The Art of Labor

Birth Services through Gina Leigh McNally, CD(CBI)

"We have a secret in our culture, it's not that birth is painful, it's that women are strong." 

~Laura Stavoe Harm

Doulas provide women with physical & emotional support before, during, and after childbirth. Prior to birth doulas work with mothers to help educate & prepare them for labor & birth. Once in labor, doulas provide both physical and emotional support by using different pain relieving & relaxation techniques, along with showing these techniques to partners who wish to be actively involved in the process. Evidence has shown that having a doula present during labor & birth results in  enormous benefits to both mother and baby (See FAQ for a list of these benefits). Post-birth, doulas revisit mothers to ensure her and the baby are both adjusting to their new life together well and assist with any issues or questions that may be present.

Doula Services:

I am extremely excited and proud to announce that I am part of A Woman's Design, a small group of doulas, childbirth educators and lactation specialists who support women and families through the child bearing year! 


The birth doulas in our group work in together in pairs/partnerships which is pretty unique. When you work with doula partners, both doulas work with you prenatally by each meeting with you once to discuss your birth "plan"/wishes, discuss any concerns you have, and talk about what you can expect when the big day arrives and how to prepare for the postpartum period. When it comes time for your birth, your doulas will rotate a call schedule and whoever is on call when you go into labor will attend your birth and postpartum visit. This system of working together as partners allows us to maintain a balanced work & family life as well as ensure that if a situation ever arose where a back-up doula is needed (such as the on-call doula coming down with an illness, multiple women going into labor on the same day or a labor that continues for an extended period of time, etc.) there is always a doula you know personally who is available to support you. This relieves the worry many women have about either not having a back-up doula available or not feeling comfortable with the back-up doula they do receive if one is needed. With partnerships, someone you know well will always be available and present at your birth.


For more information on our doula services or to schedule a consult please click HERE


Packages & Investment:

The investment for doula services through A Woman's Design ranges bin price depending on which package you choose. Some packages include additional services such as childbirth education and we encourage everyone to look over all of them to decide which one fits your needs best. Please view A Woman's Design's website HERE for more information on our packages.

 While most insurance does not cover doula services, it has become more common in recent years. We always encourage everyone to request reimbursement from their insurance company once they have paid for the services in full and can provided the steps for you do so. If you have a flexible spending account you may likely be able to use that to pay for your fees. Another great option is to request for people to contribute towards paying for doula services as a baby shower gift. 

My experiences using a doula:


My first birth:


I myself was lucky enough to have a doula support me during my labor & birth. I already had the support of my husband & very large family, but the presence of a doula made the world of a difference. Here is what my aunt had to say about the role the doula played at my birth:

 

"The night my beautiful niece went into labor, we all rushed excitedly up to the Hospital. Shortly after arriving, I heard something about a Doula. My thought was, a “What-a”?? I had never even heard of a Doula. When she explained what it was, I was still picturing a birthing coach type person. But then at the same time I was thinking, “Well, isn’t that what her husband and all of us are for”? lol In my family, we have all been in for the birth of each others babies. We had all been in and out of my niece’s room helping out. As the labor intensified, the Doula became more involved. She started to step in and take charge, or as I saw it at the time, “Bud in and Take Over”. I was a bit offended as we have all “Been there, done this, plenty of times”. At one point, we were all asked to step out so that my niece could have quiet time. I instantly didn’t like this girl. Who does she think she is bossing my family? My niece will kindly ask us to leave if SHE wants us to leave. Boy, was I eventually humbled. She knew exactly what she was doing. She worked calmly and collectively. My niece had a very long labor. The Doula was having her try and do things that none of us would have thought of. And sometimes, having an outsider ask you to try or do something comes across different than someone too close to you. I would HIGHLY recommend the services of a Doula!"


My second birth:


When I was pregnant with my second son I had much more doula/birth experience behind me. Because of this, I assumed I would be much more in-tune with my birth and know what I needed to do to make my birth the way that I had envisioned. What I learned though, was that even in labor, while I became very primal in some senses, I also was also not nearly as in tune with my doula-trained brain as I thought I would be. Having another doula by my side to support both me and my birth team was exactly what I needed. She provided both physical and emotional support/relief, and also helped with postioning when when my baby was malpositioned. My doula never took over the role of birth partner, but rather showed my entire family how to support me both physically and emotionally throughout my labor. My second birth was an amazing, drug-free water birth. It was extremely difficult. It was painful, it was tiring, it was a test of my strength. But I did it. I did it, and I am so happy and proud that I did. That is exactly the feeling I want for each and every one of my clients whether they desire a natural or medicated birth. Having such a supportive birth team was essential to me having my desired birth story and experience. I cannot explain how happy and proud I was in that moment. EVERY women deserves that. I desire to help women achieve this whether they want a completely natural or medicated birth, either way, their wishes should be heard. I am hear to make sure that happen.