What is a full-spectrum doula?
Full spectrum doulas provide non-judgemental support and continuity of care for all experiences of pregnancy and family planning choices, providing safe and informed support no matter how you've formed your family. This includes (but is not limited to) couples, single parents, surrogates and intended parents, adoptive parents, and LGBTQ+ identified parents.
What is the doula’s role?
A doula supports whatever role you and your partner would like in your birth, and encourage you and your partner to bring the knowledge and history they have to the birth experience. Doulas provide support for you and your partner through continuous emotional, physical, and informational support.
Emotional support can look like continuous presence, touch, supporting the connection between you and your partner, holding space for your experiences, offering reassurance and cheering you on.
Physical support can look like increasing comfort through breathing techniques, suggestions for positioning, comforting touch and counter pressure.
Informational support can include providing resources during pregnancy and postpartum, discussing and processing options, keeping you and your partner informed during labor, reminding medical staff of preferences, and helping you ask questions to gain the information you need to make informed decisions.
A doula is not a medical professional, so they will not provide clinical care or deliver your baby but will work closely with your Midwife or Doctor who do. They also do not make decisions for you or your baby but can help you ask the questions to make informed decisions.
Is there any evidence to suggest that doulas are effective?
According to research by Evidence Based Birth, providing labor support to birthing people is both risk-free and highly effective and doulas should be viewed by both parents and providers as a valuable, evidence-based member of the birth care team. With continuous support at birth, there is a:
25% decrease in the risk of Cesarean
8% increase in the likelihood of a spontaneous vaginal birth
10% decrease in the use of any medications for pain relief
Shorter labors by 41 minutes
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
According to research by Choices in Childbirth, race has an independent affect on health outcomes, beyond those explained by socioeconomic differences. African American women at every income all experienced three times the risk of maternal mortality as similarly situated white women. Providing access to doula services for women most at risk of poor health outcomes can reduce disparities by improving the health and care of those with the greatest need.
Do you hire a back-up doula? Can I meet them?
A back-up doula is booked for every client. I select the back-up doula after hiring and have gotten to know you a bit. I take into consideration any particular important needs or requirements, and then select a back up doula who I think would be the best match for you. You will receive their contact information which you can use to meet in-person, by phone, or Skype depending on the back-up doula’s availability.
Do you accept insurance?
Doulas are non-clinical support and therefore not covered by insurance. Flexible spending or health savings accounts do sometimes cover doula services. Please check with your FSA/HSA company for more details. I can provide an invoice for services, which is often reimbursed directly to you!
What are your prices?
Rates for services vary depending on your needs and situation, with birth doula packages generally ranging from $400-800. Postpartum packages are $25 per hour with a 6 hour minimum commitment.
It is important to me to financially contribute to black birthworkers so as to uplift their voices and a portion of all service fees go to Ancient Song Doula Services who are working to shift the narrative and address implicit bias and racism within maternal and reproductive health.
How do I hire a doula?
When you're ready to chat more about hiring a doula, please fill out this contact form. I will be in touch about scheduling a free in-person consultation, where we will discuss your birth preferences, answer any questions you might have about doula services, and go over the details of our contract. You can hire me at this consultation or from home within the next few days by signing a contract and paying a nonrefundable 50% deposit to secure your spot on the calendar.