Birth Doula FAQ

Contents

What is a doula?
Where are you located? What locations do you serve?
What support do you provide during labor and birth?
Why do I need a doula? Isn’t that what the midwife/nurses are for?
Won’t having a doula take away from my partner’s role in supporting me?
Hiring a doula seems expensive. Why do they cost so much?
Do you offer any discounts?
Are you a medical professional?
I read in your About Me section that you studied Nursing. Are you a nurse?
Are you CPR certified?
Do you take clients who deliver at home / in a birth center / in a hospital?
Will you speak to my healthcare provider(s) for me?
Will you make decisions for me regarding my birth choices?
If I have an epidural or Cesarean, will you leave me?
How long will you stay with me during labor?
Do you take breaks?
Do you have a backup doula?


What is a doula? Back To Top
A doula is a trained, knowledgeable, non-medical professional who helps moms and babies before, during, and after childbirth. Doulas provide emotional and physical support, as well as evidence-based information, to the expecting family. Doulas also help parents advocate for themselves in the birth setting, and facilitate communication and support between mom and her birth partner(s). Parents who have doulas report greater satisfaction with the birth process, and feel more empowered, informed, and supported in their birth choices.

Where are you located? What locations do you serve? Back To Top
I am located in Philadelphia, PA. If you live in Southeast PA, South Jersey, Northern Delaware, or Northeastern Maryland, there is a good chance you are within my travel radius.

What support do you provide during labor and birth? Back To Top
Once you go into labor, you may call me at any time to join you. I will remain with you continuously from the time I arrive until 1-2 hours after the birth. My role is flexible, and allows you as much privacy or as much hands-on interaction as you desire. Your comfort and relaxation can be enhanced with a variety of techniques and positions that we will have practiced beforehand, and I will make sure you are well-nourished and hydrated to keep you going during the birth journey. I will be your cheerleader in those moments when the going gets tough, providing emotional encouragement and reassurance. My presence will also allow your partner to participate at their comfort level, eliminating any pressure or anxiety they may feel. I will be there to answer any questions that arise, and to help you advocate for yourself and your birth wishes.

Why do I need a doula? Isn’t that what the midwife/nurses are for? Back To Top
Midwives, nurses, and doctors are all medical professionals. Their main priority is your physical health and the safety of your baby. While there are many nurses and midwives who are great at providing emotional support, they also have other duties and often other mothers to care for.

As a doula, my sole focus is on supporting you and your partner. When nurses change shifts or leave to take care of another patient, I will remain by your side as a familiar, comforting presence. If your healthcare providers forget about an important detail of your birth plan, I will be there to help you remind them. If an emergency arises, your healthcare team will likely move quickly and won’t have time to provide emotional support. I will be your rock of stability during a crisis. While your midwife, doctor, or nurse addresses your physical/medical needs, I make it my duty to tend to your physical comfort, and ensure that your emotional, mental, social and spiritual selves are being nurtured throughout the birth journey.

Won’t having a doula take away from my partner’s role in supporting me? Back To Top
Not at all. It is my goal to help your partner take on whatever role you and (s)he both desire. My presence will allow your partner to enjoy being in the moment with you and participate at the level they are comfortable with, without feeling pressured to know everything and be your sole support. My presence will also allow your partner and other support people the opportunity to take breaks for food or sleep if necessary, without leaving you alone.

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Hiring a doula seems expensive. Why do they cost so much? Back To Top
The comfort, support, and peace of mind that a doula provides is priceless. When you take into account the unpredictable hours and on-call nature of doula work, and the expenses associated with running a small business, most doulas actually don’t charge enough for what they do!

Consider this example: the average wedding costs about $25,000. Many people hire a wedding planner, who charges approximately 10% of the overall cost (around $2500.) To compare, the average uncomplicated vaginal hospital birth costs around $10,000, with C-sections costing about double. The birth of your child is no less important than your wedding day – it’s an experience that you will remember for the rest of your life. Why not make the investment?


Do you offer any discounts? Back To Top
I offer reduced rates or complementary doula services to a limited number of clients who meet certain criteria. These include low-income families, single moms, teen parents, military spouses, and parents who expect the loss of their child. If you fit these circumstances, please inquire.

Are you a medical professional? Back To Top
No. Although I am knowledgeable about medical procedures and terminology, and can explain them to you, I am not licensed to perform any medical actions or give medical advice.

I read in your ‘About Me‘ section that you studied Nursing. Are you a nurse? Back To Top
Although I attended nursing school, I decided not to become a nurse. As a nursing student, I earned an A in my Women’s Health class, and gained clinical experience in the hospital setting. I spent time practicing skills, caring for patients, and observing procedures in Labor and Delivery, Postpartum, Newborn Nursery, NICU and operating room. I know how to do things like take a blood pressure, give injections, read a fetal heart monitor, and do a postpartum physical exam. However, I am not licensed as a nurse and these actions are not within my scope of practice as a doula.

Are you CPR certified? Back To Top
Yes. I am certified in Basic Life Support for Healthcare Professionals (Infant, Child, and Adult.)

Do you take clients who deliver at home / in a birth center / in a hospital?
I accept doula clients regardless of the birth setting you choose. You should choose the place where you feel the safest giving birth – and if you’re comfortable, then I’m comfortable!

I want to give birth unassisted, without any healthcare professionals present, but would still like a doula. Will you accept me as a client? Back To Top
For liability reasons, I am unable to accept you as a client if you choose to give birth without a midwife or doctor present.

Will you speak to my healthcare provider(s) for me? Back To Top
I cannot legally speak on your behalf. I CAN prompt you to ask the right questions and advocate for yourself when talking to medical staff, so that you can get the information you need to make empowered choices.

Will you make decisions for me regarding my birth choices? Back To Top
No. I will provide you with evidence-based information, prompt you to ask questions of your midwife or doctor, and help you through the steps of the decision-making process, but ultimately all decisions are up to you. I will offer unconditional support, regardless of what decisions you make.

If I have an epidural or Cesarean, will you leave me? Back To Top
I will stay until after you have given birth, regardless of the interventions that have taken place. If you have a Cesarean, I may not be allowed in the operating room due to hospital policies. However, I will remain at the hospital and will wait until I can meet you in your recovery room.

How long will you stay with me during labor? Back To Top
As soon as you go into labor, and feel you want me to be there, I will come to support you. I will stay until approximately 1-2 hours after the baby is born. Whether your labor takes 3 hours or 3 days, I will remain with you as long as it takes.

Do you take breaks? Back To Top
Depending on the timing and length of your labor, I may need to take breaks for food, rest, and bathroom. I am only human, after all! I will keep the breaks as short as possible and attempt to time them at points in your labor when I am needed less. This will ensure that I am in the best state to provide the high level of care you deserve.

Do you have a backup doula? Back To Top
Yes. I have two primary backups, as well as about 5 other doulas I know well who I would feel comfortable sending in my place.

Click the links below for more information!

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