My first experience as a doula was an out-of-hospital birth in Tennessee May of 2011; I was a few months pregnant, ready and wanting to aid and support any and every birth-giver I met. At that time, doula work meant ‘hands-on’ physical and emotional support in and out-of-hospital or home. In the summer of 2011, thanks to a scholarship from BirthWell Partners in Birmingham, AL, I completed DONA Doula Training and began attending hospital births and out-of-hospital births with BirthWell in Birmingham, now BirthWise in Birmingham.
Fast-forward to now, after attending dozens of births, I understand the role of a doula to be compassionate-birth-space-protector, hands-off unless otherwise prompted by the birth-giver, aware and woke to the needs of the birther and fellow dance partner[s], ever-anticipating movements and the bodily needs that sustain those movements.
Full-spectrum—prenatal, antenatal, and postpartum—doula work involves knowing what constitutes normal birth and offering encouragement, advice, and affirmation from my presence in the room to my careful and intentional words and whispers. In addition, I am committed to providing care that is personal and tailored to the needs of each individual birth-giver, including [but not limited to]:
- Unlimited email, phone and in-person prenatal care and conversation
- Attendance at prenatal healthcare provider appointments and childbirth preparation classes
- In-home meetings in preparation for birth
- Birth plan and guided visualization sessions
- 24-hour on-call vigilance from 38 weeks until your birth and commitment to working with back-up doulas who can provide additional assistance if birth presence exceeds 18 hours or if I am at another birth; plus, a face-to-face meeting with these doula colleagues to insure comfortability
- Whole Attendance at the birth [in or out-of-hospital]
- Commitment to aiding in the journey that is nursing and bonding with a new life outside the womb, including at least one postpartum visit that respects new family rhythms
My doula fee is adheres to a sliding scale. Please inquire.