A birth doula helps a mother and her partner find and use the strength they need to usher a new child into their family with grace and confidence. I accompany expectant individuals and couples through preparations for birth, as well as the birth itself and the early postpartum period, helping to facilitate the development of a family unit by supporting those who compose it.
A doula is a non-medical source of support in the form of resource and information sharing, emotional support, and continuous presence in labor and birth. I work for you, not for the hospital or birthing center, so my sole interest is your physical and emotional well-being. In preparation for, and especially in the immediate time leading up to the birth of your child, your medical care providers (midwives or doctors) have the responsibility for your safety and physical well being. A doula can help humanize an experience that may be intense and unpredictable.
My birth package includes two prenatal visits, in which we discuss ways I might be most helpful to both partners and any other support people that are included in the birth plan. We talk about questions that have come up in conversations with care providers or in childbirth education classes. We discuss how the couple works together and ways they expect or want to be supported by their doula. The opportunity to spend time with a family in this period of anticipation and mystery is such a source of joy! In labor I join a couple when they find that they need or would like hands-on or in-person support. In active labor there are physical techniques we can use for pain coping and labor progress, including positioning and massage. I am with a couple until the baby is born and they have settled in for quiet family time. I can help with the initiation of breastfeeding in those first hours. My follow up visit in the week or so after birth gives us a chance to review the birth experience and events of the days since, and allows me to provide help through resource and information sharing, including assistance with breastfeeding and infant care. I am especially interested in setting mom up for a smooth and complete recovery with information for now and thoughts about later.
I strive to support each family generously and unconditionally, to pay tribute to the act of parenting by sharing my knowledge of evidence-based tools and approaches to the challenges of birth as well as an appreciation for the mystery and complexity of personhood.