What is a Doula?
A doula can also assist you with practical knowledge on comfort measures for labor, such as massage and suggestions for positioning. A doula can provide information when you have questions, and can help you communicate most effectively with your medical caregivers. She is your advocate, but not your voice!
The main focus of a doula's role is often on the birth itself, but doula support can also be invaluable during pregnancy (especially if you face questions about tests or complications), and after the birth when she can help out with feeding and adjusting to life with a newborn.
A Doula is Not:
A doula is not acting as a nurse or midwife, so she does not provide clinical care such as doing examinations on you or checking your baby's heartbeat. The support a doula provides fits together with, but does not replace, the care of your doctor, midwife, or nurses.
Doulas do not make decisions for you, or speak for you. This is your birth, your baby, your life! A doula supports you by providing information and explanations you may want about your choices, but it's always you who decides what's best for you.
Doula Services include:
- Initial Consultation meeting so that we can see if we are a good match. This meeting lasts no longer than one hour and can take place either at your home, or at another location such as a cafe.
- Access to lending library (videos, books, binders).
- Phone and e-mail support.
- At least one prenatal visit so that we can get acquainted and discuss your hopes and goals. No meeting is the same. I can answer any questions you may have concerning birth, risks and benefits of common interventions. We may discuss or practice techniques and positions that might be helpful to you during birth. These visits last on average two hours and take place in your home (or somewhere else if you request it).
- Resources and education depending on your needs.
- Assistance in creating a birth plan.
- When you feel that you need additional support, I'll meet you either at your home and/or your chosen birthplace.
- Assistance with different natural pain management techniques such as relaxation, aromatherapy, massage, hot/cold packs, positioning, breathing, and more.
- Relaxing and calm birth environment where you can feel safe and comfortable.
- Facilitate communication between you and the clinical staff.
- I will stay with you up to two hours after birth.
- Provide breastfeeding support.
- Provide resources depending on your needs.
- Phone and email support after baby's birth.
- At least one postpartum visit to review your experience, your satisfaction, see how breastfeeding is going, etc.