What is a doula?
DONA International defines a doula as “a trained professional who provides continuous physical, emotional and informational support to a birthing person before, during and shortly after childbirth to help them achieve the healthiest, most satisfying experience possible.”
Need a recommendation for a good prenatal masseuse? I’m on it.
Don’t know what your doctor means when he says “left occiput anterior?” BOOM! Now you know, because I just told you.
Wondering if it’s normal for you baby to look like that? It probably is…but check with your doctor to be sure.
I’m here to help you be as comfortable with this whole process as possible. I want you to enjoy your birth experience and walk away from it feeling good about what happened.
And I bring snacks!
Do I need a doula if I have a midwife?
Midwives and doulas provide different services. A midwife’s job is to make sure you and baby are healthy and safe by providing medical care throughout pregnancy, birth and postpartum. A doula’s job is to provide continuous physical, emotional, and informational support. Doulas are not medical professionals and so, we do not perform any medical procedures like checking for dilation, monitoring your blood pressure, or administering medication.
How will you work with my partner during the birth? Won’t you take their job?
At first glance, hiring a doula can seem redundant, or even intrusive. Some partners might worry that the doula will take their job, but that's not true!
Partner + doula = Dream Team!
Your doula does not replace the value and bond you have with your partner or any loved ones you have chosen to accompany you to the birth. Instead, we will work together to make sure you are feeling totally supported. I wrote an in-depth post about that very subject on my Facebook page, check it out!
When should I hire a doula?
Much like childcare here in Madison, it’s always better to hire your doula sooner rather than later. Shopping around sooner gives you a better pool of potential doulas since we are limited in how many birthing people we can help every month. Plus, the sooner you hire someone, the sooner you can reap all the benefits of having that extra support!
I’m getting an epidural. Can a doula still help me?
ABSOLUTELY! Every birthing person deserves a doula. Prenatally, we can discuss any concerns you have about birth, discuss comfort measures and prepare for Baby’s arrival. During the birth, I can help you relax before and during the placement of the epidural and keep you company. I can help you get into comfortable positions that encourage Baby’s descent and suggest various pushing positions. I can also help your partner remember to rest, eat and hydrate themselves. After Baby is here, I can help you with some basic breastfeeding information, make sure you’re all settled in with your new person and check in on you postpartum.
I’m having a C-section. What could a doula do for me?
During pregnancy, I can offer you the same support and resources someone planning for a vaginal birth would get, plus some extra information specific to cesareans. During the birth, depending on the hospital’s policy, I can accompany you into the operating room or meet up with you after the procedure to check in on how you’re doing. Oftentimes, after Baby is born, they’re taken to one area to be examined while your incision is being repaired. If your partner goes with Baby, I can stay with you so that you’re not alone. I can hold your hand, let you know what’s going on and just provide a calm, supportive presence so that you feel comfortable. I can also accompany you to the birth as your support person if your partner has an aversion to surgery. After the cesarian, I can help you establish breastfeeding, answer any last questions you have and help get you comfortable before I leave.
I want a doula, but it’s expensive! Is there anything I can do?
I understand that this can be quite the investment.
I can work with you to develop a payment plan that makes the cost more manageable. In addition, I’m working on being able to accept FSA/HSA payments in the near future.
Lastly, a lot of people are now adding their doula to their baby registries, so that’s another idea to consider!