“If a doula were a drug, it would be unethical not to use it.” –Dr. John H. Kennell
Sanctuary Doulas offer families either birth doula care or postpartum doula care or (even better) the continuity of both! Sanctuary Birth Doula Care helps you create a sanctuary to labor and give birth at your home, a birthing center and/or a hospital. At your birth, we anticipate and respond to you and your family’s changing needs throughout labor, birth and “the golden hour” immediately after birth. We provide suggestions and assistance to integrate an array of comfort measures focused on your physical and emotional well being. With our loving guidance, we invite family members to participate with more confidence to nurture the mother’s work and bond the new family.
- enjoy greater satisfaction with their birth experience
- tend to have shorter labors and spontaneous vaginal births
- use less pain medication
- tend to not need instrument delivery (forceps or vacuum extraction)
- are less likely to birth a baby with a low Apgar score or have a Cesarean birth
In 2014, the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology as well as the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine also weighed in that “published data indicate that one of the most effective tools to improve labor and delivery outcomes is the continuous presence of support personnel, such as a doula.”
Birth is a delicate yet powerful place where the maiden crosses a threshold into motherhood. In most kin-based cultures around the world, a woman preparing for her birth knows that other experienced women will be there to guide, assist and encourage her and remind her that she IS powerful. Whether you wish for a vaginal birth with or without medication, plan medical intervention, are having a planned or unplanned Cesarean birth or a vaginal birth after Cesarean (VBAC), we can support your unique journey.
We work with a diversity of families including those who plan to birth vaginally and by Cesarean, are experiencing easy or complicated journeys along the way, those families welcoming multiples (we love twins & triplets!), traditional families, single parents and LGBTQ families, as well as those families adopting a baby or experiencing newborn loss.
- help create a positive, caring environment where you feel safe and can labor with more ease
- offer verbal encouragement to you and family members
- suggest and assisting with positions that enhance your labor progress, conserve your energy and optimize your baby’s position
- recommend relaxation and pain reduction techniques
- assist with a variety of comfort measures including breathing, guided imagery, music, touch and massage, acupressure, labor TENS unit (transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation), hydrotherapy (bath, shower, warm and cold compresses) and more
- offer your partner, spouse and other family members helpful ideas to be involved in the birth and encourage them to participate in meaningful ways for them
- ensure that your and your partner, spouse and family members are well nourished for the work of labor and birth
- work in a positive spirit of interdisciplinary teamwork with your nurses, midwives and physicians
- facilitate communication and informed decision making between you, your partner, spouse, family members and your medical care team
- provide optional prenatal home visits in the 3rd trimester and before 37 weeks to prepare for your birth, discuss your birth choices and preferences, your spouse/partner’s supportive role, labor comfort measures and your postpartum time
- provide an optional postpartum home visit scheduled after the birth to reflect on the birth and support your postpartum transition