Local Agency Has Positive Impact On Labor And Postpartum Experiences
As a society, we’ve advanced in technology and medicine that has in fact improved medical outcomes for pregnant women and their babies.
We know more today than we ever have about pregnancy and birth. Partners are widely accepted in birthing rooms and a hands on partner is not unheard of, it’s common! These are wonderful things!
However, on a larger scale many couples report feeling that although information was readily available through their care provider (or let’s be honest, Google) the support they needed during childbirth and months after birth was lacking.
The “it takes a village” concept is nice in theory, but no longer realistic. We’ve become a busier society with little time and resources to provide the support needed for new families.
This is where a Doula comes in.
“A Doula What?!” you say. Yes, a Doula.
A Labor Doula is a non-medical professional who provides emotional, physical and informational support during pregnancy, labor and childbirth.
A Postpartum Doula is also a non-medical professional who provides support during the early weeks to months after birth to help ease the transition from pregnancy to parenthood.
Doulas Northwest is co-owned by Kristyn Blocher and Casondra Gerlich. Both Kristyn and Casondra owned and operated solo doula practices for several years before joining together and forming the agency. They both saw a need to expand their reach and increase awareness and accessibility to this service.
“Much of what we hear is, You’re a what? Is that like a midwife?”, says Casondra. “Most people don’t know what a Doula is or that a Doula is even applicable to them. It is often assumed that Doulas are only for natural childbirth or that they have agendas or are advocates. This is unfortunate and is the responsibility of Doulas to help change this perception.”
Vaginal birth, unscheduled or scheduled cesarean birth, unmedicated birth, medicated birth, hospital birth, home birth, birth center birth, birthing in the bed, birthing in the water, birthing with interventions, birthing without interventions, inductions and everything in between, breastfeeding, bottlefeeding, parenting on a schedule, attachment parenting (this list is entirely too long to put here, but you get it, right?!)…is all 100% supported by Doulas from Doulas Northwest.
Casondra explains, “We take no stance and have no philosophy on what your labor or postpartum experience should be. We want to know what’s important to you and then we want to support you in that and help to make both your experience and your partner’s experience a positive one. We have found to be true that it is less the details of what occurred during the birth and postpartum time and more of the support that is felt and the ability to be a participant decisions made that makes the difference. Of course we want healthy physical outcomes, but we want healthy emotional outcomes as well.”
Kristyn finds herself very passionate about increasing awareness of Postpartum Doulas. “When people find out that a Postpartum Doula will give extra attention to older siblings, listen to the new mother about what she’s experiencing and generally lighten the load of the new family, people often get wide eyed and exclaim that it’s exactly what they need or needed.”
“Women don’t have to recover alone. Partners don’t have to wing it and wonder if they’re doing it right. They don’t have to figure it out all alone. The Doula doesn’t do everything for the mother, but helps to create a confidence that she might not have so easily reached on her own. Breastfeeding, newborn care, physical recovery after birth…it’s a lot!”
Doulas Northwest offers Labor Support and Postpartum Support in the Olympia, Tacoma and surrounding areas.
If you’d like more information about this service or schedule an interview with a labor or postpartum doula, contact Doulas Northwest at 360.602.1564 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Photo credit: Aspin Photography