A doula is a trained professional who supports families through pregnancy, birth, and the initial postpartum period in order for them to have a positive birth experience. While the word “doula”may be an invention of the twentieth-century, women have supported other women during birth for thousands of years, across cultures and communities. This is one of the many reasons I am drawn to this ancestral, community-building work.
The World Health Organization recommends that every birthing person have access to a doula. Multiple studies have shown that doulas improve birth outcomes. This is largely due to continuous care during birth and the trusting relationship we develop throughout your pregnancy. Here are the most up-to-date statistics:
39% decrease in the risk of Cesarean
15% increase in the likelihood of a spontaneous vaginal birth
10% decrease in the use of any medications for pain relief
Shorter labors by 41 minutes on average
38% decrease in the baby’s risk of a low five minute Apgar score
31% decrease in the risk of being dissatisfied with the birth experience
Source: Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. 2017
I support all types of birth experiences, including: home births, hospital births, cesarean births, VBACs, and inductions. I specialize in holistic maternity care, offering a variety of wellness methods to incorporate into your prenatal plan and birth, including mindfulness, yoga, and prenatal/postpartum nutrition. These methods are completely at your disposal to design a birth experience that speaks to you. My goal is to ensure that you have the best possible birth experience– ensuring you feel informed to make any and all decisions, and that you feel comfortable, safe, and supported throughout your birth.
There is no such thing as too early or too late. I’ve taken on clients anywhere from as early as 11 weeks and as late as 41 weeks. If I have the space, and we have a good connection, I will offer you my support!
The midwife offers you medical care. They are there to ensure that the mother and baby are physically safe. Also, depending on where you birth, your midwife and other medical personnel will have shift changes. As your doula, I am there to support you and your partner– emotionally, physically, and continuously. I also help facilitate communication in the room, think of me as warm water connecting the room and ensuring a calm environment. During the birth, midwives, nurses, and doulas make a supportive and holistic team. We will both be there to help you with pain relief and birth positions.
Both the birthing person and her partner can benefit from the gentle, calm, and nurturing care of a doula. As your doula, I spend time during pregnancy getting to know both you and your partner– your wishes, fears, and needs. I also ensure that your partner knows what to expect during labor– the physiology of birth and what the Dutch maternal health care system looks like. During the birth, your partner and I act as a team to support the birthing person to feel more comfortable, safe, and supported. As a team, I can offer your partner a chance to run to the bathroom or grab a bite to eat while staying with you!