Los Angeles Birth Companions & Postpartum Doulas
Compañeros de nacimiento y ayuda después del parto para las nuevas madres
The word “Doula” is derived from the Greek language and means “a woman who serves”
We are Los Angeles Doulas working in a collective offering Birth Doula, Postpartum Doula and Monitrice Enhanced Labor Support. Offering compassionate and culturally-competent care to families of all backgrounds on sliding scale fee. We help you develop a vision for your birth and support you to manifest the birth you desire. Nurturing the whole woman in body, mind and spirit .
I am so thankful to have found this organization. Their knowledge and support throughout my pregnancy jitters were exactly what I needed. They took care of my needs before and after my birth. My doula was present and supportive every step of the way. She empowered me during my birth and I had the VBAC birth I had planned for. I am forever thankful!” – Linda, Bell Gardens, CA
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HOW TO HAVE A MOTHER-FRIENDLY BIRTH
MEET OUR DOULAS, PERINATAL SUPPORT SPECIALISTS AND MONITRICES
COMING SOON – UNDER CONSTRUCTION
Please contact our Doula Program Coordinator, Debbie Benton at (626) 388-2191 ext. 2 or Email Debbie Benton for a referral. You can also Fill out our BIRTH FORM.
PLANNING YOUR BIRTH: CHOOSING YOUR LABOR SUPPORT PROFESSIONAL
What is important to you about your birth experience? When choosing a labor support professional, it’s important to find one who is in sync with your values and needs. Be sure you clarify your values before you choose your Doula. Take our survey: Values Clarification Exercise; find one who has similar philosophy about childbirth as you do and can support your vision for your birth.
COMMUNITIES WE SERVE
Our doulas are located all over Los Angeles County and will work with families in the following communities: Pasadena/South Pasadena, Glendale, Hollywood, Echo Park/Silverlake/Los Feliz, Culver City, Santa Monica/Malibu/Topanga Canyon, Compton, Studio City, Monrovia/Arcadia/Sierra Madre, San Marino, Culver City, etc.
HOSPITALS AND BIRTH CENTERS WHERE WE WORK
We work at all Los Angeles hospitals and birth centers including:
- Good Samaritan Hospital, Downtown L.A.
- California Hospital Medical Center, Downtown L.A.
- Cedars Sinai Medical Center, West L.A.
- MLK Hospital, South L.A.
- Centinela Hospital, South L.A.
- County USC, Downtown L.A.
- St. Johns, Santa Monica
- Santa Monica/UCLA, Westwood
- Brotman/ Southern California Hospital, Culver City
- Huntington Memorial Hospital, Pasadena
- St. Joseph’s, Burbank
- Arcadia Methodist, Arcadia
- Kaiser Permanente Sunset, Fontana, Baldwin Hills, Woodland Hills
- Glendale Memorial Hospital, Glendale
- Glendale Adventist Hospital, Glendale
- Del Mar Birth Center in South Pasadena
WHAT IS INCLUDED IN DOULA SUPPORT SERVICES
1) A free interview is offered with the Doulas of your choice to determine the best Doula for you. We work in pairs, with a Primary Doula and a Back-Up Doula for each client.
2) Once you have chosen your Doula, she will do at least one pre-birth meeting to discuss your birth plan. She may also attend a prenatal visit with your care provider if you like. We also offer Group Childbirth Education Classes. Join our next 4-week series.
4) The Primary Doula and the Back-Up Doula will go on 24-hour a day call for you from 36 weeks until delivery. The Doula(s) will attend you during labor at your home and/or hospital or birth center.
5) The Doula will stay for 2 hours postpartum and help you establish breastfeeding.
6) The Doula will do a minimum of one prenatal sessions to help you with preparing for birth and one postpartum follow-up visits at your home to help with breastfeeding, instruct on newborn care and care of the mother. She can make referrals to allied health professionals as needed. She will be available by phone throughout your pregnancy and for 6-8 weeks postpartum.
Some doulas add extra services with their package such as Placenta Encapsulation, Birth Photography, etc. Check with the individual Doula about what other services she offers.
TYPES OF LABOR SUPPORT PROFESSIONALS
Birth Doulas are skilled labor companions who provide emotional support and physical comfort during labor and birth. Skills they offer include breathing techniques, massage methods, use of visualization, and knowledge of positions and techniques that will make labor more comfortable and enhance labor progress. This may decrease the woman’s need for pain medication, induction and augmentation of labor, and cesarean section. In addition, The Birth Doula is an advocate for the mother, helping her navigate her way through the medical system. Birth Doulas work collaboratively with the woman’s doctor and/or midwife and nurse to help achieve the woman’s birthing goals.
Perinatal Support Specialists have a broader scope than Birth Doulas. Trained in cultural awareness and cross-cultural communication skills, they work with women from diverse communities. As they themselves may be a member of a religious or ethnic community, they are uniquely qualified to work with women from these communities. Perinatal Support Specialists may also work with special groups of pregnant women such as adolescents, incarcerated women, adoptive mothers. Uniquely, Perinatal Support Specialists have an understanding of the social determinants of health which negatively impact disadvantaged women and children and heath disparities among certain ethnic groups. Perinatal Support Specialists are educated about ways to help pregnant mothers achieve healthy birth outcomes. Other skills they possess include nutritional assessment and counseling, labor support methods, breastfeeding counseling and childbirth education.
Monitrices Provide Enhanced Labor Support Trained as midwives and/ or nurses, Monitrices offer the same type of emotional support and physical comfort as Doulas do, plus enhanced services: maternal and infant assessment skills. The clinical skills offered are fetal heartrate auscultation, monitoring the mother’s blood pressure, pulse and temperature, and performing vaginal exams to assess dilation, effacement and station. These assessments can be helpful in avoiding unnecessary medical interventions (such as augmentation of labor, routine IVs, etc.) and strict timelines for labor progress which may occur in the hospital. Monitrices may be student midwives, registered nurses, Certified Professional Midwives, Licensed Midwives or Nurse-Midwives; however, working in the capacity of Monitrice, they are not the woman’s primary care-provider. Monitrices work collaboratively with the woman’s doctor to enhance her labor and birth experience by providing skilled clinical assessment, advocacy, comfort measures and emotional support.
ABOUT POSTPARTUM DOULA SUPPORT
Postpartum Doulas provide TLC to mother and baby after the birth during the postpartum period. They teach parents how to care for the newborn, and provide physical and emotional support to new mothers and their partners. Postpartum Doulas provide emotional and informational support to new families. They may also provide meal preparation, teach newborn care so mother can rest and recuperate after the birth.
Our Postpartum Doulas promote the ideals and practices of Attachment Parenting: including co-sleeping, exclusive breastfeeding and baby-wearing. Also they are skilled in breastfeeding support and can help the mother deal with common problems such as sore nipples or low milk supply.Postpartum Doulas know how to safely prepare expressed and frozen breastmilk to feed the baby, and can teach parents how to bathe, swaddle and soothe the newborn. Postpartum Doulas are also trained to recognize perinatal mood disorders such as Postpartum Depression and can help the family obtain professional services if needed.
We are committed to every woman having a Postpartum Doula no matter what her financial situation is. Our services are offered at hourly, half-day, full-day, weekly and overnight rates, starting as low as free (for those on Medi-Cal) to full price for a Master Postpartum Doula or Monitrice.
- Breastfeeding Consultation and Instruction
- Grocery Shopping & Errands
- Meal Preparation
- Newborn Care instruction
- Herbology & Homeopathy
- Baby-Friendly Approach in Hospital
- Sibling Preparation and Care
- Kangaroo Mother Care
- Happiest Baby on the Block (Dr. Harvey Karp)
- Baby Laundry & Light Kitchen Cleaning & Tidying
- Physical Care of Mother and Newborn
- Newborn Assessment
- Emotional Support for New Moms (and Dads/Partners too!)
- Referrals to complimentary services (massage, acupuncture, chiropractic, herbal medicine, naturopathic practitioners, etc.)
- Full Day, Half Day, Overnight, Weekly Rates
- Makes a Great Baby Shower Gift for the New Family!
SUMMARY OF A RESEARCH STUDY ON DOULAS
Nine different strategies were distinguished which doulas utilize. Four strategies (reassurance, encouragement, praise, explaining) were similar to those attributed to nurses in published research. Five were original and described as only being used by doulas (mirroring, acceptance, reinforcing, reframing, debriefing).
Emotional support by professional birth doulas is more complex and sophisticated than previously surmised. Mothers experienced these strategies as extremely meaningful and significant with their ability to cope and influencing the course of their labour.
Implications for Practice
The doula’s role in providing emotional support is distinct from the obstetric nurse and midwife. Professional doulas utilise intricate and complex emotional support skills when providing continuous support for women in labour. Application of these skills may provide an explanation for the positive ‘doula effect’ on obstetric and neonatal outcomes in certain settings.
Gilliand, A. (2011). After praise and encouragement: emotional support strategies used by birth doulas in the USA and Canada, Midwifery, 27(4):525-31.
OUR SERVICES: ALIGNED WITH THE MOTHER-FRIENDLY CHILDBIRTH INITIATIVE (MFCI)
The Association for Wholistic Maternal and Newborn Health (AWMNH)’s Labor Support Professionals are philosophically aligned with The Mother-Friendly Childbirth Initiative (MFCI) developed by The Coalition for Improving Maternity Services, a coalition of over 45 leading organizations with concern for maternal and infant health. We seek to uphold all the principles and steps of the MFCI* in our practices.
The MFCI is based on the following principles:
- Normalcy of Birth
- Do No Harm
- Informed Consent
Download Powerpoint: THE TEN STEPS OF THE MOTHER-FRIENDLY CHILDBIRTH INITIATIVE
Please go to The Coalition for Improving Maternity Services website for more information and additional resources at: http://motherfriendly.org.
PLANNING YOUR BIRTH: CHOOSING YOUR DOCTOR OR MIDWIFE
We invite you to find out if the doctor or midwife you choose practices 10-evidence based steps of the Mother-Friendly Childbirth Initiative (MFCI) that were published in the peer-reviewed Journal of Perinatal Education. Download a copy of the journal to give your doctor or midwife: Evidence Basis.
Be sure you clarify your values before you choose your midwife or doctor. Take our survey: Values Clarification Exercise; find one who has similar philosophy about childbirth as you do.
Download a copy of “Having A Baby? Ten Questions to Ask” [Available from CIMS website]:
Labor Support Services are offered on a sliding scale, we offer “name your own price doula support”. Those on Medi-Cal may receive free/reduced cost services. Donations may be tax deductible, check with your tax professional. Wholistic Midwifery School of Southern California DBA The Association for Wholistic Maternal and Newborn Health is a 501(c) (3) public charity (509 (a) (2). Your fees may be tax-deductible. Check with your tax professional
We have two options for Labor Support Services:
Option A: Labor Support Only, includes prenatal, labor, and postpartum support (sliding scale; fee to be determined);
Option B: Labor Support + 6 hours of private childbirth education classes
Pay By Check
Make checks payable to “AWMNH” .Send checks to:
The Association for Wholistic Maternal and Newborn Health
Los Angeles, CA 90050-0630
As labor support services fees are sliding scale, please enter the amount agreed upon in the box below. Then click on the “BUY NOW” button. You will be taken to Paypal’s secure site, where you can pay using your Paypal account (if you do not have a Paypal account you can set one up in minutes), or you can pay using your debit or credit card.
|Labor Support Services|
PAY FOR POSTPARTUM DOULA SUPPORT
We have half day, full day, weekly, and overnight rates. Please use the pull down menu below to select your choice:, then select “ADD TO CART” button. You will be taken to Paypal’s secure site, where you can pay using your Paypal account (if you do not have a Paypal account you can set one up in minutes), or you can pay using your debit or credit card.