With Heart of Gaia
If you're not eligible for or not interested in midwifery care, we can still help you with doula care. This basically involves physical and emotional support in the run-up to and during labor and birth, both of the pregnant person and of any support people who are with them during the labor. We encourage you to have an initial meeting where you have a chance to get to know us and we have a chance to get to know you, what it is you're hoping for in your labor and birth, and any past experiences you have with pregnancy or birth. If you decide you'd like us to support you in this role, you'd sign a contract and we'd then make plans to meet once or twice before the birth to work through things like choosing a provider if you've not yet done so, working out a birth plan, and deciding who you'd like to have with you in your birth space. If you have non-medical questions at other times, we're happy to help work through them with you.
Once you're in labor, you'd be in close contact with us and would decide when you were ready for us to go to you. Normally, this would be at your home before you went to the hospital or birth center (or before you called the midwife out, if you're having a home birth), but we do occasionally meet you at your birth location if labor is fast or you prefer that we not join you until then. We'd then remain by your side as a constant source of encouragement, non-medical advice and support with pain relief, movement and other techniques, as appropriate. We will stay nearby as you deliver your baby, but will not crowd you at this time, or add our voice if you're already getting support and guidance from your medical providers. After your birth, we would normally stay to help you with feeding or any other needs you may have in the first hour or so, and would then leave you to bond with your new family member.
If you want to contact us postpartum, we're happy to help if we can, but we know that most families are busy and tired in the early days, and do not expect updates from you unless you want to give us them. If you would like a postpartum home visit, we're happy to oblige. We love to see you enjoying the fruits of your hard work, and to help with details like nursing, diapering and other baby care.
Please note that doula care does not involve any clinical care or advice; in the role of a doula, we will not be monitoring you or your baby, and we will not attend otherwise unassisted births in this role. Please check with your provider that a doula would be allowed to be present during labor. If not, we are happy to provide support via video call, and offer a reduced cost for this service.
With Another RGV Doula
Whether you're using Heart of Gaia midwives and want a doula too, or you're considering using Heart of Gaia for doula services but want to speak with other doulas before you make your final decision (always a good idea!), the Facebook page 'Your RGV Doulas' is a great resource. You'll be able to find introductions from and contact details for local doulas there, and, if we've had a chance to get to know you, we may be able to suggest which doulas we feel might be the right choices for you.
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