A Woman Who Serves

Doula Lori Wade,
New Mom Julie Dawson,
Daughter Carys
Julie Dawson had a few ideas about how she'd like the birth of her first child to go at the hospital.  "I knew I wanted to have a natural birth. I didn't want any drugs. I also knew that I didn't want my mom in there because she would make me crazy."  Dawson enjoyed the support of her mom, her loving husband, Doug Bible, and other family.  But when it came to the challenges of natural childbirth, it was her doula that she preferred by her side with a calming, reassuring presence.

Dawson had met DONA-certified doula Lori Wade through a friend, and Wade became a valued part of her birthing team.  "The most valuable tools are my hands and my heart," Wade explains about what she brings to a birth setting.  She might massage the mother, comfort a father, or help Mom and Baby start breastfeeding.  A doula never takes the place of the medical professionals.  Rather, she offers an additional service.

Julie Dawson
Daughter Carys
Dawson says she's glad her doula stayed by her side, "It's hard to navigate the hospital system, and so having Lori there I felt more confident and she helped support my decisions in a much better way than I'm sure I could have."  At age 38, Dawson was able to have a healthy, natural birth with no major complications.  "I also thought that women did it naturally for years, and why couldn't I do it?  It was such an empowering thing after I did it, I was really proud, it's something that's really boosted my self esteem."  Dawson felt blessed that her daughter, Carys was born healthy and has thrived in her first two years.  She feels that the natural childbirth with her supportive doula attributed to that.

Wade explains that natural childbirth is only one situation in which a doula might be helpful.  Doula is an ancient Greek word meaning "a woman who serves."  Wade says, "A doula is there whether people decide to have an epidural, natural childbirth or a c-section, whatever their situation is, it's not to be judgmental, it's just to support them in their efforts.  Of course my desire is, if they want to have natural childbirth, to help them in that process and know that it's a really good thing for them, it's the best thing for them and the baby."  A doula could support a birth at home, a birthing center or a hospital.  Most of Wade's clients have been choosing a hospital setting in order to prepare for every possible situation.  The DONA organization cites several studies on its website showing that doulas can help moms have a more positive birth experience.  You can reach Wade at doulaloriwade@gmail.com.

DONA-certified Doula, Lori Wade
Wade says although she had natural childbirth with all four of her children and was always interested in motherhood, it took her a long time to realize her calling as a doula.  When her youngest child was about to finish high school, she tried entering the corporate workforce, but that didn't work out.  Finally she found professional training through DONA and knew it was the perfect fit for her.  "I personally feel that every birth is a miracle and every baby is a gift from God.  And to be part of that whole experience is just incredible to me, it's like every time I go I'm part of a miracle."

Tuesday:  what's really happening when you play with your baby!

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