- A Doula Is: To accompany women in labor to help provide a gentle birth experience. Drawing on our knowledge and experience to provide emotional support, physical comfort and, as needed, communication with the staff to make sure that you have the information you need to make informed decisions in labor. We do not speak for you nor do we make decisions for you. We can provide reassurance and perspective to you and your partner, make suggestions for labor progress, and help with relaxation, massage, and positioning and other techniques for comfort. We are independent contractors and self-employed.
- Doulas DO NOT: perform tasks such as blood pressure, fetal heart checks, or vaginal exams. Our role is one of nonintervention and is non-medical. We are there to provide physical comfort, emotional support, and advocacy. Doulas do not make decisions for you. We will help you get the information necessary to make an informed decision. We will also remind you if there is a change in your birth ideals that you have shared with us. We will discuss your concerns with you and suggest options, but you and your partner will speak on your behalf to the clinical staff. We will only act as a liaison between you and the staff if you ask us to do so and when it is appropriate.
- Availability: We will be on call for you 24 hours a day beginning two weeks before your due date (if your due date changes please alert us) – and ending after the birth. This is actually your likely due “month.” You will have our contact numbers. We will inform you of times when we are unavailable for labor support if something were to cause us to have to do so and let you know who is on call for us during this time. If it is during this four-week period, we will provide a back up doula for on-call time at our expense. But, we will do everything possible to stay completely available for this 4-week period of time.
- After your birth: We usually remain with you after your birth until you are comfortable and your family is ready for quiet time together. We can also help with initial breastfeeding, as needed. We are available for telephone contact to answer questions about the birth or your baby and would like to get together with you again to review your birth, see your baby, and get comments from you about our role. It is up to you to schedule this meeting as each family has different needs.