We will usually have 2 prenatal visits-after the initial meeting, I’ll meet with you and your partner usually twice before labor. The in-depth prenatal visits are where we’ll explore and discuss your preferences, priorities, and concerns about labor. This is an essential meeting as it allows me to really hear what you are needing now, through the remainder of your pregnancy and during your birth. My goal is not to get you to conform to my philosophy of birth, but to hear what you are needing/hoping to achieve. We’ll discuss expectations and roles in labor and determine how we might best acheive your goals together. We may decide to plan additional meetings before labor. If not, we will remain in touch by telephone in the last few weeks of your pregnancy.
I’ll provide you with personalized informational support as you need it. This might include explanations of medical terms or procedures, providing research findings for evidence-based care, helping you determine your preferences and priorities and walking you through the process of making informed choices and connecting you with community resources that fit your needs.
You’ll receive one 60-75 minute prenatal massage in my home massage studio. This is where it all started for me as I have been a massage therapist for over 20 years. It is here that I can give you unique and special attention whether it is helping you find some relief from the common discomforts of pregnancy or using this time for deep relaxation and or just for us to get to know each other a little better.
You will have access to my library and borrowing privileges of books, videos and DVD’s. (I just ask that all items must be returned by the postpartum visit.)
You’ll receive 20% off Confident Birthing Childbirth Class (7 week series only). We will take this discount off the retainer if you are already enrolled in class.
If you are having a home birth, my portable birth tub is available to you for a minimal rental fee of $50.00 and the cost of the liner ($38.00-which you will order).
From the time you have retained my services, I am available during business hours to answer questions or help you process information or options. We will also stay in contact-via email or phone, touching base from 37 weeks until your labor begins so that I can be aware of any changes or challenges you are having as you near your birth.
I will sometimes attend appointments with your care providers with you if needed (examples of appropriate times to accompany you would be to meet your care providers if I am unfamiliar to/with them, if you have a special circumstances visit such as your partner is unavailable and you have an issue with your pregnancy, or have scheduled a procedure and would like support.)
I am officially “on call” for your birth from your 37th week and will provide 24 hour phone support from this time to 1 week postpartum (for questions regarding your labor or immediate postpartum experience)
I will be your continuous support through your birth. In early labor, I am available to you by phone and will make suggestions as needed, give you perspective, reassurance and support. Once we have determined your labor is active, I will usually come to your home and help you labor in the comfort of your own space and, together, we’ll determine when is the best time to go to your birth location or call the midwives to come to you.
While with you, depending on your needs, and how your labor is progressing, I might assist you in some or all of the following ways:
- Working always to attend and honor you both, I will move in and out of the space of the couple as necessary and help your partner be your primary source of strength and support in the manner the two of you have chosen…within that framework…
- I might offer massage or comforting touch, find ways to help you release tension, use a variety of comfort measures that might allow you to labor with more ease and comfort.
- I might suggest movements or positions to help your labor progress, or ways to help you understand and trust the process.
- I’ll help attend to your well-being -encouraging you to eat and drink and rest as much as possible.
- I’ll offer you my experience and perspective.
- Throughout your labor, I can help you understand all your options so you can make an informed choice for yourself.
- If necessary, I will facilitate communication with your care-providers and help you remain with your original preferences or adapt as you need.
- I will help your partner to hold and protect the space of your birth and your brand new family by modeling a calm and positive tone throughout.
- I will document and save the memory of your birth through photography (as much as possible). All of the birth photos on this site (except the ones I am in) were taken by me.
When your baby is born I will remain with you usually between 1 and 2 hours (or longer if necessary). I will help your family facilitate the essential skin-to-skin contact and support the organic initiation of breastfeeding as you need. I will stay with you until you are comfortable and ready for quiet time together as a family and I will help you to protect these special first moments which cannot be reproduced.
I remain “on-call” for you in the first postpartum week should you need support with breastfeeding or have recovery concerns.
We’ll communicate over the phone within the first days of your birth and I will visit you (usually between day 2 and 4) to check on your breastfeeding progress and to support your early parenting needs such as sleeping, nourishment, and early newborn care.
Usually within 1-3 weeks postpartum I will return to your home for a visit to review, process and celebrate your birth.
It is my goal to provide you with photos of your birth. This is typically how I document your birth. Photos, while a much loved item of my services, are dependent on how fast your birth goes and how reasonable it is for me to continue with photos throughout the birth and the condition of my equipment.
I will provide additional community resources and referrals as you may need them over the 6 weeks postpartum. I can be reached by phone or telephone during business hours for non-emergent concerns.
When you are ready to leave your baby for an hour or so, you may come to my home studio for a 1-hour postpartum massage and receive 20 % off my hourly fee.
As your doula, I DO NOT:
- Replace your partner. I am there to support you both and help your partner help you according to your preferences. This is something I am deeply committed to and is the consistent comment/compliment of my services among husbands and partners.
- Perform clinical tasks, such as fetal heart monitoring, cervical/vaginal exams, blood pressure checks, or the like. I abide by the DONA International Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics and provide physical and emotional comfort, informational support, labor progress suggestions (positions) and advocacy in a non-clinical role.
- Make decisions for you. I will help you get the information necessary to make an informed decision and remind you if there is a departure from your stated preferences. I will clarify your priorities with you and support you in your communications with your health care providers so you may make informed choices.
- Speak to the staff instead of you regarding matters where decisions are being made. I will discuss your concerns with you and help you clarify your needs, and I will facilitate communication between you and your care providers, but whenever possible, you or your partner will speak on your behalf to the clinical staff.
For more information about my birth doula services, contact me.