Nantucket Birth Doula

Your Birth Matters!

As your doula I am nurturing, supportive, and protective of your birth experience. I recognize birth is a key experience you will remember all your life. Your preparation for birth and parenthood begins in pregnancy, and is greatly enhanced with skilled support by your side.

As I am also a midwife, many clients wonder what the difference is between these two roles, and how my care is different. The overviews below should help answer your questions, but you are also welcome to reach out to me for more information.

Many people have asked if I will continue to offer doula services as well as midwifery services. The answer is absolutely because families need support wherever and however they give birth.

WHAT IS A DOULA?

A: "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.” - DONA International

Studies have shown that when doulas attend a birth, labors are shorter with fewer complications, and babies are healthier and they breastfeed more easily.

WHAT IS A MIDWIFE?

A: A midwife is a trained and experienced professional that works with healthy pregnant women to provide prenatal care, home birth, and postpartum care. I am enrolled in the National College of Midwifery and work under the supervision of Sybille Andersen and Sarafina Kennedy. I also travel to Better Birth birthing centers as time allows. Once I complete my course work I will sit for the national exam that will certify me as a professional midwife. Read more about Certified Professional Midwifery.

How has COVID 19 impacted my role as a doula?

A: As of right now, a doula and partner are allowed in to the hospital.

Early in the pandemic Nantucket Cottage Hospital had a one support person policy. This meant sadly that a birthing person had to choose who will be there when their baby is born.

I adapted to offer virtual doula support when the birthing person chose their partner to attend! This meant more time preparing, role playing, and planning before the birth, support during your labor at home, information to determine when to transfer to the hospital, and then virtual support during the remainder of labor, as well as more support once you were discharged. Testimonials from families I worked with virtually are available.

Pregnancy:

  • A free consultation to discuss what you are looking for and an introduction to my services.
  • Two meetings after our initial interview to discuss your desires and needs for birth and postpartum.
  • Information to make pregnancy more comfortable and enjoyable.
  • Explanation of the birth process and medical procedures, and assistance in developing a birth plan.
  • Phone support to address questions or concerns.
  • Community resources for pregnancy and child rearing.

Labor and Birth:

  • I stay with you throughout your labor providing emotional support and physical comfort measures.
  • Comfort measures and assistance with pain coping techniques.
  • I remind you in labor to gather information and take your time to make informed decisions, provide an objective viewpoint, and help facilitate communication between you, your partner, and your clinical care providers.
  • I encourage your partner to participate at their comfort level.
  • Support up to 2 hours post birth to assist with breastfeeding.

Postpartum:

  • A phone call and a visit in the first three days after your birth to answer questions and provide support.
  • A visit two to three weeks after your birth to see how you and the baby are doing and to review the birth.
  • Breastfeeding support.
  • Explanation of newborn appearances, characteristics, and care.
  • Postpartum comfort measures and sleep guidance.
  • And always patience and a listening ear...

INVESTMENT: $1600

Frequently Asked Questions:

You may have many questions about what a doula does and doesn’t do... if I support the birthing person that is planning to use medication (I do!), what the difference is between doula and midwifery care, and what the statistics say about the benefits of doula support at your birth.

What about my partner?

A: With a doula present, the pressure on your partner is decreased and they can participate at their own comfort level. For those who want to play an active support role, I will assist and guide you in offering your partner comfort in effective ways.

What are your fees?

A: Doula service fees available upon request.

I do accept credit cards, Venmo, Nantucket Trade dollars, and payment plans may be arranged.

Additional services like placenta encapsulation, belly wrapping, breastfeeding, or postpartum doula support are also available.

Why should I have a doula?

A: Families shouldn’t rely on getting all the support they need from their hospital nurse. Research on levels of supportive care by nurses have varied, with the majority of studies noting that only 6-12.4% of nursing time during labor and birth is spent in supportive care. (Gagnon and Waghorn 1996; Gale, Fothergill-Bourbannias and Chamberlain, 2001; McNiven, Hodnett and O’Brien-Palla 1992). Scientific studies in the Journal of American Medical Association, the British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, and the New England Journal of Medicine have documented the positive effects of doula support.
Benefits include:

  • Reductions in the length of labor by 25%.
  • Reductions in the overall cesarean birth rate by 50%.
  • Reductions in the use of pain medication by 30%.
  • Reductions in requests for epidural by 60%.
  • Increased mother –infant contact after birth.
  • Increases in the rate of breastfeeding.
  • Healthier infants at six weeks of age.
What if I don’t want an unmedicated birth?

A: Having a doula can still be very important! As your doula I am by your side and supporting your decisions for the birth of your baby. Women who use medication still need support and productive labor positions for the birth of their baby.

Is a doula helpful for cesarean birth?

In the event of an unplanned cesarean, mothers need the space to mourn the loss of their vision of birth and then the clarity to approach this new vision of birth with joy and trust. For mothers planning a repeat cesarian section, a doula can provide support during the birth and postpartum period. My services include continued support after the birth to review your birth, answer questions, and help with breastfeeding.

How do I pay for services?

A: Having a baby means making choices. The choice to employ me as your doula is an important step in achieving the support you want. I strive to make my services affordable to everyone. Here are some creative ways we can work together to make these services affordable:

1. PAYMENT PLANS: I ask for fees to be paid in increments. As a doula I ask for 25% deposit, 25% before the birth, and the remaining fee at the first postpartum visit. If this doesn’t work for your budget talk to me about ways we can further stretch out your payments to make it easier.

2. CREDIT CARDS: I do accept credit cards. This may be a way to make your payments over time and some people love the added bonuses credit card companies use like frequent flier miles.

3. DECLUTTER: I’ve read many times that we use 20% of our possessions 80% of the time. That means that you probably have numerous possessions that can be sold. You can hold a yard sale, sell items on Nantucket Consignments, and then there’s good old Ebay.

4. BABY SHOWERS & BLESSINGWAYS: Rather than asking for the conventional gifts, let people know that you prefer cash to go toward your doula and birth team.

5. BARTER: I am happy to offer partial barter for services. Some items and services I am looking for include: Photography, home repair and painting, cleaning, or home grown/ home made products.

Last minute and you want a doula?

A: I do that too! Please call me directly at 508-333-7105 for this type of support. Full payment will be required before attending.