What is a Doula?
A Doula through DONA (Doulas of North America) talks about the word "doula", which comes from the ancient Greek meaning of "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.
Studies have shown that when a doula attends a birth, labors are shorter with fewer complications, babies are healthier and they breastfeed more easily. If you have a doula throughout the your whole pregnancy the easier your pregnancy can be!
Prenatal Doula's can:
*Provides emotional support
*Uses comfort measures: breathing, relaxation, movement, positioning
*Continuously reassures and comforts the mother (and if the father is offering what the mother needs, then the Doula can be supporting and reassuring the father)
*Helps a mother become informed about various birth choices
*Advocates for the mother and helps facilitate communication between the mother and care provider
*Looks after your partner as well (gives them bathroom breaks!), but their primary responsibility is to the mother
What is a Bereavement Doula?
Stillbirthday explains that a Bereavement Doula is qualified to provide support in situations of fatal diagnosis, carrying to term, and NICU care. SBD doulas are equally prepared to provide comprehensive support in live birth outcomes, including subsequent “rainbow” pregnancies, and can serve as a labor support in all birth situations.
Bereavement Doula's can:
*Provide short term and long term support during a time of loss
*Help you through the process after your loss
*Offers help with other siblings that may have questions or need support
*Provides NICU support
*Mentoring you and your family on this journey with compassion and an open heart
*Offers many resources that may be needed throughout your journey
*Stand by you while you are gathering and deciding on which memento's you may want
There is more information and resources on the A Time of Loss page of this website and you can also visit the Stillbirthday page for more information.
Why do I need a Doula?
A Doula can be very helpful during your pregnancy, labor and after your child is born. A Doula offers support to the mother, as well as the father, and can help every step of the way.
Research has proven that having a Doula can shorten your hospital stay, can increase the chance of you having a natural birth and limit the need for pain medications. A Doula there to support you on your journey, help you make a birth plan, make this an easy process and offer techniques that can help you during labor.
What Doula services do I offer?
As a Doula, I offer the following services:
*I will help you with your birth plan, something that suits your wants and needs
*Home visits based on your wants and needs, if desired (min of 3-4 visits)
*24 hour support by phone, text or email
*Support during labor, including massage, positioning, aromatherapy, energy work (see below)
*Birth notes and pictures in an album for you as a keepsake
*Postpartum and breastfeeding support after birth
*One postpartum visit to your home
Other modalities/services I offer, if desired:
Along with being a Doula, I also offer my clients other modalities that can make the pregnancy and birthing experience much easier! Here is a list of what I offer that can be very helpful for mothers (and even fathers) during pregnancy, labor, and after delivery:
*HypnoBabies- This offers parents a chance to easily and naturally prepare for childbirth using the Hypnobabies method of Hypnotic Childbirth, which some might call “hypno-birthing”. Hypnobabies however, is very different in that at Hypnobabies we teach real medical hypnosis techniques, creating an automatically peaceful, relaxing and more comfortable pregnancy, a calm confident Birth Partner, and an easier, more comfortable and sometimes pain-free natural birthing for our Hypno-Mom.
*Reiki- Reiki is a simple, gentle, hands-on energy technique that is used for stress reduction and relaxation. Reiki can also complement any medical or psychological care someone may be receiving. Using Reiki during pregnancy and labor can help you relax, help you release any fears or worries you may have, and can keep you in a place of balance. It is very comforting for the baby, too!
*Aromatherapy- Using essential oils that are safe during and after pregnancy (and while you are breastfeeding) can help keep you relaxed and in good spirits. You can use essential oils for many issues that can come up during pregnancy (nausea, sleep issues, etc.), but can best be used for relaxation and centering.
*Hypnotherapy- Similar to HypnoBabies, hypnotherapy can be helpful for either parent, by releasing any worries or fears you may have. We want your pregnancy to be full of excitement and an openness to all the changes that you will experience during those 9 months. HypnoBabies is very specific to pregnancy and is used by the mother throughout her whole pregnancy. Hypnotherapy can be used for anything, and at any time, to make this transition in your life easier.
*EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique)- EFT is a technique that can help you release any fears or worries that you may have about pregnancy or labor, it can even help with preparing yourself by releasing any negative emotions that you may be holding onto that you want to release before your baby comes.
*Meditations/Visualizations- Meditations and visualizations are used with HypnoBabies, but if you are not interested in doing HypnoBabies, we can use meditations and visualizations as needed to help you during your pregnancy and even labor. They can be very helpful in relaxation and staying focused on your goals.
Other resources that may interest you during your pregnancy:
I have many wonderful people in our community that, if you are interested, can offer such things like:
*professional pregnancy photos
*henna belly painting
If you are interested, please let me know when we meet for a consultation!
I do have a back-up Doula in case of emergencies, her name is Julianne Curtis and here is her website: http://www.juliannecurtis.com/
What Doula and Pregnancy experiences do I have?
I have worked with many moms-to-be during their pregnancies and have attended many births, at-home births and hospital births, offering Reiki, Guided Meditations, Visualizations and other modalities.
DONA International- www.DONA.org
Colorado Doula Association- www.coloradodoulas.com
Evidence based childbirth education articles - www.givingbirthnaturally.com
Easier childbirth through fetal positioning - www.spinningbabies.com
Dr. Sears' official website - www.AskDrSears.com
Research to make informed decisions- www.EvidenceBasedBirth.com
Midwifery Alliance of North America - News, definitions & resources - www.mana.org
Natural Childbirth Resources - birthingnaturally.net
Doula Match- www.doulamatch.net
Stanford Medicine Getting Started With Breastfeeding- newborns.stanford.edu/breastfeeding/
Ina Mays Guide to Childbirth, by Ina May Gaskin
The Nursing Mother's Companion, by Kathleen Huggins, R.N., M.S.
The Birth Partner, by Penny Simkin
The Doula Book, by Klaus, Klaus, and Kennell
Natural Hospital Birth: The Best of Both Worlds, by Cynthia Gabriel
Pregnancy Childbirth and the Newborn: The Complete Guide, by Penny Simkin, Janet Whalley, and Ann Keppler
The Birth Book: Everything You Need to Know to Have a Safe and Satisfying Birth, by William Sears and Martha Sears
The Baby Book, by William and Martha Sears
The Official Lamaze Guide: Giving Birth with Confidence, by Judith Lothian and Charlotte DeVries