But I bet you are asking about the specific ways that I will accompany you on your current journey. Here is what you can expect:
1. We usually begin with an interview. Where would you like to meet? I go where you are comfortable- your home, your fave java spot, your neighborhood outdoor sunny spot- and we discuss what I can do for you. After that, you make your decision, and if I'm in it, we proceed to...
2. Prenatal meetings. Most doulas will plan out roughly two meetings with you and your partner(s), or whoever will be with you at your birth. Many will happily accompany you to meet your medical care provider, too (I would be excited to do that!)
At my prenatal meetings, we discuss what kind of birth you anticipate, and I will show you some ideas for how we can otpimize your chances of getting that. If you have questions about any aspect of your journey, I will get you answers.
Note: Sometimes those answers will be, "Let's ask your care provider," if the answer is a specific medical one. After all, a doula can never practice medicine, which means she cannot make a diagnosis or prescribe anything! A good doula will also not contradict your care provider or get between them and you; but she may just give you some questions to ask them, so you can be sure that the suggestions they gave you are the best ones for you! I respect your relationship with your midwife or doctor, and I want to help that relationship grow and stay positive. That's why I help you with information: in case they forgot to mention a point, or have not given you enough information for you to feel satisfied with what you have been told. I am there to facilitate, and facilitate I shall!
3. FINALLY we come to the big shebang: the arrival of your precious baby. Now, many ladies of the laboring variety simply don't need any extra help for the first while. They go about their lives- though perhaps just a little more slowly!- while those early contractions do their work. Later, as things become more intense, I may be called in. I love frequent updates, as they help both of us to decide the best time for me to arrive and pitch in with my particular brand of support. Sometimes I even "phone doula" a laboring woman to help her stay calm a little longer! If things last for a very long time, I can't guarantee I won't call in someone to back me up so I can recuperate and rejoin you later...but I can guarantee you will never be alone. My record so far is 26 hours, by the way!
After your bundle has joined us, I remain with the family for roughly an hour an a half. That seems to be about the right amount of time for everyone to be properly introduced and settled in for a good snuggle, and for the new baby to have tried out eating for the first time. I try to be sure you and your adult companion(s) have eaten, too! We can all get so caught up in the moment that we don't think of the good old insulin levels; but you have just begun the most epic part of your journey, the Everest of all the life paths- parenthood! You certainly need your nourhishment now! And once I know you are all settled and satisfied, I quietly bow out and leave you to your family bonding time.
4. As a final measure of support, I come to you for one more visit and relaxed check-in a week or two after your birth. I will ask you how you are doing, and how the whole family is faring in this new phase of your adventure. While your care provider looks after your physical condition, I cater to the rest of you and yours. Do you need a listening ear? A breastfeeding tip or two? Looking for information on
postpartum depression, or community parenting resources? I want to be sure you are feeling cared for in this tiring, stressful time of life, and I won't stop till that happens.
5. Perks along The Path: By the way, I'd like to mention a couple of "extras" that I throw in, features that are unique to Wise Path. For starters, I'm pleased to offer women up to four hours of extra postpartum support if their birth ended as an unplanned cesarean section. After all, I have been there! I know the conflicting feelings, the physical recovery- the need for some extra kudos after a major abdominal surgery. I will walk with you a little further for having gone through that, with pleasure.
Also, watch for one killer of a birth story! I write out every one, and I'm quite proud of each unique tale. It is a great tool to help you remember details, and process the experience. It can also be a neat keepsake to pass on to your little one someday!
My system of companionship is thorough and complete. Does it sound like we might be a good fit? Look me up!