What is a doula?
The word "doula" comes from the ancient Greek meaning "a woman who serves" and is now used to refer to a trained and experienced professional who provides continuous physical, emotional and informational support to the mother before, during and just after birth; or who provides emotional and practical support during the postpartum period.
Studies have shown that when doulas attend birth, labors are shorter with fewer complications, babies are healthier and they breastfeed more easily.
As a doula I
- Recognize birth as a key experience the parent will remember all their life
- Understand the physiology of birth and the emotional needs of a person in labor
- Assist in preparing for and carrying out plans for birth
- Stay with the client throughout the labor
- Provide emotional support, physical comfort measures and an objective viewpoint, as well as helping parents get the information they needs to make informed decisions
- Facilitate communication between the laboring person, their partner, and their clinical care providers
- Perceive my role as nurturing and protecting my client’s memory of the birth experience
- Allow my client’s partner(s) to participate at his/her comfort level
As a doula I do not
- Perform clinical tasks, such as vaginal exams or blood pressure or fetal heart checks. I am there only to provide physical comfort, emotional support, and advocacy.
- Make decisions for you. I will help you get the information necessary to make an informed decision.
- Speak to staff on your behalf regarding matters where decisions are being made. I will discuss your concerns with you and suggest options, but you or your partner will speak to the clinical staff.
Benefits of hiring a doula:
- 50% reduction in the cesarean rate
- 25% shorter labor
- 60% reduction in epidural requests
- 40% reduction in pitocin use
- 30% reduction in analgesia use
- 40% reduction in forceps delivery
My services include:
- A free, no-obligation initial meet-and-greet consultation
- 2 prenatal visits (usually a month or two before your due date)
- Up to 2 postpartum visits to discuss the birth and baby care
- Unlimited phone/text and email support before and after birth
- Constant support through labor, birth, and immediately postpartum
- Access to my lending library and resource list
- Help choosing music for labor and a building you a custom playlist for your labour if you wish
What I bring
- Support through the decision-making process and making of a birth wish list
- Education and guidance about birth choices and baby care
- Support through each stage of labor
- A variety of physical comfort measures, position options, and massage, as well as yoga and meditation techniques to relieve pain and help you focus and relax
- A wide variety of snacks, hot and cold packs, massagers, and other tools to aid you through labor
In addition, I remain with you for a few hours after the birth until you all feel settled, and I keep notes throughout the labour and birth, which I’ll share during our postpartum visits. These can be useful in helping you fill in gaps in your birth story
- My fee is $800.
- A $300 retainer is due when you hire me, the balance due within a month of the birth.
Tracy was a great support during the birth of my baby son. She not only provided calm and comfort but also established great relationships with all the medical personnel. This helped keep us informed about the entire process. She helped me get into various positions to ease the labor and provided a lot of non-medical pain relief options. She also put my husband at ease and helped answer all his questions during the labor. I had a really long and hard labor and couldn't imagine getting through it without Tracy's support. She stayed throughout the labor and only left after we were well settled and bonding with baby. I felt that I was fully supported and our opinions were taken into account for all interventions. My husband and I highly recommend Tracy as a birth doula. ~Veera C
I am so grateful Tracy could be my doula for the birth of my first child. Because of Tracy’s instinctual understanding of and love for the birth process and her professional training, she gave me the support, comfort, courage and guidance I needed during such a new, scary, and exciting experience. I felt safe with Tracy and knew I had someone on my side as I faced the great unknown that is childbirth. I am so glad I could share such an incredible and empowering experience with Tracy. ~ Cara F
Thank God for Tracy! My first reaction to my wife’s interest in obtaining the services of a Doula, was sort of “meh”. I questioned the need to spend more money, figuring that midwives were close enough to our intended goal of a natural labor and delivery. That was stupid and naïve. When the time came, it didn’t matter all the months of preparation, reading, and practicing we’d done. You will not know what to do, and neither will your wife. The midwife will not come to your house. Tracy will. She guided and coached us, normalizing and explaining what was happening every step of the way. She even made it so I could grab a quick catnap, which allowed me to be alert and awake when the blessed moment did arrive. She is a birth expert, dedicated to the comfort and safety of your spouse, when they are suffering beyond what any of us are prepared to handle. I am forever grateful I trusted my wife’s instinct on this. I am forever thankful Tracy was there to help us through one of the most important events in our life. Get a Doula. Call Tracy. ~Jim M