Mittwoch, 31. Oktober 2007

What is a doula?

The word "doula" is a Greek word that means women’s servant. Women have been serving other women in childbirth for centuries and have proven that this support from another woman has positive effects on the labor process.
A Doula is a mother figure you can rely on throughout your baby's birth, enabling you to feel safe and secure. Women intuitively know how to give birth, and when left undisturbed will do so without complication. By helping to ensure the best environment for birth and preventing anything from disturbing the birth process, the Doula can assist the woman to have the shortest, easiest labour she can.
The doula's role is to help woman hava a safe, memorable and empowering birthing experience.


Dienstag, 30. Oktober 2007

What does a Doula do?

The Birth Doula:
- Is a reassuring and constant presence.
- Provides assistance with the emotional needs of the mother (mothering)
- Helps to cope with labour.
- Can help a woman and guide her on how to stay relaxed until labour is well established.
- Helps the parents have the birthing experience they want.
- Provides information and natural empathy.
- Creates calmness and relaxation with touch and presence.
- She provides protection, confidence and support to let you go and be yourself!
- Helps the father to be in better harmony with the mother’s emotional state.
He gives more assured emotional support if he is less worried.
- Does not “prescribe” any birthing or labour technique but
- Creates an emotional “holding” environment for the mother encouraging her to allow he own body to tell her what may be best in the different stages of labour/birth.
- Will remain with the mother throughout the entire labour and not leave you alone!
- Can also care for siblings when needed.

The Postpartum Doula:
Postpartum Doulas are there to support you in your first weeks of being a mom.
They provide informational support about feeding and caring for the baby. They provide physical support by cleaning, cooking meals and filling in when mom needs a break, and they provide emotional support by encouraging a mom during those times when she feels overwhelmed.


Montag, 29. Oktober 2007

Benefits of a Doula support

In their book, Mothering The Mother: How a Doula Can Help You Have a Shorter, Easier, and Healthier Birth, Marshall Klaus, John Kennell and Phyllis Klaus summarize scientific studies which have been carried out on the advantages of doula-assisted births.
The results of the studies were as follows:
Reduced the overall cesarean rate by 50%
Reduced the length of labor by 25%
Reduced oxytocin use by 40% Reduced the use of pain medication by 30%
Reduced forceps deliveries by 40%
Reduced requests for epidural pain medication by 60%
Reduced incidences of maternal fever
Reduced the number of days newborns spent in NICU (neo-natal infant care unit)
Reduced the amount of septic workups performed on newborns
Resulted in higher rates of breastfeeding
Resulted in more positive maternal assessments of maternal confidence
Resulted in more positive maternal assessments of maternal and newborn health
Resulted in decreased rates of postpartum depression

Giving birth

The reason for doulas – and for authentic midwives in general – can be interpreted from the perspective of physiologists. In the language of these scientists who study the body functions it is easy to explain how certain situations can inhibit the birth process. This is the case when a labouring woman feels observed, a situation which tends to activate the part of her brain (the "neocortex") that should be at rest during labour. In other words, privacy appears as a basic need. This is also the case in any situation associated with a release of hormones of the adrenaline family. This means that feeling secure is another basic need of pregnant women. The physiological perspective helps understanding why all over the world and through the ages women always had a tendency to give birth close to their mother or close to an experienced mother. It helps understanding the role of the doula as a mother figure.

Childbirth is controlled by hormones and any disturbance of this delicate hormonal balance can slow the labour or even stop it completely. Getting the surroundings and atmosphere just right, ensuring that the woman is not being observed and feels safe, and not engaging her in conversation, all allow her to feel uninhibited and her hormonal responses can take control of the labour.
It is also important that anyone present when a woman is giving birth remains outwardly calm and quiet. The labouring woman has heightened sensitivity and awareness and can sense any increase in adrenalin in those around her which can disturb and slow her labour. The Doula acts as a discreet calming presence for the woman and can help by protecting her from any situation that may affect the flow of her hormones. This allows the birth to be as quick and straightforward as possible and reduces the likelihood of interventions.
A doula will remain close to the labouring mother, and while she may appear to be doing little, she will be quietly and unobtrusively listening and watching for the cues telling her what stage of labour the mother has reached, and she will be ever aware of when the time is right to call the midwife, or to go to hospital, whichever is the choice of the parents.

Sonntag, 28. Oktober 2007

About me

My name is Ana Sánchez, I come from Madrid, Spain and have a wonderful 2 Years old daughter, called Eva. I hold a Bachelor's degree in Education, specialazing in TEFL (Teaching English as a foreign language). I have several years of experience teaching English and Spanish to children and adults in different countries (Spain, Sweden and Germany).
The birth of my daughter has been the most amazing and empowering experience in my whole life! Trained as a doula in London by Dr. Michel Odent and Liliana Lammers at Paramanadoula (Doula UK recognised course), I am certain I can offer assistance with information and suggestions which I am confident will enable parents to enjoy their birth as a positive memorable experience. Certified Prenatal Yoga Teacher and Breastfeeding Counselor (with a personal Breastfeeding experience of over 2 years), I am suitably qualified to offer advice and information on most aspects of pregnancy, labour, childbirth, breastfeeding and the post-natal period.


Samstag, 20. Oktober 2007


I, like most doulas, offer a free initial interview. If a woman decides to hire me, we then schedule 3 prenatal visits. We discuss a wide array of topics, including birth preparation, basic needs of mother during labour and birth, comfort positions during labor, mother-baby bonding and breastfeeding, With my experience as a doula, breastfeeding counselor, and mother, these meetings can cover a myriad of topics!
Once labor begins, I join you either at home or your place of birth, and stay with you until the baby is born. Once your baby is safely latched on to your breast and your family is ready to settle into a restful state of awe, that is when I leave.
We then schedule 3 postpartum visits. We can talk about your birth, your baby, breastfeeding, and anything else related to new parenthood that you might be more interested in. I provide physical support by shopping, cooking meals and filling in when you need a break.

(3 penatal meetings, BIRTH and 3 postnatal visits):
350 Euros