What is a doula?
When I tell people I’m a doula, I sometimes get a strange look followed by, “a Do-what??” A doula provides emotional, physical, and informational support to a woman and her family during pregnancy and childbirth. Doulas are usually formally trained, and are well-informed on the physiological and emotional aspects of childbirth, as well as childbirth options available in the local area.
Maria, what is *your* training? Are you certified?
Yes, I am a certified doula! In fact not only am I certified, I have developed and co-authored a national certification program so I am both trained and train others. For more info on Birth Boot Camp DOULA, check out: http://birthbootcamp.com/ I also have a MA and BA in Political Science. Does that make you laugh? It certainly makes me chuckle a bit, but I have found my degrees to be an asset for my role as a doula. I didn't always love my statistics classes in school, but now I love the fact that I can understand all the latest research about evidenced based practices in pregnancy, childbirth and early infancy. I also actively pursue continuing education oppurtunities, lead a VBAC/cesarean support group and founded Dallas Birth Network, a non profit devoted to improving maternity care for all women.
When should I hire a doula? Are you booked for my EDD?
The sooner you hire your doula the sooner you and she can start working together to reach your goals for delivery. I have been hired as early as when a mom gets a positive pregnancy test to as late as someone calling me in early labor. I am currently only taking 3 clients each month so if you are interested in my services, I do suggest calling sooner rather than later. If I am full the month of your EDD I can provide referrals to other doulas who might be a good match. .
Labor and Delivery nurses are a wonderful resource, however nurses have many other tasks that limit the amount of time they have to spend taking care of mom's physical and emotional needs. On the other hand, a doula's primary focus is on the laboring couple. Her continuous care allows her to respond quickly, make recommendations and provide immediate emotional and physical support as labor unfolds. I wrote a blog post on doulas and nurses, check it out: http://birthbootcamp.com/doula-myth-i-dont-need-a-doula-my-nurse-will-help-me/
Do doulas only attend homebirths or drug-free births? Do you attend all types of births?
Doulas are trained to support women and their partners through a variety of birthing situations and outcomes. Whether you birth at home, a birth center, or a hospital - with or without drugs - doulas are there to support you. Even women planning on a c-section can benefit from the services of a doula. To give you an idea of a typical year, last year 87% of the births I attended took place in a hospital. (91% of my clients had vaginal deliveries...compare that to TX state average of a 37% C-section rate!) I am very comfortable with all kinds of birth plans.
Not at all. Many fathers and partners often feel reassured and comforted by the presence of an educated supporter. Doulas enhance the birth experience for everyone involved, fathers included. I love dads!
Having a doula at your birth...
Research shows parents who receive doula support are more successful in adapting to new family dynamics and have greater success with breastfeeding. While hiring a doula doesn’t guarantee a perfect birth, the benefits are clear!
Serving families in Dallas, Ft. Worth, Denton, Frisco, Plano, Keller, Southlake. Coppell, Lewisville, Irving, McKinney, The Colony, Hurst and surrounding areas.