* Is aware of birth as a key life experience that the mother will remember all her life.
* Understands the bodily processes of birth and the emotional needs of a woman throughout labor.
* Supports the woman and her partner in preparing for and carrying out their plans for the birth, as well as being prepared to be "un-prepared".
* Stays by the side of the laboring woman from the moment she is called in and throughout the entire labor.
* Provides emotional support, physical comfort measures, an objective viewpoint and assistance to the woman in getting the information she needs to make good decisions.
* Facilitates communication between the laboring woman, her partner and clinical care providers.
* Perceives her role as one who nurtures and protects the woman's memory of her birth experience.
* Maintains all information received from her clients as Confidential.
Services and People I recommend
www.mommyfeelgood.com Placenta Encapsulation
www.luludew.com Cloth Diaper Delivery Service
www.imagineyourbirth.com Kathy Killebrew, Pasadena area birthing teacher
www.spinningbabies.com Easier Childbirth with Fetal Positioning.
www.tclwomanscenter.com Davi Khalsa CNM (home birth midwife)
www.midwife.ucla.edu UCLA Midwifery Practice
www.shootsandgiggles.com Birth and Newborn Photography
www.bestdoulas.com My backup group of awesome doulas
http://michelehakakhamd.com/ Wonderful MD who works out of Cedars
Jessica Schneider, MD Cedars
http://www.birthingrhythm.com/ Beth Cannon (home birth midwife)
http://www.birthinginstincts.com/ Stuart Fischbein MD (home birth)
http://www.avidawomen.com/ Dr. Chang is amazing! Good Samaritan Hospital, Los Angeles
Many women think that their labor will begin with their water breaking and then the contractions. Contrary to popular belief, this is not always the case. Only 15% of pregnant women have the experience of their water breaking unexpectedly. Most women begin with contractions and then their water breaks (fast gush or slow trickle) or the doctor may break it for them.
Epidural or Doula? Or both?
8 reasons to hire a Doula even if you plan to have an epidural
1. Most of the time the woman is required to do some laboring before an epidural can be administered.
2. Occasionally the anesthesiologist is unavailable for a period of time.
3. Sometimes a woman labors so quickly there is not time for an epidural.
4. Though the mother does not feel her contractions as intensely, she still has all the same emotions of a laboring woman.
5. Epidurals do not hold your hand, play soft music, rub your shoulders or explain what is happening. Your Doula is available to offer emotional support throughout your entire labor.
6. Doulas know many techniques that may lessen the adverse side effects of an epidural.
7. A Doula can be useful in the pushing stage, as the mother has decreased feeling and may need intense coaching and assistance with positioning.
8. Epidurals don't always provide 100% pain relief
Helping to cope with pain is only one small part of the doulas role. She can provide prenatal education, physical comfort, emotional reassurance, assistance with breastfeeding and take pictures!