Doula Support with
a note about covid
With so many things uncertain about this unprecedented time. I take all precautions to offer safe and knowledgeable support. I am currently doing all prenatal and postpartum meetings via virtual means, but provided your hospital allows for it....
Doula support is currently virtual due to hospital restriction... with some exceptions
In the case I am permitted to attend your labor in person (as primary support, or as an exception), I will be taking all precautions I am able, and will keep you apprised of any exposure I may encounter. In these cases, I will revert to virtual support. We will prepare for all courses of support, including back up, during our prenatal meetings.
Let's talk about virtual support!
Don't be put off by hospital restriction on second support.
There is amazing value in having a "birth buddy," perhaps best thought of as:
Accompanying you through decisions made prenatally (selecting or changing a provider, should we induce?, childbirth education options, etc.)
Providing guidance and education while you weigh your options, and write your birth support plan (some call this a "birth plan")
Normalization of the signs and progress of labor, and helping you determine when to do what- including when to head to the hospital
Being continually present through your labor with ideas, suggestions, quiet observation, active communication with your care team- and the only one in the room that you can actually SEE my whole face (no mask needed on Zoom!)
Make good choices for your support and start talking to me about your aches and pains! Let's make sense of your prenatal appointments, and discuss changes to posture to encourage optimal position for your baby.
Attend a live streamed childbirth class with me
Join me for Guided Spinning Babies for Parents
Late third trimester
We'll hold a few virtual meetings to discuss restrictions at the hospital, and practice comfort measures, positions, time-tested tools and techniques.
Game plan how and when to be in touch in early labor
Create and finalize a realistic birth plan that reflects your preferences
Discuss alternative virtual support in active labor (Zoom? FaceTime?)
Pack your hospital bag, using doula tips
Labor & Birth
As labor begins, your questions have a quick answer... from identifying early labor signs to comfort measures as things get underway, reminders to eat and rest, and guidance on when to transition to the hospital-- this is the informational support that doula families benefit so much from, in listening to the labor together. This support begins via text and phone, can extend to visiting you at home to help assess transitioning to the hospital, when more aggressive coping techniques are needed.
Text when you feel new sensations that make you wonder
Communicate with as much detail as you can. We may utilize text and later, video
Use recommendations for rest, sustenance, hydration, positions
Assess when to transition to the hospital; I will meet you there once admitted*
Virtual means: expect continuous communication via text and video (if you choose) upon admission
Around 2 hours after your birth, you'll move to a postpartum room. Hospital stays vary based on how your baby was born, and how you and baby are doing post-birth. In this phase, I encourage you to learn from on-staff lactation consultants and practice sleeping in shifts until you discharge from the hospital.
Consider options for early discharge from the hospital to limit your stay
Communicate with me when heading home, and any time you need some love
Utilize the Resource Page for online parent groups and lactation support at home
Schedule your postpartum belly bind
Start by taking an excellent class! Live streamed sessions are scheduled widely, and private sessions can be coordinated if needed.
Doulas provide educational and informational support, so you are most prepared for what to expect when labor onsets. It is likely that COVID-19 measures will limit the time you spend in-person with your care provider at prenatal visits, and I am ready to help you make the most of the appointments you have.
Work proactively to optimally position your baby for birth through the Spinning Babies techniques. Use this Daily Essentials video as part of your prenatal wellness, and take a Spinning Babies for Parents session with me. I can better utilize these techniques with you in labor, when that's not the first place you're learning about them!
Have support accessible
In the last weeks of pregnancy, we'll meet online to provide you quick access to:
Insight into the perspectives of your care provider
Shifting preferences for managing labor choices
Your game plan for virtual support at the hospital
As your doula, I am always and continuously ready to respond to texts and calls about labor onset. There is rarely a definitive time when labor begins, so you'll likely have questions on what sensations you're having, and later: how to time and cope through the contractions. There are many ways to manage labor, and you will benefit from a seasoned birth professional that can provide a sense of calm guidance and perspective on where you are in the labor process.
As you experience intensification of labor, your partner will likely be communicating with me. Many partners have benefited much from having a birth professional act as consultant here: to normalize the sights, sounds and sensations of progressive labor. The role of the partner is hard! I will send suggestions for hydration and sustenance for both you and your partner, positional change, and comfort measures like massage or shower/bath.
Arrive at the hospital in (very) active labor
Throughout your labor, we'll talk on the phone or via Zoom as you feel things change. I listen to your labor with you, looking for behavioral and physiological signals that labor is progressing. Between my experience with over 400 births and your own intuition, we'll determine when to call your provider and make the move to the hospital in (very) active labor.
In December, I shifted back to supporting labor via FaceTime (or similar) at the hospital. I am grateful for my relationships with the nursing staff at Newton Wellesley and Mount Auburn Hospitals; my inclusion in this way has been very well received since they're well familiar with me being there in person. Because of this, I can continue to collaborate with your partner via virtual means and communicate with your nurse as well as the more direct hands-on support provider. This is especially helpful if there circumstances that arise that warrant medical intervention, as I can help you understand the Benefits > Risks > Alternatives > Intuition > Not now of the recommendation (unless the intervention is urgently needed).
Get a doula
Don't have a doula?
I have availability for birth support
in January, February, March and into the Summer.
Let me help you find one,
if I can't support you myself.
Email me for more information!