Are you like a midwife? Do I still need a doctor?
The support you receive from a doula is unlike what you will receive from your primary care staff at your hospital, birthing center, or home birth. Doulas work with you through pregnancy, labor, birth and postpartum. But we don’t perform any medical procedures— such as checking fetal heart tones, performing medical exams, giving medical advice, or catching your baby. Instead, we supply emotional and physical support and help you understand your options and make informed decisions around your labor and birth.
Do you only do home births?
No— doulas work within hospitals as well as birth centers and home births.
What hospitals do you work at?
All the hospitals in the Portland metro area.
I think I still want an epidural, is that ok?
Of course! A doula will support you through any type of pain management you are most comfortable with. And if you’re interested in trying alternative methods of pain management, we will support you through that as well!
What if I have a cesarean birth?
I will be there and will support you as much as you desire me to! One thing to keep in mind is that some hospitals have policies around their preferences of who is allowed in the operating room, which can leave doulas outside of the OR. But if you confidently express your desire to have a support person with you during your birth, often the staff will try to work with you.
What about my partner? Can’t they do it all?
Of course! The partner’s role is vital through the birthing process and I intend to work alongside them offering practical suggestions, tips on comfort measures, and provide much needed breaks. There are times when partners are inexperienced with certain aspects of childbirth and are unsure of how to offer support to their loved ones during this experience. Things may happen quickly, or take unexpected turns, and a doula can step in to reassure them of their path and care for the entire family.
What if I’m considered “high-risk” or have previously had a cesarean?
Doulas could be one of the most important and effective resources for attempting a vaginal birth after a cesarean (VBAC). Studies have shown that having continual support has shown to improve birth outcomes and reduce the amount of interventions performed, and emotional and informational support helps counter a lot of the fears of the unknowns going into “high-risk” or VBAC births. We’re your natural boost of oxytocin!
What kind of training does a doula have?
Birth doulas are trained to understand the process of birth, comfort measures for labor and how to support the emotional needs of a laboring person and her partner. There are many organizations who train and certify doulas with recent and evidence based information about choices in childbirth and the immediate postpartum. I am certified through Birthingway College of Midwifery’s Labor Doula Program.
Will you make sure my doctor follows my birth plan?
As your doula I will work with you and your physician to try to meet your birth goals, but I will not speak on your behalf or make medical decisions for you. Instead I will hold space for you to process and evaluate what’s going on before making decisions, and encourage you to ask questions or verbalize your preferences. If you’re being dismissed or ignored, I will amplify your voice to make sure you are heard.
“Advocacy is defined as supporting the birthing person in their right to make decisions about their own body and baby.”
– Rebecca Dekker, PhD, RN, APRN of Evidence Based Birt
Can you help after the baby comes?
After your baby arrives I will stay with you for the first few hours as you get settled in and will provide breast/chestfeeding support, if that’s what you desire. In the weeks following I will meet you in your home to help you process your birth experience and provide resources as you adjust to life with baby. I will also be available via phone and email for the 6 weeks following your child’s birth. If you’re seeking a postpartum doula, contact me if you’d like a referral.