1. I have a midwife do I still need a birth doula?
The roles of the midwife and birth doula are both valuable but unique. The doula provides continuous emotional and physical support throughout labor and the postpartum period, including the transition from home to hospital, or when the partner needs respite. I am available directly, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week throughout pregnancy, meets with clients prenatally at home, and attends clients at home during early labor, creating a comfortable, relaxed peace of mind.
As a doula will also help clients decide when to leave for their birthplace, with the input of the midwife or doctor. In addition, the doula helps to clarify the roles and expectations of the partner and other friends and family members, to insure participation, which meets the client’s preferences. In the event of complications,
I’ll provide continuous support to the mother during the postpartum period, allowing the partner to focus on the newborn. I may also meet with clients at home during the postpartum period, and is available directly, by phone, for questions following the birth.While midwives provide emotional support and are often present upon arrival at the birthplace, they often work in rotation with other midwives and/or doctors and may provide care to more than one patient at a time. My primary role is to ensure the health and safety of the mother and baby, which as expected would take priority over other comfort measures and support.
Will my doula try to “take over” my partner’s role?
One of the most common concerns we hear from couples considering a birth doula involves the role of the doula. Some couples worry that the partner will be pushed aside, relegating the partner to a more minor role. Some women are hesitant to suggest a doula for fear of hurting their partner’s feelings. Some partners feel pressured to take on a role that they are not comfortable assuming, but are hesitant to share with their loved one that they feel insecure about supporting her in the ways that she needs to be supported during labor and birth.
My responsibility as your doula is to support the couple’s choices for their pregnancy, labor and birth. For some, that may mean that the doula is a “coach for the coach”, helping with suggestions and reminders, perhaps acting as an advocate. For others, it may be that the doula is the primary “coach”, freeing up the partner to be caring, loving, and supportive, without the pressure of being the sole support of the laboring woman. This is for each couple to determine and for each Birth Partners doula to respect and honor.Your partner and I will work together to contribute in unique ways to give the laboring mother a comfortable, well-rounded, safe, and secure atmosphere in which to labor and give birth.
3. I want an epidural, should I still hire a birth doula?
The decision to have an epidural is one that should be carefully made by the client, her partner, and her care provider. A good doula does NOT decide this for a client, or have a bias for or against epidurals or other medications. Her role is to support the client in their decisions, and to educate and guide them in their birthing options.
4. I have a high-risk pregnancy. What if I need cesarean surgery or need to be induced?
In the event scheduled or unscheduled induction or cesarean surgery becomes necessary, the doula will provide continuous emotional and physical support to the client, her partner, and/or baby at the hospital before, during, and following the procedure. The clients will still benefit from the prenatal meetings and support.
5. This is not my first baby do I need a doula?
Every pregnancy, birth, and baby are unique, and unexpected circumstances may arise. Doula care is a welcome addition to the birthing or new family whether this is your first or third baby. From in-home prenatal visits, support when and how you need it. Having a doula provides comfort and reassurance during this special time.