Q: What is a Doula?
A: A Doula is a trained professional who provides physical, emotional and educational support to a new mother and her family during pregnancy, labour and into the postpartum period. The word “doula” (pronounced DOO-la) is a Greek word meaning “woman servant or caregiver.” A doula believes in mothering the mother, enabling a woman to have the most satisfying childbirth experience that she can.
Q: Do I have to book a consultation?
A: Booking a consultation is the first step toward hiring a Doula. There is absolutely no obligation as the purpose of the consultation is to clearly review your wants and wishes with what we at Family First Doula Service do and how we can help you to achieve them. More importantly, we are also able to better assess your family’s specific needs and put together an individualized birth support team that works best for you.
Q: What makes a positive birth experience?
A: Studies show that the underlying reason for a woman’s positive outlook when it comes to her birth experience is the ability to control her body during labour and influence the environment in which she labours and gives birth. Ultimately, when a woman has been listened to and her birth wishes have been respected, she will tend to walk away from the experience feeling empowered and ready to shift into her new role as mother.
Q: Does a Doula perform vaginal exams or other medical procedures?
A: A Doula does NOT provide any medical advice or perform any medical procedures at any time. A Doula assists in gaining information about client’s care provider’s recommendations.
Q: What are the benefits of the Doula?
A: One of the biggest benefits of a Doula is the fact that she is a professional birth/postpartum support person. She has been trained in the art of birth support and educated in the care of the newborn, as well as the recovery of the postpartum mother.
A Doula has a keen eye for what a labouring or new mother needs, is able to remain calm and focused even if things go slightly off the intended birth plan, or if problems arise during the initial postpartum period. A Doula also guides and encourages the father or partner as they go through the birth experience and becomes a new parent.
Q: What is the Positive Impact of Hiring a Postpartum Doula?
- 22% increased rates of breastfeeding at six weeks postpartum
- 15% higher self-esteem
- 12% reduction in anxiety
- 13% reduction in Postpartum Depression at six weeks postpartum.
- A reduction in the risk factors of Postpartum Depression, which affects approximately 10 to 20% of all new mothers. Using a Postpartum Doula is a very effective way to reduce your risk factors from developing PPD by having care within the home for the first six weeks.
Q: Why should I hire a Doula if my husband or partner will be present?
A: Choosing to have a Doula attend your birth is a fantastic way to help your partner help you! We believe the role of the father or partner is an important one and never want to try and replace this special relationship. Even when a father or partner has been really active in reading books and taking classes, birth can be quite intense at times. Watching your wife or partner in labour can bring up unexpected emotions that draw focus away from the labouring mother’s needs. This can also make it difficult to remember every variation of the coping tools they had previously learned. Doulas are a source of consistent, calming energy and can seamlessly make suggestions such as positional changes to change gears whenever needed. Our goal is to help take the pressure off your spouse or partner so they can enjoy the experience while also having access to helpful hints and advice.
Q: Can I still have a Doula if I want an epidural?
A: Yes! Expectant mothers ask us that question all the time. We support ANY choice you make when it comes to the birth of your new baby. Our goal is to help educate you during our prenatal time together so that you are fully aware of what that decision may mean in the long run. Ultimately, we would love to help you in making informed decisions so that you don’t look back and ask, “If I had known that, would I have made the same decision?” There is always a time and a place for everything and plans do change. We are always here to support your Plan A and your Plan B! The more information you have, the more options are available to you.
Q: Can a Doula speak on my behalf?
A: No. A Doula cannot speak on your behalf. A Doula is there to help you gather all the information you need during the prenatal period so you are well prepared during your labour and birth. If an unexpected situation comes up during labour, a Doula is there to help create the space you need to ask more about the benefits and the risks of any suggested procedure.
Q: What are the five basic needs of a new mother?
- 1. Rest so she can heal
- 2. Gentle education and guidance as she becomes more confident in her new role as mother.
- 3. Nourishing food and drink to ensure proper nutrition and that her energy levels remain high.
- 4. Relief of practical household chores so she can focus solely on herself and bonding with her newborn.
- 5. A safe place to debrief and begin to process the birth experience itself.
Q: What is the difference between a Postpartum Doula and a Baby Nurse?
A: A Postpartum Doula is someone who is there to support the entire family unit during the early postpartum weeks. Our goal is to provide gentle education and guidance as parents become more familiar with newborn care so they can build confidence in their new skills. A baby nurse is someone who is specifically hired to care for the newborn and tends to take over the care of the new baby as the mom heals and rests.
Q: Is a postpartum Doula only for women with PPD/Anxiety?
A: No. Hiring a Postpartum Doula is a great option for all women to relieve themselves of practical household chores during those early weeks, enabling them to focus on processing their birth, learning to breastfeed and bonding with their new baby. Having a Postpartum Doula in the home to help with other siblings is another way to provide a gentle cushion as the family unit adjusts to its brand new member. This service is also a practical and effective way to reduce risk factors for PPD/Anxiety.
Q: How does a Postpartum Doula help with women struggling PPD/ANXIETY?
A: A Postpartum Doula is very helpful when a new mother finds herself in the heat of PPD/ANXIETY. We are able to come in to the home and care for the mother by relieving her of the day-to-day stresses of having a newborn. We provide a safe and gentle place to debrief and help review her options within our community when it comes to treatment. When a mother is struggling, it’s very important that she gets the space and time to care for herself whether it’s alone time, exercise or the much needed sleep she needs to regain perspective so she can begin healing and regaining her strength.
Q: Does Placenta Encapsulation offer guaranteed results?
A: Ingesting placenta capsules does not guarantee any specific results, as every woman is different. That said, many women find this to be very beneficial to their postpartum recovery. Science is showing positive findings in support of using the placenta to help with increased milk production, replenishment of maternal iron and balancing hormones. This is a practical tool to help to reduce risk factors for PPD, increase energy and speed the postpartum healing period. Results vary. For more information, please visit Placenta Network or Placenta Benefits.
Q: What safety and cleaning procedures do you follow during the Placenta Encapsulation process?
Safety is something that is very important to us and we hold very high standards when it comes to processing and cleaning our equipment. First, we carefully review with all of our clients how to properly store their placenta during their hospital stay, as this is the client’s responsibility not that of the hospital. We follow strict food safety guidelines and are certified in OSHA Blood Borne Safety for storing, cleaning and sanitizing our equipment.