Why Have a Doula at your Birth?
♥ Higher satisfaction with birth experience
♥ Help fathers participate in births with confidence
♥ Lower rate of postpartum depression
♥ Better communication with medical team
♥ Reduced pain meds
♥ Reduced epidural rate
♥ Reduced levels of fear & anxiety
♥ Lower level of stress hormones
♥ Lower cesarean rates
♥ Shorter labor
♥ Improved bonding with baby
♥ Higher rate of successful breastfeeding
A Doula is a member of today's maternity care team who assists a woman in preparing for and carrying out her plans for the birth of her children. However, doulas have been around since the beginning of time- they are not just your labor coach, but a dear friend. La Doula Vida recognizes birth as a key life experience, understand the physiology of birth and the emotional needs of a woman in labor.
♥ What are the benefits of having a doula?
Having a doula throughout your pregnancy and during the birth of your bundle of joy will aim to make each woman's birth experience a positive memory with rich reward and feelings of accomplishment.
♥ I have a partner who will be there to support me. So we don’t need a doula, right?
Actually, you do! And you deserve one! And your birth partner deserves one, too! A doula supports both the mother and her partner. Birth is amazing and powerful and emotional… all great reasons to have someone with a wealth of knowledge on comfort techniques, positioning, and basic reassurance there to support both of you.
♥ But won’t my partner feel left out of the birth?
Absolutely not! Your birth partner is about to watch the person that he/she loves do something incredibly extraordinary and something they have probably not been exposed to. They need support so they can support you.
During pregnancy, your birth doula meets with you to discuss your priorities, fears and concerns, and plan how you will all work together effectively. Both your and your partner’s thoughts and feelings are addressed.
At the onset of labour, your birth doula will come to your house and assist you through labour until it is time to leave for the hospital or have your midwife attend. The presence of a birth doula can be reassuring and helpful before the need for your clinical care providers.
Upon departure to the hospital, your birth doula can help in practical ways, such as packing suitcases in the car, making phone calls, etc.
As labour becomes active, at home or in the hospital, your birth doulas' role with your partner becomes significant. It may be difficult for your partner to witness your instinctual behaviours during childbirth, and not recognize the normal process of birth. Your doula understands the physiology of birth and is well versed in your options if your labour is not progressing typically. Your birth doula can provide you with the information you need to make informed decisions and can facilitate communication with your clinical care providers.
You may fear that the presence of a birth doula will interfere with the unique intimacy between you and your partner. In reality, most couples are very relieved to have an experienced birth doula join them on their journey. Your clinical care providers may have others to attend to, always have paperwork to complete, and are commonly in and out of your delivery room.
Your birth doula will be in constant communication with you, and can readily assure you that your labour is progressing normally. If it is not, she can give you a clear understanding of what is happening. She can explain medical procedures to you, and gather further information from your clinical care providers.
Partners often feel uncertain about what to do during labour. Your birth doula can give encouragement and suggestions to your partner to help them participate within their comfort level. When your birth doula supports both of you throughout labour, your partner is able to fully support to you. The presence your birth doula complements and strengthens your partner's role.
Your birth doula will also have one-on-one contact with you, massaging you into relaxation, talking to you softly though the pain, encouraging you to vary your position, which can speed up labour and decrease pain, and provide support between contractions. Your birth doula and your partner can use their strength together to help you.
Upon delivery, your partner may want to observe your newborn's first medical assessments. Your doula will remain with you unless instructed otherwise. She can assist with breastfeeding and help make you comfortable.
During your postpartum visit, you and your partner may have questions about the birth. Your birth doula will help you both understand your baby’s arrival.
♥ Do you support home births?
I support you and your choices in birth. I am definitely willing to support you at home, in a hospital, in a birth center, etc. My desire is for you to have your best birth, however you imagine it. I do not, however, catch babies! My services are non-medical, and I’d be happy to refer you to a midwife who can attend the birth. Please contact me if you have any questions on the difference between a planned unassisted birth and an unplanned home birth.
♥ What should I expect during our visits?
During the initial consultation, you can expect to have all your questions about my services answered so you can decide if we are a good fit together. Expect lots of questions about yourselves, too! I want to be sure that I’m the best option for you as well.
During the prenatal visit(s), my role as a doula is to meet your family and have them meet me. I will be gathering information in these home visits that will help me understand what is needed of me as a doula for your birth, any work you have already done on a birth plan, what past experiences might influence the outcome of this birth, and who will be attending the birth. You can expect to come up with a birth plan, or look over your current birth plan. Any questions regarding the pregnancy, birth, and postpartum can be answered at this time. We can practice some positions, and I can show you techniques to make the end of the pregnancy more comfortable.
During the birth, you can expect that I will be present from the time you request me until after you are settled comfortably as a family. I will provide physical and emotional support and reassurance. I am happy to help you get comfortable with your initial breastfeeding relationship as well.
During the post-partum visits, we will discuss the birth and how things have been going since. I can provide resources, insight, and referrals as requested. Most importantly, I want to give you the opportunity to share your birth story.
♥ Are you able to provide photography services?
I am happy to grab your camera and take snapshots on baby’s birthday, as the situation allows. I do not provide professional photography service. I can make referrals to amazing birth photographers so that you are sure to have gorgeous images of the best day of your life!
♥ Are you a lactation consultant?
I have extensive experience with breastfeeding, and I am happy to help you find resources and get you comfortable with pregnancy, birth, and breastfeeding. I am also willing to make referrals if you feel like you need a little more help. If you have any questions or concerns about breastfeeding, please don’t hesitate to ask and we will find the information!
♥ I am interested! Now what? Contact me either on the Contact us page and complete the questionnaire or reach me directly at 254.458.1777