Doesn't my hospital class tell me everything I need to know?
Mainstream birth usually consists of OB care, a hospital based birth class and a hospital birth. For some mothers, this is all they want and they accept the roll of the dice that comes with hospital birth. Hospital birth can be beautiful and empowering, or it might be traumatic. How do you know what you're walking in to? Do you have any control over the outcome? This is where education comes in. A hospital-based birth class will teach you the basic mechanics of birth and the hospital policies, but it will not teach you the hormonal physiology of birth or prepare you for the most emotionally and physically demanding day of your life. If you truly want to understand birth, calm your fears, be informed of evidence and options, and prepare yourself fully for a positive birth experience, you need to look beyond the hospital based birth class. There are numerous childbirth education classes outside of the hospital. Just ask a doula...
What is a doula? What is a doula not?
A Birth Doula is an experienced professional who provides continuous labor support, both physical and emotional, to the mother and partner. A Doula is not a medical professional, although doulas usually have a lot of experience with birth. A doula does not give medical advice, but will help you ask the right questions. A doula does not perform medical procedures. A doula does not make any decisions on your behalf, but will help you understand your options. A doula does not communicate your preferences to your birth team, but will help you communicate them.
What are the benefits of having a doula?
Labor doulas are statistically proven to improve outcomes:
31% decrease in the use of Pitocin*
28% decrease in the risk of C-section*
12% increase in the likelihood of a spontaneous vaginal birth*
9% decrease in the use of any medications for pain relief
14% decrease in the risk of newborns being admitted to a special care nursery
34% decrease in the risk of being dissatisfied with the birth experience*
Does a doula replace my partner?
Absolutely not. Doulas know birth. Your partner knows you. Together, we make the best possible team to support you and help you navigate the journey of your birth. Doulas help partners as well. Often times, when a mother needs support in labor, the partner wants to help but doesn't know how. This is where the Doula can help the partner know what to do when, so the partner also has confidence in his/her role during the birth. And as questions arise during labor, the doula can reassure the partner when things are normal, or when something needs attention. Doulas can also help partners navigate the confusing options that come up during birth. And doulas can give partners a break if they want one.
What if i want an epidural?
That's great. I support you. Knowing what you want for your birth is the first step to being empowering in your choices. While an epidural will relieve intense sensations, it will not calm your mind. My goal as a doula is help you feel educated, prepared and confident before labor begins. During labor, my goal is help you find your rhythm and use comfort measures in early labor so when you do decide to go to the hospital for pain medication, you will have progressed far enough along and not be sent home. If you choose to use pain medication, I will still stay with you and continue to provide emotional and informational support. Modern epidurals are gradual and you can control how much medication you receive. You may still feel sensations and you will still need physical support for comfort and to help with optimal positioning.
What if I have a
If you have a planned or emergency c-section I will be there to support you. I will help you navigate the need for a c-section by helping you gather information from medical providers. I will remain with you if your partner goes with your baby for different tests. I will also provide support in recovery and help beyond with breastfeeding and any other questions you may have about c-section care.