Frequently Asked Questions
What is a Doula?
As a birth doula, I accompany women in labor to help ensure a safe and satisfying birth experience. I am a Certified Birth Doulas with DONA International and have additional years of experience as an Experienced Certified Yoga Teacher and a Licensed Massage Therapist. I draw on my professional training, knowledge and experience to provide emotional support, physical comfort and, as needed, communication with the staff to make sure that you have the information you need to make informed decisions as they arise in labor. I can provide reassurance and perspective to you and your partner, make suggestions for labor progress, and help with relaxation, soothing touch and massage, positioning, use of essential oils, and other techniques for comfort. I am independent and self-employed. As your doula, I am working for you, not your caregiver or hospital, and I will act solely as your advocate, not theirs. Furthermore, I am willing and able to refer my clients to educational materials, birth classes, supplemental care (i.e. prenatal yoga classes, acupuncturists, chiropractors, etc.) to ensure that my clients feel educated, empowered, and supported in their birth choices.
What is the fee for doula services?
My Fee is $900. My decision to become a doula is deeply rooted in the idea that ALL WOMEN, regardless of circumstance or income, should be able to have a doula, which is reflected in my fee (which you'll find to be on the low end for Phoenix). I also attend one birth yearly pro-bono and will work with other families on a sliding scale or payment plan to ensure that all mamas can have the care they need during the birth of their children. I love to help families find creative ways to afford doula care!
What does a Doula do Prior to Labor?
I will meet with you and your partner at least twice before labor (not including our initial interview) to become better acquainted, to explore and discuss your priorities and any fears or concerns, to discuss your birth plan and to plan how we might best work together. I also want to know the way you best cope with pain and fatigue and how you and your partner foresee working together. I also will inform you of times when I am unavailable for labor support. To cover those times, I will arrange for one or more qualified backup doulas with whom I am confident in their level of expertise to help, and I will familiarize them with your birth plan and goals.
In order to prevent the likelihood of using backup doulas, I only take up to 4 births per month, so there is rarely overlap, and I do not plan vacations for two weeks prior or until two weeks after a client’s Estimated Due Date.
We may also decide on other meetings as needed and will certainly want to remain in touch via telephone, text, and/or email.
When You are in Labor:
I prefer that you call me when you think you are in labor, even if you do not need me yet. I can answer questions and make suggestions over the phone. We will decide if I should come right away or wait until further change. I usually need approximately 1 hour to get to you from the time you ask me to come. We also will decide where to meet – at your home, the hospital, or birth center. Except for extraordinary circumstances, I will remain with you throughout your labor and birth.
What do I Bring to your Birth?
I bring with me a number of essential oils that are useful in labor, as well as a rebozo for help with positioning, massage oil, a massage balls, tens unit, and my HANDS, which I think of as being one of my most helpful tools. I do keep nitrile gloves in my bag in the rare occasion that a birth ends up happening on the car ride to the hospital. I also bring my phone with contraction timer and a camera.
Do you perform cervical checks or blood pressure readings?
No. This is outside the scope of my practice as a doula, and these are things that may be done by your care provider.
I usually remain with you for one to two hours after birth, until you are comfortable and your family is ready for quiet time together. I also can assist with initial breastfeeding help if necessary. I am available to answer questions about the birth and/or your baby and would like to get together with you within 48-72 hours post-birth and then again within a couple weeks to see how you and baby (or babies) are doing, review your birth, and get feedback from you about my role.
Are Doulas only for moms who want to birth at home or med free?
Certainly not!! While I chose home birth for myself, I think that doulas may be MORE important during births occurring outside the home. Having someone who really knows you and your wishes with you during the entirety of your labor (nurses and doctors change on schedule) can help ensure that you have the best birth possible and are supported in your wishes throughout and can help you through the decision making process if changes occur during labor. I can act as your advocate if needed and surround you with positive and affirming words of encouragement and energy.
Are Doulas only for "crunchy" moms?
Nope. How you choose to live your life and the decisions you make about raising your family are completely NONE OF MY BUSINESS! Plus, "crunchiness" is a scale in my opinion. You may choose to vaccinate or not, eat organic or not, babywear or not, homeschool or public school or private, etc., etc. My job is to offer you unbiased resources about any decision you may be trying to make and then help you understand your options if you want. I will NOT be telling you what you should and shouldn't do to your body, your baby, or your family. I want to empower you to make those decisions for yourself as an educated consumer of the birth and mothering world.
Do doulas take away from dads/partners?
No WAY!! I love when dads, partners or other support persons want to be involved! I believe that I can assist partners with helpful techniques to support a laboring mom, and give tips and tricks to help in pregnancy, labor, and post-partum, so that everyone has the best possible experience. Oftentimes, we are a team both supporting the laboring woman physically, and sometimes we take turns or we figure out what works best for each person individually. Birth can be long and it can be overwhelming, so having a professional who has seen a lot of births can help ease fears and tensions because what looks scary to an untrained eye may be perfectly normal birth stuff. We also help control the riff-raff so that mom and partner can stay in their zone and not be distracted by extra family, students, the TV, whatever...