1) What training have you had?
I completed the DONA International birth Doula program at Douglas College. I also have a decade of experience counselling and supporting women in a variety of self-improvement capacities.
2) What is your philosophy about birth and supporting women and their partners through labour?
I want every expectant mother to have the best possible birth experience – however she defines it. I believe that birth is not an illness or a condition, but a beautiful and exciting life event that is normal, natural and healthy. I think that women are strong and capable – and that it’s my role to present a kind and reassuring presence during a miraculous event. If the mother-to-be has a partner who wishes to be involved in the labour process, I am trained to provide guidance and perspective, encouraging each partner to participate at their own comfort level. It’s my job to support your family plan and do whatever I can to assist you in creating a positive memory of your childbirth.
3) May we call you with questions or concerns before and after the birth?
I am available via phone, text or email. I will be happy to answer your non-medical questions or refer you to appropriate resources.
4) When do you try to join women in labour? Do you come to our home or meet us at the place of birth?
I will come to your home or meet you at your place of birth – whichever you prefer. Listen to your body – only you will know when the time is right to call in outside support. One important thing to remember, please call as soon as you think your labour has started so that I can arrange childcare (I have 3 children of my own) and clear my schedule to focus on your needs.
5) What is your fee?
My standard fee for Doula services is currently $750.
In addition, I use a sliding fee scale for those with limited incomes. I believe that no woman should be deprived of birth support because of financial restrictions.
6) What does your fee include?
My fee includes the following services:
~ Two prenatal home visits of approximately 60-90 minutes. The goal of the visits is for us to get to know each other and to develop your birth plan, as well as to discuss your preferences in terms of labour comfort measures.
~ Telephone, text, and email support from your 36th week until your postnatal visit.
~ Continuous labour and birth support (emotional reassurance, physical comfort, non-clinical advice and informational guidance for you and your partner) during your active labour and delivery as well as postpartum support for a short while as needed after childbirth.
~ One postpartum home visit of approximately 30-60 minutes.
7) Do you have a backup doula for times when you are not available?
Yes. In the event of a serious emergency I cannot attend your birth, my fully qualified backup Doula will stand in my place.
8) When is the right time to hire a Doula?
It is a good plan to hire a Doula by your fourth month of pregnancy. This gives you enough time to interview several Doulas to find the one who clicks best with you- while ensuring that your Doula will still have availability during your estimated delivery window (2 weeks pre and post estimated due date). Most Doulas meet with their clients during the seventh and eighth moths of pregnancy so that they can discuss labour and delivery preferences long before the baby is expected to arrive.
9) Why do I need a Doula? How is her role different than my midwife/doctor, partner, friend, mother, etc.?
A professional Doula provides consistent and continuous emotional support- mothering the mother through the childbirth process. In contrast, the primary job of the doctor or midwife is to is to ensure the safety of mother and baby from a medical standpoint. Doulas do not perform any clinical or medical tasks- so the roles of the doctor/midwife and Doula are separate and distinct.
Its also important to remember that doctors/midwives may change shifts and some may only be present during the final stages of birth. On the other hand, your Doula will stay with you during the entire active labour and delivery process. Studies have shown that Doulas can help cut back on time spent in labour, reduce a mom’s anxiety, lower the rate of medical interventions (including C-sections) and improve mother-baby bonding post birth.
Your family members love and care about you and are very emotionally invested. It can be difficult (read: gut wrenching) for your life partner to watch the woman they love experience pain, especially if things don’t go as planned. Your partner may feel scared, tired, hungry, anxious, etc. A Doula can fill in the support gap when your partner is overwhelmed and give him/her breaks to go to the bathroom or refuel without feeling like he/she is abandoning you. A Doula can reassure your partner that things are okay, and practically model comfort measures that the partner can assist you with. It’s valuable to have a birth professional in the room who has the time and energy to continuously support BOTH parents and answer any questions you have along the way. A good Doula doesn’t replace a loving partner, but instead is a compliment to them.
I love questions! If you have any questions that weren’t answered on this page, feel free to contact me here.