What is a Doula?

As your Doula…

...I accompany you in pregnancy, childbirth, and afterwards, walking alongside you in this amazing journey and helping to ensure a safe, satisfying, and joyful birth.  Studies have shown that the continuous physical and emotional support of a woman has benefits for both Mom and baby, including less need for interventions, fewer complications, and less or no need for drugs.

...I draw upon my knowledge, experience, and skills to provide that emotional and physical support, comfort measures,  massage,  guided relaxation,  and communication with your chosen healthcare provider and other members of your birth team.  I serve as your advocate, a bridge between you and your birth team, providing continuous support through the medical staff shift changes, and helping to ensure you have the information needed to make informed decisions in labor.

What do Doulas provide?

I can provide reassurance and perspective to you and your partner, make suggestions for labor progress, and help with relaxation, massage, positioning, and other techniques for comfort, pain management, and effective labor, to create the birth that you want to have.  My role is to enhance the support that the Husband (or Coach) gives mom, at the level which is comfortable for him, and the quiet reassurance of your desires, not my own, helping Mom to tap into the knowledge her own body has about birth. 

I am independently self-employed.  As your Doula, I am working for you, not your care giver or hospital/birth center.

During pregnancy...

...we will meet so that we will to get to know and trust each other, understand your desires and expectations, learn about the birth journey, and be comfortable together during the intimate experience of labor and birth.

After your birth...

...I will remain as long as necessary (usually an hour or so, unless you are comfortable with me leaving and would like some family time alone) to continue to support and assist you in any way practical, including breastfeeding assistance or even doing those "little things" we often don't think about - running minor errands or even taking pictures.

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About one to two weeks after your birth, we will have a follow-up visit where we can discuss the birth, address any questions or concerns, and you can give me honest feedback about my service.

Are you a midwife or a doctor?

As a Doula, I am not a medical provider, and do not perform clinical tasks, such as blood pressure, fetal assessments, vaginal exams, etc.  I am present to provide for your physical comfort, emotional support, and advocacy.  I won't make decisions for you, but I will help you get the information necessary to make an informed decision.  

© A Joyful Birth 2013