~ What is a doula and what do they do? A doula (rhymes with ‘hula’) is a trained labor and delivery support person specifically present to offer unconditionally, non-judgmental encouragement and support to their client throughout pregnancy, labor, and delivery. Doulas offer a variety of services that can span pre-conception through postpartum and are tailored to the desires and needs of the client. Study after study after study confirms that employing a doula reduces interventions, reduces infant mortality, and increases positive outcomes. Doula Rachel Basolo can assist a family through the journey to pregnancy, throughout adoption or surrogacy, in preparation for labor, throughout delivery, and once baby has been welcomed into your home.
~Why should I consider having a doula? We often set up the other parent, partner, or close family member or friend to serve as the birth coach. Although extremely important and valued, they are really more trained and prepared to be the cheerleader. A doula is experienced and has specialized education to help their client and support team navigate the process, address the pain, and process anything that may deviate from the plan. A doula is not emotionally invested in the same way that a partner or family member is. Because of that, the doula is able to stay neutral, objective, and be aware of the whole picture.
~ I’m giving birth in a hospital. Should I have a doula? Absolutely; people who birth in the hospital are in even greater need of personalized support during labor and delivery! Regardless of where you give birth, it is important to remember that the baby is the medical provider’s patient, not the mother’s specifically. A doula will come in early labor before arrival at the hospital and be great support in your home, if desired. Additionally, a doula is 100% focused on one client, one family whereas nurses have several patients to attend and delivery doctors only arrive for the birth. For many reasons, a hospital is not set up to honor the time it takes to birth your baby. This sets a mother up to be pushed towards interventions she may not have wanted or that weren’t medically necessary. A doula is a priceless advantage to the mother in navigating the hospital process- a support for best interest of both the client and child.
~I have a midwife. Don’t they do what a doula does? Midwives serve their clients from the same model of care as doulas (the Midwifery Model of Care). And although midwives and doulas do have similar knowledge of pain management, labor positions, etc., there are some notable differences. A doula will be with you from the start of labor whereas a midwife typically joins you once you reach active labor. Midwives have different styles of care among themselves and some are more hands-off and remain ‘in the background.’ Also, as the primary care provider, a midwife has duties that take them away from the patient (like chart notes, getting supplies, or communicating with hospital staff)–a doula is 100% committed to being with their client, for them throughout labor and delivery.
~How do I hire a doula? You may email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone at 541.510.4631 to arrange a free consultation. When interviewing potential doulas, one of the most important considerations is your own instinct. Are you comfortable with this person? Will you feel comfortable sharing the intimate experience of childbirth with them? You will want to learn about their skills and experience and decide if you share philosophy, core beliefs, trust, and comfort. Be sure to address any of your specific needs or concerns.