Welcome to Precious Beginnings Doula Services! My name is Shawna Whitten, DONA Trained Birth Doula.
The word "doula" comes from the ancient Greek meaning "a woman who serves" and is now used to refer to a trained and experienced professional who provides continuous physical, emotional and informational support to the mother before, during and just after birth; or who provides emotional and practical support during the postpartum period.
If you would like the support of a doula during your bed rest, birth, and/or postpartum journey, I would love to be of service to you.
Studies have shown that when doulas attend birth, labors are shorter with fewer complications, babies are healthier and they breastfeed more easily.
A Birth Doula:
• Recognizes birth as a key experience the mother will remember all her life
• Understands the physiology of birth and the emotional needs of a woman in labor
• Assists the woman in preparing for and carrying out her plans for birth
• Stays with the woman throughout the labor
• Provides emotional support, physical comfort measures and an objective viewpoint, as well as helping the woman get the information she needs to make informed decisions
• Facilitates communication between the laboring woman, her partner and her clinical care providers
• Perceives her role as nurturing and protecting the woman's memory of the birth experience
• Allows the woman's partner to participate at his/her comfort level
Why use a doula?
DONA International doulas mother the mother. Women have complex needs during childbirth and the weeks that follow. In addition to medical care and the love and companionship provided by their partners, women need consistent, continuous reassurance, comfort, encouragement and respect. They need individualized care based on their circumstances and preferences. DONA International doulas are educated and experienced in childbirth and the postpartum period. We are prepared to provide physical (non-medical), emotional and informational support to women and their partners during labor and birth, as well as to families in the weeks following childbirth. We offer a loving touch, positioning and comfort measures that make childbearing women and families feel nurtured and cared for.
Numerous clinical studies have found that a doula’s presence at birth:
• Tends to result in shorter labors with fewer complications
• Reduces negative feelings about one’s childbirth experience
• Reduces the need for pitocin (a labor-inducing drug), forceps or vacuum extraction and cesareans
• Reduces the mother’s request for pain medication and/or epidurals
Research shows parents who receive support can:
• Feel more secure and cared for
• Are more successful in adapting to new family dynamics
• Have greater success with breastfeeding
• Have greater self-confidence
• Have less postpartum depression
I have received specialized training from DONA International at Bastyr University under the instruction of Internationally renowned author, childbirth educator and Simkin Center senior instructor Penny Simkin.
A Bit About Me
I see pregnancy, birth, and the growth of a family as one of the most beautiful things about humanity. As a Doula, I am privileged to help women and their partners make these experiences as positive and healthy as possible. And it’s never surprising to me when another scientific study proves the positive impact a doula can have on the mother and family. I am proud to have received my certification and offer care to women and families across the Tri-Cities & surrounding areas.