Are you expecting a new baby and wondering if you should consider a doula? Today, we’re sharing why hiring a doula for your birth is so beneficial, as well as 3 Knoxville doulas who do an amazing job!
Giving birth is one of the most intense and emotional experiences a woman can go through. While medical professionals are trained to ensure the safety of both the parent and the baby, they often have limited time to provide emotional support and advocacy. This is where a doula can be incredibly valuable. Doulas are trained professionals who provide continuous emotional and physical support to parents during labor, delivery, and the immediate postpartum period. Here are some of the many benefits of working with a doula during childbirth:
Giving birth can be an incredibly emotional experience, and having someone there to provide continuous support can be incredibly valuable. Doulas are trained to help parents feel more calm, focused, and confident during labor and delivery. They offer a calming presence in the room, providing words of encouragement and reassurance. They can also help parents stay present and mindful during labor, which can be especially helpful during intense contractions.
Doula can be incredibly valuable in advocating on your behalf, as the patient. Doulas are trained to help parents communicate their preferences and needs to medical providers. They can help parents understand their options for pain management, medical interventions, and more. Doulas can also advocate for parents to receive the care and attention they desire, and can help ensure that parents are making informed decisions about their care. Doulas can also help parents prepare for birth by providing education and resources beforehand. This can include information about prenatal nutrition, childbirth education classes, and more.
Pain management is one of the most common reasons that parents choose to work with a doula. Doulas are trained to offer a variety of pain management techniques, including massage, breathing exercises, and visualization. Doulas can help parents find a sense of calm and focus during labor, which can make the experience of pain more manageable. They can also provide physical support, such as helping parents find comfortable positions, applying heat or cold, and providing hydration and snacks.
Partners often feel overwhelmed and unsure of how to provide support during the labor and delivery process. Doulas can help partners feel more involved in the birth process, providing them with guidance and support as well. Doulas can help partners understand what to expect during labor and delivery, and can provide guidance on how to offer physical and emotional support. They can also provide breaks for partners to rest, eat, and recharge.
While doulas are primarily focused on supporting parents during labor and delivery, many doulas also offer postpartum support. This can include assistance with breastfeeding, emotional support, and practical help with household tasks.
There are many options for doula care in Knoxville, but we want to highlight three who are well loved by their clients and deliver fantastic care.
Scruffy City Doula – Renee Dudley and Emily Shanks offer doula care, childbirth education and prenatal consulting to expectant moms in the Knoxville area. Renee is a mom of 3 and has been a Knoxville doula for 9 years. Emily is a Knoxville native and mama of 2, holding degrees in both child and family studies and women and gender studies. This is what one of their past clients had to say about working with them:
“Renee and Emily were the best dynamic duo someone could ask for during pregnancy and birth! We found them pretty late into my pregnancy but they worked with what little time we had left and got me prepared for the big day! They always brought smiles and laughs every time we saw them! They are very knowledgeable about your rights during labor and fully support you in any and all of your choices! I will be letting them know the second we get pregnant with our next child so they can join us on our journey again!” – Samantha
Free Spirit Birth – Barbara Steppe is on a mission “to guide and mentor, with compassion and courage, those who envision a natural birth.” An expert in the field of childbirth, she has spoken at well-known workshops and written for the International Journal of Childbirth Education. This is what one of her previous clients had to say about working with her:
“Barb is simply amazing! After our first phone call, I knew that Barb was the perfect fit. She guided me through all different phases of pregnancy and excelled in giving me confidence to craft the birth experience I was looking for. She helped me navigate an unexpected medicine free induction and gave me the tools and knowledge to advocate for what I needed. Barb is a gift to Knoxville and expecting moms!” – Christina
Open Heart Doula – Serving pregnant women and their families in the Knoxville area, Open Heart Doula is made up of a team of birth and postpartum doulas, as well as childbirth educators. This is what a previous client had to say:
“I had a wonderful experience with Alissa Claxton as our doula. She was so nurturing, encouraging, and supportive throughout my pregnancy and labor. I was able to successfully achieve a VBAC and I don’t know if I could’ve done it without Alissa believing in me, reassuring me, and empowering me the whole way through. My husband and I did not invest in a doula in our first pregnancy but we both think it was well worth the expense for this birth. I am grateful for Alissa and Open Heart for the work they do.” – Camden
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