frequently asked questions
There are plenty of misconceptions about what a doula is and what they do.I’ve come up with some of the most frequently asked questions for readers to help lessen the confusion, and help you decide if a doula is right for you and your family!
What is a doula?
Modern day Doula’s are trusted & trained professionals who provide continuous physical, emotional and informational support to a mother before, during and shortly after childbirth to help her achieve the healthiest, most satisfying experience possible (DONA, 2019). There are several types of Doula’s; Birth, Postpartum and Antepartum (bedrest/high-risk pregnancy).
What are the benefits?
Countless scientific trials examining doula care demonstrate remarkably improved physical and psychological outcomes for both mother and baby. Doulas have a positive impact on the well-being of the entire family.
Birth Doulas studies have shown that their support can result in reduced use of pain medications, fewer cesarean birth rates, a decrease in the length of labor, higher breastfeeding rates, higher satisfaction with the birth experience and reduced rates of a perinatal mood & anxiety disorder. Families who have used postpartum doula services often experience an easier transition into their new roles, report high breastfeeding rates, and are at less risk of a perinatal mood & anxiety disorder or receive treatment more quickly.
What is the difference between a doula and a midwife?
Though the two roles are commonly confused for one another, they are different. A doula is a non-medical professional. It is not within the scope of a birth doula to monitor a pregnancy, labor or birth. Doulas are responsible for providing continuous physical, emotional and informational support to the laboring woman and her partner. Midwives (a.k.a rockstars!) are trained medical care professionals with expertise and skills in supporting women to maintain healthy pregnancies and have optimal births and recoveries during the postpartum period.
What are good questions to ask a doula?
When looking to hire a doula, here are some things to consider:
General instincts about having the doula in your home or private space
DONA offers a great Guide to Hiring a Doula for expectant women…check it out!
Who needs postpartum care?
The short answer – everyone! However, the amount of support needed after having a child is unique to each woman and what they perceive as their highest area of needs. Some individuals are completely new the parenthood and want the support of a trained & trusted professional to help guide them those first few days, weeks & months. Others are seasoned parents, who identify that regardless of how many children you have, there is always a need for support when adjusting to new roles and a new “normal”. Many doulas offer free consultations to discuss their services, and how they can directly impact your postpartum.
What areas do you serve?
We serve Grand Rapids and the surround areas up to a 35 mile radius. Providing services outside of that radius may result in mileage compensation.
Does a doula replace my support partner?
Absolutely not! Think of a doula as a birth coach. A doula doesn’t replace anyone, but she is another member of the birth team and supports everyone in their own role. A doula’s presence helps fathers or partners participate at a level they are comfortable with, demonstrates for them how and when to use various comfort measures, and can help provide information. Partners are often grateful to have a doula at the birth as they are someone with more experience allowing the partner to enjoy the birth experience more
Is a doula covered by insurance?
This isn’t a simple yes or no answer. More insurance companies are starting to cover birth doula services; some full coverage, others partial coverage. It is the responsibility of the policy holder to contact their insurance agency to inquire whether a birth doula is covered under their plan (don’t forget a doula may be covered by your HSA or FSA, too!). If they do (yay!), the insurance company should be able to provide you with claim paperwork necessary to file a claim after your birth. I always encourage clients to file a claim regardless of the outcome; it demonstrates a need to the company and hopefully push them to make beneficial changes to policies to cover such services in the future.
Free support & upcoming events
The Grand Rapids area offers a ton of useful resources for expectant, new and established parents. Check back frequently to see what’s happening in the area!
the doula blog
My little corner of the internet to share useful parenting tips, tricks, some greatly needed mommy-humor and anything that can be useful in this wild, crazy and amazing journey we call parenthood!