Please contact me for availability. I’m friendly and love to talk birth and you’ll probably be surprised at how “normal” I am. Even if I’m not available, I can help point you to other fabulous doulas who are! – Kristina
Peace…it does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble or hard work. It means to be in the midst of these things and still be calm in your heart.
- Author Unknown
Birth is a rite of passage; a life-changing event. You will remember and be affected by the moments of your child’s birth for the rest of your days. If you have run a marathon or participated in another athletic event, did you do a lot of training for that day? Did you run with others who helped you? During the event did you feel exhausted, or did you have a clear mindset in spite of the physical exhaustion? Could you have done it with out the cheering of the crowd and the support from your friends? Were you stressed or did you have everything you needed so that you were able to relax and remember the meaningful moments of the day? It is the same for birth. A doula can help you create a better birth experience.
Do good without show or fuss. Facilitate what is happening rather than what you think ought to be happening. If you must take the lead, lead so that the mother is helped, yet still free and in charge. When the baby is born, the mother will rightly say, “We did it ourselves!”
- from the Tao Te Ching
A birth doula is, simply, a professional labor coach. As a valuable piece of the birth team, she provides continuous physical, emotional, and informational support to the mother before, during, and after childbirth. This support can include but is not limited to: assistance with creating a birth plan; helping mom cope with pain through massage, touch, positions, breathing techniques, acupressure and positive reassurance; helping speed up or slow down labor and delivery by changing position and other techniques; explaining, coming up with questions and be an informed listening ear while mom makes decisions about medical procedures; assisting your partner in comforting you, making phone calls/taking pictures running errands, providing a break, and providing a reassuring voice during the intensity of birth; and providing emotional support through the transition from pregnancy to parenting after the birth.
“Speak tenderly to them. Let there be kindness in your face, in your eyes, in your smile, in the warmth of our greeting. Always have a cheerful smile. Don’t only give your care, but give your heart as well.”
- Mother Teresa
Doulas do not catch babies, make medical decisions, or give medical advice, but provide continuous emotional support. She does not only work at home births or drug-free, intervention free births, but works in all kinds of settings and at all kinds of births. Doulas support the mother in decisions she makes. She is a calm and informed presence for the laboring mother and her partner. Doulas are not all “patchouli-wearing, tree-hugging, earthy-birthy mamas” but are informed, well-educated professionals that come from a variety of backgrounds.
All over the world there exists in every society a small group of women who feel themselves strongly attracted to giving care to other women during pregnancy and childbirth. Failure to make use of this group of highly motivated people is regrettable and a sin against the principle of subsidiary.
- Dr. Kloosterman, Chief of OB/GYN, University of Amsterdam, Holland
Continuous support from an experienced labor companion has proven dramatically beneficial. In controlled studies of over 5000 women, doulas have proven to provide a 25% reduction in the length of labor, a 50% drop in cesarean birth, a 50% drop in the need for pitocin use, a 34% drop in assisted delivery (forceps or vacuum), a 30% drop in the mothers’ request for pain medication, a the surprising benefits of healthier moms, healthier babies, breastfeeding success, less postpartum depression and better parenting experiences after the birth, and many other important and measurable benefits.
If a doula were a drug, it would be unethical not to use it.
- John H. Kennell, MD