Frequently Asked Questions
How do you explain doula care?
A doula provides support to a birth person and their partner throughout labor, helping with counter-pressure and gentle touch to ease the discomfort of labor. I do whatever is needed – getting water or ice, holding your hand, reminding you how well you’re doing, offering suggestions about positioning and much more. Most importantly, I bring a deep well of knowledge about how birth progresses. This allows your support person to focus on your emotional needs and not have to struggle to remember from your childbirth prep class what XY and Z happening at this point in labor means. I get your birth partner as involved as they want to be and support them, too.
Why do I need a doula? The hospital has nurses.
Nursing staff do not stay with you throughout your labor. Nurses are typically caring for more than one laboring patient at a time. If your labor bridges a shift change, the nurse who’s been with you leaves and someone new comes in. Having a doula means there is someone with you throughout the experience who works for you, not the hospital. It means a continuous presence in your room. Additionally, because we’ve met in advance, I have an understanding of your goals and birth philosophy, which the nurse assigned to your shift may not. Your provider (or the delivering provider on call) is usually only with you while you are pushing.
What is the difference between a doula and a midwife?
A midwife is a provider of medical care and is often not present for the entire laboring process. A doula provides physical and emotional support as well as evidenced-based information during the whole laboring and birthing process.
Do you attend births if the mom is planning on having pain medication?
Absolutely. I have served as a doula for people with a wide variety of preferences for labor. My job is to support you through the experience you want to have.
Do you attend hospital and home births?
Yes. I support families where they have decided to give birth. The only births I do not attend are unassisted births, as that is outside of my scope of practice.
Will you start laboring with me at home and transfer to the hospital with me?
Yes! Whenever possible, I encourage clients to start the labor process where they are comfortable, many times that is in the comfort of their own home before transferring to the hospital. When it is time, I follow you to the hospital.
When will you join me during my labor?
I will join you when you decide you want me to. Some families decide that early labor will just be them and others prefer me to join them right away. Sometimes this means meeting the family at home and others prefer I meet them at the hospital.
What if I call you to meet us at the hospital and we get sent home?
It’s happens – no worries! We’ll go back to your house together if you are in labor but not progressed enough for admission. I will help you labor at home and we’ll return to the hospital again.
What if I go into labor in the middle of the night?
Call me! So many people are worried about calling me in the middle of the night, but that is absolutely part of the territory for being a doula. Please, if you think you are in labor, call!
How long will you stay with me?
I will stay with you for your whole labor and then for one to two hours after the birth.
Does your price go up if my birth lasts a long time?
No! I never want someone in labor to worry about cost while they is in labor, so it is a flat fee, regardless of how long I am there.
What’s the longest birth you’ve attended?
The longest birth I attended was 44 hours. I slept when the mom slept, but stayed in the room with her throughout the labor.
What’s the fastest birth you’ve attended?
The fastest birth I attended was a home birth. I got the call and was at the house within the hour. The midwife and I arrived at the house at the same time...and so did baby. The placenta took another hour.
Do you have a backup provider?
Yes. I have good working relationships with many of the doulas in the area and try to find a backup doula that you are comfortable with. This depends on the other doulas availability.
Have you ever missed a birth you were scheduled to attend?
Yes – just one. The mom went into labor three weeks early and I was on a planned vacation in Florida. The client knew I was out of town and called my back-up doula, who supported her during her labor.
What has your experience been with local providers – are they accepting of doula care?
As a whole, they are. As a doula, I personally have never had a bad experience with a provider. I think it’s important to let your provider know ahead of time that you’ve hired a doula so they are not surprised. I think this makes a huge difference in having a good experience.
Does a doula replace my birth partner?
No! Doula care allows your birth partner to focus on your emotional needs. It also enables your support person to take a break – especially if you have a long labor – without leaving you alone.
What if I change my mind about something/everything in my birth plan as things happen?
It’s your experience – there is no issue or judgment on my part if things unfold differently than you imagined. For example, if you were thinking about a medication-free birth but find an epidural is desired, I will fully support that change.
Will you miss my birth because you’re with another doula client?
I carefully schedule my doula clients to avoid overlap. If I’m already booked for your birth window, I can refer you to other local doulas.
Are you certified as a doula? By what organization?
Yes, I’m certified by DONA, Doulas of North America. This means I’ve attended a formal training course, and am required to follow a code of ethics, adhere to a defined standard of practice, held accountable by a certifying organization, peer-reviewed, and required to attend continuing education courses.
Why did you choose your price point?
As a doula, I think it is important to be affordable, because every family deserves a doula. I also have to take into account the cost I incur as a doula and cover those.