Each pregnant woman needs answers to her questions. Every woman in labor needs a nurturing experienced person, who can help her remain confident and reassured during the intensity of the birth process. All new parents need help maintaining their households, learning how to care for their newborn and themselves, so they can focus on family bonding. I offer support services as a doula during pregnancy, labor and after the baby is born. Doula is a Greek word, meaning "woman caregiver". A doula is not a nurse, midwife or doctor. She is trained in normal birth and is familiar with complications that may occur. Her presence reduces anxiety, decreases stress and increases confidence and relaxation. She "mothers" both the mother and father as they birth a new family. I
I can provide you with:
PRIVATE CHILDBIRTH CLASSES-Information on exercise, nutrition, enjoying the pregnancy, how to labor effectively, dealing with controversies, how to create a "birth plan" or "wish list", what the father or partner needs to know to really help, how to make good decisions during labor about interventions, prenatal bonding, postpartum care of mom and baby and more.
PERSONAL CARE DURING PREGNANCY-If you find yourself on bed rest or having any other complications, you may need someone to take over many of your normal household duties, as well as someone to talk to about your concerns and plans.
LABOR SUPPORT FOR BOTH PARENTS-Continuous physical and emotional support, including pain management techniques, such as effective positions, working with a birthing ball, massage, energy-balancing, aromatherapy, cool cloths, hot compresses; offering snacks, drinks, ice and water; other assistance needed to help you have the best possible birth experience.
AFTER BIRTH HOME CARE-I provide warm companionship for the whole family. You will have encouragement with breastfeeding and help with baby care. I will do light housekeeping, cooking, run errands, do laundry, drive other children to school or other events. Basically, I take care of you and your household so you can take care of your baby.
These services are highly personalized and fees are negotiable, with some services at an hourly rate and others as a flat fee. Payment plans are available and all credit cards are accepted. Please call to arrange a preliminary interview. (310) 489-8149
My Experience with Pregnancy, Birth and Parenting
I am passionate about the power of support and knowledge as a couple becomes a family or a family adds a new member. In the late 1970's, I became the Community Health Educator for Planned Parenthood Sherman Oaks. I did extensive public speaking on sexuality issues and realized the only thing I didn't know enough about was childbirth. I became a Bradley Method Childbirth Educator as a single woman and attended many births, as well as teaching hundreds of couples. Four years after I became a Bradley teacher, I gave birth to a baby girl, Skye, on June 10, 1985, at home with a midwife. I was surrounded by the love and physical support of my husband, my brother and several female friends. It was thrilling to be able to practice what I had preached for so long. My daughter's birth was the most empowering experience of my life. The birth had gone better than I had hoped it would. I was ecstatic. Early motherhood was not so idyllic. Skye had difficulty with nursing and sleeping. I got very little rest and felt utterly overwhelmed with the demands of my new role. I was deeply committed to what is called "Attachment Parenting", so my husband and I carried her in a baby carrier whenever possible and she slept with us in "the family bed". I worked with a lactation consultant to correct her suckling disorder and she breastfed successfully into her toddler years. I still see the benefits of my efforts then in her wonderful personality today. She is a confident young woman with exceptional self-esteem. Soon after Skye was born, I became involved with a group of birth professionals to create a unique prenatal parenting program called A Sound Beginning. We taught couples to sing a "womb song" to the baby during the last nine weeks of pregnancy, as well as using visualizations and dialogues to help keep their relationship strong over the stressful first year of parenthood. After birth, babies who heard their womb song instantly stopped crying and became calm and alert. I regularly do guest speaking for a former childbirth student of mine, who is now a professor of Child Development for college students.