Frequently Asked Questions
1. With a Dr./Midwife and nurses present, why would I need a Doula?
While the medical staff do a great job of looking after the medical needs of you and your birthing babe, the reality is that they have many competing priorities for your other needs. Between other patients, breaks, shift changes, policies and clinical responsibilities, the demands are high. Besides your partner, I may be the only person present who is there solely for your emotional well-being and physical comfort. I have few or no other priorities and provide continuous support until after baby arrives and you are comfortably settled.
2. Will you “take over” or replace my partner?
First of all, I’m not the “take over type” and I have no desire to interfere with the connection between you, especially at one of the most significant events in your relationship! By being sensitive and making sure that both of your needs are met, I can actually help you work more closely together. I would love for your partner to participate at whatever level he is comfortable. Whether he wants to play an active role and be the primary source of emotional and physical support, or whether he would prefer to share the experience as more of a witness and not feel all the responsibility for your comfort and security, I can supplement his efforts or play a more primary role. If things get tiring we can spell each other off. While it’s possible that I know more about the birthing process, he knows more about YOU! When we work together as a team, we all participate in giving you and baby the best chance of an optimal outcome.
3. Do you have a belief or agenda about how birth should go and will you impose it on us?
My role is to inform you of all the options, the risks and benefits of different options, and present you with as much knowledge possible so that you can make the best choices for you and your family. My goal is to see you achieve your goals! You make the decisions and I support you in whatever way I can. If you’re happy, I’m happy! If something unplanned arises and things go differently than you had desired, my objective is to help you process that challenge so that when it’s all over, you can be at peace knowing you did your best.
4. How important is “emotional support” during labour and birth? Does it really matter?
If you’re asking this question, it’s possible (probable!) that you’ve never had a baby! *wink* Labour and birth is intense and is one of the most physically and emotionally demanding things you will ever experience. Studies repeatedly show the connection between the emotional state of the mom and the progress of the labour, as well as her feelings of satisfaction or disappointment after. Renowned Doula, author, and founder of DONA International, Penny Simkin, did her own informal study on maternity clients she had assisted in birth 15 - 20 years previous. When asked to relay their birth stories, she was amazed to find that the stories they shared matched the accounts recorded at the time and that they recalled with great detail their experience, as well as the emotions surrounding the birth - positive or negative! How you experience your birth emotionally will impact you for life, as well as your immediate launch into motherhood. You need and deserve the best emotional support possible.