Labor Doula / Monitrice Care
Congratulations on your upcoming birth!
Lori Beth’s services are available to all mothers, regardless of whether they will be giving birth in a hospital, birth center, or at home. The health and well-being of the mother-baby unit is her number one priority and it’s her sincere hope that every woman has a positive, empowering birth experience.
What is a Doula?
A doula is a labor coach for hire who actually knows what she’s doing! Doula is a Greek word meaning “woman who serves”. A doula is woman trained and experienced in childbirth. A doula provides physical, emotional and informational support to the expectant mother and her partner during labor, delivery and in the postpartum period.
Studies prove that having a doula present at birth helps to shorten a woman’s labor, and they have fewer medical interventions, fewer cesareans, and healthier babies. Evidence also suggests that women are more satisfied with their birth experience when a doula is present and fathers stay more involved with their partner and baby.
- Recognizes birth as a key life experience that the mother will remember all her life
- Understands the physiology of birth and the emotional needs of a woman in labor
- Assists the woman and her partner in preparing for and carrying out their plans for the birth
- Stays by the side of the laboring woman throughout the entire labor
- Provides emotional support, physical comfort measures, an objective point of viewpoint, and assistance to the woman in getting the information she needs to make good decisions
- Facilitates communication between the laboring woman, her partner, and clinical care providers
- Perceives her role as one who nurtures and protects the woman’s memory of her birth experience
What is a Monitrice?
A monitrice is a person who acts in all the ways a doula functions during labor and birth but ALSO has training in the field of maternal-child health. As a certified professional midwife, Lori Beth is also trained in fetal monitoring, performing internal exams during labor, neonatal resuscitation, and breastfeeding and postpartum care.
A monitrice generally will stay with clients at home, functioning as their doula as well as medically assisting with the labor and communicating with the primary health care provider. A monitrice does not intentionally deliver babies on her own. She goes into the hospital with the laboring woman when she is close to delivery, and continues to support her during the labor. After the birth, the monitrice provides postpartum follow-up care and assesses breastfeeding and newborn concerns.
- Is professionally trained in both maternal-child health as well as labor support
- Can monitor labor by listening to the baby’s heart rate, checking cervical dilatation and observing for normal and abnormal labor patterns
- Come to the home and works with you there until late active labor, so in many circumstances you can stay at home until 8 cm dilatation before coming into the hospital
- Is trained in normal newborn delivery & neonatal resuscitation in the event the baby comes faster than expected
- Provides labor support for natural birth and uses tools such as positioning, teaching abdominal breathing and deep relaxation
- Has knowledge of labor and birth interventions and can explain risks and benefits of labor medications and procedures such as epidural anesthesia and cesarean section
- Can speak to the primary health care provider and hospital nurses about your preferences and plan of care during the labor and birth process
- Assists after the birth with the initiation of breastfeeding and evaluating normal and abnormal postpartum concerns
Benefits of Having a Doula/Monitrice
Extensive scientific research confirms that having a doula at your birth:
- Reduces the risk of a cesarean section by 50%
- Reduces the length of labor by 25%
- Reduces the need for an epidural by 60%
- Reduces the use of forceps by 40%
- Reduces the use of medical interventions such as Pitocin, vacuum extraction, episiotomy, etc.
- Facilitates breastfeeding initiation and continuation
- Increases the mother’s satisfaction with her birth experience
- Reduces the instance of postpartum mood disorders
- Increases new parents confidence in the care of their newborn
Finding the Right Doula
Questions for finding your doula:
- Do you like her – fit personality?
- Do you like her skill set?
- Can you afford her?
Labor and Delivery Services
Lori Beth will meet with clients for an informational meeting, free of charge, where you can ask questions about our role and you can gauge whether we are a good match for one another.
Once hired, Lori Beth will:
- Meet with you for a prenatal meeting (1-2 prenatal visits)
- Be on call for you from week 38 of your pregnancy until your birth
- Have contact with you during labor and join you when you decide you would like her to
- Attend your labor continuously until your baby is born
- Remain for 1-2 hours postpartum *
- Assist with breastfeeding and offer lactation support
- Come for up to 3 postpartum visits within the first six weeks after your birth
*Please note: A birth doula is different from a postpartum doula. While a birth doula does meet with the mother and child post-birth, a postpartum doula actually assists the mother/couple with the baby post-birth on a more long-term basis and remains “on-call” for the family for an extended time.
For more information and to set up an interview, contact Lori Beth today.