Atlanta Bodyworks

A Doula's Touch

Doula: Supporting women and families during pregnancy, childbirth and beyond

My services are tailored to best support each family. Sometimes that means just listening, sometimes it means a caring hug, sometimes it means assisting you in researching your options, and sometimes it means empowering you as you make important decisions.

I will serve as your advocate by helping you have a voice during labor and delivery. At times when we feel vulnerable, we can forget what our goals were and we may not share what we are feeling. I will not speak for you, but rather will remind you of your goals and do my best to make sure you are able to communicate those goals to others. I will be there to make sure you understand any procedures and situations as they arise.

The birth of your baby is a special, once-in-a-lifetime event that deserves the very finest in care and planning.

What is a doula?
A doula provides continuous physical, emotional and informational support to the mother before, during and after childbirth. Doulas do not provide clinical services, instead focus on keeping the parents comfortable and calm with massage, meditation, emotional support and birth plan management.

Why do families choose to have a doula?
Studies have found that when doulas attend births, labors are shorter with fewer complications, decreasing the need for oxytocin, forceps or vacuum extractor deliveries, pain medication or epidurals, and cesarean deliveries. Babies are healthier and breast feed more easily. The growing acceptance of doulas in maternity care is due to the increased recognition of their key contribution to the improved physical outcome and emotional well-being of mother and infant.

Does having a doula impact my choice of birth setting?
No. I am comfortable in any birth setting, from the home to the hospital, and work in cooperation with physicians, nurses, midwives and the partners and families of laboring women.

My mission as your doula
My mission is to provide compassionate, tender care and support for you and your family throughout your pregnancy, birth and the early days of parenthood. With respect to your privacy and dignity, you will receive individualized attention, reassurance, and loving support to ensure a safe and satisfying childbirth.

I am a doula who honors and trusts birth as a natural transition for women and their entire families. My role is to provide unconditional support for the Mom, her partner and family through their experience of labor, birth and the postpartum days without imposing my beliefs or opinions. Supporting your partner so that they are able to participate at their own comfort level is equally as important to me. I am available to you throughout your pregnancy, including guidance when designing your birth plan and in-home support during early labor.

Doula Services:
As a doula, I am available for unlimited telephone and email support throughout your pregnancy. I meet with the mother or mother and her partner during at least two prenatal visits to build rapport and offer assistance with learning what best birth options fit their needs & desires.

The Birth Plan - together, we will work on your vision for your own unique birth experience, and prepare for a healthy, comfortable and confident birth. This will be the foundation of our work together and will include all of the goals we hope to achieve during the pregnancy, labor and birth.

Early Labor - I will come to your home and coach you through early labor, which may include breathing exercises, massage, meditation or just a calm presence as you prepare for the big moment.

During Labor - my number one priority is your comfort and safety during labor with techniques including:

Encouragement
Massage
Reflexology
Relaxation techniques
Guided imagery
Encouragement and suggestions along the way to aid in helping you to stay comfortable

Post-Partum - I stay as long as needed and can assist in initial breast-feeding after delivery. I will schedule a follow-up visit with you and your new baby and provide a written birth narrative of your special day, and offer post partum breastfeeding help if needed.

My goal is that each family member perceives their birth experience as an amazing challenge and a satisfying love-filled accomplishment to begin their parenting journey.

Support for the Partner
The practice of working with an experienced doula during birth is an ancient tradition. Offering wisdom gained from experience and education, I prepare the mother's partner to participate with confidence. The mother's partner wants to share in the pregnancy, birth, and parenting of their child. Today's expectant father is looking to be actively involved: ease his partner's labor pain, welcome his baby at the moment of birth and help care for his newborn at home.

With a doula's support, the expectant father tends to be more involved with his partner and stay more present with her needs, rather than pull away in times of stress. I will provide the father with reassurance, direction and instructions on ways to support the mother during the birth.

Massage and Pregnancy
Pregnancy massage focuses on giving the mother-to-be the special attention she needs, which helps to nurture the new life that is growing within her. As a massage therapist and trained doula, I have specific knowledge to alleviate pain, understand all stages of your pregnancy, and lend emotional support. In addition to my work as a doula, I also am a:

Licensed Massage Therapist
Pregnancy Massage Therapist
Certified Infant Massage Instructor
Certified Watsu Practitioner
Certified Alchemical Hypnotherapist
Certified Hypno Doula with HypnoBabies®

Whether on the massage table or in the warm, saline pool, my goal is to keep both mother and baby safe and comfortable during their massage, relieve any pain the mother-to-be is experiencing, and to give the mother an opportunity to share the same type of medium that her fetus is growing in: a warm, loving, liquid embrace.

What difference does a Doula make?
According to 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 present at birth can give you a:

50% reduction in cesarean rates
25% shorter labor
60% reduction in epidural requests
40% reduction in synthetic oxytocin (Pitocin) use
30% reduction in analgesia use
40% reduction in forceps delivery

I have been attending births since 1988 and am a DONA certified Birth Doula and DONA certified Postpartum Doula. To learn more about my labor support services or to schedule a meeting to see if we are a good fit, or to discuss my fee structure, please contact me by phone 404.610.1303 or email bodyworksatlanta@gmail.com.

Video: Pregnancy Watsu

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