Sharon Gourlay Professional Birth Doula Services
Gentle and Calm Labor Support for Families
Professional Birth Doulas are trained and certified. They serve families during the birthing year. They are an answer to the needs of the modern pregnant person but with a history steeped in support with calm and gentle hands.
A Doula assists a pregnant people before, during, or after childbirth. She supports the entire family, serving them continuously during labor. It is her role to provide information, physical, and emotional support. In my practice I further define the role of a doula as a social connection for families to receive the best referrals to requested services during the birthing year. A doula can also service as a spiritual support person through labor. I bring these ideas and holistic modalities to my doula practice.
I believe in birth, I believe in families, I believe in babies; all should have support to help navigate the pregnancy and birth choices in the modern world. In supporting families Birth Doula's help to ensure the birthing energy is placed directly into the hands of the birthing person. They are the guiding force and the center of focus and support during the birth. A Doula helps to ensurse and establish a safe space for families to make choices and to birth in the way they need to without any one else's preconceived agendas.
I practice in an inclusive way that absolutely recognizes that families come in many different shapes and sizes. I am proud to be a LBGTQ ally and an eager learner of your families needs. I understand that no two families are exactly alike in culture, customs, and desires.
My professional background, credentials and training:
BA Communication 1990 Otterbein College (University)
C.Ht Ohio State School of Hypnotherapy 2006
HBCE HypnoBirthing Certified Educator 2006
RMT Reiki Master Certification 2007
HBIMI HypnoBirthing Certified Infant Massage 2008
Birthworkers of Central Ohio Leadership 2010 -2013
HBFC HypnoBirthing Fertility Consultant 2012
Birth Doula Training in 2012
Politics Boundaries and Change 2013
CoFounder Central Ohio Doulas 2013
CD Certified (DONA)Birth Doula 2014
TENS Unit Certified 2015
Spinning Babies Trained 2016
Call for a complimentary consultation.
To learn more about my doula services go to http://www.sacredbeginning.com/Doula-Services.html or contact me at 614.636.2626.
Doula's help mother's navigate the pregnancy journey. There are many choices that surround pregnancy, birth, and parenthood. A doula can help you understand the various options, help you to find the resources, evidence, which in turn helps you to have a smoother, empowered journey. Along with that we can help you to create a wish list for your care provider and birthing facility.
Doula's help to remove the fear and stress surrounding birth. We provide non-judgemental support which allows families a safe space to make choices. During labor we are there to be a calm presence for the birthing family offering whatever is necessary to help them realize how amazing they truly are! We are also there to support the birth companion and help them to understand how to support the laboring person.
Physical support is an essential ingredient during any birth experience. It allows mothers to find comfort during labor. Doula's know tricks like positioning, comfort measures, and more to help you through out your labor. Some of the tools I use to help assist families through birth:
- Comfort Measures
- Breathing Options
- Hypnosis, Visualization, and Meditation Support
- Redirected Coaching
- Experience as a Childbirth Educator
- and Much More!
Keerthi Raj and her husband Prateek's Inspirational Words
When my husband and I set out looking for a doula, we chose Sharon after interviewing a couple of other doulas. Our faith in our choice only grew with each passing day during our pre-natal visits. She made an effort to get to know all family members including our dog. She helped us clearly articulate our natural childbirth plan.
We had a big decision to make that she helped us with - we switched OBs at 35 weeks since we were not happy with our earlier OB. She was very informative and helpful without being opinionated.
Our baby also decided to go breech on us a few days before the actual delivery. She has an extensive support network that she was able to leverage to get us chiropracter and acupuncture specialist for getting the baby to turn. Thankfully baby decided to turn the day I went into labor and we didn't really end up using them.
But we realized it really was truly meant to be after the labor and delivery of our baby girl. She was in constant touch with us during pre-labor and offered suggestions on how to progress and ease pain. Sharon helped us decide when it was really time to get to the hospital. She was constantly by my side and did not even step out for a food or water break for the 16 hour period.
There were times when my labor really stopped progressing and she helped me with exercises and breathing and moral support to push through.
Sharon, me and my husband formed the perfect team and we were like clockwork when it came to pushing. We could not have done a natural child birth without Sharon's help.
Thank you Sharon for everything.
Amanda Elaine Harper's Inspirational Words
From the moment my husband, Matthew, and I met Sharon, we knew she was the perfect doula for us. Her calm manner was reassuring every step of the way in preparation for the birth of our son, Patrick. Sharon was incredibly informative. We covered so many topics and she was always available to answer our questions. She became more than just our doula; she was our friend and confidant. We honestly don't know what Patrick's birth story would be like had it not been for Sharon!
During my time in triage, she helped us decipher information and make educated decisions about our options. She was our advocate, liason, and buffer with the hospital staff. It was truly a comfort knowing she was right there beside us.
In labor and delivery, she held my hand, explained what was happening around me, coached me through surges, and helped make me as comfy as possible. It was instrumental for me to have her there during my epidural (I was so scared!) and through my short time pushing. She views birth as such a miraculous event and supported our decisions as we welcomed Patrick into our lives.
In short, Sharon is a godsend. You are truly lucky if you choose her. We loved working with her and are still in contact with her because we feel like she was a part of our birth story. The kind nature of her voice, her love for her clients, and her willingness to be available makes our family recommend Sharon with the highest confidence and the utmost praise.
Chris T Rehs-Dupin's Inspirational Words
Sharon came to us highly recommended from friends, and other birth professionals in the Columbus area. Our situation made us feel specifically vulnerable. Myself, who was the carrying parent, am trans-identified, and my wife and I were nervous about almost nearly every aspect of our birth experience. From the moment we met Sharon, she greeted us with sensitivity, compassion and a great working knowledge of what to expect.
Throughout our pregnancy journey, Sharon made herself available to us for questions, concerns, worries, etc. We felt a great deal of support through our entire journey with her, through our first meeting to birth... and beyond. Sharon was a great advocate for us and our specific situation, and it was apparent that she really takes the time to understand your story and address the anxieties that may be produced through the process of birth.
Sharon went out of her way (literally, making special trips to Columbus) to ensure that the week before our birth was as emotionally comfortable as possible. She was able to help us through a lot of our pre-birth worries (including family stressors) and although nothing could take away being all-consumed by being a week overdue, Sharon was able to talk us through many of our fears.
We will always be grateful for Sharon and the gifts that she brought to us through our birth adventure.
Nicole Ehret's Testimonial 2015
Sharon was an irreplaceable part of our son's journey into this world. From the very beginning she was warm and easy to work with. She provided education and guidance we would not have otherwise received. She honored our wishes without judgement.
During the dynamic process of birth she was fully in tune with both mine and my husbands subjective experiences. She was there to not only support, but to empower us to make decisions in accordance with our wishes.
Above all, Sharon is a genuine and nurturing soul. We are so grateful to have had her by our side during the most important day of our lives.
Abby King's Testimonial 2015
From my experiences with friends’ births, I knew from the beginning that I wanted to have a doula. My massage therapist recommended Sharon Gourlay, so I met with Sharon and we spoke for an hour. I knew right away that she would be willing to go the distance to make our baby’s birth special, so I hired her that day.
Sharon kept in touch with me daily in the last month of my pregnancy. I felt free to call her any time I was uncertain of what my body was doing.In the last two weeks of my pregnancy there were three times Sharon really needed to be with me. I called her, we would discuss what I was feeling, and she met with me as soon as possible. The first time was for Braxton Hicks contractions, which lead to a trip to the hospital. Sharon was with us the whole time. The second time was when I thought my water broke. A strong kick from my daughter caused the immediate evacuation of my bladder. Sharon left a class to be with me and told me not to worry about it. For the final time, I was having strong pains more frequent than before. Sharon was there for what became the eighteen hour birth of our first child.
Due to previous back injuries, I had terrible back contractions. Sharon helped me use hypnobirthing to focus despite the intense pain. I decided it was better for me to get the epidural and Sharon supported my decision. From that point on she applied various techniques to keep my labor progressing. Sharon only left the room a few times but was never gone for long, even staying with me when my husband was sleeping.
At the start of the big push, I was crushed by pain and my labor stopped. My epidural had run out. I was in immense pain and could not find a position in the “normal” medical techniques. Sharon tried several positions to get my labor going again even though I was recovering from the lack of epidural medicines. She never let me give up and watched as my daughter came into the world.
Gretchen Taylor's Testimonial
"During the birth itself, Sharon was both our rock and our soft spot. Sharon’s knowledge about birth is completely solid and scientifically based, and she was so helpful talking us through the risks and benefits of choices we made during my 24-hour labor. At the same time, she was a tremendous emotional support for me. Sharon was ready to hold my hand when I needed her, to hand me the perfect stress ball at the right time, to remind me to relax my shoulders and breathe, to offer me remedies for my nausea, and to help my midwife position me to move labor along. Sharon worked so well with the midwife, and as a team, we were able to get my son to turn from his posterior position.
Sharon’s background as a Hypnobirthing instructor is as a fantastic and unique asset to her doula practice, because she was able to offer us during birth relaxation strategies that kept me calm during a long stretch of unmedicated labor. I felt confident -- and physically able -- to work through contractions because Sharon offered my husband and me so many strategies to ease the discomfort and keep me calm. I do not see myself as someone with a high pain tolerance, nor am I comfortable with even simple medical procedures, so this sense of peace is a true testament to Sharon’s gifts!
It sounds crazy, but my husband and I truly look back on this birth -- the length, the intensity, the positioning challenge and all -- with fondness. Sharon’s presence added an element of celebration and warmth to the whole experience; she even presented to us a detailed timeline of the birth, which we will always treasure. Sharon’s services are a priceless investment in transition to a growing family, and we cannot recommend her highly enough".