Umm ... what's a doula?
A labor doula is a trained childbirth professional who supports people throughout the prenatal and initial postpartum period, and particularly during birth. We use massage, hydrotherapy, positioning, and many other tools to offer women emotional and physical support as they birth their babies.
A postpartum doula works with families after the baby is born. We offer assistance with basic newborn care and baby-wearing, breastfeeding support and education, light household tasks, and whatever else will help the family get off to a great start.
How can having a doula improve my birth?
First, doulas help improve birth outcomes. Second, parents with doulas report more satisfying birth experiences, as do their partners. Last (but not least), doula-attended births have fewer interventions and end in Cesareans less often than births without a doula. For further information and research findings, we've provided a link to this helpful article: Evidence Based Birth: The Evidence for Doulas.
Will my partner still be involved if I hire a doula?
Absolutely! We want partners to be as involved as they want to be! We have lots of suggestions to offer partners on how to be a great source of emotional and physical support for the mother during pregnancy and labor. Partners also really appreciate having a doula there to give them a break if they need to step out of the room for anything (like a bathroom break or to to grab a bite to eat). We always point out to our clients that we know birth, but your partner knows you. Together we make a great team! Check out a blog post about how partners can find their own way to support their loved ones in birth. And, let us know if you'd like some references from partners we've worked with. Talking with someone whose been there is a great way to learn more about the experience.
If I have a midwife, do I still need a doula?
No matter what kind of health care provider you have, a doula can be a great source of support during your pregnancy and birth. We love working with midwives and they will likely cheer when you tell them you're adding an experienced, knowledgeable, professional doula to your team. Your doula will be a non-medical support for you, there to help you emotionally, physically, and logistically...once your labor begins, we do not change shifts or leave your side until your baby has arrived and you're comfortably settled in!
Visit this blog post for more details on the perks of having both a midwife and a doula.
So you guys are a team...how does that work?
Some doulas operate solo, but here at AthensBorn, we prefer the team model of doula care. We will both provide phone, text, and email support, both attend prenatal meetings, and both get to know you and your partner throughout your pregnancy. We operate using an on-call schedule to attend births. So, the doula who is on-call the day your little one makes her or his arrival is the one who will attend your birth. That same doula will come to your home for your postpartum visit. This helps ensure that you will have continuous support during your birth with a doula you’ve come to know well, rather than using a less familiar back-up doula. We both get to know each and every client well, and the system works beautifully! Read this blog post about how we function together philosophically and how it works out well for our clients.
What do you bring to a birth? What's in your secret bag of tricks? Do you have snacks and stuff in there?
Yes, and we totally share them. Because we were raised with manners, y'all. In fact, we bring an entire bag full of items designed to help you during your birth, from hair ties and electric candles to heating pads and massage oils. We're ready.
What kinds of births do you attend?
We attend births wherever and however our clients feel most comfortable. We have experience with hospital births (both non-medicated and medicated), home births, VBAC births, and Cesarean births. We deeply respect a person's decision to give birth where they choose, however we do not attend planned unassisted births, also known as "free births."
Do you both watch Call The Midwife?
Yes. Also Firefly. And, New Girl.