What Doula Care and Education Mean

instaquote-03-01-2015-17-25-44There is a common misconception that all doulas and independent childbirth educators support only natural birth, midwives, breastfeeding, home births, etc. While I am sure there are doulas and educators that only support those things, I am also sure they are often the exception and not the rule. As a doula and educator I support knowing your options, making informed decisions and most importantly following your intuition. In my training and education I was taught to support women and their families throughout their maternity journey, not to judge or make decisions for them.

What does that actually mean? It means providing information, listening to your needs and desires, and then supporting you through your journey.

It means sharing with you all of your birth location options. If you are in the greater Philadelphia area you have access to home birth midwives, freestanding birth centers and many hospitals. It means sharing evidenced based information about each location and how your choice can impact your desired birth preferences.

It means encouraging you to find a healthcare provider that you truly trust whether it is a midwife, family physician or obstetrician. I encourage you to keep an open dialogue with your provider and to choose someone that respects your birth philosophies and desires, whatever they might be.

It means providing evidenced based information about birth interventions so you can make an informed decision should you desire or need interventions. It also means providing information and support that can be helpful with some of the risks associated with interventions.

It means educating about non-medicinal comfort measures. These comfort measures are helpful whether you desire a completely unmedicated delivery or plan a medicated one. Having many tools in your box can help you have a positive labor experience whether they’re used for a portion or all of your labor.

It means evidenced based information about breastfeeding, pumping, donor milk and formula. It means providing support, referrals and resources to help you and baby thrive together.

It means providing support and evidence based information as you begin your parenting journey. From how you diaper baby to how and where baby sleeps, I provide information and encourage you to follow your intuition.

It does not mean making decisions for you or stating personal preferences as fact.

It does not mean less support for choosing interventions. It does not mean less support for changing your birth preferences when things do not go as expected. In fact, that often means extra support as you navigate new choices.

It does not mean less support if your feeding plans change. It means extra support as your plans change.

It does not mean judgement for parenting choices. I trust your ability to make informed decisions.

When parents take my class my goal is that they leave feeling confident in their ability to make the choices that feel right for them. I want them to feel safe to explore their options and know they have support regardless of what they choose. When I work with a family during the postpartum period I want them to feel safe to make the choices that feel best for them. I will always provide evidenced based information and I will support you through your journey as you choose what is best for you.