My name is Eva Casillas and I began to offer my services as a Birth Doula in Jacksonville, Florida in 2008. My family and I briefly lived in the Raleigh/Durham area of North Carolina for a few years before coming back to the Jacksonville/St Augustine area.
I love babies and the whole process of pregnancy and childbirth. I have six children myself, and I have noticed a huge need in our society for women to have access to an informed professional about pregnancy, labor and delivery. As new moms attempt to educate themselves, they can easily get overwhelmed by the amount of information available and the contradicting viewpoints that are expressed. I hope to bring some clarity to that process by sharing from my own experiences, my training, and the many books and resources that I've found.
Each woman's body is designed to give birth. It is intuitive and automatic. But a change has occurred in our society over the past fifty years or so that has left women with a disproportionate fear of childbirth. Women tell each other horror stories and media depicts women rushing into the ER in extreme pain. Birth doesn't have to be this way. It can be calm and beautiful. Yes, there is pain. But our bodies are designed to handle the pain. With each contraction, a hormone is produced called oxytocin. This hormone helps the cervix to thin and dilate. But this is also the same hormone that is released when we cuddle with a loved one which gives a feeling of happiness and contentment. This hormone enables a woman to make it through the pain. She is mentally aware that the pain is not endangering her or her baby, so she replaces the fear of pain with the joy of childbirth. This pain is actually "good pain".
Most women find that making a decision during hard labor is near to impossible. And yet, it is at those times when you may be called on to make the most important decisions regarding your baby's birth. Even if you are planning to use pain medications at some point in the process, it is still important to have an impartial and compassionate person at your side to help you with those decisions. Studies have shown that the number of deliveries resulting in c-section are dramatically reduced when a doula or other knowledgeable person is present. Sometimes a c-section is absolutely necessary, but a large number of them are not. I have learned that women have a lot more options in the delivery room than they are even aware of.
I do not want to imply that I think every birth should be done without any intervention or medication. Each birth has a unique set of factors to consider, and complications do sometimes happen. So I simply want to encourage every woman to educate herself, to trust her body and her instincts, and to create an unforgettable "birthday" under the conditions that are most comfortable for her. I will be happy to celebrate that birth with you whether at home, in a hospital or birth center.
May God bless you in your maternal journey!