I have been a doula since 1982 and a monitrice since 1996 when I began my midwifery practice. The doula care I provide is as a monitrice. A monitrice has clinical training (usually a midwife or RN) beyond that of a traditional doula. As a licensed midwife, I am qualified to provide additional monitoring while you labor at home, before going to the hospital.
At the hospital, I continue in the more traditional doula role, providing support throughout the labor, birth, and immediate postpartum. I refrain from performing clinical tasks which are then the job of the attending nurse, doctor, or midwife. At the postpartum home visit, I also check your baby’s weight and vitals, and perform your examination to evaluate your normal recovery.
Upon your request for more information, I’ll send you my Doula Information PDF, and then will be happy to come meet with you for an initial interview consultation at no cost. Once we move forward, your care includes availability for phone consultation throughout your pregnancy, and an in-home prenatal visit prior to the birth at about 36 weeks. This visit will compliment your scheduled doctor/midwife appointments along the way.
Once labor is established, at the appropriate time, I will join you at your home to support you and assist in making you as comfortable and relaxed as possible to enhance your labor progress. In addition, (unlike a traditional doula) I am able to monitor your vital signs, fetal heartbeat, position, and cervical changes which can be especially helpful and reassuring if you would like to stay at home as long as possible.
When we arrive at the hospital or birthing center, I will be with you serving as your doula to provide coaching, massage, and encouragement to both you and your partner tailored to your individual needs and desires. During the pushing stage, I use warm compresses with oil on your perineum to help give you comfort and aid in your relaxation between contractions. I will typically stay about 2 or so hours after the birth to help with initial breastfeeding assistance and your postpartum comfort and care.
Another primary doula role is advocating for you with the nurses, doctors, or midwives, informing them with clarification of your birth-plan preferences. This may include counseling if unplanned decisions need to be made. With my 20+ years of doula work in the Nashville area I have developed a favorable working relationship with the birthing community. I strive to be an advocate for the client while maintaining a good rapport with the medical staff.
Phone consultations are provided as needed throughout your postpartum season. As part of your doula/monitrice care, I also come to your home for a postpartum visit or two if needed. The first visit is done within a week after the birth.
This visit includes:
- Examination of the mother and assessment of her recovery
- Check weight, temperature, and other vitals of the baby
- Breast feeding evaluation and support
- Post birth reflection chat
- Provide helpful tips and recommendations for newborn care