Birth Doula Services
Contracts can be signed as early as 12 weeks, with services beginning at 38 weeks. From 38 weeks - up to 42 weeks, I am on call for you 24/7. Included in this service is 1-2 prenatal home visits (2 hours each). I help you develop a birth plan, inform you on your options, teach you comfort measures, attend doctor visits, or anything else you feel you need for support. Continuous support is provide during labor, up to 20 hours of care. Back-up doulas are available. I stay for one hour after the birth to help facilitate boding with your baby, breastfeeding, answer questions, or get you food. Finally, there is one postpartum home visit (1-2 hours) where I can assist in guiding you with newborn care, breastfeeding, and self care.
Why Hire a Doula?
When continuous labor support was provided by a doula, women experienced a:
- 50% reduction in cesarean
- 40% reduction in Pitocin use
- 60% reduction in epidural use
- 30% reduction in analgesia
- 40% reduction in operative delivery (vacuum/forceps)
- 25% shorter labor
- Resource: Mothering the Mother: How a Doula Can Help You Have a Shorter, Easier and Healthier Birth By: Klaus, Kennell, and Klaus.
What Does A Doula Do?
A birth doula is a trained experienced professional who provides continuous physical, emotional and informational support to the mother/partner before, during and just after birth. Studies have shown that when doulas attend a birth, labors are shorter, have fewer complications, less interventions, babies are healthier, breastfeed easier, and mother's have a greater satisfaction with their birth experience. DONA International describes a doula's role as:
- Recognizes birth as a key experience the mother will always remember
- Understands the physiology of birth and the emotional needs of a woman in labor
- 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
- Allows the woman's partner to participate at his/her comfort level
What Doulas Don't Do
- Perform clinical tasks such as; vaginal exams, fetal heart monitoring, blood pressure, taking a temperature
- Deliver babies
- Give medical advice or diagnose conditions
- Judge you for decisions that you make
- Let their biases get in the way of caring for you
- Take over the role of your partner
- Change shifts
- Resource: Evidence-Based Birth