The first consultation is complimentary and is a time for us to decide if we would like to work together. It is very important that we are comfortable with each other. Good chemistry is fundamental for this very personal experience. If you and/or your partner decide that we aren’t a good match, absolutely no worries. I will be happy to provide a list of doulas with whom you might better connect. If we decide to work together, the next step is to set up our first of two prenatal visits.
BEFORE LABOR BEGINS
During our prenatal visits we will explore your knowledge of the birth process and your hopes, dreams and expectations for the birth of your baby. We will discuss any concerns you may have. We will talk about how you cope with pain in general and what your desires are regarding pain management during labor. I will help you get the information necessary to make informed decisions. Together we will create your ideal birth vision.
If you have any particular requests or needs, cultural, religious or otherwise, please make me aware of them so that I can act in your best interest. Plan to show me around your home. This will enable me to care for you with ease during labor. My hope is that as we work together, you will feel empowered, calm and able to confidently make the unique choices that are right for you, your baby and for your family.
I will be available to you by phone, Skype and email. I encourage you to contact me with questions, concerns and updates. As you get closer to your due date we will speak frequently about how you are feeling and what you are experiencing. Three weeks prior to your due date, I will be on call for you 24/7 until your baby arrives.
SUPPORT DURING PREGNANCY AT A GLANCE
- Access to a vast library of pregnancy & birth books & DVDs
- Two prenatal visits, which will include:
- Identification of your priorities for the birth (Birth Vision)
- Discussion of coping techniques
- Discussion of communication strategies
- Discussion of your concerns and provide referrals if necessary
- Phone, Skype & email consultations as needed
- Phone meeting with your care provider if desired
- 24/7 on-call availability from three weeks prior to your due date until you give birth
DURING LABOR AND BIRTH
I can be with you for as little or as much of your labor as you would prefer. You can ask me to come to your home from the very beginning or when previous relaxation techniques aren’t helping as much and a new perspective might be useful. You and your partner may desire privacy or you may wish for more active participation on my part. It is yours to determine what your particular needs will be and I will respect your wishes.
During labor, I will assist you with comfort measures using the birth ball, rebozo, massage and other techniques. I will offer suggestions about relaxation, positioning, hydration and nourishment. I will encourage you to remain calm and flexible.
If you aren't giving birth at home, we will discuss your progress and when leaving for the hospital or birth center is appropriate. You will ultimately make that decision. I will accompany you and continue assisting you as I did at home. Providing continual care and support in transferring from home to your chosen place of birth can be essential for having labor progress smoothly and without stress.
By remaining discreet, helpful and knowledgeable, I strive to create a serene and peaceful environment so that the memories of your baby’s birth unfold as loving and blissful ones. I will unconditionally support you in every choice you make.
SUPPORT DURING LABOR AT A GLANCE
- Continuous support throughout labor at home and/or at the hospital or birth center
- Effective positions for labor and birth
- Physical and emotional support and reassurance
- Comfort measures using the birth ball, rebozo and massage
- Relaxation and visualization
- Ensure that you and your partner stay nourished and hydrated
- Explanation of obstetrical terms and procedures
- Birth photography and/or video upon request
AFTER THE BIRTH
After your baby is born I will stay with you for the delivery of the placenta and any other postpartum procedures. I will help you to initiate breastfeeding if needed. When you are settled with your baby and feel comfortable with my departure, I will leave. Within a couple of weeks postpartum we will meet again to reflect on your feelings about the birth, and address any breastfeeding questions or other issues you may have. I will be available to you by phone, Skype or email anytime postpartum as needed.
SUPPORT POSTPARTUM AT A GLANCE
- Breastfeeding assistance, information and support
- One postpartum visit in your home for birth reflection (including a written narrative)
- Information, references and referrals
I believe my presence at your birth will allow you and your partner (if you have one) to experience the birth of your child in a profound and meaningful way. Whether you give birth completely naturally, or with medical interventions, or by cesarean section, my aim is for it to be a positive experience and one where you feel honored and respected throughout your journey.