Photo courtesy of Nicole Eades

What childbirth method do you teach in your classes?

As a CAPPA Certified Childbirth Educator, I am not bound to any particular “method” of instruction (like Bradley, Lamaze, etc.). I have developed my own curriculum by drawing from many sources of information and incorporating any tools I feel would be useful to expectant parents.

When should I take childbirth classes?

If this is your first birth, or your first attempt at an unmedicated birth, then I recommend beginning classes in your 6th month to give you adequate time to study the information and practice the techniques you learn. If you are just needing a refresher course, then somewhere in your 7th or 8th month should be fine. However – if you’re already past that point, don’t worry. Just contact me, and we can talk about how to make the most of the time you have left.

What is a labor doula?

A labor doula is a person who is trained in assisting women throughout their pregnancy, labor, and birth. She is knowledgeable about childbirth and medical procedures related to birth, provides both physical and emotional support, and helps facilitate communication between the laboring woman and her caregivers. She does not perform any medical procedures (such as taking blood pressure or performing vaginal exams).

What are the benefits of having a doula?

Numerous studies have shown that having a doula during labor benefits both mother and baby. The most commonly cited studies showed that mothers supported by a doula had:

  • TammyF50% fewer C-sections
  • 25% shorter labors
  • 60% less requests for an epidural
  • 30% less use of narcotic pain medications
  • 40% less need for forceps delivery
  • increased satisfaction with the birth experience
  • increased rate of breastfeeding
  • decreased rate of postpartum depression

Won’t a doula take away from the father’s part in the birth?

No! A doula is not there to replace the father, but to be an additional part of the mother’s support team. Different couples have different expectations about the father’s role. If the couple desires for the father to be very active in the birth process, the doula can make suggestions to him about things to try as he supports the mother, and can give him a break from time to time if he needs to eat, go to the bathroom, or just rest. If the dad is not comfortable taking such an active role, the doula can take on more of the responsibility for physical comfort measures while he provides the mother with love and emotional support. Either way, the doula can also help the couple understand how the labor is progressing, interpret information given to them by their caregiver, and help ensure that the couple’s wishes are respected throughout the process.

When should I hire a doula?

While many women wait until their third trimester to begin their search, the sooner you hire a doula, the more benefit you will get from her. A doula can help you throughout your pregnancy by assisting you in finding a care provider and birth place, suggesting ways to deal with common discomforts, explaining tests and procedures, and providing emotional support. Also, since doulas generally limit the number of clients they will take each month, hiring a doula earlier in your pregnancy makes it more likely that your doula of choice will be available for your due date.

Jamie03Do you have a back-up doula?

There are several other doulas in the metroplex that are willing to serve as my back-up if necessary. If there is particular person you would prefer, that can usually be arranged.

What areas do you serve?

I am willing to travel to a larger portion of the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex – usually anywhere within an hour’s drive of Denton. I will consider other locations on a case by case basis.