The latest trend in childbirth is hundreds of years old.
WHAT IS A DOULA ?
The word, "doula," comes from the Greek word for the most important female slave or servant in an ancient Greek household. Today the word has come to refer to "a woman experienced in childbirth who provides continuous physical, emotional, and informational support to the mother before, during and just after childbirth."
A doula provides non-medical support and care to a woman and her loved ones during childbirth.
Women's needs are complex during childbirth. In addition to obstetrical care, and the love and companionship provided by loved ones, women need consistent, continuous reassurance, comfort, encouragement and respect. They need individualized care based on their circumstances and preferences. To this end, a doula works with a woman and her family, physicians, midwives and nurses with an aim to enhance communication and understanding.
When a Doula is present, the pressure on the partner is also decreased, allowing participation at the partner's comfort level and increasing the enjoyment of the birth experience.
WHAT ELSE CAN A DOULA DO? Not An Exhaustive List
- offer non medical, non judgemental, non intrusive support
- help you feel and your partner feel more confident
- help you identify and suggest ways to deal with your fears
- dispels myths that are common
- helps offer suggestions to help you achieve an unmedicated birth
- anticipate mom and partners needs in labour and post delivery
- protect your space
- make sure you are staying well nourished and well hydrated and prepare food for you if you are at home
- help or prepare snacks while in your home if needed
- field phone calls and visitors
- extra pair of hands to help carry or retrieve any thing
- offer list of items to take to hospital or additional comfort items for homebirths
- suggest how to use furnishings in your home to help with comfort and progress
- works cooperatively with all members of the health care team and is constant through staff changes and alternating provider schedules
- helps ease the transition from home to hospital
- help you identify needs common to women in labour and postpartum
- massage, acupressure, positioning suggestion, apply heat or cold
- refer to other birth professional and other modalities, eg. chiropractic care, acupuncture, breastfeeding specialists
- verbal encouragement
- suggest tools that may offer comfort in labour eg, heat pack, lip balm, music, massage oil, birth ball, reflex ball, reboz, rolling pin, external focus
- set up pool or fill tub and empty when finished
- help you develop a postpartum plan for support or to ease the transition to parenthood
- breastfeeding support
- telephone and email support
- take pictures
- keep notes to review at a postpartum visit
- reminds you to stay in the moment
- believes in you even if sometimes you don't believe in yourself
- reminds you the need to be flexible
WHAT A DOULA DOES NOT DO!
- Anything medical - including interpreting machines or test results
Speak on your behalf
- Give a second opinion
- With hold anything from you
- Answer for you or your partner
- Make decisions for you
WHY HIRE A DOULA ?
Research has found that women who have one-on-one professional labour support tend to have shorter labours, fewer complications, and healthier newborns. Doulas also help foster a more relaxed postpartum environment as well, and enhance early mother-infant relationships, breastfeeding and family adjustments.
In-home Consultation or Consultation at Meet a Doula Information Night held the third Tuesday of every month at ASAC. 7219-106 street. Enter through the side door and come on down stairs to the ASAC office space.
- provide a comprehensive consult package for you to review
- get know one another, introductions
- learn about the birth experience you desire
- review services and contract
Three Prenatal Visits:
One on One, Birth Preferences - this visit is completed approximately six to eight weeks before your estimated due date.
Location- your home
What we cover during the visit.
- review your birth preference, expectations and worries.
- discuss what to expect during labour, at home, at the hospital or home birth
- answer any questions
- offer resources, lending library, online websites, community resources
Two Prenatal Workshops - May attend in any order and may attend before or after birth preference meeting- Group Setting
Location - Our home teaching space, ASAC, 7219-106 street. Two dates per month are set for group prenatal workshops. You choose the workshops that best suites you and your schedule. Please pre-register
- practical handouts
- discuss and practice comfort measures and pain coping strategies
- breastfeeding information
- baby wearing
- answer any questions
Additional Prenatal Visits* - time line and topics specific to clients preference
Birth - IN ADDITION TO THE ABOVE Workshops
- continuous labour support once our presence is requested either at home or in hospital
- will remain with you until approximately one to two hours after birth
- will assist with immediate breastfeeding support if needed
Post Birth Visit - clients determine when this visit takes place.
- one postnatal visit to review your birth experience.
- additional visits may be added if the support required is within scope of practice.
- CD of any pictures taken at the birth.
- answer any questions or concerns.
- share information on recovery.
We are available by phone or email to answer any questions or concerns that you may have.
- Lending Library
- Digital photos
- Birth Pool - liner and hose additional cost.
Contact us at:
Content copyright ~ Mitzi Gerber ~ All rights reserved