Gentle Beginnings

Doula Services

"Supporting A Mother's 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 women who have labor support and women who do not. Women 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 motherhood as stress-free as possible so you and your partner may have an enjoyable and rewarding experience.

POSITIVE BIRTH EXPERIENCE

Becoming a mother is such a momentous and pivotal moment in a woman's 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 woman feels she has freedom of choice, access to accurate information, and that she is 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 time in the hospital, couples are unaccompanied by a doctor or nurse so your doula is the only one accompanying you and your partner throughout the entire labor.  Your doula provides emotional support while also providing hands-on comfort techniques, breathing exercises and other active strategies during labor.

Birth Planning Consultation

Be Informed and Empowered

Research has shown that the more a woman is part of the decision-making process during birth, the happier she will be with the outcome, no matter what interventions may have been needed. A well thought out birth plan is an excellent way for you to open up the lines of communication between you and your care provider(s) and clearly communicate your desires during labor, birth, and the postpartum recovery period for a more satisfying birth experience.  A birth plan is equally important for both moms who want a natural birth and for those who want a medicated birth.

 

We will have one face-to-face consultation that will last approximately one-and-a-half hours to map out a birth plan that suits your needs and desires. Our consultation will be customized to help you accordingly. During our consultation we will discuss:

 

• what your ideal birth looks like;

• procedures you are comfortable with;

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

• your preferences and resources available to you for labor, delivery and postpartum.

 

The resources I provide you can begin using immediately to feel more confident, knowledgeable and prepared to discuss with your care provider.

 

Cost: $100.00

(Travel fee may also be applicable)

Birth Doula Packages

Premium Package

Prenatal: Our initial meeting (in person or remotely) will be personalized to fit your needs, as every pregnancy is different. I take the time to get to know you, your fears, expectations and questions. We will cover identification of comfort measures and roles, discuss your options and resources and map out a birth plan if desired. 

We will also hold a second meeting (in person or remotely) between 30-36 weeks gestation to discuss the pregnancy, packing your hospital bag, early signs of labor, timing your arrival at your birth place, review of your final birth plan, 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 remotely) 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 Cost: $1,000.00

(Travel fee may also be applicable)

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Labor and Delivery Package

Prenatal: We will have one telephonic meeting (via phone, FaceTime, Skype, etc.)  around 30-36 weeks to review your birth plan, discuss your birthing fears and expectations and cover identification of comfort measures.  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 Cost: $800.00

(Travel fee may also be applicable)

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Postpartum Visit(s)

We will have one meeting that will last approximately one-and-a-half hours (in person or remotely) 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 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 will also provide evidenced based information on topics such as infant feeding, emotional and physical recovery from birth, parent–baby bonding, infant soothing, and basic newborn care as needed.

Postpartum appointment per visit: $100.00

(Travel fee may also be applicable)

 
 

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, almost 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 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). I also actively attend courses and continuing education classes on childbirth, hypnobirthing, fetal positioning, breastfeeding, postpartum and baby care basics in the Fairfield County, CT area. 

I am passionate about childbirth and I work 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

 

"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

(203) 442-4277

allison@gentlebeginningsdoula.com

Serving areas of CT, NY, & NJ

 

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