What I Provide as a Doula

Birth is a beautiful thing, but can be stressful if you don’t feel prepared or supported. As a doula, my first and foremost goal is to help you feel supported, loved and prepared. I am willing to do whatever I need to do to help you go into your birth feeling confident. Here are a few things that you can expect from me:

You, your partner and I will meet up and get to know each other. This will be just the first of many times we’ll meet before your birth! It’s important to make sure we connect emotionally and that our personalities blend well. Birth is a very intimate time and I want you to feel comfortable with me.

If you determine that you would like me to be your doula, we’ll talk through your birth goals. As part of that, we can talk about different options that will help you be confident about your birth plan. The most important thing is that you achieve the type of birth you desire, so I will support the decisions that you make.

As you get closer to your due date, I’ll begin helping you learn breathing and relaxation techniques that will greatly help you during labor. As we go through these techniques and you identify which ones feel the best, this will help me know where to start once you begin labor.

If you think you are in labor, you can give me a call and I can help you determine if it is true labor. When your labor starts, I can meet you wherever you would like – whether at home, the birthing center or hospital. I will arrive when your contractions are consistent and no more than 5 minutes apart and have stayed that way for at least one hour. This tells me you are in active labor. If it is during your normal sleeping hours I will suggest that you try to sleep as long as possible to avoid overtiring yourself. The more rested and relaxed you are, the faster labor will go. I will never leave your side during labor unless it’s for a quick restroom or snack break. My role is to be there for you, to support you and help you through every step of your labor.

After the baby is born, I will stay with you and help you recuperate, inform you of what is going on and help you initiate breastfeeding if that is something you would like. I will stay for a minimum of 2 hours after the birth, but if you feel you need me longer I will continue to stay until you feel comfortable.

As soon as you’re ready, I will visit you in your home to check on you and the baby. Typically this will be within 10 days after the birth. I can also assist with breastfeeding if that is needed. During this visit, we can talk about your birth experience, and I can help you remember details that you might have forgotten. After all, your labor is a special experience that is worth remembering. Beyond this postpartum visit, I will continue to be available to you for questions and support any time you need it!

SOME STATISTICS
With a doula…
– Length of labor is reduced by 25%
– The possibility of a c-section is reduced by about 45%

– Oxytocin being used to speed up labor is reduced by 30%

– Pain medication is reduced by 31%

– Requests for an epidural is reduced by up to 60%

– The average hospital birth has 6.4 changes of nurses and doctors which can cause stress. Your doula is there throughout labor and after the birth which majorly reduces that stress and helps labor to flow well throughout the changes of medical staff.

– You feel more confident, supported & prepared.

– Your parter is also supported during labor, feels less pressure to remember everything, and becomes more confident. Because of this, they typically become more involved, helpful and attentive to the mother and what’s taking place at different stages of labor. If your partner does need a break, the doula is there so that you are never left alone. The doula can also encourage interaction after the baby is born to help the parter and baby bond.

– A doula also provides postpartum support and is someone you can contact with any questions, concerns or just to chat. She is also there for breastfeeding support and to make sure you and the baby get off to a great start!