If a woman doesn’t look like a goddess during labor, then someone isn’t treating her right.” ~ Ina May Gaskin

The birth of a baby is a true miracle that a mother and father will remember forever. I became a doula after photography first brought me into the labor and delivery room. I love to witness the way birth transforms women and their partners, and I am in awe of women’s strength. As much as birth itself deeply fills my heart, I often left with a feeling of “I should have done something”. I witnessed so many families struggle without proper support as I sat quietly documenting their day, and I wanted to be able to make a difference. I wanted to be rock for each mom that I was photographing. My goal is to not only provide irreplaceable memories, but to also support and empower moms and their partners on the amazing journey to parenthood. A birth doula supports you and your partner by providing the knowledge, comfort, and education necessary for a fulfilling birth experience, using techniques such as: • massage • breathing techniques and vocalization • counter pressure • visualization • relaxation • education and advocacy Doula support allows the laboring woman's partner a greater sense of relaxation, and therefore an increased ability to care for the mother-to-be on an emotional level.

 
Echo Photography and Doula labor1.jpg

What is a doula?

 

Doulas are individuals who are hired by families looking to have additional support during their pregnancy and birth.  We are there to help with emotional, physical, and informational support – we don’t make medical decisions, nor do we “replace” dads and partners.  Doulas give prenatal support and continuous labor support.  Having the sort of support that doulas are able to give has been shown to reduce the rates of interventions (including cesareans) and improve satisfaction rates.  And the research has shown that there are no known downfalls.  Thus the quote “if a doula were a drug, it would be malpractice not to use it.”

Echo Photography and Doula labor2.jpg

Clinical studies show the benefits of working with a birth doula include:

  • higher levels of confidence in partners as coaches
  •  increased maternal sense of satisfaction in the birth
  • overall sense of well-being following delivery
  •  easier transition into parenthood
  • higher breastfeeding rates

 

Echo Photography and Doula labor3.jpg

Birth Statistics when working with a doula:

  • 40% reduction in the need for forceps
  • 31% decrease in the use of Pitocin
  • 28% decrease in the risk of Cesarean
  • 12% increase in the likelihood of spontaneous vaginal birth
  • 9% decrease in the use of any medications for pain relief
  • 14% decrease in the risk of newborn admission to special care nursery
  • 34% decrease in the risk of being dissatisfied with the birth experience
 

Navigating the wealth of information about pregnancy can be overwhelming.  I've got you! I've added a collection of my favorite articles & tips on Pinterest to help you have a smooth pregnancy, delivery, and postpartum.