What do doulas do?
As a doula, I am a resource for information. I am here to help you learn the risks and benefits of all the options presented to you. I am here to support whichever path you decide to take. I help your partner (if present) support you when you need them. I go over comfort measures, relaxation techniques, suggest position changes, and explain the processes of labor and birth in the moment so you can navigate any unexpected situations. I am your cheerleader, your ally, your confidant, a sympathetic ear, and a shoulder to lean on - literally. I contribute to better birth outcomes! After the birth and during our postpartum visit, I can help you with feeding, talk with you to decompress and process the events of your labor, or just sit and snuggle your new babe while you take a shower and eat some food.
Is there anything doulas don't do?
A doula does not speak on your behalf, especially not to medical staff. I am not a medical professional and therefore do not give medical advice, diagnose or treat medical conditions, or perform any clinical procedures. I will help you understand the process of informed choice, explain your options and the associated risks and benefits, and I will hold space for you while you discuss it and make decisions. But it is up to you and your partner (if present) to advocate for yourselves.
I'm the birth partner - will a doula try to take my place?
Absolutely not! I'm there to support the birthing person and their partner, if present. I know you want to be helpful in your role as a birth partner - and if you don't know exactly how to do that, I'm there to assist you. If you and your partner are in a good rhythm on your own, I will cover the background tasks. (I know where to get the best wet washcloths!)
Does a doula have an agenda for my birth?
Nope. Whether it's hospital or home birth, unmedicated or epidural or planned Cesarean, I'm there to help you have the birth experience you want. Below is a quote from January Harshe, the woman behind Birth Without Fear, that sums up my philosophy of birth work. Your birth story is a memory you will hold with you all your life, and we want to do everything we can to make sure you remember it fondly.