Why do I need a doula if my partner will be there?

 Most partners have not given birth before, and many will feel fearful and helpless to see their loved ones in pain.  They need support too!  Having an experienced person at your birth with whom both parents feel comfortable helps everyone.  A good doula will know to clear the room for the two of you if you need privacy and labor is progressing smoothly.  If you do need assistance, then your doula can help decipher medical jargon, can assure you in circumstances that may seem frightening but are actually part of the normal course of labor, and can guide a partner in ways of touching the mom, or can go retrieve a cup of tea or sandwich for the parents—the list goes on.

Won’t the labor and delivery nurse support me in my labor?

In most hospitals at most times, nursing staff are required to support several laboring women at the same time, and this work often includes a significant amount of paperwork, especially the tracking of statistics and vital signs of the women in labor under their charge.  Their jobs as they are set up in most institutions do not allow them the luxury of hand-holding and one-on-one support with the mother and family for any length of time.

Are doulas trained?

Most doulas go through a formal training process which includes classroom time with a certified doula training professional, reading, writing, attendance at births, and the receipt of written feedback from the families and other attendants at those births. I am certified with DONA International, one of the world’s leading doula certifying bodies. As well as my experience attending the births of so many strong, beautiful moms, I have experience as a birthing woman and mom myself.

At what point in my labor should I call the doula?

Whenever you feel like you need support managing your labor, at home or at the hospital.  I can always come and then leave again if things change.

I want an epidural—do I need a doula?

Giving birth is a new experience, each and every time a woman gives birth, no matter the choices the family makes, and it helps to have someone there continuously to ease any anxiety around the process and to support the family through a foreign process in an unfamiliar place during a very intense and personal time.  A doula is trained not only to support women through the natural process of a drug-free labor, but also through the experience of giving birth, whatever that entails.  While an epidural can lessen a woman’s ability to feel the physical pain of labor, it does not necessarily eliminate the pain and does not eliminate anxiety or fear, and these are feelings that can be assuaged by the presence of a doula.

Are doulas important in a homebirth?

Yes.  A birth often requires many hands to support the mother and family.  There are many simple tasks that need to be finished to support the mom and welcome the baby, and having someone there to remember to focus on caring for the mother and making sure she has what she needs physically to do her most important job, and that she also has emotional support to make it through the difficult moments, is truly helpful.

What’s the big deal about the birth experience?  Don’t I just want a healthy baby?

We also want healthy, strong mamas!  Whichever birth experience leaves her feeling best able to mother her new baby/ies is the one for which we should strive!

What if I call you and you cannot get to my birth?

We will be in touch as your birth approaches so that I can get a sense of when you will need me.  It will help if you call me early in labor so I can get to your birth.  In the unlikely event that I cannot get there, I will make every effort to send a qualified backup doula so that you will be supported during your birth according to your wishes.  If for some reason I do not make it to your birth because of my failure (this has never happened), I will refund your fee in full.

Why should I dance during pregnancy?

Birth is a physical experience, so being physically prepared helps with labor, birth and recovery.  Dancing is a great way to do this, or to supplement your other activities.  Plus, it’s fun.