When I am invited to attend a birth, my intention is to help ensure a safe and satisfying birth experience. I will support and guide to the best of my abilities. I am a resource, who is supportive from the very first meeting with a mom and dad, or partner. I value the importance of being flexible, as things change, yet following the hopes that are created in a birth plan. It is not my role to judge you in any decision you make at any point throughout the labor and delivery of your baby.
I prefer to meet with you and your partner as often as needed so we can become acquainted, to explore and discuss your priorities and any fears or concerns, and to plan how we might best work together. During these meetings, I will want to become familiar with your Birth Plan, including your preferences regarding management options and the use of pain medications. I also want to know your own best ways of coping with pain and fatigue and how you and your partner foresee working together with me.
After the birth of your baby, I remain with you until you are comfortable and your family is ready for quiet time together. I am available for phone contact to answer questions about the birth or your baby. I enjoy making arrangements to get together with you within two weeks after your baby's birth.
A doula is a non-medical assistant who provides physical, emotional and informed choice support in prenatal care, during childbirth and the postpartum period. A birth doula is a continuous care provider during labor. A doula also provides massage and other non-pharmacological pain relief measures, positioning suggestions during labor and birth, explanations of medical procedures and interventions (including help to avoid unnecessary interventions), and support from someone who understands and trusts the process of birth and who helps facilitate the birth experience for the parents and baby.
Studies have shown that doulas offer numerous benefits both to the mother and child. Women supported by a labor assistant have a reduction in the duration of labor, less use of pain relief medications, lower rates of operative vaginal delivery, and in many studies a reduction in caesarian deliveries. Newborns in births supported by doulas have lower rates of fetal distress and fewer are admitted to neonatal intensive care units.
Having a doula is an ally for the father/significant other. Their supportive roles are similar, but the differences are crucial. The father or partner typically has little experience in the labor process, and may receive enormous benefit from the presence of a doula in the room. More important, many fathers experience the birth from their own emotional standpoint, finding it difficult to be objective in such a situation, so a doula really can facilitate the family process. Studies have shown that fathers usually participate more actively during labor with the presence of a doula than without one. A responsibility of a doula will support and encourage the father or partner in their personal support style rather than replacing them.
Out of Birth Day with Val, came a passion for helping moms to recover with love and support in the postpartum period. I would listen to my clients tell me that they were still feeling really sore, and that what the hospitals gave them for the recovery from episiotomies, swelling and tearing was not helping… “Now what?” was a common question.
I created Birth Day Postpartum Recovery Spray for moms after their delivery. This spray helps with everything from minor swelling to significant tearing post-delivery. Even moms who encounter a caesarian birth can benefit from the recovery properties of this spray on the incision area.