BIRTH DOULA QUESTIONS
What is a birth doula?
Birth doulas are non-medical, non-judgmental professionals who provide informational, physical, and emotional support during childbirth. Their services are customized to address the unique needs of each woman and family.
What are the benefits of hiring a birth doula?
Studies show that non-medical, non-judgmental support in the birthing time is one of the most significant factors determining fewer cesarean births, the avoidance of medically unnecessary interventions, and greater satisfaction of the birthing person.
Not only that, but most partners tell us that having a birth doula helped them indeed be present and supportive of the birthing woman, enabling them to be involved in the birth process rather than just a bystander.
What services does a doula provide?
Birth services include, but may not be limited to…
Prenatal consultations: meet your doula(s), build trust, and prepare together as you clarify your vision, goals, choices, and options in your birth plan creation; also discuss what to expect, and practice comfort measures
Labour and birth support: professional, physical, emotional and informational support and care, wherever you are, continuous from the moment you ask us to join you, including early postpartum care and help with the baby’s first feed
Phone and email support: 24/7 phone call, text, and email support starting at contract signing, continuing through the first two weeks post-birth, for all your questions, resource needs, check-ins
Photos and announcements: capture fleeting moments and keep tender memories with digital glimpses from the first hours after birth, as circumstances permit.
What services does a doula NOT provide?
Birth doulas do not perform medical or clinical tasks, such as exams or monitoring. They do not diagnose any medical conditions or provide medical advice. Birth doulas do not speak for you but do empower you to be informed in your decision-making during your labour and birth experience.
Why are birth outcomes better with doulas present?
Multiple randomized control studies have found that the presence of a trained doula benefits both mother and baby/babies. These studies have consistently shown that doula care is associated with shorter labours, less use of epidurals and other pain medications, lower episiotomy rates, and as much as a 50% reduction in the C-section rate. (That’s huge!) Research has also shown better clinical outcomes for both the mother and the baby, including fewer neonatal special care units admissions, higher breastfeeding rates, and more effective family bonding. A doula also provides care for the mother’s partner and other family members, assists busy hospital staff, and dramatically increases a mother’s overall satisfaction with her birthing experience.
Can a doula help if I get an epidural?
Yes. A doula’s presence is helpful during early labour and even during the epidural placement process. She then continues to care for you and your family, offering emotional and informational support and helping you understand what is happening at each stage. Then, when it’s time for baby to debut, your doula’s assistance can be invaluable as she can help you cope with contractions and pushing, as well as the first feeding of your new baby.
Can doulas attend c-section births?
Yes, if you have a C-section, you can still use a birth doula’s support. Each facility is different, and we’ll need to check for policies, however birth doulas are typically allowed in the operating room, but sometimes there are restrictions on the number of people allowed into the OR, depending on the health of the mother and baby and the wishes of the medical staff. Even if your doula is not allowed into the OR for the birth itself, she will still be there for you in the recovery room.
Does a doula replace a father or partner?
A doula doesn’t replace anyone. She is a member of the birth team and supports everyone in their own role, including fathers and partners. A doula’s presence helps fathers or partners participate at their own comfort level, showing them how and when to use various comfort techniques, providing information, and in some cases, caring for their needs (for rest, food, coffee, etc.) as well. Partners are often grateful to share the “coaching” responsibility with someone more experienced and can therefore enjoy and participate in the birth experience more.