frequently asked questions
What do birth doulas offer?
Here at East Raleigh Doula Co., our support looks like evidence based education to ensure that families feel informed and empowered to make decisions that are right for them. We then do everything we can to support and uphold those desires through physical support, emotional support, and partner support. What might this look like?
We believe that education and knowledge is the foundation to a healthy, confident and empowered birth experience. The more you know, the more confident you can be in your options. As a team, we stay up to date on evidence based practices and help you stay informed. Our favorite resource is Evidence Based Birth. We also use data from the NIH, ACOG, and other evidence based resources. Our goal is to make sure you are informed about all your options and that you can advocate for your wishes confidently.
Position ideas for comfort, labor progression, and fetal presentation. We love to utilize resources like Spinning Babies and the Miles Circuit to help ensure babies are in an optimal position for an easier, effective and more comfortable birth experience. Add in hands-on comfort measures like comforting touch, massage, counter pressure, breathing techniques and other tools to help provide physical support. Regardless of your methods for pain relief or interventions, we are able to help guide and support physically.
So much of our emotional support comes from just being present at the labor experience. Having our undivided attention and support while you labor, make decisions and work towards your birth helps you feel confident and supported. Our goal is to help you feel as relaxed, at peace and confident in your labor process. This may be just ensuring you are making all the decisions out of a place of confidence and knowledge, or it may be reading your affirmations to you, sometimes its just encouraging words like "you can do this". We are intentional to figure out what emotional needs you have and meet them.
We believe that this is you and your partner's experience to have together - not ours. We call ourselves the "tour guide" to your birth. We know what is coming up, we know how to direct you along the way, and we know how to help you get the most out of your experiences, so our goal is for both you and your partner to experience the wonder and awe of childbirth together.
Whether it’s a romantic partner, a friend or another family member like the baby’s grandma, the birth partner’s experience matters in birth. We are here to guide, teach and prepare your birth partner to support you. This may mean we teach positions, hands on support, and advocacy to them. This may also mean we tell them to lay down and take a nap, or grab a cup of coffee or a meal while we offer you our support. We are there to support both mom and partner.
What do postpartum doulas offer?
The postpartum doula has 3 points of focus in the early days and weeks of providing support.
Postpartum Doula’s Primary Focus
The postpartum doula’s primary focus is on the client’s recovery from giving birth. That includes physical and emotional recovery. Both are complex in nature and the doula trained by ProDoula is equipped with the knowledge of what is “normal” and what is “beyond the scope of normal” when it comes to post-birth recovery. When something is beyond the scope of normal, the postpartum doula encourages the client to contact their medical provider and continues to support them as they navigate the issue.
Postpartum Doula’s Secondary Focus
The postpartum doula’s secondary focus is on the baby’s (or babies) adjustment to life on the outside of the womb. This includes comfortability, feeding, sleeping, hygiene, and bonding. Again, the postpartum doula is equipped with the knowledge of what is “normal” and what is “beyond the scope of normal.” If something appears to be beyond the scope of normal, the postpartum doula encourages the client to contact their medical provider and continues to support them as they navigate the issue.
Postpartum Doula’s Tertiary Focus
The postpartum doula’s tertiary focus is on anything that can inhibit the first two. That might include some light housekeeping, some laundry, some meal prep, an errand or anything else that might be causing some unneccessary stress.
How do I get assigned my doulas?
East Raleigh Doula Co. is super intentional about the doulas we have on our team! Every one of our doulas are trained through a certifying body and then receive additional training as an ERDC doula to ensure every one of our clients receives the exact same type of support regardless of who is supporting them.
With that being said, we are not a liaison-type agency where we just randomly assign doulas to clients. We are intentional to match things like location, availability, personal referrals, and most importantly personality! We are intentional to place you with doulas that we believe will match your personality, your birth wishes and will help you have the best experience possible.
How does this work as far as a back-up doula?
East Raleigh Doula Co. was created specifically for this purpose! When you hire us, you actually get two doulas on your team. One of your doulas will be your primary doula and the other will be the designated back-up doula in case of an unexpected situation. And if anything happens where both doulas end up not being available (which is not a common issue), we have an entire team available to rely on to step in and provide support. Both of your doulas will be in a group text chat thread with you to answer questions and give support during pregnancy and/or postpartum and both doulas will be a part of all prenatals.
Are doulas only useful in planning an unmedicated birth?
The presence of a doula can be beneficial no matter what type of birth you are planning. The role of doula is to help support you for whatever type of birth experience you have. If you choose a medicated labor, a planned cesarean, or end up having an emergency cesarean, a doula is able to bring emotional support, educational support, and additional comfort measures. Oftentimes care providers are unable to stay with a family or a situation could arise where the partner must stay with the baby leaving a mother alone and feeling unprepared or uncertain of a situation; this is when a doula would be ideal to comfort and support the mother.
Do you attend home births?
Yes! We will attend hospital, birth center and home births as long as they are accompanied by a licensed midwife (CNM or CPM is acceptable) or a physician.
When will you join me during my labor?
Your doulas will be available via phone or email from the beginning of labor for any questions you or your partner may have. Once you feel that you need more support and the comfort measures we have discussed, your primary doula will join you at your home or chosen birthplace. This will vary from woman to woman. Some women may not need their doula until intense active labor, while others may need the emotional support earlier in labor.
Does a doula actually help?
According to Evidence Based Birth, researchers found that overall, people who have continuous support during childbirth experience a:
25% decrease in the risk of Cesarean; the largest effect was seen with a doula (39% decrease)*
8% increase in the likelihood of a spontaneous vaginal birth; the largest effect was seen with a doula (15% increase)*
10% decrease in the use of any medications for pain relief
Shorter labors by 41 minutes on average
38% decrease in the baby’s risk of a low five minute Apgar score
31% decrease in the risk of being dissatisfied with the birth experience; mothers’ risk of being dissatisfied with the birth experience was reduced with continuous support provided by a doula or someone in their social network (family or friend)
What is a doula?
A doula is a person trained to provide advice, information, emotional support, and physical comfort to a mother before, during, and for some time after childbirth.