The term Doula comes from Greece. It means: "a woman who services". It is a woman who was trained to assist another woman during labor and who may provide support to the family after the baby is born.
The desired birth
The first step in meeting together is a free consultation. You may see if you think I am the best fit for you and your partner. If you like me to be present at your birth, we will be meeting around 36 weeks for a prenatal visit. As soon as you sign a contract I am on call for you 24/7. You can always reach out to me with questions, concerns or you might need a resource. On a regular base I also check in with you. During the prenatal visit we will talk about the birth itself, what can you expect, the birth plan and what you can do already in early labor at home with your partner.
Being your Doula during labor
When the contractions start, you will notify both me and the caregiver. The best place to be at this stage is in the comfort of your own home, for as long as possible. Whether you decide to give birth in the hospital, at home or in a birth center, I will see you when you are in active labor or when you are feeling very uncomfortable and will be by your side until the baby is born. I normally do a lot of massage, comfort measures and reassurance. I support your partner to help you best. We will make sure that you stay hydrated and even if you have an epidural we will do comfort measures in bed. Then it's also important to have the baby moving. So we do a lot of side to side lying and a peanut ball is very helpful too.
In fact I give emotional, physical and informative support. If the doctor comes in with a proposal, we can first discuss this together if this is the most evidence-based solution. We do this through using of the acronym BRAIN.
B= what's the benefit
R= what's the risk
A= what's the alternative
I = What does your intuition say
N= What if we say NO, NOT NOW, NEVER
You will not be alone.....YOU CAN DO IT
Having continuous labor support from a Doula, statistics show:
- 28% less caesareans
- 9% decrease in the use of any medications for pain relief
- 31% decrease in the use of Pitocin (Oxytocine)
- 34% more chance to have a positive feeling after the birth
- 14% decrease in the risk of newborns being admitted to a special care nursery
- 12% more chance at a natural vaginal birth.
Right after the birth
Right after your baby is born, skin-to-skin contact is important for the bonding with your baby. Enjoy these first special moments with your baby and your partner. I also help you with initial breastfeeding and I only leave you when I know that you and your baby are okay to give you family time.
The day after, I will call you to see how everything is going. We can plan a 1-1,5 hour postpartum visit at your home within a week after the baby is born or at your convenience. If you like I could come a 2nd time. During my experience as a doula, I feel that a second postpartum visit is desired by my clients. Everything feels different a week after the birth or a month after the birth. Emotional healing is also important. I leave the 2nd postpartum visit as an option.
During birth and postpartum, I always work with a back-up Doula from my own network.