Questions About Doulas Answered

What Is a Doula?
A labor doula is an experienced professional who provides continuous labor support, both physical and emotional, to the mother and partner.

What a Doula Is Not...?
A doula is not a medical professional, although doulas usually have a lot of experience with birth. A doula does not give medical advice, but will help you ask the right questions. A doula does not perform medical procedures.

A doula does not make any decisions on your behalf, but will help you understand your options. A doula does not communicate your preferences to your birth team, but will help you communicate them.

What Are the Benefits of a Doula?
Labor doulas are statistically proven to improve outcomes:

- 31% Decrease in the Use of Pitocin
- 28% Decrease in the Risk of C-Section
- 12% Increase in the Likelihood of a Spontaneous Vaginal Birth
- 9% Decrease in the Use of Any Medications for Pain Relief
- 14% Decrease in the Risk of Newborns Being Admitted To a Special Care Nursery
- 34% Decrease in the Risk of Being Dissatisfied With the Birth Experience

Does a Doula Replace My Partner?
Absolutely not. Doulas know birth. Your partner knows you. Together, we make the best possible team to support you and help you navigate the journey of your birth. Doulas help partners as well.

Oftentimes, when a mother needs support in labor, the partner wants to help but doesn't know how. This is where the doula can help the partner know what to do when, so the partner also has confidence in his/her role during the birth.

And as questions arise during labor, the doula can reassure the partner when things are normal or when something needs attention. Doulas can also help partners navigate the confusing options that come up during birth. Additionally, doulas can give partners a break if they want one.

Is having a doula for any specific type of person?
No, quite the contrary. Doulas primarily attend hospital births and work with all types of moms and families. Doulas have different styles and different strengths. It's important to interview several doulas until you find one that is a good fit for you.

What Is Your Doula Style?
I consider myself nurturing and hands-on for physical support. For information and emotional support, I am an evidence-based doula with a calm, confident, and no nonsense style of communication. I am knowledgeable and easy going. Your birth goals are my birth goals. It is my job to support you 100%.

So, How Does That Play Out in Birth?
I believe first and foremost in education and understanding the hormonal and physiological process of birth. I will work with you prenatally to understand this process and how you can apply evidence based techniques for the most optimal labor comfort. I will help you prepare your birth wishes and understand your options before labor.

During labor, I am able to use various tools and techniques to help you tune in to your body's and baby's needs. Usually, your partner is best suited to provide comforting touch during labor, and I can guide him/her in how to do so. If you do not feel comfortable with your partner in that way, I am able to provide soothing touch during labor.

I also work with you to keep you mentally calm and help you navigate any decisions throughout the labor process by reminding you of your options and original birth wishes. While I will not make any decisions for you, I will help you ask the right questions and take the time to come to the right decision for you.

What If I Want an Epidural?
That's great. I support you. Knowing what you want for your birth is the first step to being empowering in your choices. While an epidural will relieve intense sensations, it will not calm your mind. My goal as a doula is help you feel educated, prepared, and confident before labor begins.

During labor, my goal is help you find your rhythm and use comfort measures in early labor so when you do decide to go to the hospital for pain medication, you have progressed far enough along and not be sent home.If you choose to use pain medication, I will still stay with you and continue to provide emotional and informational support. Modern epidurals are gradual and you can control how much medication you receive. You may still feel sensations and you will still need physical support for comfort and to help with optimal positioning.

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