What is a birth doula?
A doula is a non-medical provider of physical, information, and emotional support to the pregnant woman and her partner before, during, and after the birth. I can provide reassurance and perspective to you and your partner, make suggestions for labor progress, and help with relaxation, soothing touch, positioning, and other techniques for comfort. As your doula, I am working for you, not your caregiver or hospital.
Do I really need a doula?
The truth is that you are strong and you will birth your baby with or without a doula present. Maybe your husband or partner, your mother or father, or your sister or friend will be by your side during labor. Not to mention the doctor or midwife and nurses. So what does a doula add to the mix? Continuous, trained, impartial, experience support. Doulas mother the mother.
Will a doula replace my partner?
No, a doula does not replace the woman's partner or other chosen support persons. Most partners find the presence of a doula to be very helpful as it takes some of the pressure off them. The doula's continuity of care allows the partner to relax and share in the emotional experience of the birth. Your doula will also encourage your partner's involvement to support you, according to their own comfort level. The doula understands the physiology and emotional states of pregnancy, birth, and the postpartum period, and she views her role as to protect and nurture a woman's memory of birth.
So what does a doula DO at the birth anyway?
That depends on what you need and want. Doulas view childbirth as a life experience that the family will remember for all of their lives. Birth doula support might include hands-on comfort measures, supporting partners in actively supporting you, taking over for partners as needed so they can get a bit of rest or fetch food or ice, giving you the info you need to help you make informed decisions about your medical care, walking you up and down the halls or to and from the bathroom, talking you through every single one of those last few contractions, and taking photos. After your baby arrives, I’ll stay with you for an hour or so to help get breastfeeding off to a solid start, if that's how you're choosing to feed your baby.
What kinds of comfort measures do doulas use?
Relaxation, movement, breathing techniques, positions (including use of the birth ball), hot/cold therapy, counter pressure, massage, music, touch, acupressure, visualization, and encouragement and praise.
Is there anything that a doula cannot do at a birth?
Doulas do not provide any medical care or services such as vaginal exams, blood pressure, or fetal heart rates. I also do not make decisions for you. I will help you get the information necessary to make an informed decision. I will also remind you if there is a departure from your birth plan.
Why should I consider hiring a doula?
Devoted to each and every client, your doula listens to you. She doesn't tell you how you should give birth, but advises you on how to achieve your own birthing preferences. There are many factors involved in reducing pain, shortening labor, and avoiding a cesarean. She'll tell you the truth about the benefits and risks of all of these factors so that you become an informed patient. She will give you exercises, tips, and tools you can start doing today that will ease your labor. Your doula will give you undivided professional attention throughout your labor. She will do everything she possibly can to ensure your labor goes as smoothly as possible.
Your partner knows you, but I know birth.
Why should I hire a birth photographer?
There are so many reasons to hire a birth photographer! To be able to look back on those sweet memories one day and to see all the details you missed while you were laboring are just one. You also forget so quickly what happened or how little they start out. It also takes the burden of taking those photos off of your partner’s shoulders so he or she can be fully present in the moment with you, helping you labor and seeing this new baby enter the world! They should be in those photos with you and not taking them! Also, while cell phone photos are much better than they used to be, they can’t compare to the quality of a professional camera, which can capture beautiful photos in the low light of a home birth or the harsh lighting of a hospital.
What is birth photography?
Birth photography is storytelling. It is a candid capture of your journey to welcome this new baby into the world. It is not staged or posed. With that said, I am happy to adjust my shooting to your level of modesty. Want me to capture every detail? You got it! Do you prefer that I not take any crowning shots? I can do that too. There is more to your story than just the moment the baby emerges!
What if I have a cesarean birth?
It is your responsibility to ask your care provider for permission to have a photographer in the operating room. I encourage you to advocate for whatever you want in your birth. If you choose not to have me in the OR, or the doctor does not allow it, don’t be discouraged! There are still so many opportunities to capture your birth story before and after you are in the OR. I will follow the baby and your partner to the nursery and capture those first precious moments for you. Then we will meet back up with you when you are out of surgery.
My images will be provided to me digital format. What if I want prints?
At this time, I do not offer prints. However, I do give you a print release with your images so that you can purchase your own.
When is the best time to book you?
I recommend contacting me as soon as you decide you would like my services. I take a limited number of clients per month and I can book up several months in advance.
Will you post the images on the internet?
This will be discussed in detail when you hire me, but the short answer is that I never post anything without your permission.