Frequently Asked Questions About Working with a Doula
What exactly is a doula?
Doula is a Greek word that means "servant". A birth doula (also called labor support professional, birth assistant, or birth companion) refers to a non-medical professional. This person attends specifically to the needs of a mother and her partner providing continuous physical, emotional and informational support during labor, birth and immediate postpartum.
What do you do as a doula?
I help, give and interpret information so that you and your partner can make more informed choices as you work together with your health care provider. I physically support the laboring woman with suggestions for positions and movement that can make her more comfortable, as well as speed up the labor progress.
There are many comfort measures such as visualization, breathing techniques, touch, ice, and hydrotherapy that I will help facilitate as we discover what works best for you.
How do I benefit from using your services?
You will benefit from the support of a caring, knowledgeable, supportive person who will help you navigate the labor and birth experience with greater confidence and ease. Every woman's needs are different, but generally your senses of satisfaction and fulfillment are increased by reducing complications and interventions. Studies show having a doula does just that!
What do your services include?
- An initial consultation - with no obligation - so we can get to know each other. This will give you a chance to determine if we are compatible and if I can meet your needs.
- Up to two prenatal visits to discuss your vision for your birth, formulate a birth plan and discuss the role you would like me to take in your labor.
- Unlimited phone and email support leading up to your birth.
- Being on call for labor 24 hours a day, for 3 weeks prior to your due date.
- Phone contact in early labor, at which point I will join you at home/and or hospital when you feel you need additional support until 1-2 hours after delivery.
- When not needed in other ways, I will take photos of your birth experience and new baby.
- I will provide a written record (timeline) of your labor and birth events.
- I can help you learn how to breastfeed in the immediate postpartum or provide a refresher lesson.
- A postpartum visit to help you process your birth experience and address breastfeeding or postpartum concerns.
For an additional fee I can host a customized, one-on-one childbirth class with you. Your partner is welcome to attend, too. We'll focus on what you most want to learn related to the birth process.
How much does it cost to have a doula there beside me?
Your investment for having all of the personalized services listed above starts at $800. This can be submitted all up front, or we can split it up... half up front and the second half no later than 2 weeks before your due date.
What if you're not available at the last minute?
There are many unpredictable things in life, and having a baby is definitely one of them! Since I work with more than one expectant mother at a time, it is possible - though unlikely - that I won't be available on the day you have your baby. For that, I partner with another Puget Sound doula who is experienced and highly qualified to help you through the process. I'll make sure both have each other's contact information, if something comes up. However, I plan my schedule very carefully. I accept only 2-3 clients per month.
Easy... fill out the contact form. I'll be in touch to find out what you need and how I can help you!