Your pregnancy test came back positive, and your mind is a whirlwind of emotions and details that you will need to think about. What do you do next?
A doula can provide you with information about all your birth options, point you to resources, and provide physical and emotional comfort and support during your birth.
A monitrice, like a doula, is also a labor support person. But a monitrice has had extra training and may perform some clinical assessments outside the scope of a doula. L&D nurses or midwives, for example, may refer to their labor support services as "monitrice" rather than "doula."
In February 2017, the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists released a committee opinion “Approaches to Limit Intervention During Labor and Birth” which affirms the role of doulas at births.
"Evidence suggests that, in addition to regular nursing care, continuous one-on-one emotional support provided by support personnel, such as a doula, is associated with improved outcomes for women in labor. Benefits found in randomized trials include shortened labor, decreased need for analgesia, fewer operative deliveries, and fewer reports of dissatisfaction with the experience of labor."
While doulas can't guarantee the outcome of your birth, they can increase your satisfaction with your birth experience.
I love working with doulas at our home births, and I have a list of fabulous doulas I can recommend! If this is your first birth, I'd strongly encourage you to consider adding a doula to your birth team.
Occasionally, I will get an inquiry from someone who really wants to birth at home with a midwife but who has a circumstance, such as a prior cesarean delivery or twins, which falls outside our midwifery regulations. In these instances, I can offer labor support/monitrice services.
As a labor support person, I work alongside your chosen provider(s). I am not a replacement for an obstetrician or licensed midwife and do not in any way direct your care.
While I respect a family's choice in planning an unassisted home birth, I cannot provide labor support for those births.
Labor support services include two prenatal visits, and at those visits, we will discuss what you want from your birth experience. I will provide you with the resources to form a birth plan which you'll discuss with your provider. During your labor and birth, I will provide physical and emotional support, comfort, and information. I won't take the place of your partner or your mother or your best friend, but rather, I will assist them in providing you with comfort and reassurance. I am there for all of you.
I won't make any medical decisions for you. You are intelligent, strong, and capable of making decisions that are right for you and your family. I will remind you of this as I support you along the way.
I will also visit you after your birth. At this visit, you'll have the chance to talk about your birth experience, get help with breastfeeding if needed, and I'll help you identify or locate any additional services you may need.
From the moment you hire me until after you deliver your baby, I am always only a phone call or a text away.
My labor support spaces are limited. If I am unavailable, I will be happy to connect you with an excellent doula.