In a technical sense as a birth doula I provide 1 free consultation to get to know you, 2 prenatal visits to build a relationship with you by discussing your thoughts and concerns, birth preferences, labor positions and techniques, breastfeeding information, birth plan assistance, and anything pertaining to your pregnancy, birth, and postpartum journey. You'll also be able to utilize phone, text, and email availability throughout your pregnancy.
In a relational sense as a doula, I work to protect and honor the sacred space of birth, by bringing a peaceful, confident, and joyful presence into practice. I am an integral part of the team, a steady hand to hold in a sense. In the unknowns of labor and birth, I remain a constant. Each birth story is unique, so what a doula is for each woman and partner is different and somewhat intangible. It’s experiential.
No. A midwife is a medical professional similar to an obgyn. Just like an obgyn a midwife is a medical provider for low-risk pregnant women who provides prenatal visits that include vaginal exams, vital-checks, lab-work/tests, and other clinical services. A midwife attends to you intermittently during labor and delivery, but under most circumstances, won’t arrive in person until you’re closer to delivery. A doula on the other hand is with you (if you prefer) much earlier on and focuses on the non-medical aspects of labor. Together both of these professionals compliment each other and can help your birth be “natural”.
The role of your partner differs from the role of your doula. Doula’s in no way can replace your partner because your partner has intimate knowledge of you, whereas your doula has intimate knowledge of birth. The role of partners differs widely for each couple and birth and so there is no formula for what a relationship between doula and client/s looks like. A doula can help your partner relax, offer suggestions or demonstrate comfort measures so they can participate with a greater sense of usefulness and focus on doing birth with you, rather than trying to remember all the techniques and knowledge of birth from classes and books. A doula will reassure and care for both of you, as a unit, and can take care of other tasks (such as warming heat packs, lighting candles, getting water/food, etc.) so your partner can be present with you. Often times, partners report the tag team effort being exactly what they needed to be able to participate at a level they felt comfortable.
No way! Labor & Birth is unpredictable. With an EPIDURAL there is a physical block of pain, but it doesn’t relieve the essential need for emotional and informational support and guidance. A doula offers indispensible knowledge on positions to encourage labor progression with an epidural and support during the pushing phase as well.
For an INDUCTION birth, a birth doula is a perfect guide to inform you what to expect and many times induction results in a labor similar to spontaneous labor. However sometimes inductions last longer, hard labor is sudden and more intense, and overall more difficult. A birth doula is there to support a positive birth experience for you. Like any birth an induced birth is still unpredictable and the skills and knowledge of a birth doula can help you navigate through the unknown.
A CESAREAN birth is a more unique delivery with its own unique challenges. A birth doula will assist you with what you can expect before, during, and after delivery, help you with initial breastfeeding, and also is another support person for you if your baby has to go to the NICU if/when your other family support go with the baby.
For a HOMEBIRTH, doulas are hired by YOU and will attend you wherever you decide to deliver. It is a doula's belief that you should birth in an environment where you feel safest and most comfortable. A doula is actually very instrumental in hospital and birth center births and can be an adaptable member of your care team.
With any birth, a doula is an indispensable person, who is there to inform and support you with your unique needs, ensure your birth plan is respected, and to help you have the positive experience regardless of the unpredicted nature of labor and birth
Evidence shows that the benefits of having a birth doula are: Have a shorter, easier labor. Use less interventions. Use less pain medications (if that is your desire). Feel more informed about their birth options. Have more positive feelings about their labor and birth. Stronger sense of security and confidence during labor and delivery. Stronger parental confidence. A higher success rate of chest/ breastfeeding. An easier time adapting to new family dynamics -