So what is a doula? And why are doulas so beneficial?
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 and her partner before, during and just after birth; or who provides emotional and practical support during the postpartum period.
She will unconditionally support a mother and nurture her, provide information when necessary, advocate for her and her partner's birth wishes via-a-vis a medical staff and simply be there for a mother continuously during labor and birth, unlike a doctor and nurses who come and go. A Doula believes in Mothering the Mother enabling a woman to have the most satisfying and empowered time she can through this important journey. This type of support also helps the whole family to relax and enjoy the beautiful experience.
Studies of over 5,000 women involving comparisons of outcomes with and without labor support found*:
50% drop in cesarean sections
25% reduction in length of labor
40% less need for labor augmentation with synthetic oxytocin (Syntocinon or Pitocin)
30% drop in need for pain medication
40% less use of forceps
60% fewer requests for epidurals
*Mothering the Mother: How a Doula Can Help You Have a Shorter Easier and Healthier Birth, by Klaus, Kennell, and Klaus (1993)
Doula services includes
I will meet you for a free consultation, to discuss how I can best support you, answer any questions and to see if we are a good match. If you decide that I am the right doula for you, here is what is included in my services:
- Access via unlimited phone, text and email support from the point of hire through birth.
- Two in-person prenatal visits in your home to get to know you and discuss your birth desires, expectations, preferences and feelings. We’ll clarify our roles, prepare you with questions for your care providers, and cover relaxation and comfort techniques like pain-coping practices, massage techniques and positions. Talk about the normal physiology of labor; and preparing the mind and body for birth and postpartum.
- 24-hour on-call labor support for 2 weeks before and after your estimated due date.
- Phone and email support throughout your pregnancy
- Continuous physical, emotional, and informational support for you during labor and birth. Some of the tools that doulas use are suggesting positions, massage, counterpressure, hot and cold packs, hydrotherapy, aromatherapy, breathing techniques, as well as giving you plenty of praise and encouragement. Most of all, the doula’s presence contributes to a relaxed atmosphere which allows the mother to let go and trust the birth process.
-After the birth, I will remain up to 2 hours postpartum until your family is ready to bond privately.
- Pictures/video of your birth and new family postpartum (if desired)
- One in-person postpartum visit. Helping you to process the birth, receive feedback, and support you in any way you may need. My postpartum visit includes a breastfeeding evaluation and basic breastfeeding support.
- Community referrals for belly, birth and baby related needs
I aim to stay in close touch with my clients and always be a source of support, from mother to mother.
What a doula does for you
• Recognize birth as a key experience the parents will remember all their life.
• Understand the physiology of birth and the emotional needs of a woman in labor.
• Assist the woman in preparing for and carrying out her plans for birth.
• Stay with the woman throughout the labor.
• Provide emotional support, physical comfort measures and an objective viewpoint, as well as helping her get the information she needs to make informed decision.
• Facilitate communication between the laboring woman, her partner and their clinical care providers.
• Allow the woman's partner to participate at their comfort level.
Helping the environment to be one in which the woman feels secure and confident.
I offer doula services to families within San Diego
The fee for birth doula services is $1000. Payments plans are available.
“There is power that comes to women when they give birth. They don’t ask for it, it simply invades them. Accumulates like clouds on the horizon and passes through, carrying the child with it.” — Sheryl Feldman