photo courtesy of Burning Silver Photography
Doula \ˈdü-lə\ – a woman experienced in childbirth who provides advice, information, emotional support, and physical comfort to a mother before, during, and just after childbirth. (Merriam-Webster Dictionary)
Wanda Sundermann is a certified doula, ICD, through ICEA. She has been a practicing doula in the triangle area since 1990. She has attended over 600 births, in hospitals, homes and birth centers. In combining her skills as a massage therapist and birth doula she offers birthing couples comprehensive support for their birth.
In her practice Wanda offers packages that include prenatal and post partum massages along with the doula services. The prenatal massages are done in Wanda’s home office 10 miles west of Carrboro. The post partum massages are done in the clients home. These massage sessions allow the mother and Wanda many opportunities to meet and get to know each other before the birth and then time to process the experience once mother and baby are back at home.
THE BENEFITS OF HAVING A DOULA AT YOUR BIRTH
Research shows that having a doula at births can reduce the length of labor, decrease the use of epidurals, pitocin, c-section and forceps delivery. (Kennell, et al, 1991)
Also, having a doula at your birth can improve your relationship with your partner in the months after the birth. (Hofmeyer, et al, 1991: Wolman, 1993).
Having a doula at a birth can help the woman and her partner in a variety of ways. Some of those are:
- Help the woman find positions that can be more comfortable for labor.
- Help the woman and her partner establish relaxation-inducing breathing patterns.
- Reassure the couple that the intensity of labor is normal.
- Help them stay at home as long as possible where the mother feels most relaxed and comfortable.
- Offer massage and counter pressure to relieve pain and discomfort.
- Give the partner a chance to take a break.
- Give the partner ideas on how he or she can support the mother.
- Help the couple decide when it is time to leave for the birth center or hospital.
- Help the couple get the information they need to make decisions about interventions that might be suggested.
- Be a trained observer in the birthing room.
- Help with the first breastfeeding experience.
- Take pictures.
- Bring food and drinks to the mother and partner.
With questions or to arrange a meeting, contact Wanda.
If you would like to learn more about what doulas do please come to the Piedmont Community Doulas, Meet the Doulas Night, the third Wednesday of every month. They meet at the Women’s Birth and Wellness Center, 7pm, room 304. This free event is open to the public.
Up coming meetings will be:
August 16, 2017
September 20, 2017
October 18, 2017
November 15, 2017
Please let Wanda know if you plan on coming or have any questions.