Laura Pascoe Upper Valley Doula Services
Every birthgiver deserves to feel cared for, respected, and heard. My services are intentionally and lovingly designed to help you prepare for birth in a way that reflects you and your preferences, using evidence-based and compassion-centred information and resources.
My services are inclusive to all who birth—regardless of your gender or sexual identity, partnership status, disability, or previous experiences birthing. Come as you are and know you are welcome and supported.
Interested in how I can support you? Read more about my services here or book a free consultation with me!
Doula service package: $1500
This is an opportunity to get to know each other and make sure we are a good fit.
Personalized Support and 24/7 On-call
From 38 weeks in your pregnancy until your baby, I am on call for you 24/7.
Two Prenatal Visits
I help you prepare for the expected and unexpected of labor, birth and postpartum with concrete resources and evidence-based guidance so you feel confident and empowered.
I help you identify what is important to you and what you want to communicate with your birth team.
Continuous Labor Support
I am there to provide support throughout your labor, birth, and first hours with your new baby.
Two Postpartum Visits
From reflecting on your birth experience to folding laundry, I support you as you adjust to life with your newborn.
Back up doula
I cover a back up doula to ensure you have support no matter what.
I also offer support services for folks at other points in their reproductive or pregnancy journey. This includes abortion/termination support. Contact me for more info.
"Doula support during pregnancy and birth has been shown to be effective in improving the labor and delivery experience." — U.S. Office of Health Policy, 2022
What is the evidence on doula support?
Key to a doula’s role is ensuring that, by providing accurate information and good support, the birthing person is able to make the best decisions for themselves and their baby. Doulas do not take the place of a medical professional as the doula does not undertake any medical tasks, but instead is an invaluable part of the overall birth team. There is a lot of evidence showing the invaluable asset that a continuous support person, and in particular a trained doula, can be for an individual’s birth.
Research has shown, in fact, that doulas:
Shorten labor and delivery times;
Improve the likelihood of having a positive birth experience;
Decrease the likelihood of unwanted pain medication, epidurals, vacuum or forceps-assisted births, and C-sections;
Decrease the likelihood of giving birth to a baby with a low Apgar score (a rating of the baby’s well-being five minutes after birth)
Increase the likelihood of the birthing person being able to successfully initiate and continue to exclusively breastfeed;
May also lower rates of postpartum depression in birthing people
Curious to learn more? Check this summary of evidence on the Evidence-based Birth website.
I have a partner. Should I get a doula?
Doulas are as much of a support to a partner as they are to the birthing person. Most partners have never attended a birth and I consistently find partners, whether first time parents or otherwise, to be relieved and appreciative to have someone in their corner guiding them through the process. It is very important to me that your partner also feels supported and empowered by my services, and I love supporting couples' in strengthening their connection through the birthing experience. Read this partner's review to see a client's firsthand experience working with me.
This is not my first birth. Is a doula helpful?
Absolutely! I love working with parents who are adding to their family and consistently see how valuable they find doula support, even with previous birth experience. This may be because they are planning for a VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean), had a traumatic or challenging first birth, only recently learned of doula support, or know they'll need more support because they have other kids at home.
Midwife and doula — what's the difference?
Midwives are doing incredibly important work, and we are privileged to get to work alongside them. Midwives are responsible for the health of the birthing person and babe, however, so they must prioritize medical tasks, charting, and other essential duties while attending a birth. This means that a midwife’s ability to stay focused on the emotional needs of a client, on what the laboring person needs during each contraction, can be limited. Doulas and midwives work very well together and complement each other, and allow a holistic and comprehensive support system for the birthing person as well as the partner, if the birthing person has one present.
Can I have a doula for a hospital birth?
YES! Hospitals are a particularly valuable place to have doula support as it can be an intimidating and confusing environment. In the Upper Valley we are fortunate to have wonderful health providers who welcome doulas, because they have seen the added support and value doulas provide, especially when hospital staff are spread thin. Wherever and however you give birth, I am there to support and empower you.
What if I want to use pain medication?
My goal is to support you so you feel good about your birth—not define the parameters of what that looks like for you. I know that women have fought for the right to have pain medication during labor and childbirth, and that women have also fought for the right to birth naturally. Similarly, folks have fought for the ability to birth in a hospital, and at home with midwifery support. My job is to give you accurate information to make informed decisions about the kind of birth you want and will feel good about. Read this client's firsthand experience to see what this looks like in practice.
Will hiring a doula ensure that my birth will go as I plan?
Unfortunately, no—there are so many variables in birth, and no one can guarantee any outcome, regardless of what you do to prepare. The only thing you can truly control during labor and birth is how you feel, and a doula can be instrumental in helping you to stay focused and connected to yourself and this truth. Critically, a doula is also incredibly useful to have as a support to help you adjust as and when circumstances change and help remind you to ask the questions you want in order to be an active participant in decision-making around what happens to your body and your babe.
Doula Support Foundation
I am a proud co-founder of the Doula Support Foundation, a nonprofit that a few wonderful doula colleagues and I set up in 2018 in Kingston, Ontario (where I used to live). Our goal is to make sustainable doula care accessible to low income families and vulnerable populations. For more info, you can visit www.DoulaSupport.org.
"If a doula were a drug, it would be unethical not to use it." - Dr. John Kennell