FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
WHAT IS A DOULA?
As a doula, I am the birthing parent's companion, cheerleader, and space holder. Supporting them throughout their pregnancy, birth, and postpartum period.
Giving my everything to ensure they are given up-to-date information, education, and guidance so that they can make informed decisions.
A doula has been around for centuries, originally performed by the birthing person's closest female supports. In this modern-day era, we have lost that sense of community, creating birth to be an isolating event. From this societal shift has come the need for a formalised role in which many doulas will feel a 'calling' to do, and may have completed doula training.
Doulas do not offer clinical skills and are not medically trained, and nor do we pretend to be! We provide continuous support throughout pregnancy, birth, and the early days of parenthood. We are there to listen, give confidence and not judge. We are here to support, advocate, love, hold, nourish and worship you as you journey this rite-of-passage.
WHAT DOES THE 'WORD' DOULA MEAN?
The word “doula” comes from the ancient Greek meaning ‘woman caregiver or servant’. Throughout history, women have supported other women in their community during the childbirth process, which typically took place at home. Today, professional birth doulas take on this role when the birthing babe is looking for someone to provide the emotional and physical support they need during their birth experience.
HOW WILL HIRING YOU AFFECT MY PARTNER'S ROLE DURING THE BIRTH?
We are a birth team. I am not here to take your partner's role- we are there to both support you. I am here to support you both. I will equip your partner with the knowledge and a variety of strategies and techniques to support you during pregnancy, birth, and postpartum, as well helping them feel comfortable on the big day.
DO I NEED A DOULA IF I HAVE A MIDWIFE OR I AM HAVING A HOME BIRTH?
A midwife has a very different role than a doula. A midwife is your primary care provider they will take care of all your medical needs and has huge responsibilities just as an Obstetrician does. Their time is spent monitoring the baby and charting your labour, they are responsible for the health and well-being of you and your baby.
Doulas will be there for you often sooner than your midwife to help you through your labour providing labour tools such as massage, breathing techniques, acupressure, doulas will never leave your side unless for a washroom break. A doula is consistent in their care for you and your partner.
WHEN SHOULD I BOOK A DOULA?
The earlier the better!
Each doula will offer something different, but there will be someone even just to help plan the pregnancy or support you on your big day/s.
WILL YOU MAKE DECISIONS ON MY BEHALF?
Nope! My role is to ensure you are well informed, knowledge is literally power. I can advocate for you if needed but every decision is your own.
CAN I WORK WITH YOU IF I WANT A C-SECTION?
HELLA YES! I will give you all the information to pick the most magical, calm, and positive caesarean birth. I will also be there to help you recover, bond, and support you on your breastfeeding journey.
WHAT HAPPENS IF I END UP PLANNING AN ELECTIVE C-SECTION?
This your journey and I am here to support you through it all! I can help you make informed decisions whilst preparing for your Caesarean. We can also help create a magical oxytocin-filled journey beforehand to release any tension or fears. I will also be there for you during your recovery.
WHAT IF MY BABY COMES EARLY OR LATE?
Babies do not have a 'due date'. Our little spring chickens will come when they are ready. So don't you worry I will be on call from 37 weeks, but this doesn’t mean I won’t be ready if they decide to come earlier than that.
WHAT DON'T BIRTH DOULAS DO?
Doulas do not perform any medical assessment/intervention/diagnosis. We are NOT medically trained.
Replace your partner. We, doulas, will extend our support to the partner, enabling them to support you as best they can, and compliment them by offering additional support. Having a Doula also means partners can nap, pop out to use the toilet, or make a phone call, knowing you are not left alone. It gives them room to participate in the birth at a level in which they feel comfortable.
Give advice or make decisions for you. A doula will help you to access evidence-based information to make you aware of your options and will support your decisions.
WHAT DOES A POSTNATAL DOULA DO?
As a part of my postnatal doula's duties, I will begin working with you in the first week after birth. The length of time a postnatal doula spends with one family varies enormously, based on their needs.
Just as when supporting birth clients, postnatal doulas provide emotional, practical, and informational support.
The actual tasks in the practical support postnatal doulas provide varies enormously, and one of the big benefits of having a postnatal doula is that they are there to support the family, not carry out a specific task, so they do what is needed (within reason!). This can be things like basic tidying or cleaning, sorting laundry, looking after baby while the birthing babe (and their partner) nap, helping with older siblings, making easy meals, even sometimes, helping overnight so the parents get more sleep. Some key tasks might also include supporting the parents find a local support network, normalising early parenthood feelings and emotions, offering suggestions around caring for a newborn such as bathing, skincare, feeding or sleeping (if required), and most importantly; listening. Whatever is needed to help a family relax and have a positive experience of life with a baby.