Frequently Asked Questions
What is a doula?
A doula is a professional who is trained in childbirth and provides continuous support to a mother before, during, and just after birth. Doula comes from a Greek word that means “a woman who serves” or “handmaiden.”
How is a doula different from a labor and delivery nurse or partner/spouse?
The most important thing a woman needs during labor is continuous support. This means having someone by your side continuously from start to finish: from the time she enters your experience until baby safely arrives, your doula never leaves your side. While a nurse's role is caring for you, documenting that care, and communicating with hospital staff, they are also simultaneously taking care of a number other patients and responsibilities. A nurse’s support ends when their shift does; you are the doula’s only focus the whole time she is with you.
A doula is never there to take over for your partner, your partner is an essential support person for you to have by your side. Your doula also works to provide guidance for your partner, to help them help you. Also, since most partners have limited knowledge about birth, medical procedures, or what goes on in a hospital your doula acts as an advocate for you and your birth plan as well as interpreter to translate medical jargon into terms you can understand. Doulas and partners work together to make up your labor support team.
What if my pregnancy requires a scheduled or emergency Cesarian (C-section)? Can I still have a doula?
Absolutely. In fact, having a doula as an advocate throughout all types of births is proven to greatly benefit mothers. In the event of a scheduled Cesarian to deliver your baby, your doula's responsibility will be to support you before and after your surgery, in recovery, and once you are back in your hospital room. Since you will not have labored, your doula will instead provide a set number of postpartum doula care hours to support you once you are discharged and back at home. Depending on individual circumstances surrounding emergency Cesarians, your doula will be present for labor and for you post-op while you are in the hospital.
What is a postpartum doula?
A postpartum doula provides evidenced based information on things such as infant feeding, emotional and physical recovery from birth, mother–baby bonding, infant soothing, and basic newborn care. A postpartum doula is there to help a new family in those first days and weeks after bringing home a new baby. This could also include helping family members adjust to the new baby, light cleaning and chores, meal coordination/preparation, light errands, and more.
How much does this cost?
One of the most important aspects of BirthFocus is our commitment to community and providing affordable doula care for all families. Our tiered level of doulas allows individuals and families access to excellent and professional doula care at rates that they can comfortably afford. Please feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more.
What if my provider doesn’t feel comfortable with me having a doula?
At BirthFocus, we strive to provide agenda free doula support. Because of this we have a good working relationship with many provider groups and hospitals. It is essential to us that supporting you also translates to the care we provide in the delivery room. As every labor and delivery is distinctly unique, the extensive training and mentoring our doulas receive explicitly focuses on how to communicate with medical staff in "complicated situations". We want to hold your wishes and desires and help them to be respected without your provider feeling usurped while mitigating any unnecessary stress to you and your family.