Doula/Birth Support

What is a doula?

A doula is an experienced companion who understands the emotional and physical needs of a woman and her family throughout pregnancy, birth and the early postnatal period. A doula provides continuous support (non-medical) and care for a woman throughout her whole experience.

The word ‘doula’ comes from the ancient Greek meaning ‘woman’s servant’. Another translation is ‘to mother the mother’. They are specially trained to emotionally, physically and practically support a woman and her partner through this transitional period in their lives. They have extensive knowledge of the birth process, and essentially what is needed to allow the woman’s labour and birthing hormones work in the most safe and effective way.

Women have complex needs during childbirth and the weeks that follow. In addition to medical care and the love and companionship provided by their partners, women need consistent, continuous reassurance, comfort, encouragement and respect. They need individualized care based on their circumstances and preferences. 

The relationship usually begins months before the birth and extends into the early weeks/months of the postnatal period. Some couples are surprised to learn that on the big day midwives do not stay with them all the time. They have other women and babies to care for, paperwork to complete and hospital policies to follow. When their shift is over, your care is handed over to another midwife. With this another relationship needs to be formed. Whereas your doula stays with you throughout and is someone who knows you, your wishes, what you value and what you want.   

Throughout labor doula aids the woman/couple by offering physical, emotional and practical support. She provides information about the birth process, the available medical assistance and the less invasive or natural alternatives. She does not take over, or get in the way. She is there to talk things over with, help you make decisions, offer suggestions and support your choices.

A doula is a complementary part of a couple’s care team, particularly for a couple birthing within a hospital setting.  

Why have a doula?

A growing body of research shows doulas really do make a difference. The use of a doula has clear benefits for families during childbirth and the postnatal period.

Doulas improve the overall outcome and experience of women giving birth. Studies have shown that when women use a doula during labour, there are many benefits:

  • 50% decrease in caesarean sections

  • 25% decrease in the length of labour

  • 30% decrease in use of forceps

  • 40% decrease in use of oxytocin to speed labour up

  • 60% decrease in use of epidurals

  • 30% decrease in use of pain medications

Marshall H.Klaus, MD, John H. Kennell, MD and Phyllis H.Klaus, CSW, MFT (2002). The Doula Book: How a trained labour companion can help you have a shorter, easier and healthier birth. Massachusetts: Perseus Publishing

 

Studies have also shown that women who use a doula have a lower incidence of postpartum depression, breastfeed longer and are closer with their infants. Women who use a doula are more satisfied with their birth experiences, however they birth their babies.

This is because a doula’s role is to ensure that the woman is the central active participant in her birth experience, enabling her to give birth in her own way, whatever challenges present themselves along the path.

 

Packages

 

Standard Doula Package – $800.00                                                                 

  • First meeting of 1 hour – free of charge*

  • 6 – 10 hours in Prenatal visits (see below)

  • Holistic Prenatal Consultation (see below) plus access to herbal remedies – Available at reduced rate for clients)

  • Ongoing nutritional and holistic advise

  • The comprehensive Birth Workbook 

  • Complimentary pack of herbal remedies

  • Unlimited phone and email support throughout pregnancy & postpartum

  • Holistic birth planning and preparation

  • Comprehensive resource library; Books/DVD’s

  • Reduce rate to massage and infrared light therapy services

  • On call 38 – 42 weeks

  • Continuous support for labor/birth

  • Initial postnatal support for first 1-3 hours after birth

  • 1-2 postnatal visits in early days/weeks

  • Breastfeeding support

  • Referral to other support and services as needed

*  This first meeting is a obligation-free and informal time for us to meet and answer any general questions about a doula’s role. It is very important that you and your partner are comfortable with me, and my role in the birth. 

You may be thinking, that this all sounds great, but I can't afford a doula. Lets clear that little misconception up real quick. If you REALLY want a doula to attend your birth, there are many ways to make that happen. As a doula I can arrange payment plans, just as long as the full fee is collected before birth. One other idea is asking for Birth Doula funds at your baby shower as opposed to baby gear. People are often surprised to hear that you can pay for birth doula care using your Health Savings Account(HSA) or your Flexible Spending Account (FSA). In fact, under the IRS regulations, you can pay for 100% of a doula's fee out of your HSA or FSA account!

Standard Doula Package

(In detail)

Prenatal Visits:

As part of the doula service there are two prenatal visits of approximately 2 hours each. Our time together helps to build a trusting relationship, so it’s important that these sessions are attended by both parents. These sessions provide the opportunity to develop a partnership thats helps you navigate your birthing journey confidently. 

 

During the 1st prenatal visit, we may: 

  • Discuss your goals and expectations for the birth, and what’s important to you

  • Debrief any prior birth experience

  • Go through the Birth Workbook

  • Begin to prepare your birth preferences (“birth plan’)

  • Discuss the importance of optimal fetal positioning

  • Talk about the stages of labour, and further your understanding of possible complications or interventions you may face within a hospital setting (if relevant)

  • Discuss advocacy, informed choice and consent

  • Leave you with some ‘home work’

During the 2nd prenatal visit, we may:

  • Work through the principles of ‘active birth’ and the optimal positions for the labour stages

  • Map your pelvis and explore how to work with it for your birth

  • Explore comfort techniques and relaxation methods you may like to try in labour

  • Finalise your birth preferences/plan

  • Discuss the birthing team’s roles and responsibilities

  • Discuss the logistics of labour-day, when to call your doula

  • Leave you with some ‘home work’

  • Begin to chat about your postnatal expectations with your new baby

Holistic Prenatal Nutrition Consultation:

As part of the doula service you will receive a comprehensive Holistic Prenatal Nutrition Consultation. It’s preferable this is done at the earliest opportunity within your pregnancy (and our time together). 

I will assess your potential nutritional status before the pregnancy began (and/or your preconception plan), your current dietary habits and supplement regime, review any past or recent blood tests, any individual needs you may have (e.g. prior/current vegetarian or vegan, iron deficiency, food allergies/intolerances). From this we go on to structure an array of balanced and varied food choices, plus a pregnancy supplement regime specific to your needs.

Postnatal Visit:

There are 1-2 postnatal visits of up to 2 hours each. The first visit is usually 2 or 3 days after the birth, and the second anywhere up to 1-3 weeks later. 

These provide the chance to see how you and your new baby are doing, debrief the birth and answer any questions you may have. If I have encapsulated your placenta, your capsules will be returned to you at the first postnatal visit, and you’ll also receive your photos on disc.

I will help with any breastfeeding support you may need and/or offer referral to community resources for further support. I will provide suggestions for how to make the early days more comfortable for you and provide any natural or holistic support I feel you may benefit from.


I am always mindful of how tiring the early weeks are with a newborn, so I aim to keep my visits brief if you prefer. If I feel you could benefit from additional postnatal support, I will suggest them to you. 

Bookings:

Please contact me early in your pregnancy to check my availability around your due date. In order to devote as much time as possible to clients, and fulfill my other roles I typically only support 1-2 births per month.

 

Once you have made contact and I have availability, we will schedule a time to meet in person. This is an obligation-free, informal get together that allows us to go over any further questions you have about a doula’s role, and to also see if we are a good match personally. At this time I will also give you the Doula Package booklet, which outlines the service in detail and includes the booking forms and contracts for you to read through.

 

Additional Doula Services:

(At Discounted Prices)

Pre-Birth Services

Blessing Way Ceremony: A blessing Way is an old Navajo (native American) ceremony, which celebrates a woman’s rite of passage into motherhood.

Cost: $75

Placenta Tree of Life Print and Reading

Cost: $30

Post-Birth Services (Please visit Post Partum Healing for more detailed information)

 

Mothering Nourishinga bundle of nourishment delivered to the door to help restore mom's vitality post-birth.

Cost: $125

Mother Embracing: have someone to talk to who can offer guidance and support to help with mom's recovery and healing.

Cost: Sliding Fee Scale

Mother Healinghelp support and heal mom right after birth with herbal remedies and self care.

Some of the mother warming services provided are:

  • Herbal Sitz Bath

  • Moxa applications

  • Abdominal hot stone application

  • Belly Binding (includes belly bind fabric)

  • Foot Soak

  • Abdominal Massage with oils

  • Yoni Steam 

Full Service Cost: $350

Individual Healing Services: $50

Mother Sealing Ceremonyceremony to "close the birthing process," and honor the new mother.

Cost: $100

Sweet Sleep: Sleep shifts for mother to reset and sleep

  • 16 to 24 hours of nighttime support so you can sleep

  • 8 hour shifts (10 PM-6 AM)

  • Includes a 1-hour planning meeting before baby arrives

Cost: $175 for 16 hours/$350 for 24 hours

Herbal Packages:

Birthing Kit: This kit is a compilation of teas, essential oils, tools for relief and labor assistance to help mom get through her special process. The Doula will present this with the mother at the time of birth. $45

Post Natal Kit: This kit is a compilation of herbal remedies, teas, essential oils, tools for relief to help after the birth of the baby. The Doula will present this to the mother on a post birth visit. $45

Mothering Kit- This kit is a compilation of herbal remedies teas, essential oils, and healing tools for the body, mind, and soul. $45

See The Tea Room for other herbal and handmade items.

Tiffany McBride, MA, LCPC

Psychotherapy/Private Insurance

706 E. Oglesby Ave, Suite 300

Normal, IL 61761

Tiffany McBride, MA, LCPC, RMT

Energy Medicine/Self Pay

Washington Park of Bloomington

2103 E. Washington, Bldg. 3

Bloomington, IL 61701

Also available by Phone or Zoom 

(217) 979-0369

holisticvibrations777@gmail.com

By Appointment Only

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© 2020 Tiffany McBride