Will you support my desires for my birth and postpartum experience?
Your birth and postpartum experience are uniquely yours and I am not there to change what you want. My agenda is not to impose on you and beliefs or ideas, but to help you figure out what you want and to work with you to be able to achieve that as close as possible. If things change, that is okay too and we can help to work out a new plan based on the current circumstances.
Can you guarantee me the experience that I want?
Because birth and life are unpredictable, I, nor any other doula, am not able to guarantee any type of outcome for your birth, postpartum, or breastfeeding experience. Having doula support doulas increase your chances of more satisfactory outcomes.
How do you support me?
Support can take on many different forms. During the birth, it can be as simple as giving you ice chips and putting lip balm on your dry lips, to giving you a massage or helping you change positions, to reminding you of your goal in the hardest moments of labor, or suggest something that might help with labor, as well as understanding what you're really saying and supporting you in whatever your decisions may be. Because I a trained in birth, I have different information to help cope with labor and to aid its progress. It all depends on the situation at the time.
During the postpartum time, I will help you with the adjustment of a new baby in the home by taking care of you so that you are able to care for the baby. I will help you to care for your baby in a way that feels right for you. If you have any questions about how to care for your baby, I can provide you with up-to-date information about baby care in order to help you to decide what you would like to do. You can read more here about what postpartum support can look like.
Will a doula take the place of my partner?
A doula will not take the place of the partner but will help to enhance the partner’s participation and encourage, support, and compliment him as well. A doula provides an extra layer of support for both mom and partner during the birth and postpartum time.
Can my partner/mom/sister/friend be my doula?
While the loving support of a person who is close to you can be very beneficial, it is different from the type of support that a doula can provide. A doula is specifically trained in pregnancy, labor, childbirth, and the postpartum period to provide non-judgmental support from a professional viewpoint and can point to other resources when something is out of her scope.
What was your training like?
Childbirth International provides in-depth courses on the topics of the physiology of pregnancy, labor, childbirth, the postpartum period, and breastfeeding. It teaches students about the importance of reflecting on one’s personal life and work, as well as recognizing that the woman’s experience is hers to live and to choose how to live. Support from a trainer is provided throughout the entirety of the program and even afterward so that the student is not left on her own to figure things out. Apart from the course material, the program requires special book readings, as well as practice in the field in order to be able to certify with them.
What type of experience do you have?
I have had experience supporting clients in different stages of life, including single mothers and mothers from various cultural backgrounds. I have supported both first-time moms, as well as mothers who have already had children. I have experience with unmedicated births, vaginal births with pain medications, VBAC’s and cesareans. Each client is different and will have her own unique needs which I am willing to support.
Will you be my advocate?
An advocate is considered to be someone who can speak for you or represent you on your behalf. As a doula, that is not my role. I will help you and your partner with communication with your care providers showing you different tools to ask questions, to learn and to make decisions, as well as remind you about your rights and privileges as a patient. This can help you to feel more in control of your birth.
How long will you be with me for my birth?
As my client, I will go to be with you once active labor has begun, but will be available by phone beforehand anytime. You will have support during the duration of your labor and birth* and about 1-2 hours postpartum as you are getting settled with your newborn.
*Every 3-4 hours I usually take a 20-minute self-care break during a time that is convenient. If the labor has continued for a while, I might call a backup to step in if it seems like labor might continue for some time.
Why do your prices vary?
Prices vary based on distance and travel costs.