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Frequently

Asked

Questions

Do you have a question that isn't answered here?  I'd love to talk with you.

What does a doula do, exactly?

A doula is a non-medical support person who gives emotional, physical, and informational support to an expectant mother and her birth partner. 

She's not a midwife...she doesn't do any clinical assessments like checking blood pressure, checking your baby's heart tones, or checking your dilation.

Doulas do a lot of things!  During pregnancy, your doula:

  • Helps you explore all of your options

  • Helps you identify your priorities--what's most important to you?

  • Reassures you about what's normal

  • Points you towards evidence-based information for your birth

  • Helps you learn and practice skills for communicating effectively with your healthcare team

  • Helps you answer all the questions that come up along the way

  • Listens to you when you have concerns

  • Helps you and your partner learn skills that will increase your comfort and progress in labor

  • Supports you in your decisions

 

Then when you're in labor your doula:

  • Reminds you about the questions you wanted to ask

  • Squeezes your hips, rubs your back, wipes your face

  • Sits still and holds your hand

  • Helps your partner know how to support you

  • Keeps the environment the way you like it (lighting, music, etc.)

  • Helps keep you grounded

  • Gives your partner a chance to grab some food or use the restroom without leaving you all alone

  • Uses tools and her two hands to comfort you and help your labor progress

  • Bears witness to your power

  • Supports you in your decisions

After your baby is born, your doula:

  • Helps you with breastfeeding if you need it

  • Helps you get settled in with your baby

  • Keeps her focus on you, if you and baby are separated

  • Helps you process your birth

  • Supports you in your decisions

Doulas do all of this and more. They are a tour guide, a mentor, a facilitator.

They are what you need them to be.

I'm planning to have an epidural.  Will having a doula still help me?

It's understandable to think of doula support as the soothing, comforting work of helping a woman manage the power of each contraction as it comes.  That's one of the things a doula does.  But doulas do a lot more than that, too! About half of my clients so far have had epidurals, some planned and some unplanned.  A lot of a doula's work comes before you go into labor, helping you to explore all of your options, plan for your birth, and find your voice, so that you're prepared to navigate your birthing environment. Once your labor begins, I can help you manage your labor before you get your epidural. After your epidural, I can help you change positions to aid the progress of your labor. I can support your breastfeeding efforts after your baby is born, and much more!

I am here to support ALL kinds of births.  If you want to know more about the different kinds of birth I support, you can read about it here.

Will having a doula make my partner feel left out?

This is a common concern for people thinking about hiring a doula.  The short answer is that I serve both partners during pregnancy and birth.  My hope is to help your partner give you excellent support.  Read more about how I work with partners here.

Doulas seem kind of expensive. How can I afford one?

In a perfect world, everyone who wanted one would have a doula, covered by her insurance. I believe that in the future, insurance companies will realize that doula support lowers their costs by reducing the number of medical procedures that laboring women need. Some insurance companies already recognize this and will cover the cost of a doula if you provide the proper documents.  Call your insurance company and ask!

One of the best and most popular ways to pay for a doula is to use a Flexible Spending Account (FSA) or a Healthcare Savings Account (HSA), if you have one set up through your insurance.  Doula support is an eligible expense!  You will need your doula to provide a detailed invoice in order to receive reimbursement. If you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant, you may want to open a FSA or HSA during  your insurance company's open enrollment in November.

At the end of the day, you may have to get creative to come up with the funds for a doula's fee, but her services are worth it!

Will you try to talk me into doing my birth the way you think I should?

Absolutely NOT.  What I try to do for each of my clients is to help them explore all of their options and to provide evidence-based information. Then they can make informed choices, and whatever those are, I am there to support them and help them meet their goals.  My hope for you is that in the process you will find your own power and hold on tight to it.  What I would do in your place is irrelevant.  This is YOUR birth.

HAVE A DIFFERENT QUESTION?

Give me a call or send me a message!  I would love to chat with you and answer your questions if I can.  I look forward to connecting with you!