What is a birth doula?
A birth doula is someone trained in pregnancy, labor and childbirth. Throughout pregnancy she offers education and resources, and during labor and childbirth she provides continuous emotional and physical (non-medical) support. You can read more about what having a Blessed Birth doula can mean for you here and here.
What is a postpartum doula?
A postpartum doula is someone trained to assist parents in the time of transition after a baby is born, through emotional and practical support. The services provided by postpartum doulas vary, but generally include newborn care, educational resources on postpartum topics, light cooking and housekeeping, childcare assistance, and running errands. Some postpartum doulas offer overnight support as well.
Will hiring a doula really make a difference in my experience?
Having the support of a doula during your pregnancy, labor and birth can make a huge difference in your experience. Feeling emotionally supported throughout pregnancy and labor helps you to be confident in the choices you’ve made for your family. Practical benefits from having a doula include:
- 50% reduction in the cesarean rate
- 25% shorter labor
- 60% reduction in epidural requests
- 40% reduction in oxytocin (pitocin) use
- 30% reduction in analgesia use
- 40% reduction in forceps delivery
(Statistics obtained from Mothering the Mother: How a Doula Can Help You Have a Shorter Easier and Healthier Birth, Klaus, Kennell, and Klaus.)
Far more important than statistics though: as your doula, my job is to support you in having the birth you envision.
My husband is unsure about hiring a doula because he thinks she’ll take his place. Is this true?
Definitely not, a doula never takes the place of dad, she never could! In fact, doulas are great resources not only for pregnant mothers, but for dads too! Some dads are naturally excellent coaches for mothers, but some may not know exactly what their partner needs. As your doula, dad can know that if he needs a break, mom won’t be left alone. He can trust that someone who knows them and knows their birth vision will be supporting them throughout the entire labor. He can know that if he isn’t sure how to best help mom in any particular moment, I can remind him of ways to help. Read more about what a Blessed Birth doula can do for you.
As your doula, I am there for both of you — not to take the place of dad, but to support you both.
Will a doula speak for us during labor?
No, I won’t speak for you. As your doula, part of my job is to encourage you and help you to feel confident in your choices. I will not speak for you, but I will support you as you speak for yourself. In difficult moments, I will gently remind you of your strength and your vision.
I’m planning to have an epidural during labor. Why should I hire a doula?
Doulas provide professional, non-judgemental support for their clients, and don’t have personal expectations. As your doula, my job is to encourage you and support you in your choices during labor and birth. My goal for your birth is that you will feel educated and empowered. I hope that it will be a joyful, beautiful experience for you, and that you will feel well-cared for. Read more about what a Blessed Birth doula can do for you.
Will a doula perform checks for dilation and other medical assessments?
No. I am not a medical professional, and I do not perform any clinical or medical tasks, and I do not make any diagnoses or give medical advice. All medical assessments and diagnoses are done by your midwife or doctor and nurses.