DOES A DOULA REPLACE THE HELP AND SUPPORT A PARTNER WOULD GIVE DURING LABOR AND DELIVERY?
A quote by Pam England that I love says, "Asking your husband to be your sole guide through labor is like asking him to lead the way on the climb of Mt. Everest. He may be smart and trustworthy, you may love him, but in the Himalayas you'd both be a lot better off with a Sherpa."
A Doula is not only there for the Mama (although that is our primary focus), we are there to help teach partners how to best help and support mama before and during labor and delivery. At a prenatal visit, we will show the partners different comfort measures and techniques that they can use when the time comes.
Partners can become overwhelmed and scared when they see their loved one in pain. We help to keep them calm so they can help usher in this amazing new life with confidence. In a sense, we are Doulaing both mama and partner.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A DOULA AND A MIDWIFE?
A midwife is a healthcare professional who can take the place of an OB for all prenatal care as well as being the person who will help to delivery your baby. They are able to provide medical intervention if needed and run parallel to a doctor.
A Doula is more of a coach. We do not replace your chosen healthcare provider, but offer support, comfort measures, advice, and advocate on your behalf. We help to manage pain, fear, and confusion, and will be by you when you need us even into baby's early days.
DO DOULAS ONLY ATTEND HOME-BIRTHS?
Doula's are there for you no matter the environment you choose to have your baby in. If you choose a hosptial birth, your Doula can go with you to tour the birthing rooms. If you want a birth center or a home-birth, we will go over the details with you for what to expect both with us and with your midwife, and will spend extra time with you after your baby is born to make sure that you are confident, comfortable, and that baby is latching properly.
DO DOULAS ONLY SUPPORT NATURAL BIRTHS OR CAN I GET AN EPIDURAL?
I support you in whatever method of pain support you choose. Knowing what you want for your birth is the first step to being empowered in your own choices, and that's what I care about more than anything else. While an epidural will relieve intense sensations, it will not calm your mind. My goal as a doula is help you feel educated, prepared and confident before labor begins. During labor, my goal is help you find your rhythm and use comfort techniques in early labor so when you do decide to go to the hospital for pain medication, you will have progressed far enough along to not be sent home. If you choose to use pain medication, I will still stay with you and continue to provide emotional and informational support. Modern epidurals are gradual and you can control how much medication you receive. You may still feel sensations and you will still need physical support for comfort and to help with optimal positioning, and I'll be by your side every step of the way.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A POSTPARTUM DOULA AND A NIGHT/BABY NURSE?
A postpartum doula works to help women through their postpartum period, as well as to nurture the entire family. Unlike a baby/night nurse, a doula’s focus is not solely on the baby, but on cultivating independence for the entire family. Your doula is as available to your partner and older children as to the you and your baby. Your doula's goal is to treat and foster your family as an evolving unit that is connected and prepared for this new phase in your lives.