Birth Doula Services
A birth doula is a supportive companion professionally trained to provide physical and emotional support during labor and birth. A doula provides continuous support, beginning during early or active labor, through birth, and for approximately 1 1/2 – 2 hours following the birth. The doula offers help and advice on comfort measures such as breathing, relaxation, movement, positioning, and massage. She also assists families with gathering information about the course of labor and their options. Her most critical role is providing continuous emotional reassurance and comfort. Doulas of Rhode Island Video
Doulas attend hospital births and home births, unmedicated births and medicated births, with women attended by doctors or midwives. Doulas may be the only support person for the mother, or may be part of a labor support team including the baby’s father, mom’s partner, friend(s), and/or family members.
Doulas specialize in non-medical skills, and do not perform clinical tasks, or diagnose medical conditions. Doulas do not make decisions for their clients. Our goal is to provide the support and information needed to help the birthing mother have a satisfying birth as defined by the mother.
Studies have shown dramatic enhancement of overall birth satisfaction when a doula is present. Articles on the Benefits of a Doula Present at the Birth of a Child in Pediatrics the journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics.
A doula’s tools include praise, reassurance, encouragement, active listening; I will support your choices and work to protect your memory of your birth experience.
- One (1) – two (2) prenatal visit(s) – more as needed
- Guidance in composing your birth wishes
- Referrals to evidence-based information on areas of labor, birth and postpartum
- Phone support and consultations: 8 am – 8 pm, if you are not yet in labor, anytime if you are in labor
- 24 hours/7 days a week on-call service for 2 weeks prior and 2 weeks following your estimated date of delivery (I will still be available to attend your birth if outside of this window)
- Continuous labor support until after the birth
- Photography or DVD recording during the birth if desired and as permitted by facility/provider
- One (1) one-hour postpartum visit
- Back-up coverage provided
- References and resource referrals
- Breastfeeding education and guidance in the first hours after birth
Before birth, we will meet one to two times, (or more) depending on your needs, to get acquainted and to define your hopes and birth preferences. While I do not give medical advice, I can guide you to research and resources and help educate you about your options, both holistic and medical, for the discomforts of pregnancy and labor. I will support you in whatever decisions you make.
Building trust within your own body and with me is important and valuable during this time. I believe that the more you know prenatally about possible choices you may encounter during labor, the better you’ll be able to decide if confronted with those interventions.
I always work with a partner doula for back up; you may meet her prenatally if you would like or you may suggest a back up doula. In addition, I can accompany you on a prenatal visit to your healthcare provider, if you wish. When you go into labor, please call me anytime, night or day. Whether it’s 3:00 am or 3:00 pm, I am at your service.
During early labor, we will be in frequent contact on the phone. When you feel you need me to be there, you will let me know and I commit to being there within two hours, but generally can get to you within one hour. I can work with you in your home before transferring to the hospital; I can meet you at the hospital or participate in a midwife-assisted home birth.
I will be with you continuously throughout your labor and birth and will use my knowledge and experience to provide you with physical comfort and emotional support. Your needs will be my single focus while you labor and birth. You can have what you need, when you need it, with no guilt or hesitation about asking.
The inclusion of family members, dads, partners, grandparents, can have a powerful impact on the birth experience. I believe in supporting whomever you have invited to attend your birth while they support you without ever taking over their position. There is a special bond between a mom and those supporting her during the birth of her child. I will respect your relationships and I will help you have the birth you envision, honoring your choices, while also being mindful of the inherent necessity of flexibility during birth.
After your baby is born, I will stay until you are comfortable and your family seems ready for quiet time together. I will help with the initial breastfeeding as needed. Generally, I will be with you for about one to two hours following delivery.
Within the week after your birth, we will schedule our postpartum meeting. At that visit, I can answer questions, check on your well-being and enjoy your baby. We will also talk about your labor and birth and your feelings about your experience, I can help to clarify events that took place and receive feedback from you about my role as your doula.
I write a birth story and will bring it to this visit, and if you’ve chosen for me to take pictures, I will share these at our postpartum visit.