Let’s start with what a doula is. A birth doula provides physical, emotional and informational support for a family through pregnancy, labor, birth and early postpartum. Doulas usually meet with birth clients for an interview and two prenatal visits prior to birth. We have a lot to cover in these meetings. We have to develop a relationship and I have to get a feel for what our rhythm will be, how you like to be touched, comforted, spoken to. And how your partner plans to help and is best supported as well. Imagine how long it takes to find this stuff out while dating. . . . at best, I’m doing this in six hours. Yup, doulas are awesome!
I want you to have the amazing birth I know you can have. I love teaching childbirth education in New Orleans, but prenatal doula visits just aren’t the time to do it. If you have not taken a class our time is often spent in a more mini-lesson fashion, than a prenatal doula visit where we discuss what you have learned and delve further into your inner birth preparations.
But what about that ‘informational support?’ As a doula, I am here to support you in your birth decisions. This is not my birth and when I’m at your birth, I won’t be talking to your health care provider. It’s just not my role. I’m there to support you and should you want to clear the room and use me as a sounding board or ask me some questions, I’m there for you 100%, but it’s too late for education. It would be wildly inappropriate for me to introduce the risks of cascading interventions during a birth. And the importance of choosing the right health care provider? red flags? prenatal nutrition to help prevent gestational diabetes or pre-eclampsia? posture and exercise for optimal fetal positioning? importance of the amniotic sac? . . . . the labor and delivery room is just not the right place for these lessons, and it’s far too late.
I will support you in the decisions you make, because I want you to have the amazing birth I know you can have and the way to get it is by being empowered. When YOU make your decisions, you are empowered. I respect your body’s knowledge and your ability to birth your baby. Wanna know how else to be empowered? Information. Knowledge! Because ‘knowing is half the battle.’ gah, birth’s not a battle, but you know. . . “the more you know!”
You know what else you gain in a childbirth class? Camaraderie. Companionship. You build your parenting network and you and your partner are increasingly confident and knowledgable with a built in support network. You gain the benefit of hearing other people’s stories, experiences, empathizing with one another and being able to throw ideas out for discussion with your peers all with the guidance of a childbirth educator. As your doula, I take on the role of the best parts of a mother and bff, and I love you and poor that love into your labor and birth, but this is my job and after our prenatal visit, our professional relationship takes a pause. Hopefully we stay in touch and I get to see your amazing baby grow, I’ll provide you with referrals for anything you need, but you will need mamas and papas who are walking this path with you at the same time. People to discuss nursing, teething, poop, sleepless nights and milestones with. You will need a tribe (this is part of building your breastfeeding tool box), and a childbirth class is a great place to build that.
These are the reasons I recommend childbirth education to all my clients. I KNOW you will have a better experience when you have taken an awesome class. I KNOW that my clients who have taken my class, have done their homework and reading will have a better experience for two reasons: 1. They know more and you know, knowledge is power! 2. Our client-doula relationship will be that much better. This is one of those situations where 1+1 is more than 2.
We lead busy lives. Give yourself these few hours of childbirth education to really savor, love and celebrate this pregnancy and prepare for the life changing event of this baby’s birth! Your doula will love you for it.Amanda has been fascinated and inspired by pregnancy, birth, and women’s health long before she became a mother. As a devoted Nurse, Doula, Birth Boot Camp Instructor, and Mother of three, she draws from experience and compassion when supporting New Orleans women who are beginning their own journey into motherhood. She believes pregnancy is a time to nurture, cherish, and connect with one’s self and baby, as well as celebrate the growing family. She understands and believes birth to be a natural process and incredible rite-of-passage for a woman. The births of her own children are the most powerful experiences in her life, and she found herself redefined by each labor and birth. Her path has led her to be a committed force in the community as a birth advocate, birth and postpartum doula, birth educator, and certified happiest baby educator. “It is a gift to be invited into a woman’s birth circle. To share in her miracle and be in awe of her strength and power is humbling. There is nothing more precious than to be present as a family is born.” Amanda also holds a BS in Biology, has advanced training in VBAC, and is co-owner of Nola Nesting, LLC.