What is a Birth Doula?
A birth doula is what I like to describe as the helpful 'Mother in Law' person at your birth. The role of a doula is to be there as physical, and emotional support as well as being a source for information and education. A doula's job begins before the birth during prenatal visits to prepare the birthing parents for the journey ahead, as well as understanding the birth preferences. Although a doula is highly educated in the birth space, they do NOT provide medical procedures. A doula is not a midwife or OBGYN.
Preparation for the Birth
Through the prenatal appointments, we will discuss all the thoughts, ideas, and wishes you have for your birth journey. With this, we will also try to eliminate any fears you may be having going into the birth or for postpartum. There we will create a plan (knowing that things can change at any moment during birth!) and go over how we can prepare you and your partner through this journey. In the prenatal we also go over different labor positions, and how you can practice them before labor starts.
Support through Labor
No matter what time or where your labor begins, I will be there to support you. Through early labor, I will be there for you virtually, answering any phone call or text you have at that time. Then once you transition into active labor when things are more difficult to manage on your own, I will join you at whatever location you would like. There we will ride the waves of labor until you feel it is time to go to your birth space, or prepare for birthing at home. We will pull out all the preferences that were prepared during the prenatal, and put them into action!
Transitioning to Postpartum
Congratulations! All that hard work and preparation has paid off in one way or another, and now your precious baby(s) are here! Transitioning to the postpartum life is a big adjustment, so it can take a few extra hands to set you up for this. With the doula package you book, you will receive one postpartum visit (with the option to add more!) to help you transition into this new role in life. In addition to this, I also offer feeding support for however you choose to feed your little one.
What are the prenatal appointments and postpartum visits for?
The doula package that I offer includes 2 prenatal appointments, and one postpartum visit. These appointments are to help get to know one another, talk about your expectations for birth, what you would like to have during your birth, comfort measures you want to use, and so much more. When you break it down into two appointments or more, that allows more time for us to dive deep into certain subjects such as labor positions, what roles people will have in the birth space, and discuss topics you would like more information about. The postpartum visits are to help you transition into life at home, help create positive routines for the family, provide emotional support, and offer support with feedings and routines for your newborn. These appointments can take place anytime after baby is born that you find you need extra support.
Would a doula be able to support me for a scheduled caesarean birth?
Absolutely! Caesarean births need as much support and knowledge as any other form of birth. There is so much that occurs in the OR, that having an extra set of hands, and warm heart to keep you calm through out the birth of your baby makes a huge impact on your experience. The doula supports not only the birthing person/pregnant mother, but the partner as well. Sometimes having that third party person at your birth to advocate for you and your partner makes all the difference throughout your caesarean birth.
Do I need a doula, even if its not my first birth?
Each birth is so uniquely different, that you are likely to come across new territory which may be challenging to navigate. Having a doula present at your birth regardless if this is your 2nd or 10th baby, will improve help improve the outcome positively by offering the continuous emotional and physical support.