Frequently Asked Questions about Doulas
Why should I hire a doula?
A doula clarifies the labor stages and guides you in communication with your medical team of doctors, nurses, or midwives. She fosters tranquility and is trained to support you during labor with soothing techniques to ease discomfort and promote safe progress. As labor draws near, a doula coaches expectant birthing families on comfort and relaxation techniques, offers nurturing emotional support, provides information on labor and the birth, and offers information about options and medical procedures available during labor. While other staff on your medical team will need to tend to other patients, A doula never leaves your side.
How do I choose the doula that is best for me?
You and your partner discuss and decide what you are looking for in a doula; what services, role, price range, and additional services you would like.
How early should I hire a doula and what services does a doula provide before the baby is born?
It is never too early to hire a doula, and the ideal time to hire one is 5-6 months before your estimated due date. Experienced doulas book early and quickly; repeat birthing families often book their doula on the day their pregnancy is confirmed!
Will a doula “labor sit” me at home or meet me at the hospital?
Your doula will "labor sit" with you by telephone during early labor until she joins you in your home or at the hospital. It is your preference whether she joins you at home or the hospital once labor is established. For scheduled hospital procedures, like an induction or a scheduled C-section, Also, your doula will meet you at the hospital by the agreed upon time whether night or day.
Can I benefit from a doula if I am considering a pain medication?
Yes. A doula is beneficial assisting with planned mediated or un-medicated births. Some expectant mothers prefer no pain medications, others want to begin with no medications, but reserve the right to change that decision. Others choose a planned medicated birth. A doula offers information on all procedures, including pain medications and potential side effects, and interventions. She will discuss options with you and your partner and facilitate a dialogue between you, your partner, and hospital staff. She will translate medical terms and proposed procedures. Your doula’s goal is to advise, support, and champion your decisions. She appreciates that birth preferences may change. The choice to use pain medication or not is up to you.
If I have a C-section, can I still benefit from having a doula?
Yes. Even in a surgical setting, a doula is there to explain what is happening and guide you though the procedure. She is also there during recovery to help with the first breastfeeding and bonding. With the permission of your doctor and anesthesiologist, your doula may accompany you into the operating room, unless it is an extreme emergency requiring general anesthesia.
How does a doula interact with my partner and family during birth?
The presence of a doula at your birth complements and strengthens a partner's role. During pre-natal visits, your doula discusses your partner’s comfort level with participation during labor and collaborates with your partner to best support you. Studies show that partners participate more actively during labor when a doula is present. Your partner and your family bring a loving emotional connection and an intimate knowledge of you that your doula does not have. In combination with your doula's professional expertise, the team creates the very best support system.
Are doulas welcome in hospitals and medical settings?
Yes. It is the doula’s goal to establish good working relationships with the doctors, midwives and medical staff of her expectant families. Communication, respect, professionalism, and trust create a supportive birthing team.
How can I ensure the doula I hire will be available the day I go into labor?
A doula limits the number of clients she takes each month, optimally no more than 4 clients a month, so she can be at your side during labor. In an emergency, a back-up doula will support you in the same professional and caring manner. Your doula will assign one of her back-up doulas, with equal skills and experience, who you will have an opportunity to speak with; she will learn your history and birth preferences, and will support you in your primary doula’s absence.
What happens if the baby comes early or late?
Once you retain your doula, she is committed to serving you whether your baby is born before or after the estimated due date.
Why should I take childbirth education and other preparation if I hire a doula?
The most satisfying birth experiences happen when you, your partner, and your family are physically, emotionally and mindfully prepared for each birthing stage: prenatal, labor and postpartum.
Will my health insurance pay for reimburse or birth doula services?
Some insurance companies will reimburse for doula services as ‘out of network’ care services. For more information, please visit the Insurance Reimbursement page.