MY EXPERIENCE WITH & WITHOUT A DOULA
What is a doula?
A doula is a trained person who provides continuous physical, emotional, and informational support to a family during pregnancy, labor, birth, and immediate postpartum. Doulas are not medically trained and cannot perform any clinical task. As a doula, I spend time with you throughout your pregnancy getting to know you and your family, and educating you on the childbirth process, interventions, comfort measures, relaxation, creating a birth plan, and so much more, so that you have a feeling of ease and preparedness for your birth. During the birth, I am there helping you in whatever capacity you need. The list goes on and on as to what we do, but this can be anything from providing counterpressure, massage, keeping you hydrated, helping you relax, helping your birth partner in figuring out the best ways to help you, helping you change positions every hour or so to encourage progress in labor, and problem solving, especially in the case of stalled labor. I am trained in the childbirth education process so that I may know what needs to happen in certain situations. Doulas DO NOT take the place of your birth partner, but rather we help them be what you need. It's nice for your partner to be able to go to the bathroom, or maybe get something to eat, maybe even sleep for a bit and rest assured knowing you are well taken care of. Oftentimes, during a long or difficult birth, it requires a lot of hands-on work and energy, and it is SO nice to be able to have an extra set of hands for those situations. Can you imagine your birth partner having to stay awake for 30 or more hours AND supporting you to the best of his or her ability? That's why I'm here; to create a team with whomever you choose to have attend your birth. This is one of the best experiences you will ever have, and my passion is to support you and your partner through this journey with excitement, ease, and education so that you may make informed decisions surrounding your birth.
Doula Services Package:
2 prenatal appointments
24/7 access to me via email, text, or phone
Continuous labor and birth support
Backup doula in the rare case that I am unable to attend your birth
Immediate postpartum support to initiate breastfeeding
Postpartum appointment 7-10 days after birth
Postpartum phone support to discuss anything from breastfeeding to newborn care
$800 for families birthing with someone on my preferred provider list
I require a $200 non refundable deposit to get on my calendar, and the balance must be paid by 36 weeks. You can pay this out however you'd like during this time.
Doula services + Birth Photography with Brittani Purtle Photography
Click the link below to view my package with Brittani!
Request a free consultation with Kaitlin!
My experience with & without a doula
- Kaitlin Burton
The birth of my first son Greyson was a 12 hour, maxed out pitocin, induced labor with a crazy amount of interventions. I dilated to a 5 and stalled for 5 hours, at what point they suggested a cesarean. Because I had limited knowledge and was confined to the bed in an insane amount of pain, I agreed. I didn't know that,
My induction was unnecessary and my baby was not ready to be born.
The level of pitocin I was on was unnecessary.
Breaking my water at the same time as starting my pitocin was unnecessary, and set me up for a very difficult labor.
Being connected to the fetal monitors continuously as opposed to intermittently is difficult. Picking up baby's heart rate 100 % of the time while trying to be active and labor effectively is difficult. Therefore, another intervention comes along; internal monitoring. Again, unnecessary for my situation.
Stalling in labor is common and can be a sign of a number of things, most of which can be treated with patience, position changes, and rebozo techniques.
Instead of having this knowledge, I was left in my hospital room with my family who was great, but didn't know how to help me, and my own mind going haywire thinking my baby is never going to come out because I am stalled at a 5. This resulted in a cesarean, which resulted in my baby getting taken to the NICU for one week, me getting the flu and not being able to see him in the NICU, and contracting MRSA in my incision. All of which, I strongly believe, most likely could have been avoided if I had a doula. In this situation, if I had a doula, I would have already been educated on all of these topics. There is no guarantee that it wouldn't have wound up exactly as it did. HOWEVER, chances are, I would have:
-Gone into labor on my own
-Not had pitocin or my waters broken unless I was TRULY stalled.
-Requested intermittent monitoring, therefore would have had the option of moving around, possibly preventing me from stalling. However, if I had stalled, I would have had someone there coaching me through exactly what I needed to do to promote progression.
-Had constant physical support, helping me cope with my continuous back labor.
I believe with all of my heart that if I would have had a doula, I would not have had a surgical birth, because I would have been informed about my options, and supported physically and emotionally throughout my difficult labor.
Fast forward to the birth of my son Oliver; a home birth after cesarean. A 45+ hour labor, in which my baby did indeed come out of my vagina. In my living room. Safely, and surrounded by my midwife, student midwife, and family. I did not have one, but TWO doulas at my birth. Two doulas who, before they were even needed, came and visited me while I was in the very early stages of my labor to assess how I was doing and what I needed, supported me for a while by helping me with my back labor by providing LOTS of counterpressure, rice packs, encouraging words, and gave me ways to cope for the next few hours until they would come again when I was a bit further along. In my case with how long my labor was, I cannot imagine not having two doulas along with my family and birth team. I needed a lot during my labor, as it was almost 2 full days long. My doulas not only held my hand through each contraction, but when I broke down and said that I could no longer do this (which happened often), they brought me back down to reality and made me feel like the most loved person on the face of the earth. My doulas provided me with patience (lots of it), love, and the physical support I needed to make my labor a little easier to get through. They also gave my family and husband direction when it came down to how to best support me, but at the same time, let them be with me and let us have our time together as well when we needed time alone. When I was stalled, they told me exactly what I needed to do to get me to the next point in my labor; hurdle after hurdle, we jumped together. Without them, I would have never been able to go through this very difficult labor, and without them, I would have never had my incredible HBAC.