CD, CPD, Infant Care Specialist,
Childbirth Educator (ICEA), Joy Navigator
of the Year 2012!
A doula is a nurturing heart, without judgment or agenda, in support of your journey as new parents. The birth and postpartum terrain is often unpredictable and can be made richer and less precarious with an educated resource present. Often couples do not have family in town, and so a doula at the very least is an extra set of hands. A birthing mom ideally should have two loving support people with her during the course of her labor. At the most, a doula, with her calming educated presence can change the course of the birth and postpartum experience.
We are the only birth professionals that witness regularly, both hospital and home births. This is an advantage when having to gage whether a suggested procedure is reasonable or not. It has put my hospital clients at ease when I have shared at times that a midwife would have made the same decision as the OB considering the situation. Your childbirth educator and your doctor, most likely, have never been to a home birth or worked at any other hospital, and hospitals do vary in protocol.
With a doula you are never alone.
I have walked clients into Cedars at 9cm after laboring at home, or I have been hired to support a client wanting an epidural at 4cm but needs support to get to 4cm. I have been hired to attend and support at c-sections. I support and nurture birth whatever the need. With birth and postpartum less is more - and flexibility is key.
PostpartumI work to ensure a smooth transition for the whole family, making sure to be there the first day you are home. I help with breastfeeding, baby carrier instruction, first bath (baby spa), Jaundice patrol and more.
Birth and postpartum are individual, not one size fits all.
I have yet to see a magic bullet proof method that secures a specific outcome for birth or postpartum clients. If someone has a quicker or easier birth it does not mean they were better equipped necessarily, or that their bodies are better than yours. There are many other factors at play with birth. As your doula I help you know and understand who you are in that arena. I've had postpartum clients say, "Why can't I sooth my baby like Dr. Karp? I watched the video and did the reading!" (Happiest Baby on the Block) In part I remind them Dr. Karp is not sleep deprived and has been doing this for years.
My highest hope for clients, over the expected achievement of a preferred outcome or style, is an emotionally intact family above all else. I guide clients to discover their own Happiest Family on the Block and we discover what that means to them.
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