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 working together is a free consultation. We can meet in person to see if you think I am the best fit for you and your partner. Then, if you decide that you would like for me to be present at your birth, we will be meeting again at 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 like a Chiropractor, Prenatal Physical Therapist or acupuncturist. On a regular basis I will check in with you. During the prenatal visit we will talk about the birth itself, what you can expect, fears, challenges, your preference birth plan and what you can do already to prepare for the birth and what to do 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. I will see you when you think you need me. That could be when you are in active labor or when you are feeling very uncomfortable and I will be by your side until the baby is born. This could be at your home or we can meet at the hospital or birth center. I normally do a lot of massage, comfort measures, breathing techniques, changing positions and give reassurance and positive encouragement. Most important is a safe environment.
I support your partner in helping you the best they can. Besides that, your partner can take a break when needed too. We will make sure that you stay hydrated and even if you have an epidural we will do comfort measures in bed. Baby has to keep on moving for a better engagement in the pelvis. A peanut ball is a very helpful tool.
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 (the golden hour) or bottle feeding and I only leave you when I know that you and your baby are okay, you have something to eat and to give you special family time.
Asking your partner to be your sole guide through labour is like asking him/her to lead the way on a climb of Mt Everest. He/she may be smart and trustworthy, you may love him/her, but in the Himalayas you'd BOTH be a lot better off with a sherpa!
Postpartum care 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. Emotional healing is important too. Make sure that you have already meals in the freezer and a support plan set up.
During birth and postpartum, I always work with a back-up Doula from my own network.
Studies of over 5000 women involving comparisons of outcomes with & without labor support found:
50% less caesareans 25% reduction in length of labor 60% fewer requests for epidurals 40% less need for augmentation with 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. 40% less use of forceps
Klaus, M.H., Kennell, J.H., & Klaus, P.H. (1993). Mothering the mother: how a doula can help you have a shorter, easier and healthier birth.
I AM EDUCATED IN
Spinning Babies Techniques
The 3 principles of spinning babies are: Balance, Gravity and Movement. More info on: www.spinningbabies.com
In fact I give emotional, physical and informational support and advocate for your best options. If the doctor comes in with a proposal, we can first discuss this together if this is the best evidence-based solution. We do this through using of the acronym BRAIN. I help you to be a better advocate for yourself.
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
Supporting Mothers in Maryland, DC & Northern Virginia