frequently asked questions
Is a doula like a midwife?
A doula is NOT a midwife, although doulas and midwives often work closely together. A midwife is a clinically trained professional who's focus is to ensure your baby is delivered safely and perform any medical tasks. A doula is educated in emotional and physical support methods, and a doula's focus is to encourage and educate you during your pregnancy and birth. A doula does not perform medical tasks. I don't personally attend births where a doctor or midwife isn't present, although many doulas might if this is the path you are choosing.
What are the benefits of hiring a doula?
Studies have proven that those who have continuous and focused doula support through their labour tend to have shorter labours, more positive emotions when recalling their birth, and decreased risk of cesarean and other medical interventions. Preparing with a doula also instills a sense of confidence and peace in clients as they approach their birth. The risk of postpartum mental illness is decreased in those who hire a doula.
What should I look for in a doula?
This depends on what you're seeking from the relationship and your family circumstance! Are you looking for long-term care, or one educational get together? Are you a single parent who needs extra support, or are you looking for someone who will work easily with your partner? Think about these things and make a list of what you need. Here are some questions you may want to ask a potential doula, to better understand their philosophy of care:
Why did you become a doula?
What has your training + education consisted of?
What is the most rewarding part of your relationship with clients?
Do you have my due date available?
What does your on-call practice look like?
Does a doula tell me how my birth experience should go?
No! A doula should never project their beliefs, biases, or preferences onto a client. A doula's goal is to learn what your ideal birth experience looks like and assist you with making plans, and they may do this by providing evidence-based information to you. A doula is your cheerleader and educator as you advocate for the birth you want.
Does a doula attend hospital births, or do I have to be planning a home birth?
A doula can be present at any birth location you choose. For a hospital birth, you may find it beneficial to have a doula join you at home and support you through early labour. Having a doula may make coordinating your move from home to the hospital easier. In addition, having a doula present at a hospital birth can make navigating medical decisions feel less overwhelming or confusing.
Does a doula attend medicated births, or do I have to be planning an unmedicated birth?
Doulas attend and are beneficial to births of all kinds, including unmedicated home-births, hospital births where clients choose an epidural, and even cesarean sections. I am educated on the normal physiology and progression of all types of birth, as well as the complications that can arise and how medical interventions impact birth.
How will I know we’ll make a good team?
I offer a complimentary consultation for all clients, to ensure we can get to know each other and feel confident that we'll work together well. You will be provided with a copy of my contract at this session to review. Ask me anything you'd like!
Can I contact you when I have questions throughout my pregnancy?
Yes! All clients may call, text or email me with questions or stories! I love hearing from clients through their pregnancies. I try my best to be available and get back to you as soon as possible. During your contracted on-call period (beginning at the 38-week mark), I am available and will respond 24/7.
What does a doula do during my labour or birth?
A doula's role during your birth may involve assisting you with breathing and pain management, facilitating a calm environment, discussing your options if you are faced with a medical decision (without making the decision for you), reminding you of your birth plan, allowing your partner to have a break, contacting loved ones with updates, and more. I'm happy to do whatever you may need in the moment!
Do you attend all types of births (such as with a surrogate, birth parent, disabled parent, queer family, single parent, young parent, etc.)?
Yes! Please reach out. I'm educated in the needs of a variety of family structures. A doula is beneficial for every birth experience!
How are you qualified to attend to my family’s unique needs?
Please check out the about me page for details regarding my education. I understand that every family faces unique circumstances. I am trained in psychology, trauma support, mental illness, client-focused relationships, socio-economic and cultural differences in family structures, the anatomy and physiology of birth, biochemistry, fetal development, and more. I am a lifelong student and consistently engaged in further educating myself!
Can I see a sample of your contract?
Yes! Please send me an email to request a contract. A contract will also be provided at all consultations.
Do you offer flexible payment options?
For full-spectrum clients, a 50% non-refundable deposit is due at the time of contract signing. The remainder can be paid in installations at a pace that works for you. I am flexible and willing to work something out in order to ensure my services are as accessible as possible!
Do you offer gift cards for your services?
Yes! Please email me to request a gift card or purchase services for a loved one.
Do you rent equipment (birth pool, TENS machine, etc.)?
Yes, both are available through Wellness Garden Doulas.