I have worked with some strong mamas and dedicated care providers over the past few years. Each birth is different. Each path is different. I'm proud to stand next to these women as they pass through this incredible rite of passage.
Benefits of Having a Doula
The benefits of having a doula have been well documented. The "gold standard" for clinical studies is called the Randomized Controlled Trial (RCT). This is a specific method which is the most rigorous way of determining whether a cause-effect relation exists between treatment and outcome. Following is the science supporting the decision to have professional labor support at your birth.
Cochrane Collaboration: Continuous Support for Women During Childbirth, 2011 rev 2012
Twenty-one randomized controlled trials (RCT) involving 15,061 women were reviewed in order to assess the effects of continuous, one-to-one intrapartum support compared with usual care.
Women with continuous labor support were:
more likely to have a spontaneous vaginal birth
less likely to report dissatisfaction
less likely to have a cesarean
less likely to have instrumental vaginal birth (forceps, vacuum)
less likely to have a baby with low Apgar scores (immediate assessment of newborn health)
Hodnett ED, Gates S. Hofmeyr GJ, Sakala C, Weston J. Continuous support for women during childbirth. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2011, Issue 2. Art. No.: CD003766. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD003766.pub3. (link)
World Health Organization: Care in Normal Birth, A Practical Guide, 1996
“Reports and randomized controlled trials on support in labour by one single person, a "doula", midwife or a nurse, showed that continuous empathetic and physical support during labour resulted in many benefits, including shorter labour, significantly less medication and epidural analgesia, fewer Apgar scores of <7 and fewer operative deliveries."
Klaus MH, Kennell JH, Robertson SS, Sosa R. Effects of social support during parturition on maternal and infant morbidity. Br Med J 1986; 293:585-587. Hodnett ED, Osborn RW. A randomized trial of the effect of monitrice support during labor: mothers' views two to four weeks postpartum. Birth 1989a; 16:177-183. Hodnett ED, Osborn RW. Effects of intrapartum professional support on childbirth outcomes. Res Nurs Health 1989b; 12:289-297. Hemminki E, Virta AL, Koponen P, Malin M, Kojo-Austin H, Tuimala R. A trial on continuous human support during labor: Feasibility, interventions and mothers' satisfaction. J Psychosom Obstet Gynaecol 1990; 11:239-250. Hofmeyr GJ, Nikodem VC, Wolman WL, Chalmers BE, Kramer T. Companionship to modify the clinical birth environment: effects on progress and perceptions of labour, and breastfeeding. Br J Obstet Gynaecol 1991; 98:756-764. (link)
What You Can Expect
Doulas do not deliver babies, nor do they provide medical/clinical advice of any kind. (See DONA Standards of Practice on the Resources Page). I encourage families to engage in ongoing conversations with their chosen care provider thoughout pregnancy and birth. My goal is to facilitate open communication of evidenced based information.
Doulas do not replace a birthing partner. The life partner is the primary teammate and loved one who will be present long after the excitement of the birth is over, when the late night feedings and the extra laundry begins. A good doula will facilitate that committed partnership by providing tools and suggestions for supporting mom throughout labor. Labors can be long and exhausting for the entire birthing team. It is important that the partner remains nourished and rested for when the baby arrives. A doula can help lighten the load.
I believe true labor support begins long before the birth. I will be there for you by phone and email to help you process all of the information you gather (from doctors, friends, the internet). I can be the person who will never tire of talking about your pregnancy and birth! If your partner is unavailable, I can accompany you to doctor visits. I will be *on-call* day or night once your birth month arrives. Typically, I like to have at least two meetings prior to the birth to make sure I have a good sense of your goals and priorities, and you are clear about what you can expect from me as your doula.
Price of Doula Services
My fee for comprehensive doula services is $300.00. A nonrefundable retainer of $150.00 and a signed contract is required to confirm services. IRS mileage fees may apply based on your choice of birthing location. Discounts are available for students of the Hynes Childbirth Education classes. Checks are accepted (made to Hynes Childbirth Services) or you can use the PayPal button below.
**Please Note, the amounts below include a 3.1% fee which goes directly to PayPal. Thus a $150.00 deposit is shown as $154.65**