Your Birth, Our Support
"I have a dedicated partner who is ready and willing to be my birth coach. What can a Birth Doula do for us?"
As Birth Doulas, we never step in the way of a partner supporting the laboring mother. Instead, we complement and encourage the team effort it takes to make sure a woman experiences a wholly supported birth.
Fathers and partners, though not laboring, are experiencing childbirth also...just in a different way. Some prefer to be able to entirely support and focus on the mother, while not experiencing the pressure to remember everything they read or learned during their child birth courses. The presence of a Doula allows the partner to rest, take breaks and nourish themselves, so that they are able to offer their best selves to the laboring, birthing and postpartum mother.
Partners and Birth Doulas each have an active role throughout labor and delivery; partners know the mother, while the Doula knows birth. Partners love and have history with the laboring mother, while Doulas are passionate about applying skills and experience to the mother's birthing process. As a unit, we can form a team of holistic support that is unwavering and incomparable.
"I'm planning on a hospital birth with my OBGYN or Midwife. How can a Birth Doula help me?"
No matter the birth setting or scenario, Doulas are a great compliment to your experience. While doctors, midwives and nurses are with you to provide you with the clinical medical care and diagnostic tests you or baby need, we will be by your side to support you emotionally, physically, spiritually, and educationally. Doctors, midwives and nurses will change shifts frequently throughout your labor and delivery, whereas our support and devotion to you is exclusive and constant. We are also there to encourage communication between you and your care provider, should any questions or issues arise. In addition, we are in constant contact with you before your labor beings to answer any questions you may have. You can call, text, or email us at any time and we make ourselves available to you to provide you with assurance or information.
"I want an epidural. How can a Birth Doula support my labor?"
Though epidurals do take the edge off pain, the need to push and birth baby will still be there. As your Birth Doulas, we are able to help provide you with comfort measures and coping techniques as you approach the ideal window for epidural administration, and will support you physically and emotionally during the medical administration. Even with pain management medication, there will be some degree of discomfort. We will be by your side to support you by providing you with guidance about birthing positions, breathing techniques, and massage as you proceed to birth your baby. Using our professional training and experience, we are able to use laboring techniques that can shorten labor, help you deal with unforeseen side effects, and possibly avoid the need for Pitocin or other additional medications.
"Let's see some research, Birth Doula!"
"When women had continuous labor support from a doula— someone who was NOT a staff member at the hospital and who was NOT part of the woman’s social network and when continuous labor support was provided by a doula, women experienced a:
31% decrease in the use of Pitocin*
28% decrease in the risk of C-section*
12% increase in the likelihood of a spontaneous vaginal birth*
9% decrease in the use of any medications for pain relief
14% decrease in the risk of newborns being admitted to a special care nursery
34% decrease in the risk of being dissatisfied with the birth experience*
For four of these outcomes,* results with a doula were better than all the other types of continuous support that were studied. For the other outcomes, there was no difference between types of continuous support."
Source: Evidence Based Birth
"Numerous studies have documented the benefits of having a doula present during labor. A recent Cochrane Review, Continuous Support for Women During Childbirth, showed a very high number of positive birth outcomes when a doula was present. With the support of a doula, women were less likely to have pain-relief medications administered and less likely to have a cesarean birth. Women also reported having a more positive childbirth experience. Other studies have shown that having a doula as a member of the birth team decreases the overall cesarean rate by 50%, the length of labor by 25%, the use of oxytocin by 40%, and requests for an epidural by 60%."
Source: American Pregnancy
"Modern hospital maternity care practices have reduced the availability of an attending nurse to remain with a mother during labor. A result of this has been the loss of having someone at the bedside to offer continuous support throughout the birthing process (Papagni & Buckner, 2006). One study found that new mothers expected their nurse to spend 53% of her time offering support, but only 6%–10% of the nurse’s time was actually engaged in labor support activities (Tumblin & Simkin, 2001). Because many women during labor are comforted and encouraged by having someone with them throughout labor and birth, support persons known as doulas have become increasingly present. Doulas are trained to provide physical, emotional, and informational support to women during labor, birth, and in the immediate postpartum period. With the support of doulas, many women are able to forego epidurals, avoid cesarean births, and have less stressful births. A skilled doula empowers a woman to communicate her needs and perceptions and actualize her dream of a healthy, positive birth experience. The positive effects of doula care have been found to be greater for women who were socially disadvantaged, low income, unmarried, primiparous, giving birth in a hospital without a companion, or had experienced language/cultural barriers (Vonderheid, Kishi, Norr, & Klima, 2011)."