Welcome! If you are an expecting family, then the term "birth" invokes in you an aray of thoughts and emotions. A woman's birth experience is one of the most monumental moments of her life. How she feels about her birth experience will affect how she relates to her spouse, how she feels about herself, and how she mothers. It is a rite of passage that enables and inspires a woman when she has a positive birth experience, but can also have huge ramifications if it is a negative one.
This is why doulas have become so vital to the birth experience. With as many as 1.3 million women (as high as 20%) in the United States suffering Post Partum Depression every year (CDC reported in its 2008 PRAMS research), it is more important than ever to ensure positive birth experiences. Having a doula can decrease the chance for PPD (Trotter et al. 1992). While doctors, midwives, and nurses are medically trained to assist you in your labor, a doula is trained to support you physically and emotionally during this extraordinary moment of your life. It is my honor to support you and your family in your birth.
The word "doula" comes from ancient Greek meaning "a woman who serves" and is now used to refer to a trained and experienced professional who provides continuous physical, emotional, and informational support to a mother before, during, and just after birth. Doulas have filled a huge gap that began to grow during the industrial revolution. Before that time, women used to help their daughters, sisters, and friends through labor and delivery. As countries became more industrialized, families grew apart and were less involved in each others' lives. Hospital policies further separated birthing women from family and friends. As a result, there were fewer and fewer women who knew how to help other women during the birth experience. Today, you can hire a trained birth professional to be by your side during labor. And we have found what a difference this can make.
Studies show doula assisted births have a marked decrease in need for:
- cesarean sections (50% decrease)
- pain medication (60% decrease in epidurals; 30% decrease in narcotics)
- forceps/vacuum assisted vaginal birth (30% decrease)
- pharmaceutical labor augmentation (Pitocin, etc.40% decrease)
There are also studies which show:
- a decrease in the mother's pain
- shorter length of labor (25% shorter)
- less chance of postpartum depression
- babies are more alert and have higher APGAR scores at birth
- increase in mother's satisfaction with their partners
Find a certified doula in your area at www.dona.org