What is a doula, and why should YOU hire one?
The word "doula" comes from the ancient Greek meaning "a woman who serves". In modern times, the word is used to refer to a trained, experienced professional who provides continuous support to the birthing person before, during and just after birth. In a nutshell, the doula delivers emotional support from home to hospital / birth center, eases the transition into the hospital environment, and serves as a labor coach and information source to the mother and her partner / family throughout the entire labor. She encourages self-advocacy, informed choice, and excellent communication between the mother and care providers.
WHAT Exactly DOES A DOULA DO?
Realizes that birth is a key experience the mother will remember all her life
Understands the physiology of birth and the physical and emotional needs of the laboring mother
Assists the woman in preparing for and carrying out her plans for birth
Stays with the woman throughout the labor
Provides emotional support, physical comfort measures and an objective viewpoint, as well as helping the woman get the information she needs to make informed decisions
Facilitates communication between the laboring woman, her partner and her clinical care providers
Perceives her role as nurturing and protecting the woman's memory of the birth experience
Encourages the woman's partner and/or family to participate at whatever level they are comfortable with
HOW CAN HAVING A DOULA AT YOUR BIRTH BENEFIT YOU?
Studies consistently demonstrate very impressive benefits for both mother and baby, including:
50% fewer cesarean births
Reduction in the use of forceps / vacuum extraction by 40%
60% fewer requests for epidurals
40% reduction in the use of pitocin for inductions or augmentations
30% reduction in use of pain medication
25% reduction in the length of labor
Increased rates of breastfeeding at 6 weeks postpartum (51% vs 29%)
Higher self-esteem (74% vs 59%), less anxiety (28% vs 40%) and less depression (10% vs 23%) at 6 weeks postpartum
MY EXPERIENCE AS A DOULA:
I first start attending births in the early 1990's to provide extra support for my Bradley Method natural childbirth clients. Back then, the term "doula" wasn't commonly used where I was living at the time - we were often called "birth coaches" or "labor assistants.” However, despite the change in terminology, the role hasn't really changed all the much over the years. Fortunately, what I knew intuitively to be true - that having an extra support person present reduces the frequency of interventions and improves outcomes - has now been supported by multiple studies. I have been to just over 400 births as a doula, and after all these years, I still consider it an honor and a true privilege for each and every time. If you'd like to set up a no pressure, no obligation phone call with me to answer all your questions and help you determine if hiring a doula might be right for you, and/or an in-person or Zoom interview with me to help us decide if we should work together, please email me at email@example.com, or call/text me at 951.757.8154, and I’ll get back to you right away.
My 2019 AVAILABILITY:
October: 1 spots available
November: 2 spots available
December: not available (family vacation)
Discounts available for active duty military, first responders (Fire, EMS, law enforcement), and those attending my Evidence Based Birth® or Bradley Method® childbirth classes. Payment plans available.