What is a doula?
A doula is a trained professional who aids in physical, emotional, and educational support to a women and her birth partner before, during, and immediately following childbirth. Doulas work closely with their clients, supporting the client’s wishes and choices for their birth experience. Doulas offer evidenced based information so mom and her partner can make informed decisions, and offer non-medical pain management such as massage, reflexology, aromatherapy, music, mantras and much, much more to guide mom through a peaceful, positive, and empowering experience.
What a doula is not…
A doula is not a medical professional.
A doula does not take the place of your OB/Midwife.
A doula does not offer medical advice or make medical decisions on your behalf.
A doula does not offer clinical or prenatal care, vaginal exams, fetal monitoring, blood pressure checks or any other clinical monitoring.
Are doulas just for home births?
No, not at all! You can benefit from a doula being present at your birth whether you are planning to birth at home, hospital or birth center. Doulas are used to working along side a wide range of medical professionals and are welcomes in most all facilities. Unbeknownst to most new parents, labor nurses only spend approximately 15-20% of labor present with the birthing mom. Both mom, birth partner and labor nurses will have a sense of relief with the added care of a doula.
Do I need a doula if I’m having a planned epidural, induction or cesarean?
You can still benefit from a doula being present with a planned/unplanned epidural, induction or cesarean. Doulas are available to answer questions, provide risks, benefits and unbiased information to the birthing parent (s) on procedures, can help you get situated into a comfortable/beneficial position, provide food or needed relief for partners, or stay with mom in the operating room after cesarean delivery, as the birth partner accompanies baby to the nursery, to support, calm, and inform mom of what is happening and what the next steps will be.
How early should I hire a doula?
As soon as you know you’re ready. There really is no perfect answer to this question. Some people prefer to sign a contract as soon as they find they’re expecting while others will wait well into their third trimester. Keep in mind that a doula has limited availability, and there is a benefit to booking earlier on to secure her services. However, aside from availability, it’s never too early or too late to secure doula support. I am happy to set up a consultation to meet and greet you, your budding belly and birth partner and answer any general questions; however, we likely will not schedule your first prenatal visit until you are between 30-34 weeks. We can further discuss why I believe this is the best procedure at your free consultation. If you can avoid it, try and not wait until last minute to secure your doula; you want to have enough time to include two prenatal visits. These visits really help to establish a foundation relationship and understanding of your desired birth plan.
When does a doula arrive to support my labor?
A doula is actively in involved in your labor from the beginning to end. Once you have established that you are in labor, your doula will be in contact every hour via phone conversation to check on mom, birth partner, and progression and to establish when it is best to come tend to mom.
A doula considers herself on call for your birth from 37-42 weeks and is available 24 hours day if you should go into a labor. Don’t be afraid to wake her up!
How does a doula interact with my partner during labor and birth?
A lot of birth partners have a fear that a doula will somehow replace them in labor. This could not be further from the truth! You know your partner and we know birth, and together we can work side by side to produce the best results. Doulas are trained to work side by side with birth partners and will ensure they can be actively and effectively involved as much as desired.
What happens if I go past my due date or if you are assisting in another birth when I go into labor?
With each client I create a calendar block of time set aside just for that client to avoid overlapping. In the rare event that I am assisting in another birth when you go into labor, I have back up, like-minded doulas I can call to assist you.
Do I still need to a take childbirth education series if I hire a doula?
Yes! There is way too much beneficial information surrounding birth that could not possibly be covered in two prenatal visits. It is not a doula’s responsibility to to ensure you are educated on childbirth.
Will my insurance cover my doula?
Some insurance providers will provide reimbursement for some or all of the costs in doula support costs. You will need to contact your insurance provider and use the CPT(Current Procedural Terminology) reference code 99499 to find out more information on coverage details.
What is your birth philosophy?
My philosophy on birth is that every woman has the right to fully understand the choices and procedures surrounding birth, to make informed decisions regarding those choices without judgement, and she deserves an empowering, supported, and positive experience she can carry with her into motherhood.