A birth doula is a trained professional who provides emotional, informational, and physical support for a woman throughout pregnancy and childbirth to help her achieve the healthiest and most satisfying birth experience possible.
This can include
assistance in creating birth preferences
providing evidence-based information to educate the parents on different options available to them
continuous labor support including massage, counter pressure, positioning suggestions, breathing techniques, and other comfort measures
breastfeeding support, and more
Although many peoples associate doulas with home birth, unmedicated birth or other “crunchy” practices, a doula is for every woman, regardless of her birth preferences.
Our doulas are trained to support women throughout the duration of their births, including vaginal births with an epidural, planned cesareans, unmedicated births, VBACs, inductions, breech positioning, births of multiples, and water births. Additionally, our doulas attend births that take place at homes, hospitals, or birth centers, because we believe that our clients are best supported when they are in an environment where they feel safe, comfortable, and well taken care of. All Birch doulas work with a backup doula who you will get to know during one of your prenatal visits, so you can rest assured that you will be well supported by someone you trust.
Studies have shown that women who are attended by doulas have:
- shorter labors with fewer complications
- less negative feelings about their childbirth experience
- a reduced need for pitocin, vacuum/forceps deliveries or cesareans
- fewer requests for pain medications or epidurals (Source: www.dona.org)
A doula can be helpful even when the partner wants to be actively involved. Having a knowledgeable doula present can help to alleviate concerns that many partners have, especially if it is their first birth and they are not exactly sure what to expect. A doula will:
- make suggestions for different positions or massage techniques
- get water or food for the partner so that the mother is never alone
- give the partner a break to contact family, use the restroom, nap, or eat
A doula does not take over the role of a husband or partner, rather, they work together with your partner to complete the support team.
Doulas are a valuable addition to your birth support team
A doula is not a medical professional and cannot give medical advice, perform vaginal exams, blood pressure checks, fetal heart tone checks or any other clinical or medical task. She can, however, provide a mother with the information she needs to make an informed decision. A doula also cannot make decisions on a woman’s behalf or speak to the care provider on her behalf. She will assist in getting the conversation with the care provider started and assist the woman in asking questions to determine the risks and benefits of any choice.
Ready to get started?
Birth Support packages start at $1,150 and can be booked at anytime in your pregnancy. It is recommended that you book your doula during the second trimester to ensure availability. Let us know your preferences and we will help match you with your perfect doula, or come meet with us at one of our “Meet the Doulas” nights!
Looking to provide the gift of support to a friend, family member, or co-worker? Gift certificates can be used toward any of our services! A beautiful, customized certificate can be mailed directly to your recipient, yourself, or picked up locally.