Doula FAQ

Would your birth journey benefit from having a doula? Absolutely! Find out how below.

Doula Helping Pregnant Woman

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Frequently Asked Questions

Why have a doula?

A doula is a birth professional trained in supporting women and their families in a very special time. She provides physical, emotional and informational support to the laboring family from pregnancy, through birth and into the postpartum period. Her job is to focus on your journey into parenthood, making it as comfortable and empowering as possible while keeping true to your wishes and goals.

What about the partner's role when using a doula?

Doulas support both the mother and her partner. By supporting the family, she reduces partner stress allowing them to become involved in at birth to the extent they feel comfortable and act with confidence. The partner’s role is one of loving support. The doula complements the birth by supporting the partner in a way that has them be more supportive and comfortable at the same time. The doula can then provide the expertise and guidance at birth while the partner’s primary role is comfort, support and decision making. The doula becomes the partner’s anchor, supporting them in the areas they are not familiar with such as the instinctive birth behaviors that a doula would know are normal processes in birth. The doula assists the partner’s with comfort techniques, understanding medical jargon and choices they have. Also the doula supports the partner in taking care of their own personal needs.

What does the doula do during birth?

Your healthcare provider and nurses are responsible for the birth outcome. Their primary job is monitoring labor, assessing the medical condition of the MotherBaby dyad, and treating complications if and when they arise. Childbirth is an emotional experience with a long-term impact on a woman’s personal well-being. A doula’s primary role is to help the family’s journey through birth. She is constantly aware that the mother and her partner will remember this experience throughout their lives so the doula supports the parents in having a positive and memorable birth experience. An experienced doula has a sophisticated mix of counseling skills. She can translate medical terms for the family, assist in provider communication, teach physical support strategies and explain pain coping techniques. She is an expert in positioning for fetal alignment, and solely focuses on the client’s individual needs and desires. As your doula is privately hired, she can be autonomous and support you as desired with out having to follow birth place guidelines for care.

Studies show all women should be able to have the support of a doula.

How does a doula affect birth outcomes and babies?

Studies show that the continuous presence of a doula results in:

In addition, long-term benefits of labor support include:

Can a doula make decisions for me during labor?

A doula does not make medical decisions for clients or intervene in their clinical care. She may provide informational and emotional support, while respecting a woman’s decisions. A doula can provide the information to help parents make appropriate decisions and facilitate communication between the laboring woman, her partner and medical care providers.

What is the difference between a doula and a midwife?

Midwives like obstetricians, provide medical care throughout the pregnancy, birth, and early postpartum period. The midwife focuses on the medical care of low risk women and is responsible for the safety of the MotherBaby dyad. Midwives can have multiple clients in labor simultaneously and may be unable to be present throughout labor. Doulas do not provide medical care but rather stay at the mother’s side exclusively supporting her and her birth goals by providing emotional and physical support to the whole family.

I'm planning to have an epidural. Why should I have a doula?

Support is much more than just pain management. The doula’s role starts in pregnancy with information and she continues as your advocate throughout your labor and birth. She may help you and your family with any questions or concerns that may arise, help you understand what your care providers are saying, and attend to your comfort and needs. Pain medication do not eliminate the role of a doula. Especially when anesthesia does not arrive on time at the exact moment you are ready for it. Your doula will also remain with you throughout the birth, as well as the immediate postpartum period to support you and ensure that you and your family’s needs are being met.

I need to have a cesarean. Why do I need a doula?

A cesarean birth is still a birth. Your doula is your support and advocate as your wait and are being prepped for surgery. Depending on hospital policies, she may be able to support you in the operating room as well as immediately postpartum. She will be at your side in the recovery room and can help you and your family with any questions or concerns that may arise, helping you understand what your care providers are saying, and attending to your comfort and needs. She can assist with bonding and breastfeeding and help to navigate recovery.

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