Wondering What Doula Support Looks Like?
Many people ask me questions about what doula work really is- if it's only for people wanting a specific lifestyle or specific birth experience. Read on to learn a little more!
In short, no! As a doula, I support births in any location you choose whether it's in a hospital, birth center or at home. In my case, (and that of most doulas) most of the births I attend occur in a hospital setting mainly because 90% of the US population utilizes hospitals for their births. I have also supported birth center and home births in the NOVA, Maryland and DC area and love all these births.
People define natural birth in different ways, but if you are referring to an unmedicated birth or intervention-free birth, then the answer is no! Doulas are for all births. I support medicated and unmedicated births, home and hospital births, vaginal and cesarean births!
I see my role as one that will help enhance your partner/husband's ability to best support you, and never one where I replace your main support person. I believe that having a doula will help your birth partner, whoever it may be, support you in the best way possible.
For many of the families that I work with, I find that the support person was really grateful for having had an experienced doula with them, sharing the space, answering questions that came up in unexpected scenarios, explaining the process and the options. They felt reassured when things got tough and supported when they needed a short break to run to the bathroom or grab a bite to eat. They learned ways to best keep the environment positive and ways to physically give their loved one what they needed.
Doulas provide postpartum support as well! I am a birth and postpartum doula, and I do believe in honoring and respecting the whole experience as a transformative one in the life of a new family. I believe that birth in itself is a powerful, transformative moment for a family, but I also believe that being supported and honored after the birth, in the vulnerable moments of early parenthood, is so important for the new family. Ask me about my postpartum support services!
Yes! I love working with VBAC clients and have served numerous families who were able to achieve their VBACs. I love sharing evidence-based info on the benefits of a VBAC with my clients as well as tips and suggestions on what can best help them prepare for their experience. One of the best tips for a successful VBAC- seek a truly VBAC-supportive provider!
Once you are in your active birthing time and labor is established, I join you where you are most comfortable- if you choose to labor at home longer before you head to your birthing place, I will come to you. If things pick up quickly, or you prefer for me to join you in the place of birth (hospital/birth center), I will join you there.
I try to give my clients a good estimate of which stage of labor they might be in; and based on your birth preferences, we move to the hospital/place of birth at the time that is better for you.
As a childbirth educator and doula, I provide online consultations to all families who may be living outside of the DC Metro Area. For hands-on doula support and in-person childbirth classes, I serve the Northern Virginia, DC and Maryland areas (within a 40 mile radius of my home).
Hospitals and Birth Centers that I have served include: BirthCare, George Washington University Hospital, INOVA Alexandria, Fairfax, Fair Oaks, Loudoun, Premier Birth Center, Shady Grove Adventist Hospital, Stone Springs Hospital with the Loudoun Community Midwives, Reston Hospital, The Family and Health Birth Center in DC, Virginia Hospital Center, and Washington Hospital Center.
I also attend home births in all areas within the DC Metro, DMV area (NoVa, DC, MD). Reach out to me at any time to ask about your location!
When you hire a doula, you are paying for
- the time she has invested in trainings, learning and research
- the time she invests in personalizing and researching your specific concerns
- the knowledge she has accumulated over time with her experiences
- a network of local doulas who share their experiences with your doula
- the time she is on-call for your birth- not knowing when you will go into birth, what time of day or night it will happen, and how long it will last
- a back-up doula who will come through in case of an emergency
- time spent during prenatals, postpartum visits and of course birth support
- unlimited access to her knowledge during pregnancy and the first days of newborn life
Investing in doula support is something you can plan for before you become pregnant! Some clients have chosen to add doula services to their baby registry list, others have looked into using their HSA (Health Savings Account) and FSA Flexible Spending Account) to pay for doula services. Additionally, some health insurances will cover (partially or fully) childbirth education classes- ask your insurance if they offer this coverage.
I sincerely want to help anyone is looking for the help they need. If you want to ask about an extended payment plan or would like to barter services, please don't hesitate to reach out.
Want to explore working with me?
Birth Doula Support, Classes and Consultations to help you navigate this wonderful journey.
Check out these childbirth classes that combine mindfulness, hypnosis, sports psychology and more!