Birth Doula FAQ
No question is a bad question. Feel free to reach out if you have a question that isn’t answered here.
What happens during a Prenatal Home Visit?
I will come to your home twice during your pregnancy to meet with you and anyone one else you wish to have attend your birth. We will discuss your childbirth history (if any), birth plan, talk through interventions, I will share resources and information if you want them, you can share your wishes and fears, and I will explain my role as a doula and what is in and out of my scope of practice. We can practice some of the comfort measures and positions we’ll use during labor and discuss how I can best support you with comfort measures, pain management, and support others who may be attending the birth. These two meetings could be between just us, or include a partner, a family member, or anyone else who is attending your birth. It’s completely up to you.
What happens during a Postpartum Home Visit?
About a week or two after your delivery, I will come to your home and check in with you one last time. I will listen as you recount your birth, provide you with moments and memories I observed, and if you want, we can talk about anything you felt was particularly helpful, or that you wish had been different. I will share my notes from labor and delivery. You can share with me any concerns or questions you may have about caring for yourself or your new baby and I can provide you with information, or referrals as needed. Above all, this is a time to thoughtfully disconnect from each other. Birth can be an intense process and it is important to close our time together with care and respect for what we have shared.
Types of Support:
What kind of support do you offer via Phone/Text/Email?
From the moment you hire me, I will be available to you via phone/text/email, 24/7 for support. This means that if you have a question, concern, change of birth plan, or info from your provider that you want to share with me, you can always reach out and I will do my very best to answer in as timely a manner as possible. I will share my schedule and availability with you as best I can so you know what to expect. Keep in mind that my answer to many of your questions will be “Please make sure you check in with your provider about this…” but I will try my best to reassure you and provide emotional support if you are feeling anxious.
What sort of support do you offer during Active Labor?
I will come to wherever you are when you are in active labor. As a birth doula, I can provide emotional and physical support to you as you move through the stages of labor and delivery. Each body and birth is different, but in all cases, I will work with you as best we can to keep you moving, changing position, trying new things to help guide your baby through the pelvis in the best possible position for delivery. We will try the comfort measures we discussed in the prenatal visits, breathing, vocalization, mindfulness practices, massage, and many other techniques to keep you strong and avoid exhaustion. While your caregiver team is focused on you, your baby and everything else going on, YOU are my main focus during labor and delivery. I cannot and will not speak for you, but I will encourage you to use your voice to advocate for yourself and state your wishes and boundaries. If you want me to, I will empower you with information to make informed decisions regarding pain management and interventions. I will protect your birthing space, and do my best to make it as comfortable, welcoming and safe as possible. I will remind you of your birth plan when you need me to. I will manage inclusion and care for those attending your birth as discussed in our prenatal visits. I will take photos and videos if you want me to, and I will keep detailed notes about your labor which I will share with you during our postpartum visit for your records.
What kind of support do you offer during delivery?
Things can happen really fast during delivery. Caregivers can flood into the room, the lighting can change, the volume and number of voices can increase, etc. Every person giving birth has different needs and desires for those final moments before they meet the new person they are bringing into the world. I will do my best to make that moment feel sacred and special, regardless of your method of delivery. I will protect the things we discussed in your birth plan, including making sure those attending your birth are as involved as you want them to be. I will take photos or videos if you want, or play a special song, or recite a poem, whatever we talked about in the prenatal visit. I will support you physically or give you physical space depending on what you need.
What kind of support do you offer to my partner/family member/friend?
If you have a person who will be attending your birth, I will include them in our prenatal visits (if possible) and discuss their role during labor. We can talk through their concerns, needs, any questions they may have, and extra support they may need. Sometimes the labor process is very long, so having me there ensures that those attending your birth can take breaks and get down time, without leaving you alone. I will make sure that they are eating, drinking, protecting their own body, and remind them of their role in the birth plan. I will guide them through assisting with comfort measures, and work to include them as much as you both have agreed that they should participate. I am not there to take the place of your partner. I am there to be a support person who is primarily focused on the birthing parent.
How long will you stay after my baby is born?
Generally, I will stay up to two hours postpartum to support you and those attending your birth. Rarely, circumstances are such that I may stay longer.
What if I will not have a partner or family member present at my birth?
I am here to support you no matter what your situation is. I do not require the presence of an additional support person to be your birth doula.
What if I have an unconventional relationship or family?
I run an open and inclusive practice. I am poly/kink aware and understand that relationships and families aren’t limited to two cis het people. Your family is what YOU decide it is, and your birth should include the people you desire most to be there within the limits of the space you’re birthing in. We can work to make sure everyone who you want included can be included.
Do you support people with births that end in adoption?
I most certainly do. I respect your choice to have another family raise your child, and I will do my best to support you through that process.