Heart to Heart Doula Service Frequently Asked Questions
What is a doula? Doula comes from a Greek word that refers to a handmaiden or favored servant. Today’s doulas are non-medical support for women before, during, and after childbirth. Birth doulas support a mother physically, emotionally, and with information during their pregnancy and throughout their entire labor and delivery. Postpartum doulas help new mothers in their own homes, to ease the adjustment time of a new baby. Overnight doulas take care of the baby overnight while the mother sleeps.
What does a doula do? The answer to this question depends on the client; a doula supports the mother in ways that she needs. Birth doulas may give a mother a massage, explain her options, remind her birth partner of things learned in childbirth class, encourage both partners and much, much more. A postpartum doula may prepare meals for the new mom, hold the baby so the mom can nap or shower, teach the parents to bathe the baby, help with breastfeeding and whatever else is needed in that transitional time.
What is the cost? Our birth doulas range in fees from $600-$750 for a birth depending on experience and certification status. This fee includes at least 3 prenatal visits with your assigned doula, the entire birth and a follow-up visit, as well as an assigned backup doula, birth paperwork, and access to your doula by phone, email and text as needed. We also offer reduced-fee births in special circumstances, contact us for details. The fee for a postpartum doulas is $18/hour for daytime, minimum 15 hours, and $20/hour for overnight services, minimum 16 hours. Additional fees may apply for postpartum services for multiples.
Is a doula like a midwife? Doulas are non-medical personnel and will not perform any medical procedures, unlike a midwife. Your doula is with you and your birth partner constantly at your birth, and will not have any shift changes or labor with other clients at the same time. Midwives, especially ones at birth centers or hospitals, are not always able to “labor sit” with patients, but your doula will stay will you.
If I have a great partner (husband, mother, sister, etc.) coming with me, do I still need a doula? Yes! Doulas love birth partners, especially expectant dads! A doula’s role is to help the mother have the birth she most desires and your loved one is a part of that. Doulas can help partners with suggestions, allow them to take a break if needed (meals, restroom, resting) and help them support the mother while she labors. Doulas have experienced many births and often can answer questions and make suggestions to improve labor. They are also objective and can help inform a mother who needs to make a decision about the course of the labor.
Do you go to my hospital, birth center, or home? Our birth doulas go wherever you are giving birth. We are welcome in all local hospitals and birth centers and often don’t even “count” as a support person. We love going to home births if there is a midwife attending the birth. We do not go to “unattended” births.
Is a postpartum doula like a nanny or babysitter? Postpartum doulas work, at the most, a few days a week, for a few hours each day. Usually, the postpartum doula is not at home alone with the infant, but is working alongside the mother to accomplish what needs to be done. Postpartum doulas may do light housekeeping, run errands and meal preparation as well as infant care and breastfeeding support, but the goal of a postpartum doula is to work herself out of a job; to get the mother to the place she is recovered from giving birth and confident enough in her mothering that she no longer feels she needs the doula.
Should I still take a childbirth/newborn care class? We encourage our clients to take a childbirth class, as well as any other newborn care classes they feel they would like to have. Mothers who haven’t experienced breastfeeding previously may want to consider breastfeeding class as well.
If you have more questions, we’d love to talk to you!
or use the form on our Contact Us page!