Frequently Asked Questions about
Are doulas just for natural births?
Doulas are for ALL births! A doula will remain by your side and assist you through the most natural non medicated birth and remain by your side equally supporting you if you choose to have a fully medicated birth. Doulas have different skill sets they use in each setting for birth. There are often instances when a woman has chosen to have a natural birth and because of interventions and unforeseen circumstances need a more medicated birth than what they originally imagined. Your doula will remain attentive and supportive in all cases and scenarios.
How are a doula and a midwife different?
A doula provides emotional, physical, and informational support. Your doula will provide evidence-based information, clinical research, and walk through your birth journey with you as a guide. A midwife will follow you through your pregnancy journey differently since they will be providing your medical care. A midwife will perform blood pressure checks, weight checks, fundal height etc… and be the one to deliver your baby.
When should I hire a doula?
You can make your choice at any time to hire your doula. Some families often choose to hire the doula of their choice early on so there is a greater relationship established and it allows your doula to see the whole picture of your pregnancy from start to finish. Others will choose to hire a doula mid-way through or late in their pregnancy for different reasons. One of the biggest reasons we hear is that once they have researched their options they know they need more support or a sounding board for fielding their questions.
What are the benefits of a doula?
The benefits of a doula are great and vast. Research shows that births with doulas present have less interventions, shorter labor times, less stress for the laboring woman, a 50% less chance for a c-section, better breastfeeding, and better bonding with newborn. A doula is not just for the mother! A doula is there to provide care to the mother’s partner and other families members as well. A doula has been shown to also improve the mother’s overall satisfaction of her birth in general.
Can I have a doula at a hospital birth or just a home birth?
Doulas work in the hospitals as well as home birth setting. A doula that works in a home birth setting will often help facilitate the setup of the birth area. Provide emotional, physical, and informational support to the laboring woman, her partner, and any siblings that may be home as well. When working in a hospital setting a doula will assist in making the hospital environment more comfortable for the laboring mother and family members present, sets the tone for the birth. A doula in the hospital will also provide physical and emotional support to the mother and family members attending the birth or vising with mom while she labors. Your doula will help with physical touch modalities, essential oils, and other tips and tricks to make your labor more pleasurable. Doulas in the hospital setting become an integral part of you birth team and work collaboratively with the nursing staff as well as attending physician.
Does a doula replace the father or birth partner?
NO! Doulas love to work with the father/birth partner! Doulas allow the stress to be taken off of the father/partner during labor because they do not have to figure out how to help the mother work through the pain, the contractions, or positioning. The father/partner gets to love on mom and provide her with the emotional needs that sometimes only they can meet. We teach the father/partner how to work with mom hands on and encourage them to be as much of a doula as we are! If dad/partner needs a break, food, drink, emotional support we are equally there for them in those aspects. Dads/partners will always be the mother’s main source of support. A doula should always support the family unit.
Giving birth is a very intimate time in a woman’s life, how do you make that a comfortable process for being in the room.
Your doula will meet with you in your initial consult, have two prenatal visits with you, check on you at least once per week, and make sure there is a friendly repour before delivery! You should feel as if a lifelong friend is stepping into your birth room. Your doula will strive to get to know not only you but your husband/partner prior to baby’s birth. You will have time to chat and exchange information about each other, share stories of your families and children, and have text/phone access to your doula from your initial date of hire forward. You will also be given the opportunity to meet the doula that would be your primary doulas backup should they not be available or ill when you go into labor.
Can a doula attend a C-Section birth?
When having a c-section only one support person is allowed back into the operating room with the mother. Most often this would be the father/partner however in some circumstances doulas do go back into the OR with the mother. This choice is made by the expectant family and no input from the doula. Your doula will remain at the hospital during your c-section and meet you in recover as soon as you tell her you have arrived there. Doulas are helpful even if you know you are going to have a c-section early on to assist with facts and care procedures that will make transition from pregnancy into motherhood a much easier one.
Will you be able to talk to my doctors and hospital staff for me, as my doula?
As your doula we cannot speak on your behalf, make request for you, or advocate to the medical staff for you. As your doula we can remind you of choices you have previously made. Assist you in answering questions based on knowledge, information available, and evidence-based care when needed.
What is a doula?
The word doula comes from the Greek word meaning woman’s handmaiden. A doula is your helpmate. A labor/birth doula provides emotional, physical, and informational support to the family who has hired her. A doula will assist the family in having the most satisfying birth experience possible.