Perhaps the most critical factor in having a positive birth experience is finding a supportive birth team. Some members of this team you are able to choose and others you are not (such as your team of nurses). We suggest that you are deliberate when selecting the members of your birth team that you have control over. Making sure that all members of your chosen birth team are supportive of your birth preferences is a big step towards having a satisfying experience. One member of your birth team who you are able to choose is your doula. With so many options, it is important that you take your time when finding a birth doula in Westchester NY.
Finding a Birth Doula in Westchester NY
Let’s go over some key points to consider when you’re finding a doula in Westchester NY.
Find a doula who has back up
Like labor, life is unpredictable. Illnesses or family emergencies happen. But your doula should make sure that you will always be taken care of. Blissful Birthing provides all their clients with a team of two doulas who share a call schedule. You will meet both of your doulas at your prenatal birth planning session. We don’t want our clients wondering who might be attending their birth. You should be confident that your doula (and her back up) knows your birth preferences and can support them
Find a birth doula in Westchester NY who a variety of birth choices
Regardless of how you are envisioning your baby’s birth to unfold, you want a doula who can support you. As we’ve said, birth is unpredictable. You don’t want to feel judged by your doula if your plan changes – whether due to circumstances or your own preference. Sometimes you want or need an epidural/labor augmentation/cesarean delivery and our doulas can support you through those situations (whether part of your original plan or not).
Ask your doula what role she sees herself playing in your baby’s birth
The support we provide for each of our clients is different. During your prenatal visit we will get a better understanding of your hopes and goals so we know how we can best support you (and your partner). Our doulas cannot (and do not) take the place of your partner or other support people. As Janet puts it, our presence at your birth will allow your primary support person/people to participate at their comfort level.
Your doula should not tell you how things will go in the labor and delivery room. Look for her to use phrases such as:
- “We could try…”
- “I will follow your partner’s lead.”
- “If you choose…”
Ask for clarification if your doula says:
- “I will…”
- “Your partner will…”
- “When [something] happens…”
Find a birth doula who offers other services you’re interested in
Becoming a parent is one of the most vulnerable times in your life. We know it can be very difficult to invite someone into your space and ask for their help. Because of this, we feel it is to your benefit to find a doula practice that offers as many of the services you are interested in as possible. The support you receive from your doula or doula team can be nearly seamless.
For example, not all of our doulas work the overnight and daytime shifts. But if you are using Blissful Birthing for both daytime and overnight postpartum support, your doulas will fill each other in on their shift so you do not need to brief the next doula who comes. You will be assigned no more than two doulas. Your doulas will get to know your family and you will get to know who you are welcoming into your home.
Find a birth doula in Westchester NY who is honest about her capabilities
Doula are non-medical birth and postpartum professionals. By the sheer nature of our role, we cannot prevent you from having a c section. We cannot have a VBAC “rate.” Be wary of doulas who start telling you how low her epidural or c section rates are or how high her VBAC success rate is. These doulas are not being honest with you regarding their role and abilities.
Yes, it is true that having a doula’s support may make you less likely to opt for an epidural (because we can suggest various positions or motions). However, getting an epidural is a valid choice during childbirth. Some of our clients know they want an epidural, others know they absolutely do not, and there are those who are open to it. How do you calculate an “epidural rate” when 1. epidurals are not adverse choices? and 2. you have a mix of women who knew they wanted an epidural from the beginning with women who did not? We truly believe that there are some instances where interventions are wanted or needed and our doulas are equipped to support you through these situations.
Where We Work
Our doulas attend births at the following hospitals in Westchester NY:
- New York-Presbyterian Hudson Valley
- New York-Presbyterian Lawrence
- Northern Westchester Hospital Center
- Phelps Memorial Hospital
- Westchester Medical Center
- White Plains Hospital
Other Blogs for Families who are in the process of finding a birth doula in Westchester NY
Remember Your Nurses!
Hospital “Go” Bag – What do I need to Bring to the Hospital?
Your Doula Does Not (and Cannot) Have a VBAC Success Rate
This list reflects the beliefs of Blissful Birthing and it’s affiliates. The contents of this article are not medical advice.