be supported. be informed. be prepared. be confident.
Your growing family is worthy of support during this formative and profound time in your life.
Doula care includes emotional, physical, and informational support for both you and your partner before, during, and after giving birth. This means pre-natal meetings to talk about and prepare for the upcoming birth, full support during labor and delivery, and a postpartum follow-up visit.
WHY ARE DOULAS BENEFICIAL TO WOMEN GIVING BIRTH?
What is absolutely amazing - and what truly motivates my birth doula practice - is how research has shown that having a doula makes a difference in a woman's birth experience. A recent review of a number of scientific studies compared outcomes for women who had three kinds of labor support during birth: nursing staff support, family/friend support, and doula support. Data from over 15,000 women was compiled. The findings showed the following incredible outcomes (as quoted from the DONA Birth Position Paper).
"According to a summary of the findings of this review, the doula-supported women were:
- 28% less likely to have a cesarean section
- 31% less likely to use synthetic oxytocin to speed up labor
- 9% less likely to use any pain medication
- 34% less likely to rate their childbirth experience negatively"
Having a trained support person devoted to your emotional and physical care during the birth process makes a difference - no matter what kind of birth you envision or how your baby is born.
WHAT ABOUT my BIRTH PARTNER?
My support does not diminish the role your partner will play in your birth. I promise! Your partner is an important part of your birth team - and it is important to me to support your partner. Partners often need breaks, sustenance, reassurance, and guidance on how to support you. Your birth partner will be well-supported so that he or she has the energy and confidence to continue to support you as only they can.
WHAT CAN I EXPECT FROM MY DOULA?
Your doula care involves me being on-call 24/7 during the weeks surrounding your “guess” date. When labor begins, we will be in touch by phone until in-person support is needed. You may want me to come support you at home before heading to the hospital or birth center, meet you at the place of birth, or come to your home birth when the time is right. My support continues until a couple hours after the baby is born. I am trained to offer breastfeeding support immediately after birth as well.
As your doula, I offer non-medical physical support during the various stages of labor. I will suggest measures to help your labor progress smoothly or make labor more comfortable for you. Some examples of this are helping you move into new labor positions, supporting your rhythmic motions, trying a bath or shower, massaging you to relieve the intensity of contractions and help you relax, maintaining a calm and peaceful birth space, and offering words of encouragement and affirmation. I also offer to assist with techniques I have learned at a Spinning Babies training to help labor progress as smoothly as possible (if you’ve never heard of Spinning Babies, check it out!).
I have worked with most home birth midwives in West Michigan and have attended many births at every hospital in the area. I work with back-up doulas and birth photographers that I know well and trust completely.
We will get to know each other before your birth, and you will be provided with the resources you want to make informed and empowered decisions about your birth. During your birth, I will never speak for you or your partner, but I will facilitate making sure that your voice is heard.
It is my privilege to offer you support during such a life-changing time in your life. I truly feel called to this work. It is so important to me that you feel surrounded with care, feel understood and encouraged, and know that someone is rooting for you. Women are incredibly strong, and I am eager to walk with you during some of your strongest moments.
Photos documenting your birth story are part of all my doula packages. Even women who don’t think they want birth photos end up deeply appreciating the moments that were captured. It’s not about the crotch shot! It’s about the moment you lay eyes on your baby, seeing how your partner supports you through the process, the details of your newborn’s face that change so quickly, and ensuring you never forget your beauty and strength during one of the most transformational days of your life.
Get to know your doula
It is important to me that you feel comfortable with me in your birth space. I would love to get to know you (and your partner, if applicable) and answer any questions you may have about birth doula support - tea is on me!
"Annica has a calm and grounded presence. She offers warm and loving support and guidance and is an excellent listener! Not to mention her gorgeous, vibrant photographs that capture candid moments with expertise. The families Annica serves are blessed to have her. I recommend Annica highly." - Lori Francescutti, birth educator, doula, and midwife-in-training
Annica is a certified birth doula through DONA International, one of the most reputable and evidence-based doula organizations in the world.