Frequently Asked Questions
What is the difference between a Doula and a Midwife ?
A midwife is a medically trained professional. She provides prenatal care and attends your birth. She can listen to and assess your babies wellbeing, check cervical dilation and give medical advice.
A doula provides continuous labour support, she is there to provide physical and emotional support, help with positioning during labour and birth. Your doula will also offer alternative comfort measures. Your doula does not provide medical services.
What kind of training do Doulas receive ?
There are no limits set on who can actually call themselves a doula and practice as one. However, most Doulas (myself included) are certified by a doula training organisation. This usually includes reading several books on pregnancy and childbirth, completing book reports and/or exam. The doula may also attend a training session or childbirth education classes. She must attend training births, usually 3 to 6 before she can be certified. Then she may need to turn in evaluations from the parents, nurses or doctors that were present at the birth.
Is it true that Doula’s just support families who choose a more “natural” approach?
Not at all. Doulas want every woman to have a positive and empowering birth experience. For some women, that means giving birth with as little intervention as possible. For others, labouring without medication is not even a consideration, either for personal or medical reasons.
Doulas are there to support all your choices, whether you want medication or not, or choose to breastfeed or not. Make sure when interviewing a doula that both of your philosophies are similar, or that she will support your choices.
Will a doula push their opinions and philosophies onto their clients?
No. A doula provides their clients with information so they can make informed descisions. Then the doula’s job is to support the choices. A doula does not make decisions for the couple, and she should not provide biased information.
When should I book my Doula?
You should book your doula as soon as you find the one that you want. I have had calls to book me the day that the test came back positive and I've had bookings made 3 days before baby was born! Obviously the sooner you meet and book in with your chosen doula the better, this way you are more likely to secure the doula you want and you have more time during your pregnancy to build a relationship with her.
That being said, it is never too late to hire a doula, as I mentioned I have also been booked 3 days prior to baby being born without any issues, thankfully I was free to support her birth when she needed me. Generally I only book in 2 clients per month, so if you are wanting to enquire about my services, today is the day to do it.
Does a Doula replace my partner?
In no way at all does your doula replace your partner. Your doula is there to assist your partner as well, giving them the space to be as involved as they feel comfortable to do so. A doula is able to hold the space for you both, she also gives your partner the chance to take a break, go to the bathroom, have a bite to eat etc. As your doula at Norwest Doula Services I am there to help enhance your partners birthing experience as well.
I want a Doula but my partner isn't so sure. What should I do?
This is a popular concern and one of the reasons some woman can hesitate in hiring a doula to support them. Some partners can feel uncomfortable and maybe even wary about having someone other than themselves or a close family member to share their birth space. They might feel that a doula will take their place, or that their partner thinks that they aren't "good enough" to support them, this is not the case at all! I encourage all partners to meet with me and ask anything that might be on your mind. More often than not your partner will leave with a better understanding of doulas and how we are their to assist and include them as well.
I'm planning on having a homebirth, is a doula still needed?
This is completely up to you. Your midwife will be with you as you birth your baby and to take care of your birthing needs, she offers you wonderful support as well. A doula during your homebirth can also offer emotional and physical support to you and your partner, she can be that extra pair of hands, provide your partner the break they want, she can support you before your midwife makes her way to your home, or be there and grab those first precious moments on camera for you. A doula is also valuable in providing sibling support for your other children that may be present at your babies birth.
As your doula at Norwest Doula Services it is my priority to do the very best to my ability to help you achieve the birth YOU want to achieve.