Mindful Mothering Doula Services
What is a Doula?
A doula is an expert on childbirth. A doula's only concern is to provide a mother and her partner physical comfort, emotional support and advocacy.
Studies support the necessity and effectiveness of doulas as an important part of the birth team. The most effective way to prevent an unnecessary cesarean is to hire a doula. Doulas reduce the total risk of intervention by 51%.
During pregnancy she provides additional information on nutrition, exercise, medical tests and procedures that your health care provider won't or can't. With this information, and your own research, you will be able to make confident, informed decisions regarding your care. Many mothers recommend their doula even before they give birth because of this special aspect of support.
Self care during pregnancy is important. Hiring a Mindful Mothering Doula is a form of self care. She can help care for you and your household when you need backup. Running errands, light housekeeping, preparing and serving meals, tending to siblings and pets, and helping to provide comfort measures so you can get the rest you need to grow your new baby.
During labour and birth, a doula's steady, calming and reassuring presence can be a blessing to both Mom and her Partner when the partner needs to grab a bite to eat or a bathroom break, or for extra support during the decision making process. Worried you might not remember anything you've learned from those books and classes in the heat of the moment? Relax! Your doula eats, sleeps and breaths that stuff! Unexpected turn of events? Hit a bumpy patch? Relax! Your doula can support you emotionally and physically to help you get back on track. Parents who have doulas attend their birth tend to be happier overall with their birthing experience and make the transition to parenthood more easily. Most parents excitedly rave about their doulas after their birth experience.
During the postpartum period there are even more questions. A doula's personal and professional experience with breastfeeding makes her an excellent resource and she will be able to help you meet your breastfeeding goals. Her practical experience will help you recover faster and more smoothly from the physical and emotional aspects of the birth, and will help you overcome breastfeeding difficulties should they arise. This amazing aspect of doula care is enough to make even experienced parents feel more relaxed and able to enjoy their baby.
Exhausted? Wish you had a fairy godmother to care for you and your baby overnight so you can get more sleep? Overnight Sleep Doula Care is available to help you get the rest you need to be a happier and more patient parent the next day.
What Doulas do NOT do:
Doulas do not perform clinical tasks (i.e. blood pressure, fetal heart checks, vaginal exams etc.). Your doula will not make medical decisions on your behalf. She will help you to get the information necessary to make informed decisions. She will remind you if there is a departure from your birth plan, and will advocate to support your plan if you are unable to.
Your doula is not like a doctor, midwife or nurse. Doulas do not have any paperwork, charting, clinical tasks, lists of jobs to do during her shift, other mothers in her care, or other time consuming responsibilities or distractions that take her away from supporting you in your birth process.
Your doula is not like a nurse. You will know your doula and will have built a trusting, friendly relationship before your birth process begins. You will have hired her because she is a good fit with your personality and your birth plan. Many mothers are in the birth process for 12 hours before it is time to head to the hospital. During this time your doula is able to help keep you calm and more comfortable in your own home. Your nurses will likely be strangers, may be attending multiple women, may not be an expert in natural comfort measures, and must spend considerable time updating your chart. When her shift is over, your nurse will usually go home and a new nurse will be assigned to you. It is common for the birth process to last more than 24 hours, and you may have several shifts of nurses. Your doula doesn't go home after an 8 hour shift. She usually stays with you through the birth process, until your baby is a few hours old.
My Partner (and Mom/Sister/Friend) will be there, so how can a doula help?
Doula's love to be part of a birth team! Studies show that partners are 75% MORE involved in the birth experience in the presence of a doula. Your doula is able to demonstrate the best comfort techniques for the situation, and can take a turn if your partner needs a break. Doulas are also able to quietly co-ordinate the efforts of the birth team to provide you with the most effective and helpful support. You and your birth team will benefit from your doula's extensive knowledge of positions and activities to help labour progress, natural pain relief and coping techniques (and helpful tricks to use if artificial pain relief is needed), and other suggestions that honour your birth plan. During times of confusion, or during the decision making process, your doula's calming and informative presence can be a wonderful help to the birth team, as worried or anxious loved ones actually add to the mother's stress.
Some partners are not comfortable or are unable to be the main source of physical and emotional comfort to the mother. Hiring a doula frees up the partner to participate to the best of their comfort level or availability, while resting assured that you are in good hands.
Mindful Mothering's "Build your Own" Doula Package
The Optimal Birth Plan includes a full 24 hours of prenatal/postpartum Doula Care, more hours are available at additional cost. Payment plans are available to fit every budget.
- two prenatal classes to discuss parents' desires and preparations for birth. The first class focuses on pregnancy, birth, and comfort measures, the second focuses on your birth plan, breastfeeding, and life with baby
- pregnancy/postpartum comfort visits
- attending your birth
- postpartum visits to review birth, provide community resources and assistance in resolving any breastfeeding or comfort issues.
- we are able to help you take care of yourself and your household. Home care such as meal prep, light housework, running errands, prenatal/postpartum yoga, assistance with infant care/sibling care/pets etc so you can rest and bond with your bump or baby, preparing herbal baths, and relaxation massages are all available.
- overnight Sleep Doula care. We take care of you and your family during the night so you can get more rest and have more energy to parent during the day.
- Phone and email support as needed during pregnancy and immediate postpartum
- Assistance in identifying needs and creating a birth plan
- Review of birth plan and comfort techniques
- Doulas will be on-call and available 24/7 to attend your birth
- Continuous support during the birth process at home and/or hospital as needed. Your doula is available anytime, as early as you want. Many parents will tell you how much doula support, before it was time to call the midwife or leave for the hospital, really helped set the tone for the rest of the birth.
- Emotional, physical and informational support during the birth process
- Snapping photos during the birth process, and of the welcoming of the baby
- We usually spend 1-3 hours with you after your birth, until after the first breastfeed or when you feel ready to spend some time alone with your new family.
- One or two postpartum visits (more if needed, additional cost)
- Free Breastfeeding Phone Help during the duration of your breastfeeding experience
- Contact Us today for more information and to book your free consultation.
- Prenatal and Postpartum Doula care is available up to 12 hours per day, and up to 40 hours per week (there is no time limit on Attending your Birth).
Looking for something else?
Special Situations: When a Pregnancy Ends in Loss
Contact us to register with Certified Doulas.