The word “doula” comes from the Greek word meaning “servant” or “Handmaiden” and is used to describe someone who assists a woman through labor. A birth doula is a professionally trained childbirth assistant who sees the mother throughout her pregnancy, labor, and after birth to provide emotional, physical, and informational support. A "Massage Doula" is a licensed massage therapist who has completed pregnancy massage certification and who has also completed training to be a labor assistant.
Does a doula replace my birth partner / spouse?
A doula is there for your partner also, and does not replace their role. My role as your doula is to assist and support you AND your partner in achieving your desired birth goals. I will work very closely with any other members of your support team, as it is your birth and you can have whoever you want present to help you along your journey. Also, my main focus is that of the mother, so even after the birth has taken place, and all eyes are now on the new arrival, I will continue to cater to your immediate needs.
I will be by your side during your entire labor. If a c-section is needed, depending on the hospital, I may or may not be able to join your partner in the O.R. In most cases, I will be able to meet you in recovery and to assist with breastfeeding and ensure you have the bonding time you'd like with your baby.
What if I am having a PLANNED c-section?
Whether you are having a planned or unplanned c-section, a doula can support both you and your partner through this sometimes scary and emotional time. I can explain to you and your partner what to expect and mentally prepare yourself for it, by answering questions or helping you figure out what questions to ask your provider.
Will you come to my house during early labor?
Most moms choose to stay home in early labor, and often as long as possible if planning a hospital birth. I will come to you whenever you feel you need the support. Often times, this is during the active phase of labor, but is ultimately your choice in when you call me.
Do I have to plan a natural / un-medicated labor and delivery to use the services of a Doula?
Absolutely not. A doula is there to support her client's wish, whatever it may be. This is your birth and experience, whatever choice you make, my job is to make it the most positive experience I can for you.
Does a doula perform any medical tasks?
In short, no. While a doula has experience support women during several types of birth situations, we are not trained as nurses, midwives, or doctors and should not be expected to fill in that role. A monotrice, however, is a labor assistant trained and certified in some medical tasks concerning pregnancy and childbirth.
Will you advocate for me?
During your pregnancy and throughout the entire labor and delivery process, and some time after, I will provide you with my knowledge and experience. My goal is to provide you with enough knowledge and information to make a fully informed decision. While I cannot speak FOR you, I will ensure your voice is being heard.
I am planning a hospital birth, how will you work with the hospital staff?
A doula is not there to take the place of the healthcare team. Your primary care providers (Midwife and/or Obstetrician) are responsible for the medical health needs of the mother and baby. I ensure your non-medical needs are also being met. I do not perform any medical or clinical procedures. I can act as a liaison between you and the medical staff, but I do not make decisions for you. Also, I will provide constant care throughout the entire labor and delivery, and for few hours immediately postpartum.
Do doulas only work with midwives?
No, since I am hired privately by you, I work for you no matter if your provider is a doctor or midwife, whether home or hospital birth.
Are you affiliated with DONA, ALACE, CAPPA, ICEA, or any other doula certifying organization?
No, I'm not. Those agencies certify for doula labor/postpartum support only, and do not include prenatal, postpartum, and infant massage, nor are you required to be a massage therapist to take their training. I received training designed specifically for massage therapist wishing to incorporate prenatal massage and labor support together.
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