At Ocean Midwives we know all women need support in labor- physical and emotional. This is especially true when planning a hospital birth. Our hopes would be that every woman birthing in the hospital would have the care and support of a doula! That is why we offer doula and monitrice services, to help all women have the optimal birth experience, no matter the chosen birth location.
A doula is a non-medical support person for pregnancy, birth, and the postpartum. In labor, doulas provide ideas about positions and comfort measures, advocate for a woman’s birth plan to the medical staff, and inform families about options in situations where the birth plan deviates. Studies show that just the continuous presence of another woman lessens interventions in the birthing process- less epidurals and cesarean births. A doula also supports the partner, helping to normalize birth and know how to support the birthing woman. The less anxious the people are around the birthing women, the more she can relax and let go into the flow of her labor. Often in a homebirth setting a there is less of a need to advocate for a birth plan or need additional continuous support. However, we love attending homebirths with doulas, and most doulas love the opportunity the attend homebirth! What support you want to gather around you in labor is a very individualized choice, and doulas can often be very beneficial to women birthing at home, as well as in the hospital.
A monitrice is a bit of a blend between a midwife and a doula. A monitrice is a Licensed Midwife who assists a woman planning a hospital birth. Different than a doula, a monitrice does provide clinical skills and monitoring at home, including vitals, cervical exams, and helping a woman decide when to move into the hospital to deliver her baby. A monitrice is a great option for women who desire a natural birth with less interventions and want to labor at home longer, but want clinical monitoring at home in early labor, especially if there are medical indications for a planned hospital birth. When it is time to head into the hospital for birth, we go into the hospital with you and continue to provide doula support and professional guidance until the baby is born.
Again, the choice of birth location is a very personal one and we want to support women birthing optimally in all environments! If you are interested in knowing more about our doula or monitrice care packages, please contact us for a free consultation!