“Her touch and gentle guidance were invaluable.” (Vera)
I am a certified childbirth doula, providing support to women and their families before, during, and after their births in hospitals and homes in the wider Boston and Seacoast area. I trained with ToLabor, a national doula education organization founded in 1977. I work privately with families, and I am also an on-staff doula at Portsmouth Regional Hospital in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.
What is a doula?
A doula is a nonmedical assistant who provides birthing moms with emotional and physical support prenatally, during labor and birth, and postpartum. Doulas are trained in techniques to increase mama’s comfort levels, emotionally and physically, and to encourage and support her partner’s participation.
Unlike a midwife or obstetrician, a doula does not make any medical decisions. However, doulas know birth and can provide information as well as facilitate communication between the mother, her partner, and her midwife or OB. A doula helps mothers understand their options, and supports mothers and couples in their choices.
The benefits of having a doula have been well documented, and include 50% reduced cesarean rates, 25% shorter labor, 60% reduction in epidural requests, 30% reduction in analgesia use, and 40% reduction in forceps delivery (source).
“She knew that I wanted to have as natural of a birth as possible and her unconditional support of my choices played a large role in my ability to give birth without pain medication.” (Allison)
What About Homebirth? Should I Hire a Doula?
Most of the women who hire me seek support for their hospital or birth center birth, but families birthing at home may also benefit from doula support. In short, a doula plays a different role than a midwife. Some midwives or their assistants offer labor support, but many do not, or only offer limited support. Midwives tend to arrive when mothers are further into active labor, and their energies are best spent being attentive to the mother and baby’s well-being.
Having a doula means having immediate, on-call support as early in your labor as you need. For mothers desiring guided relaxation or massage, that’s something that is just as valuable at home as it is in the hospital. Doulas help to keep the space calm, to reinforce the normalcy of birth, to support the midwives in their roles, and to provide support for partners and older children.
My Services & Fees
I offer three services: childbirth doula support, combined birth and postpartum support, and baskets of herbal goodies for mamas. All potential clients receive a free half hour consultation session.
Your Birth $900
- Two 90 minute prenatal meetings. We use this time to discuss your expectations and hopes for your birth, your birth preferences, and past birth experiences. We can also explore relaxation exercises and tools for birth, such as labor and birth positions, relaxation techniques that your partner can easily perform, how to prepare for a smooth postpartum transition and more.
- Continuous availability by phone and email to answer questions and provide resources before and after your birth
- Continuous availability two weeks prior to your “guess date” until the birth
- Continuous personal support during labor and up to three hours after your birth
- One 60 minute postpartum meeting. During this visit, we talk about your birth experience, explore the challenges and rewards of the immediate postpartum, and discuss resources that might support you and your family.
Your Birth + Postpartum $1000
- Two 90 minute prenatal meetings. We use this time to discuss your expectations and hopes for your birth, your birth preferences, and past birth experiences, to explore relaxation exercises and techniques, and to create a postpartum plan to prepare for a smooth and rewarding experience in the weeks after baby arrives.
- Continuous availability by phone and email to answer questions and provide resources before and after your birth.
- Continuous availability two weeks prior to your “guess date” until the birth.
- Continuous personal support during labor and up to three hours after your birth.
- One 90 minute postpartum meeting. During this visit, we talk about your birth experience, explore the challenges and rewards of the immediate postpartum, and discuss resources that might support you and your family.
- Four hours of postpartum support care to be used as you wish!
Herbal Goodie Basket $75
Treat yourself to a basket of pregnancy and nursing teas, a healing sitz bath, a lavender massage oil safe for pregnancy, labor, and for the newborn, and other goodies. All herbs are organic and ethically sourced. This makes a wonderful gift for pregnant mamas!
I believe that women should have access to support regardless of their economic situation, so I am willing to explore sliding scale and barter, and can help parents seeking low-fee and volunteer support to locate a doula.
To discuss birth and postpartum care, please fill out the contact form below.