What is a Full-Spectrum Doula?
Being a full-spectrum doula essentially means two things: that we serve the full spectrum of people, throughout the full spectrum of parenthood. Doula support is not limited by one's race/ethnic background, sexuality, gender identity, age, dis/ability, spiritual and political beliefs, medical history and pregnancy complications, socioeconomic status, or right to bodily autonomy. Full-spectrum support can begin as early as preconception with family planning from natural conception, to IVF, to surrogacy/adoption. Support lasts throughout the duration of pregnancy, during vaginal births, cesarean births, miscarriages, or abortions, and continues into the fourth trimester of postpartum and new parenthood.
What does a Birth Doula do?
A birth doula is a professional trained in childbirth who provides emotional, physical, and informational support to someone who is pregnant. We have the ability to provide relief during labor through natural pain management techniques including breathwork, massage/counter pressure, labor positioning, and guided relaxation. A birth doula will assist you throughout pregnancy and help prepare you and your partner for childbirth. Doulas also help facilitate informed communication between the birthing person and their medical provider by creating a Birth Plan for your entire birth team.
What does a Postpartum Doula do?
The role of a postpartum doula is to provide (you guessed it) physical, emotional, and informational support to clients during the postpartum period following childbirth. Postpartum support may look like taking "the night shift" with newborn care, assistance with breastfeeding and learning to care for your newborn, light housekeeping and meal preparation, “mother nurturing”/self-care recovery, as well as other practical services. A doula works with each family individually to accommodate their particular needs and support may last anywhere from a few days to a few months.
Is a Doula like a Midwife?
No, a doula is not "like a midwife". A doula does not, and is not qualified to, perform any medical procedures including, cervical checks, blood pressure checks, fetal heart rate monitoring, delivering/catching the baby, etc. A doula is not, and does not, replace a medical care provider such as a midwife or an obstetrician. Having a doula should be in addition to your medical care team. A doula’s role is to hold space for the birthing person, offer natural pain management and emotional guidance, and help facilitate communication throughout the birth team.
Will a Doula replace my Birth Partner?
A doula can never replace an attentive and supportive birth partner, whether that be a significant other, a parent, or a close friend. Instead, a doula provides your birth partner with physical, emotional, and informational support too! We work with your partner throughout the pregnancy so that they also have the tools needed to support you fully during the birthing process. Your partner is an expert on you and doulas are experts on birth – the combination of us, along with your medical providers, means that you have the perfect team to support your dream birth experience.
Who hires a Doula?
Some people think that doulas are only for people choosing a natural, drug-free labor. This couldn’t be further than the truth! My ultimate aim is to help you achieve a positive and empowered birth experience for you, whether that’s vaginal birth, cesarean birth, unmedicated birth, medicated birth, hospital birth, home birth, etc. Your preferences for your birth are completely your decision, my job is to support those decisions to the best of my ability. Pregnancy, birth, and postpartum carry a lot of emotions and big changes. Doulas are there to be an ear to bend and a shoulder to cry on through anything you are experiencing.
Is it worth hiring a Doula?
▶ Decrease in the use of Pitocin
▶ Shorter overall length of labor
▶ Decrease in epidural requests and use of any medications for pain relief
▶ Decrease in forceps delivery
▶ Increase in the likelihood of a spontaneous vaginal birth
▶ Decrease in the risk of emergency cesarean section
▶ Decrease in the risk of newborns being sent to the NICU
▶ Better chances of successful breastfeeding
▶ Decrease the risk of postpartum mood and anxiety disorders
▶ Increase in being satisfied with your birth experience
Hiring a doula also means access to local referrals such as lactation consultants, pelvic floor therapists, chiropractors, naturopaths, pediatricians, support groups, and more.
We think it's worth it!
Multiple research studies have shown consistent results in the use of a doula during labor and birth. These benefits include:
What does the Placenta Encapsulation process look like?
Placenta encapsulation is the practice of steaming or boiling the placenta, dehydrating it, grinding it and putting the placenta powder into ingestible capsules. Here at Earthbound, all processes are done with high respect to the placenta and in a sanitary environment. We prepare the placenta using the Traditional Chinese Method. Steaming tempers the hormones and allows for a gentle reintroduction into the body. Adding warm elements such as lemon, ginger, and peppers to the steaming process helps balance the cool energy left in the womb after childbirth. Tinctures are created by steeping a chunk of raw placenta in pure alcohol for 6 weeks.
Placenta prints are created by stamping the placenta onto canvas to create a work of art unique to your baby's tree of life. Umbilical keepsakes can be made into a spiral, heart, or other shape depending on cord length.
What are the benefits of Placenta Encapsulation?
Some common benefits of consuming your placenta include rebalancing hormones, assists with uterus returning to pre-pregnancy size (involution), decreases postnatal bleeding, aids in postnatal recovery, increases milk supply, increases energy level, and decreases the risk of postpartum mood disorders. There is no guarantee that everyone will see all of these results. However, centuries of women have experienced these benefits among others, and research on placenta consumption has only just begun. The main takeaway from these studies is that the placenta is high in iron, as well as other nutrients, which helps replenish the body after childbirth, thus producing some of the above results.
Is Placenta Encapsulation safe?
When prepared by a professional, placenta capsules are completely safe for consumption. Capsules are for the biological owner of the placenta only and are not designed to replace medical attention. Some of the ascribed benefits of placenta consumption are supported by ongoing research and millions of first-hand testaments, however these benefits have not been evaluated or approved by the United States government or the Food and Drug Administration. It is your responsibility to determine whether using placenta capsules can be beneficial to your well-being.