Five years ago massage therapist Stacy Day added doula services to her Menlo Park-based practice, while continuing to offer massage, as she has done for 11 years.
“My interest sprung from personal experience, the birth of my daughter,” she said. “But at the time, there were very few doulas serving the Peninsula and South Bay. The one I hired only had experience with two other births. As my daughter got older, I was able to take some training and became certified by DONA, the doula association.”
In the ensuing years, Stacy has attended about 40 births. “The key is establishing a friendship and trust between the doula and the expectant parents,” she said. “Doulas help the mother experience normal, natural childbirth. My preference is to go to the family’s home as soon as labor begins. We aren’t midwives and can’t check the cervix for dilation but, based on experience, we can get a pretty accurate picture of how close to birth the mother is.”
According to Stacy, 90% of the doula’s job is bringing a calm presence to the birthing process and 10% is knowing techniques and pain coping measures. “There are positions, there is timing,” she said. “Acupressure can help. Overall, my goal is to assist the mother in taking one sensation at a time.”
Doulas are allowed in hospital labor and delivery rooms, but Stacy stresses that she doesn’t step in the way of doctor-patient relationships. “I’m there to support both the mother and father — to encourage them to be active participate in the birth of their child.”
Those interested in Stacy’s massage or doula services can contact here at email@example.com.