Doula / Labor Support FAQ - Kristina Duncan

Doula Services FAQ.

What is a doula?

A doula is a labor support professional whose main role is to provide physical, emotional, and informational support to a laboring woman and her partner. Doulas ARE very knowledgeable about the birth process and about techniques to help labor progress and manage pain. Doulas ARE NOT midwives, doctors, or nurses, and cannot take the place of a medical professional, make medical diagnoses, or make medical decisions for you. I see my role as the doula as providing support to a laboring mother so that she can achieve the birth experience that she desires. My role is also to support the laboring mother’s partner in having a more active and supportive role in the birth. As a doula, I don’t take the place of the partner, but help the partner find more ways to be involved with the birth. I also see part of my role as making sure you and your partner have all of the information you need in order to make informed decisions about your care during the labor and birth.

Why should I consider having a doula support me at my birth?

Multiple clinical studies have found that the presence of a doula at birth:

-tends to result in shorter labors with fewer complications

-reduces negative feelings about one’s childbirth experience

-reduces the need for pitocin (a labor-inducing drug), forceps or vacuum extraction

-reduces the requests for pain medication and epidurals reduces the incidence of cesareans

What if I get an epidural?

You can still benefit from doula support at your labor and delivery if you chose to have an epidural. I can assist you with positioning and remaining active in your labor (if possible), give you and your partner informational and emotional support, and give you suggestions and encouragement during the pushing stage.

What if I have a C-Section?

I will remain with you if a c-section is necessary, as long as the hospital allows this. I will continue to be there after your birth to assist with bonding and breastfeeding.

When do you join me in labor?

You should contact me when you think you are in labor and keep me posted throughout early labor. I will come to you whenever you need me or when active labor begins. I can meet you at your home or at the location for your birth. ​

Do you have a maximum time limit you will spend with us during the labor?

I will stay with you beginning in active labor through the birth and bonding period. After 12 hours, I may call in my back up doula so that I can rest a little and check in on my family.        

What if you are unable to make it to the birth?

I will make every attempt to avoid over scheduling, but there is always the possibility of a family/medical emergency that may prevent me from making it to your birth. I always provide a back up doula, who you will be able to meet ahead of time. I also have emergency back up doulas to call as back up for the back up doula! If I am unable to make it to your birth due to a family or medical emergency on my end, you will receive a full refund minus the non-refundable deposit (which covers any prenatal meetings and birth plan consulting completed ahead of the birth). If I am unable to make it to your birth because you did not inform me in time, or because of circumstances out of anyone's control (exceptionally fast birth, adverse weather events, etc), I can’t give you a refund but will still come for bonding and breastfeeding support at your birthplace  if possible and will provide additional postpartum visits.

What is covered in the prenatal meetings and postpartum visit?

During the prenatal meetings, we will discuss any questions you have about your birth preferences, look over your birth plan, and review relaxation and pain management techniques that you and your partner can practice at home to prepare for the birth. During the postpartum visit, we will check in about your healing progress, breastfeeding, baby care questions, and review your birth story. I can also do light household chores while I’m there or cook you some food!

You offer a Doula With a Camera  package. How is this different from a regular labor support package or a Birth Stories photography package?

A labor support with birth photography package offers the same features as the regular labor support package. The difference is that I will need to take breaks from giving hands-on support to the laboring mom in order to photograph the birth. I will still be able to offer verbal support and suggestions while I am photographing the birth. You will need to decide whether you prefer physical support during the pushing phase and bonding period or photography of the birth and bonding phase. A full birth photography package offers full coverage of the labor and birth, without any labor support component. When photographing a birth, I try to not interfere with the process in anyway. A Birth Stories photography package comes with more images of the birth than the Doula With A Camera package.

What forms of payment do you accept?

I currently accept cash, check, or credit card. I offer interest free payment plans and sliding scale for couples in need. Please ask at your consultation appointment.

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