SAFFORD – When contractions are only few minutes in between, who are you going to call?
Salina Szady is the newest pre-registered doula offering her services to the moms and moms-to-be in the Gila Valley. She is attending the ProDoula school and offers nonjudgmental support to the mother.
“I will support the mother no matter what her wishes are; home birth, hospital, un-medicated, fully medicated, cesarean, whatever,” Szady said. “This is her birth, not mine.”
A doula is an individual trained to assist a woman during childbirth. The doula offers support during the birth, and may offer support to the family after the baby is born.
Szady offers physical and emotional support to women during their pregnancy, labor and postpartum period.
“I do free consultations, so my clients are confident in their decision to have me as their doula,” Szady said. “I am on call for them 24/7 as soon as their contract is signed. I will meet with them to go over their birth wishes and even help them prepare one if needed. My training has prepared me with a wealth of knowledge and resources, so I can help them with any questions they may have. I will be there for their birth – no matter the length – and stay for a bit after the baby is born to make sure everyone is settled in. I will also do a postpartum visit to go over their birth and provide support for any questions that may arise.”
Szady told Gila Valley Central that she gravitated toward the profession as a doula because she hopes to help every woman have an empowering birth story.
“Pregnancy and childbirth can be a wonderful time in a mother’s life,” Szady said. “It can also be really stressful. My hope is to ease those stresses. I want every mother to feel more empowered by her birth story.”
Szady’s role as a doula is to help not only the woman in labor but also her partner. However, she does not fill the role as a medical professional.
“We will have a meeting or two to get to know each other and discuss her birth plan,” Szady said. “When you are ready, I will be there for her birth, to not only help her but her partner as well. I am not a replacement for her partner or her medical team, (however), I am there to support her and facilitate a smoother birth.”
Szady is an Arizona native and graduated Clifton High School. After graduation, she lived in multiple states before she eventually married her high school sweetheart and settled down in Safford.