Dou·la /ˈdo͞olə/ – a nonmedical person who assists a person before, during, and/or after a life tranisition, as well as the person’s spouse and/or family, by providing physical assistance and emotional support.
While many people assume that a doula is only trained to assist in childbirth, I feel that there are many life transitions that may benefit from support and care from a compassionate person. I offer Professional Doula services during the following life transitions; Birth (including Bereavement), Abortion, Post-Partum, and End of Life.
Professional Birth Doula
I have been interested in the concept of childbirth for many years. I flirted with the idea of becoming a doula for about a decade before attending my first birth in January 2014. After attending that birth, I knew this was a passion I needed to pursue. In March 2014, I was formally trained as a DONA Birth Doula. I have since attended over twenty births in a variety of settings including hospitals and private homes. I have also provided support to families with a wide variety of birth plans – from unmedicated vaginal births all the way to scheduled Cesarean sections.
I feel that my responsibility as a Birth Doula is to help make you aware of your options and choices regarding all aspects of labor, birth, and immediate post-partum. I feel that my job is to neither make decisions for you, nor push you to make decisions based upon my opinion; it is to support your gaining knowledge in order to make your own decisions. I also see it as helping the birth team to clearly communicate those decisions with the medical staff, if necessary.
Professional End of Life Doula
Many people feel that End of Life is a difficult time for both the individual passing, as well as family. The services I provide
What is a birth doula?
A doula is a trained and experienced professional who provides continuous physical, emotional and informational support to the birthing person before, during and just after birth. Studies have shown that when doulas attend birth, labors are shorter with fewer complications, babies are healthier and they breastfeed more easily.
A birth doula…
- Recognizes birth as a key experience the birthing person will remember.
- Understands the physiology of birth and the emotional needs of a person in labor.
- Assists the birthing person in preparing for and carrying out plans for birth.
- Stays with the birthing person throughout the entire labor.
- Provides emotional support, physical comfort measures and an objective viewpoint, as well as helping the birth team get the information needed to make informed decisions.
- Facilitates communication between the laboring person, partner(s) and clinical care providers.
- Perceives the role of a Birth Doula to be one of nurturing and protecting the memory of the birth experience, primarily for the birthing person, but also for the partner(s)/birth team in attendance.
- Allows the partner(s) to participate at each individual’s comfort level.
Numerous clinical studies have found that a doula’s presence at birth:
- tends to result in shorter labors with fewer complications.
- reduces negative feelings about one’s childbirth experience.
- reduces the need for pitocin (a labor-inducing drug), forceps or vacuum extraction and cesareans.
- reduces the birthing person’s request for pain medication and/or epidurals.
Research shows parents who receive support can:
- Feel more secure and cared for.
- Are more successful in adapting to new family dynamics.
- Have greater success with breastfeeding.
- Have greater self-confidence.
- Improve parental satisfaction.
- Have less postpartum depression.
- Have lower incidence of abuse.