Doula (a.k.a. childbirth assistant or labor companion) is a Greek word whose definition has come to mean a woman who helps other women. The word has further evolved to mean a woman experienced in childbirth who provides continuous physical, emotional and informational support to the mother before, during and after childbirth." —Dr. Marshall Klaus
Until the last century, experienced women have always had a unique and important role in supporting other women in childbirth. The choices and technology available today have made many advances, as has including partners in the birth room but these have not been able to replace this essential ingredient. Along with sensationalized images from the media and distance or the absence of helpful family members (or tribeswomen), these hi-tech advances may even leave women and their partners feeling more unsure of themselves, fearful and confused about what to do.
The presence of a birth doula can personalize and bridge the gap in continuity of care experienced by many families and make a big difference in the perception, satisfaction, and outcome of a birth, further affecting the quality of relationship between parents and baby. A positive birth experience often hinges on a sense of respect, acceptance, and support regardless of her choices and outcomes, and can affect a woman's self-esteem, future births, and mothering for the rest of her life. Even in ideal circumstances, a doula can enhance a woman's experience of pregnancy, birth, and postpartum.
According to a Harvard Health Study, Doula attended births result in fewer medical interventions, fewer complications, and shorter hospital stays. Numerous other studies have found an increase in positive outcomes for women who work with doulas.
Benefits from the presence of a doula:
45% reduction in Cesarean rate
25% reduction in length of labor
50% reduction in use of pitocin
31% reduction in requests for pain medication
34% reduction in need for forceps
10-60% reduction in requests for epidural
[from 10 randomized trials by Klaus]
Post-partum benefits found with women who used a doula:
faster and easier bonding with baby
decreased maternal anxiety and depression
more positive perception of labor
increased instances of breast-feeding
increased satisfaction with partner
Traditionally, family or community members would come to help care for the new family, providing the space to recover and integrate their new identity and roles as parents. Our culture often overlooks the value of this time and women are expected to bounce back and take on too much too quickly on their own. The results can be depletion, overwhelm, loneliness, and self-judgment. Partners may feel powerless to help or try to take on the a greater amount than they can handle. A postpartum doula can help restore balance by listening and providing expert counsel, practical support, lactation education, and guidance with babycare.
Birth Doula Services
I offer compassionate and non-judgmental labor, birth, and postpartum support for women and their partners. As your birth doula, I provide physical comfort measures and emotional support, as well as information, encouragement, and perspective. Together, we explore your preferences and what may work best for you in labor.
I am with you throughout your labor and offer relaxation and breathing practices, visualizations, massage, movement and position suggestions to help labor progress. I also work to create an optimal birth environment, “hold the space,” improve communication with care providers, and assist your partner in participating at his or her level of comfort. As a longtime yoga instructor, I specialize in mind body awareness practices, touch, and active birth techniques. I have experience working with a wide range of family systems including same-sex couples, solo moms, and those coming from other cultures or countries. I am passionate about supporting VBAC, homebirth, repeat clients or those having their 2nd (or 3rd...) babies, those who have experienced loss, and all of your choices.
Birth Doula Services include two prenatal and one postpartum meeting as well as continuous labor support and phone/email availability during your pregnancy and after your baby’s arrival. Additional hours are billed separately.
Birth Doula Services $2400
+ Postpartum Preparedness Consult (preparing your home for baby, newborn care basics, postpartum readiness....) $150
+ Placenta Encapsulation $250
Postpartum Doula Care
Welcoming Baby Home Immediate Postpartum Visit $150
Many new parents find it helpful to have a visit within a day or two of returning home from the hospital (or 1–5 days following a homebirth) for assistance with breastfeeding, recovery and comfort measures, newborn care, family adjustment, emotional support, to answer questions and prepare for life with baby.
New parents can feel overwhelmed when suddenly on their own to care for a newborn. A new mother may experience dramatic hormonal shifts, strong emotions, frustration with early breastfeeding, fatigue, soreness, as well as physical changes, such as when her milk “comes in.” This may be challenging for a partner who is also adjusting to a new role and responsibilities. Many different opinions about how to feed or care for a baby may leave new parents feeling confused or conflicted. More often, couples must depend on themselves without family nearby.
During this visit, I provide guidance, compassionate care, and practical support. I address immediate challenges and concerns, provide lactation support, make you more comfortable, increase your confidence, ease your adjustment to being at home, offer suggestions and referrals for additional resources. I honor your parenting style and preferences. I will need 24 hours advance notice and am available between the hours of 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. for up to three hours on weekdays and two hours on weekends. This visit can also include picking up items from the grocery store, birth resource center, or the pharmacy.
Postpartum Doula Care Packages
4 Visits for $600
8 Visits for $1200
Postpartum support as described above to begin within one or two days of arriving home from the hospital or when mutually desired. I provide guaranteed availability of at least two visits per week. I am available between the hours of 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. for up to three hours on weekdays (I am unavailable on weekends unless it is the first visit and within 3 days of the birth). Services to be used within two months following the birth, unless mutually agreed upon in advance. In the rare instance that I am unable to come as planned due to unforeseen circumstances, I reschedule within 24 hours or offer to provide a qualified postpartum doula replacement.
Support may also include help with healing/recovery measures, trying new breastfeeding positions, assistance with pumping, learning to read and respond to baby’s cues/communication, soothing techniques, baby massage, caring for baby so that parents may nap, shower, and eat, babywearing, babygear consultation and set up, adjustment as partner/dad returns to work, light meal preparation.
Additional hours and postpartum support can be added at anytime, subject to availability.