- Emotional Support
- Labor is hard (understatement of the century…) and everyone deals with stress differently. What kind of labor support do you need? Do you prefer repeating a mantra? Just chatting? Someone to rub your back and dim the lights?
- Doctors, nurses, and midwives need to focus on your medical care, and that of their other patients. They will come and go, but I will be right there to support you the whole time.
- Physical Support
- Birth isn’t like the movies–lying on your back is usually not very comfortable for you or your baby. There are so many positions and movements that can help you be more comfortable, and even help your labor progress more quickly!
- Environment matters a LOT. Let’s get those soiled pads out of the room, open up the window shades to let in some sun, and put those flowers right at your bedside!
- Informational Support
- Wondering whether to get an epidural? An IV? Get induced? Have active management of your third stage of labor? Delayed cord clamping? Circumcision? Don’t freak out!
- As a doula, I can help you get all the evidence-based information you need to make informed choices that are right for you and your family.
- Empowerment & Self-Advocacy
- You are your own strong voice and the expert on your body and your life.
- Help Negotiating Relationships
- Did you really want to invite your mother in law to your birth? Did the doctor explain that well enough, or do you still have questions?
- As a doula, I will never make decisions for you. You know best about your own life. But I do know that you should feel cared for, loved, and respected every step of the way. If that’s not true for you, let’s talk.
My role as a doula is to know the whole story of your pregnancy, labor and birth. While you are in labor, I can help you understand what your body is doing as it is happening. Labor works best when you are relaxed and able to give in to what your body needs to do. I love helping moms do just that!
Partners, Sisters, Moms, Friends, etc.
Some guys feel completely at ease while their partner is giving birth–even through the person they love is in pain, making new loud noises, and excreting strange bodily fluids. Wait, what??? Ok, not true.
Much more often, your partner (or sister, mom, or whoever you decide to invite to your birth) feels scared, confused, or lost as to how to help you as you labor. As a doula, my job is to help your loved one(s) help you. Whether it’s a back massage technique, a new position they can help you with, or a rhythmic mantra they can offer you as a pain coping ritual–I love helping those who love you the most give you what you need.
What does research say about birth doulas?
Recent research strongly supports including a doula in your birth experience. A review by Bohren et al. (2017) included 27 studies involving 15,858 women. It showed that women who had a doula to provide labor support had a:
- 39% decrease in the risk of Cesarean birth
- 10% decrease in the use of any medications for pain relief
- Shorter labors by 41 minutes on average
- 38% decrease in the baby’s risk of a low five-minute Apgar score
- 31% decrease in the risk of mothers being dissatisfied with the birth experience