Welcome! You are here because you want something more than “standard care” when bringing your baby into this world. You want to educate yourself and have the best support possible for you and your family during the process of pregnancy and birth, and postpartum. You know that mainstream birth may not support all of your preferences. How better to do this than to hire a doula to help you wade through all of the information before you, and help you prepare yourself physically and mentally for that special time? But how do you know where to begin? How do you find the right doula for you? Keep reading…
A Birth Doula is basically a Midwife, right?
This is the most commonly asked question in my doula interviews, and the answer is NO. My sister is a paramedic, and although we have always shared an interest in the medical field, my interest is informational only. I leave the medical work to her and other amazing medical professionals. As a doula, it is beyond my scope of practice to do anything other than give you informational support and physical/psychological comfort techniques during your birth. You are welcome to read more about what doulas do and do not do, here.
Is a Postpartum Doula the same as a nanny?
No, although this is a common misconception. Just as Birth Doulas walk with you through the pregnancy and birthing processes, Postpartum Doulas help you navigate the postpartum experience. As a postpartum doula, I support you and your family as you heal, help you with postpartum education for yourself and your baby, and support you in creating solid groundwork so that you can move smoothly into parenthood with solid footing. So yes, I will help you with your babies and young children if it is necessary to your needs, but my priority is supporting you to feel confident as you move forward as parents. Postpartum is a huge transition, and having proper support during the early days and months of this shift can make all the difference in your life for years to come.
Does a Birth Doula replace my partner when I’m in labor?
Absolutely not, unless this is your family’s preference. As a doula, I know birth, and I know it well, but your partner knows you on a deeply intimate level, and that intimacy means that your partner is the best source of support you can have during labor. It is my job to support you AND your partner during your birth experience. It is common during labor for a partner to want to help, but not know how to support the mother through the intensity. This is where I step in. I can help the partner better support the mother and give the partner more confidence in their role, as well as offer a break so the partner can take care of their own needs. It is important to remember that on paper, labor is a list, but in reality, it is more of a labyrinth. I can help the partner and the mother understand the confusing options or questions that may come up during birth. It takes a village to bring a baby into the world. It is my hope to work with you and your birth team to help each part of the process transition as smoothly as possible so that you have a beautiful experience.
Birth Doulas only do home births, right? What if I am planning an epidural, traditional hospital birth or cesarean?
There is a common misconception that doulas are only for hippies and home births. In all actuality, the opposite is true. In fact, my job is specifically necessary because of the medicalization of birth and the cultural erosion of traditional community support that has taken place in the past century.
Birth is not a one size fits all experience, and the hospital system was built to fit the birthing person into a box of standard procedure. This does not always work out with a positive outcome. This is why education and physical + emotional support is so important when having a hospital birth, and I can offer educational support in real time. If you choose an epidural, it is important to know that the medical goal of an epidural is 80% pain relief. I can help you with the other 20% through physical and emotional support. If you are choosing a planned cesarean birth, there are ways I can help educate and prepare you for a family-centered cesarean — and depending on your care provider and hospital, I can even support you and your partner physically and emotionally in the operating room with breathing techniques, affirmations and acupressure.
I take pride in offering unbiased support — interventions are only tools, and it is important to understand when they are necessary and beneficial. Your birth is your birth, it was never mine. My job is to support you 100% in YOUR choices so that you can have the best experience possible.
What is your doula style, and how will you be able to properly support me?
I consider myself to offer nurturing support and am prepared to be as hands-on (or hands-off) as necessary, depending upon your needs. When entering into your space the very first thing I do is assess the energy in the room. My job is to work symbiotically with your energy and needs in order to provide you with the best support possible. I take pride in being an evidence-based doula who offers calm and confident support with a simple and straight forward communication style. I support you 100% in your goals and choices.
I can support you with evidence-based educational and community resources, physical comfort (such as non-clinical comfort massage, acupressure and laboring positions), and emotionally through positive, affirming language and breathing techniques. How I support you depends on how you want and need support.