What is a Doula?
Doula is Greek for "in service of" or "with women." Other terms for doula are birth assistant and labor coach. The doula’s role is to be by the side of laboring women to support her and comfort her during the course of her entire labor. Typically this role is played by the father or partner of the laboring women, but these days’ parents have the option of hiring a doula on their own. This takes much of the pressure off the fathers to be "super coaches." Instead of trying to remember all the tricks and skills from their childbirth education (sometimes crash) course, and worrying about doing everything "right", now they can focus on their loved one and let their doula take care of the details. Often I hear that fathers fear they are going to feel left out if they hire a doula, but what I have found is that they actually feel more included. The doula will give the fathers reminders of specific ways to comfort their partners during labor. Remember that most fathers have never seen a birth before, so how can we expect them to "know" what to do or what is going to happen.
Attended over 150 births since March 11, 1997
Training & Education:
- Certified Massage Therapist: San Francisco School of Massage January 1999
- Doula Volunteer at San Francisco General Hospital: 1998 - 2000
- Natural Resources Doula Training: March 1998
- Great Peace Foundation Energetic & Healing Training in Richmond, CA: 1995 & 1996
- BA in Psychology: University of Massachusetts: 1991
Continued Birth Development & Activism:
- Assisted in the Creation of a Doula Volunteer Program at Beverly Hospital: 2001
Benefits of Having a Professional Doula:
Every mother deserves to have her own doula to be supported and honored throughout her entire delivery. Plus my doula clients receive discounted massage rates. Statistics from over 1000 births assisted by doulas have shown these benefits:
- 50% reduction in cesarean rates
- 60% reduction in epidural requests
- 40% reduction in pitocin use
- 40% reduction in forceps delivery
(Research by Marshall Klaus from "Mothering the Mother.")
What does a doula do exactly?
As a doula I will provide unlimited phone support to the couple during early labor. When the couple is ready, I will meet them at the hospital or birthing center (unless a home birth is planned.) Once at the hospital, the nurses will check the mother in and get the mother set up in the labor and delivery room. From there the father/partner and I, as the doula, will continue to provide support for the mother in labor. With the nature of the health care system, often nurses are over worked and do not have the luxury of spending the quality time "coaching" mothers through every contraction. By hiring a doula the parents are guaranteed to have personalized labor support through every contraction. She might get lucky and get a nurse on duty that is not too busy that day and who is focused and ready to support her through, but she might not. To many women, this is a big risk to take. Each birth is a once in a lifetime experience. Another issue with hospitals these days is that if the mother has a really long labor then there might be a shift change with the nurses and doctors and then she has to get used to a whole new crew. It can be a smoother transition if she brings in her own strong labor support team with her. That way the dynamics are not completely changed because her core labor support people will never leave her side.
As your doula my focus will be to empower the mother into having to most supportive and nurturing birthing experience.
My support will include:
- Assisting you in preparing mentally, physically, emotionally & spiritually for your birth
- Counter pressure (for back labor support)
- Keeping you Hydrated & Energized
- Reminders & Recommendations for Position Changes
- Answering Questions & Providing Information
- Keeping your Husband/Partner calm & supplying them with suggestions to keep the mothers best supported
- Creating a safe and sacred space for your newborn to enter into the world
Below are additional statistics about the medical system and benefits to the mothers by hiring a doula:
- 50% of the U.S. hospitals obstetrics units are short staffed.
- The Medical Leadership Council stated that the inability to provide continuous coverage to laboring women could increase the chance of a cesarean birth.
- Women who are accompanied by a doula in childbirth are more satisfied with their birth experience.
- Women who are supported by a doula feel more confident and are more likely to interact closely with their infants and are less likely to have postpartum depression.
- Women are more likely to initiate and continue breastfeeding and fewer newborns have complications.
Services included in Birth Doula Package:
- Unlimited Phone and Email support throughout pregnancy and postpartum
- Labor support throughout the entire labor and birth
- A Personalized written Birth Story
Price Rate for Birth Doula Package: $1,500
Meghan Warner, CD (DONA) & CMT
My Philosophy about Birth as a Doula:
My style is very holistic and nurturing. To me, birth is a sacred experience and as your doula I will support you and your family with all my heart and soul: physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually every step of the way. I bring energy to ground each mother and to create a safe, sacred and loving environment for the newborn to enter into the world.
"Meghan has a true gift as a Doula!"
Quote from Trish - mother of five - all births attended by Meghan as her doula.
VBAC Resources (Vaginal Birth
Labor & Birth Doula Services
Doulas support women and their families through the emotional and physical
aspects of birthing and bringing their children into this world.
"Meghan Empowers Women One Birth At A Time"