Pregnant woman in nature
Mother and baby in autumn

Gentle Beginnings

Doula Services

"Supporting The Journey Through Pregnancy, Childbirth and Postpartum"

 

Why Hire A Doula?

Strength in Support

Statistical data from one of the largest study reviews (Hodnet, et al, 2012) demonstrates the following benefits of birthers who have labor support and birthers who do not. Birthing people who have labor support are:

  • 28% less likely to have a cesarean section;

     

  • 31% less likely to use synthetic oxytocin to speed up labor;

     

  • 9% less likely to use any pain medication; and

     

  • 34% less likely to rate their childbirth experience negatively.

 

 

For more research on the benefits of utilizing a doula: 

 

https://evidencebasedbirth.com/the-evidence-for-doulas/

 

https://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/handle/10665/250274/WHO-RHR-16.10-eng.pdf;jsessionid=5E07A54957D2ACD92E0C489BDCB2FE15?sequence=1

 

https://americanpregnancy.org/labor-and-birth/having-a-doula/

 

Services

I pride myself in providing you and your partner with the utmost care, support and resources before, during and after the birthing process.  My goal is to make the transition into parenthood as stress-free as possible so you (and your partner if applicable) may have an enjoyable and rewarding experience.

POSITIVE BIRTH EXPERIENCE

Becoming a parent is such a momentous and pivotal moment in your life, so making it a positive experience carries long term benefits. Knowledge is empowerment, so it is important to do your research and implement a birth plan using evidenced-based information on topics such as pain medications and other interventions. A positive birth is possible when a person feels they have freedom of choice, access to accurate information, and that they are in control, powerful and respected. You can have a positive caesarean, positive hospital birth or a positive home water birth.

EMOTIONAL & PHYSICAL SUPPORT

Numerous studies show that doulas can reduce the length of labor, decrease the likelihood of C-sections, and lessen the need for medications or interventions. For most of their hospital stay, birthers are unaccompanied by a doctor or nurse so your doula is the only one accompanying you consistently throughout the entire labor experience.  Your doula provides emotional support while also providing hands-on comfort techniques, breathing exercises and other active strategies during labor.

Expectant Couple

Birth Consultations

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Be Informed and Empowered

Research has shown that the more a birthing person is part of the decision-making process during birth, the happier they will be with the outcome, no matter what interventions may have been needed.  Yet there are so many different topics to be informed about and navigate throughout this experience.  Where should I birth? How do I find a good OB or midwife? Do I need childbirth and/or newborn care classes? How should I  prepare for the postpartum period?

 

Consult with a professional as we have a client-led consult to explore your options and get answers to your biggest questions and concerns. The knowledge and resources I can provide you with will immediately help you feel more confident, knowledgeable and prepared for your pregnancy and birthing journey.  

 

During our client-led consultation we can discuss a wide variety of topics such as:

 

• what your ideal birth looks like and how to map out a birth plan that best suits your needs and desires;

• procedures you are comfortable with or not comfortable with and how to discuss with your medical care provider;

• professional advice on topics such as optimal fetal positioning, inductions, postpartum planning, birth providers in your area, packing your hospital bag, last minute birth support FAQ, local resources available for labor, delivery and postpartum.

 

Fee: $200 home visit / $100 virtually

Newborn Baby with Mom

Birth Doula Packages

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Full Support Package

Prenatal: Our initial meeting (in person or virtually) will be personalized to fit your needs and very much client-led as every pregnancy is different. I take the time to get to know you, your fears, expectations and concerns. We will cover a wide variety of pregnancy topics, discuss your options and local resources and even map out a birth plan if desired.

We will also hold a second meeting (in person or virtually) between 30-36 weeks gestation to discuss the pregnancy, labor comfort techniques, packing your hospital bag, early signs of labor, timing your arrival at your birth place, review of your birth preferences, breastfeeding and newborn care basics if desired.

 

I am available via phone/text/email for discussions, questions and emotional support from the moment I am retained and will be on call 24 hours a day for your labor from two weeks before your due date up until you give birth.

 

Labor and Birth: We can assess progress of labor and discuss timing your arrival at your birth place. I will provide ongoing emotional and physical support at your birth place, an explanation of options and practical suggestions to partner, provide verbal encouragement, massage techniques and comfort measures. I remain with you an average of one-and-a-half hours following childbirth to help you with the transition, begin the breastfeeding process and encourage bonding while also helping facilitate a calm and positive environment. 

 

Postpartum: We have one final visit (in person or virtually) within the first two weeks of postpartum to process your birth experience and discuss reinforcement of accomplishments in labor, birth, and parenting.  I can provide referrals, resources and information and go over breastfeeding and newborn care basics if desired. You will still be free to call or e-mail me anytime after the baby arrives with any questions or concerns you may have.

Package Fee: $1,500.00

(Travel fee may also be applicable)

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Labor & Delivery Package

Prenatal: We will have one telephonic or virtual meeting (via phone, Zoom or FaceTime)  around 34-36 weeks to review your birth preferences, when I will be joining you in labor as well as timing your arrival at your birth place.  I am available via phone/text/email for discussions, questions and emotional support from the moment I am retained and will be on call 24 hours a day for your labor from two weeks before your due date up until you give birth.

Labor and Birth: We can assess progress of labor and discuss timing your arrival at your birth place. I will provide ongoing emotional and physical support at your birth place, an explanation of options and practical suggestions to partner, provide verbal encouragement, massage techniques and comfort measures. I remain with you an average of one-and-a-half hours following childbirth to help you with the transition, begin the breastfeeding process and encourage bonding while also helping facilitate a calm and positive environment. 

You will still be free to call or e-mail me anytime after the baby arrives with any questions or concerns you may have.

Package Fee: $1,200.00

(Travel fee may also be applicable)

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Postpartum Visits

We will meet either in person or virtually to discuss and process your birth experience, open the doors for additional support and give referrals for services outside of my scope. My intention behind this appointment is to be a calm environment where you do not need to worry about how your home looks or when was the last time you washed your hair.  I can provide evidenced based information and professional knowledge on topics such as infant feeding, emotional and physical recovery from birth, parent–baby bonding, infant soothing, and basic newborn care as needed.

 

Fee: $200 home visit / $100 virtually

Mother and Baby
 
 

My Story

After birthing three children within a time span of five years, I couldn't help but recognize how overwhelming pregnancy, childbirth and parenting in general can be. I also had an unfavorable birthing experience with my first child. I was young, under-supported with financially limited options and felt "under-qualified" to be part of labor and delivery decision making. I simply left everything up to my obstetrician. I was told what to do and what not to do, what to take, where to go and even when to push.  I was rarely asked for consent, but rather told what they were doing to me as they decided to do it.  It all felt so clinical, as if I was in the hospital due to an illness rather than a healthy, natural event. I felt lonely, helpless and scared for three days straight.  Needless to say, the experience left me wondering what could have been done differently and what choices each pregnant mother has to create a more empowered, positive birthing experience.

The moment I discovered doula work, it gave me a sense of relief learning that our society has a support system specially geared for the mother to be guided and assisted through this journey. I personally feel that our culture has brainwashed us to believe that childbirth is simply a painful burden to endure. (Cue television and movie clips where the laboring woman is screaming bloody murder and everyone is rushing around her as if there is a scary emergency to be remedied.)  However, with the right knowledge and support, there can be such beauty and empowerment that comes with knowing all of your choices and feeling in control while fully trusting that your body has the capability and the strength to do exactly what it's meant to do - create new life and make miracles happen.

I am a certified labor doula (CLD) through CAPPA (Childbirth and Postpartum Professional Association) and have also completed their postpartum doula training program. I actively attend workshops, courses and continuing education classes on childbirth, hypnobirthing, fetal positioning, breastfeeding, postpartum, baby care basics and holding space for pregnancy loss in the Fairfield County, CT area. I am also Certified in Reiki Levels I & II.

I am passionate about childbirth and I work incredibly hard to ensure that my clients have a positive and memorable birth experience however they may envision that to look like.  My goal is for you to feel informed, respected and for your voice to be heard by your birthing team in your chosen birth environment.

"I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel."  ~ Maya Angelou

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Pregnant Belly

"Giving birth should be your greatest achievement, not your greatest fear."

- Jane Weideman

Contact Us

If you have any questions or would like additional information, please complete the contact form or call the number below.

Allison Petrides, CLD

New Canaan, CT

(203) 442-4277

allison@gentlebeginningsdoula.com

Serving CT & NY

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