What’s a doula?
“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 birth – labors are shorter with fewer complications, and babies are healthier and they breastfeed more easily.
What’s a midwife?
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.
“A Certified Professional Midwife (CPM) is a knowledgeable, skilled and professional independent midwifery practitioner who has met the standards for certification set by the North American Registry of Midwives (NARM) and is qualified to provide the Midwives Model of Care. The CPM is the only midwifery credential that requires knowledge about and experience in out-of-hospital settings… Providing continuous care for women throughout their childbearing cycle, CPMs generally carry a relatively low client load (averaging 3-6 births per month) which allows for more personalized and comprehensive care than typical obstetrical practices….Based on the MANA Core Competencies, the guiding principles of the practice of CPMs are to work with women to promote a healthy pregnancy, and provide education to help her make informed decisions about her own care. In partnership with their clients they carefully monitor the progress of the pregnancy, labor, birth, and postpartum period and recommend appropriate management if complications arise, collaborating with other healthcare providers when necessary.” The key elements of this education, monitoring, and decision making process are based on Evidenced-Based Practice and Informed Consent.” From NARM.org
Why should I have a doula?
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.
-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 a natural birth?
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 cesarian birth?
In the event of an unplanned cesarian, 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?
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, Website/ Graphic design, home repair and painting, cleaning, or coaching.