This is my own description of what I think doulas should do, not every doula shares this philosophy, so ask lots of questions during your interview!
Doulas provide emotional and physical support during labor and delivery. But there's so much more to it than that. A doula is who you call at midnight because you just had this "weird thing" and you don't want to call the nurse line / midwife / birth center or go to the ER but you just can't sleep!
Doulas serve as helpers to everyone in the family. If you already have a support person, but they feel unprepared for birth, we can help guide them in the ways that are most helpful to the laboring person. Our job is education and advocacy.
Doulas are often the connection between an isolated pregnant person and a community around them that they've yet to discover. We talk about trauma and all the heavy things that can impact your labor- and how we can work to reduce those impacts.
Sometimes birth is traumatic, and we (as a society) need to work through that trauma to heal from it. Doulas are patient advocates in the hospital, to help insure you're fully informed and YOU are making the medical decisions surrounding your care.
Doulas also serve in out of hospital births so midwives are focused on your medical care, and we're focused on you. This includes birth centers and home births. (Some doulas will assist you in "free birth," however that's generally not my jam.)
My mentor refers to her position with pregnant/laboring/delivering people as a coordinator, akin to a wedding planner.
Doulas should be prepared to help you navigate and negotiate with your medical care team. We provide education, and help write / advocate for birth plans. My goal is to fill the gaps so that your birth experience is the best outcome for your individual situation.
Birth Doula- I like to include prenatal visits with this. I prefer to meet every 3-5 weeks during your pregnancy, starting when you hire me. This also gives me the opportunity to really dig into how you see your birth, clarifications of what you've heard, managing expectations and fears, and some educational components. This may seem like a lot, but I'm about to be involved in a very intimate moment of your life. I feel like we should get to know each other first! I'm also on call for you from 37 weeks until delivery (unless otherwise discussed). You decide when I come to meet you during your labor. I also like to come by your house and check on you and baby about a week after birth.
Other services: Please text, call, or email me for more information about these.
Trauma and queer informed care
First aid and CPR certified (for emergencies only- I am not a midwife!)
Cloth diapering education
Military family support
Post abortion support
Satellite doula services
Surrogacy and intended parent support
Much more- don't see your need listed? Reach out and I can refer you to someone if it's outside my scope!
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