After years of treating women for fertility issues, we grew in awe of the childbirth process and the changes that occur in a woman’s body during pregnancy. We support women from pre-conception to post-partum using acupuncture, herbal medicine, breathwork and guided visualization. Our goal is to fully attune to the mother and her specific needs to support birth as the mother designs it.
Our staff has specific experience with:
- Long labors
- Advanced maternal age (over 40)
- Families conceiving with ART and IVF
- Postpartum mood disorders
What is a doula?
Doula is a Greek word meaning a woman who serves. The doula is there to attune to the mother and meet her spoken and unspoken needs during childbirth. While midwives and obstetricians provide medical support to ensure the physical safety of the mother and baby, doulas provide the nonclinical emotional support needed to have a satisfying birth. Childbirth is more than the act of delivering a baby; it is a rite of passage that involves major emotional hurdles.
The presence of a doula can make the mother feel more confident in her abilities, and ultimately leads to a stronger bond between the mother and baby. In addition, the presence of a doula in the delivery room led to better obstetric outcomes and dramatically less interventions. A 2011 study of 15,000 women found that doula-supported women were 28% less likely to have a Caesarean section, 31% less likely to use Pitocin augmentation and 9% less likely to use pain medication.
A doula has no agenda. She is not there to talk the woman out of pain medications. Her job is to help the woman have a safe and satisfying birth as she defines it. Rather than making decision for the mother, the doula empowers the parents-to-be by helping them gather information to make an informed decision. She acts as an advocate for the woman, and a liaison of communication between the parents-to-be and the hospital staff.
Together the doula and the partner make the perfect support team for the woman. A doula can gauge how involved the partner wishes to be and guide them to get involved within their comfort level. Partners often feel reassured that the pressure to support the mother is not solely on them, and they can more fully enjoy the birth experience.
How does doula support work?
In preparation for the birth, the doula may help design a birth plan, discuss choices in childbirth, comfort measures and coping methods, risks/benefits of various choices and procedures, and discuss post-partum adjustment and expectations. The doula is available through the pregnancy to answer questions that may arise. Once labor begins, the doula provides continuous labor support and may meet the mother at her home or at the hospital, depending on her preference.
The doula provides continuous labor support, and in the case of very long labors, the back-up doula may be called in.
During labor, the doula can suggest comfort measures such as different positions, breathing techniques, cold/hot compresses, warm baths and showers and guided visualization. As questions come up, the doula can offer information and help the couple become aware of all their options. When the going gets tough, the doula can reassure and encourage the mother, guide her through the experience and tell her what to expect next.
Post-partum, the doula will help the baby to secure a latch, and help with breastfeeding.
As your doula, we will provide:
- Phone and email support throughout your pregnancy
- Continuous labor support
- One prenatal preparation visit including but not limited to: help designing a birth plan, discussion of choices in childbirth, comfort measures and coping methods, risks/benefits of various choices and procedures, and discussion of postpartum adjustment and expectations
- Photography/videography as you wish, provided in CD format
- One complementary acupuncture session
- An essay of your birth story
- One postpartum visit to discuss the birth, answer any questions, and provide breastfeeding support
Who would benefit?
Any laboring woman could benefit from doula support, especially first-time mothers, women who aren’t fully comfortable with their providers, women with a spouse or partner attending the birth, victims of sexual abuse, women over 40, and women prone to long labors. Doula support isn’t just for women who want natural births; however we can help you educate yourself about various procedures and interventions.
Call Us Today:
Request an Appointment!
We are open:
6 days a week, with evening and weekend appointments available.