Frequently Asked Questions:
What does a doula do?
Your doula will provide you and your partner with continuous care, support and encouragement throughout labor and delivery. Specifically, she will provide:
- Assistance with writing a birth plan if you so choose
- An objective viewpoint and information about labor and delivery choices
- Suggestions to ease discomfort in pregnancy
- Continuous emotional and physical support throughout the entire labor and birth unlike most nurses, midwives or doctors
- Suggestions and physical assistance for pain management and relaxation techniques during labor such as body positioning, massage, aromatherapy, using a birth ball, hydrotherapy, breathing and focusing, which will help speed labor and prevent unnecessary interventions
- Explanations of medical procedures and terms to help you make informed decisions
- Clear communication between you, your partner and the medical staff
- Comfort and reassurance to your partner so he or she can better love & encourage you
- Postpartum home visits and help
- Breastfeeding support and resources
Why should I have a Doula:
Studies have shown that the presence of a doula during labor and delivery has been shown to:
- Lower cesarean section rates
- Shorter labors
- Decrease in epidural requests
- Decrease in the use of pain medication
- Lowered forceps deliveries
- A lowered use of oxytocin
In addition to those amazing benefits, there are others:
- Having a doula assists you in achieving the birth experience that you are planning.
- Women with doulas have an overall better perception and memory of their births afterward.
- Your medical expenses may be decreased.
- Parent-infant bonding are enhanced.
- Breastfeeding experiences have better outcomes
- Postpartum depression is less common and self-esteem and confidence are higher.
- Satisfaction with your partner may be significantly increased after the birth.
What effects does the presence of a doula have on the mother?
When a doula is present during and after childbirth, women report greater satisfaction with their birth experience, make more positive assessments of their babies, have fewer cesareans and requests for medical intervention, and less postpartum depression.
What effects does the presence of a doula have on babies?
Studies have shown that babies born with doulas present tend to have shorter hospital stays with fewer admissions to special care nurseries, breastfeed more easily and have more affectionate mothers in the postpartum period.
Does a doula replace nursing staff?
No. Doulas do not replace nurses or other medical staff. Doulas do not perform clinical or medical tasks such as taking blood pressure or temperature, monitoring fetal heart rate, doing vaginal examinations or providing postpartum clinical care. They are there to comfort and support the mother and to enhance communication between the mother and medical professionals.
Will a doula make my partner feel unnecessary?
No, a doula is supportive to both the mother and her partner, and plays a crucial role in helping a partner become involved in the birth to the extent he/she feels comfortable. A doula does not replace any member of the labor support team, she only enhances their role.
What our prenatal meetings cover:
At the prenatal meetings I like to discuss your preferences for your birth, help you write a birth plan, and discuss what comfort measures may work for you including:
- Oils or lotion
- Hot or cold use
- Using a birth ball
- Coping strategies
- Likes and dislikes
We will talk about pre-labor preparation, your pain tolerance and level of desire for pain meds or natural birth, and discuss pros and cons of any medical procedures you may be considering. I like to practice positions for labor, and can even bring my birth ball to our meeting if you would like to try using it.
I have a lending library of pregnancy and birth books and DVD's that you are welcome to borrow between our meetings.
I make one or two postpartum home visits to check up with you, answer questions that you may have, help with breastfeeding or baby care, and also to review your memory of the birth experience.
"Doulas make a difference for women who want an advocate."