My Belief about Birth
~I believe that birth is not an illness or a condition, but an amazing, wonderful, exciting event that is normal, natural and healthy. Birth is not an emergency it is an emergence.
~Pregnancy, labour and birth have a profound effect on women and their families. It is an experience that is never forgotten. It’s transformative and powerful.
~Women intuitively and instinctively know how to labour and give birth. Those caring and supporting them, need to trust and respect that. It’s our job to hold this space as sacred and respect the journey as it unfolds.
~Women’s confidence and ability to give birth is either enhanced or diminished by those who care for her and where she births. The witnesses to her work can influence her progress. Even those who care for her, if they do not trust the process can hinder it.
~Women have the right to give birth free from routine medical interventions. If interventions become necessary, all information needed to support and understand the intervention, should be provided. Informed consent is her right and should be addressed in a respectful way.
~Women have the right to choose where and with whom they give birth.
~Education empowers women to make informed choices in health care, to assume responsibility for their health and to trust their intuition, instinct and inner wisdom. Women deserve to receive information about birth, their right’s and choices outside of the institution where they will birth their children.
What Does the Doula DO?
The doula provides emotional support, physical comfort and informational support. The information comes prior to the birth.She will provide reassurance and perspective to you and your partner, make suggestions as labour progresses and helps with relaxation, touch, positions, and other techniques for your comfort. I use the rebozo for much of this, if there is a partner present the partner is instructed prior on how to provide all these with the rebozo. I am merely there to remind and support them.
She is independent and self-employed. Your doula works for you, not your caregiver or hospital. Your doula works within your team to help ensure the best birth, outcomes and birth memories.
The majority of births are couples. The doula’s role in NO way takes away or replaces the role of the partner. Rather, her presence allows the partner to be involved to his/her own comfort and participation in this most wonderful, amazing, miracle of the birth of your child.
How I Practice
We’ll meet to become acquainted and to determine if we make a good match. I’ll provide information on the specific services I offer and provide information about the doula’s role. I can also offer names and numbers of other doulas in the area for you to contact if you wish.
First prenatal visit
During this meeting I would like to meet with you and your partner to discuss your priorities for your birth and address any fears or concerns that you might have.
You will also meet with the backup doula that I work with. If she is not available at the time I will bring a bio and set up a Skype meeting with you and her.
I provide plenty of handouts, information and offer books/DVDs/videos from my extensive collection to borrow. Some are avail to buy.
As your doula, I will be available by phone 24/7 to answer any questions or concerns that you may have.
Second prenatal visit
During this meeting we will discuss your birth plan and review comfort measures through labour and birth. We will also review postpartum health and infant care.I introduce many of the comfort measures we will use in labor. This is essentially a training for the birth partner/dad. We will use light touch and relaxation techniques that the partner can use throughout the pregnancy into labor.
We will go through a list of possible outcomes and interventions.
We will discuss details such as getting to the hospital or setting up for a homebirth.
We will also talk about breastfeeding basics and offer practical advice for the early weeks of your baby’s life.
Third prenatal visit(optional)
We can arrange a third visit if we feel there is a need.
Labour, Birth and the Immediate Postpartum
After our prenatal visits, I encourage you to call me any time you have questions or concerns and after your caregiver visits. I would like you to call me as soon as you are in labour, when your water breaks or you know when you are going to be induced(if induction is medically necessary). This allows me to make arrangements and be available when you want me with you.
Except in extraordinary circumstances, I or my back-up doula will remain with you throughout your labour and birth. As of this post I have yet to use one. My personal support team allows me to do this.
After the Birth
Usually I remain with you for one or two hours after the birth, until you are comfortable and your family is ready for some quiet time together. I can also assist with breastfeeding if necessary.
You are welcome to call me any time before our postpartum visit, with any questions or concerns you may have. A postpartum visit will be arranged at a mutually agreeable time. The purpose of this visit is to review the birth and provide any assistance that will help you in your adjustment to parenthood.
I remain available for breastfeeding and postpartum support until you feel comfortable in your new role as parents.
Fee for Doula services: $1300 in town Out of town fees can be negotiated
Half of this fee due when you retain my services and the last half due at 38 weeks.
If my fee seems unaffordable and is the reason you’re unsure about hiring a doula, please contact me and ask about other financial arrangements. Think outside the box ! Many parents think they can’t afford a doula, you would be surprised. Most doulas will barter or take payments, read more about these options here.
Partners sometimes fear the doula will replace them
watch this testimony from a dad about the role of a doula
Ask about our Teen Doula Support Program