The word "doula" means "woman caregiver". A doula is an experienced labor companion who offersphysical, emotional, and informational support before, during and after the birth of your baby. A doula is not a doctor or midwife and does not make any medical decisions. She is a silent advocate for the mother, encouraging her in her desires for her birth. The doula assures the mother that she will stay with her the entire labor and not leave her alone being a positive nurturing presence. She helps the mother relax and feel confident, providing massage and suggestions for birthing and pushing positions.
The doula provides a better understanding of procedures and complications that may arise at anytime during your pregnancy or birth of your baby. This informational support helps relieve any uncertainties and anxieties that the mother and her family may have.
The birth of your baby will be something you will remember forever. Some doulas take pictures, video, and write birth stories for the family to enable them to recall every precious moment.
Benefits of having a doula:
~ 50% reduction in cesarean rate ~ 25% shorter labor
~ 60% reduction in epidural requests ~ 40% reduction in oxytocin use
~ 30% reduction in analgesia use ~ 40% reduction in forceps delivery
***statistics from: Mothering the Mother: How a Doula Can Help You Have a Shorter Easier and Healthier Birth, written by Klaus, Kennell, and Klaus (1993)
Postpartum benefits : ~ mother's reported less pain during labor and 24 hrs after ~ mother's increased interest in her baby
~ greater incidence of breast-feeding at 6 weeks ~ less anxiety, fewer signs of depression, and a higher level of
~ helping your birth be a gentle beginning ~
Congratulations on your new journey of parenthood and to finding a doula! I want to thank you for considering my services.
I encourage every family looking for a doula to interview several doulas to find the right "fit" for you. It is important to find someone you feel comfortable with.
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"Michele's kindness, compassion and expertise were indispensable to me during and after my home birth. She helped to make my birth experience so much more comfortable and in the end successful and gentle. I also, would like to comment on the wonderful care she provided to me in the weeks following the birth with breastfeeding and overall peace of mind with how my baby was doing in those early weeks. In recollection of my home birth, it became clear to me how so many women are convinced the pain is too much and must be deadened. I too, would be wanting an epidural without the support of a sympathetic, highly trained woman present to tell me I could do it, calm my breathing and exert the right amount of pressure in the exact perfect place on my back getting me through another contraction. Nothing can truly prepare or guarantee how you will react or get through in childbirth even after having children before. It is an experience where you lose yourself and find your strength all in the same moment. Michele helped me in realizing this truth.
I will never forget or cease honoring what Michele helped me to achieve in the comfort of my own home: bringing my son into the world peacefully. Thank you, thank you!"~Caitlin Murphy~