What is a doula?​​

 "A woman experienced in childbirth who provides continuous physical, emotional, and informational support to the mother before, during and after childbirth."  (Klaus, Kennell and Klaus, Mothering the Mother)

The word, "doula" comes from the Greek word for the most important female servant in an ancient Greek household, the woman who probably helped the lady of the house through her childbearing.    You may hear about 2 types of doulas:

  • Birth Doula - This is who most people are referring to if they use the generic term "Doula".  She helps a woman prepare for her labor and birth by helping to provide information and education, write a birth plan, communicate more effectively with her care provider, and practice for the upcoming birth.  She attends a laboring woman at her home or meets her at her place of birth.  She is there for the mom with comfort, suggestions and support.  Her sole responsibility is for the mother & partner's emotional well being and physical support.  This Doula is hired for several months before the birth, to prepare & attend the labor and birth, and to follow up after the birth.  
  • Postpartum Doula - is an experienced woman who cares for the mother after she's had the baby.  Often women try to do too much, too soon.  In many cultures women are given several weeks to months of care after a birth to adjust to her new role and to allow her body to recover. This Doula provides in-home support - helping with breastfeeding, taking care of things so mom can nap undisturbed, does light housekeeping, meal preparation, care of other children and errands.  Her sole responsibility is to "mother the mother, so the mother can mother the baby."  This type of doula is usually hired for a certain number of hours for a specific number of days or weeks. 


What are the benefits of  using a doula?                                                   

  • 25% shorter labors                                                                                                 Decreased Cesarean rate by 50%
  • Less need for interventions                                                                                  Fewer Complications
  • 40% Fewer assisted deliveries by forceps or vacuum                                     40% reduction in the use of oxytocin
  • 30% Decreased need for analgesia                                                                     Feeling more in control of birth
  • Labor and birth less painful                                                                                 A more positive birth experience 
  • Feelings of increased self confidence                                                                 Experience less postpartum depression
  • Increased incidence of breastfeeding at 6 weeks                                            Improved relationships with their partners
  • Babies are able to breastfeed more easily                                                        60% reduction in epidural requests
  • Babies have shorter hospital stays with fewer admissions to NICU             


Are doulas only for women who want a natural non-medicated birth?

  • NO, a doula can be of great assistances to any woman in labor.  She will help the mother to decide the type of birth she desires and provide comfort measures to help her through pregnancy, last trimester, and especially early labor if the mother plans on having an epidural.  A doula gives information about all aspects of pregnancy and can help you prepare yourself physically and emotionally for the birth.  A doula can explain medical procedures and offer suggestions or alternatives, when available.  She can help you make informed decisions about things that come up during labor.  Your doula is there for you and only you.  She is often known at the hospital labor unit and can attend to your basic needs quicker than the staff who have other moms to care for.  When it's time for your epidural, your doula can help you with positions to help and continues to help you stay informed and comfortable.               


What if I'm having a planned or an unplanned cesarean section?

  • ​​​Whether you are having a planned cesarean or an unplanned one a doula can support both you and your partner through this sometimes scary and very emotional time. Since most doulas have had the opportunity of experiencing cesarean sections at one time or another, she will be able to explain to you and your partner what to expect and help you prepare mentally for it. She will also be there afterwards to help you get comfortable and start nursing.


Dads and doulas - how do they work together?

  • Having a doula allows a dad to participate in the birth at his own comfort level.  A doula is also a wonderful support for the dad.  She often will see little things, that he might not, that would be helpful to the mom & help him to better support his wife.  The doula is good at taking the "edge" off the medical-ness of a hospital birth by keeping things calm and reminding the couple of the normal-ness of birth.  She is great at taking care of Dads too - giving him a break to have something to eat or drink or a short nap.  She can answer questions from family and friends.  A doula can also guard a couple from intrusions from staff or visitors, when they need some time alone during this intimate event of birth.  She may even have a snack in her bag for dad.              


What's the difference between a doula and a labor nurse in the hospital?

  • A doula is there to take care of you and only you.  By the time you are in labor you have built a relationship with your doula & she is not a stranger. The labor nurse may have 2 or 3 other mothers in labor at the same time that she has to care for. Some doulas have done several deliveries in a hospital labor unit and is familiar with the staff, procedures, where the ice machine is, extra linens, etc. so that she can get thing when needed without having to wait.  Nurses have to prioritize their patients and if there is more than one in labor the one furthest along is usually a higher priority.  

              

What's the difference between a doula and a midwife?

  • A midwife is a healthcare professional, offering care to childbearing women during their pregnancy, labor, birth, and during the postpartum period.  As a healthcare professional they perform clinical task and can diagnose medical conditions and give medical advice.  During labor one of their responsibilities is recording clinical information such as blood pressure, fetal heart rate, dilation, etc.  The midwife usually attends the mother once labor is well established.  During the delivery they are quite busy :-)  Often midwifes welcome the addition of a doula to a birth team.  A doula's role is to provide continuous physical and emotional support to women and their partners during labor and birth.  A doula usually attends to the mother from early labor until after the birth.  A doula offers information, assistance and advice on topics such as breathing, relaxation, movement and positioning. Doulas do not perform clinical tasks, such as vaginal exams or fetal heart rate monitoring. Doulas do not diagnose medical conditions or give medical advice. Doulas and midwives often work together as their philosophy and practice is complementary, which makes the doula-midwife team a wonderful option.               


How do I find the right doula for me?

  • Ask other mom who they would recommend.  Ask childbirth educators, midwives offices, your doctor, or hospital labor nurses.  Check out websites on the internet.  Interview several doulas.  Most doulas will give you the names of other doulas in your area.  We all want you to have a good personality match & know that each client comes with their own special needs and expectations.  This is such a special & intimate time that it's important that you feel comfortable with who will be attending you during your birth.  I recommend that you interview any doulas whom you are considering. There is no fee for the interview.


What happens if you can't come when I'm in labor?

  • As soon as you think you're in labor, you call.  Most all doulas will have a partner or a backup doula.  We come to your home to support you during early labor and stay with you throughout your labor, birth and early postpartum.  If you have a long labor we may tag team so you will have fresh help that can think clearly & has energy.  During your prenatal visits you will have the opportunity to meet the backup doula.  


Do you have any clients I can contact for references?

  • Yes.  You can go to the testimonial page on this website and click on hotlinks to email former clients directly. ​


Doula Services
Payment for/Client's Name:

-Services-

Frequently Asked Questions 


If you have questions that are not listed below, please 
contact us!  It may be one that others are also interested in.

 I provide at least 2, usually more, prenatal home visit.  At these visits we will get to know each other better & I will go over some basic prenatal care & discuss things to do to prepare for your labor, delivery & postpartum.  I will come to your home when you are in labor & go to your place of birth with you.  I stay a couple of hours after birth until you are comfortable & your baby has nursed.  I will make at least 1 postpartum home visit, usually between the 1st & 2nd week.  I am available from the time you hire me until the end of the 3rd month after birth (the 4th trimester) for you by phone, e-mail, facebook or text.   I also can provide a lending library of books & media, private or group childbirth classes, placenta encapsulation, aroma therapy touch massage & postpartum care including night care.



 **PUT OUR SERVICES ON YOUR BABY REGISTER/GIFT CERTIFICATES**

What are your fees?     

My birth doula fee is $600.  Half is due when you hire me (or payment arrangements made), and the balance within one month of the birth.  I believe that every woman who wants a doula should have one & am willing to work with you to make it happen.  *If finances are an issue please speak to me about it as soon as possible*  


  • Childbirth Classes are 10-12 hours & cost $125 per couple, there is a discount if you are one of my doula clients.
  • Placenta encapsulation is $150 dollars.
  • Postpartum & Overnight Care is $20 per hour with a 4 hour minimum.


Fees may be paid by cash, check, paypal, or credit card - online or in your home - in full or on a payment plan - by friends & family as gift certificates.