Birth Doula

In short, a Birth Doula is emotional, physical, and informational support through the process of giving birth.

To expand on this, we'd like to quote DONA International:

DONA Quote

As your doula, Julie or Jessica will be fully present with you through the entire experience. After you decide which of us will be your doula, we will meet beforehand to get to know each other, work through your birth plan, and prepare to work as a team. We will be available through your pregnancy to help you be as comfortable and informed as possible. We will work with you as you decide when labor has begun and join you as soon as you want support.

As someone experienced with, and knowledgeable about, evidence based birth, Jessica or Julie will act in an informative role. We can help you understand what is happening, any medical terminology you struggle with, and what all your options are, as you move through the process of giving birth.

We will also serve as physical support. Doulas are trained in a variety of comfort measures and other physical skills that will help you be as comfortable as possible as your body brings forth your baby. Julie and Jessica are both trained in massage techniques for labor. In fact, we can help you to make any kind of pain relief technique (either natural or medical) be as effective as possible, as well as helping you be efficient in the pushing stage. Jessica and Julie are also educated and experienced with the labor coping techniques used in Hypnobabies, HypnoBirthing, Bradley, Lamaze, and are similar with most of the Independent Childbirth Educators curriculum in the triangle area.

Labor is very emotionally charged. As your doula Julie or Jessica will be experienced by having been in labor, as well as being with many other women as they labor. This brings a special understanding of your emotional needs that helps us guide your support team in being as helpful as possible. This includes supporting your partner as well as any other loved ones present in finding their best, most supportive role for you.

Finally, should anything unexpected happen, you will have someone educated, objective, experienced, and calm that can help you stay focused on your priorities and maintain the most positive experience possible.

According to Mothering the Mother, How a Doula Can Help You Have a Shorter, Easier and Healthier Birth, by Kennell, Klaus, and Kennell (1993),
having a doula can give you a:

50% reduction in cesarean rate
25% shorter labor
60% reduction in epidural requests
40% reduction in pitocin use
40% reduction in instrument delivery

Julie and Jessica are also knowledgeable about how to recover physically from births of all kinds. We will be available during the postpartum time to answer questions and help you physically, emotionally, and informationally, just as before the baby was born. The birth doula service includes some postpartum care, but full Postpartum Doula service is also an option for our birth clients.

Sometimes people worry about how a doula will come together with partners, nurses, and family members. It's important to understand that, as your doula, our job is to be part of your birth team. We take pride in the fact that we not only support the woman in labor, but her loved ones as well. All family members deserve to feel free to experience the birth as they need to; to enjoy this intense time on their own terms. As your doula, Jessica or Julie will help fill in the gaps and guide your network of support. We help take the pressure off your loved ones while still leaving labor supported and focused on. Every member has an important role to fill. A chameleon of birth support, a doula's role is ever changing to meet the current needs.

If you're interested in learning more about
doulas, you can find excellent information through these links:
DONA International
Childbirth Connection
How A Doula Helps Labor