Common questions answered by your doula!
What is a doula?
As a doula, I am a support person who is professionally trained to provide physical, emotional, and informational support during your journey through pregnancy and birth. If needed, I help you find your voice and the confidence to use it so you can advocate for yourself, your birth, and your baby. I EMPOWER you with education and evidence based information so you can make informed decisions and feel safe, confident, and supported in YOUR choices. I will work with you to create a birth plan and remind you of that plan throughout labor, ensuring any diversion from it is your desire. My primary role is to provide CONTINUOUS support to you during your labor and my responsibility is to you—not your provider, nurses, or any other medical professional.
Through my training and experience I understand the stages of labor and how to emotionally and physically support a laboring person. I am knowledgeable in the benefits and risks of interventions and procedures and will provide you with the tools you need to make informed, evidence based medical decisions. I am trained in comfort measures and relaxation techniques to keep you and your partner calm, confident and focused as you birth your baby. Prenatally I am available to help you research your every concern and answer all your questions, including the weird, TMI, and uncomfortable ones.
What a doula DOES:
Provides physical comfort measure such as massage, pressure work, and rebozo work.
Assists with suggestions and positional changes during labor.
Creates a calm, safe environment for the laboring person.
Provides a CONTINUOUS reassuring, encouraging, supportive presence.
Listens and empathizes without judgement.
Acts as a guide through labor, affirming the birthing person’s experience and supporting decisions.
Suggests coping mechanisms like breathing, relaxation techniques, movement, and helpful positions.
Helps find evidence-based information to guide decisions in pregnancy and birth.
Explains medical procedures before they happen and answers or helps get answers to any questions PRIOR to the procedure.
Supports the partner and family in understanding how to help and what is happening.
What a doula DOES NOT do:
Make decisions for you or speak on your behalf-but I WILL help you find your voice.
Perform medical exams or procedures such as monitoring baby’s heart, cervical checks, or catching baby.
Replace the partner-I WILL support your partner help them support you even better!
Give medical advice or diagnose medical conditions-I WILL make recommendations to seek support from your medical provider if I see something concerning.
When should I hire a doula?
You should start interviewing doulas and hire your pick in the first trimester. This will give you and your doula time to build a relationship and learn to understand and trust each other. This will also allow for plenty of time to make payments over a payment plan for your doula’s services.
Do you take insurance and/or offer a sliding fee scale?
Some insurances are starting to provide some reimbursement for doula services. This is a case by case situation. I can work with clients on payment plans, bartering, and a combination to make the cost of services more feasible. I also have a fund set up for those who meet the qualifications that will cover some of the costs of my services, as long as there is funds available. Certain restrictions apply and a detailed application is necessary.
Is a doula JUST for unmedicated home birth?
No way! A doula is for ALL birth. Hospital, Birth Center, Home. Unmedicated, vaginal, cesarean section, epidural, induction. I will support you in your choices unconditionally, without judgement. I will provide you with information to help guide you in your decisions and answer questions you have. I will help you navigate whatever birth you choose.
Do I need a doula if I have a partner/spouse who will be present and involved?
YES! I am an addition to your birth team, not a replacement. I will support your partner in supporting you. I will make suggestions, teach them physical comfort measure, coach both of you through the process, answer questions, and be a pillar of support. Your partner will be more free to focus on you knowing I am around to make sure we don’t miss anything!
What is a Fertility Doula?
A fertility doula is a doula trained in preconception and (in)fertility. They are able to provide support to those looking to start trying to conceive including charting cycles, vitamin and supplement information, and education about cycles and sex. A fertility doula is also able to support those facing (in)fertility. They understand the different medications and procedures you may be facing and will support you with information and love.
What is a Postpartum Doula?
A postpartum doula provides evidence based information and support when bringing baby home, whether birthed or adopted. They are able to help support you with infant feeding, infant sleep, parent-baby bonding, emotional and physical recovery from birth, infant soothing, and basics of newborn care. They will help with sibling care-with parents in the home, light housekeeping, and meal preparation.
What if I am gifting the child to adoption?
All the more reason to hire a doula. Pregnancy and birth are very hard under “normal” circumstances. As a birth parent, you will deal with a lot of emotions prenatally, in birth, and in the postpartum period. Having a doula’s support in these times will help mitigate these challenges. I will work with you to help you have the experience you’re hoping for. The goal of the postpartum doula is to give the parent/s a much needed break at times, empower you with information, and build your confidence in caring for your new infant.
Will you attend OB/Midwife appointment/s with me?
I most certainly will. It is NOT a requirement but is an option that is available. I love having the chance to meet your provider/s before labor. This gives us an opportunity to become familiar and address any concerns or questions we may have for one another.