Labor Doula

“If a doula were a drug, it would be unethical not to use it.”

— Dr. John Kennell

Providing emotional, physical, and informational support to individuals and families prenatally, during labor, and in the postpartum period.

Birth, and the period surrounding it, are transformative and a life experience that will be remembered forever. I am trained in the normal physiology of pregnancy, birth, lactation, newborns, and postpartum. I understand the emotional as well as physical needs of pregnant and birthing people during these times, as well as the dynamics of those in a relationship with them.

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Why & When To Hire A Labor Doula?

  1. For your comfort. Doulas have a whole bag full of tricks to ensure your physical comfort - massage tools, hot/cold packs, relaxation techniques, and labor positions. They can help maintain a peaceful environment - dim lighting, soft music, few interruptions. A doula can also give some much-needed guidance and reassurance in the intensity and unfamiliarity of birth.

  2. For your partner. This can be stressful for them too. With a doula present, your partner can step back, have a snack, use the bathroom, or take a short nap. A doula can offer reassurance that things are progressing normally. They can also show your partner how to be your best supporter, whether it be with hands-on techniques like massages and hip squeezes or by offering just the right words of encouragement. 

  3. For statistically better outcomes for the birthing person and baby. The presence of continuous labor support, such as a doula, has been shown to reduce the risk of Cesarean birth; increase the likelihood of spontaneous vaginal birth; decrease the use of pain relief medications; shorten labor; and lower the risk of a dissatisfying birth experience. 

  4. For a better postpartum experience. A doula will visit you at home after your baby’s birth and make sure you’re settling in. They can help answer basic nursing and feeding questions or connect you with a lactation consultant. A doula will also be more than happy to provide you with resources regarding postpartum mood and anxiety disorders. 

  5. Because your birth experience matters. This experience will shape the rest of your life. The role of a doula is not only to provide emotional and physical support, but information. A doula will guide you to make informed decisions and advocate for your desired birth outcome. Their goal is to help you experience a positive and safe birth.

It is never too early, or too late, to hire a doula. However, there are advantages to hiring a doula earlier in your pregnancy rather than later. The sooner you research and reach out to potential doulas, the more likely it is that you’ll be able to team up with your first choice. You’ll also have more time to build a great relationship with your doula and have more support throughout your pregnancy. Hiring a doula earlier will also allow you to spread out the expense, if necessary.

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What Does A Labor Doula Do?

A birth doula is a trained professional who provides continuous physical, emotional, and informational support to a birthing person and their partner before, during, and after childbirth. A doula does NOT perform any medical tasks or procedures - not even taking your pulse! Those tasks we leave to your OB-GYN, midwife, or nurse. Your caregiver’s primary objective is managing the safety of you and your baby. While it is important to trust and feel comfortable with your caregiver, it is your doula who will be present for the duration of your labor, birth, and postpartum.

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Investment

Informational, emotional, and physical support from the moment the contract is signed.

 

This is provided via:

  • email, text, or call 

  • up to 2 prenatal meetings ( explore and discuss your goals, any fears or concerns, review childbirth education, deepen the understanding of maternal/fetal positioning, pain coping techniques, comfort positions, consultation on written birth preferences (plan) to share with staff 

  • up to 14 hrs labor and birth support - starting in your home or birthplace (over 14 hrs a per hour rate applies)

  • my birth doula experience/ continued education/ resources list

  • up to 1 postpartum visit including breastfeeding support

Additionally, my Labor Doula clients receive package deals on other services: 

  • Placenta Encapsulation services 

  • Childbirth class 

  • Postpartum Doula care 

As your doula, I will be fully present with you through the entire experience. We will meet beforehand, to get to know each other, during our prenatal visit(s). At that time we will work through your birth (and breastfeeding) preferences (plan), and prepare to work as a team. I am happy to put together a postpartum plan with you too. I will be available through your pregnancy to help you be as comfortable and informed as possible through unlimited emails and/or phone calls/text. I will do this also, through sharing my knowledge of complementary care resources and local resource groups in the triangle.

During your labor and birth, I will act in an informative, emotional, and physical support role. I can help you understand what’s happening in your chosen birth environment, any medical terminology you struggle with, and what all your options are, as you move through the process of giving birth. As your doula, I am experienced by having been in labor, as well as being with many other people, as they have labored. This brings a special understanding of your emotional needs that allows me to guide your support team to be as helpful as possible. I will also serve as physical support.  I have been trained in a variety of comfort measures and other physical skills that will help you be as comfortable as possible through labor and the pushing stage. As an experience doula you also have my wisdom and knowledge of labor patterns and movements/holds that can shift a labor to shorten the process and make it more comfortable.     

During the immediate postpartum time frame, I will be there to help carry out your newborn care choices. I can help you with initial breastfeeding support and continue to support you through your first couple of feedings. I will be there to help you settle into your postpartum room also, to help you feel confident moving into your fresh role as a parent of your new baby. 

As you settle in, we will have a breastfeeding support visit, in your home, where I will help you grow in confidence and comfort, breastfeeding in your own environment. I'll help you work with positioning, latching, and other common breastfeeding challenges. I'll give you breastfeeding information and a breastfeeding resource list too, that has trusted and well vetted IBCLC's listed, if you need more advanced help managing breastfeeding. Within two weeks of the birth we will have a postpartum meeting where we will process your birth, pull together details that may be foggy, like the order of events. We will also go over any newborn care, postpartum, or breastfeeding questions you may still have. 

After this, I am still available for questions, helping find resources, and love pictures of cute babies, and/or family pictures. It is such a pleasure to watch families grow! I am always honored to be a part of a family's journey.