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What is a Doula?

The word “doula” comes from ancient Greek and is now used to refer to someone experienced in childbirth who provides continuous physical, emotional, and informational support to the mother and the family before, during, and just after childbirth or adoption; or who provides emotional and practical support during the postpartum period.

Alysa is currently offering antepartum and postpartum doula services.

What is a Postpartum Doula?

  • Offers education, quiet nonjudgmental support, and companionship during the postpartum 4th trimester.
  • Assists with newborn care, family adjustment, meal preparation, and basic household organization.
  • Offers evidence-based information on infant feeding, emotional and physical recovery from childbirth, infant soothing, and coping skills for new parents
  • Makes appropriate referrals when necessary

What is the difference between a baby nurse and a postpartum doula?

The role of a postpartum doula is to help a woman through her postpartum period and to nurture the family. Unlike a baby nurse, a doula’s focus is not solely on the baby, but on fostering independence for the entire family. The doula is available to the father and older children as to the mother and the baby. Treating the family as a unit that is connected and always changing enables doulas to do their job: nurture the family. (DONA, 2008)

Examples of Postpartum Services:

  • Provide hands-on education on infant and mother care
  • Work with parents and help them to get to know the abilities and talents of their new baby
  • Create a nurturing, restful atmosphere in which parents may eat, shower and nap
  • Shop for groceries and prepare meals
  • Play with older children and offer suggestions for how to integrate the new baby into the family
  • Spend time with the baby, allowing parents to cuddle and have quality time with older children or just be alone together
  • Introduce parenting tips, helping parents to learn skills that will enable them to cope with their new responsibilities
  • Screen for hurdles such as breastfeeding challenges or postpartum mood disorders
  • Make referrals to any local or informational resources that the parents might need
  • Help to organize the nursery and home
  • Take care of the baby’s laundry
  • Offer a listening, non-judgmental ear
  • Access to my extensive lending library of pregnancy, birth, infant care, breastfeeding, and postpartum books and DVDs
  • Access to several different baby carrying slings for trial and instruction

Benefits of Postpartum Support Include

  • Increased confidence for both parents
  • Greater satisfaction in the breastfeeding experience
  • Increased duration of breastfeeding
  • Fewer incidences of postpartum depression

Antepartum Support

Antepartum support is available for families who would like extra care and attention during pregnancy.

Examples of Antepartum services:

  • Assistance with selecting appropriate baby gear (car seats, cribs, swings etc…)
  • Emotional and physical support for pregnant women on bedrest or other high risk pregnancy situations
  • Provide families with information on pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding, infant care and soothing techniques
  • Assist families with creating a postpartum support plan
  • Connect families with local family support resources such as childbirth, infant care, and breastfeeding classes and new mother/father support groups.

How My Services Work

After an initial phone or email exchange, I offer one free prenatal visit in your home where we get to know each other a little and see if we are a good fit. During or after our visit we decide if we would like to work with one another. The first visit typically takes an hour.

After our initial meeting, I come to your home for an official intake visit where we discuss and evaluate how I can best support you before and or after the birth of your baby. Each family completes a brief questionnaire in preparation for this visit. Please click here to download the questionnaires. The charge for my second visit is $40. The second visit typically takes between one and two hours.

If you choose to hire me, I require a nonrefundable deposit of $100 to hold your place in my calendar. The deposit will be put towards your last week’s payment. I work in 3 to 5 hour postpartum shifts depending on your needs and require a minimum of three visits. Antepartum visits can be in shorter 1-3 hour shifts with a minimum of three visits.

References are available upon request.

Payment

I accept cash or personal checks as forms of payment. My fee is $20 per hour. I can only offer services to families that live within 40 minutes of downtown Saratoga Springs, NY. If you live outside of this range I can help you find a doula who lives closer to your home.

My services qualify to be used as pre-tax dollars through many employee benefits policies. Please inquire within the human resource department of your company to see if this is applicable.

Gift certificates are available and make great shower gifts or baby presents!