Doula Care Arlington + Boston AREA Doula Services
A birth doula is a helpful guide throughout your prenatal, birth, and postpartum experience. I strive to be an effective resource for information, advice, and reference material. I am here to support you emotional, physically, and with the sharing of information. It’s important that you understand that a doula does not dispense medical advice but to help you get your questions answered from your providers, and to help you figure out what those questions may be! Though I am also a midwife, if I am hired as your doula it is important to understand that I am not acting as a medical care provider.
A doula gives labor support with the understanding that the birth process is typically a normal healthy event in a woman’s life. They also understand that it can be unpredictable. Doulas are experienced in the normal course of labor and birth and are able to give physical, emotional, and informative guidance to the mother and her family. They are there to provide whatever support a mother needs and will follow the lead of each individual. They are not there to “take over” your labor or coerce you into an alternative labor experience. However, they can advocate for a mother’s desires during communications with medical practitioners. Studies have shown the presence of doulas to increase the chance of a natural non-medicated labor, decrease the time of labor, lessen the need for an epidural or cesarean, and lead to greater fulfillment on the part of the mother and her birth experience.
After your free initial consultation I offer two or three prenatal appointments in your home. During these appointments we will discuss your wishes for how you would like your birth to go and what comfort techniques you think will be most helpful. We can also discuss any physical or emotional challenges you might anticipate or are facing already. We also discuss postpartum planning and breastfeeding (if that is your plan). Though there are certain topics I like to cover, these appointments are yours and we can focus on whatever’s on your mind! I also like to meet other people (partners, friends, or other family), that may be at your birth.
Labor & delivery
I am on call for you from 37-42 weeks. Often, I hear from clients as they begin to feel something “different” and offer support and suggestions over the phone to keep you rested during the early stages. Once you’re contractions are getting more intense, I am able to join you in labor whenever you feel you could use the support, in your home or at your place of delivery. During your birth I may: offer encouragements, explain what you’re feeling, help you to move, help you to rest, massage your sore areas, massage for comfort, help you find the right song, help you understand any suggested interventions, help you decide when to go to your place of birth, listen to you process through emotions, run warm water over your back or belly, cool you down with washcloths, remind you to eat and drink, hold the space quietly so that your other support people can support you, and many more!
After the birth
After the birth I will stay with you to help facilitate nursing. In addition, I will then return postpartum to review the birth experience and provide further nursing assistance. I believe the experience of go over your birth with someone who was there is an important part of the processing of such a momentous moment. I continue to offer support and resources after this appointment as you adjust to your new baby and recover.
Meet my doula partner, Tara Kenny
Tara Kenny is a Certified Professional Midwife, Certified Lactation Counselor and Doula who has practiced in the Boston area since receiving her CPM in 2006. Her interest in women’s health and pregnancy began while completing her BA degree in Sociology and Anthropology at Lewis and Clark College in 1999, where she traveled to Kenya to live and work in a rural hospital as part of her thesis on childbirth practices. During college, Tara pursued her birth doula training through PALS (Pacific Association for Labor Support) and then went though CAPPA (Childbirth and Postpartum Professional Association) for her postpartum doula training. She is also a Certified Infant Massage and Communication Instructor through the Foundation for Healthy Family Living.
Tara has traveled to work in birth centers in Australia, Belize, and Senegal. She also became a Certified Lactation Counselor through The Healthy Children Project.