Why a Doula?
Why a Doula?
Doulas provide continuous, non-stop, emotional and physical support to a laboring mom. The work begins prenatally, where doulas help encourage the mother’s-to- be to gather as much information as they can so that they feel informed and empowered to labor and deliver their baby with respect, dignity and support. Because when a woman is informed, empowered and supported, it’s more likely that she will look back on her birth joyfully as one of the most precious and powerful moments of her life. The doula is present at the birth, caring and tending to the mother’s every need. She stays with the mother, however the baby enters this world: vaginally, with or with out an epidural, or for a cesarean birth as well. She is constant support no matter what twists and turns the labor and delivery takes! And believe me, there is nothing more unpredictable than birth! After the arrival of her tiny miracle, she helps the mom and babe establish breast-feeding and supports the mom in any way she needs. About a week or so later, the doula will pay a visit to the new family and discuss the birth and help out in any way she can.
Doulas are not doctors. They are not nurses. They never make decisions for the mother, nor do they force their opinions on what her birth should and shouldn’t look like. They don’t prescribe or administer medicine. They don’t monitor the baby or do vaginal examinations. Their job is not medical.
Doulas do provide the mom with tools to help the mom find her voice. They nurture and coax the body, mind and spirit to stay strong and ride that one more contraction. They wipe her sweat, they hand her a toothbrush, and they comb her hair and get her partner a sandwich. They remind her to drink water and that she is laboring beautifully and gracefully. They encourage the mom that soon she will hold her baby. They are dependable, secret keepers, easy going yet hard working. Doulas are unwavering. They listen. They watch. They encourage the mom to change positions and help remind her of those special positions that will help her body open up and welcome her baby. They help the mom find her mighty breath, her courage and stamina.
Why does the doula do all these wonderful, magical things? When a mom holds the power that comes with knowledge and understanding, she will make informed decisions accordingly as the roadmap of labor and birth unfolds. Studies have shown that having doula present during a birth improves the bond between mother and babe, lessens complications that could lead to a cesarean section, lessens the chance of using pain relieving medications and will improve the outcome that the mom walks away from her labor feeling a positive experience. The best experience!
Doulas are guardians of the birth experience and protectors of the laboring woman’s space. One day we will live in a world where this practice is intentional and the new normal.!
Connie is a certified doula, CD(DONA), through DONA International.
"I underestimated how vital the role of a doula would be until I met Connie and discovered a whole new me midway through my pregnancy. Connie led me through several yoga sessions and on the first one she came to my house and I finally connected with the baby inside. She taught me to breath in tandem and send energy to this new life inside me. The proverbial lightbulb went off and, in the total calmness of Connie's warmth, I allowed the feelings to take over me and I cried and cried. This felt like the first day of my much more conscious and present pregnancy. With her help over the months at staying active and focused, I was truly ready for my birth journey."
"She and my husband literally tag teamed for 20 hours whether it be a foot/hand massage or pressing on my hips every single contraction. She included my husband so well which really made it special for all of us. We were a TEAM. I have actually moved 4 hours from NYC and I really don’t know what I will do if I cannot have her at my next labor. Since this beautiful experience, I have been a true advocate with all my friends and family about labor and about how important having a doula was for me. I don’t know how women go through labor without a doula… a good doula."
"The day arrived and she met us at the hospital. SIX MONTHS pregnant herself, Connie led me through 24 hours of labor. In the early hours, while still social, she pressed me with her magic combination tenderness and confident encouragement. She taught me physical coping exercises and helped me harness emotional depth I wasn't even aware of. Through every single contraction, 3 min apart, for 20 hours her hand was on my back, words in my ear or perfect silent stare. My husband was helpful, but I was not receptive to any advice from him. I could not have done it without her."
"Connie has the natural gift of having a sweet, light-hearted, and warm personality that allows you to open up to her immediately. I approached her early in my pregnancy before much research and she gave me suggestions on which books to read, which classes to take, etc., but also allowed me space to discover my own perspective on pregnancy and childbirth... She offered private yoga sessions and one on one conversations with me and my husband. All of this was phenomenal, but her true value shined on the day of my labor."
"Connie quickly became perfectly in sync with our needs and visions and on the big day, her balance of sweet and no nonsense drive was imperative. Directing our wishes to the hospital staff and checking in with family members ensured that Brian and I remained in the moment, as one. And as the big moment neared, Connies's physical direction and emotional connection to what was happening got me moving and closer to big finale."
"I wanted to labor at home for as long as possible, to avoid interventions in the hospital. She joined me at home just as early labor was ending, and really transformed my experience by offering different positions and solutions to help the labor progress and allow me to open up and embrace each contraction rather than tightening up and fighting them. I was terrified of having a long and epic labor and I truly believe it was her guidance in breathing and moving that allowed my labor to progress the way it did...She guided me through the first breastfeeding latch and offered support in breastfeeding for the weeks to follow. I've always heard that the doula is the best investment you'll make during your pregnancy, and that couldn't ring more true regarding our experience with Connie."