Birth Doula FAQ
Sound Doula Answers to Commonly Asked Birth Doula Questions
What training and experience have you had?
Continuing education is extremely important to me and I regularly attend conferences, trainings and meeting in order to improve and expand on my doula skills. For a complete list of the trainings and experience that I have had in relation to my doula work, please see my Professional Development page.
What is your experience with birth?
I attended my first birth as a labor coach for a family member when I was a teenager. After that exciting and rewarding experience I knew that this was something I wanted to pursue. A number of years later, after having worked with a variety of families and community groups in a number of childcare roles, I decided to take the Labor Support for Birth Doulas Training Course at the Seattle Midwifery School. Since June 2007, when I became a doula, I have been a volunteer with the Doula Care program at the University of Washington Medical Center. Working with this program has allowed me to provide doula services to women who would not otherwise have had doula-specific labor support. I have become a member of the Doula Care community as well as other local and international doula organizations and groups. These communities provide opportunities to enhance my knowledge-base and seek valuable feedback from my fellow doulas.
What is your philosophy about birth and supporting women and their partners through labor?
My role as a doula is to fully support my client’s desires and decisions through their individual birth experience. I completely believe that this is your body, your baby and your birth experience and I pride myself on being open-minded and adaptable. I make a point of establishing good communication with my clients, their partners and their care providers in order to ensure that their needs and wishes are being met. I support clients who choose to give birth at hospitals, birth centers, and their homes as well as clients who desire un-medicated or medicated births. When it comes to working with partners and care providers, I have always had good experiences. I believe that this is due to my personality, communication style and confidence in my role as a doula.
My partner(s) wants to be involved, how will you work with them during the labor?
I am the partner of the mom, what would my role be with you as our doula?
While not everyone woman has a partner who will accompany her during birth, for those that do I often recommend the valuable essay “Dads and Doulas: Key Players on Mother’s Labor Support Team” to my prospective clients. In general, I choose to use the more inclusive term “partner” when referring to other support people that will be at the birth, most commonly the intimate partner of the mother, although once I meet with clients I use whichever term(s) they prefer.
I feel that it is important to address the common concerns that partners may have leading up to the birth and in response to the desire to have a doula present. For partners wanting to be actively involved in the birth experience, I as a doula will take it upon myself to support and enhance their ability to assist the mother during the birth. I agree with the statement that the partner’s “presence and loving support in childbirth is comforting and reassuring. The love [the partner] shares with the mother and [their] child, [the partner’s] needs to nurture and protect [their] family are priceless gifts that only [the partner] can provide.”
Even with the best of intentions, some partners may at times become overwhelmed or unsure of what they “should” be doing or saying. It is at these times that I am available to provide guidance, make suggestions, answer questions and offer encouragement specifically for the partner. If they need a break, there is peace of mind knowing that I will remain with the mother while they are away. This allows them the opportunity to be involved in the ways that they are comfortable and to the level they feel able to provide at the time. Also, in the event that the baby needs to be taken to another room or even another hospital, it is often the decision of the parents that the partner will go with the baby. During this time, I can remain with the mother and provide the companionship and support that she needs.
The role of the partner and my role as the doula will be further discussed and practiced during prenatal meetings prior to the birth.
Do you work with single moms?
I love working with single mothers and take it as a great honor and responsibility to be their doula. As the daughter of a single mom, I know the emotional demands and specific responses that a woman without a partner can benefit from. We will discuss this further and practice how the two of us will work together during our prenatal meetings prior to the birth.
May we meet to discuss our birth plans and the role you will play in supporting me through birth?
Definitely! I truly enjoy meeting potential clients and discussing my services. Once we agree to work together, we will schedule prenatal meetings to discuss the specific details of your birth plans and the role that I can play in supporting you through your pregnancy, labor, birth and postpartum journey.
May we call you with questions or concerns before and after the birth?
I encourage all of my clients to contact me at anytime with any questions or concerns.
I am committed to responding quickly to phone calls and emails.
When do you try to join women in labor? Do you come to our home or meet us at the hospital?
Once your labor begins, I ask that you call me and let me know. Even if you are unsure that you need me at that point, this allows me to chat with you a bit about how you’re doing and make sure that I’m able to come to you as soon as you are ready. I do not have a specific point within labor that I go to my clients. Instead, I leave it up to you to determine when you feel my presence would be beneficial. Once you request me, I will come to you wherever you are at that point (home, birth center or hospital) and remain with you throughout the birth.
Do you meet with us after the birth to review the labor and answer questions?
I will remain with you until after the birth and make sure you are doing well before leaving. Within a day or two of the birth we will schedule the postpartum meetings where we will have time to review the labor and focus on any questions or concerns you may have at that point.
Do you work with one or more back-up doulas for times when you are not available? May we meet them?
I always work with at least one back-up doula and often have a few that I can call. I make sure my back-up has a similar approach to doula work and that she and my current clients would be compatible. If you feel the desire to know more specifics or to contact my back-up, please let me know.
What are your fees and your refund policies?
Please view my Sound Doula Birth Packages.
Compete details regarding retainer fees, payments and refunds are included in the Doula Agreement (Contract) that you will receive at our complimentary meet-and-greet interview. Please contact me now!
If you have additional needs for your birth experience or any further questions about my services as a doula, please feel free to contact me to set-up a complimentary “meet-and-greet” consultation.