I hear a lot of women say they didn’t know what to expect going into pregnancy and labor. I think that’s normal in today society but it’s kinda of sad to me and it should be just the opposite. Though pregnancy and labor is far from easy it is so natural. You don’t have to face the unknown alone, it is a time were woman need other positive, uplifting women to support and help them through the journey. After the stressful birth of my first daughter, I knew I wanted a different experience. I was soooo lucky to find Karelia Perez, a child birth educator, lactation consultant and holistic health counselor serving the DMV area.
a woman who is trained to assist another woman during childbirth and who may provide support to the family after the baby is born.
Surprisingly, a lot of people don’t even know what a doula is or what she does. I would recommend a Doula to anyone regardless of whether it’s their first pregnancy or not. You gain so much during your pregnancy, birth and even after you baby is born. Of course you want to hire someone who you like and feel comfortable with. Really connecting with someone is key because you get to know each other pretty much through your entire pregnancy. Then when the times comes, they come with you to the hospital or your birth center and help you labor. Many doulas are more then welcome to have an initial interview to see if you both would be a good fit. that is the time to ask questions and just have a conversation.
Support : the level of emotional and mental support is to me the most important things. Every experience is different. They will listen and help you defeat any fears, negative thoughts or concerns. They have seen and heard it all, they are there for you.
Education: My Doula would come to my home and really took the time to prepare and educate us as a family. She had great visuals, props and fun interactive activities for my fiance and I to do together all about the birth process and what to expect.
Tools: My doula was amazing and so generous in giving me great tools to help me along the way. Literature, positive birth affirmations to put on my walls, handouts, exercises, she even had me borrow her birth ball to sit on to open my hips.
Birth plan writing: She also helped us develop a unique birth plan. A good doula will have a clear understanding of what you and your partner want and what’s best for you and your family.
Birth support: Whatever type of relief you need during labor a doula will coach your partner, close friend or family member on how to help but will also support you as well. They offer massage, aroma therapy, help you change positions, focus on your breathing techniques, the list goes on…they are like your personal cheerleader and help with all types of comfort measures, whatever works for you.
Most hospitals offer birthing classes and a few techniques for you and your partner to keep in mind but they cannot offer hands on birth support when you are admitted. Most nurses have several other patients to care for as well, plus long shifts. It simply is not realistic.
Postpartum care: Coming home is a huge experience when reality starts to set in and getting a routine can be tricky. Some moms even need continued lactation support. Most doulas also can help support you with your newborn until you feel comfortable on your own. Some offer meal prep, light house cleaning, caring for other children etc. whatever you need at that time.
There was nothing more special than having a supportive doula! She helped me labor for 8 hours and my family loved her and my fiance was grateful. I came away from the experience feeling really prepared and best of all, I now have a new friend and sister.
Check out her blog and website here!