what is your philosophy about birth and supporting women and their partners in labor?
Birth is a normal physiological process. Most of the time, it does not require medical intervention. I think that a woman who is educated, encouraged and well prepared, is empowered to trust in her ability to birth and will know what just what to do. My role is to educate my clients so that they are able to make decisions that allow them to experience their best birth. I serve to hold space and allow the woman and their partners to do whatever they desire and need to birth the baby, gently guiding them only when they need guidance.
What Training have you had?
I trained as a birth doula at DONA approved Bini Birth, with the most amazing instructor and mentor Ana Paula Markel, in October of 2013.
I also have a MS in Nursing, and am a Registered Nurse. As a doula, I only perform skills that are in the scope of practice of doula training, and therefore do not perform medical assessments or interventions on my clients. The MSN does provide me with invaluable knowledge about the physiology of birth, and allows me to connect to the medical world at a deeper level, which can come handy when the client is expecting a hospital birth.
Do you have a backup doula in case you are not AVAILABLE? Can we meet her?
As birth is highly unpredictable, having a back up doula is essential. I try to average no more than one birth per week, to increase my chances of attending all my clients births. If there is a chance that births may overlap, or that I may be out of town (this is always scheduled in advance, and you would always know about it upon hiring me for my services), I have several back-up doulas I work with. If there is a possibility of a back-up doula attending your birth, and/or per your request, it would be my pleasure to schedule a meeting session.
wHAT IS YOUR FEE? WHAT DOES IT INCLUDE? WHAT IS YOUR REFUND POLICY?
Please refer to the webpage section titled "Doula Packages."
wHAT DOES IT MEAN WHEN YOU SAY YOU ARE "ON CALL"? AND WHEN CAN WE EXPECT YOU TO BE ON CALL FOR US?
I go on call at around week 38 of pregnancy, and stay on call until the baby arrives. Being on call means staying in town, not drinking alcohol, and whatever other arrangements I meet to make to always be available for your birth.
may we meet to discuss our birth plan and your role as our doula?
Absolutely! The prenatal visits are customizable. During these meeting we will go over all your preferences for your birth and your expectations from me as your doula. We can spend some time going over the birth plan in more detail, as well.
MAY WE CALL YOU WITH QUESTIONS BEFORE AND AFTER BIRTH?
Open communication is key in my work as a doula. The better I get to know you, the more likely will I be able to meet your needs. I am available to talk, email and text throughout your entire pregnancy. Before I go on call for you and after, I will answer those as soon as I am able to. Please feel free to contact me anytime. Once on call, you and your questions and concerns become my priority, and I answer most of the time, immediately.
When do you try to join women in labor? do you plan on joining us at our home or at the hospital?
I join my clients whenever they desire my presence. For some that is in early labor at home, for others, it is in active labor at hospital. I personally, find it best to arrive while spirits are still high in between contractions, so that I can sense how you are coping and still communicate to you should you need gentle guidance.
which labor coping TECHNIQUES do you find to be most useful?
I think that every woman and every labor is different. If a birthing woman is allowed to let go and go inward, she will let her body guide her to find the coping techniques that work for her, which may change throughout different stages of labor. In order to go inward, a woman needs to feel safe. Therefore, the first coping technique I find helpful is being in the environment where she feels safe, be it home, hospital or outdoors. She should be surrounded my people she trusts and loves. These will both allow her to relax, and when a birthing woman is completely relaxed, she can better manage her contractions.
When my clients need gentle guidance, I also encourage movement, and upright positions. These move the baby into the right positions, with assistance of gravity. Swaying, rocking, equating, lunging, walking are just a few of many examples.
Lastly, I also have the ability to use affirmations, aromatherapy, acupressure, massage, hot/cold therapy and more when I feel that a client may benefit from those.
How would you work with and involve my partner?
During our prenatal visits, I also seek to learn the partner's preferences and the things they are comfortable with. In birth, I offer support to both the birthing mother and her partner. I by no means intend on taking over the role, I simply support in the aspects the support is seemed from me.
how do you feel about the use of pain medication in labor?
I believe that every intervention has a place and a time. I provide my clients with the latest evidence-based research on all interventions, including a variety of pain medication. that way they themselves, can make an educated decision that is right for them and their situation. It is my passion to support birthing women no matter what form their birth takes.
do you have anyone else due around the time i am due?
I schedule between 2-5 clients per month. That is on average, no more than 1 client per week. The nature of birth, sometimes has a different plan, sometimes babies come early, sometimes they come late. This is the reason why having a back-up doula is essential.
can i talk to few of your recent clients?
If you wish to talk to a few of my clients, I will provide you with their contact information once I get their approval that it is ok to do so. Most clients love sharing their birth stories.