What is a doula?
A doula is a professional trained in childbirth who provides emotional, physical and informational support to the mother who is expecting, laboring, or has recently given birth. The doula's purpose is to help women have a safe, memorable and empowering birthing experience.
Most doula-client relationships begin a few months before the baby is due. During this period, you may feel free to ask questions, express any fears and concerns, and discuss options for creating a birth plan. Your doula will be available by phone and there to answer any questions you may have. Doulas do not provide any type of medical care. However, they are knowledgeable in many medical aspects of labor and delivery. A doula can help you and your partner gain a better understanding of the procedures that may be offered during late pregnancy, during the birth of your child and shortly after.
During your labor and birth, your doula will be there to provide comfort with pain relieving techniques such as breathing, relaxation, massage, and position changes that are conducive to the natural progression of labor. Your doula will also encourage participation from your partner. A doula acts as an advocate for the mother, encouraging and helping her carry out any wishes that she might have for her birth. The goal of a doula is to help the mother experience a positive and safe birth, whether it be an un-medicated birth, induction or cesarean.
Shortly after birth, your doula will spend time helping with breastfeeding and encouraging bonding between the new baby, mother and other family members.
Benefits of hiring a
Studies have shown that having a doula as a member of the birth team decreases the overall cesarean rate by 50%, the length of labor by 25%, the use of synthetic oxytocin by 40% and requests for an epidural by 60%.
What other services are offered?
- Breastfeeding Assistance
"Birth is not only about making babies. Birth is
about making mothers--strong, competent, capable mothers who trust themselves
and know their inner strength." - Barbara Katz
"Cristin was an invaluable part of my pregnancy and completely natural birth with
"Cristin Stanley-Potter is truly dedicated to mothers and families. She goes above and beyond the call of her profession to make sure that mothers have the information they need to give birth and begin parenting fully educated in their options. Her support of laboring mothers is tender, kind, and trusting in your ability to give birth. I have had the pleasure of working with Cristin in the birthing situation as well as seeing her interactions with mothers via the internet. She is professional in all her dealings, and is constantly learning herself to better serve her clients. I enjoy working alongside of Cristin and will recommend her." - Kelli B. Haywood MAT, LCCE (Doula/Educator at Birth True)