Doulas are amazing people! Doulas provide physical, emotional and educational support before, during and after childbirth. (or anytime a family is growing...surrogacy, foster parenting and adoption included)
Fort Worth Doulas are working hard to dispel myths surrounding doula support and strive to provide only non-judgmental support. Traditionally doulas were trained to only support natural births but we think that every family should have unconditional support no matter what kind of birth or postpartum experience they desire to have.
What if I I know I want an epidural?
You will still benefit in every way from hiring a doula. Doulas simply help to decrease UNWANTED interventions. We help you achieve YOUR goals no matter what those are. We want to help you have the best birth you can have. I will help you know when the best time to get your epidural is, so you get the greatest benefit with the least risk. We will help to position your body after you get your epidural so that your baby can rotate and descend, and help you achieve your own personal goals.
What if I already know a lot about birth and anatomy?
Giving birth has very little to do with what you know. No matter how you give birth, you need to be able to disengage from conscious thought. you should not have to 'think' about how to give birth as you are doing it. Building at team around you who knows your desires and how to facilitate them will allow you complete freedom and a feeling of safety. You will give birth in a protected and loving space. The mental, physical, and emotional benefits of a doula statistically make a huge difference in birth outcome and satisfaction. Even doulas hire doulas...it's not about what you know.
We have personally served Surgeons, Doctors (including OBs), Physician's assistants, Nurse practitioners, Chiropractors, Chiropractor's wives, nurses, physical therapists, and other medical and childbirth professionals. We all benefit from a doula.
Does a doula replace my partner?
No doula should EVER make a partner feel replaced or displaced. We make it our personal goal to support the laboring mother AND her partner. We see the birthing couple as a unit. Our job is to make the experience better for BOTH of you. A good doula will help facilitate positive and productive interactions between mom and partner in a way that frees them both to just be in the moment rather than having to think about the next move. Having a doula allows the partner to be whatever kind of support they want to be. Birth is an endurance sport and it takes more than one person to truly support a laboring mother. It takes a team.
While a doula doesn't replace a partner, a partner also doesn't replace a doula. Doulas are professionals. We have experience in birth and recognize things that even the most educated partner will not. It takes a certain amount of 'on the job' experience to recognize the different needs of a laboring woman. Partners are not going to be able to utilize a hospital bed in the same way as an experienced doula or know when the appropriate time to do different techniques and positions that could make the difference between minutes, hours, or days of labor or even possibly prevent a cesarean section. Professional doulas will support and educate in an emergency and help keep those who are emotionally invested in the outcome of the birth informed and calm through any unexpected events. A doula will know when to keep going and help mom 'tough it out' and when she may truly need to utilize an intervention to achieve relaxation because everything else has been done.
What if I have a really supportive midwife or OB?
Even if you are having a homebirth or birth center birth, doulas are beneficial. We still provide the same benefits. We have every tool at our disposal, freedom of movement/mobility, access to food and water. Freedom to go outside. We can help with clean up/laundry/cooking. If necessary, we can come to your home prior to your midwife to help establish that you are in active labor. A midwife's first priority is the health of you and your baby. If medical care is necessary, she must focus on that. In the event that you need to transport to a hospital during labor, we will stay with you for the duration and help you to achieve your goals even when priorities change. You will still have the best possible birth given the circumstances.
Most people don't realize that they will spend an average of 10-20 minutes with their OB. Normally, the OB delivers the baby then the placenta, repairs the perineum then disappears. Your OB will not be giving you 'hands on' support. A supportive OB will encourage you to get a professional doula.
What does ACOG and the Society for Maternal Fetal Medicine say about doulas?
Continuous labor support, including support provided by doulas, is one of the most effective ways to decrease the cesarean rate. AND that this resource is probably underutilized.
ACOG and SMFM say MORE women need doulas!! It is incredibly effective with no risk!! Doulas are here to help you, we are here to help your doctor, nurses, midwives, partners and EVERYBODY who will be involved in your birth. Doctors who work with professional doulas, LOVE us!! And we love them!! http://www.scienceandsensibility.org/?p=7958
What if I have a c/section?
We will help you have the best cesarean you can have. We will help you to be prepared and know what to expect. We have professional experience with not only vaginal birth but also cesarean sections. Undergoing surgery can cause anxiety and fear as much or more than a vaginal birth. Having non-judgmental support is crucial. In the event of a planned cesarean, We will stay longer postpartum to help with breastfeeding and recovery since extra support will be needed. You may also consider securing a postpartum doula since statistically a longer recovery can be expected. We will never leave in the event that a planned vaginal birth becomes a cesarean birth. Every birth is meaningful and deserves loving support.
What if I have no idea how I want to give birth?
We will help you to clarify your thoughts and feelings and figure out what you DO want. We offer consulting services to help you find a provider who is practicing in a way you feel comfortable and at ease. We can help you to utilize your options and stay flexible. We will provide non-judgemental support so you can make decisions that seem right for you at the time. We will help you to be confident.
Should I still take a birth class if I hire a doula?
YES!!! A doula should not be your sole source of education. A doula is there to support you and should not carry her own agenda to your birth. Take the birth class that give you the tools to make decisions, then let the doula support you in those. Many doulas teach classes as well as offer doula services, but it is a very different role and no one should skimp on preparation just because they have a doula. Hiring a doula does not equate a comprehensive childbirth class.
Is there anyone who doesn't benefit from hiring a doula?
Anyone who is pregnant and wants to minimize pain and anxiety, have fewer unwanted interventions and feel supported should hire a doula. Period.
Can my friend act as my doula?
A friend can provide emotional support, maybe even some physical support in a similar way to your partner, sister or mother. However, a friend (even one who has had her own birth(s)) is NOT a professional doula and will not be able to provide the same kind of support as a doula can. Every birth is different and cannot be predicted. It takes training, experience, continuing education and a great understanding of the dynamics of labor and delivery to provide services in the capacity that I do. Someone who is emotionally invested in your birth may actually have a negative impact if something unexpected happens. If they have any fears of their own, they can unintentionally project onto the laboring mother. Friends are great, support is a beautiful thing, but an experienced doula is the only person who can replace an experienced doula.
What if I can't afford a doula?
Hiring a doula is an investment in your birth. Birth is an intimate process and care should be taken with who gets invited into that space.
We are happy to arrange custom payment plans and collect a very reasonable deposit for services. We also offer a variety of payment options including PayPal and credit cards.