FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What is a Doula?
Birth doulas build relationships with expectant families to help them have a positive birth experience. We help facilitate conversations between our client and her care provider, provide non-judgemental support for her birth choices, and support the family through labor and birth. We work with our mind, heart, and hands and are a bridge to many other forms of care.
- BEST Doula Training
What a Doula is not...
Doulas are not medical professionals. We do not perform clinical tasks, such as: fetal monitoring, vaginal exams, or monitoring vitals.
We do not offer medical advice but can help you ask your provider the right questions.
Doulas do not take the place of your partner. We can help equip your partner to be able to better serve you during labor.
What's the difference in a doula and a midwife?
A midwife is there to serve as the medical professional, assessing momma and baby to ensure everything is going well (just as an OB would, although much differently). As stated, a doula has nothing to do with the medical aspect of your birth.
A doula will generally join you earlier than the midwife will. Doulas also stay by your side through the duration of your labor (with the occasional bathroom or food break).
Why would you need both? We want your midwife to be well rested to best assess you and baby, so laboring at home for as long as possible is ideal! A doula can help with that!
Why hire a Doula?
Research shows that having a doula during pregnancy and labor is linked to a....
25% decrease in the risk of Cesarean; the largest effect was seen with a doula (39% decrease)*
8% increase in the likelihood of a spontaneous vaginal birth; the largest effect was seen with a doula (15% increase)*
10% decrease in the use of any medications for pain relief; the type of person providing continuous support did not make a difference
Shorter labors by 41 minutes on average; there is no data on if the type of person providing continuous support makes a difference
38% decrease in the baby’s risk of a low five minute Apgar score; there is no data on if the type of person providing continuous support makes a difference
31% decrease in the risk of being dissatisfied with the birth experience; mothers’ risk of being dissatisfied with the birth experience was reduced with continuous support provided by a doula or someone in their social network (family or friend), but not hospital staff
What types of births do Doulas attend?
Want to birth at home? Let's do it! Want to birth at a hospital? Perfect! Scheduled c-section? I'm there! I can help you develop a birth plan to help you have a family centered surgery. Want an epidural? Excellent! Having a doula can help you get in positions to help labor progress. Unmedicated? Do it, momma!! I can help you with pain management.
Doulas are for everyone. Doulas are for every birth.
When does my doula join me in labor?
This answer will vary from doula to doula. Some choose to wait until you are in active labor (contractions 4-5 minutes apart, lasting for a minute). Some will come when their clients feel they need support, which can be as early as 1cm.
I personally choose to show up when my client needs me.
I can also join you at home OR at your place of birth! It will completely depend on how quickly your labor progresses and your level of comfort with staying home while in labor.
When interviewing doulas, this is a great question to ask!