Welcome to Brandywine Valley Doula Services, where our mission is to make our clients' prenatal, birth, and postpartum environment as full of peace, support, and respect as possible. We are committed to providing compassionate, research-informed, and individually tailored care to every client.
We acknowledge the historical precedent for doulas and see ourselves as a continuation of a sacred tradition.
The word "doula" originated in ancient Greek and referred to a female servant. Today, doula refers to a skilled birth attendant. Until the Victorian Era, when birth became mostly a hospital affair, birth was primarily a woman-attended event as in the above painting by Joseph Witkowski. In the United States, it is a lost art to have the continuous presence of a female companion at the birthing woman's bedside. Furthermore, as the average American family has two children, most people do not have the opportunity to become truly comfortable and experienced with childbirth. Therein lies the value of a doula- an experienced labor support person.
Doulas as the subject of research: studies suggest the presence of a doula leads to better birth outcomes for mom and baby.
Research suggests doulas reduce the need for a cesarean by as much as 52% (Kozhimannil et al., 2016). This is great news as the CDC has identified a need to reduce the current United States cesarean rate of 32.2%. Doulas also reduce the need for intervention such as epidurals and increase maternal satisfaction even if intervention is needed. More funding for research regarding doulas is needed to determine likely causes of these differences. For a great rundown of the current research, see www.dona.org/cesarean-rates/.
Photo Model: Sandie Carr;
Photographer: Danielle Hoagey
We combine modern research with ancient wisdom to bring you the most supportive and empowering birth experience possible.
At Brandywine Valley Doula Services, we constantly strive to educate ourselves about the latest research while valuing traditional wisdom about birth and the postpartum period, maintaining our compassion and empathy, and trusting the instincts and experiences of other mothers. We keep ourselves open to new research findings while remaining committed to the belief that each mother, baby, and birth is unique and may present challenges that require solutions that have not yet been studied by the scientific community.
Photographer: Meghan Beck