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Hudson Valley Birth & Bodywork
Ulster Park, NY 12487

Phone: (845) 258-7143
Dana@hvbirthandbodywork.com
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So, what is a Doula?

The word "doula," comes from the Greek word for the most important female servant in an ancient Greek household, the woman who probably helped the lady of the house through her childbearing. The word has come to refer to "a woman experienced in childbirth who provides continuous physical, emotional, and informational support to the mother before, during and just after childbirth." (Klaus, Kennell and Klaus, Mothering the Mother)

A Doula's job is to...

  • Recognize birth as a key life experience that the mother will remember all her life
  • Understand the physiology of birth and the emotional needs of a woman in labor
  • Assists the woman and her partner in preparing for and carrying out their plans for the birth
  • Stay by the side of the laboring woman throughout the entire labor
  • Provide emotional support, physical comfort measures, an objective viewpoint and assistance to the woman in getting the information she needs to make good decisions
  • Facilitate communication between the laboring woman, her partner and clinical care providers
  • Perceive her role as one who nurtures and protects the woman's memory of her birth experience

More on a Doula's role

Giving birth to your baby is the most memorable life experience you will have. It is full of emotion and meaning and is an extremely sacred and personal time. A doula who accompanies a woman in labor nurtures the mother, taking care of her emotional needs and providing physical support and comfort measures during the labor. A doula also acts as an advocate for the parents during the birth, explaining procedures and terminology and helping them make informed decisions. A doula can also provide support and suggestions for partners that can enhance their experiences of birth. (see Dads & Doulas page)

Benefits of Hiring a Doula

The acceptance of doulas in maternity care is growing rapidly with the recognition of their important contribution to the improved physical outcomes and emotional well-being of mothers and infants.

According to the book, Mothering the Mother, How a Doula Can Help You Have a Shorter, Easier and Healthier Birth, by Kennell, Klaus, and Kennell (1993), having a doula can give you:

  • 50% reduction in cesarean rates
  • 25% shorter labor
  • 60% reduction in epidural requests
  • 30% reduction in analgesia use
  • 40% reduction in forceps delivery

What does Dana the Doula do?

Our relationship can begin at any point during your pregnancy. During this time, we will establish a relationship that gives you complete freedom to ask questions, express fears and concerns, and take an active role in creating a birth plan. I am available by phone or email to answer any questions or explain any developments that may arise during your pregnancy. I do not provide any type of medical care. However, I am knowledgeable in the medical aspect of labor and delivery so I can help you gain a better understanding of procedures and complications that may arise in late pregnancy or during delivery.

During delivery, I am in constant, close proximity to you at all times. I provide comfort with natural pain relief techniques such as breathing, massage, laboring positions, reassurance, and guided visualization. My goal as a doula is to help mothers have a positive and safe birth experience, whether at home or in the hospital, whether she wants an un-medicated birth or is having a planned cesarean birth. I also aim to empower you, providing reassurance and trust in the power of your body during your pregnancy and birth. After the birth, I will spend a short time helping you begin the breastfeeding process and encourage bonding between you, your partner and your baby.

See Labor Support Rates

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