Frequently Asked Questions About Doulas
What kind of payment plans do you have?
Many of my clients choose to pay through payment plans. Once all agreements have been signed, an initial $150 is due and you have the freedom to pay your remaining balance however is most convenient until the 37 week mark.
What is included in our antenatal appointments?
Antenatal appointments can be a time to chat about your pregnancy concerns, birth plans, positions in labor, and any other questions that may pop up. I'm happy to give you all of the information and resources you need to make informed decisions about your care. These appointments also give us a time to get to know one another better. That is why it's important for your partner to be present. Even if they don't have much to contribute.
My partner wants to be involved, can you help them?
As a doula, my job is to fill in wherever I'm needed. Helping your partner learn massage techniques on the fly or informing and reassuring them during the process. I'm there to make sure your birth team is taken care of so that you can receive the best care available.
And if my partner decides they don't want to be as involved?
My intuitive nature allows me to pick up on cues that tell me when someone might need a break. I'll step in when and where needed. Sometimes just for a moment, or for your entire labor and birth process.
When do I call you?
In the days leading up to your birth, I'll keep in close touch. It's important to update me with each appointment or if anything changes in your birth plan. If you are having an off day, or feeling different, or having signs of early labor. Be sure to let me know. This allows me to offer phone support. Early indications of a birth allow me to better prepare my own family, so that when the time comes, I'm able to get to you sooner. As labor progresses, I usually arrive during the onset of active labor, or when contractions are 3-5 min. apart lasting a minute long for an hour. This basic recommendation is different for every client, but a good place to start.
What if I go into labor early?
If you go into labor before my "on-call" period begins, I will make every effort to be at your birth. However, if I am unable to attend, a back up doula will be contacted.
I really want to hire a doula but my partner is reluctant.
This is one of the most common reasons women don't hire a doula. It's totally normal for partners to be wary of a stranger attending the birth. Many partners feel it is their job to protect the laboring mother. One way to do that is by not allowing any outsiders into their birth space. It is for this reason I highly recommend a free no-obligation consult. This allows your partner to meet me and have all of their concerns addressed. Many times, partners that were once unsure of a doula, are my biggest supporters.
What do you do that is different from a nurse or midwife?
My roll as your doula is to support and educate you throughout your pregnancy and birth. I do not offer any medical advice or assistance.
Think about having a really great friend that also knows a ton about birth at YOUR birth. Who wouldn't want that?
Unlike nurses, YOU are my focus. I will stay with only you throughout your labor and birth. Including help with feeding after baby is born.
Unlike some providers, I have no set way of doing things. My job is to support the birth YOU want. I believe that as long as you and baby(ies) are safe. You have options.
What if I want to get an epidural?
Want an epidural? Great! You should have what you want. I'll be there along the way to help you before the medication kicks in, or if it doesn't kick in at all. I'll provide emotional support. I'll also be sure to get you into different positions to help move labor along.
What if I am having a cesarean birth? How can you help?
I'll be there to help you create a cesarean birth plan. I will stay with you during triage to offer emotional reassurance, and relaxation techniques. In the OR, I'll support you and your partner by helping you be more aware of what is happening and helping you process any feelings that might come up. I'll stay with you throughout, while your partner is with the baby. I'm also available to photograph moments that you may miss or forget from the medication.
I am planning a home birth. Do I still need a doula?
This depends on your preferences and on your midwife. Some midwives work with apprentices who will fill the role of a doula. Most midwives offer a very high level of emotional support, regardless of whether they work alone or with apprentices. There are benefits to hiring a doula separately, however. You can interview several doulas to ensure the best relationship. Also, having a doula at your homebirth ensures that the level of emotional support will be maintained even in the event of an emergency, during which the midwife and apprentice could be too busy to offer much emotional support. As your doula, I will also provide an increased level of postpartum support.
It seems so expensive!
For some clients, doula care can seem expensive because it's an expense that wasn't originally planned for but now seems needed. I assure you that your money is well spent when planning to have continuous labor support for you AND your partner. You are receiving antenatal emotional care. Many evidence based resources and local recommendations are provided, cutting out the time and stress it takes to find those resources. Weeks of on-call support. Meaning, I don't leave town or go out with friends, and there is a chance that I'll miss big events to be at your birth. I love my job and I'm happy to do it. You're also getting my full attention for the entirety of your birth, 2 hours or 2 days. This is all rolled into one investment that can easily be broken down to smaller payments. Ask me about gift registries as well!