Frequently Asked Questions

I have a partner that will be with me, so why do I still need a Doula? 

Having a doula isn't about replacing one for the other, it's about adding another person to your birthing team.  With large OB practices and hospital staff, it is highly likely that you will see several doctors and nurses throughout your labor/delivery.  Your doula delivers a continuity of care to not only you but also your husband/partner.  It also allows your husband/partner to take breaks and even nap during especially long labors knowing that you are being cared for the entire time. Having a doula who can educate you on procedures and provide a level of advocacy to the both of you, eases the husband/partner's mind and takes some of the pressure off during stressful moments.  

 

Will my partner be included in the labor and birth activities? I don't want them to feel left out. 

Absolutely!!!  It's one of the main things we talk about during pre-natal appointments.  I get an idea of their level of comfort with being hands on and we build a rapport that allows us to work together seamlessly during the labor process.  And I always want to make sure that we have open communication so that they can speak up at any time and say, "hey, will you teach me to do that?" 

 

What does a Doula actually do? 

Doulas offer continues support both physically and emotionally to the birthing person no matter what decisions the mother makes or how she chooses to give birth.  Support is given physically, emotionally, informationally and by being an advocate for the mother's birth choices during labor which can leave her feeling more vulnerable. 

Physical: 

  • Soothing with touch through the use of massage or counter pressure

  • Helping to create a calm environment, like dimming lights and arranging curtains

  • Assisting with water therapy (shower, tub)

  • Applying warmth or cold

  • Assisting the birthing person in walking to and from the bathroom

  • Giving ice chips, food, and drinks

Emotional: 

  • Providing a continuous presence

  • Reassurance, encouragement and praise

  • Helping the birthing person see themselves or their situation more positively

  • Keeping company

  • Showing a caring attitude

  • Mirroring—calmly describing what the birthing person is experiencing and echoing back the same feelings and intensity

  • Accepting what the birthing person wants

  • Helping the birthing person and partner work through fears and self-doubt

  • Debriefing after the birth—listening to the mother with empathy

Informational: 

  • Guiding the birthing person and their partner through labor

  • Suggesting techniques in labor, such as breathing, relaxation techniques, movement, and positioning (positioning is important both with and without epidurals)

  • Helping them find evidence-based information about different options in pregnancy and childbirth

  • Helping explain medical procedures before or as they occur

  • Helping the partner understand what’s going on with their loved one’s labor

Advocacy: 

  • Encouraging the birthing person or their partner to ask questions and verbalize their preferences

  • Asking the birthing person what they want

  • Supporting the birthing person’s decision

  • Amplifying the mother’s voice if she is being dismissed, ignored, or not heard, “Excuse me, she’s trying to tell you something. I wasn’t sure if you heard her or not.”

  • Creating space and time for the birthing family so that they can ask questions, gather evidence-based information, and make decisions without feeling pressured

  • Facilitating communication between the parents and care providers

  • Teaching the birthing person and partner positive communication techniques

  • If a birthing person is not aware that a provider is about to perform an intervention, the doula could point out what it appears the nurse or physician is about to do, and ask the birthing person if they have any questions about what is about to happen. 

       (Dekker, PhD, RN, Rebecca. “Evidence on: Doulas.” Evidence Based Birth®, 19 Mar. 2021,

       evidencebasedbirth.com/the-evidence-for-doulas/)

 

 

 

What is the difference between a Doula and a Midwife?

 

Think of it this way....Midwives handle everything on the medical side (physical or internal exams, birth of baby, placenta, vitals, medications, etc) and will be focused on those things during the labor.  Doulas are handling the emotional, physical (non-medical) and advocacy of the birthing person.  The doula is 100% focused on the needs of the laboring person and their partner.  

 

A common misconception is that working with a midwife or a doula means you can only have an unmedicated or “natural” birth. In reality, while under the care of a midwife who delivers in a hospital, you are able to choose pharmacological pain relief.  Your doula will also support you regardless of your birth choices. It is wholly your decision to choose the type of pain relief, or birth experience you desire.  She stands by your side for unmedicated birth, hypnosis guided birth, epidural, or cesarean section birth. Doulas and midwives attend home birth, birth center and hospital birth.

 

 

 

 

I've never heard of a Postpartum Doula. What is that exactly? 

A Postpartum Doula is someone who is 100% focused on the birthing person and their healing, both physically and emotionally, as well as helping the new mom with newborn care and offering breastfeeding support.  There are times when either your family is not close or can only support for a short period of time. A PP doula can be hired at any time whether that is the day you come home from the hospital or even a month later when you are desperate for sleep and need some light household help.  It looks different for everyone and I sit down with each family and find out their needs and how I can help mom heal and set them up for success each day I am with them.

While family support is always amazing, it can be hard to hand over a to-do list to your family member and ask that they get it all done.  As your Postpartum Doula, we will make lists every visit of all of the things you need me to accomplish during my time.  Whether its meal prep, baby's laundry, washing all the dishes, sterilizing bottles and pump parts to giving a massage or helping you process the emotions of this new season, we can check off these things one by one so that you feel it was money well spent.   

 

Some examples of Postpartum care: 

  • Breastfeeding Counseling/Latch And Positioning Help

  • Understanding Baby Cues

  • Diapering and Baby Care Sibling

  • Support

  • Light Housekeeping

  • Resources & Referrals (massage, acupuncture, support groups, pediatric chiropractors, green baby goods, etc

  • Non judgmental support for family to organize the home and nursery. Take care of baby’s laundry

  • Screen for postpartum mood disorders

  • Sleeping solutions and how to get enough sleep in the first weeks

  • Help create a nurturing & quiet environment for the family

  • Care for baby when parents want to shower, nap, or spend some special time with older child(ren)

  • Hands-on education for infant and mama care

  • Prepare pump supplies or bottles

  • Babywearing assistance, education, and demonstrations

  • Caring for mama as she recovers from birth, including daily massage

  • Processing the birth experience

  • Soothing Baby