A non-medical person devoted to assisting women during pregnancy, childbirth, and postpartum by providing information and education, physical assistance, and emotional support. A doula also supports the partner and/or family during these times.
I completed the certification program with the International Doula Institute in about 6 months.
From their website: "We define a birth doula as a professional support person trained in the needs of the family during pregnancy and childbirth. The doula offers non-judgmental support, guidance, evidence based education and practical hands-on support during childbirth including comfort measures. Doula originates from the Greek word meaning woman servant. A birth doula recognizes the profound impact of childbirth on the mother.
The birth doula does not provide medical care, clinical tasks such a cervical checks or fetal heart tones and does not speak on behalf of the client." http://internationaldoulainstitute.com/what-is-a-doula/
I am here to offer non-judgemental support to you and your family as you move through the incredible transition of welcoming a new member into your life. As your birth doula, I will guide you with evidence-based education and practical hands-on support during childbirth, including comfort measures. Having access to emotional, physical, and educational reinforcement while you're in labor is essential to a positive birth experience.
The birth doula does not provide medical care, clinical tasks such as cervical checks or fetal heart tones, and does not speak on behalf of her clients. A birth doula is not an activist. However, rest assured you can count on me to provide you with evidence-based education on the physiology of childbirth, common interventions, comfort measures for childbirth, breastfeeding, communicating with medical care providers, and utilizing emotional intelligence.
You should hire a birth doula because it’s invaluable to have a familiar face with you throughout your labor in a hospital. Nurses and doctors are constantly rotating through shift changes, and that inconsistency can seriously rock the boat if you’re on your own. Having a doula who is confident in your abilities as well as your birth plan will take a huge weight off you and your partner's shoulders.
There is a common misconception that doulas are only useful to those wanting a “natural” and unmedicated birth. I can confidently say that’s just not true.
Epidurals are just one of the many tools accessible to women in labor these days, the same way acupressure, massage, aromatherapy, and hypnosis are used to ease discomfort. If you’re planning on using an epidural and are confident in your decisions before you go into labor, I can still provide guidance before, during, and after your labor and delivery. Most women who are choosing to use an epidural go into labor at home like the majority of expectant mothers do. During that time, a doula can come to your house and help you manage contractions and discomfort until it’s time to go to the hospital.
As your doula, I will also be with you during the time your epidural is administered, making the whole process less stressful if you’re anxious about it. I will also make sure you’re fully informed and aware of everything that’s going on during your time in the hospital.
If you’re not sure whether or not you’re going to use an epidural, that’s okay! Having the pros and cons ready in the back of your mind will make the decision much easier when the time comes, and I’m here to assure you’re fully educated and making decisions with a clear mind.
The same way of thinking applies to women going with a c-section. Whether your c-section is planned or not, having emotional support during the process will ease your experience. As your doula, my goal is to create a space of happiness, bonding, and comfort for you and your partner. During a c-section, that space can easily become compromised in the hustle and bustle of the hospital, and trying to handle all of that on your own can be daunting. Fear not, I'm here to help!
After your baby is born and you're recovering from surgery, establishing skin-to-skin bonding with your baby is incredibly important. Nurses and doctors often assume that mom and dad are well equipped to handle breastfeeding and bonding with baby on their own. As your birth doula, I'm aware of what you both just went through and will not leave your side, unlike nurses with multiple patients to check in on.