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I'm so glad you're here!

Whether you're interested in childbirth education, doula support for pregnancy, birth, or postpartum, lactation help, placenta encapsulation, or anything else pregnancy, birth, or baby related, you're in the right place!

It is my privilege and joy to provide evidence-based  information, nurturing, compassionate care, and a wide variety of quality local resources to assist expecting families in making the right decisions for them and their babies.

As a professional doula, I support births at all Anchorage and Mat-Su Valley area hospitals, birth centers, and home births. I assist and support you in your decisions, whether you desire an unmedicated birth, prefer to plan for epidural anesthesia, or are planning a cesarean.  

I am committed to your comfort, and strive to support your confident pregnancy, prepared and relaxed birth, and ease your postpartum transition to parenthood. 

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​​What is a Doula?


Doula means "a woman who serves."

Birth doulas offer physical and emotional labor support to women and their partners. They are dedicated to helping families develop and stay with their birth plan, and are an integral part of the birth team. As your doula I will be your advocate, helping to clarify information and unwaveringly supporting your desires for your birth.  I will be by your side, assisting your partner with labor support skills, giving you a variety of ideas and techniques to help labor progress and ease discomfort.   

It is my passion and privilege to serve women and their families during the childbearing year; through the process of pregnancy, labor, birth, and postpartum recovery.  I believe that the way a woman gives birth matters.  As a doula I strive to provide wisdom, understanding, and to create a sort of protective "birth bubble" for laboring moms, allowing them to feel safe, informed, and supported, and to embrace the power and wonder of their birth experiences wihout fear.

I respect and support women's choices in birth, whether they plan in advance to have an epidural or other medications for pain relief, desire an unmedicated labor, or are planning a cesarean delivery.  I attend births in all area hospitals, birth centers, or at home. Childbirth is unpredictable and each baby's birth is special and unique. Every woman deserves a doula for every birth.



What the Studies Show

"Overall, women who received continuous support were more likely to have spontaneous vaginal births and less likely to have any pain medication, epidurals, negative feelings about childbirth, vacuum or forceps-assisted births, and C-sections. In addition, their labors were shorter by about 40 minutes and their babies were less likely to have low Apgar scores at birth.

The best results occurred when woman had continuous labor support from a doula— someone who was not a staff member at the hospital and who was not part of the woman’s social network. When continuous labor support was provided by a doula, women experienced a:

  • 31% decrease in the use of Pitocin*
  • 28% decrease in the risk of C-section*
  • 12% increase in the likelihood of a spontaneous vaginal birth*
  • 9% decrease in the use of any medications for pain relief
  • 14% decrease in the risk of newborns being admitted to a special care nursery
  • 34% decrease in the risk of being dissatisfied with the birth experience*

Conclusions:
Continuous support during labour has clinically meaningful benefits for women and infants and no known harm. All women should have support throughout labour and birth."    * 2012, Hodnett et al Cochrane Review

Pregnancy and childbirth is an incredibly vulnerable time. The way a mother gives birth can change the way she views herself, her baby, her ability to mother, and many other things. According to a ​​ study done by Penny Simkin (PT, doula, childbirth educator) on the long-term memories women form at birth, she discovered that what affects a woman's memory of birth is not so much how or where she gave birth, but how she was made to feel.
Although how and where a mother chooses to give birth will undoubtedly play a major role in the outcome of her birth, what is far more important is that the mother feels supported, valued, cared for, encouraged and empowered.

Anchorage Doula Childbirth Class Placenta Encapsulation Shanna Switzer