What is a doula? How is your role different from my doctor/midwife/nurse?
A doula provides physical, emotional, and informational support to an expectant mother and her partner during pregnancy and labor; your OB or midwife is responsible for all clinical care for you and your baby. Our roles are complimentary so while we don’t do the same job, ideally, you benefit from the ways our work mutually supports you as a whole person. Generally, your care providers are responsible for multiple clients at one time while my focus is entirely on you for the duration of your labor. I will be encouraging you, aiding you in staying relaxed, helping you consider questions you may want to ask your care provider, getting you anything you might need, and suggesting ways that we can encourage labor to progress.
How does your role fit with my partner?
Partners need support too! My goal is to empower your partner to give you the best support possible. By providing the care both of you need, your partner will be better able to focus on loving you. Whether this means suggesting a supported labor position, ensuring that you both have food, reminding you of an aspect of your birth plan, or providing reassurance of the normalcy of birth, I am there so that you and your partner can focus on welcoming your new baby.
Can you tell me a little about what inspires and motivates you as a doula?
I believe that giving birth is hard work and that every woman deserves the support she needs to feel confident and loved. I believe in the importance of evidence-based care and in women, in partnership with their care providers, being empowered to make the best decisions they can about their care. I believe in giving women resources to be their own best advocates. I believe that growing a baby and giving birth is beautiful and holy work. I believe that giving birth is both normal and extraordinary.
I want an epidural. Does it still make sense for me to have a doula?
Absolutely! Giving birth is hard work regardless of what comfort measures you choose. I will support your decisions whether they are consistent from our first meeting or change during labor. Whether you choose an epidural, other drug relief, a bath or shower, a birth ball, or any other method of coping with the intensity of labor, you are the person best equipped to make those decisions. If you are interested, we can discuss of evidence-based information about various methods of pain relief including some you may not have considered during your prenatal appointments.
What happens if I have a caesarean section?
During your prenatal appointments, we can discuss choices you may still have in the event of a c-section. The decision about whether I will be permitted to provide support during a surgical delivery is made by the attending anesthesiologist. It is common that a doula is not permitted into surgery; however, I will be present to support you afterwards regardless of method of delivery. Birth is birth and you should be supported in your specific needs. I will be present for 1-2 hours after birth regardless of the method of delivery.
What happens if for some reason you can’t attend my birth?
While it is my goal to attend every contracted birth, it is possible that circumstances beyond my control could prevent that (e.g. in the case of my illness). I am committed to having a back-up doula for every hired birth. I am glad to provide you with the opportunity to call or meet my back-up.