PostHeaderIcon Doula Answers

Doula Answers
Doula Answers

What is a simple way to explain what a doula is or does?

I try to explain to people why I used a doula and what they do but it seems almost silly like my husband should have done it all. This woman made my birth experience the best it could be. I am forever thankful to her. What is the simplest way to explain what a doula is and what a doula does?

Most women want their husbands for emotional support and of course to share in the joy of welcoming your new baby into the world. But childbirth is not really a man's area of expertise. A doula is an experienced woman who has attended many births and can help a couple - not just the mother - understand the stages of labor, pain management, and provide support through any complications that may arise.

What is the difference between a doula and a midwife?

What does a doula do that a midwife doesn't and vice versa? I am not pregnant, but I want to give birth naturally. My cousin just gave birth naturally and she had a doula and I was wondering what is the difference between that and a midwife.

In answer to your question, a Doula is the one that provides emotional support and coaching to the woman in labor. She is there to help the mother focus, relax, and enjoy the birthing experience, to embrace it so to speak. She is also there to provide the partner (dad) with a chance to experience the birth in a different way too, as he can focus on what's going on and not just strictly on the woman's needs.

A Midwife is the one that would perform any medical tasks. She would check your cervix, catch the baby, assess you and the child, etc. She is responsible for knowing when there is a problem, etc.

In my opinion, both are great. If you are looking to give birth at home, I recommend hiring both. If you plan to deliver in a hospital or birthing center, you probably only need the doula, as the facility would provide you with the medical staff. A doula does not test anything, nor provide any medical intervention, so I recommend having a midwife at home as opposed to a doula if you can't have both

How much is it to hire a doula?

I would like to get a doula to assist with my birthing. I was wanting to get an idea of how much it is and if they bill insurance? Also is it worth the money?

Some hospitals in larger cities have doulas on staff for any laboring woman who wants one. But if you live in a smaller city, it may be hard to find one. I am really not sure about the cost but I'm sure it is a lot less than what you would be paying the anesthesiologist to come and give you an epidural. If you have a doula you more than likely will have an unmedicated birth experience too. If you can afford it though, I am sure it would be worth the money, especially if you can get a doula who helps at your house after the baby is born as well.

What should I ask when interviewing a doula?

My husband and I are considering hiring a doula for the birth of our first child. We have a few interviews lined up with women who are available around our due date. Other than price, what should we ask? Are there any red flags that we should stay away from?

1. What training have you had
2. Do you have 1 or more backup doulas if you are not available?
3. What is your fee and what does it include?
4. When do you try and join women in labor?
5. Are you available at my due date time (37-43 weeks)
6. How long does it take you to get to me?
7. Will you come to my home if I am in pain but not ready to go to the hospital yet?
8. How many clients do you take in a month?
9. What are your standard payment arrangements?
10. How long have you been practicing?
11. How many births have you attended as a doula?
12. Are there two of your clients whom I may call?
13. Have you been a doula at my hospital before?

Is Doula certification necessary?

My best friend has 3 children of her own and I asked her to be in the room with me when my child is born. The doctor says that only a certified/trained doula may be allowed, other than that, they have to be family. I call her "my doula" because she is there for support now and plans to be there for support during and right after birth. Does she HAVE to be certified to be considered a doula?

No you do not have to be certified to be considered a doula. Anyone can call themselves a doula. What makes them a real doula is what they do. You can be the best doula and not be certified and I'm sure there are not so good doulas out there that are certified. It depends on the person. What concerns me is that you seem to be having a conflict with your care provider. Maybe you should ask more questions to get down to the real reason why your provider has said this. Possibly it could be a hospital policy but almost everywhere now a days you can have whomever and however many people with you that you want. Maybe you should start out asking your care provider: "Is there any medical reason why my friend, my doula would not be allowed in the room when I give birth?" I personally don't see why it should matter if your doula is certified or not unless your care provider is just trying to keep the doula out of the room because maybe he sees doulas as some sort of trouble. Fight for what you want. If you want to avoid trouble have your friend go take a doula course. So if you have time before you're due maybe your friend could do that and then she would be trained... problem solved.

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