As a birth doula, I will accompany you in labor to help ensure a safe and satisfying birth experience.  I also meet with the mother and her partner for two prenatal visits in order to get to know you and your preferences for labor. 

Once you go into labor, I will come to you and stay with you until after your baby is born providing nurturing, knowledgeable and quality support.  I will stay with you for up to two hours after birth.  My service also includes a follow-up visit a few days later.  I am available for phone consultation to answer any questions you may have throughout your pregnancy and postpartum period as well.

I draw upon my experience and knowledge as a mother of four and a Childbirth Educator for ten years to provide women and their partners with the physical and emotional support they need during labor. I offer help and advice with comfort measures such as breathing, relaxation, movement, positioning, counter-pressure, essential oils, hot/cold compresses and massage.  I can assist you with gathering information about the process of labor or medical intervention's risks and benefits to make sure you have the knowledge you need to make an informed decision.  I also serve as an advocate for your needs with the medical staff and empower you to speak up for yourself.  My most critical role is providing you with continuous emotional reassurance and comfort.  I have your best interest in mind.  I am self-employed which means I work for you, not your caregiver or hospital.

Why should you hire a doula?
Numerous research studies show important benefits to mothers and babies who are provided with continuous labor support.  Labor support is a safe and effective practice with no negative side effects (Sakala & Corry, 2008). Childbirth can be a scary thing, especially for first timers. A doula tends to be a woman that has already given birth and she can help take away some (if not all) of that fear. Doulas can make a difference in the outcome of your birth. Here are a few examples taken from the book Mothering the Mother: How a Doula Can Help You Have a Shorter, Easier and Healthier Birth, by Klaus, Kennell, and Klaus (1993):

  • Reduction in the length of labor

  • Half the chance of a cesarean section

  • Less likely to need narcotic pain killers or epidural anesthesia

  • Less likely to have an instrumental (forceps or vacuum) delivery

  • More likely to rate the birth as positive or satisfactory

  • Increased rate of successful breastfeeding

  • Decreased likelihood of developing Post-Natal Depression

Is a doula a midwife?
No.  A doula does not perform any clinical or medical procedures. A doula is there to support you through your labor and birth and to help you know and understand your birth choices.

Do you come to my home when I’m in labor?
This would be entirely up to you. Most women prefer their doula to meet them at their home and stay with them throughout their entire labor.  Other women prefer their doula meet them at hospital or birth center.

What about my partner? Won’t the doula take their place?
No. The doula is there to support you and your partner. A good doula knows not to interrupt the vital interaction between a woman and her partner and instead will help to guide the partner in ways to support the laboring mom.  A doula can also provide relief for the partner to take a break to rest or eat.

Cost.  My doula fee is $1200 unless you are also registered for my Bradley class, then the fee is only $1100.  I ask for a $400 non-refundable retainer fee at our first prenatal visit with the remainder due by the 37th week of your pregnancy.

What if I can’t afford the cost?
Relatives, such as grandparents are often glad to pay for this much-needed service. Groups, such as coworkers, or friends will sometimes get together to offer this wonderful gift.   If you are having trouble finding a way to pay for a doula, contact me to talk about payment plans or discounts or even bartering for goods or services.  I want every woman who wants a doula to have access to one.

Can we meet in person?  Yes, I will be happy to have a free consultation with you and your partner.  I have even done telephone or skype interviews if that is more convenient for you.  Please feel free to contact me.

 

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