Frequently Asked Questions
What is a doula anyway?
A doula is a non-medical professional that provides emotional, mental, physical and informational support to an expecting mother and her family during pregnancy, labor, childbirth, and postpartum. A doula provides encouragement and educational resources to empower you to make important decisions regarding your pregnancy and birth.
What is the difference between a doula and a midwife?
A doula is a non-medical birth professional whose focus is to support the expectant mother emotionally, mentally, and physically and to make sure the mother is educated and empowered to make decisions and birth how she wants. A midwife is a medical professional that provides medical care to the expectant mother and her baby. A midwife delivers the baby, whereas a doula supports the mother during delivery. A doula is the person during labor that is doing hip squeezes, providing counter pressure, refilling your water, repeating birth affirmations, recommending different labor positions to try, and offering guidance and reassurance to you and your partner.
How will having a doula affect my partner’s role during the birth?
A doula and your partner make an awesome team! Each person in your birth team has a different role. Having a doula with you to provide comfort techniques, information, and an extra set of eyes and ears gives your partner the ability to focus on their emotional role in the birth process. loving connection with you. Partners most often describe a higher satisfaction with the birth experience when a doula is present.
Can I still get a doula if I plan to get an epidural or a cesarean?
Yes! A doula supports ALL births. If you plan to get an epidural or have a cesarean, a doula can still be tremendously helpful in managing pain during early labor and up until that point. Then, the doula continues to offer care to the mother and her family after birth by providing emotional and information support postpartum.
What are the benefits of hiring a doula?
Numerous clinical studies have shown that having a doula statistically results in a:
31% decrease in the use of Pitocin
Reduced labor by 41 minutes
10% decrease in the use of pain medications during labor
39% decrease in the risk of c-section
15% increase in the likelihood of spontaneous vaginal birth
38% decrease in baby’s risk of a low APGAR score
14% decrease in the risk of baby being admitted to the NICU
31% decrease in the risk of being dissatisfied with their birth experience*
*These statistics are provided by https://evidencebasedbirth.com/the-evidence-for-doulas/. Read more about evidence based doula support here.
When is the best time to hire a doula?
There is no right or wrong time to hire a doula. Although, there are benefits of hiring a doula earlier, rather than later. A big part of a doula’s job occurs during prenatal appointments as they prepare you for childbirth. With that being said, it is never too late to hire a doula. While it is harder to discuss your wants and needs once you’re already in labor, a doula will always be there for you.