As a doula I will provide you and/or your family professional, non-judgmental support and encouragement from pregnancy through postpartum. I will teach the birthing parent(s) valuable breathing techniques, birthing positions, and comfort measures, as well as, providing emotional encouragement and evidence based information regarding pregnancy and childbirth so that the birthing parent(s) can make the best decision for you and your family. I help advocate when and if the time comes for these decisions to help you have the most empowering birthing experience.
As a doula I also help lessen the chances of unnecessary medical interventions and/or unnecessary medication which in turn lessens the chance of needing a cesarean. I can help shorten labor and increase chances of a spontaneous vaginal birth which can decrease the baby’s risk of complications that could possibly send them to the NICU. With a doula babies tend to have a higher APGAR score and are more likely to breastfeed successfully for at least 6 weeks (and hopefully more).
All of this plus more, I am happy to discuss in a free consultation, sets you up for a more positive birthing experience you will be happy to remember.
First think of the type of doula you would want to attend your birth, what kind of energy would you like them to bring to the experience, what type of tools do you wish them to have, what kind of involvement do you want them to have – would you like them in the background to step in from time to time when needed or would you like a full hands on helping every single step of the way. Once you have discovered these items you can then move into finding your perfect doula by reading their websites, talking to their past clients, and then scheduling a one on one meeting with them to review your birth plan with you and decide if they are the best fit for your birth support.
Having a doula that is a perfect fit for the birthing parent(s) is just as important as the whole pregnancy and birthing process. Interview many doulas, get references from their past clients, schedule time to meet with your potential doula one on one, review your birth plan with them to make sure they will support your choices, check to make sure your doula isn’t overbooked, make sure your doula has a backup doula for unforeseen circumstances where they might not be able to attend, does your doula offer virtual support if your birthing place doesn’t allow them to be with you in person.
You should hire a doula as early as possible to make sure you get the doula you want booked. Doula can get very busy so to ensure you get the perfect doula for you. It also takes time to interview different doulas so the earlier you start the process the better. At the latest you can book your doula at 20 weeks. However don’t let this scare you away if you are past 20 weeks and have not found a doula or just decided you want a doula. The perfect doula for you may still be out there!
First time birth?
Are you planning a home birth?
Are you planning a hospital birth?
Are you planning a birthing center birth?
Do you plan to have a doula present with you?
How much time do you have to commit to a birthing class?
Absolutely! Even if you are considering or have already decided on getting an epidural or using nitrogen oxide a doula can still be a very valuable asset to have during labor and delivery. A doula can help you get into a good position for baby to continue moving down, helping to reduce the possibility of a caesarean, they help with emotional support, physical support, and can give your partner a rest or food break for those extra long labors.
Doula’s can be beneficial in all labor and birthing situations! As a doula supporting a mom and/or partner through a planned or emergency c-section it is my job to supply you with emotional support and information about the procedure, the choices you still have, and what to expect during and after the c-section. I’m there to support you emotional and physically after the delivery as well. For the cases of emergency sections, I’m there leading up to the the c-section encouraging you and helping you by giving you evidence based information on the situation so that you can make the best decisions for you and your family.
In the state of Maryland for most hospitals and birthing centers, only one support person is allowed with the birthing mother at this time. What does that mean? It means you have the option of your partner, family member or a doula to attend the birth with you, but only one. However Sinai Hospital in Baltimore, MD is currently allowing a partner plus a certified support person, aka a doula. Other options if your birth place is not allowing doula’s to be physically present is a virtual doula. Offering virtual support as a doula I’m there when you need me. I can come to your home during early labor and help you management your contractions in the comfort of your home until it’s time to head to your birth place, you can video call me via FaceTime or Zoom once you arrive at the hospital, you can call, and you can text. I’m on call for your needs whatever that may look like. To stay up to date on which birthing locations allow in the state of Maryland are allowing a partner AND a doula click here.
That depends on your plan. The best way to know if contact your insurance provider and ask if the cost of doula services is covered under your plan. Also check out this website for detailed information on how to file a claim:
A birth doula is a professional, non-judgmental birth supporter that encourages and supports the birthing mother and/or the partner. As a birth doula I teach the mother breathing techniques, birthing positions, as well as providing comfort measures during pregnancy, labor, and delivery. I also provide emotional encouragement and give mother’s and/or their family evidence based information about pregnancy and childbirth so that they can make the best decisions for them and their family AND I will help advocate for those decisions if and when the time comes. Most importantly I am on call for the family to answer any questions they may have or to simply provide emotional support and reassurance, as well as being there physically to support the family in all of these ways.
The short and sweet answer: A midwife catches babies, a doula does NOT catch babies.
The longer answer: A midwife has medical training and is in attendance at a birth to help deliver the baby safely and to keep the mother safe. A doula is there to support the birthing mother and help coach her through how to labor and how to deliver, providing continuous support physically and emotional throughout the whole process.
A doula is there to support the birthing mother and also the partner. As a doula I am there to encourage the partner that they are doing great and giving them tips to support you. I allow them a chance to eat, sleep, go to the restroom, step out to speak to a nurse or doctor. What I don’t do is step in and replace your partner. I am not there to push them to the side and take over. I’m there working with your partner and helping you both through this incredible experience.
As a doula I provide emotional and physical support before, during and after the birth of your child. I give you evidence based information on pregnancy, labor and delivery so that you can make the most informed decisions possible, and help advocate those decisions when or if the time comes. I help with comfort measures during pregnancy, labor and delivery, from going on walks with you to hip squeezes to helping you get into the ideal position for pushing. I’m there to tell you what an amazing job you are doing and to be as hands on or hands off as you need me to be. I take your lead and if you don’t have a lead I gently guide you through labor and delivery, sticking to your birth plan as much as is possible. And speaking of birth plans I can also help you write your birth plan, and making sure you are as prepared as is possible for your baby’s birth-day.
After baby has arrived I hang around until you are ready for me to go. If you need assistance with nursing I can help, if you need help with holding baby I can help, if you need me to stick around until you feel comfortable I will. If you want to be left alone to bond and relax as a new family I will leave. After you come home from your birthing place I will schedule a postpartum appointment with you and can either meet you in your home or via Zoom to discuss your birth, answer any questions you may have about the newborn stage or about your labor and delivery, listen to your birth story, and help with nursing if needed.
I do NOT catch babies! I leave that to the medical professional whether that be your OB or your midwife. I do not tell your medical team what you want or speak on your behalf. I do not contradict what your medical team is advising you or work against your medical team in any way. I do NOT give medical advice OR perform any medical procedures including but not limited to cervical exams, blood pressure checks, temperature checks, heart rate checks on you or baby, administering any type of medication herbal or otherwise.
Having a doula benefits not only the mother but also the baby. As a doula I help lessen the chances of medical interventions, such as the use of forceps or vacuum, and/or lessen the need for unnecessary medication which in turn lessens the chance of having a cesarean. Having a doula can help shorten labors and increase the chances of a spontaneous vaginal birth and decrease the baby’s risk of complications that could possibly send baby to the NICU. With a doula, babies also tend to have a higher AGAR score and are more likely to be successfully breastfed for at least up to 6 weeks, having all of these things and more gives mom and baby a more positive birthing experience to remember.
No! Doulas are for every birthing mother. For mother’s that are as crunchy as crunchy comes and for mother’s that are as far from crunchy as one can be and for any mother in between. Doulas are for the birthing mother, EVERY birthing mother.
There are many paths to take to become a doula. You can apprentice under other doulas, you can take courses and become certified from organizations such as DONA, International Doula Institute, or even a local agency in your home town.
The word “doula” comes from ancient Greek, meaning “a woman who serves.” Today, “doula” refers to a professional trained to provide emotional, physical and informational support to women throughout their pregnancy, birth and the early postpartum period.
I travel within an hour radius of Baltimore City. If you are located outside of this radius and cannot find a doula to fit your needs or would really like to work with me please reach out to further discuss the possibility of having me join your birthing team.
*As for virtual doula client’s no amount of mileage is too far as long as the world wide web can reach you!