Wait...What do you do?!
A lot of people don't know what a Doula is. They don't know the difference between a Birth Doula and a Postpartum Doula. They don't get why someone would want to take a class on Childbirth. Some think it is weird to consume your own placenta. Therefore, when people ask me what I do I'm sometimes challenged to explain.
The first aspect of "What I Do - Who I Am" is Education. I am a Certified HypnoBirthing Childbirth Educator. I am certifying with Childbirth International for traditional childbirth education. I believe that parents who want information on child birth, the natural physiological process, pain management options, natural pain relief, tools for labor, relaxation techniques to prevent pain, and the important roles that relaxation, nutrition, activity and general health play in fetal development; then they should have access to that information. Does every parent want to take a 5 week course including hypnosis? No! And that's okay. I offer many options for education. The 5 week HypnoBirthing course, a 3 hour Birth Boot Camp class, a 2 hour Dad's/Partner's class, and Private Personalized Childbirth Education. While there is something for everyone, not everyone wants to avail themselves of independent child birth education. There are other options, like hospital based classes, that are great too! There is also the option of not taking a formal education course. I support women in their choices.
The second aspect of what I do is Labor Support. I am a Birth Doula. I have been a Birth Doula for 7 years and have served over 70 families. A birth doula helps you navigate through all of the possibilities and questions and uncertainty that surround birth by helping you format your questions, seek out information, and support you in your choices. During your process of giving birth a Doula supports you physically with position changes, massage, counter pressure, and literally being a physical support. I support you emotionally by giving you the space and permission to feel what you feel, process your feelings, and act accordingly. I support your choices and am flexible when plans change. I can help with initial breastfeeding. Dad's love Doulas because I help the birth partner negotiate with care providers. I help you to know where to place your hands, when to apply chapstick, and when to offer a drink. When plans change, I remind you of alternatives, help you support/comfort Mom when she feels lost, and am a sounding board for your concerns and cares when you don't want to burden the birthing mother. As strange as it sounds, I help to facilitate intimacy between the birthing parents by keeping the birth partner right beside mom and make sure you understand exactly what is going on. I also facilitate a positive exchange/ relationship between the parents and the care providers; which is so very important to forge a positive and healthy birthing experience.
The third aspect of what I do is Postpartum Support. A Postpartum Doula is your mom, housekeeper, chef, nanny, breastfeeding support, and best friend all rolled into one. The difference is; I don't have a personal agenda. I won't judge you if you cry. I'll make sure you get to shower. I'll feed you healthy, nutritious, delicious, comfort food. I'll support your feeding and sleep choices. I'll help you get some rest and give your body a chance to recuperate. The continuity of care from Education, to Labor, to Postpartum is so important and often lacking. I bridge that gap and make sure your transition to parenthood (whether it is the first or the fourth time) is gentle and positive.
The Fourth aspect of what I do is Placenta Encapsulation. I offer in your home placenta encapsulation (raw or steamed). I also include two tinctures with each encapsulation. If you prefer to consume raw and not encapsulated; I can clean and prep your placenta for smoothies. If you would like placenta or umbilical cord art I can provide that as well. Many people love placentas for the beauty of the form and function of the organ. They wish to honor the organ with art or ceremony. Others believe consuming your placenta help to equalize your postpartum hormones, speed healing, and promotes energy. I can prepare your placenta for you in a sterile, safe manner. Since the placenta never leaves your possession you don't have to worry! Everything I do is very transparent and you are welcome to watch and ask questions if you like.
The elevator pitch to "What do you do?" is "I support women; prenatally, educationally, during labor, postpartum, and holistically. I offer care and support packages to suit every woman in any situation." If you are pregnant you should treat yourself to the amazing care and support you receive from a doula.