What is a doula?

Sense & Soula BabyAs a birth doula, I will accompany a woman in labor to help ensure a safe environment and satisfying birth experience. A doula is not a midwife. Doulas are not medically trained. Instead, they are trained to offer emotional and informational support, physical comfort and consistent support throughout labor. I have completed training approved by DONA International and have trained with Dancing For Birth™ to coach in active laboring techniques. I draw on my professional training, knowledge and experience to provide emotional support, physical comfort, and as needed, communication with the staff to make sure that you have the information you need to make informed decisions as they arise in labor. I can provide reassurance and perspective to you and your partner, make suggestions for labor progress, and help with relaxation, soothing touch, positioning and other techniques for comfort. I am independent and self-employed. As your doula, I am working for you, not your caregiver or hospital. I cannot diagnose or offer any medical advice. Below I describe how my process works…

Before Labor.
I will meet with you and your partner at least once before labor to become acquainted, to explore and discuss your priorities and any fears or concerns, to discuss your birth plan and to plan how we might best work together. I also want to know your own best ways of coping with discomfort and fatigue and how you and your partner foresee working together. Be prepared to practice comfort measures and techniques to use
during labor during the prenatal visits.

I will be available to you, and if there is a time when I am unavailable, you will be informed of times and I will arrange for one or more qualified back-up doulas whom you may also meet. We will certainly want to remain in touch by phone, text and email. I will be on-call for you 24/7 two weeks before your due date and one week after.

When you are in Labor.
Please call me when you think you are in labor, even if you do not need me yet. I can answer questions and make suggestions over the phone. We will decide if I should come right then or wait for further change. There may be a window of up to two hours needed to get to you from the time you ask me to come. Let me know where to meet—at your home, the hospital or the birth center. Except for extraordinary circumstances, I will remain with you throughout labor and birth.

After Birth.
I usually remain with you for one or two hours after birth, until you are comfortable and your family is ready for quiet time together. I can also help with initial breast feeding, if necessary. I will be available to answer questions about the birth or your baby and would like to get together with you within a few weeks to see how you and your baby are doing, to review the birth, and to get feedback from you about my role as your doula.

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