What is a Doula/ Labor Coach and Why Should I Have One?

WHY IS A DOULA IMPORTANT?

The word doula is a Greek word that means women’s servant. Women have been serving other women in childbirth for centuries and have proven that this support from another woman has positive effects on the labor process

 

What is a doula?

A doula is a professional trained in childbirth who provides emotional, physical and informational support to the woman who is expecting, in labor or has recently given birth. The doula's role is to help women have a safe, memorable and empowering birthing experience.

 

I myself have been trained by Childbirth International in 2006. I also worked directly in the OBGYN setting for a decade as a Specialized Clinical Technician; Certified by the State of New Jersey in 1996.  I managed the office and assisted the Physicians. I was the phlebotomist, the trusted female mentor, and office manager.

 

What does a doula do?

 

Most doula and client relationships begin a few months before the baby is due. During this time, they establish a relationship that gives the mother complete freedom to ask questions, express fears and concerns, and take an active role in creating a birth plan. Most doulas make themselves available to the mother by phone or text message to answer questions or explain any developments that may arise in pregnancy. Doulas do not provide any type of medical care. However, they are knowledgeable in the medical aspect of labor and delivery so they can help their clients get a better understanding of procedures and complications that may arise in late pregnancy or during delivery.

 

During delivery, doulas are in constant, close proximity to the mother at all times. They can provide comfort with pain relief techniques, such as breathing, relaxing, massage and laboring positions. Doulas also encourage participation from the partner and offer reassurance. The goal of a doula is to help the mother have a positive and safe birth experience, whether the mother wants an medicated birth, an un-medicated birth, or is having a planned cesarean birth. My goal is to support what YOU WANT! 

 

What are the benefits of having a doula?

 

Numerous studies have revealed the benefits of having a doula present during labor. A recent Cochrane Review, Continuous Support for Women During Childbirth, revealed a very high number of positive birth outcomes when a doula was present. When a doula was present, women were less likely to have pain relief medications administered, less likely to have a cesarean birth, and reported having an overall more positive childbirth experience.

 

Other studies have shown that having a doula as part of the birth team decreases the overall cesarean rate by 50%, the length of labor by 25%, the use of oxytocin by 40% and the request for an epidural by 60%.

 

 What about the fathers role?

 

The role of the doula is never to take the place of the husband or partner in labor, but to complement and enhance their experience. Today, many husbands are taking a more active role in the birth process, but some partners feel that this is a huge expectation and would rather be able to enjoy the delivery without having to stand in as labor coach. With a doula as a part of the birth team, a father can do whatever he feels comfortable with at each moment. Doulas can encourage the father to use comfort measures and can step in when he needs a break. Having a doula allows the father to be able to support his partner emotionally during labor and birth and also enjoy it himself without the pressure to remember everything he learned in childbirth class! But if the father is not present we are here for you 100%

 

Examples of Doula Support During Birth

 

Physical Comfort Techniques: these techniques do not offer complete pain relief, but can often make the pain manageable.

• Counter-pressure

• Massage and other forms of touch

• Positioning

• Use of heat and cold, combined with other comfort measures

• Breathing (slow, steady and varied)

• Mobility/motion

• Awareness of tension in different parts of body; help mom release tension and lessen pain

• Use of water (tub and shower, when available)

• Vocalizations (sounds, singing, moaning, repeating important words or phrases)

• Birth ball Support

 

Emotional Support

• Continuous presence with sole focus on supporting mom

• Verbal encouragement, praise and feedback

• Acknowledgement of her pain and the hard work of labor

• Emotional and Mental “Goalposts” – work through fears/concerns of birth, and provide support to acknowledge and move forward through memories of previous births

• Reframe thoughts, fears and feelings during labor (turn doubtful/negative statements and words into positive and progressing statements)

• Visualizations

• Distraction through mental activities

• Focal points

 

Specialized Support

• Hypnotherapy

• Acupressure

• Reflexology

• Essential Oil

• Auricular Therapy

• Photography

 

As a doula/ Labor Coach, I will not:

•Give medical advice or perform medical procedures. 

•Communicate your wishes directly to your doctor or midwife. 

•Replace your partner in the birth experience.

 

INCLUDED SERVICES

 

Having given birth, I know that it is one of the most significant experiences in a person’s life. Much time and energy have likely gone into researching and planning for your child’s entry into the world. If this is your first child, you are traveling on uncharted waters, which can feel very overwhelming. I made the decision to become a doula so I can provide you and your partner with the information and support you need to go through this journey with confidence; with greater ease and amazing support. My utmost concern is your comfort during labor and I provide suggestions and techniques to help you through this life-changing process.

 

During labor and delivery, which can be extremely tiring and emotionally draining, I provide you and your partner with physical and emotional support, helping you to discover your inner strength and empowering you achieve the birth you want. I truly want your birth to be a joyous and happy, beautiful, satisfying memory.

 

My services include:

 

Initial Meeting

I like to meet with potential clients to find out if we are a good match for each other. I believe that you should hire a doula that you feel comfortable with and this initial meeting provides an opportunity for you to get to know me better. After this meeting there is no further obligation to use my services.

 

Prenatal Contact

I prefer to meet with clients at least 3 - 4 times before the birth to discuss your wishes and desires for your birth and each visit will include a hypnosis session. During the meeting(s), we will also go over your preferences regarding interventions and procedures, and your feelings about pain management. I am available every day to answer and questions you may have.  In your last 2 weeks of pregnancy I am available  24 hours a day to answer questions or to address concerns leading up to your birth.

 

Labor and Delivery

I am here to speak with you at the onset of labor or when your water breaks. At that time, I may give you suggestions for relaxation and answer any questions or concerns. I will join you when you feel you are ready for my arrival; to help cope with the contractions. Which is generally when active labor begins. I can join you at your home or in the hospital. Once I arrive, I provide continuous support during labor and birth including comfort measures such as position change, massage, counter pressure, heat and cold, water, verbal encouragement, visualization and breathing, music, birth ball, and communication. I can also take photographs during and after the birth. I will stay with you at least an hour after you give birth but then will gently disappear so you can spend intimate time with your new immediate family.

 

** Note: Your BIRTH STORY PICTURES will be solely yours. I will NOT keep any copies. I will place them on a jump drive, camera card, or CD for you to keep. I will not use any pictures unless you give permission. It is understood that this is an intimate experience and as such your privacy is my utmost concern.

 

Postpartum Contact

I will contact you, phone or text, after the birth to follow up with you. I will come visit you after the birth to admire your baby.  I can also make referrals to lactation consultants, midwives, etc.

 

As a doula, I will not:

•Give medical advice or perform medical procedures. 

•Communicate your wishes directly to your doctor or midwife. 

•Replace your partner in the birth experience.

 

Fees:

 

My fee averages $1000.00 and includes all above services.  I accommodate  payment plans.  

 

Breakdown: $100- Initial Consultation, $100 - Each Hypnotherapy Prenatal Visit, $400 Labor & Delivery, $100 – Packaging & Editing Photographs.  If you do not use a service or one of the appointments YOU ARE NOT CHARGED FOR IT!

 

**I believe all women should have the right to a doula so please ask about sliding scale and free services if financially necessary.


Doula / Labor Coach On Call - $500. Payment arrangements can be made. In labor and need immediate support. Text or call - 732 - 508 - 7448

 

Options:

You are free to customize your services.  There are no services that you must accept.  If there is anything that you don't see mentioned above, please feel free to ask me if I can provide it for you.  Remember, I want to do this your way.

 

Area's I serve

Currently I am seeing clients that will give birth at Home, In Community Medical center, Brick Hospital, and Jersey Shore Hospital.

I do have trusted doulas I recommend for other areas near by.