Doula FAQ

What’s a doula?

The term doula, originally from the Greek word meaning “woman’s servant,” is used today to describe a professional who provides women with emotional and physical support during pregnancy, labor, birth and the postpartum period. Doulas are known by many names, including: Birth/Postpartum keeper,Childbirth Assistant, Labor Support Professional, Birth/Postpartum Assistant, Birth/Postpartum Companion, etc.

What does a doula do?

A doula provides a listening ear for the emotional process of pregnancy, physical comfort suggestions during pregnancy, labor, and postpartum and provides evidence based support for both the mom and  partner. The doula is knowledgeable about the entire process, possesses skills to help a cope with the physical experience and emotions of birth/postpartum and understands the importance of this
life event.

The doula will provide support for mom and baby by helping mom formulate questions, gather information, and discuss the options available. The doula will not perform clinical tasks, and will never make decisions on behalf of a woman. A Doula will always respect that it is up to the individual to make the informed choice that is best for their body and their baby. Most importantly, the doula uses  skills to complement those of the partner, helping to ensure  satisfying memories in the bump birth and beyond journey.

How much does it cost to have you as my doula, and do you take payment plans?

Yes, I take payment plans, and also offer 2 scholarships a year to BIPOC families.
My rates  varies somewhat, based upon the services you desire. Average doula service packages begins at $900 to $4000. My doula packages and specialized service packages range from $1000-68,000.

At what point in my pregnancy should I contact a doula?

The earlier the better! Although the benefits of having a doula for your birth will be the same whether you contact at 12 weeks or at 35 weeks, the difference in finding your doula early in pregnancy is that you’ll have someone you know that you can call on with those “Is this normal?” or “What does this mean?”  calls and texts throughout your pregnancy. As well, the longer you have known your doula, the more of a relationship you will build. Furthermore, I tend to book up very quickly, so it is often better to call sooner rather than later, so that I can be sure to be available for you. With that said, there is no such thing as “too late” to find a doula. You will benefit from doula support, whether you have known your doula for months, or merely days.

I have a great doctor or midwife, and will have a nurse. Do I really need a doula, too?

Doulas, doctors, midwives, and nurses all take on separate and unique roles in supporting birth. Each one is important part of the birth team, and all work together to help the laboring woman have a healthy and positive experience. The nurse is responsible for charting, monitoring, and reporting to the doctor or midwife, sometimes for several patients at once. Physicians and midwives are highly trained as medical experts, and are responsible for monitoring the safety of the mother and baby during labor and delivery.

A doula remains a constant presence throughout labor, focusing entirely on providing comfort for the laboring mom and partner. A doula’s job is not to replace any part of the medical team, but to complement their roles by providing constant support and information to the mom and her partner.

I am already taking childbirth classes. Why would I need a doula?

Doulas are intended to enhance – not replace – the services of your childbirth instructor. Your doula will be with you to remind you at appropriate times during labor of the things you have already learned in childbirth class.

Do I need a doula if I already have someone (my mom, my partner, my friend) to be with me during my labor and birth?

It is certainly wonderful  to have the presence of others who love her. A doula will enhance the support that others will provide, without being intrusive. Often, your doula has a level of knowledge and experience that your partner may not. Additionally, mothers, fathers, grandmothers, and dear friends each have their own emotional response to seeing someone experience labor, and to
welcoming this new child into their lives. A doula will respect that this is a special moment for each person, and will gently provide encouragement, information and reassurance that will help loved ones offer their support in a way that also respects the laboring moms' needs.


I’m not sure that I want a “stranger” in the delivery room with me. Isn’t birth supposed to be private?

Birth is an intimate experience, and the doula is a professional who will respect your wishes regarding privacy and modesty. Many women and their partners report feeling more secure due to the continuous
caring presence of a doula.

I’m not sure yet what choices I’ll make in labor. Do I need a doula if I might have an epidural?
What if I have to have a Cesarean birth? 


A doula’s goal is to help you have a satisfying birth experience, however you define it. If using pain medication is an option you are considering during labor, your doula will help you make an informed
choice about what’s best for you and your baby in the moment. Your doula will support you and your partner in the early stages of labor before an epidural can be considered, continue to provide support in
whatever way is needed throughout labor, and help you avoid further intervention. If your caregiver suggests a cesarean, your doula will help you be as informed as possible about the surgery and the post-partum recovery.

Your doula will guide you in asking questions that will help you gather necessary information about the reasons your caregiver recommends a cesarean, the risks and benefits relative to your particular situation, and any alternatives you may have. In this case, you will likely make an
informed decision and will therefore be more satisfied with a surgical outcome. She will also help to reinforce that even though a cesarean may not have been your goal, you are still giving birth. She will
celebrate with you, and facilitate closeness between the new family.


 

 

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