For your convenience, common client questions are answered right here.
Q: What is a Doula?
A: A Doula is a professional, non-medical care provider who is hired by a family to provide information as well as physical, emotional, and social support before (Prenatal/Antepartum), during (Birth), and after (Postpartum) the birth of their baby.
Q: What does an Antepartem Doula do?
A: An Antepartum Doula will come to the family’s home before their baby is born to provide care to the entire family. This may be by providing information or physical support such as household help, rest and reprieve, and gentle, healing touch. An Antepartum Doula also offers emotional support, such as providing time to ask questions and listen to how everyone is feeling and what their needs and desires are, as well as giving resource referrals when needed. Social support is given by being in the home and holding space for all that is happening at the time. This is a great reminder that we are not alone.
Q: What does a Birth Doula Do?
A: A Birth Doula provides in home planning sessions before baby is born to listen and help the family recognize their needs and desires for labor and birth. A Birth Doula will provide information and referrals to resources in order to enhance health and well being during pregnancy. A Birth Doula is available for an agreed upon on call period, usually in the month around the estimated due date, where they can be reached 24/7 to provide information, emotional and social support, and early labor support. A Birth Doula comes to the family when they are ready to be joined for the birth, and provides continuous physical, emotional, and social support during active labor, birth, and immediate postpartum. After the birth, when family is bonding and settled, the Birth Doula will leave, checking in the next day to see how everyone is doing, and making a time to meet for a postpartum visit within the next few days. A Birth Doula provides basic postpartum support, witnessing how everyone is transitioning, helping with processing the birth story, and providing resource referrals if needed.
Q: What does a Postpartum Doula Do?
A: A Postpartum Doula is hired to come into a family’s home after the birth of their baby to model and provide practical and emotional support as well as information for the entire family. A Postpartum Doula will focus on nurturing the mother so that she may heal completely after the birth and find her balance within her growing family. As a generalist, a Postpartum Doula’s expertise is on how normal postpartum recovery and adjustment looks. They are skilled in assessing situations and giving information and guidance so families can make informed decisions and discover that they are the expert on their own life. A Postpartum Doula will also make on the spot referrals if a specialist is needed in any given area.
Q: Will a Doula take the place of my family or partner?
A: NO! Doulas are there to support the entire family! They are there to help model and guide any support person who is unsure what to do, as well as make sure everyone is taking care of themselves, getting rest and nourishment. Doulas never replace family or friends, they simply enhance the care for and from everyone present, and are able to step in or back as needed. Partners and families LOVE doulas!
Q: Do I have to have Postpartum Depression to hire a Postpartum Doula?
A: NO! Postpartum Doulas are great for ALL families, whether or not someone is suffering from a Postpartum Mood Disorder. If there is any question about whether or not someone in the family has signs of a Postpartum Mood Disorder, please check out THIS LIST and get a referal to a Mental Health Professional. Also, please click here for some essential self care techniques if you’re feeling like “EVERYTHING’S AWFUL AND YOU’RE NOT OK”
Q: What DON’T Doulas do?