What is a doula?
a person trained to support someone during a life transition (birth, postpartum, miscarriage, abortion, death)
I get asked this question frequently. Most of the time people are confusing doulas with midwives. Doulas do not catch babies, perform exams, or offer medical advice. Instead, we offer continuous physical, emotional and informational support to the birthing person before, during, and after birth
Are doulas only for people that want an unmedicated birth?
NOPE! I don’t have an agenda for your birth.
A very popular misconception is that doulas are only for people wanting an unmedicated vaginal birth. I work with clients across the spectrum of birth preferences offering techniques for managing labor at home, positioning to encourage the baby to descend (with or without an epidural), and make sure that the birthing person is feeling loved, supported, and fully informed. I also have assisted many clients through their planned cesarean birth. Each birth is unique and having a knowledgeable advocate throughout the process is a huge asset.
Will a doula replace my partner during the birth?
You chose your primary support person because they are Your Person, the one you want by your side when you give birth. The birthing partner may worry that a doula will take over or push them aside during the birth. My role is to facilitate communication between you and your people, enhancing and supplementing your emotional support.
I can also take some pressure off of the partner as the primary birth partner and help normalize the process. In fact, I am often the doula for the partner as well as the birthing person, making sure they are fed, caffeinated, and rested so they can be the best birth partner for the laboring person.
Should I take a childbirth class if I’m hiring a doula?
A Childbirth Education class is an opportunity to deep dive into what birthing your baby will look like. I encourage all my clients to educate and prepare themselves for birth so that they feel confident in their decisions and prepared for however your birth unfolds.
Evidence suggests that families who take a comprehensive childbirth class are more satisfied with their birth experience. This is because CBE removes the fear of the unknown and helps to educate the birthing person on what is happening within their bodies and what their options as they are laboring & birthing.
Most hospital birth classes are focused on providing a tour of the hospital and explaining hospital policies. In contrast, a well-designed independent childbirth class teaches you about the birth process – including common interventions – using solid evidence and research to help you think through and develop decision-making strategies that will help you ask effective questions and feel confident in the decisions you are making no matter how your birth unfolds. Class also provides information about options for pain relief, including comfort measures and tools for coping without pain medication, because you never know what kind of path your birth will take.