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Frequently asked


A labor doula supports the birthing family before, during, and immediately after birth.  The doula is trained to provide physical and emotional support in the home, hospital, or birth center  The doula eases the transition into the birthing environment,  and gives you the added comfort of additional support throughout the entire labor process.  They educate, advocate, and hold space to facilitate an empowering and positive birthing experience.

Physical support from a doula includes the use of movement, positioning, and soothing touch.  Doulas create a calm environment, assist with water therapy, and help keep you nourished with ice chips, food, and drinks.  Emotional support from doulas helps people feel a sense of pride and empowerment after the birth.  Examples of emotional support include encouragement and praise, helping you see your situation more positively, keeping you company, showing that they care for you, and helping you debrief after the birth.  Doulas can also support you with information during pregnancy and birth.  For example, they can guide you and your partner through labor and suggest techniques like breathing, relaxation, movement, and changing positions.  Doulas help you find evidence-based information about your options, and they can help explain medical procedures.  As far as advocacy goes, most doulas will not speak on your behalf.  However, doulas should support you in your right to make decisions about your body and your baby.  They will also use advocacy techniques such as encouraging you to ask questions and speak up for what you want.  Doulas can also enhance communication between parents and providers.

There have been 26 randomized trials that tested the effects of continuous labor support on more than 15,000 women giving birth. Overall, those who receive continuous support are more likely to have a normal vaginal birth and less likely to have pain medication, negative feelings about childbirth, and Cesareans. In addition, their labors are shorter and their babies are less likely to have complications at birth, or be admitted to a NICU. In these studies, the best results occurred when the continuous support was provided by a trained doula—someone who was not a staff member at the hospital and not part of the woman's social network.

A role of a doula is never to replace a support person, but to amplify your support. Not only am I working to support you, but I also working to support your partner. Together, we will make a team who is there to encourage, comfort, and provide a safe environment during your birth.  Ideally, doulas and the birth partner (i.e. spouse, partner, family member) work together to improve the mother’s birth. Studies have shown that the most positive birth experiences for fathers/partners are ones where they have continuous support from a doula or midwife. In one important randomized trial, adding a doula to a supportive partner reduced Cesarean rates from 25% down to 13%. These differences were even more apparent with a labor induction. When labor was induced, the Cesarean rate was 59% with a partner alone, and 13% when partners worked together with doulas.

I believe that birth is not primarily a medical event; it is a normal physiologic event and natural process. Women have been giving birth for thousands of years before the medical system as we know it was developed and began to dominate the spheres previously occupied by wise older women in the birthing woman's community. Therefore, I believe that it can still be experienced as a non-medical event.
I believe that birth is for families. Though women are the ones most birth work is aimed at, we mustn't forget dads, nor older siblings. What happens in pregnancy, birth, and postpartum has lasting implications for the family unit and deserves compassionate support.
I believe that stories matter, and birth stories especially. Stories are narratives that give meaning to our experiences and a sense of identity to our babies. These stories should be told.
I believe that birth is an intricate and exquisitely designed physiological process and just as much a spiritual and emotional process, too. A good birth attendant will know how to facilitate and make room for the layers of those process to safely and freely unfold. I believe that women have a right to process their birthing experiences and to share their stories. Great healing can be found in compassionate listening.
I believe that birth is a bridge that others can walk to the edge of with you, but you ultimately cross it alone. I believe that every woman who is ready will be best served by acknowledging that reality and choosing to own the full responsibility for her own pregnancy and birth. It is in doing so that she grows in intuition, courage, and love - qualities that she will need as a mother to her children and as a woman in the world for the rest of her life.
Taking responsibility for your own birth doesn't mean being alone. I believe that we all benefit from an older sister to walk with us through those transitional times of immense vulnerability with all the invitations to growth and transformation inherent within them. When a woman enters into the mysteries of pregnancy and birth, she can't come out the other side unchanged. But plunging those depths can be overwhelming and even scary at times. This is where a companion for the journey comes in.
I aim to be a witness, a wisdom-sharer, a space-holder, a storyteller, and fearless support person for families. I cannot do the work for you, but I will walk with you. 

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