What's a Doula ?
Strength in Support
"Doula" comes from the Greek word "doulos" meaning a willing servant. A doula is a non-medical birth professional who provides emotional, informational and physical support for families during pregnancy, labor and the early postpartum period.
My job is to make sure you have the healthiest, most satisfying pregnancy and birth experience possible. I can support you in the hospital, a birth center, or homebirth - no matter what kind of birth you prefer!
Some Common Misconceptions...
Many people think that doulas mainly exist for those who want a natural, unmedicated delivery. (And it's true, doulas are prepared to help you with that, if that's what you want! I LOVE natural birth and I think women are capable). But doulas actually support women across many settings. I'm here to educate you on your choices, help you feel empowered to make decisions and support you 100%.
Another common misconception is that doulas are only for first-time moms. Many of my clients are expecting their second or third child but had previously complicated or traumatic deliveries. I will work hard to listen well, debrief those challenging experiences and help you work towards your goals for a more positive, empowering experience. Having a doula can make all the difference!
Studies show that having a birth doula increases positive outcomes, decreases pain and reduces the risk of needing an unplanned cesarean section.
According to a host of research studies, having a doula results in:
- 28% decrease in cesarean sections
- 9% less use of pain medications
- 31% less use of synthetic oxytocin to augment labor
- 40 minutes average shorter labor
- Increased APGAR scores after birth
- Higher rates of breastfeeding
- Overall more positive experiences
How do we do it?
Doulas provide continuous, compassionate support through the entire duration of your birth. A doula can assist you through various pain-management techniques such as relaxation, water therapy, visualization, breathing, massage, counter-pressure, and recommending position changes that help the labor process. Most of all, we're just there for you and your partner. And if you're familiar with the fear-tension-pain cycle, you know that fear increases the perception of pain. We help you relax and be confident in your body! A doula's job is to know you and your partner very well, and to use intuition. How I will support you is completely customized to your preferences and needs.
It's important to note what a doula is NOT:
- I won't make decisions for you, but will help you feel empowered in the decision making process.
- I don't do anything clinical, like vaginal exams.
- I don't take the place of your partner or birth companion, but rather support the whole family. I help partners feel confident in their role!