The word "doula" comes from the ancient Greek meaning "a woman who serves" and is now used to refer to a trained and experienced professional who provides continuous physical, emotional and informational support to the mother before, during and just after birth; or who provides emotional and practical support during the postpartum period.
Studies show that when doulas are present at birth, women have shorter labors, fewer medical interventions, fewer cesareans and healthier babies. Recent evidence also suggests that when a doula provides labor support, women are more satisfied with their birth experience. With the nurturing support of a doula, fathers are given an opportunity to stay more involved with their partner rather than pull away in times of stress.
Doulas & Dads...
Many fathers are eager to be involved during labor and birth, but often find themselves anxious or nervous having never seen their partner in pain. With a doula's support, a father can share in the birth at level at which he feels most comfortable with. The doula’s skills and knowledge can help him to feel more relaxed as she helps to navigate the unknown. In my doula practice I teach the fathers about comfort measures such as back massage and counter pressure techniques and offer them an opportunity to learn how to us gentle reassuring touch to comfort their partners. All of these ways help the laboring woman stay focused during her contractions, and with practice prior to the beginning of labor I can provide that guidance and make suggestions for what may work best. Doulas are known for having many tricks in our bags, and through the course of your pregnancy we'll get to know what works best for you.
My Birth Philosophy
I believe childbirth is a natural process and that in normal circumstances a woman’s body is capable of birthing their baby without interventions. I support a women's decision for a medicated childbirth just as much as I support their decision for an unmedicated one. Every woman and every birth is unique and different! I also believe that women have the right to make informed decisions during childbirth and I want to help to empower them to make the right decisions for their family. I will help provide evidence based information and research to help you make the right decisions for you and your situation. I'm nonjudgemental and can offer you grounded insight into options without making decisions for you. This is your birth and I want to empower you to listen to your maternal wisdom. After all, you know you best, I'm simply here to help you remember that.
I’d love to help you have a the peaceful and satisfying birth that you deserve.
2-3 prenatal visits: These visits give us the opportunity to get to know each other better so that I may be able to fully understand your wishes and get to know you on a more intimate level.
Unlimited phone/email support from the time contracted.
Visit with your OB or Midwife to introduce myself as your doula and part of the birth team. Although this isn't necessary, I like to offer it to clients whom I am supporting doctors I have not worked with in the past.
Attendance of hospital/birth center tour, if preferred.
Labor support at the time of birth: I will provide phone support in early labor and then continuous support at the birth from the time you request my presence until 1-2hrs after the birth of your baby.
Assistance with initial breastfeeding.
1-2 postpartum visits: I may visit you once in the hospital to make sure that all of your questions have been answered and then again approximately one to two weeks after you and baby return home.
A memoir of your labor which also may include photos and video if you would like.
"We have a secret in our culture, and it's not that birth is painful. it's that women are strong."
Laura Stavoe Harm