What is a doula?

A doula is a woman who nurtures and cares for the expectant or new mother.  She "mothers the mother" while protecting the special bond between new parents and their child.

A doula does not make decisions for clients or intervene in their clinical care. She does not perform clinical or medical tasks.  Instead, she is there to provide informational and emotional support; to comfort the mother and her partner; and to enhance communication between the mother and medical professionals.  

Women have complex needs during pregnancy, childbirth, and the weeks that follow.  In addition to medical care and the love and companionship provided by their partners, women need consistent, continuous reassurance, comfort, encouragement and respect.  They need individualized care based on their circumstances and preferences.  This specialized care is exactly what a doula offers.

"April was the cornerstone of my labor support team.  She was calm, understanding and loving.  Before labor, she was encouraging and helped to disperse my fears and concerns.  During labor, she was the rock that kept everyone together.  When I told my mom that I had hired a doula, I got the feeling that she thought it was pointless to have one.  After watching April in action during my labor, my mom could not stop singing her praises.  I wish everyone could have April at their side during labor.  She made all the difference.  By the time my son was born, she was basically a member of the family."

Kyla J.

Why hire a doula?

There are many benefits to having a doula attend your birth.  Numerous clinical studies have found that a doula’s presence at birth:

  • tends to result in shorter labors with fewer complications

  • reduces negative feelings about one’s childbirth experience

  • reduces the need for pitocin (a labor-inducing drug), forceps or vacuum extraction and cesareans

  • reduces the mother’s request for pain medication and/or epidurals

 

In addition, research also shows parents who receive doula support:

  • Feel more secure and cared for

  • Are more successful in adapting to new family dynamics

  • Have greater success with breastfeeding

  • Have greater self-confidence

  • Have less postpartum depression

  • Have lower incidence of abuse

I request a retainer fee when you select me as your doula.  This payment, in conjunction with our contract, secures your due date (and the weeks before and after it) in my schedule.  The second payment is due 6 weeks before your due date, and the remaining balance is due 2 weeks before your due date.

Financial ability should never stand in the way of a woman securing labor support.  Should you find my fees cost prohibitive please discuss this with me.  I believe that every woman who wants a doula should have one.  Therefore, I am willing to entertain barter and extended payment plans for those whose only barrier to having a doula is cost.

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