The number of our meetings before birth will depend on your individual needs and on how much time we have before your due date. Usually there are no more than 3 meetings. However, it is very important that we meet before your birth at least once, so I can learn a bit more about you, your personal situation, preferences, and expectations. This will allow me to support you in birth most effectively.
During these visits we also can:
- Create your birth plan (document that can help your medical team better understand and take in consideration your preferences in any possible birth scenario).
- Talk about your fears and find ways to minimize their influence on your birth process. Common fears we can discuss are not only the fear of pain in labor, but any other fears such as fear of being a bad mother, fear of hospital staff, fear of not being able to do it yourself etc. Any of these fears can slow down or even stop the labor increasing chances for medical interventions. Bringing up your fears with me in a safe environment will allow you reduce intensity of these emotions in labor and find solutions or resources to cope with them.
- Discuss how to minimize the effect of past traumas related to the previous pregnancies, births of older children or past sexual experiences, the memories of which may appear in upcoming birth. Working through them is as important as with other fears for the same reasons.
- Try different breathing or physical support techniques (massage, rebozo, acupressure, poses with support of another person) that can be helpful in birth. This way you will know about them ahead of time and we will have a chance to find out which ones you like more or are most comfortable for you. I can also teach these techniques to your husband/mother or any other person you plan to invite to your birth for additional support.
- I can also answer your questions or we can talk about:
— birth physiology and how it is connected with your emotions
— how to minimize painful sensations in labor
— how optimize fetal position for faster labor
— what tricks your partner can use to give you maximum comfort in labor
— what you need to know about hospital protocols in case of birth in hospital setting
— how to get the most positive experience in case of caesarean birth
— particularities of home birth and what can be useful to have at hand
— trends in birth: water birth, hypnobirthing, orgasmic birth, dancing for birth, singing in birth etc.
— how to have a good start in breastfeeding (basic information)
— how to make sure you have enough support in your postpartum
— how to introduce a newborn in the family life so the older kids are not jealous.
Please, keep in mind that these visits are not a substitute for prenatal classes (we cannot achieve the volume of information given in them during these short visits), and neither are they a substitute for a psychological or psycho therapeutic help (as it is a completely different professional relationship that cannot be expected from a doula). I also don’t make decisions for you, but rather provide you with most full scientific based information so you could make your own choice that feels the best to you. My task will be to understand this choice and, when possible, help make your wishes come true.
Even though, my services at the moment are practically free, during our first visit both of us will sign the contract. I would like to do that so both of us clearly understand and accept responsibilities and roles of each other and therefore feel protected. The text of the contract will be provided to you in advance, so you can inform yourself about it ahead of time.
Presence and support at Birth
You will have an opportunity to call me in regards of anything 24 hours a day beginning 2 weeks before your estimated due date up until labor begins. I will remain with you once active labor has begun until 2 hours after your baby is born. In birth my main goal is to provide you with continuous emotional, informational and physical support, however, what exactly I’m going to do will depend on your vision for your birth and your vision of my role in it, what I hope to find out during our prenatal meetings. I will try to meet your expectations to the best of my abilities, remaining within my competence and European doula code of ethics.
Depending on your desires, in birth I can:
- help you relax and feel comfortable as much as the circumstances permit me, by using massage, rebozo and pressure.
- assist you in achieving an optimal fetal positioning
- suggest positions and changes to help ease pain and facilitate a smoother, more effective labor
- provide reassurance and encouragement
- talk you through emotional blockages which may come up in labor
- keep your ‘environment’ going as in your plan – aromatherapy, music, candles etc
- take photos or videos of the birth itself and precious first moments as a family with the equipment that you provide or mine. I’m not a professional, but have a little bit of experience with manual settings of professional cameras that allows me to make good photos in dimmed light that is desirable at birth.
- help your partner or any other family member you choose to take as a participant in your birth to become involved in the birth to the extent both of you feel comfortable.
- provide emotional and informational support in stressful situations for the whole family in case of a medical emergency. Help you understand what is happening, pros and cons of different procedures, so you can make an informed decision that works best for you.
- In case of a medical emergency, to continue providing you support during the administration of the medications and help you deal with potential side effects.
- In case of a c-section, provide you constant support at all times throughout the operation, letting you know what is going, helping to live through a traumatic experience with courage and find strength to see this birth in most positive and joyful way possible.
What I CANNOT do in birth:
- perform clinical tasks, diagnose or give medical recommendations.
- speak to your doctor/midwife for you. I will discuss your concerns with you, suggest options, and identify key questions that may help you with your decisions, but you (or your partner) should speak to the clinical staff.
- make decisions for you, but I can help you to obtain most complete information for a conscious choice that suits you and remind you if there is a departure from your birth plan.
- force my own beliefs regarding the birth process. I will support each and every unique birthing process, helping you remain calm and achieve maximum satisfaction from your experience.
One postpartum visit
During that visit, we can talk about how your birth experience was for you, and I will be glad to answer any of your questions related to breastfeeding, emotional and physical recovery from birth, infant soothing and coping skills for new parents. I have also started developing my own network of specialists around childbirth and parenting, and may refer you a certain specialist if you have a request for it.
If after reading this page, you have some questions or would like to make an appointment, hit the contacts button, and write me an email or give me a call. I will be glad to help you.