A doula brings experience with labor and births to you as soon as you need it, sometimes many hours before midwives, doctors or nurses are involved. I have worked hard to specialize in ways to make a birthing woman more comfortable and help speed up or slow down labor as needed. I know how to avoid the most likely reasons why a natural birth becomes derailed. I am there to hold your hand if you need it or better yet remind your partner to hold it. I encourage you when you get discouraged and remind you of the birth you are trying to achieve. I am there to relieve your partner when they need food or to provide ideas of how they can help. I am always ready with a cool cloth for your forehead if you are queasy, and essential oils are my perfume to help you with the tough parts. I can guide your mind away from the work of your body, or provide relief through acupressure. In effect, I care for you as if you are my family. Here is what the studies say.
Studies have shown that having a doula may decrease:
As well as an increase of:
As your doula, I want you to love your birth! From being sure you are heard to bringing a calm presence, I am on your side. With my training and experience, I have seen many births. I can help you know what to expect and cruise through things that might otherwise stress you out. I will teach you some Spinning Babies techniques, they can help your baby engage in your pelvis or bring a sunny side up baby to a better position for less pushing and more comfort. They even help with late pregnancy back aches and trouble sleeping. You'll feel like you are at a spa during back rubs that are not only relaxing but one of my specialties. I can do as much or as little as you like. If you just want some quiet time alone with your partner, that's cool! It's not about me. Labor has many parts with different needs for all of them. Simply put, I want you and your partner to look back on your birth experience as a positive one!
Doulas are not medically trained - we don't replace anything that medical professionals will do for you, including giving exams, taking vital signs or monitoring your baby. What we do is stay with you and work constantly to make you happier and more comfortable. Most medical professionals won't come to your home in early labor, help you with back labor or encourage you to eat and drink to keep up your strength. They are often responsible for many birthing moms at the same time, which means they will not be with you during your entire labor, which can be stressful. Dad's love how I help them become a birth rock star! I am on YOUR team, helping you to choose when to head for the hospital or to know what might happen next.
It is my job to put the tools in their hands and take care of you both. Partners in today's world are asked to coach a game they have never played when the love of their lives is going through a lot of stuff. Partners are under a ton of stress, hoping they remember all of the things the birth classes told them, or wishing they had taken one, and worrying about you and the baby. Once upon a time you just went straight to the hospital when things started, but that just doesn't work anymore. Most hospitals won't admit you unless you have dilated to 5 or 6 out of 10 cm. They will just send you back home. Even if you are planning to get an epidural, they want you to wait. You see, they know that an early epidural invites the danger of one medical intervention after another resulting in a Cesarean. With us working together, we can make it nice to stay in the comfort of your own home as long as you need to.
Never. What I will do is help you to give you information and help with questions that you might like to ask. I am your cheat sheet. It is your body and your birth. I want you to have the birth that is perfect for YOU and your partner. We are all different with different backgrounds and needs. I can help by having a good idea of what the medical folks may suggest next and what that means to you and your birth.