Staci Bishop

Thursday, March 28, 2013

My Doula Services Include....

As a wrap up to World Doula Week, I thought I would take a minute to share the specifics of what I do and why I firmly believe that every woman deserves a doula.

I get to know you. By the time birthing day arrives, we (me, you & your partner) will have already had two to three face-to-face visits and several phone conversations. We will have exchanged countless texts and emails. I will know your likes and dislikes and your wishes and desires for birth. You won't have to explain why you want this or don't want that, because I will already know. I will have developed a fondness for your family as I do for all my clients and you will feel comfortable with me in your surroundings because we already know each other. Feeling a level of comfort and familiarity is an important factor for moving the birth process along.

I am a safe place. There is nothing you can think, feel, say or do that will shock me. Seriously. I've seen and experienced a lot in my lifetime. Trust me when I say that you will think all sorts of seeming illogical things as labor draws near and begins. This is totally normal. I find it best to go ahead and verbalize it and get it out in the open. I will not judge. I will help you process and move forward. Some women need to vocalize (make sounds) during birth. Knowing I am a safe place gives her the freedom to do that. Sometimes, I even initiate or mimic the sounds so that she doesn't feel alone. A laboring woman needs the opportunity to be open and vulnerable but feel completely safe while doing so.

I'm a wealth of knowledge. I remember all the stuff that you are afraid of forgetting. I'm a plethora of info at your fingertips. Yes, I will encourage you to research on your own beforehand but, in the moment, sometimes the details slip through the cracks. I remind you of your birth plan and encourage you to stay the course. Maybe something new comes up that you didn't research. I offer non-medical options to see if they will meet your needs. I make sure that you understand the information your care providers have given you. I remind you to ask them for all of your options - including risks, benefits & alternatives - before making your decision. Best of all, I support your decisions, no matter what!

I stay with you. Starting at 38 weeks you have 24/7 access to me. Call, text, or email, and I will respond immediately. When you go into labor and are ready for me to assist you, I show up pronto, and I do not leave until your baby has arrived. I literally do not leave your side other than to go to the restroom or unless you ask for some privacy. In active labor, many women close their eyes and tune in so internally that they loose all track of time and what is going on around them. I give the play-by-play of birth keeping you informed every step of the way. I help you understand what is happening in that moment and what is going to happen next. I'm always there providing encouragement, support, and information.

I help you. I bring you drinks and remind you to pee. I put lip balm on your mouth before you even notice that you are chapped. I re-arrange your pillows because you only thought that you were comfortable before. I'm adjusting the temp in the room because I know you are hot but afraid to ask because your hubby might get cold. I pop mints in your mouth to keep you feeling cool and refreshed. I keep the bath water warm and drop in some lavender essential oil to help you relax. I sense that it's time to go and signal hubby to load the car. I know that transition is coming and mentally prepare you as well. I turn on your play list. I rub peppermint oil on your wrists to keep the nausea away. I suggest comfortable positions for nursing your baby and make sure that you have something to eat as well. I make every effort to recognize your needs and meet them.

I provide comfort. I use my rebozo to help your baby move into an optimal position. I suggest positions that relief pressure and tension. I help you find coping mechanisms that support your progress. I provide counter pressure and hip squeezes and neck massages for hours on end as needed. I hold your hand. I press accupressure points. I encourage you with my words. I repeat relaxation scripts. I cover you with blankets. I take them off. I sway with you, moan with you, walk with you. I use essential oils to keep you relaxed, relieve discomfort, center your mind, and address physical symptoms. I press cool washcloths on your forehead. I accomodate whatever position you deem best for the moments right before you meet your baby. I aim to make the day of your birth as comfortable as possible.

I follow up. Yes, I am there for the birth but I also make sure that you transition well into motherhood. I remind you to make sure that your guests are helping and not just holding the baby. I give you permission to stay in bed and not overdo it in the early days. I make sure that diaper changes are within normal ranges and give suggestions for feeding and sleep issues. I assess and encourage normal behaviors and activities for mom, dad, and baby. I give you reassurance and encourage you to contact me at any point should you have questions because babies are constantly changing. If there are concerns for healing, breastfeeding, baby care, ect, I direct you to local resources and make sure that you get the help you need. This is when it can be so helpful to have already established a relationship with a doula because you have a trusted professional to call.

I am passionate. Seriously, spend just a few minutes talking to me and it's obvious that I LOVE what I do. I deeply feel that no matter what type of birth you are planning, the entire family will benefit from the consistent, loving, and nurturing support of a doula. It can make all the difference in the world!

Pregnant? You deserve a doula. Contact me today.

Friday, March 22, 2013

World Doula Week Special Discount

Today, March 22nd, is World Doula Day, which also serves as the launch for World Doula Week. If you have never looked into doulas before, this week would be a great time to learn more.

Did you know? Research has shown the benefits of doula care at birth:

 Reduces cesareans by up to 50%
 Reduces instrumental delivery (vacuum & forceps) by 40%
 Reduces requests for pain medication by 30%
 Reduces need for Pitocin by 30%
 Shortens labor length by 25%
 Increases maternal satisfaction in birth by 30%
 Increases the rate of prolonged breastfeeding
 Reduces the rate of postpartum depression


Doula care has also recently been in the news, thanks to a recent study out of Michigan, which supports a previous Cochrane study showing that continuous support in labor leads to better outcomes. In summary,

"We conclude that all women should have continuous support during labour."  

In keeping with the saying, "every woman deserves a doula" I'm offering a special discount on my doula services. Anyone who contacts me during World Doula Week (March 22-28) to schedule a FREE consultation will receive a $75 discount off of my Birth Doula Package.

Contact me today and let's discuss how I can help you achieve the birth YOU desire.