As a mother, Bryna Sampey knows a thing or two about giving birth and breast feeding. As a doula, she is putting that knowledge to use while assisting women during their transition into motherhood.
Sampey, of Camas, said there is the birth of the baby as well as the ‘birth’ of a mother during delivery.
“There is an emotional and physical transition during active labor,” she said. “That’s when the mother is born, and she would give everything up for her children. That ‘mother love’ kicks in. It’s so powerful.
“It’s an honor to be trusted in that experience – helping her get through that rough patch,” Sampey said. “The mother trusts you to be there. It’s an incredible experience. It’s a miracle. Mom has a new confidence about her that she’ll have for the rest of her life. There’s nothing like having a baby.”
According to Sampey, a doula is a birth attendant whose chief focus is to provide non-medical support.
As such, the doula “mothers the mother.”
“A doula is the voice of experience,” Sampey said. A doula is there to support the entire family, answer questions and help the birthing woman advocate for herself. She provides pain relief through non-medical pain management techniques and helps to initiate and protect the mother-infant bonding immediately after birth.”
Pain management techniques can include massage and use of pressure point techniques to release endorphins.
Sampey said she likes to keep visitors to a minimum during the first hour after birth and “get mom and baby off to a really good start before the chaos of life ensues.
“In the first hour after birth, the bond is the most important,” she added. “We are hard wired to be skin on skin at that time. It’s really important to have that first hour with mom and dad and the baby.”
Sampey has gone through two years of training to become a doula. She has taken a childbirth training course approved by Doulas of North America, as well as several childbirth educator courses and lactation training.
Sampey was inspired to become a certified lactation counselor after she gave birth to daughter Maia, 3 1/2 years ago. She took up doula work along the way and also has a 15-month-old son River.
Sampey’s best friend and mentor Sonja Massey – an internationally board-certified lactation consultant – taught her about breast feeding.
Sampey provides prenatal and childbirth education, as well as visits at the expectant parents’ home or at Fearn Natural Health Clinic, 532 N.E. Third Ave., Ste. 100, Camas.
The prenatal visits build up a sense of trust, as she visits at least twice before the baby is born.
“I am on call during the pregnancy for any questions,” Sampey said. “I’m a much better resource than Google. I have evidence-based, research-backed answers.
“You don’t get a lot of time to ask your doctors these questions,” she added. “I’m a good resource for questions. I’m not a family member. I can be open, honest and real. You need someone who is not involved and not judgemental. That is me.”
For more information, call Sampey at (360) 545-3356 or visit www.doulamysoul.com.