"Being part of a birth team with Shalene is a pleasure! She is intuitive, calm, gentle, and an effective team player. Her advice and skills are complementary to the care given by the midwife or physician and can help promote a peaceful environment whether birthing at home, hospital, or birthing center." -Hannah Mann, Certified Nurse Midwife (CNM)
"We were very fortunate to have Shalene as our doula for the birth of our twins. She listened and encouraged us to articulate the type of birth we wanted during our first meetings. She reminded us of the importance of being flexible and embracing the process of birth as it unfolds. She also provided excellent prenatal body work. During the births, Shalene had a never ending bag of tricks for my every need. She could visually assess where I was holding tension and gave gentle reminders to let the tension fade. She assisted my partner in providing comfort and support. We were very grateful to have her as a doula and witness to the births. We highly recommend her services."-Jenni
The word "Doula" comes from the ancient Greek meaning "a woman who serves" and is now used to refer to a trained and experienced professional who provides continuous physical, emotional, spiritual, and informational support to the mother before, during and just after birth; or who provides emotional and practical support during the postpartum period. We know that for centuries, women had the support and nurturing care of other experienced women to help them through their birth process. Birth Doulas provide this valuable service for the benefit of women and their husbands.
A Birth Doula:
- 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 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.
- 1 Free initial interview to meet and discuss my role at your birth.
- 1-2 Prenatal visits to discuss your plans for birth and talk about fears and concerns.
- Two, one hour, bodywork sessions (1 prenatal and 1 postpartum).
- Continuous support at the onset of labor (If an emergency arises and I am unavailable to attend your birth, I will arrange for a back-up Doula.)
- Immediately after birth, I offer breastfeeding support and any other support until you and your partner are comfortable for me to leave.
- I offer a postpartum visit a few days/ weeks after birth in your home and phone follow-up support. I bring my massage table for a postpartum massage in your home.
Tools and Support:
- Aromatherapy, hydrotherapy, massage, and pain coping support during labor and delivery.
- A beautiful wooden birth stool, round birth ball, peanut ball, massage tools, and many other tools in my bag available to support your birth.
I recommend taking my childbirth classes where you will learn pain coping practices and to prepare your heart and mind to give birth.
Labor Support Bodywork:
- Relaxation strokes
- Jaw release techniques
- Lower back pain compression
- Movements with massage, such as squatting and pressure points to encourage the progression of labor
- Massage has been shown to reduce labor time, labor pain, and even technical intervention
Doulas do NOT:
There are a few characteristics a doula is not. She is not acting as a nurse or midwife, so she does not provide clinical care such as doing examinations on you or checking your baby's heartbeat. The support a doula provides fits together with, but does not replace, the care of your doctor, midwife, or nurses. She also does not come between your husband or partner. She does not make decisions for you, or speak for you. She will encourage and help guide your partner to support and empower you! This is your birth, your baby, your life! A doula supports you by providing information and explanations you may want about your choices, but it's always you who decides what's best for you.
Dr. Katie Edson
Dr Katie is a Family Medicine physician in Direct Primary Care in Christiansburg, VA. Direct Primary Care (DPC) is a membership model of healthcare that removes the entanglements of insurance companies in order to provide more personalized care and direct access to your physician. Dr Katie offers a postpartum package of services to members and non-members, including weekly visits for mother and newborn in the comfort of your own home for the first 2 months after birth. All family medicine services are included in the price, however tests and medications are not. Non-members have the option to become full DPC members after the package is complete.
Visit her website Edson Family Practice and e-mail her at: Kp.firstname.lastname@example.org.
I have a passion for sharing deep knowing, information, education, and support to empower you on your birth preparation journey. I would love to speak at your event/ class about the role of a doula, my classes, and your heart preparation for your birth and parenthood. Message me to schedule your event.