Comfort Measures

As your doula, I come prepared with “tricks” and tools to help you cope with the emotional and physical rigors of labor. When I first began attending births many years ago, my doula bag was stocked full of tools and gadgets that I would bring to every birth. As my experience increased, I began to realize that the most important tools I can bring to a birth are my hands, my heart, and my presence.

Rebozos have many uses in pregnancy and birth! This is a lift and sift. Wanna try it, Dallas mamas?

Rebozos have many uses in pregnancy and birth! This is a lift and sift. Wanna try it, Dallas mamas?

Now don’t get me wrong, I still have some pretty nifty tools in my bag that you will get the chance to try out in one of our prenatal visits, but these have been narrowed down to only the favorites of myself and the mothers I have served. Each of my tools tends to also serve a dual purpose, providing comfort, as well as having another benefit, such as increasing the production of oxytocin (the hormone that brings on and strengthens contractions) or facilitating relaxation or giving a burst of energy when needed, or perhaps helping with proper positioning of baby or opening of the pelvis…all naturally and lovingly done.

Each stage of labor requires different methods of managing the discomforts and demands that face the mother and her partner. The use of positioning, massage, relaxation, pressure and counter pressure, and movement aids in mother’s comfort, as well as helping to facilitate optimal movement through mom’s pelvis and positioning of baby for birth. Use of heat and cold, music, guided imagery, touch, smell, and creating a safe and comfortable environment are also ways to contribute to your pain management, comfort, and progression of your labor.

And don’t forget dad!! The stress and rigors of labor take their toll on dad or whoever your partner may be, too! It’s amazing what a quick massage, a reminder to eat, and maybe even a little break can do for how well your partner is able to cope, as well.
I not only use the tools in my “magic bag,” but I also use what is available in any given environment. Are there stairs available? A treadmill? How about a nice lake or pond nearby to walk around? We can use the curb along your street or the yoga ball or chair sitting in the corner. You would be surprised what beneficial magic tricks I can conjure with a simple comb or lollipop or even a sheet out of the linen closet! A couch can be used for more than sitting and lying down. We will discuss and try out several comfort measures in our visits as we prepare for that big day when you will call me to join you in your home or at the hospital or birth center at the onset of active labor!
I also offer a transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) unit rental for any of my mothers that may be interested in this alternative form of non-medicinal pain management in labor. You will have the chance to try it out ahead of time, if you choose, to “play” with it and learn how it works and how it can benefit you in labor. Use of TENS in labor can be very effective and a wonderful way for you to be an active participant in your pain management, as you have total control of the unit when you are using it.
My goal is that you will be able to look back at even the labor process with fondness. Yes, it is work. Hard work. But there is no reason we can’t have a little fun in the process, too! The whole process of birth from preparing for that first contraction to holding your sweet baby in your arms can be an experience to treasure and remember.