Frequently Asked Questions
What is a doula?
A doula is a person who attends the birthing family before, during, and just after the birth of the baby. The doula is trained to deliver emotional support from home to hospital, ease the transition into the hospital environment, and be there through changing hospital shifts and alternating provider schedules. The doula serves as an advocate, labor coach, and information source to give the mother and her partner the added comfort of additional support throughout the entire labor. There are a variety of titles used by women offering these kinds of services such as "birth assistant," "labor support specialist" and "doula".
Benefits of hiring a doula:
Research has shown that having a doula present at a birth:
•Shortens first-time labor by an average of 2 hours
•Decreases the chance of cesarean section by 50%
•Decreases the need for pain medication
•Helps fathers participate with confidence
•Increases success in breastfeeding
(Findings taken from "Mothering the Mother" by Klaus, Kennell & Klaus, 1993)
•Decrease in the use of Pitocin
•Increase in the likelihood of a spontaneous vaginal birth
•Decrease in the risk of newborns being admitted to a special care nursery
•Increase in satisfaction with birth experience
How does a doula support in labor?
A doula provides physical and emotional support throughout your entire labor and birth. Early labor this is usually via phone call or text. Active labor this is physical support, comfort measures, verbal reassurance, etc. This all depends on how you plan to birth and what your wishes are. I've assisted women in births where they wish to have zero medication and I've assisted women who want an epidural as soon as they arrive to the hospital. I'm happy to support you in the unique way that you require.
Frequently Asked Questions
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Does a doula replace my birth partner?
Absolutely not! In fact, many partners enjoy having the support of a doula to help guide them in making sure their partner is as comfortable as possible. Many partners also find comfort in knowing that mom is not alone, should they need to use the restroom, eat a snack, or even take a nap.
What are the limits to a doula's role in pregnancy and birth?
Unlike doctors, midwives, and nurses, doulas are not medical professionals. I do not perform clinical tasks such as blood pressure checks, fetal heart monitoring, vaginal exams, catch your baby, etc. I provide only physical, emotional, and educational support.
Doulas do not make decisions for you or speak on your behalf to medical professionals, but I can discuss concerns with you, and support you during discussions with medical staff. This may involve helping you get the information you need, hearing all the options, and making suggestions to help you make your own informed decisions.
Do you have any advice for choosing a doula?
Birth is a personal and intimate experience. I encourage you to interview more than one doula. The most important decision when choosing a doula is to find one that you and your partner both feel comfortable with. Ask yourself who you felt most heard and supported by and with whom you had the best connection. I believe it is vital for doulas and clients to have an ease of conversation and mutual trust. Don't be afraid to get a little personal in your interview!