What is a Doula?
A Doula is a trained professional who provides continuous physical, emotional and informational support to a mother/birthing person before, during and shortly after childbirth to help the entire family achieve the healthiest, most satisfying experience possible.
I will meet with you and your partner as a team prenatally, usually in the comfort of your home. During our visits, we will explore:
- How to prep the body and mind for labor
- Birthing place procedures
- Birth Preferences/"Birth Plan" (I like to refer to it as "Preferences" as part of the flux of labor comes from its unpredictability!)
- Facilitating partner involvement
- Breastfeeding education and connecting you to local resources
- Postnatal body and mind
- Infant care
Phone & Email Support
During pregnancy, so many questions, thoughts and emotions come to the surface. I am here and available by phone or email to reach out to if you need follow up support after a doctor's visit, questions about building your birth plan or general emotional support.
To alleviate the burden from you having to sift and sort through all of the information available on the internet, I have created a custom packet that I email to you as soon as we start working together. It contains over 25 pages of information and resources from evidence-based research that will help you build your birth plan, learn to ask your provider questions and consider things you may have not even known were options for your experience. We use this packet as a guide during our prenatal visits.
When you hire me, I go on 24/7 call for your labor once you reach 37 weeks. Throughout early labor we will be chatting on the phone so I can provide emotional support and give your partner/family suggestions on how to help you cope and make your labor more comfortable. When active labor begins, I will join you either at your home or at your birthing location. Some non-medical ways I support your labor are:
- Demonstrating to your partner how to press on your back or sway with you during a contraction.
- Reminding you of your power and strength.
- Interpreting hospital language so you can feel fully informed and in charge of your care.
- Giving your partner a break during long labors or when they need to eat or go to the bathroom.
- Providing suggestions on movements, positions & other coping techniques that can help you find your rhythm in labor.
- If you chose an epidural, I can help support you into different beneficial positions depending on the mobility you have in your legs (every epidural is different).
- Massaging your feet, shoulders, back or wherever it is that you may be holding tension.
- I can take photographs of your labor and birth if you wish.
- Providing reassurance through any twists and turns that may happen.
- I will stay for the length of your labor and about 2 hours postpartum until you are settled in and ready for sleep with your new baby.
Baby's First Feeding Support
After your baby is born, I can help with breastfeeding/bottle-feeding questions and support. I can provide suggestions for positioning and latching techniques that will make you and your baby comfortable.
Many families focus all their energy toward their birth while neglecting to remember that it is a short period of time compared to bringing their new baby home and moving forward as a family. During our prenatal visits we create a postpartum plan and once your baby is born I come to your home and help you adjust and implement what we discussed to help smooth out your postpartum transition. We can chat about the birth, practice baby-wearing and I can help with common breastfeeding questions and concerns. These visits are a way to help you and your partner ease into your new role with your newborn. Many people will be trying to come over to swoon over your baby. My visits with you will be focused on the emotional and physical health of mom and the family unit as a whole. My training has taught me to always consider a parent's feelings and build confidence whenever possible. I do this through praise, acceptance and a non-judgmental approach. I do not treat postpartum depression, but I can help by creating a safe place for you emotionally. I provide a cushioning effect by accepting you as a mother/parent within each stage that you pass through. This relieves some of the pressure from you by helping you move into your responsibilities gradually. By mothering the mother/partner/parent, I make sure you feel nurtured and cared for, as well as making sure you are eating well and getting enough sleep. I do not market a particular parenting approach. Instead, I hold a safe space for you to develop your own philosophies. I respect your partner’s role and input, and teach concrete skills that will help your partner to better nurture you and the baby. I share evidence-based information that shows how his or her role in the early weeks will have a dramatic positive effect on the family.
Postpartum Shift Ad-ons
For families that desire more postpartum support than just my check-in visits, I offer extended support packages that include:
- Providing support, information, and basic troubleshooting for breastfeeding or bottlefeeding
- Help with relaxation, infant care and soothing, and comfort measures for common postpartum complaints
- Help with household organization, including light housework and meal preparation
- Help with sibling adjustment
- Help take care of your baby while you take a nap, a shower or just have a moment with your partner!
Secured Back-up Support
I work with a small team of like-minded women who are highly trained and experienced and match my philosophy and style of care in the very rare event that back-up support is needed. I wholeheartedly trust and respect this group of carefully selected and amazing women. You're guaranteed an experienced professional and a wonderful doula. We offer periodic "Meet and Greets", a chance for you to meet and connect with these amazing women.
Prices range from $1000 to $1500 depending on # of prenatal & postpartum support visits. Payment plans available. Additional fees may apply for travel outside of Sonoma County. Inquire for details.