Read through some commonly asked questions that come up in the community! If things don't get answered here, don't hesitate to reach out to me.
What is a doula?
A birth doula is a trained professional who commits to assisting you on your reproductive journey. A doula will provide physical, emotional, and informational support to you and your family to help you create the birth experience you desire.
Doulas are not here to tell you how your birth should go or what choices you should make, rather, a doula will help empower you to make informed choices for your body and situation during pregnancy, birth and the start of your parenthood journey.
Why would I need a doula if I have a great OB or Midwife?
A doula is here to support you and your personal needs. Your OB or Midwife (are probably awesome) but due to the nature of their work, they often don't have the amount of time necessary to really support you outside of your medical/clinical needs.
While your OB or Midwife may be present intermittently throughout your labor, your doula will be a constant presence, their sole purpose is to support you during your labor. Depending on the type of care you are receiving, a doula can also help minimize gaps in the care, especially in your first several weeks postpartum.
Are doula's only for unmedicated/homebirths?
Definitely not! Doulas are there to provide information and emotional and physical support during your pregnancy, labor and postpartum. The role of a doula is to help you decipher your needs and advocate for them during the birthing process. Doulas can be supportive in any type of birth (home birth, c-section, unmedicated, in hospital).
Although it is important to note, some doulas have specific models of care they are most comfortable working in and could be a factor in determining the doula you want to work with. This is why talking with doulas prior to hiring for services is important. We always want to make sure we're a right fit for each other in all our various needs!
What kind of support should I expect from a birth doula?
Doula services can vary but for the most part you can expect:
Prenatal visits (in-home or office). The amount of visits can vary depending on when you start working with your doula but is usually at least 2
Availability during pregnancy and labor for contact and questions (phone, email, text, in person)
Birth plan education and creation support
Continuous support during labor to assist with comfort measures (and anything else needed)
Individualized, unbiased evidenced based information and support
Medical language translation and explanation of risks and benefits
Comfort measure techniques to help you have the birth you desire
Assistance with feeding in the immediate postpartum period
My partner is great, why would I still need a doula?
Your doula is here for both of you and of course could never replace the type of support your partner can offer! Doulas are here to support in the ways that add value to your care team. We can fill the gaps! Having a doula even when you have a supportive partner allows for everyone to get a little more rest, have a little extra support and more breaks. Doulas can even help your partner feel better prepared to support you in the ways you need. Essentially the more the merrier in terms of support - a doula can be as involved as you'd like them to be.
What is a full spectrum doula?
A full spectrum doula is someone who incorporates the fundamental doula care model into all aspects of the reproductive process. This means they're able to support in birth, miscarriage, abortion, stillbirth, surrogacy and adoption.
This model of care has the capacity to hold space for a wider range of reproductive experience. For folks with past traumatic experiences regarding sexual and reproductive health, full-spectrum doulas are able to provide a level of care that helps ensure people are getting access to resources and support they need.