As a doula, I get to know women and their families, providing support unique to them during pregnancy, birth, and early postpartum. I believe that women instinctually know how to birth and I encourage women to trust their intuition. I believe that birth and all realms of reproductive health are sacred ground, and therefore deserve utmost respect.
Prenatally, I offer two to three visits (or more of needed) in which we talk about ideals, fears, or concerns, develop a birth plan, if you’d like assistance with that, talk about what physiologic birth looks like, get familiar with comfort measures, and we talk a lot about postpartum; how you can best take care of yourself and be taken care of during those first several weeks.
You can of course call me anytime. But I am “on call” for you 24/7 starting at 37 weeks. I’ll be by your side (unless you prefer somewhere else for me) for the duration of your labor until a few hours after birth.
Then comes postpartum
Postpartum care is a huge missing link in healthcare. The weeks after birth hold incredible transition and because of the immense (and necessary) physical and hormonal changes occurring, can be energizing and restorative or depleting. Not only does good postpartum care help to offset postpartum depression and aid with other issues in the first few years of motherhood, it is the foundation for feminine health all the way through and beyond menopause.
All over the world among traditional/ indigenous/ non-colonized cultures, we see the same universal themes of warmth, spice, extended rest, and postpartum specific body work taking place after birth. Even in cultures of Western European decent, if you do some digging, it exists (or existed) there too. Our great grandmothers may have called it “confinement” or “lying in” or perhaps your great grandmother called it “the sitting month” or “mother roasting”. The cultural flavors vary, but these principals of tending to the whole woman stay the same.
I’m persuaded that the age old practices of a slow and warm postpartum time (and menstration too!) are essential to we as women functioning and thriving. Women are the pillars of society. Truly, we are. We must be taken care of, so that we can take care of our children and our communities.
I’ll come around several times after baby arrives and provide hands on restorative support, a listening ear, breastfeeding support, and some house work or whatever tasks need to be done to keep your family going while you’re healing. Prenatally, we’ll plan ways in which to get your existing community involved. It takes a village, truly. And it’s supposed to.
*A note about loss.
You don’t have to have a baby in your arms to be postpartum. Weather you’ve carried a pregnancy to term, or if your pregnancy ended in abortion or miscarriage, you are postpartum just the same. You will experience the same hormonal changes, and will have the same physical needs. Unfortunately, in our death-denying society there is almost no place for women who have experienced pregnancy loss or termination to be seen and cared for. If you need support during or after an abortion or miscarriage, please reach out. I’m honored to stand and sit with you while you release and restore.