<== Site of the Week for 2009-01-01 ==>
Birthing Body - Gentle Birth Services
To bring in the New Year, I thought I would declare a doula web site as the Site of the Week for New Year's day 2009.
A doula is a person trained in the birthing process who works closely with a mother and her healthcare provider to help assure a happy, healthy birth. The doula works for the mother and serves as the mother's advocate. The ideal held by the doula community is that the mother, in consultation with a primary care provider, makes all of the important decisions. Any doula worth her salt will support the choice of birth location: hospital, birthing centers or home.
Likewise, doulas are trained to be supportive of the OB-GYNs when a c-section is necessary. The point of a supporting role is to help people make the best decision. The data seems to show that the involvement of a doula dramatically decreases the number of c-sections without increasing the risk to mother or child. The goal of the doula is to empower the mother with information and support in making the best decision.
Quite frankly, I believe that this model being worked out in the doula community would be a good model for the health care industry at large. I have a great deal of respect for the highly trained doctors and nurses in the health care system. Unfortunately, the industrial nature of modern health care seems to have blunted its humanity. I think it would be wonderful if we all had doula-like advocates to help us interface with the health care system.
Soap box aside, the site of the week is Birthing Body by Amy Swagman who offers doula services in the Denver area. The site has a quick run down of Amy's qualifications and services.
A quick word of warning. If you use Amy's doula services, she is likely to paint a henna picture on your belly.