When I was about 3 months pregnant I decided to go to a “Meet the Doulas” event in San Jose to learn more about doulas and how they can support the birthing process. I had heard of doulas prior to this event and the idea of working with someone who was a trained supporter enticed me very much. Knowing that my family was likely not going to be here for the actual birth of our child was somewhat of a stressful thought, and as first time parents, my husband and I did not know what to expect and how to fully prepare. Thus, after the meet and greet and a recommendation from a friend, we decided to move forward with working with a doula to support both of us (not just me).
Just like all professionals, not all doulas are the same and I knew it would be key to find the right person who would complement both Tunji and me, and be the calming force that we needed as we prepared for Marley. Kymm Ann Wallin, owner of Mother’s Journey, was someone who was a perfect fit and she made us feel comfortable during our first, consultation visit. She was an amazing supporter throughout the pregnancy, labor and postpartum process and I am so thankful for her support. The following information was pulled from her website (mothersjourney.com) in order to provide more detailed information regarding her supports and services as a birth doula and the care she provided us.
What are doulas? Doulas are professionals trained to provide continuous emotional, physical, and informational support before, during, and just after childbirth. Woman to woman labor support is an age old tradition that has gained renewed appreciation and recognition in present day maternity care. A doula has a deep understanding of birth and the various ways in which it can present itself.
Prenatal meetings allowed us to get to know one another and provide an opportunity for our doula to learn about specific concerns and hopes you have for the birth. Any necessary supplementary childbirth education was included in these prenatal meetings. Discussion about preparing for the early postpartum period is also a topic of discussion.
Support during the birth involved continuous emotional, informational, and physical support during the process. Kymm Ann and her colleague supported us at the hospital while I was in labor and immediately after labor.
Postpartum follow up visits included “mother care”, as well as allow an opportunity for reflecting on the birth and for information and support on: breastfeeding, infant care/soothing, postpartum transition, baby wearing and postpartum community resources.
The verdict? I am so glad we worked with a doula for our first child. Despite all of our research, we needed all of the support and consultation we could get and I would highly recommend the support of a doula for all parents-to-be, especially first time parents. A huge thank-you to Kymm Ann for all of the support. More information can be found on her website here.