A Doula is a Professional Childbirth Companion. The word "Doula " is Greek and is translated as "woman servant", meaning one who serves women during childbirth. Doulas provide non-medical support during the prenatal, labor, birth and immediate postpartum periods. Doulas offer emotional support, physical comfort and advocacy for childbearing women, helping them have healthy and satisfying birth experiences.
The Doula profession emerged in response to the over-medicalization of childbirth and rising rates of unnecessary cesarean sections. According to many studies, the presence of a Doula can decrease length of labor, decrease use of pain medication, decrease medical interventions and lower rates of cesarean section. Doula care can also increase rates of breastfeeding. In addition, Doulas can help mothers have more satisfying childbirth experiences. Studies show that Doula care is associated with lower rates of postpartum depression and improved maternal-infant interaction.
According to many studies, secure maternal-infant attachment is necessary for normal human development. Other studies show that by giving pregnant women information and a sense of autonomy in decision-making during pregnancy and childbirth, maternal self-esteem, social functioning and bonding with baby is increased. Therefore, having a Doula is a long-term investment in mothers' and childrens' health and well-being.
Should You Have a Doula?
That depends upon what you want when you give birth to your baby. Women planning hospital births who desire natural childbirth or to avoid a cesarean are most likely to want a Doula by their side. Women who want Epidural Anesthesia can also benefit from Doula support.
What Does A Doula Do?
We Inform. During labor, we will help you understand what's going on in your body, what the machines mean, what are the risks and benefits of medical procedures, and what your options are at every stage along the way.
We Encourage. We remind you to be patient, and stay positive. When you hit an emotional low, we are there for you, helping you to keep going.
We Motivate. We remind you to move around in labor, eat and drink. We rub your back, we hold you up and hold your leg while you push.
We Help. We are there for you. Laughing with you, crying with you, encouraging you when you're weak and can't go on. We know just what to say to get you going (again). Then it happens. You trust, you allow, you let go, and before you know it, you have your baby in your arms! What an extraordinary miracle you've just been through! And when that splendid moment comes, we will share your ecstasy, and joy.
We Comfort. If your birth doesn't quite turn out as planned, we will be right beside you, explaining everything and encouraging you and your partner. We will help you through it, so you can heal.
We Support. We support the whole family. Reassuring worried grandparents that everything is perfectly alright. "Women sound like this in labor. This is how long it takes. It is normal, perfectly normal and she and the baby are doing great." How nice would that be for your parents to hear?
We Collaborate. Doulas work in harmony with your primary health care provider (doctor or midwife) . While he or she takes care of your medical needs , we will be there supporting you to communicate your preferences to your care provider. Doulas do not make medical decisions or perform medical procedures. In the best scenario, your care provider, your birth partner and your Doula will form your birth team. Each person on this team contributes in their distinct way in making your birth experience safe, satisfying and positive.
We Care for Dads Too. Doulas help support fathers and partners as well. Giving encouragement, reassurance, information and a much-needed respite from the arduous job of providing labor support, allowing him/her to shower, eat and sleep. We can help calm down an anxious father or partner. We also know how to give you some space alone together as well.
I'm Planning a Homebirth. Do I need a Doula?
We support women planning homebirth or birth center delivery when family support is unavailable or undesired. We can orchestrate your birth team, bringing your family together to share the experience.
What is a Monitrice?
A Monitrice is an advanced Birth Assistant who offers skills in assessment of mother and fetal well-being during labor. She offers these skills in conjunction with emotional support and physical comfort. Ideally, your Monitrice and your primary care provider will work together to help you have the best birth possible.
Cordelia trained as a Direct-Entry Midwife in the apprenticeship model and has worked as an Assistant Midwife since 1991 in out-of-hospital settings .
Monitrice services include:
These assessments will help determine labor progress and maternal and fetal well-being, allowing the laboring woman to delay arrival at the hospital until active labor is established. This can help reduce medical interventions such as pitocin augmentation of labor and early administration of epidural anesthesia, which can increase risk of cesarean section.
Birth Support Services in Salem, Eugene, Portland or vicinity include the following:
What kinds of people do we work with?
We work with all kinds of families including LGBTQ, families of color, interracial couples, teens and people of all religious persuasions.
We also have experience working with women with histories of sexual abuse, prior cesarean section, traumatic births, assisted reproduction, teenagers, single moms, adoptive and relinquishing moms, and more.
Doula Support is offered on a sliding scale based on family income level. Fees range from $1500 to $2000. Monitrice Services are $2000. 50% of fee is due at time of contract signing and the balance is due by 36 weeks gestation. Please enter amount listed on your labor support contract.
We accept checks, money orders, cash and PayPal payments. Checks should be made payable to Cordelia Hanna.
Monet Moultire and Maggie Ehrig