A doula is a non-medical support person who provides pregnant and birthing women emotional support, educational support, and physical comfort before, during, and just after childbirth.

 

According to DONA International, the training and accreditation organization for doulas, a birth doula:

  • recognizes birth as a key life experience that the mother will remember all her life
  • understands the physiology of birth and the emotional needs of a woman in labor
  • assists the woman (and her partner if applicable) in preparing for and carrying out her/their plans for the birth
  • stays by the side of the laboring woman throughout the entire labor
  • provides emotional support, physical comfort measures, an objective viewpoint, and assistance to the woman in getting the information she needs to make good decisions
  • facilitates communication between the laboring woman, her partner, and clinical providers
  • perceives her role as one who nurtures and protects the woman's memory of her birth experience

 

Source: DONA International Birth Doula Manual 2015

There is an ever-growing body of research suggesting the benefits to both mom and baby of having continual labor support.

 

Women who receive continual one-on-one labor support are more likely to have a spontaneous vaginal delivery and shorter labor, and are less likely to have an instrumental vaginal birth, a caesarean birth, a baby with a low Apgar score, and a negative perception of their childbirth experience. For an in-depth review of labor support benefits, you can read the 2013 Cochrane Database Systemic Review here.

 

Source: Hodnett, E.D., Gates, S., Hofmeyr, G.J, and Sakala, C. (2013). Continuous support for women during childbirth. Cochrane Pregnancy and Childbirth Group.

 

 

Why do I do this?

 

Although I left the world of dance many years ago, my early experiences with bodies and movement was profoundly influential. I am fascinated by how we carry our stories in our bodies, and how we can use our bodies as tools to unlock the power within our mind and spirit.

 

Pregnant and birthing bodies are exceptionally powerful, and have the ability to not only create a baby, but also to create a mother. I am fascinated by how women interpret their own journeys to motherhood, and how the transcendental experiences of pregnancy and birth build the foundations of a family. I believe that a more just and loving world starts with more just and loving births. When women are supported to build the families they want in the way they want, they are also empowered to build the communities, nations, and world they want to live in.

 

It is my goal as a doula to bear witness to your story, and to accompany you on your road to motherhood and beyond. There is no right way to be pregnant or to birth, and I am excited and curious to support you in whatever decisions you choose. I hope to build trusting and nourishing relationships with my doula clients, and to create a space where we can laugh, cry, and ask questions together. I bring an intersectional feminist approach to birthwork, which means that I recognize how multiple identities converge to give you a unique lived experience, and I tailor my services to meet your needs.

 

 

 

What to expect as a doula client

 

Our relationship starts when you contact me and we schedule an interview. This is a time for us to get to know each other and determine if we are a good match. I always encourage potential clients to interview a few doulas- it's important that you feel a connection with your doula (and I won't be offended if you choose someone else!)

 

If you decide that you'd like to work with me, I provide at minimum:

  • one in-depth home visit
  • 24/7 on-call phone and text support from when we sign our contract until your birth
  • continuous labor support during childbirth
  • one two-week postpartum visit

 

Some mamas desire more support during the prenatal period, and may ask their doula to come along to prenatal doctor's visits, or add a few more home visits. When we meet for our interview we'll go over your preferences, and create a custom birth services package that will meet your needs. As a Certified Yoga Teacher and lactation student, I offer other services you may find useful and that you'd like to add to your package.

 

 

I believe that everyone deserves doula services, no matter their ability to pay. We will discuss pricing and payment plans during our interview based off which birth services package you choose and your ability to pay. Although I have completed my doula training, I am still in the process of certification, which means I am currently offering my services at a greatly reduced rate. On top of that reduced rate, I offer special pricing for students, single mothers, teen mothers, and military families.