Recently, we connected with Carrie Copeland, a Connecticut mom and owner of Birth Partners, a full service birth and post-partum care business. Carrie has been a Doula since 2007, and is Mom to three (a high school junior, and a sophomore and senior in college). Not totally sure what a Doula does? “A doula is someone specifically trained to provide physical and emotional support as well as information, education and advocacy for pregnant women and their partners before, during, and even after childbirth,” explains Carrie, who has clients throughout CT, NY, MA and RI.
We chatted with Carrie about the specific offerings of her business, as well as why pregnant women should consider a Doula:
What was your own birth experience like and how did that inspire you to become a doula?
When I gave birth to my children, it was such a beautiful and blessed time but I can still distinctly remember – 22 years later! – the panicked feeling when leaving the hospital while thinking, “How can I be allowed to take this baby home and be in charge?” I was terrified that I wouldn’t know what to do and didn’t have much support at that time. So when I met Janet at a birth conference a few years later and she told me about her company, a light turned on my head and hasn’t been turned off since! I contacted Janet a few years after that conversation and said, “OK, I’m ready to become a doula now!” I trained with Birth Partners, fell in love with doula work and the rest is happy history.
Can you share a bit about what your business offers?
We train all of our doulas in Birth Partners-specific ways, even if they had prior training elsewhere. We offer the highest quality, professional service and strive to continuously do even better.
Our birth doulas provide in-home prenatal visits, unlimited virtual visits, are available 24/7 for support and advocacy, help identify comfort measures and determine the roles for doula and partner. (A common misconception is that a doula “takes over” or “takes control” but we believe that the client and her partner should decide what each person’s role should be and how to best work together so that everyone’s expectations are met for labor, birth and beyond.)
We also offer full-service postpartum care which includes everything from education and instruction on all things newborn, to expert infant care while mom takes time to shower, nap or spend time with her older child(ren), breastfeeding assistance and support if applicable, meal preparation, help with laundry and household tasks, grocery shopping and running errands, emotional support and unbiased information. We want the new families to have the support they need so they can focus on recovery, rest and bonding! Our postpartum doulas can provide daytime or overnight care and will customize a schedule that works best for your family.
Birth Partners Doulas has been in business for over 30 years, and you bought it from the original owner. What else separates it from other Doula services?
We offer individualized, personal service and pride ourselves on the care with which we match clients and doulas. That relationship is so important to the process and we strive to make every client feel that their doula is the best possible match for them.
We do not overbook so there is very little chance of conflict, but should that need arise, we have a whole array of amazingly qualified doulas to step in so that no client is left without a Birth Partners doula when her time comes. (Private doulas often won’t have the backup resources to guarantee that coverage, so this is one of many benefits to working with an agency like ours.) We also have regular doulas meetings to network, update and share with each other so that our learning is continuous and our doulas remain a supportive, tight-knit group.
We are constantly considering new ideas to better support our clients; we recently added private, in-home prenatal yoga sessions to our available services to help clients relax and prepare both physically and mentally for labor and birth! We also offer personalized gift registries so that friends and family can gift funds toward your doula care. We wish that everyone could have the support of a doula, and a gift registry is one way to help with the cost of care. Additionally, we provide placenta encapsulation services, prenatal bedrest care, first-night-home-with-baby care, and are always willing to discuss your needs to customize a care package that works best for you.
What are the biggest reasons to hire a Doula?
- The American Pregnancy Association has found that having a birth doula reduces overall cesarean rates by 50%, length of labor by 25%, use of Pitocin by 40%, use of epidural by 60% and promotes a more positive birth experience all around!
- A birth doula can assist clients with writing their birth plan if desired, can provide resources and information on anything from area providers to pediatric care, reading materials, options for labor and birth… really anything the client wants to discuss or consider. We believe information is power! Birth doulas can offer advocacy and in-hospital support for inductions, planned or unplanned cesarean surgery, complications or concerns.
- If you wake up at 3am wondering, “Was that a contraction? Is this labor?” your birth doula will answer your phone call and your questions and not find it unusual that you woke her up to chat. That’s what she wants and expects to do for you! This is what birth doula support looks like.
- A birth doula will join clients at their home during labor to provide continuous support there and help assess progress of labor and make suggestions for timing the arrival at the hospital or birth place. When to leave for the hospital is a very common question / concern, especially with first time parents, so it can be comforting to have an experienced doula there to help with that decision.
- Both birth and postpartum doulas can support and educate breastfeeding mamas to help make the process as comfortable as possible and prevent or diminish any challenges involved.
Anything else you’d like to share?
Birth Partners is proud to provide unbiased support to clients with all kinds of birth preferences and families of all types and styles. We believe in empowering our clients with information, encouragement and non-judgmental communication. Please call (203)718-6512 or email [email protected] or check out https://www.birthpartnersdoulas.com for more information.
This post is sponsored by Birth Doulas.