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What the heck is a "Doo-la?". . .

According to DONA, there have been numerous clinical studies that have found a doula’s presence at birth:

  • results 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

  • reduces the requests for pain medications and epidurals, as well as the incidence of cesareans

Also, having a doula present during and after childbirth, women report greater satisfaction with their birth experience, make more positive assessments of their babies, have fewer cesareans and requests for medical intervention, and less postpartum depression.

A doula is a professionally trained childbirth assistant who sees the mother throughout pregnancy, labor, and after birth  to provide continuous emotional, physical, spiritual, and informational support to the mother (and partner) before, during and after childbirth. The word “doula” comes from ancient Greek, meaning “Woman’s servant.”

How does a doula help?

During pregnancy, a doula assists the mother with discovering her concerns and preferences about childbirth and can suggest holistic and natural remedies to minor pregnancy discomforts. Doulas also use relaxation massage, acupressure, physical comfort measures and breathing techniques to help mom (and partner) prepare for labor and birth.

So why should you have a doula?

So what does that mean for your baby?

Studies have shown that babies born with doulas present tend to have shorter hospital stays with fewer admissions to special care nurseries, breastfeed more easily and have more affectionate mothers in the postpartum period.

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My services as a birth doula include:

  • One complimentary 30 minute meet and greet, to answer any questions about my services and to see if we are a good match

  • One/Two prenatal visit(s) in your home, lasting 1.5 hours each, to go over your wishes and guidance in preparing your birth preferences (aka Your Birth Plan)

  • Unlimited phone and email contact for the duration of your pregnancy

  • Continuous support and presence from whenever you decide you need me in labor to an hour or two after the birth to ensure a sucessful latch and feeding.

  • Unlimited phone and email support for those first few days as a new family to answer any questions, day or night.

  • One/Two postpartum visit(s) in your home to admire your baby, answer questions, go over newborn care, help with lactation support, and get feedback about my own role

 

What doulas should not do:

  • Clinical tasks, such as blood pressure, fetal heart checks and vaginal exams because I am not a health care professional.

  • Talk for you. I can discuss your concerns with you and suggest options, but you or your partner will speak directly to the caregiver(s).

  • Make decisions for you.  I can get you all the information you and your partner need to make an informed decision. I will also remind you during labor if something changes from what you previously stated in your birth plan