, we offer guidance and support to help you achieve it. Even if your plan is to “go with the flow”, we can help you find the tools to make informed decisions, techniques to cope with labour pain and we can support you in getting ready to welcome your baby in the most confident and joyful way.
Our philosophy about birth is that you should feel confident, supported and encouraged each step of the way. Whether you are preparing for a natural birth, planning on having an epidural, or give birth by cesarean section, I will be there to support you!
We don’t disappear after your baby is born. We stay with you until you and your baby are settled in and if you’re choosing to breastfeed we make sure that it’s off to a good start. During your hospital stay we are still available by phone or text for any questions or concerns you might have, and upon your return home we arrange our postpartum follow-up visit. At this visit we can discuss anything that might be on your mind, and make sure that your transition into parenthood is as seamless as possible. You always have the option to arrange for new baby postpartum care, but regardless we continue to be available by phone or e-mail for the first 6 weeks.