What a pity that my food poisoning induced “labor” precluded use of our doula (the services of which were available gratis via participation in a doula study at our hospital). As first time parents, my husband and I loved the idea of having a childbirth expert in the room to take the pressure off of Jon, and keep our multi-paged (!) birthing plan on track.
Of course, the birthing plan and doula went out the window when I had my emergency C-section. So while I am unable to provide a personal reference, a dear mama friend from Cambridge – who searched long and hard for her doula – offers high praise for the following resource:
Wanda Blanckenberg (508-958-8437) was a calm and experienced presence throughout my 21 hours of labor, helping with everything from massage to relaxation breathing to deciding when to have an epidural to bolstering my husband when the contractions were slow. And when my spirits began to flag towards the end, hers was the encouraging voice that got me through to the birth of my beautiful baby daughter. In addition, she provides after-birth care with breastfeeding and other needs, all with the same calm serenity that makes her such an asset in the delivery room.”
My pal also recommends checking out DONA International’s list of questions to ask during birth and postpartum doula interviews; particularly taking care to find out the doula’s pain management philosophy right off the bat.