Birth Doula Care
Birth work informs everything I do, as I believe birth is a peak experience in a woman’s life, the impact of which is profound and lifelong. As a birth doula, I help you through this most intense and wonderful adventure as you travel through pregnancy, birth and into the early days of new parenthood.
What I love most about working with women and their partners is seeing them grow and become powerful advocates for themselves and their babies.
It’s normal to feel a bit nervous or even scared as you approach birth and new parenthood. As your birth doula I am here by your side offering expert resources and support, drawing on both my personal experience and the many other families I have cared for through this special time. VBAC moms and their courage have a special place in my heart and I am thrilled each time I can help a woman on the healing journey that is VBAC.
Partners and Doulas
Although my primary focus is always the birthing woman, partners need support too. I can help your partner feel confident and be another set of hands so you are never alone. The pressure of being the sole support is often overwhelming and my job is to make sure you are both cared for.
My Model of Birth Doula Care
Since birth is an intimate, sacred event I want us to know each other well before that day arrives. In order to do this, we need time together. I used to meet with couples twice in the prenatal period but found that wasn’t enough time to really delve into all the questions and planning that made for the best outcomes. As a first time parent, I know I craved information! Even if you are having a second or third baby, you may experience pregnancy and birth completely differently. The postpartum period presents a whole new challenge as well when there is more than one child to consider.
My doula meetings are never rushed and there is no such thing as too many questions. We take the time to work together on all of your concerns.
“Heather helped me to feel confident, empowered and excited during my pregnancies, labors and births. She also provided much needed support to my husband and took a lot of pressure off of him.”
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Your Birth Doula Care Package Includes:
- Three prenatal home visits >> When you hire me, you will receive three prenatal planning meetings. Ideally, I like to meet once a month in your last trimester. Of course if we have less time, we just adapt to suit your schedule.
Your First Home Visit
This first meeting is a chance to know your thoughts and preferences about birth and hear how the pregnancy is going. I help you understand the choices available locally and how to communicate your wishes to your care provider so you can work as a team. I provide community referrals as your needs require, whether it’s back pain, or looking for the perfect baby sling.
Your Second Home Visit
Our second meeting is all about postpartum planning. Those first few days and weeks home with a new baby are intense. There is your own physical recovery to manage, feeding and caring for baby, meals, visitors, siblings, pets and sleep. I am a firm believer in having a plan in place to make the first few weeks after birth as smooth as possible. Our society has drifted far from the traditional practice of mothering a new mother but we can recreate it with our own villages of friends and family. I work with you to ensure you have the help you need to create a cocoon of love and support around you in those first six weeks.
Your Third Home Visit
Our last prenatal meeting focuses on the big event – birth. We practice positions for labor and breathing together, try out the peanut ball, and discuss coping skill for contractions. I bring my TENS machine to this meeting and leave it with you so you can start using it in early labor. I coach your partner on providing physical, emotional and verbal support, and explore how we will work together as a team.
- 24 hour availability for questions by text or phone call. >> I am available to you 24/7 to discuss concerns and get updates on how you’re feeling.
- Continuous support during your birth, with my back up doula on call for emergencies. >> Once you call me to join you in labor, I stay by your side until your baby is born and then for an hour or two post birth, and can help you get started breastfeeding.
- Loan of TENS unit and purchase of electrode pads. >> I loan a Transcutaneous Electric Nerve Simulation unit specially designed for labour to all interested clients. It is a completely safe form of pain control using mild electric impulses to make your body to produce endorphins to counteract labour pain.
- Loan of peanut ball for at home labor. >> A peanut ball is a great tool, allowing a woman in labour to rest while keeping her hips open and promoting progress.
- Notes from your birth >> I keep detailed notes during birth for your records. All checks, progress and procedures are tracked so we can review them together postpartum.
- One postpartum meeting >> I follow you closely in the first week postpartum, checking in daily to offer support and guidance on breastfeeding and physical recovery. At about one week postpartum, we meet to discuss the birth.
- Community referrals for peer support >> Life with a new baby can be isolating. At our last meeting we review the postpartum plans made for finding your tribe and trying out baby friendly local activities.
- Breastfeeding support in the first two weeks. >> If you are planning to breastfeed, the first two weeks are a crucial time. I am available 24/7 to make sure you are off to a good start and know who to call for expert help.
My Birth Doula Fees
My fee for birth doula services is on a sliding scale of $700 to $500. I want to make doula care affordable for as many families as possible so I ask the client to decide what they can afford to pay within that range. Fifty percent of my fee is due when you become my client and we sign a contract, with the other half due at your one week postpartum visit.