The Doula’s Role
We’re here to help you have the birth you desire and deserve
Having a doula at your birth can make an incredible positive difference. Felicia has assisted over 1100 families as a birth doula during their labors and births since 1998 and continues to make that difference for women and families on a weekly basis.
Doulas are trained and experienced in childbirth. The doula’s role is to provide physical, emotional and informational support to mothers and their partners during labor and birth. The doula offers help and advice on comfort measures such as breathing, relaxation, movement and positioning. Doulas may utilize massage, music, aromatherapy, visualization, breathing, and tips on positioning. She also assists families to gather information about the course of their labor and their options. Perhaps the most crucial role of the doula is providing continuous emotional support and reassurance. As a doula trainer Felicia has seen many wonderful and passionate women cross into doula work. She is positive that you do not need to have given birth yourself to be an effective and experienced doula.
Research has shown that women who had doulas reported:
- Breastfeeding more successful
- More maternal infant interaction
- Less postpartum depression, anxiety and low self esteem
- Perceives her baby to be above the standard baby
- Overall more satisfaction with her birth experience
Studies have shown that having a doula present with a woman in labor can:
- 28% less likely to have a cesarean section
- 31% less likely to use synthetic oxytocin to speed up labor
- 9% less likely to use any paid medication
- 34% less likely to rate their childbirth experience negatively
Doulas are the embodiment of women at work. Through the force of our training, commitment to women, and our personalities, we are granted access into one of the most intimate and heightened moments in a woman’s life: that of giving birth. A doula’s job is to provide unending emotional and physical support (often literally holding up a mother as she labors) while negotiating the rocky terrain of hospital policy, family wishes and medical circumstances that surround birth. We’re committed to helping a woman have her needs met. We work hard intellectually as well as physically; and each time we begin our work, an amazing, passionate and fascinating story is just waiting to be told.
A woman in labor is highly vulnerable. Her most private body parts are exposed. She may sweat, tremble, moan or cry out while amongst strangers, she is often in an unfamiliar environment. If she is nurtured, treated with kindness and respect and feels like a participant, the positive impact is permanent. If she is treated without respect, if her efforts to maintain dignity and control are rebuffed that too can have a lifelong impact.
My goal is to help you have the birth you desire and deserve. I truly believe along with many other women that having a doula at my birth made an incredible positive difference. I believe the same can be true for you. I’d love to talk with you and answer any questions you may have. Please feel free to e-mail or call!
As a Doula I will:
- Assist the mother and her partner/husband in preparing for and carrying out their plans for the birth.
- Recognize the mother’s goal of giving birth as she defines it.
- Provide constant presence, encouragement and informational support throughout the entire labor and birth.
- Provide emotional support, physical comfort measures, and an objective viewpoint to help the mother get the information she needs to make good decisions.
- Ensure the partner/husband always remains the #1 in support and will be able to participate and be assisted and supported by the Doula as necessary and desired.
As a Doula I will not:
- Discourage the mother from her choices. I will always respect & facilitate those choices. I do not have my own agenda. It’s your birth.
- I do not perform medical tasks such as fetal heart monitoring or vaginal exams
- I cannot make decisions for you. I will help you in getting the information from your midwife/doctor and nurses so that you will be able to make informed decisions.
- I will always provide guidance and support in helping you to achieve the birth you desire and that unfolds in your labor. It is not my way to create confrontation or hostility with any of your care providers. It is with much respect and creativity that we get you what you want and need and to assure that you are seen and heard.