Birth work has been my passion for nearly two decades now. Pregnancy is such an amazing time in a woman’s life — unlike anything else she’ll experience — and I get to be a part of that. It’s a blessing and a privilege. And it’s hard work!
“What exactly does a birth doula do?” you may ask. Here is the answer in a nutshell:
I offer professional support for laboring mothers and their partners, which includes physical comfort, information and ideas (drawn from my knowledge as a childbirth educator and 16 years of experience as a birth doula), and emotional support during labor in any birth setting – hospital, birth center, or home.
Fun fact: the modern usage of the word doula is derived from an ancient Greek word that literally means “a female slave.” It comes from the feminine form of the word that is used in the New Testament of the Bible when Paul refers to himself as a bondservant.
And yes, I’m here to serve you!
In my career, I have worked with new and experienced mothers, natural birth, hydrotherapy, water birth, cesareans (planned, unplanned, emergency), induction, medicated births, vaginal birth of twins, VBAC, VBAmC, mVBAC, preterm birth, high-risk pregnancies and births, mothers over 40, families conceiving with ART and IVF, open adoption, trauma survivors (Childhood, Sexual, Birth), and more.
Since moving to Middle Tennessee in 2011, I’ve attended births at Vanderbilt, Baptist/St. Thomas Midtown, Centennial, Gateway, Blanchfield, Baptist Health Madisonville (KY), NorthCrest, Summit, Hendersonville, Sumner Regional. I’ve supported births at the lovely new Baby+Company Birth Center in Nashville, and will consider traveling to Infinity Birthing Center* and The Farm*. If your chosen birth place is not listed, contact me to confirm that it is within my service area.
*An additional travel charge may apply.
NOW, THE ESSENTIALS
The most common definition of a doula is “a person trained to provide emotional, physical and educational support to the pregnant woman and her support team prenatally and during labor and birth.” The focus is on the pregnant woman yet extends to include her husband, other family members and friends who will be present during the labor and birth. I don’t take their place, I complement it. (Those closest to you are experts on you. I’m an expert on birth. Together, we combine our resources to become the perfect team for you.)
According to current research, “if you have continuous labor support (that is, someone who never leaves your side), you are statistically more likely to have better outcomes and your baby is more likely to have better outcomes!”
How do I accomplish that? What does that continuous support look like? There are a variety of skills an experienced birth doula will use while helping a woman through labor. The list below highlights techniques and tools I use with every client, regardless of the service package they have chosen. I call them the Doula Care Essentials.
Every package includes these basic features of birth support
Medical terminology “translation” into everyday terms
Professional referrals throughout childbearing year (chiropractic, photography, placenta encapsulation, lactation, craniosacral therapy, massage, acupuncture, CPM and CNM midwives, obstetricians, etc)
Insight into local birth options
Assistance in creating a birth plan
Phone and email support throughout pregnancy
On-call availability from 38-42 weeks
Backup doula provided if needed
LABOR AND BIRTH
Unlimited hours of support
Assistance by phone during pre-labor and early labor
Continuous hands-on support at home and/or hospital (beginning in active labor)
Partner support & instruction (including dad, friends, other family members)
Maintaining a positive birthing environment
Non-pharmacological comfort measures
Explanation of risks/benefits of common interventions
Calming touch and massage
Reminders of birthing positions
Access to labor tools such as birth ball and rebozo
Holistic pain relief techniques such as acupressure
Availability of aromatherapy tools
2 hours support immediately after birth
Assistance with initial breastfeeding
Review and processing of your birth experience
Birth notes / timeline when possible
Unlimited text, email, and phone support for 1 month after your birth
Peanut ball positioning for labor
Kaya birthing stool
Optimal Fetal Positioning tips
Birth pool setup for home birth
Christian spiritual support as desired
NEXT, MY CALENDAR AND MY BIRTH DOULA FEES
Now that you know the essentials of what I provide as a birth doula, take a peek at my calendar to see if I’m open for your birth month. (I take up to 4 clients per month.)
Then visit my pricing page to select the package that best fits your needs.
You may also want to visit my reviews page to hear what past clients have to say about my birth doula work.
My FAQ page addresses the most common doula interview questions.
By then you should be ready to request a free consultation where we can meet in person and discuss working together.
My availability calendar is maintained via DoulaMatch.net; however, always confirm with me before assuming that I’m booked for your due date.