Heather McCullough at birth

Labor Support & Monitrice

Why hire a Doula?

  • – Shorter Time in Labor
  • – Reduction in epidural requests
  • – Reduction in IV pain medication use
  • – Lowered C-Sec rate
  • – Reduction in the use of pitocin
  • – Higher maternal and paternal birth satisfaction


  • * ACOG (American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists)recommends hiring a doula!
    • From their position paper, “Safe Prevention of the Primary Cesarean” and their recommendation for Continuous Labor and Delivery Support: “Published data indicate that one of the most effective tools to improve labor and delivery outcomes is the continuous presence of support personnel, such as a doula. A Cochrane meta-analysis of 12 trials and more than 15,000 women demonstrated that the presence of continuous one-on-one support during labor and delivery was associated with improved patient satisfaction and a statistically significant reduction in the rate of cesarean delivery (111). Given that there are no associated measurable harms, this resource is probably underutilized.”

I know and love birth.  The sounds, the moves, the dances are all familiar to me.  I’ve spent more time with birthing women than doing almost anything else in my life.  When to stay home, when to go to the hospital or have the midwives come into the room.  When to move to hands and knees, use the shower, walk up and down the stairs, or slow dance are the melodies of labor, a song that I sing.  I also know when the song changes, when there are signs that point to the need for change, adaptation, or support.  Labor and birth follows a somewhat predictable path.  When the process starts to stray from the normal path, I know ways to bring it back onto the normal path.

Having worked with hundreds of different providers both on the West Coast and here in Chicago, I’ve learned ways to support my client’s relationships with their providers and ways to optimize those relationships. I also know when there are other options that I have seen offered in that same practice or hospital, but that perhaps this provider hadn’t brought to light. Can we use the birth chair, even if that isn’t this provider’s preference? When can we use the tub for labor? I can smooth the path, and help my clients get all the extra birth tools that they may want or need for their labors.

Consumer Reports did extensive research into birth options, and created this wonderful article ‘What to Reject When You’re Expecting’ which included a list of ’10 Things You Should Do During Your Pregnancy.’ #8: Get Labor Support!

My labor support clients receive, as part of their care, 2 prenatals and 1 postpartum visit. This is fairly standard. However, my background and experience has really altered what I provide during those visits. We will work together to learn in what ways your partner can support you, and then how I can best support your partner! Of course, when the labor waves are moving forward, we often find that everyone in the room is moving as a team to provide back pressure, hydration, cool cloths, position changes, or whatever else helps a mom do her work.

We’ll also find ways to optimize your prenatals with your providers, and have confidence that when making choices, a mom’s voice is the most important voice.  Additionally, we’ll focus on Optimal Fetal Positioning – one of my favorite topics!  Please see Spinning Babies website for some wonderful instruction and background. Intervention during labor and birth is most often caused by a not so perfect position of the baby. A woman’s body can help the baby greatly, and active birth, moving hips, and water can facilitate these changes. However, it’s also possible to know before labor starts what position the baby is in (though most hospital based providers were not taught palpation, only having ultrasound to assess). It’s also possible to help baby into an optimal position prior to labor, or in early labor.

Labor positions, labor tools, and when to call/when to have Heather come/ when to go to the hospital or have the midwives come are also part of our conversations.

Feel free to contact me if you would like to schedule a free interview for Labor Support!

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