What Doulas Do

As your doula, I’m with you throughout your pregnancy and from the beginning of labor I’m by your side. I’ll be serving you and advocating for you, helping to make your birth experience safe, healthy, and an expression of your hopes. If you’d like to learn more about the specific services that I provide as a doula, click here to check out the services page. Here are some other FAQs:

What is a doula? A birth doula is someone who’s equipped to serve women and their partners through the beautiful and sometimes stressful journey of pregnancy, labor, delivery, and postpartum. A doula is a vital team member, not replacing a doctor or midwife, but adding her unique role as a continual support person. A doula serves the family directly, not a hospital or care provider.

What do doulas actually do?  Doulas spend the time with clients to get to know their hopes for their labor and delivery and advocate for those hopes throughout the birthing process.  During labor, doulas are present to help however needed, offering practical tools, and insights and helping to bring a peaceful, personal feel to the birthing process. This might include massage, creating a peaceful environment, keeping the mother (and partner) fed and well-hydrated, offering heat or cold, giving suggestions of positions and other ways to help labor proceed as well as the mental and emotional support needed to birth a baby!

Will my doula check my cervix? No. Nor will she deliver your baby, administer medication or give medical advice. A doula does not offer medical or clinical care. And while an advocate for the mother, the doula cannot speak for the mother either.

Will the doula replace my loving, supportive partner? Instead of replacing a partner during this intimate time of labor and delivery, a doula really helps free the partner to be more supportive. The doula provides emotional support to both mother and partner and is continually present, allowing the partner to focus on the mother instead of juggling all the roles of caretaker, new parent-to-be, advocate, lover, etc. A doula can give the partner a break to grab a bite of hot food to eat, go to the bathroom, take a nap, or whatever needs to be done, while providing the peace of mind that the mother will be well cared for in the meantime.

Do really I need a doula? Throughout the ages, women have supported women in labor. Having a trained labor companion is highly valuable in so many ways. Research seems to think so too. Studies have found that women who have doulas are

  • 28% less likely to have a cesarean section
  • 31% less likely to use synthetic oxytocin to speed up labor
  • 9% less likely to use any pain medication
  • 34% less likely to rate their childbirth experience negatively

Why does it cost so much? There are several things that go into the cost for a doula. Between pre and post natal visits, communication and the birth itself, a doula can easily spend over 40 hours per client. In addition to earning some income, a doula also needs to cover her cost for transportation, parking, childcare for her own family, professional certifications, continuing education, website upkeep, etc. Talk to some other families who have invested in a doula, and hopefully you’ll find that having continual care from an educated and caring individual throughout your labor is well worth the cost!

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