BIRTH DOULA

WHAT IS A BIRTH DOULA?

DOULA  (NOUN /ˈDO͞OLƏ/)

​​​A birth doula is a person on a birth team, who is professionally trained to assist a woman during childbirth. This term comes from the ancient Greek and meaning “woman who serves”. Doula support is for women and their families before, during and after a baby’s birth.

 

A BIRTH DOULA:

  • Recognizes birth as a key experience the mother will remember all her life.

  • Understands the physiology of birth and the emotional needs of a woman in labor.

  • Assists the woman in preparing for and carrying out her plans for birth.

  • Stays with the woman throughout the labor.

  • Provides emotional support, physical comfort measures and an objective viewpoint, as well as helping the woman get the information she needs to make informed decisions.

  • Facilitates communication between the laboring woman, her partner and her clinical care providers.

  • Perceives her role as nurturing and protecting the woman’s memory of the birth experience

  • Allows the woman’s partner to participate at their comfort level.

 

WHAT DO THE EXPERTS SAY ABOUT BIRTH DOULAS?

ACOG (American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists) included this statement in their publication: Continuous Labor and Delivery Support

"Published data indicate that one of the most effective tools to improve labor and delivery outcomes is the continuous presence of support personnel, such as a  doula. A Cochrane meta-analysis of 12 trials and more than 15,000 women demonstrated that the presence of continuous one-on-one support during labor and delivery was associated with improved patient satisfaction and a statistically significant reduction in the rate of cesarean delivery. Given that there are no associated measurable harms, this resource is probably underutilized.”

 

Evidence Based Birth says:

When continuous labor support was provided by a birth doula, women experienced a:

  • 31% decrease in the use of Pitocin*

  • 28% decrease in the risk of C-section*

  • 12% increase in the likelihood of a spontaneous vaginal birth*

  • 9% decrease in the use of any medications for pain relief

  • 14% decrease in the risk of newborns being admitted to a special care nursery

  • 34% decrease in the risk of being dissatisfied with the birth experience*

YOUR INVESTMENT

The investment for my birth doula support is between $750 - $1250. I require a non-refundable retainer fee of $250 to reserve your "guess date" on my calendar. The remaining balance will be due by week 36 and can be paid by cash or electronic payment. I currently serve 2 families each month and I am happily serving families in the greater Nashville area. As a “thank you” for your service, I extend a discount for active duty military families. Please do not let finances be a reason not to contact me. I am willing to assess each unique situation and negotiate based on need.

 

What is included?

1. FREE CONSULTATION

Prior to booking me as your doula, we will meet for a free consultation to determine how our personalities will mesh and make sure you will be comfortable with my presence during labor and birth. We can do this in the comfort of your home or at a neutral place like a coffee shop you love.I encourage you to meet with several birth doulas and find the best fit for you and your family.

2. PHONE & EMAIL SUPPORT

After retaining my birth doula services, I am available to you day and night by both phone and email. No question or concern is too silly, and there is no such thing as TMI in my book.

3. PRENATAL VISITS

If you feel I’m the right doula for you, we will meet two to three times prior to your labor so I can become familiar with the details of the birth you wish to have, discuss and work through any concerns, and collect any other relevant details. We will discuss the labor process, ideas for comfort measures, birth plan assistance, watch a short video, and go through a labor rehearsal together.

4. ON-CALL FOR LABOR

I go “on call” for you two weeks before your estimated due date and remain available to you until baby arrives. When you are ready for me to join you, I will provide continuous support, both at home and in your birthing space of choice. I provide comfort measures to assist you with coping, support mom and partner as needed, and reassurance to help you remain empowered. I also offer to snap a pictures during your labor and birth, if desired.

5. BABY’S FIRST FEEDING

I will stay 1-2 hours after your baby’s birth and help you establish breastfeeding, if desired.

6. POSTPARTUM FOLLOW-UP VISIT

After your baby’s birth we will have another visit to discuss your birthing experience, review how baby and parents are adjusting and provide any additional referrals that may be needed.

 

*What is not included?

  • Perform any clinical tasks

    • I am not a doctor or a nurse. I work in a strictly support and comfort capacity.

  • Make decisions for you

    • I will never force you to make a choice or make a choice for you. You are entitled to make the choices you feel are best for your family.

  • Speak to the clinical staff on your behalf

    • I am there to help you find your voice and help you to advocate for yourself. I will not intervene in your interactions with your care providers.

  • Project any of my beliefs onto your experience

    • Parenting is difficult. There is no single set of “right” answers for every family. I will support your choices without judgement, even if they differ from my own. Only you know what will be best for your family and situation.​

PACKAGES

01

BIRTH PACKAGE
$750
  • 'No obligation' initial consultation

  • 2 prenatal visits; additional visits are often included if we start working together earlier in pregnancy

  • Assistance in identifying your "birth principles" and preparing your "birth preferences"

  • Unlimited phone, text, and email support throughout pregnancy and the postpartum period

  • Access to my lending library and proprietary access to my compilation of electronic client resources

  • On-call from two weeks prior to, until two weeks after, your "guess date"

  • Continuous support throughout your labor and birth from the time YOU decide you need me

  • A written time line of the birth

  • Assistance with initial breastfeeding after the birth

  • Support in the immediate postpartum period until Mom, partner, and baby are settled in (usually 1-2 hours)

  • 1 postpartum visits in the home to discuss your birth, answer any questions and admire your new baby (includes breastfeeding support)​

02

BIRTH + WELLNESS PACKAGE
  • All services provided in the Birth Package

  • Plus+

    • Monthly prenatal visits from the beginning of your pregnancy to prepare your body, mind, and partner (if applicable) for the healthiest, most natural birth possible

    • Unlimited phone and email support throughout your pregnancy and postpartum period

    • Assistance choosing appropriate medical care / attendants for your pregnancy and birth goals (if desired)

    • Nutritional guidance for a healthy pregnancy

    • Educational books for preparing for birth and life with a new baby

    • Extended breastfeeding support postpartum based on your needs

    • Referrals to holistic health practitioners specialized in the perinatal year (Holistic Nutritionist, Naturopathic Doctor, Lactation Consultant, Acupuncturists, Chiropractor, Massage Therapist as appropriate)

    • Two private, 1-hr prenatal fitness training sessions

    • Two private, 1-hr postpartum fitness training sessions

$950

03

ENHANCED BIRTH + WELLNESS PACKAGE
$1250
  • All services provided in the Birth + Wellness Package

  • Plus ++

    • Photographs taken during labor and birth, securely edited and delivered at postpartum home visit. ($150 value)

    • Four private, 1-hr prenatal fitness training sessions

    • Four private, 1-hr postpartum fitness training session