Answering Your Questions
What is a doula?
Doulas are non-medical birth workers. I provide physical, emotional, and spiritual support before, during, and immediately after birth. I like to think of the role as a "birth concierge," who is trained and ready to guide you through and make sure your birth experience is exceptional.
Doulas are, and I am, also advocates for women during this critical period in their life. So don't be surprised if you see me out there creating awareness and community based on the specific needs of mothers (think postpartum depression, pelvic floor health, fertility awareness, etc).
Why should I hire a doula?
The value of a doula can be found just by speaking with someone who has been supported by our work. But time and time again studies show that having the continuous support of a trained doula has a major impact on birth outcomes. Women with doulas are half as likely to have a c-section and less likely to have a use an epidural. Women with a doula in general have shorter labors and half as likely to have forceps used at delivery. Furthermore women with an epidural are also less likely to receive a c-section.
When should I hire a doula?
You can hire a doula at any point during your pregnancy, but most mamas start interviewing doulas around 30 weeks. It is a good idea to conduct your doula interviews around this time and hire one by 35 weeks as many doulas are booked up several months out.
What is included in your birth support package?
Each birth support package includes:
Two, two hour prenatal appointments (access to my pregnancy/birth library, & list of local/online trusted resources)
24/7 phone/email support after 36 weeks
On Call for birth support from 38-42 weeks
My physical presence at your birth (access to use of my birth tools)
One postpartum follow-up visit
Six weeks of postpartum phone/text support
Cost for Birth Support Package is $800. See "Services" for a more detailed review of services.
Contact me to customize your package. You may add prenatal/postpartum appointments, fertility care review, or childbirth education.
My partner is there, why would I also need a doula?
Birth is beautiful but intense! My job is to help your partner assist you best and to ensure he's cared for too. Most partners are not used to seeing birth and it can be overwhelming for them too. I'm there to prepare and reassure them when they are unsure of how to help you. I, in no way, take the place of their love & support.
I'm also able to protect your intimate space and if necessary act the primary communicator between family members/friends (sometimes keeping everyone posted is its own job).
There is phrase that says "My husband (partner) is my left hand and my doula is my right" :-).
What type of postpartum support do you provide?
Before your baby arrives we will put together a custom postpartum plan depending on your specific needs. I will provide you with reliable resources (both local and online) to support you in your new endeavor. After the birth of your baby I will be there to ensure feeding is established. I will visit you in the coming days/weeks after the birth to ensure things are going well. I'm happy to set up meal trains and arrange subsequent care by trusted local postpartum doulas if desired.
How would a doula support a planned medicated or c-section birth?
Having a planned medicated or c-section birth can be stressful. It is my job to accompany the mother through this emotional time and make it as enjoyable and relaxing as possible. A birth with planned medical comfort measures can still benefit from labor support as we are trained in specific birth positions and resting techniques. A doula is also beneficial for a scheduled surgical birth as she can help mother prepare be comfortable and relaxed throughout. Doulas can also stay with the mother if the partner needs to attend to the immediate needs of the newborn.
Why is it important that a doula be trained/certified?
Because the role of doula is non-clinical there is no licensing board. There are however many different organizations that offer certification programs. I believe selecting a doula that has been through a tried and true, well-known and trusted program is extremely important. It shows a level of commitment to excellence and professionalism on the doula's part. Most agencies also have a standard scope, privacy requirements and a code of ethics that the doula must abide by. You can see DONA's here: Scope & Ethics.
What type of training do you have?
After having six children I'm pretty comfortable with all things pregnancy/labor/birth/postpartum. But that doesn't mean that I'm not always growing as a professional. You can visit the "About" page to see a list of my training and certifications. But as a short list I am DONA trained, CPR/First Aid for adults & infants, and have attending workshops for lactation support, Spinning Babies and Evidence Based Birth.
Can I buy a gift certificate or purchase your services as a gift?
Yes! Paying for a mother’s birth doula fee is the best gift you could give her. Please contact me to inquire about this and include the baby’s due date.