WHAT IS A BIRTH DOULA?
Birth Doula (DU - la): a trained professional who provides continuous physical, emotional and informational support to a mother before, during and shortly after childbirth to help her achieve the healthiest, most satisfying experience possible.
Shorter labor by an average of 41 minutes (Yes!)
Fewer interventions and medication for pain management (Pitocin, epidurals)
Reduced risk of cesarean by 39%
Increased relaxation and reduced anxiety
Increased movement/efficiency during labor
Better APGAR scores for baby
Increased comfort and reassurance
Greater satisfaction with the birth experience (less trauma, stress)
Improved breastfeeding experience
From the beginning of time, women have helped women navigate the world of birth and the newborn. With enhanced medicine and technology, this age-old tradition has become less common- but not less important. Doulas offer emotional support, physical support, partner support, and evidence-based information to women (and their families) through pregnancy, as they labor and welcome their new baby into their family. Years of research shows the following benefits of having a 3rd party support person at your birth:
*More information about the research stated above can be found at DONA.org and Evidencebasedbirth.com
Some common questions people ask:
I am giving birth at the hospital, aren’t doulas just for “crunchy” mamas?
Doulas are for every mama! Doulas serve clients in hospitals, birth centers and in their homes. In fact, Doulas can be especially effective at hospital births. Often times, hospitals have their own schedules and expectations for your labor. I can help you achieve your birth goals and help you advocate for your needs and preferences.
Don’t doulas just help manage pain? I will have an epidural for that!
Doulas are important- especially if you are having an epidural! While epidurals are an amazing way to manage pain, they can put you at a higher risk for needing more interventions. I can help you find ways to keep your labor progressing, prevent tearing and, ultimately, reduce the risk of further intervention, like a cesarean.
My partner will be with me, do I really need a doula too?
Your partner will always know you better and will be your biggest source of comfort. I want your partner to participate in the birth process as much as they can, after all- they helped make this baby possible! Sometimes they just aren’t sure what you need or how they can help- I can show your partner some techniques to help you manage pain and keep your labor progressing. I can also be a second set of hands to make sure you have all the support you need.
My provider is a midwife- aren’t they basically doulas, too?
Nope! Midwives are midwives and doulas are doulas. We work together but we focus on different things. Midwives are awesome and they are really good at what they do. During your labor, they will focus on everybody’s safety and providing the medical care you need. As your doula, I will work with the midwife to help you have a smooth labor, stay calm, change positions, coach your partner, get your snacks and water, etc.
Hannah is inspired by the beauty of birth and the strength of women. She believes birth has the power to heal and empower- as long as we make space to honor and protect it. Hannah will work with you, your partner, and your medical providers to make sure you have all the information you need to make decisions that align with your values. She will always support the decisions you make for your family- and will work to make sure your preferences are honored. Hannah is trained to keep labor progressing by keeping you moving, getting you into helpful laboring positions, keeping you calm, and helping you manage the pain. Hannah is known for staying calm in stressful situations- she will be the steady hand and the calm voice for you (and your partner).
Click here to learn more about doula packages offered by The Supported Mama.