what i do for you
As your birth doula, I will play many roles: educator, cheerleader, personal trainer, nutritionist, foothold (literally,) secret keeper, and above all, space holder. I believe my role as your birth doula is to provide you with all of the evidence-based, factual knowledge you need to sit back and trust your body to do it's thing. I hold space for you and your partner to explore the beautiful birth of your new family without worrying about navigating the birth world, remembering your birth wishes, or whatever that technique you learned in Lamaze was. Here's a sketch of how our time together can look:
- Prenatal #1: Talk. At this prenatal, around 34-36 weeks, we'll get to know each other, mostly. I'll ask about your pregnancy experience, previous pregnancies and birth, and your wishes, fears, excitements, and worries for this birth. We will also focus on the physiological aspects of birth, as that's where most of the questions lie! A great deal of what helps me work comes from observing you and getting to know you in a way that allows me to show up when you're in labor and jump in, intuitively knowing exactly what you need. You'd never believe how much information I get from this first meeting! Depending on how you're doing, I'll likely show you one or two physical exercises to add to your daily routine.
- Prenatal #2: Do. Birth is sort of like a triathlon you can't possibly prepare for but do your absolute best anyway. I feel the most important physical lessons for birth are calm and endurance. As soon as we begin to work together I will suggest prenatal yoga, squats (Ina May Gaskin says 300 squats a day lead to a quick birth, google her now if you don't know her name; you'll thank me later,) and particular positions that prevent a certain concern (breech positioning, cervical ripening, etc.) By the time we reach this prenatal, I will show you positions for early, active, and pushing stages of labor as well as tailored prenatal positions that can help baby into an optimal position for birth. I time this meeting at 36-37 weeks so that when I leave your home, I am on-call for you every second of every day until you deliver.
- Birth support: After our second prenatal, I will be on call for you 24/7 until our postpartum visit.
- Postpartum visit: "What just happened to my body and what do I do with this creature wriggling on my breast..." is a common phrase (yes, those exact words) during postpartum. Partners want to help, but aren't sure how. At this meeting, we'll talk about your birth and how things went down, moments you remember and moments you don't, that amazing thing your partner did, and how you're feeling now. I'll ask about your bleeding, see how your uterus is, check on how angry or calm your bits are feeling, and how nursing is going (if at all.) Throughout these various chats, I'm giving bits of advice that may make your life easier on diaper changes, healing nipples, swaddling (I'm sort of a master swaddler,) as well as deciphering whether or not I need to refer you to a lactation consultant or postpartum therapist to help work through issues out of my scope of care. After this meeting, if you find you need more care than you anticipated, I'm happy to be available for postpartum care at my hourly postpartum doula rate.