Amanda Jane Haddad
Certified Professional Midwife, serving the Cape Cod region
If you want to have the best chance for a safe and happy birth in the hospital, one of the most effective things you can do is to have continuous labor support: bring someone with you whose only role is to provide you with comfort and security. The professional term for a woman who supports other women in childbirth this way is "doula", pronounced "doo'-lah".
Extensive reserach has found that there are significant benefits of continuous labor support, including shorter labors and less chance of needing to have a cesarean section. For a summary, click here.
Labor nurses can be amazing, and sometimes not. You cannot count on your nurse to be your "continuous labor support". Nurses usually leave at change of shift, for starters. The biggest barrier, however, is the routine: nurses have to document every aspect of your care while at the same time actually giving you the care...simultaneously keeping an eye on your fetal monitor, communicating with your physician and occasionally monitoring other patients.
Yes, there are amazing nurses that do manage to pull it off right here on Cape Cod, but it's definitely a toss up, no matter where you go.
I have been fortunate to support hundreds of moms through labor and birth and have attended births as a Professional Labor Support person in hospitals, birth centers and home births. I have not sought doula certification, though I offer the same services (and more). To email me for more information or schedule a time to meet, use the Customer Contact Form.
You may also view or download my "Professional Birth Support Contract" for more information, including fees & terms of service.