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  SAN ANTONIO BIRTH DOULAS

  (210) 222-0988 | 202 W. French Pl., San Antonio, Texas 78212
  Hours of Operation: Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
   
 

San Antonio Birth Doulas was founded in 1999 in response to the increasing need for birth doula services among pregnant women, especially teens and low-income women in our community. San Antonio Birth Doulas provides new and expecting parents with support in the areas of pregnancy, labor, breastfeeding, newborn care and bonding in an effort to prevent infant/child abuse and neglect.

What is a Doula? The word “doula” is based on an ancient Greek term for woman’s servant. In a modern context, a doula is a trained non-medical person who attends a woman, --as well as her partner and/or family--before, during and after childbirth by providing information, physical assistance and emotional support. In a sense, a doula “mothers the mother.”

Why use a birth doula? Studies have shown that women who have the continuous support – like that of a doula – with them during labor, and birth experienced:

  • An overall reduction of 28% in cesarean deliveries;
  • A reduction in the length of labor;
  • A 31% reduction in the use of Pitocin (a drug used to induce labor);
  • A 12% increase in the likelihood of spontaneous vaginal birth, that is, birth without assistance of forceps or vacuum;
  • A 9% reduction in the use of pain medications;
  • A 14% decrease in the risk of newborns being admitted to a special care nursery
  • 34% decrease in the risk of being dissatisfied with the birth experience*

* Hodnett ED, Gates S, Hofmeyr G, Sakala C. Continuous support for women during childbirth.
Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2013, Issue 7. Art. No.: CD003766.
DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD003766.pub5

Additionally, anecdotal evidence suggests women attended by doulas don’t have as many secondary complications — like maternal infection, maternal fever, newborn problems and postpartum depression.

How We Help: Doulas help expectant mothers and their families in a number of ways before, during and after childbirth. A doula can help expectant mothers by:

  • Referring compassionate and understanding doctors and midwives;
  • Providing information on available childbirth and parenting classes;
  • Working with them on their birth plan;
  • Being present in the early stages of labor at the hospital;
  • Providing contiuous emotional and physical support during labor and birth;
  • Showing family and/or their partner how to comfort and support them during labor;
  • Providing support after childbirth on how to cope with the challenges of motherhood;
  • Teaching them how to bond with their baby and successfully breastfeed;
  • Providing newborn and parenting information about infant and baby/toddler development stages.

Birth doula services are provided at no cost to eligible mothers, including mothers under the age of 18 and income-eligible mothers. If you are interested in doula support services, please contact our office at (210) 222-0988.

Postpartum Support: Project Postpartum is a service that San Antonio Birth Doulas makes available to new mothers because it is important to be a successful and happy parent. Postpartum doulas help mothers:

  • By educating them on the healing process, the importance of nutritious foods and snacks, drinking enough fluids and getting enough rest;
  • Recover from childbirth by offering in-home physical assistance during the early weeks and  months after birth;
  • Make decisions regarding breastfeeding or bottle feeding, general newborn care and how to involve an older sibling in the newborn’s life;
  • Learn proper newborn care, such as cord and circumcision care, car seat and carrier safety, creating safe sleeping environments for baby, appropriate play and stimulation for intellectual and physical development.

 

For more information on Project Postpartum, please call us at (210) 222-0988.

Childbirth Education and Parenting Topic Classes: San Antonio Birth Doulas regularly offers 6-8 week courses for childbirth preparation. Topics include nutrition for pregnancy and postpartum, comfort measures, common interventions, writing a birth plan, obtaining continuous support, healthy birth practices and basic newborn care and feeding. We also offer classes that educate parents on topics like weaning and feeding, baby-wearing, and car-seat safety. All classes are free to the community; call (210) 222-0988 for the latest course schedule.

Interested in becoming a birth and/or postpartum doula?  Although women have always relied on other women for support during labor, the doula profession is relatively new and growing fast. With support from DONA International (suggested link to http://www.dona.org/ webpage), formerly Doulas of North America, San Antonio Birth Doulas hosts regular birth doula training workshops, as well as postpartum doula workshops. Attending a training workshop is the first step for aspiring doulas, but the skills learned can also benefit social workers and nurses who work with pregnant women.

Local doulas who attend a DONA-approved birth and postpartum doula training workshop are invited to “intern” as a San Antonio Birth Doula. If you are interested in learning more about how to become a doula or would like to know when the next doula training workshop will be, contact our office at (210) 222-0988 for more information.

   
   
   
   
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