It is important that you hire a doula with whom you feel 100% safe, comfortable and confident. I have many wonderful doula colleagues in the northern CA area. Most of us offer similar services (see At a Glance) so here I would like to tell you why I would hire me.
Hands on support – My combination of massage, anatomy and counseling training help me to understand what you may want physically and emotionally. I have been an LMP and anatomy teacher for almost 20 years which helps me to quickly tune into where my clients could most benefit from touch. I ‘see’ with my hands. One of my first doula clients was stunned that I could tell a contraction was coming before even she could just by watching her face or feeling her back.
Helping discover the essence of your birth experience – Every family holds the health of mother and baby as their highest priority in labor. But birth is so much more! Families deserve a larger vision for their birth. John Gottmann in his research on couples says that one of the predictors of long term relationship success is how a pair describes their meeting. If they describe how they met with warm loving feelings, regardless of the circumstances, they are more likely to report that they are happy together. I believe this translates to parenting. It may not always be easy, but being able to look back on first meeting your baby, and having memories of feeling loved, supported, heard and strong at your birth can give you the strength to get through the tougher days of parenting. My experience as a counselor have aided me in becoming especially skilled at helping families find what it is that will help you achieve that positive birth memory.
Working as part of a team – It may sound very Stuart Smalley, but darn it, people like me! I am a funny gal and I usually carry chocolate. While that may sound like a strange thing to mention, humor, thank you notes and yes, chocolate, are some of the multiple ways I show staff at your birth place that I appreciate their loving care for you, that I understand my scope of practice and I respect their amazing job. The last thing a birthing woman needs is friction in her birth space so I pay special attention to developing positive working relationships at area hospitals and birth centers. My positive reputation as a doula precedes me with many birth practitioners. I have a number of midwives and obstetricians and other health care practitioners who recommend my services to their patients. I am also delighted to be a part of the new Swedish Hospital Doula Program team!