Like travel guides in a foreign country, birth and postpartum doulas help support new families through the life changing experience of having a baby! Whether it’s a family’s first baby or their tenth, a doula can help make the birth and postpartum experience better. Today, a doula is defined as follows:
Doula: a trained professional who provides continuous physical, emotional and informational support to a mother before, during and shortly after childbirth to help her achieve the healthiest, most satisfying experience possible.
Countless scientific trials examining doula care demonstrate remarkably improved physical and psychological outcomes for both mother and baby. Doulas have a positive impact on the well-being of the entire family.
Families choose to include continuous professional labor support such as a doula for many different reasons. In addition to being such a strong source of support during an important life event, one of the most compelling reasons to hire a doula is because of the fantastic outcomes:
decrease in the use of Pitocin
decrease in the risk of cesarean
increase in likelihood of spontaneous vaginal birth
decrease in use of any medications for pain relief
decrease in risk of newborn admitted to NICU
decrease in risk of being dissatisfied with the birth experience
– Ana Verwaal
My experience teaching HypnoBirthing classes has given me wonderful insight as to how to best support each unique family. I find myself especially fortunate that many of my own students become doula clients, and we enjoy an even deeper level of connection throughout the course series in addition to our private prenatal meetings. My ultimate goal is to ensure that every family has a positive and empowering birth experience; whatever that looks like to them. I am passionate about making birth a joyous occasion for EVERYONE involved! Birth companions are often so overlooked when their partner is pregnant, but I always prioritize their wellbeing and vital role – whether that’s being with mom so the partner can eat or nap, getting them more involved in comfort measures, or snapping photos so they can enjoy witnessing their baby’s birth!
In addition to HypnoBirthing, I have worked with families who have prepared with other childbirth education methods such as Bradley, Hypnobabies, and hospital based classes. I’ve also attended an official Spinning Babies workshop and feel even more confident supporting parents to have more gentle birthing experiences through mother and baby positioning techniques. I have been attending births since 2014, trained with CAPPA in 2015, and have been certified through CAPPA since 2016.