"I found my labor extremely painful, was overheated and had trouble breathing through the contractions. Diane was imperative in reminding me to breathe, keeping me cool with wet washcloths, and keeping me hydrated. Having Diane there allowed him (my husband) to concentrate on the important things and enabled my entire team to really support me fully." Read more
- AC, 7/2012 (New York, NY)
Years ago, when I was giving birth to my daughter, I remember vividly the last hours of my labor. My doctor had told me to hold back from pushing, although every cell in my body was moving to push my baby out. My OB wanted to wait because she had just checked my cervix 30 minutes prior. As ready as I felt, I also felt powerless.
My doula then encouragingly said, “Diane, this is your body and your birth, if you would like the doctor to check you now, then your partner can insist that she check you again and she will let us know if that is ok.” I nodded my head, mid-contraction, and the doctor came back. I was 10 cm and ready to push.
In the last hours of my birth, the role my doula played was indispensable and the benefits to having her by my side were immeasurable. I experienced, first-hand, how doulas are an integral, irreplaceable part of the birthing team.
Every birthing couple, regardless of preference towards a natural or medicated birth, deserves to have the comfort, reassurance, and support that a doula provides. I hope that my work as a birth doula will have the lasting impact on my clients as my doula had on me.
- Dr. Diane Angela Fong, Naturopathic Doctor & 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.
She provides and offers help with comfort measures such as:
reassuring and positive words
In the last century, research has proven that doulas provide many benefits to the birthing process.
In the 1970s, while investigating ways in which to enhance the bond between mother and infant, Drs John Kennell and Marshall Klaus discovered that a birth doula not only improved the maternal-infant bond, but also seemed to decrease the incidence of complications in labor. (1, 2, 3)
In 2011, a systematic review compared “usual” hospital care with births who had various types of continuous labor support (family, friend, doula, nurse whose sole responsibility was one-to-one supportive care). (1, 4) 21 randomized control trials including 15,000 women were reviewed and they found that the doula-supported women had improved obstetric outcomes and decreased intervention rates.
More specifically, the doula-supported women were:
28% less likely to have a cesarean section
31% less likely to use synthetic oxytocin to speed up labor
9% less likely to use any pain medication
34% less likely to rate their childbirth experience negatively
MommyShape believes in supporting women physically, mentally, and emotionally throughout the entire perinatal period. The Basic MommyShape package includes everything that mommy (and partner) need to be prepared and supported during the pregnancy, birthing, and recovery process, including:
1. Prenatal and Postnatal Visit
We will get acquainted, discuss your birth plan, schedule future visits, and address your expectations and concerns for your labor. A few weeks after the birth, we will meet in your home to review your birthing experience, receive birth photos, help with lactation, and address any questions or concerns. These visits can be combined with your naturopathic visit or Breathing Through Birth lesson.
2. Prenatal Naturopathic Medical Visit
A naturopathic visit in which Dr. Fong will do a thorough intake of your current and past medical history and suggest a variety of ways you may increase your health and well-being during the perinatal period. She can address issues such as fertility, morning sickness, gestational diabetes, eczema, psoriasis, allergies, back pain, sciatica, anemia, general nutrition, and overall perinatal health.
3. Breathing Through Birth Childbirth Preparation Lesson (90 - 120 mins)
Dr. Fong's childbirth preparation program, Breathing Through Birth, will teach you and your birth partner how to use breath, movement, meditation, massage, and other proven pain techniques as a comfort measure during labor and delivery. The goal is to help you and your birth partner feel confident by giving you the tools to manage the different emotions and physical sensations during childbirth.
4. Birth Doula Support During Labor
From early labor at your home to breast feeding support after birth, Dr. Fong will provide you and your partner with nurturing, encouraging support using comfort measures such as breathing techniques, birthing positions, relaxation techniques, guided meditation, massage, movement, reassuring and positive words, music therapy, Craniosacral therapy, TENS machine, essential oils, and hydrotherapy.
5. Naturopathic Support During Labor using Homeopathy
Homeopathy is at the core of Dr. Fong's practice as a Naturopath. Homeopathy is a 200-year-old system of medicine utilizing potentized remedies made from plants, animals, and minerals to trigger a healing response in the body. They have been used safely with pregnant women and infants for 200 years. With many toxic side effects from medications and complications from invasive procedures, homeopathy offers a non-pharmacological method for treatment of many complications during pregnancy, labor, & delivery, including, but not limited to: discomfort during labor, induction, stalled labor, exhaustion during labor, fear of labor or during labor, back/hip pain during labor, and bleeding during or after labor. Dr. Fong will work in conjunction with your birth provider to support you with this modality. Read more about homeopathy.
6. Customized MommyShape
7. MommyShape Prenatal Complete DVD
You will receive a copy of the MommyShape Prenatal Complete DVD (sculpt, dance, yoga) so that you can stretch, move, and strengthen throughout your pregnancy in the comfort of your own home.
8. Birth Photography
When your newborn enters the world, Dr. Fong can be your personal photographer, capturing the first moments of your new baby's life.
9. 10% off all MommyShape & Vis Naturopathic Services
As a Naturopathic Doula client, you will receive 10% off all MommyShape and Vis Naturopathic services from the time of contract signing until 3 months postpartum.
9. Unlimited 24/7 Telephone Conversations
Dr. Fong is available for you 24/7 as both doula and naturopathic doctor to provide support during your perinatal journey.
Areas served: The Greater Bay Area, from San Jose to San Francisco and the East Bay
Dr. Fong is not only a Birth Doula, but also a Naturopathic Doctor, Craniosacral Therapist, and creator of the pre/postnatal fitness MommyShape Complete Program. She is able to utilize these skills throughout your pregnancy to give you added support and guidance. All of the services offered at MommyShape and Vis Naturopathic are 10 % off for Naturopathic Doula clients from the time of contract signing until 3 months postpartum. These services include:
1. Prenatal Naturopathic Medical Visit for Mommy
An extended naturopathic visit in which Dr. Fong will do a thorough intake of your current and past medical history and suggest a variety of ways you may increase your health and well-being during the perinatal period. She can address issues such as fertility, morning sickness, gestational diabetes, eczema, psoriasis, allergies, back pain, sciatica, anemia, general nutrition, and overall perinatal health.
2. Postnatal Naturopathic Medical Visit for Mommy & Baby
An extended naturopathic visit with Dr. Fong visit to address health and well-being during the postpartum period, the 4th trimester of pregnancy. Postpartum concerns include postpartum depression, difficulty breastfeeding, low milk supply, exhaustion, general nutrition, anemia, and anything else comes up during this time. Neonatal concerns that arise during the first weeks of baby's life can be addressed as well, including jaundice, colic, acid reflux, and difficulty latching.
Craniosacral Therapy is a hands-on manipulative technique that uses soft tissue work to identifyand release any restrictions in the craniosacral rhythm. Working with the rhythm, the practitioner releases the fascia, encourages expansion, and balances the ligaments, muscles and bones. Read more about Craniosacral Therapy.
1. Prenatal Craniosacral Treatment (90 mins)
2. Postnatal Craniosacral Treatment for Mommy (90 mins) & Baby (30 mins)
A 90 minute Craniosacral treatment to help speed Mommy's recovery and heal the trauma, both emotional and physical, that may have occurred during pregnancy and birth, especially if there have been interventions or surgery. A 30 minute Craniosacral treatment for Baby will minimize or eliminate the effects of birth trauma (pressure on cranium and body during birth), birth trauma from cesarean or instrument delivery, or address colic & reflux, difficulty breastfeeding and promote overall health during this important time.
MommyShape Private Lessons
1. MommyShape Prenatal Complete Private Lesson (60 mins)
A 60 minute lesson in which your instructor will customize a prenatal program for you using MommyShape exercises and nutrition counseling to support your changing body and prepare you for labor.
2. MommyShape Postnatal Ab-Repair Private Lesson (60 mins)
A 60 minute lesson in which your instructor will customize a postnatal program for you using MommyShape exercises and nutrition counseling to get your body back after delivery.
Contact Diane for more information or to schedule a meet and greet!
Some insurance companies cover doula services. Check with your insurance company to see if they will reimburse you for your doula costs. You may also have a flexible spending account that will cover doula care.
DONA International Position Paper: The Birth Doula’s Contribution to Modern Maternity Care. 2012. Retrieved from http://www.dona.org/PDF/Birth%20Position%20Paper_rev%200912.pdf
Sosa R, Kennell JH, Klaus MH, Robertson S, Urrutia J. “The effect of a supportive companion on perinatal problems, length of labor, and motherinfant interaction,” N Engl J Med, 303:597600, 1980.
Klaus MH, Kennell JH, Robertson SS, Sosa R. “Effects of social support during parturition on maternal and infant morbidity,” Br Med J, 293:585587, 1986.
Hodnett ED, Gates S, Hofmeyr GJ, Sakala C, Weston J . “Continuous support for women during childbirth.” Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2011 Feb 16; (2):CD003766.
Childbirth Connection. “Best Evidence: Labor Support.” 2011. Retrieved from http://www.childbirthconnection.org/article.asp?ck=10174&ClickedLink= 257&area=27
DONA International Standards of Practice Birth Doula. Last revised 02/08. Retrieved rom http://www.dona.org/PDF/Standards%20of%20Practice_Birth.pdf
DONA International Code of Ethics. Last revised 05/09/08. Retrieved from http://www.dona.org/PDF/Code%20of%20Ethics_Birth.pdf
8. Castro, M., (2004). Safe and sound in pregnancy; Some “almost speciﬁc” remedies for pregnancy and birth. Homeopathy Today, 24(6), 18-19.Pilkington, K., Kirkwood, G., Rampes, H., Fisher, P., & Richardson, J.