Frequently Asked Questions

About Birth Doulas

Is a doula the same as a midwife?

No, a midwife is a medical professional with specialized training and skills to care for mother and baby throughout pregnancy, labor, delivery, and postpartum. Midwives can be either a Certified Nurse Midwife, or a Certified Professional Midwife. A doula is not a medical professional; our role is to provide emotional, educational, and physical support to the mother and her support person throughout pregnancy, labor, delivery, and postpartum. A doula is not a replacement for a midwife or OBGYN, but rather an enhancement to the birth support team.

What kinds of births do doulas support?

Doulas support all birth types! Whether you plan for an unmedicated out of hospital birth, a scheduled c-section, or anything in between, your doula will be with you along with way to provide support, encouragement, resources, and personalized care. Our goal is for you to feel empowered throughout your birth experience no matter how it unfolds.

Does a doula replace the father or partner?

No! A doula does not replace anyone; she is an added member of the birth team and supports everyone throughout the process. A doula can actually help the father or partner to be more present and engaged in providing support to the mother throughout pregnancy, labor, delivery, and postpartum.

Do I need a doula if I plan to get an epidural?

Even if you already know you plan to get an epidural, a doula’s presence can be a huge help prior to getting the epidural and during the process. A doula can assist you and your partner with position changes and labor progression with the epidural in place. Your doula will continue to provide emotional, educational, and physical support throughout your labor and delivery for both you and your partner. A doula can also help you to process the decision to add an epidural when it may not have been a part of your original plan.

I am planning to have a scheduled C-section birth; should I still hire a doula?

While many hospitals do not typically allow more than 1 support person into the OR during a surgical birth, a doula’s support leading up to and immediately after the cesarean can be invaluable. You will still get prenatal support and education from your doula and support in the recovery room to help with emotional recovery, bonding, and establishing breastfeeding. Your postpartum appointment with your doula can be especially valuable following a c-section.

I have heard that the presence of a doula can result in a better birth outcome, is this true?

There have been many studies on this subject that have found that the presence of a trained doula benefits everyone. The studies have shown that doula support can lead to shorter labors, less use of pain medications, and a reduction in c-section rates. Better outcomes for mothers and babies have also been shown through research with doula support. The presence of a doula during a hospital birth can be especially valuable as the doula is there to support the entire care team including the partner, hospital staff, and other family members. The support and education that the doula provides to the mother and her support team has been shown to lead to an increase in the mother’s overall satisfaction with her birthing experience regardless of how it unfolds.

When should I hire a birth doula?

As soon as you find the right fit! Many doulas fill up far in advance, so we recommend starting the search early in pregnancy and secure your desired doula or doula team as soon as you feel ready. We provide free in person consultations with a team of doulas to ensure that everyone is comfortable together. Birth is an incredibly intimate experience, and we believe that you should feel comfortable and safe with everyone you invite into that space. As soon as you find the right fit, secure that support!

About Postpartum Doulas

What is a postpartum doula?

A postpartum doula provides support for new and expanding families after baby is born. Support includes endless resources, guidance, and support during the transitional period after baby is born. Whether this is your first, second, or last baby (or anywhere in between), a postpartum doula can help you ease into your new life with your new baby. Support can last for a few days or weeks to several months depending upon your individual needs and desires.

What does a postpartum doula do?

Your doula will come to your home and provide support in whatever way you need or want. She is attuned to you and can help you process your birth, watch out for signs of postpartum mood disorders, help out with light household chores such as washing baby’s clothes or bottles, loading and unloading the dishwasher, sweeping the floors, etc. She can assist with basic lactation support and refer out to a lactation consultant if more in depth support is needed. She can allow you to shower, nap, and take care of yourself when it sometimes feels like that is impossible. Your postpartum doula provides essential support during the frequently overlooked “fourth trimester.” Postpartum support is completely customizable, and we work to fit your needs during your unique postpartum period.

When should I hire a postpartum doula?

This is unique to each family. Some families hire their postpartum doula prior to baby’s arrival as they already anticipate the need for this type of support. Others wait until after they are home with their new baby. Our birth support packages all include a six-hour postpartum appointment with one of our doulas, so if you are unsure if you will need this type of support during pregnancy, you can wait until after this appointment to decide. However, due to overwhelming demand for postpartum doulas currently, we tend to book up quickly. We do recommend securing us for postpartum support as early as possible to ensure availability.

How many doulas will be working with us during postpartum support?

This will depend upon your needs and our availability. We strive to limit the number of different doulas who provide support for you to ensure cohesion and comfort for everyone in the family. Our goal is to provide no more than 2 doulas, especially if there are older siblings; however, sometimes we will provide up to 3 doulas to ensure your desired days and times are covered. You will get the opportunity to meet and/or chat with all doulas who will be working with you prior to their joining your support team. Having more than 1 postpartum doula on your care team can actually be a valuable asset as each doula will bring with her unique knowledge and understanding of various situations and you may come away with a variety of ideas and suggestions to overcome challenges along the way.

I am planning to have a scheduled C-section birth; should I still hire a doula?

While many hospitals do not typically allow more than 1 support person into the OR during a surgical birth, a doula’s support leading up to and immediately after the cesarean can be invaluable. You will still get prenatal support and education from your doula and support in the recovery room to help with emotional recovery, bonding, and establishing breastfeeding. Your postpartum appointment with your doula can be especially valuable following a c-section.

I have heard that the presence of a doula can result in a better birth outcome, is this true?

There have been many studies on this subject that have found that the presence of a trained doula benefits everyone. The studies have shown that doula support can lead to shorter labors, less use of pain medications, and a reduction in c-section rates. Better outcomes for mothers and babies have also been shown through research with doula support. The presence of a doula during a hospital birth can be especially valuable as the doula is there to support the entire care team including the partner, hospital staff, and other family members. The support and education that the doula provides to the mother and her support team has been shown to lead to an increase in the mother’s overall satisfaction with her birthing experience regardless of how it unfolds.

When should I hire a birth doula?

As soon as you find the right fit! Many doulas fill up far in advance, so we recommend starting the search early in pregnancy and secure your desired doula or doula team as soon as you feel ready. We provide free in person consultations with a team of doulas to ensure that everyone is comfortable together. Birth is an incredibly intimate experience, and we believe that you should feel comfortable and safe with everyone you invite into that space. As soon as you find the right fit, secure that support!

What is the difference between a postpartum doula and a baby/night nurse?

While baby/night nurses focus primarily on caring for babies, postpartum doulas provide care for the entire family during the postpartum period. You may benefit more from care for your older children, or help around the house, or even just having someone to talk to about your experiences or emotions; a postpartum doula will do all of these things and more.

At what point should I transition from a postpartum doula to a nanny?

Your postpartum doula can help you make this decision. If you notice that your needs are focused more on someone to care for your baby or children while you take care of other daily tasks such as work, running the house, etc., it may be time to hire a nanny. However, our doulas will continue to work with you for as long as you desire, even beyond the first year of life if desired.

Will a postpartum doula fit my budget?

This is of course a very personal question to answer; however, we do provide a variety of package options to fit the needs and budget of many families. Feel free to reach out to the office for further details and to see if a postpartum doula is right for you!

About Sibling Doulas

Will the doulas meet our kids before I go into labor?

Yes! We provide 2 prenatal appointments where our doulas will get to know you and your kids. The first appointment we will get to know the whole family and your typical daily routines; we will discuss bedtime, meals, allergies, activities, etc. The second appointment is a date night! Mom and dad get a night out together and the doulas will stay with your children to help them get comfortable with the doulas and practice the nighttime routine.

How is a sibling doula different from a babysitter?

Your doulas will spend time with you and your family to learn about your unique family dynamic and needs. Our goal is to provide continuity of care while you are away bringing their new sibling into the world. We will work with them during this time to ease the transition to life with a new member of the family. We work in teams of 2 to ensure that your children are well cared for around the clock until you come home or provide alternate care. Our doulas are CPR certified as well as trained and certified birth and/or postpartum doulas. We are on call 24/7 to ensure that your children are taken care of from the time you leave to the time you return. While some baby sitters may be able to provide this type of service, we strive to provide the highest level of care for you and your family.

Where will my sibling doula meet us?

Your doula will come to a predetermined location of your choice to begin care for your older children. Everyone’s needs and situation are different and we strive to provide customized care based upon your unique needs.

When will our sibling doula arrive to provide care?

Your doula will arrive at your desired care location once you let her know that you are ready. We ask that you give us as much advanced notice as possible to ensure your doula arrives before you need to leave. If you are having a planned cesarean section or induction, please let your doula team know of these details to allow for proper planning.

How long will our sibling doulas provide support?

Our sibling doula package offers 18 hours of in person, continuous sibling support for your children starting when they arrive. Additional support is available as needed for an additional fee.