Mother's Day is on Sunday, and one local resident wants to serve expectant mothers as they enter and transition into a new chapter of life.
Samantha Morgan is the owner of Doula Your Way. While the word "doula" stems from the Greek language as "a woman who serves," Morgan's role is to provide physical, emotional and informational support to a mother before, during and after birth as a trained, experienced professional.
In the past year, Morgan has participated in six births. Recently, she became CPR certified as a healthcare provider through the American Heart Association.
In addition, she has attended a birth workshop, a child education class, lactation class and a postpartum workshop, as she works toward becoming a DONA-certified birth and postpartum doula. This past April, Morgan attended a Lamaze childbirth educator seminar workshop and plans on becoming certified later this year. Morgan said she plans to later teach Lamaze classes locally and would like to begin a hospital-based doula program at Rolling Plains Memorial Hospital in the future and work to help make Sweetwater’s labor and delivery well-known for being the best.
Morgan's role as a birth doula is to join a woman and her partner in labor, in order to provide emotional support and physical comfort. She promotes fully-informed communication between the mother and caregivers, gives reassurance and perspective and assists with labor support techniques.
A post-partum doula helps a new mother after the baby is born for several weeks. Morgan would assist through breastfeeding resources, newborn care education, running errands and also by offering nighttime support and other additional help for the new family.
Studies have shown that a doula's presence during a birth can result in a shorter labor with less complications, fewer requests for pain medication and a reduction in other drugs and methods. A postpartum doula can help reduce a mother's stress and reduce the frequency and severity of postpartum depression.
This February, ACOG (American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists) and SMFM (Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine) published a joint statement in their newest release of updated guidelines called "Safe Prevention of the Primary Cesarean Delivery," which stated, “Published data indicate that one of the most effective tools to improve labor and delivery outcomes is the continuous presence of support personnel, such as a doula. A Cochrane meta-analysis of 12 trials and more than 15,000 women demonstrated that the presence of continuous one-on-one support during labor and delivery was associated with improved patient satisfaction and a statistically significant reduction in the rate of cesarean delivery. Given that there are no associated measurable harms, this resource is probably underutilized."
Morgan offers a free consultation for her services, and then the client has 10 calendar days to make a decision. Once a contract is signed, a $75 retainer fee (non-refundable) is required. A birth doula package costs $500.
The package includes up to three prenatal visits, on-call support starting at 38 weeks (36 weeks for multiples), 24-hour visit postpartum, two postpartum visits and free lactation services as needed from Mary McIntosh, a lactation consultant. A $100 discount is available for military families.
Whether a mother opts for a natural birth, induction or Cesarean (c-section), Morgan stressed that doulas offer support to anyone. And doulas don't just assist during or immediately after the birth, but can be contacted at any time of the child's life for assistance or to stay up to date.
With doula services mostly available in larger cities (the closest hospital-based doula program is offered in Dallas), Morgan will service any city within a two-hour driving time from Sweetwater. Her goal is to be able to work with local healthcare providers so that citizens can be aware of the services of a doula while also bringing awareness to the profession.
To get a detailed look at Morgan's services, visit her website at www.doulayourway.com . She can also be contacted via email at email@example.com  or through her Facebook page, "Doula Your Way".