What is a Doula?
The unknown through birth and parenting is uncomfortable.
As your doula (from the ancient Greek meaning “a woman who serves”) I help you navigate a barrage of information and a whole spectrum of emotions; grief, fear, stress, joy and more so you can make informed decisions that make sense for you. No judgment (it’s not my style).
Trust me: you need a compassionate, calm, approachable and funny person (I bet I can make you laugh!) in your corner. Someone who listens. Someone who understands the complexity of what you’re going through. Someone trained in birth who can be a mama (figure) without all the drama.
They say it takes a village, but it takes the RIGHT village.
In 20 years of coaching growing families through birth and beyond I’ve learned that no two families are alike. Parenthood is a diverse and winding path.
No matter the circumstance, I’m here as your guide and helping hand as you adjust to your new life. I support families across all spectrums and backgrounds:
- Fertility issues
- Miscarriage, stillbirth, NICU stays, rainbow babies (welcoming a living baby after a previous loss)
- Trauma and abuse survivors (who may be severely triggered during labor)
- Single mothers
- First-time parents
- Teen mothers
- Seasoned parents
- Hospital births, home births, birth center births
- Cesarean births, unmedicated births, pain-managed births
- VBAC (Vaginal Birth After Cesarean)
- And for families postpartum, who might be losing their shit because of anxiety and overwhelm, I’ll be the steady hand who calms you and helps you forward
No matter the circumstance, no matter what type of birth you’re planning, I got you.
First, let’s get one important detail out of the way: as your doula, I do NOT take the place of your partner, midwife, or doctor. Instead think of me as your bonus supporter.
Our relationship typically begins months before the birth. This is my favorite time because it’s when we really get to know each other better. Plus, I’ll be educating you on your options and available resources as we go.
During labor and birth, I’m there to give comfort measures and emotional support. I’ll help you better advocate for yourself and communicate with your medical care team. I’ll also coach your partner through birth so they can interpret what mama needs, advocate for her, and make sure they understand what is happening through each step.
Real talk: with birth – and most things in life – you don’t know what you don’t know.
This is one of the countless reasons expecting parents choose to hire a doula. A doula trained in birth helps to fill in the missing information from every angle, not just one side.
As your doula, I give parents a new fearless perspective about birth.
I’ll let the numbers do the talking…
With the support of a doula:
- Cesarean rates are reduced by 50%
- Length of labor is reduced by 25%
- Use of Pitocin is reduced by 40%
- Need for pain medication is reduced by 30%
- Requests for epidural pain management is reduced by 60 %
- Mom’s self-image is increased
- Satisfaction in the overall birth experience is increased
- Relationship between mom and partner improved
- labors are shorter with fewer complications
With the support of a doula, babies are:
- More likely to have higher APGAR scores
- Less likely to be admitted to special care units
- Breastfeed more easily
— DONA International (http://www.dona.org)
WHAT IS A BIRTH DOULA?
A Birth Doula will assist women and their partners in preparation for childbirth by teaching comfort measures for labor, offering education before labor, and providing emotional and physical support through pregnancy, labor, and delivery.
You have a new baby, now what? Having a postpartum doula on your side helps smooth the transition for your entire family, whether it’s your first baby or fifth.
As a Postpartum doula I offer emotional support and hands-on education –in the comfort of home– after your baby is born. The needs of each family is unique and I help each family member by anticipating their needs and keeping them informed and supported throughout the process. Having an extra set of hands and a trustworthy, nonjudgmental source of information can make a huge difference for families.
You can ask me anything about caring for your baby without embarrassment. Truly.
Postpartum doulas can also assist in creating a schedule and planning details that may otherwise be overlooked (like how you will eat and shower). A Postpartum Doula helps ensure your needs are met during the first weeks after your baby is born.
Your doula is the calm, nurturing voice and works to make your experience at home pleasurable and memorable.
WHAT IS A BEREAVEMENT DOULA?
A bereavement doula has specialized training and experience within the complexities of loss and uses this focus to serve families who have lost their baby through miscarriage or stillbirth. A bereavement doula will help the family welcome and honor their baby and begin to heal from their loss. I am certified in bereavement doula support and consider this area one of my specialties.
DOULAS ARE FOR DADS AND PARTNERS, TOO!
Dads and partners who are able and excited to be involved in the pregnancy and birth will have my doula support too. It can be easy to overlook how overwhelmed partners may be through this experience. In so many ways, it is the exact situation in which they want to take care of everything and feel like they “got this.”
Ultimately, though, it is the one situation in which they have little or no control. And I want to acknowledge how hard it can be to see the person you love going through birth. It’s wonderful, but it’s hard on the heart at times. Don’t worry, partners, I’m not here to takeover or push you out of the way. I am there for you, as well. There is plenty for you to do that will make a world of difference for the mother of your child. I will coach you through birth so you can interpret what your partner needs, advocate for her, and make sure you understand what is happening through each step.
SCOPE AND LIMITATIONS OF DOULAS SUPPORT
As a doula, I do not perform clinical tasks, such as blood pressures, fetal assessments, vaginal exams, or any diagnosis. I am present to provide for your physical comfort, to nurture you, for emotional support and advocacy. I won’t make decisions for you. I will empower you to get the information necessary to make informed decisions. A medical team is required for home births. Doulas catching babies is not within the scope of a professional doula.