I've been honored to be invited to a variety of birthing experiences, beginning in 2009 when I provided prenatal counseling and doula services for a dear friend pregnant with twins, and navigating the various options available for this exciting birth. The moment I stepped into the operating room, I realized that childbirth education and doulas are ESSENTIAL for the simplest to the most medicalized births.
My goal as a labor support doula is to provide evidenced based information to women regarding the myriad of decisions they face during pregnancy, in order to achieve their most satisfactory birth experience. With this information, women must explore at which birthing location and with which team they will feel the most safe.
I believe that enhancing a woman's innate confidence and feeling of safety is the basis for reducing the fear and pain of childbirth.
Doula Certification (DONA International)
I am proud to be certified childbirth doula through DONA International. With the highest certification standards for doulas, DONA is one of the most comprehensive professional communities worldwide. Since 2013, I have provided labor support services to mothers throughout the Grand Strand with the DONA International philosophy of support and education.
Birth in the Hospital
Here in the Grand Strand, Myrtle Beach area, we have several options for hospitals including Loris Hospital, Grand Strand Medical Center, and Conway Hospital. I have been lucky to meet and work with many of the OBs and midwives at these hospitals. Waccamaw Community Hospital in Murrells Inlet obtained accreditation as a "Baby Friendly Hospital", a global initiative by the World Health Organization (WHO) and The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) to improve maternity services for protecting, promoting and supporting breastfeeding. I have been happy to witness these practices benefit both cesarean and unmedicated mothers and babies.
Birth at Home
Homebirth with a midwife is regulated by SCDHEC in the state of South Carolina. For low-risk pregnancies, it can be a safe and peaceful atmosphere in which to give birth. Access to a warm birthing tub is one of the huge benefits of homebirth. Water allows greater mobility and promotes deeper relaxation, therefore reducing pain.
The Grand Strand is lucky to have access to Coastal Birth Services and Nicole Lavallee, a Licensed Midwife with SCDHEC and a Certified Professional Midwife through North American Registry of Midwives, with decades of experience. It has been a privilege to work with her as a client, and as a homebirth colleague.
A quick drive south of Myrtle Beach in North Charleston, is the Lowcountry's only free standing birth center, owned and staffed by certified nurse midwives. This birthing center looks and feels more like a spa getaway, with two private rooms and enormous hot tubs. Located next door to Trident Medical Center, The Charleston Birth Place can be the compromise between a homebirth and a hospital birth. It was a joy for me to work with the midwives at three very special births at this birthing center.