Tag Archives: doula

Why invite me to your birth?

differenceadoulamakesHaving a doula, like me, at your birth, provides many benefits: for mom and baby, and also for Dad/ Family/other loving Birth Partners (people who are supporting you through your birth journey).

If you’re reading this, then you’re at least CONSIDERING inviting a doula to your birth. Let me just say, “GOOD IDEA!”

Women who are attended by doulas at their births tend to have shorter labors, less need for routine AND surgical interventions, have a lessened sense of pain, and report greater satisfaction with their overall birth experience? (Source) My past clients have found great value in my support.

As a birth doula, I provide physical, emotional, and informational support throughout your pregnancy, birthing, and immediate postpartum time.  I am hired by and work for you – not the hospital or care provider.

I am a non-medical support person, and thus don’t perform medical tasks, give medical advice, or speak for you to the medical staff. I do, however, assist you in gathering information to make thoughtful, informed choices surrounding your birth and your baby.

I know you can birth your baby – I trust and believe in you. Through thoughtful planning for your memorable birth,  I will help you believe in yourself. I am there to support you and your chosen Birth Partner(s) every step of the way. I can encourage you to speak for your needs within the birth experience.

Area of Service

I primarily serve families in the Fargo, ND/Moorhead, MN area. I am able to accept clients outside of this area on a limited basis. When traveling more than 30 minutes outside of the area, a travel fee is added to my base fee. When you request a meeting with me, I do ask for information on where you plan to birth, so I can discuss any additional travel fee with you.

So, let’s meet! 

I provide a complimentary 1-Hour Consulation, via phone or over a cup of coffee or tea, to listen to your unique needs for your upcoming birth. With my expertise, I can help you map out a plan for your memorable birth. Contact me today!

In my next post, learn more about what you can expect when you engage a doula to serve you at your birth.

Sincerely,

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Save the Cheerleader…..Save birth?

cheer-poms-hi

Those familiar with the sci-fi series “Heroes” will likely be the first ones to click through and read this post! But, jokes and cki-fi pop culture references aside, a doula is many things to a birthing mom and her support people: Cheerleader is just one. A doula believes in you, and your thoughtful wishes for the birth of your baby. In our prenatal meetings, we will talk about how I can best support you. As I visited with a mom prior to the birth of her third baby (and I was blessed to be at each birth as her doula!), I asked her, “Is there anything that really stands out to you, from your past experiences with me as part of the team, that you wouldn’t want me to forget to do?” Right away, she said, “If we did nothing else, I would want your verbal encouragement.” Having someone that at her core, believes in you, and your SuperAbility to birth your baby, is amazing.

On that note, I found two very encouraging blog posts that crossed my path this week, and I wanted to share them with you!

The first is an intriguing post, written by a registered nurse (RN) who works on the Labor and Delivery floor. She expressed the desire to help the patients she worked with through learning more about positioning and comfort measures — skills and information that were lacking in her training! She discovered that there was already a professional offering these services: a doula! Advantage #428 to having a doula at your birth: A doula is trained in comfort measures to help you through the birthing of your baby, and never leaves your side. The nurse in the blog post (listed below) lamented the fact that, due to shift changes, high patient volume, and (unfortunately) lack of training in comfort measures, she couldn’t support the birthing women in the same way as a doula. Some wonder (nurses and doctors included) if a doula takes the PLACE of the Labor/Delivery nurse, or MD. Not a chance. We have specific and DIFFERENT roles at your birth. Read here: http://taprootdoula.com/2014/11/12/how-doulas-could-save-birth-an-ld-nurses-manifesto/

The next post that caught my eye is one written by a new Dad. http://pregnancy.about.com/od/doula1/a/dads-and-doulas.htm

While originally thinking that a doula would be a ‘third wheel’ during the birth of his first child, he ended up being so “ra-ra doula” that he not only encouraged all dads and other birth partners to DEMAND a doula, but noted that for future births he absolutely didn’t want them to occur without a doula. He highlighted an aspect of doula support that other dads I’ve worked with note as well: Doulas make dad look good.

Each dad is different in the amount of ‘hands-on’ they feel comfortable with providing to mom. I have seen a wide range. Some dads would rather be the ‘drink runner’ and ‘hand holder’. Some are very hesitant in the hospital atmosphere in general. Some would love to do the double-hip squeeze, help with breathing, and many different supportive positions, but, like the dad notes in his post, he inconveniently forgot every. single. thing. he “should” have remembered from childbirth education class. Don’t worry – the doula has your back, and she will help you to participate at your comfort level – while helping to deepen the bond between mom and dad, and the other birth partners present. When I leave the birthing, I usually am leaving lots of love: Mom gazing at baby, Dad gazing at Mom, baby having his first snuggle time and breastfeeding session. Those gazes of love stay with me and encourage me to continue in the important work of being a doula.

Happy Reading!

*Are you looking for a cheerleader for YOUR upcoming birth? I have end of May openings, as well as June and August openings, and into Fall. Let’s have coffee sometime and see if I’d be a good complement to your birth team! Contact me today!  *

 

Doula as Trail Guide…

silhouetteparentsWhen deciding whether or not to hire a doula, some couples question, “Will the specialness of welcoming our baby be, in any way, diminshed by having a doula? Is it better to be ‘just us’?” It is a great question, and a common concern.

Let me just say, I love being the ‘third wheel’. My goal, as a doula, is to have your remember the details of the day in all their wonder, joy, their challenges that you met head-on, with the support of your birth team, which often includes a spouse or partner, sometimes also relatives or other close friends.

With suggestions and guidance from me, I work with the birth partner(s) so they can participate to their comfort level. For some spouses or birth partners, this is very hands-on, knowledgeable help and assistance. For others, who have not witnessed a birth before, my guidance can really help them to ramp up their support.

In most cases, we do truly function as a team. As a doula, I have been to many births, and have extensive knowledge on childbirth, procedures, positions, and more. I want to reassure you and help you understand what’s happening now, and where you’re going.

My husband, who is decidedly pro-doula, and I were trying to come up with a good metaphor to explain the doulas role. We think we hit upon a good one.

A doula is like a trail guide.

trail

She doesn’t walk the trail for you, but she’s walked this trail before — many times, in fact. So, she knows the large tree roots you want to avoid tripping over. She knows that, if the condition of the trail deteriorates in any way at a certain point, there are detours that can be safely taken. She knows the best places to rest, and when its time to forge ahead through a difficult part. She is just as comfortable walking ahead at certain points, but also trusts that you are a born hiker, and she trusts that you’re prepared for this journey.

When you get done with an amazing hike, you remember the hike – you don’t necessarily remember the guide. You rely on the guide’s support and advice, but the journey is what you truly remember forever. At the end of the trail, you might see a beautiful view, sunset, or other point of interest.

At the end of labor, however, you hold your baby in your arms; truly, the best reward…

Why hire a doula? Whether you’ve ‘hiked’ this trail before, or its your first time, a guide can provide valuable insight, advice, and reassurance. The guide, your doula, has gone down this road many times before, and knows just what to do when the going gets rough. A doula can help you arrive at your destination feeling empowered and awesome – and your birth partner can feel this way, too.

So, rather than asking, “Will the doula be kind of a third-wheel to this event?” I encourage you to ask, “How can this amazing journey be enhanced by a guide who has been there before us?”

I trust that you know how to give birth to your baby. I want to be a guide when you need a helping hand, and to be there for each member of your birth team, to have an amazing journey on the day of your child’s birth.

 

World Doula Week: March 22 – 28th

 

World Doula Week - March 22-28  Get Involved! Learn More!

“If a doula was a drug, it would be unethical not to use it.”

– John H. Kennell, doctor and author of several studies investigating the benefits of doulas

It is fitting that my first post is published during this, the week of worldwide celebration of doulas! This week is meant to raise  awareness not only on the subject of who a doula is, what they do (and what they don’t do), but also to empower doulas themselves to celebrate their profession, and ennumerate the benefits they provide to the mothers they work with – benefits which radiate to the other birth partners, and to the wider community!

As a mom, I have always appreciated having a doula present. If I were to list the number one benefit, it would be that of loving neutrality. Does that sound weird? Well, let me explain. Having both had a doula, and providing doula services, I have the unique vantage point of seeing both sides of the coin.

As a doula,  I want what YOU want. I will help you to become educated about your choices, but will never make the choices for you. I will support your choices so that your birth is a thoughtfully considered, empowering experience. When things go even better than you could have hoped, I’ll be there  to celebrate your success and process the experience with you. When things don’t go according to the ideal plan, I will reaffirm your good work, highlighting the positive,  and process the experience with you with open and respectful listening, and, in some cases, a shoulder to cry on.

The doula is guided by loving care, and desiring the best outcome for you. Yet, as in the paragraph above, I am also a neutral party. I am not employed by the hospital, but by you. I provide non-medical support, primarily to the mother, but also receive accolades from dads and other birth partners present, as they felt my support (which is an amazing compliment to me).  I employ my caring heart, but at the same time I can objectively see your progess, personal obstacles, and growth throughout the birth process, and I can respond with helpful suggestions, encouragement, information….whatever is needed that I can provide.

As a doula: this is an amazing gift to GIVE (I can say this with absolute certainty!) – and, having welcomed doulas at each of my births: this is a blessed gift to receive during your birth.

As you celebrate World Doula Week with me, consider visiting my Facebook page and telling me about your positive experience with me as your doula, or with another doula that you chose. You could even interact with the worldwide community in this by using the Twitter tag #WeHadADoula!

Consider using your facebook status once or twice this week to highlight the positive work doulas do. There are far too many women who haven’t heard about doulas!

Can you give birth without a doula? Sure. But, statistically speaking, women with doulas experience

* less pain

* less interventions, such as C-sections

* shorter labors

* greater satisfaction with their births!

 You will remember your birth of your baby for the rest of your life, so….

Check back later in the week for some more facts and inspiration about doulas during this World Doula Week 2015! 

Sincerely serving you in building the culture of life together,

Laura Devick