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You're a what? Doula who? 

So I decided I was going to try my hand at blogging. I figured the easiest way to start would be to explain my services and explain what Doula Delk truly does! Today we will cover:

What a doula is Scope of practice Who are doulas for What births doulas support What a consultation may look like What forms will you sign Prenatal Meetings/ Pregnancy support What labor support looks like What I do immediately postpartum What postpartum meetings look like What a postpartum doula can do Helping hands births Belly casting Placenta art and encapsulation What is a doula? Let's start with the word itself. Doula is a greek word meaning “women’s servant”. Women have been supporting each other through birth for centuries in many different cultures. So I am not shocked that doulas are now becoming more widely known. A doula is a birth companion that is there to support the family physically, mentally, emotionally, and informationally. Doulas are professionals that have knowledge in a number of subjects surrounding preconception, pregnancy, childbirth and newborn care. As a doula I love to empower women during their journeys and always want my clients to feel supported in their choices. Scope of practice? We will start with what doulas are not. Doulas are not medical providers. That being said the scope of practice varies from doula to doula due to training, abilities, and knowledge being different. I am a certified doula and a certified aromatherapist so I include aromatherapy in my scope. I also am a trained placenta specialist so I offer placenta encapsulation and art. Doulas provide evidence based information on a variety of topics from preconception to newborn care and everything in between as well as providing other types of support during these times. Who are doulas for? Doulas are a support to the birthing person and the rest of the family. So that covers other children as well as dad! Doulas are for any person or family who feels they would like extra support during their journey through pregnancy and parenthood. Doulas are for EVERYONE!!!! What births do Doulas support? This is something that also can vary from doula to doula depending on what the doula is comfortable with as well as what their certifying body has laid out for them as a scope of practice. I personally support all births in hospital, birth center, or at home. I support assisted and unassisted births. I support planned and unplanned cesarean births. I support epidurals, natural birth, waterbirth, inductions, IV pain medications, loud labors, silent labors, labors with bright lights and labors with close to no light. I support all births and birth choices. My Doula client consults? So when someone shows interest in my services I offer a 1-2 hour, FREE consult either over the phone, over video chat, or in an agreed upon location, usually out in the community at local coffee shops or other little cafes. I like to support small local businesses whenever I get the chance. During my consult I will explain a little about who I am. We will cover concerns and questions you have. I will go over my scope of practice and my pricing for my services. We will take a look at my contract together if the client wants and talk about how they are doing with the pregnancy thus far. I will also have some simple questions for the family and a survey to fill out giving me some more information about the pregnancy and family. Everything that is shared during these times are confidential. After the consult, if the client would like any of my services I can take a retainer and we can sign the contract the same day. What forms will you sign? I have a doula contract that explains my services as a doula and my scope of practice. It will also explain our payment arrangement, client responsibilities, and what is expected of me. I have a photo release that can be signed if we talked about using photos for my social media pages or website. I also have forms for placenta encapsulation if that service is wanted. Prenatal meetings and Pregnancy support? Once we sign the contract, I am your doula. I am here to support you and answer questions. I am available via, text, email, calling, and messenger. We will set up times for your prenatal meeting or meetings when you feel they will be the most beneficial for you. If you feel you need more prenatals that can be added on to your package as well. During prenatals we can cover childbirth and what to expect. Changes your body will go through. Self Advocacy and your rights. Beginning signs of labor and when to call your hospital/doula/midwife. What happens during labor. Your wants and needs during labor for you and baby. Your birth plan or if you need help, I can help you create one. Comfort measures for labor. Care and feeding of a new baby. Breastfeeding and how to get off to a good start. Plus many more topics. The prenatal meetings will be customized for your wants and needs. During pregnancy you may want to read up on different topics, I have a collection of books I can lend you as well as handouts. We will keep in touch during your pregnancy and I encourage you to contact me whenever you feel the need or want. Even to just say hi and chat. If you are struggling and need to vent, I am here. If you are excited about ultrasound pictures or feeling baby move for the first time message me! I am here to help you along this journey anyway I can! Labor Support? Starting at 37 weeks of pregnancy, I am on call. This means my bag is packed, my car has gas in it, my clothes are ready, and as soon as I get that call I’m getting dressed, calling the babysitter, and getting ready to go. I encourage clients to stay in touch with me and if they think contractions are starting or their water breaks that they let me know and keep me updated with how they are coping or when they are calling their midwife/going to the hospital/ect. If the laboring person is focused on labor and can’t keep me updated, I welcome their labor partner to stay in touch with me and let me know how everyone is doing. I usually will get called in during active labor when things tend to get heavier, but if I am needed before that I will be there. Labor support can vary person to person. It really depends on what was talked about beforehand and what the laboring person is comfortable with. Labor support can be helping mom into different positions to help baby change positions, counter pressure, massage, rebozo techniques, hot/cold packs, aromatherapy, cool washcloths, helping get in and out of a bathtub or shower, words of encouragement, double hips squeezes, a TENS unit, changing songs on a playlist, or even just sitting there and holding space for you. As I get to know you during pregnancy, we discuss all this and I will keep very open communication with you during labor. We will work as a team to have you supported in any way you feel you need. I also will support your birth partner at the labor. I can run and grab drinks or snacks. Get more pillows or towels. Let them freshen up while I work with mom for a little bit. I can also offer informational support, as well as help keep your wants known to your birth team. I will not speak for you but, I can help you advocate for yourself and work with you to have your needs respected. Immediate Postpartum time? After the baby is born I will be there to support you and help you with whatever is needed. If you need another drink, food, more blankets, I'll get it for you. Want pictures taken, you got it. If you need help latching your baby or finding a hold that works for the both of you, I will gladly step in and help. I will make sure you, your birth partner, and baby are settled before I take my leave so you can bond as a family. Postpartum Meetings? After the birth and when you get home and settled we can schedule our postpartum meeting. During that time we can talk about your birth and how you feel things went. If there is anything you really loved or things that worried you, we will talk about all of it. We will talk about how the transition from being pregnant to now having a baby is going. We can cover topics that you would like more information on and talk about things you're struggling with. Postpartum Doula? Unlike a postpartum visit where we wrap up our journey together, as a postpartum doula this is where the journey begins. As a postpartum doula I can cook, do light house cleaning, run small errands, do laundry, let you take an uninterrupted shower, help with the baby, prepare bottles, let you take a nap, and support older siblings by helping tend to their needs. I also offer overnight shifts to help you get the rest you need. I support the entire family physically, emotionally, mentally, and informationally and will help make your transition into parenthood as smooth as possible, those first few weeks can be taxing on parents of a newborn so postpartum doulas are there to help. Helping Hands Births and financial difficulties? My passion is what lead me to becoming a doula. As a doula I want to give back to my community and help moms who want the extra support but aren't sure they are able to afford it. I offer payment plans and a sliding scale for my fees. I also do helping hands birth for specific situations. There are times where I am notified that a mom really needs the extra support or someone to be with them through labor because they do not have anyone with them. I choose to try and donate my time to a mom in need once a month for a helping hands birth as my way of helping where I can to support moms and babies. These births also include births where there is a baby that is lost. I will go to the hospital to support the family through the loss as well as do things like take pictures and help them create memories they can have forever in the hospital. I also have a lot of outreach programs for parents during a loss that I can offer them. Other services? Other than being a birth and postpartum doula I also offer belly casting, placenta encapsulation, placenta art, and cord art. Belly Casting is a lot of fun and I really enjoy creating the casts and decorating them if they mom chooses to have me decorate it. I have always loved art so being able to bring art into my passion for pregnancy and birth is really magical. I offer these to everyone so you don't have to be a doula client of mine to get these services. I also offer informational session on a variety of different topics. All information sessions will be tailored to fit your needs. So even if you aren't sure of having a doula with you when you labor, you can still have the benefit of learning about breastfeeding or comfort measures before that time comes. Placenta Encapsulation and Art are another passion of mine. There are a lot of benefits to consuming your placenta so I am very thrilled that I was trained to be able to offer this service. Some of the benefits are a boost in milk production, helps fight fatigue, helps balance out hormones, and can help combat postpartum depression and postpartum anxiety! Everything is done in a sterile setting and in a timely manner! I like to deliver the pills 3-4 days postpartum. If I do placenta and cord art I would bring them with the pills when I deliver them. Placenta art is a unique way to capture where your baby grew for nine whole months! It's an everlasting memory that can be customized with colors you choose or I can wing it and see what I come up with! I also offer placenta casting. I create a 3D mold of your placenta and then you get a plaster cast of that mold. It can be painted and placed in a shadow box type frame and is an amazing memory of your birth. I love what I do and I am so honored anytime I am hired. Being in a birthing persons birth space and helping them through the journey of such a monumental time is such a privilege. I couldn't be more happy to hold the title of Doula❤

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