Prenatal & Postnatal Resources for Women
A doula is a woman who has professional training in supporting mothers and their babies. A birth doula is someone who is trained in providing support during labor to mothers and their partners. A post-partum doula is a woman who supports the beginning days or weeks or a family’s life together.
A birth doula:
- Sees birth as a transformational, sacred, and special experience, which will be remembered for the rest of the woman's life
- Has seen, and understands the physical progression of labor, and the emotional needs of a birthing woman
- Assists the woman and her partner in developing a birth plan and a picture of their desired birth experience
- Honors and respects the woman's choices for her journey through labor, be they natural or not.
- Stays by the mother's and father's side throughout the duration of labor
- Provides physical comfort measures and emotional support if needed, a calm objective point of view, and assistance in gathering information to make informed decisions about the course of labor.
- Facilitates support and communication between the birthing woman and her partner, and provides physical and emotional support for the woman's partner so he or she can remain a steady supportive presence for the woman.
- Nurtures and supports the birth of not only the baby, but the entire family
I have been a birth doula since 2003. I am not currently taking on active doula clients, but I am happy to speak with you about what doula services typically entail, and I have a long referral list which I would be happy to send to you. I am is a certified birth doula with DONA International
Midwives are fully licensed care providers who are trained in the normal, unmedicated process of birth. There are two types of midwives in urban areas
CNM: Certified Nurse Midwives are midwives who have also completed a nursing degree prior to training as a midwife. They are usually licensed to work in a hospital setting and many hospitals now have midwife practices working alongside OB practitioners within hospitals. If you are birthing in a hospital setting with a midwife this is most likely the type you have. CNM's can prescribe drugs, and do any non surgical medical procedure. During a birth, an attending OB is available for special circumstances.
CPM: Certified Professional Midwives are midwives who do not necessarily hold a nursing degree, but have gone through extensive training in Natural Birth. These midwives are able to attend Home Births, although state laws vary about where they are able to practice. CPM's offer outstanding and extensive care within the comfort of your home, and will always discuss which hospital you would transfer to should any special circumstances arise at home which were beyond their ability to deal with.
Along with Doulas and Midwives there are a host of alternative providers who can help during pregnancy and postpartum. Their services can range from simply increasing comfort to assisting in turning a breech baby. These providers include:
- Massage Therapists
- Belly Casting
- Placenta Encapsulation
- Birth Photography