My Doula Roll
As a birth doula, I provide emotional and physical support to a woman during her labor and delivery. I can also facilitate communication with the staff to ensure that you have the information you need to make informed decisions regarding your baby’s birth. I can provide reassurance and perspective to you and your partner, make suggestions for labor progress, and help with relaxation, massage, positioning and other techniques for your comfort. I am independent and self-employed, and as such, am working for YOU, not your caregiver or place of birth.
I will meet with you and your partner at least once (preferably twice) before labor to become acquainted with you; explore and discuss your priorities and any fears or concerns; present evidence-based information on the risks and benefits of common interventions and procedures used during childbirth; discuss your birth plans; and plan how we might best work together. I will also inform you of times when I am unavailable for labor support. To cover those times, I will arrange one or more qualified back-up doulas whom you may also meet. We may also decide on other meetings, and will remain in touch by telephone and/or e-mail communication.
I prefer that you call me when you think you are in labor, even if you do not yet need me. This gives me time to clear my calendar for the next 24 hours and arrange for childcare. I can answer questions and make suggestions over the phone, and we can decide if I should come to you then, or wait for further change. I usually need approximately one hour to get to you from the time you ask me to come. We will also decide where to meet (home or hospital). Except for extraordinary circumstances, I will remain with you throughout your labor and birth.
After the Birth
I usually remain with you for one or two hours after the birth, until you are comfortable and your family is ready for quiet time together. I can also help with initial breastfeeding. I am available to answer questions about the birth or your baby, and I will schedule a follow-up meeting within a few weeks of the birth to visit you and the baby, review the birth, and get feedback from you about my role.