Birth &Breath  Devon Linton Handel

*Birth Doula *Prenatal Yoga *Fairy Hair

Special thanks to my Birth Doula & Friend, Elizabeth, to my sister, Lesley and several of my clients 

 for many of the images, as well as the video by Amanda Ditzel- Photography that are featured on this site. 

What is a Birth Doula?

"One of the most positive developments in maternity care is the addition of the birth doula, who guides and supports women and their partners continuously through labor and birth.  The doula is on call for you, arrives at your home or the hospital when you need her, and remains with you continuously, with few or no breaks, until after the baby is born.  The doula is trained and experienced in providing emotional support, physical comfort, and nonclinical advice.  She draws on her knowledge and experience as she reassures, encourages, comforts, and empathizes with the mother.  She advises the partner about how to help, suggesting when to use particular positions, the bath or shower, and specific comfort measures. 

A doula cannot and does not try to take over your role as the birth partner, because you know the mother better and love her and the baby as no one else does.  But there are many times when a woman needs more than one helper in labor, and when her partner needs reassurance, advice, and help."

~Penny Simpkin, excerpt from her book The Birth Partner, A Complete Guide to Childbirth for Dads, Doulas, and All Other Labor Companions

Check out this short NPR clip on why having a Doula present with you for the birth of your baby can decrease the chances of preterm labor, as well as decrease the chances of having a Cesarean Section.

Recent studies have shown that having a Doula providing continuous care during labor makes it such that a woman is:

  • 28% less likely to have a cesarean section
  • 31% less likely to use Pitocin (synthetic oxytocin) to speed up labor
  • 9% less likely to use any pain medication
  • 34% less likely to rate their childbirth experience negatively

when compared to women who did not have a Doula, & had only her birth partner/ family member/ friend/ health care provider for support.

Hodnett ED, Gates S, Hofmeyr GJ, Sakala C, Weston J, 2011

As your Doula, I will bring to your birth team:

  • a feeling of ease & calm
  • suggestions for different positions, or change of scenery
  • hands on comfort through massage, acupressure, counterpressure techniques, Rebozo cloth techniques, hot or cold compresses, water (shower or tub), other comfort techniques, etc
  • reminders to help you to stay nourished & hydrated
  • knowledge & understanding of the phases of labor & what to expect, normalizing your experience
  • assist in knowing when to ask questions & advocate for yourselves (I can help you create a birth plan)
  • a listening, compassionate, respectful mind & heart, being guided by your needs/ desires
  • respect for the natural birth process that is unique for each woman, and each labor
  • support you in whatever labor and birth choices that YOU decide.  Natural childbirth is not everyone's goal. Birth doesn't always unfold according to the plan. Interventions may become necessary, or desired.  I get it.  l support you with whatever path you choose, however your birth progresses.  I keep a very open, non-judgmental mind.

Having a knowledgeable, compassionate, professional Doula can make a positive difference in birth outcomes. 

When a woman feels supported, empowered & in control, often the results are:

  • a more satisfying birth experience
  • increased bonding with baby
  • increased breastfeeding success
  • decreased chances of postpartum depression
  • a birth story that will be fondly retold for years
  • & ultimately a healthier Mama & baby

What an inspiring way to begin a journey!  


Why Choose a Birth Doula?

My Mission
my dream
my purpose:

I am an independent contracting Birth Doula who is comfortable working in many birth settings- The Women's Birth and Wellness Center in Chapel Hill, Baby+Co in Cary, UNC Hospital, Duke Regional Hospital, or a Midwife- Attended Homebirth- to name some of the many facilities & options here in our area. 

As many of us are, I am on a journey.  Mine, through being a Birth Doula, & Prenatal Yoga Instructor, is with the purpose of empowering women and their partners during a truly transformative time in your lives, the journey into motherhood, whether this is your first pregnancy, or you're growing your family. 

I wish to honor each woman's unique experience in pregnancy, labor, birth, and those precious moments after birth.  I support women who are: single, married, in multi-racial partnerships, co-habitating, LGBTQ, any race, ethnicity, and religion.  There are so many ways to make a family.  I support women who have experienced abuse, or pregnancy loss.     

My purpose is to help facilitate a strong, supportive Birth Team, supporting & working together with your chosen birth partner(s) and health care provider(s) to help you have the birth that you envision.  

Congratulations on your new journey!  I look forward to setting up a time to connect with you soon!    

Prenatal, Labor & Birth support for expectant parents. 

Supporting growing families in Pittsboro, Chapel Hill, Hillsborough, Durham,

Apex, Sanford, Siler City & surrounding areas in the Triangle of North Carolina.