Laura DePasquale is a Chatham, NJ based doula (birth assistant) who can help you and your family navigate the birthing process. She is a certified childbirth educator, birth doula, postpartum doula, birth doula trainer, lactation counselor, and health coach. As she explains, “Doulas are like your grandma…they help you know what options you actually have and guide you through that process. People don’t always feel empowered to use their voices.”
Research has consistently shown that when you have a doula, your chances are higher for shorter labor and lower for needing a cesarean, plus babies have higher apgar scores. “Yet, less than 10% of people hire doulas,” Laura points out. “Every birth is sacred,” she continues. “When I walk out, the world will never be the same again. That family will never be the same again.” She wants everyone to have a wonderful birth experience and she will be your voice so that you have the best chance of achieving your birth plan.
Laura says that normally people hire a doula when they are about 28 weeks along in their pregnancy. She requires you to take a childbirth class around 34 weeks so that you are fully prepared for the experience. It also serves as a great way to get to know each other. When you take the childbirth class, you also get a seat in her breastfeeding class. There you will spend a lot of time discussing the first hour after the baby is born, so that you know exactly what to expect. Laura schedules 1-2 prenatal visits with you, including one in your home. She requires this since she will be meeting you there once you go into active labor. She assists you with the whole birth process from the start of active labor through the move to the birthplace and including the hour after delivery. Finally, she sets up a postpartum visit with you a week after your delivery.
Another bonus to working with Laura is that she helps with pregnancy nutrition as well. She can help you feel healthy throughout your pregnancy. Wellness coaching can include exercise, lifestyle, and stress reduction. It is about making small changes in your life that you are able to make within your means.
As Laura notes, “I am someone who looks for the most credentials when hiring someone, and I have a ton of credentials.” She has been “doula-ing” since 1994 and has attended nearly 1,000 births. As a mother herself, she understands the way of babies. “People always say that babies have their days and nights confused when they are born, but they don’t,” she notes. “They know that milk production is higher at night.” She is willing to travel but 70% of the births she attends are at Morristown Hospital or Our Birthing Center in Morristown. “I want everyone’s birth to be beautiful,” Laura says. “Mine were beautiful– I felt like a warrior.” If you want to feel empowered, educated, and have a beautiful experience– Laura might be the perfect fit for you. As she explains, doulas do not have an agenda. They want to just make what you WANT to happen, happen.
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