FAQs About Doulas
What is a birth doula?
A birth doula is a trained and experienced childbirth professional who provides continuous physical, emotional and informational support to the mother and her partner before, during, and after childbirth.
For more information visit What Is A Birth Doula?
What is a postpartum doula?
A postpartum doula is a professional support person that specializes in helping mothers and their families navigate the early days and weeks after birth. They use a variety of hands-on practical skills, non-judgmental guidance, and a compassionate presence to facilitate easier breastfeeding, and create space for rest, nourishment, and family transitioning. While we don't personally offer these services, we know many postpartum doulas and can refer you if you're interested in additional postpartum support.
Does a doula speak for me during labour?
Your doula empowers and educates prenatally, and assists with communication, but does not speak on your behalf. Your doula may remind or encourage you to ask the questions necessary to understand a procedure and make an informed decision.
What difference does the presence of a doula have on my birth outcome?
Research shows the presence of a doula results in shorter labours with fewer complications, a reduction in the need for oxytocin, forceps or vacuum extraction, fewer cesareans, and a reduction in requests for pain medication. When a doula is present during and after childbirth, women report greater satisfaction with their birth experience, and make more positive assessments of their babies. This is because doulas help educate you prenatally to make informed decisions and support you through the experience.
How will a doula compliment my partner?
A doula is experienced in labour and knows what to expect. At times, birth does not follow the plan you had envisioned. However, your doula will be there to support both of you through these changes and challenges.
Doulas support the partner to become involved in the birth to the extent they feel comfortable. A doula compliments and enhances the partner in their supportive role rather than acting as a replacement. Studies have shown that partners participate more actively during labour with the presence of a doula compared to without one.
Fom more information visit Doulas & Partners
Why hire a doula rather than simply inviting a friend/family member?
Doulas are professionals, trained in pain-reducing comfort measures, natural methods to keep labour progressing, and knowledge on how to support both the labouring mother and her partner. Doulas are familiar with local hospital & midwifery policies and practices, and have often built a rapport with the staff. They are experienced in childbirth and can offer reassurance through evidence-based information in times of doubt.
What is the difference between a midwife and a doula?
Midwives are highly trained medical caregivers, and replace a physician or obstetrician for normal pregnancy and birth. A doula fills a support role.
Doulas work as part of a team with doctors or midwives, but do not replace them. It is outside of a doula's scope of practice to attend births as a primary care-provider, as they offer non-medical support and comfort measures. Doulas do not "catch babies". They do not perform clinical care such as heart rate, blood pressure, or internal exams, whereas midwives do.
How does the doula fit in with the nursing staff?
Doulas do not replace nurses or other medical staff, but rather work as part of the team. They are there to comfort and support the mother and her partner. Nurses change shifts; a doula will stay by your side.
Will a doula support me if I have an epidural?
Absolutely! The role of the doula is to help you achieve a peaceful, calm, and pleasant birth experience (as you define it), no matter what type of birth you are planning. People who choose medicated birth need as much support as those who choose unmedicated birth. To be frank, sometimes choices go out the window with birth. Doulas can bridge the gaps that medication may not cover, and help support you in the presence of interventions. We also help keep you in active positions, even with an epidural, to keep labour progressing.
What if I have a Caesarean birth?
The doula will help you mentally prepare for surgery while providing comfort, support and encouragement. Often a Cesarean is an unexpected situation and new mothers are left feeling unprepared, disappointed, and lonely. A doula will support you in the prior to your birth, in the recovery room and postpartum. Whether planned or unexpected, a doula will provide support in the event of a Caesarean birth.
What if I planned a natural birth then change my mind during labour?
Regardless of how you bring your baby into the world, a doula is there for you! Doulas do not make decisions for clients or intervene in clinical care, nor do they judge your choices. They provide informational and emotional support while respecting your decisions, regardless of what type of birth you have.
How much does a doula cost?
Fees range with geographical location and services offered. The investment for our services is $900 and includes the Childbirth Preparation Workshop. Learn about what services are included here. You are encouraged to contact a variety of doulas to find out what they offer and, most importantly, if she is a good fit for you.