What to Expect

Doula Services:
As a birth doula, I will accompany you and your birth partner during labor in order to help ensure that you have the most satisfying birth experience possible. I draw on my professional training and knowledge in order to provide the emotional support, physical support, and informational support you need in order to confidently make informed decisions regarding your baby’s birth, and communicate those decisions clearly to the medical staff at your birthplace. I can provide reassurance and perspective to you and your partner, make suggestions for labor progress, and help with relaxation, massage, positioning and other techniques for comfort. I am independent and self-employed. As your doula, I am working for you, not for your healthcare provider or birthplace.

Before labor:
I will meet with you and your partner twice before labor begins in order to become acquainted, explore and discuss your priorities and concerns, to review your birth plan (or help you write one), and to strategize together about how we can best work as a team. I want to hear all about your best ways of coping with pain and fatigue, and how you and your partner work together most effectively. Please feel free to contact me between our two prenatal visits and before labor begins in order to give me updates, seek reassurance, and request information/resources.

Labor and Birth:
I prefer that you call me to let me know as soon as you believe labor has begun, even if you do not yet feel ready for me to be present with you for support. At that time, I can answer questions and make suggestions over the phone, and we will decide if I should wait for further developments, or start heading your way immediately. We will also decide where to meet – at your home, at the hospital, or at the birth center. I usually need approximately 90 minutes to get to you from the time you notify me that you are ready. Except for extraordinary circumstances, I will remain with you throughout the labor and birth of your baby.

After Birth:
After your baby is born, I will remain with you for one or two hours until you are comfortable and your family is ready for some quiet time together. After this, I will be available by phone and email, and will schedule a time for a short postnatal visit in a few days to see how you and your baby are doing. We will have another postnatal visit three weeks after your baby is born to review your birth story and so that you can provide me with feedback regarding my support and services.

As a Doula, I Don’t:
1.  Perform clinical tasks, such as blood pressure measurements, fetal health checks, and vaginal exams. My role is to provide physical, emotional, and informational support.
2.  Make decisions for you. I will help you get the information necessary to confidently make informed decisions. I will also remind you if there is a departure from your birth plan.
3.  Speak to the staff on your behalf. I will discuss your concerns with you, suggest options, and ask questions, but you or your partner will speak directly to the clinical staff.

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