Q: I’m taking a HypnoBirthing class, do you use this technique? Have you worked with couples planning a Bradley Birth? Do you know Lamaze breathing techniques?
A: Yes to all of the above! I have supported families planning to use all of the major childbirth preparation styles and I am familiar with the basics for each of them. As I do with all my clients, I will review with you which techniques you’ve learned in childbirth classes (or at other times in your life) that you find most helpful for you. There’s no one right way to birth for everyone, even for those who take the same class!
Q: Do you take the place of the dad?
A: Not usually! It depends on what the family who hires me would like to me to do, and this is a topic we can address in a prenatal. When I have worked with couples where the dad did not want to even be present for the birth, I have been mom’s primary support. Another couple wanted me to sit in the room and just be there in case dad had questions, which I was happy to do. Most families I work with have the dad and I work as a team to best support mom. I find this works very well! He is the expert on THIS mom – he knows her far better than I ever will – and I am the expert on birth stuff. Together, these strengths provide great support for the laboring woman.
Q: Do you work with backup doulas? Who are they? May we meet them?
A: I work with a small group of doulas who provide backup and support for each other, though I’ve rarely had to use backup. In our loosely organized group, the option to meet the backup at a prenatal is available to any client of any doula. I am happy to provide you with their contact information if you’d like.
Q: Should I write a birth plan?
A: A formalized written birth plan can be an excellent tool for considering your options and communicating with the staff, and I’m happy to help you write one if you’d like. In my opinion, the process of thinking about options, choosing what you would like, and – most vitally – doing what you can in order to make that plan happen, is far more important than a written document.
Q: Where do you do births?
A: I have done births at all of the hospitals in the Salt Lake Valley, American Fork Hospital, Park City Hospital, most of the freestanding birth centers, and in private homes. Most of my clients live in the Salt Lake Valley, though I have worked with families as far away as Eagle Mountain, Park City, and Heber.
Q: What if I have a cesarean birth?
A: While I like to think that my clients won’t ever have a cesarean birth, sometimes they do. Depending on the hospital, mom’s care provider, and the anesthesiologist, I may be able to attend a cesarean birth in the operating room. This is a nice option, because then if the baby needs to go to the nursery, mom’s partner can accompany the baby and mom is not left without support in the OR. If I am not able to go into the OR with you, I will generally be waiting in the L&D room to be there for you to recover. In many hospitals, having someone there to help the mom is the difference between having the baby with her in recovery and having the baby in the nursery during that time. Moms who birth by cesarean generally need more hands on help with breastfeeding, due to the pain medications and difficulty sitting up.