What Is A Doula?
Who is A Doula For?
A doula is a trained professional who is not a health care provider, hospital staff, or friends/family. A doula provides emotional, physical, and informational support to the birthing person and their partner. A doula has an intimate knowledge of birth and has helped families in many different circumstances.
Every family receives support that is unique to their specific needs. EVERYONE deserves a doula.
What is the difference between a doula and a midwife?
A doula is a trained professional who provides emotional support, physical comfort measures, and informational help during your birth. A midwife is trained to do medical procedures, deliver the baby, and is in charge of the well-being of mother and baby. A doula focuses only on you, but a midwife has medical duties to attend to such as charting, assessing fetal heart rate, blood pressure etc. A doula does not do any medical checks or procedures. Usually your midwife will come to attend your birth when you are in active labour. Often a doula comes before the midwife to help with early labour.
My partner is worried they will be left out. How do doulas work with partners?
I am here to support both you and your partner. Your partner will need to take a break periodically, have reassurance that what is happening is normal, and be reminded to eat and drink. Having a doula helps take pressure off of your partner, who may feel overwhelmed. I also help make suggestions of how they can best help support you. A doula doesn’t take over for the partner (unless asked to!). I am there to help support you both in this new experience. Doulas and partners make a great team!
What can a doula do to help with my birth?
I will meet with you 2 times prenatally to answer questions, discuss the birth process, discuss breastfeeding, help write a birth plan, provide local resources, and get to know you and your partner. Once you go into labour, I will be available whenver you need me to come support you; at home or in the hospital. I will stay with you throughout your entire labour, providing comfort measures, information, emotional support, and taking photographs, if desired. I stay for an hour or two after the birth to help you with breastfeeding. I visit you postpartum two times after the birth to talk about the birth experience, answer questions, and provide local resources.
Can a doula help if I have an epidural?
My goal is to help you have the birth you want. If using pain medications is in your birth plan, I can help educate you about your options so you can make an informed choice. I will help support you and your partner in the early stages of labour before the epidural can be started, offer suggestions to help keep labour progressing, and through the pushing stage. Epidurals do not always work fully (or at all), so it is important to learn comfort measures and coping techniques to help you through labour, even if you are planning on getting an epidural.
Do I need a doula if i have a midwife?
Absolutely! There are many important differences. Midwives have many other responsibilities that take precedence over comfort measures, such as checking fetal heart tones, charting, preparing for delivery, checking blood pressure, etc. Midwives also only come to your home or to the hospital once you are in active labour. In contrast, a doula’s only job is to support you and your partner when you need the most help coping with your contractions and labour. Your doula will come to support you whenever you need the support. Your doula is there for you and your partner, supporting you through each contraction, heating up rice packs, making sure you (and your partner, and midwife!) are hydrated. Doulas are super helpful at homebirths, where we can help with cleaning up, or whip up a postpartum meal to a very hungry new family.
It all started with a dinner. We decided we were going to start our family. This decision ignited a passion in me I didn’t even know I had.
To make a long story short, I became obsessed with all things birth and baby. I had to know everything and absorb all the information I could. From strollers and car seats, to cloth diapers and birth stories. I wanted to know it all.
Many families feel a similar experience to mine when they become a parent for the first time, but can feel easily overwhelmed from all the information out there. I wanted to help others navigate becoming parents (or expanding their family).
I now have a kindergartner and a toddler, and things are quite different then I could ever have imagined. My passion for helping others and sharing experiences has only grown more and I would love to help you on your journey with pregnancy, birth, postpartum, and beyond.
“Thank you so much for all your help and support. You are an amazing coach and are truly meant to be a Doula! All your help with the hip squeezing and comfort measures and working through the contractions was outstanding! I am so happy you were part of our little ones arrival.”
– Emma M.
“She was amazing! Jennifer was essential in helping myself and my husband get through the contractions so that I was able to get through without an epidural. I can’t say enough good words for Jennifer!
– Shalon P.
We loved having Jennifer as our doula! Jennifer is highly knowledgeable about pregnancy, birth, and postpartum. Zoom calls with Jennifer during pregnancy very much helped us navigate some tricky times. Knowing she was available to help us, even though she could not be with us in hospital was a huge stress relief + gave us confidence in our decisions + communicating with the staff.
– Jessica R.