A knowledgeable witness and support to the birthing mother.
Certification: Birthingway College of Midwifery
Perhaps home birth is not for you, but you want to have the same type of caring support in hospital. Or perhaps you know you will want more support than you can expect from just your midwife at home. This is where the labor doula comes in. A doula is present with you during your birth as a knowledgeable witness and support to the birthing mother.
Doulas do not replace the partner or other support person of your choice. Women who receive doula support have been shown to be less likely to receive pain medication, epidurals, vacuum- or forceps-assisted births, or cesarean birth. Their births are, on average, a little shorter, their babies are less likely to have low APGAR scores, and they are less likely to experience negative feelings about their births.
As a labor doula, I will meet with you two or three times before birth, to establish a relationship and decide what my role will be in your birth. We will discuss what helps you--will you want me to talk you through each contraction, or is just holding your hand or even sitting quietly next to you more what you need? We will talk about the process of birth and your desires for each stage.
During birth, I will come to you whenever you are ready for me, whether it’s before or after you go to the hospital. I can help you decide when it’s time to go to hospital, and reassure you that things are progressing normally. I will stay with you until an hour or two after birth, when you are settled in with baby and ready for some bonding time.
After your birth, I will come see you and baby for a postpartum appointment. Here we will talk about your birth and I will help you understand anything that was confusing to you or that you don’t remember.