“ What an amazing day that was, and what an amazing journey it has been since then! I am so grateful for your help in making Joey's birth one of the most incredible moments in my life! ”

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Supported Birth Doula Services

Supported Birth offers sliding scale Doula services, based on the doula's experience and specialized skills (massage, acupuncture, acupressure, hypnobirth, VBAC, etc). A list of currently active doulas is given out in class, along with resources for doulas from other organizations. Prices range from $250 - $2400.

• What is a doula?

A professional labor support companion ("doula") is a woman who remains with you and your partner during labor and birth, and is trained to provide continuous emotional and physical support during active labor as needed: massage, birthing positions, natural ways of helping labor progress, a calm and reassuring presence, advocacy for your wishes in the hospital setting, help with decisions, initial breast feeding guidance, and more. She does not have an "agenda" for your birth. She is there to accompany you on your journey, assisting in the unforeseeable ways that will best empower YOU as an individual and as a couple. She is not a replacement for your partner, rather she is an experienced, reassuring presence for both of you.

A postpartum doula is a woman specializing in helping new moms after birth at home. She has knowledge in baby care, breastfeeding, mom's psychological changes, etc. A list of postpartum doulas is given out in class or available upon request.

• Doesn't this make my husband feel inadequate or not good enough to help me through labor? Won't having another person there detract from our intimacy? What if she "takes over"?

Throughout history women have always attended other women during birth. When husbands are expected to anticipate and fulfill their partner's intense needs throughout labor, they may feel anxious and overwhelmed. Most fathers are immensely relieved to have an experienced support person with them. One father said "It was like I had been given a map [in class] of Laborland, but once Kathy was there, I realized that I'd never been there. The doula had been there - she knew the language and the way."

Studies show that couples feel an increase in intimacy when the pressure on the father is removed and he is free to experience the birth of his child. A good doula is sensitive to the couples' relationship and understands that her role is to empower rather than to take charge.

• How can I trust a stranger? I don't want an outsider at my birth.

When you meet and talk to several doulas, you will hopefully find someone with whom you feel comfortable. True, you don't have long history between you, but in labor it is very normal for women to let down their guard and rely on others who are there for them.

• How do the hospitals view this?

Nurses are generally very grateful for the continuous support to laboring women that they no longer have the time or resources to offer. As long as they do not feel threatened or challenged, hospital staff are positive toward the added presence. Mutual respect is key.

• What if I want pain medication?

Supported Birth doulas are objective and nonjudgmental about how labor unfolds. She is there to empower you in the conscious choices you may need to make. This is your personal journey, and whatever you choose is right for you.

Supported Birth welcomes your questions

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