During my second labor, when my doula came to my house, she saw where I was in my labor, and gave me really helpful suggestions. Before her help, I was lost and barely surviving. With her help I had someone who really understood what I was going through and was giving me something practical to help me ride the wave. And in the end, my doula birth was less than half as long as the first. Granted, second babies usually are, but not always, and I could see how her advice directly affected the speed of my labor.
"So what do you do?" Is the common question parents ask me. Well...that depends. From our prenatals I am working on discovering what kind of birth you want, and helping you discover the possibilities so that you can choose from the different choices that are out there. There are three main approaches to childbirth, with lots of gray areas in between. There are those who do not want any pain and want to go straight to the epidural, there are those who want to try laboring naturally but are not sure they will tough out the whole thing, or will tough it out for as long as they can before getting an epidural, and the third are those who absolutely do not want any elective pain medication. Once I am clear where you fall in that spectrum, I will work with how your labor is presenting to help optimize what nature is giving us, adding in what you want, and working within what restrictions your provider is giving. I will also inform you of the pros and cons of each approach.
Going for the epi? You still need support. While you are no longer in pain, you are still in a hospital having a baby. Positioning is still vital to a encouraging a vaginal delivery. As is helping families understand the medical terminology and procedures. Keeping mom calm in labor land is helpful to help limit further complications.In between? I will work with you to help you manage contractions. Position, massage, counter pressure, nourishment, walking, and more.Going au natural? In addition to the above, I will work with you prenatally to help prepare for the mental and physical challenge of giving birth naturally. I am right there, minute by minute, helping you get in it, and through it.
For all families, I will offer prenatal education. Each prenatal session will be geared toward your concerns and I will take the time to answer all of your questions. If I do not have the answer, I will help you find the answer. I will provide a list of suggested questions for your provider to help you discover what page they are on, before you come in in labor. In labor, your partner and I work as a team to make sure you are supported every moment of the way. For a long labor (as most are) this is so critical so your partner can take a break, go to the bathroom, shower...eat! For single moms, I will help you think selectively about who to invite to your labor. I will make sure you feel completely supported.
In a homebirth I do the added work of helping to clean up afterward. For clients who desire to breastfeed, I offer my extensive knowledge and support to help you get off to a great start. While I am not a certified lactation consultant, I have had wonderful success supporting nursing mothers. Thirteen years ago (with the birth of my first child) I started going to La Leche League meetings, talking to other nursing moms, sharing stories, learning and teaching all the time. I breastfed my own two children back to back for a total of four years.
Since that time, as a mother often around other mothers, I have gleaned many pearls of mother wisdom. I continue to read and talk to other moms, doulas and midwives about pregnancy, labor, birth and motherhood. I am always excited to learn more and bring more to my practice. What I do, is bring all my knowledge and love and support of birth and motherhood to you.