What is a Labour Doula ?
The word “Doula” refers to a woman experienced in childbirth who provides continuous physical, emotional, and educational support to the mother and her partner before, during and immediatley after childbirth. A doula adds a complimentary role to the clinical care provided by Labour & Delivery nurse, doctors, and midwives, by becoming the final touch to the team.
Why Hire a Labour Doula ?
Statistics show that having a Doula present during a woman’s labour can result in a substantial reduction in interventions and complications. After twenty years with over 14 different studies all over the world, obstetrical outcomes, with a doula include;
reduction of caesarean sections by 50%
reduction of epidurals by 60%
reduction of use of forceps by 30%
reduction in the length of labour by 24%
reduction in use of oxytocin use by 40%
reduction of use of pain meds by 40%
What is included in the Labour Doula Package ?
Our labour doula package includes 2-3 prenatal visits in which your doula will educate you about options available, learn about your preferences and fears, help you prepare a birth plan and provide you with any other information to the questions you may have. She is available 24/7 for phone support before and after the birth. When you go into labour, your doula will join you at your home or at the hospital and stay with you throughout your labour and birth, be it 5 hours or 25.
Your doula could use a variety of techniques during your labour to help you and your partner manage pain and make the whole birth more manageable. The techniques include: massage, hydrotherapy, position changes, visualization, aromatherapy, and many more. After the baby(s) is born your doula will stay for 1-2 hours to help you with breastfeeding and help you adjust to your new baby.
Your doula will do one follow up visit where she can assist with feeding difficulties, answer any questions you may have, or make any referrals that you might need. Depending on the individual doula some also offer birth stories, and/or photography.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does the doula take the place of the dad/partner ?
The doula actually enhances the birth experience for the partner, by helping them better meet the needs of the mother. They “coach the coach” and allow the partner to participate at their own comfort level. The doula can take on different roles depending on the needs of the family. The doula is there to supplement the partner’s effort by providing emotional support to the family on such an important emotional day, physical support like errand running, comfort measures, and educational support, so you can make informed choices.
Is it true that doulas just support families who choose a more “natural” approach?
False. It is only a myth that doulas only support natural/unmedicated birthing and child rearing. Doulas are there to support all your choices, whether you want medicine or not or choose to breastfeed or not. Make sure when interviewing a doula that both of your philosophies are similar, or that she will support your choices. Our doulas at Birth Solutions will support all your choices because our main goal is to always ensure you have a positive birth experience.
What is not within the doula’s scope of practice?
Doulas do not provide any clinical care. Doulas are not primary caregivers therefore you will need to chose a primary caregiver like a doctor, OB, or midwife Doulas will be able to assist you in finding the right primary caregiver if requested. Doulas do not speak for you, but will advocate for you. Doulas do not provide sibling care.
What happens if I have a c-section?
Be it a planned or un-planned c-section the doula will continue to support you and your family. For most mother’s, having a c-section can be very scary, yet having someone with experience to prepare you for what to expect can make having a c-section a positive birth experience.
When should I arrange to hire a doula ?
The earlier the better. The more the doula gets to know you and your partner, the better she can support your needs and you can benefit from her experience. Some doulas are hired as early as 6 weeks, while others hire them the day before their due date. The more experience the doula has, the greater likelihood she will be booked. However, rest assured, Birth Solutions will make every effort to ensure we find the perfect doula for you.
How much do the services of a Birth Solutions Labour Doula cost ?
The cost of Birth Solution’s Labour Doula package varies depending on your location and extended experience of the doula. Most of our doulas at Birth Solutions charge between $700-$1600. Birth Solutions believe that every family deserves a doula and therefore those with financial constraints should enquire about other arrangements.