Is a Doula trained medically?
No, I am a trained support/care professional. I do not provide medical care, medical advice or recommendations. I am there to support your needs emotionally, physically and informationally. I will help you discern advice given, based on evidence and information and then you decide what you want as far as medical decisions are concerned. The choice is yours and I will support you in your choices.
Can a Doula do my internal exams or do clinical procedures?
No, I do not perform clinical procedures, or do internal exams. I am however, trained to recognize the stages both emotional and physical signs of labor. Through careful observation I can help approximate where you may be in labor.
Are you my advocate?
My role as your Doula, is to help you to know how to advocate for yourself. We will work prenatally (Birth Plan) to determine your wishes for birth. Having this information is vital in supporting your wishes. It is my role to make sure that you are able to give informed consent or refusal. As labor unfolds and as situations arise it is important to know the right questions to ask.
Will my Doula offer support in my home, in early labor or only in active labor?
As your Doula I am there for your comfort and support. I will check in as soon as labor starts day or night and adjust my presence to your needs. Early Labor is the most exciting time and for most moms and I will be there to answer the questions that will arise, or hang back if you need quiet reflection. I will be with you when and where you want me. Flexibility is important in Doula support, and I will do my best to support your needs however they may change.
What if I end up with a Cesarean?
I will still be your Doula even if you have a cesarean, I will be there for all your support needs. In the hospital, in prep and recovery, (not typically in the OR but this also can be asked ahead of time), I will offer additional postpartum visits for recovery assistance, emotional support, breastfeeding and any other additional concerns. If you unexpectedly have a cesarean after laboring I will provide more focus on your emotional wellbeing, breastfeeding and postpartum healing. An unexpected birth outcome can contribute to postpartum depression, which is greatly lessened by having the right support. Emergency situations happen very quickly and I will help you assimilate what led you to need the unplanned cesarean. (We will also put all of this in your Birth Plan)
When should I hire a doula?
There is no set time to hire support, I am as excited working with Moms who just found out and sharing all the wonder that is pregnancy as I am with Momma’s choosing me the week before her due date! Ideally we can start by week 30-32, so that we can have plenty of time to get familiar with each other, schedule prenatal visits, and review all your options and wishes. I’ve labored with Mamma’s 12 hours before their birth and still found that amazing connection of love and support. I personally believe it is never to late to hire a doula!
What set your fee at that amount?
My fee is $900-$1500 from start to finish but I can provide payment plans as well, so please ask if needed. My goal is to provide care for any woman who needs it. Doula support is a specialized service requiring advanced training and continuing education. My fee reflects my training, experience, and expertise. I typically spend a minimum of 18-24 hours and sometimes more during a long labor and additional time in the prenatal and post partum stages of pregnancy and birth. This time is spent during our meetings and your labor. I am 100% accessible to you and behave accordingly. I strive to keep my fee affordable while still being appropriately compensated for the valuable service I provide.
Will my insurance cover the doula fees?
Some insurance companies are starting to reimburse the cost of doula services. Most insurance companies do not cover doula care. However if you turn in a reimbursement claim after the fact, sometimes they will cover it. I will provide you with the necessary forms and receipts.
Will my Doula replace my primary support person…
NEVER! I will help your partner be better able to support you. And support them as well. As your Doula I will work to enhance dads/partners support by giving them confidence in knowing they have additional support, allowing them time to rest, as well as provide reassurance to you both. Labor is an opportunity to strengthen a couple’s bond that can sustain throughout your personal relationship together and as parents. Early in prenatal visits we will establish and develop partner/doula support roles, and expectations.
Doulas are only for mothers choosing natural childbirth…
I provide support to all families without bias or judgment. I will help you to meet your individual birth goals, and am comfortable providing support to all types of birthing mothers, medicated, natural, and cesarean. These will all be outlined in your birth plan as well and it is my role to help you stay as close to that as possible. I will be your informational highway to achieving your desired birth.
We took a childbirth prep class, so we don’t need a doula…
As a Doula I provide a special service that is a wonderful complement to childbirth education. Support during your birth is just as crucial as childbirth education to a positive birthing experience, as it can often be challenging in the moment to remember and apply everything from birth classes, but your familiarity with it will enable you to pick it back up with minor prompting. I am happy to be that prompt! I recommend all my clients attend some form of preparedness classes.
The nurse will provide additional labor support…
Many nurses wish they could provide undivided labor support, but they have multiple mothers to tend to, and have clinical tasks, paperwork, and scheduled shifts, so they cannot provide continuous support for your needs. A Doula is able to provide this specialized type of comfort and support. Also because your Doula is not an employee of the hospital or care provider, she is able to offer an unbiased opinion, always looking out for you, not the hospitals bottom-line
I am working with a midwife, so a doula would be redundant…
Midwives do offer much more hands on, individualized care to mothers than in obstetric care. However, my job as a doula is unique, my care is specifically for you and your partner/families emotional well being and coping abilities. Even midwives and their assistants may have to attend to other clients or responsibilities that require them to leave the room. As your doula in your home or a birth center, I provide continuous respectful care that compliments midwifery care beautifully. Most midwives welcome Doula care.
I trust my Doctor to respect my wishes and follow my birth plan…
The OB plays a much smaller role then most mothers expect, often only coming in in the last hour or even minutes of your labor to “catch” the baby. And many times another doctor is on call, so your specific doctor may not even attend your birth. A doula’s presence will help meet the needs you have for specialized, compassionate, continuous support.
I have already given birth, so I don’t need a doula
Many experienced mothers choose to have me attend their birth, in fact it is often second or multiple time mothers who truly understand the value of labor support. Often mother’s first labor went differently than they would have hoped, or they had less support then they needed. Every birth has its own flow and personality, as well as challenges or complications. In my experience you can never have too much support, and every woman deserves the tender care of a loving, experienced doula.
Birth should be a private event between the mother and partner…
Labor and birth can be a defining moment for a couple, where they experience their trust being tested and fulfilled. Birth can set the tone for parenthood, as it strengthens your relationship just in time for the many changes ahead. It is my desire to help you as a couple, have this kind of experience. In almost all settings (other than an unassisted homebirth) there will be more than just you and your partner, particularly in a hospital where there is a steady stream of staff. A doula is trained to blend seamlessly into the surroundings, and with the staff. In fact a doula can help protect the birth environment for the family in many ways, such as dimming the lights, keeping the door closed, and regulating visitors.
I can’t afford a doula…
My belief about the value of labor support is that every woman who wants the added support of a doula deserves one, no matter her ability to pay. I work hard to keep my fee fair and affordable, and will work with you on a payment plan, barter, or reduced fee to suit your financial situation. There are also often new or doulas-in-training who volunteer their services. Don’t hesitate to ask a doula if they can accommodate your needs or know someone who might!
Feel free to contact me directly if you have any further questions or concerns at Rebecca@loveinlabor.com or 415-794-5874