I feel the radiating heat as her body works hard
He feels her real strength for the very first time
I hear her birth song as she opens
He hears my voice, reassurance that she is okay
I smell the sweet scent of waters as her baby gets close
He smells the calming scent of lavender floating through her space
I taste the strong coffee that allows me to stay awake....
...for as long as she needs me
He tastes the tears running down her face as she releases
I know she can do it
He knows she can do it
I see a woman as she transforms into a mother
He sees his woman as she transforms him into a father
- by Michelle McClafferty CD(DONA)
Doulas, both birth and postpartum, offer emotional, physical and informational support to women and their families during pregnancy, birth and postpartum.
The presence of a doula brings a professional into the birthing room. And, she stays there - offering guidance regarding positions for mother’s comfort or to encourage the baby to descend, hands-on comfort through counterpressure, massage, the use of a rebozo, and other techniques, and emotional support through her encouragement and reminders of the normal experiences that come during labor. The presence of a doula allows the laboring woman’s partner to relax and be free to be with her, offering the all-important connection that is unique between the two of them, rather than struggling to remember the right words, techniques and ideas learned during childbirth preparation classes.
Clinical studies show the benefits of working with a birth doula include:
• 31% decrease in the use of Pitocin*
• 28% decrease in the risk of C-section*
•12% increase in the likelihood of a spontaneous vaginal birth*
• 34% decrease in the risk of being dissatisfied with the birth experience*
• 9% decrease in the use of any medications for pain relief
• 14% decrease in the risk of newborns being admitted to a special care nursery
For four of these outcomes,* results with a doula were better than all the other types of continuous support that were studied. For the other outcomes, there was no difference between types of continuous support.
The primary goal of a postpartum doula is to support the family to encourage a smooth transition. Doulas may offer daytime or overnight support as needed. They provide breastfeeding support, make meals, help with newborn care, run errands and most anything else to help a household run easily. The presence of a woman familiar with the needs of newborns is very reassuring to most new parents. The doula does not take over care of your baby nor take on heavy housecleaning chores. The doula is there to help empower the parents during their transition into parenthood.
There is some variation among the packages offered by the doulas in the collective. Once hired, each of us offers unlimited phone and email support, plans a prenatal home visit to review your wishes for the birth and share insights, provides labor support in your home, if desired, and continuous support throughout active labor and birth at your chosen setting. Immediate breastfeeding support is given and at least one follow-up postpartum visit is included as well. We have a couple doulas that offer postpartum doula only to their birth doula clients and a few that offer postpartum doula support to anyone, their clients or others. Just check in with our collective to find the right package for you.
Julie McBurney shares...
Something People Don't Know About Her...
I am a part of a facebook group called "Mug Shots". It is full of pictures of folks drinking coffee, their favorite mug, or favorite coffee house. The posts are a lot of fun to read and look at with your morning cup a joe. Yes, that collage bellow is a group of pictures from perivous Mug Shot posts. Can you guess what the post might have been titled?
A Favorite Childhood Memory...
One of my favorite childhood memories is of my dad reading me 'Frog and Toad' books. He was so expressive as he read and always seem to enjoy their adventures just as much as I did. I loved everytime he read them, he had this way of making them feel brand new. He would ask me each time, "What do you think Frog and Toad will do today?"
A Musician or Band She Has Seen...
I grew up listening to huge diversity of music. I would say it was my father's love of music and dancing that nurtured my love for music. The diversity was infulenced by him and my two older siblings. But when I went to my first concert my love of live music was sparked! I am sure none of them imagined that I would see this band, Phish, 148 times. I have made many "phriends" and actually met my husband's best friend at a show. Although we were introduced later at a Phil and Friends / Bob Dylan concert, it was at all the many Phish concerts after that we got to know each other. They are definely the band I have seen the most, but I have seen a lot of bands and musicans. Pictured below is my hubby and I at nTelos Pavilion in Portsmouth, VA waiting for Phish to take the stage.
We are the doulas of the Triangle Doula Collective - a close knit group of women who have a passion for seeing other women and their families well cared for in pregnancy, birth, and beyond.