When Should I Hire A Doula?
The earlier in your pregnancy you arrange for support from a birth doula, the better. Hiring a doula early on in your pregnancy allows you to take full advantage of the support and resources a doula has to offer, and to ensure we will be available during your estimated birthing time. However it’s never too late to add a doula to your birth team.
Partners and Doulas: My partner is worried about how having a doula will affect his/her role during birth:
Partners and Doulas make a great support team for you during birth. Many partners worry that a doula will “take over” their role as your primary support person during your child’s birth. This is not the case at all!
Working as a team, your doula AND your partner work together to help you feel more comfortable and supported during the birth process. While your partner will provide familiar love and support to you with his/her presence, your doula will add to your team by bringing experienced support to the birth. This support helps both you AND your partner feel more confident and at ease.
Having a doula join your partner in this role ensures you will never be alone during birth when someone needs to take a bathroom, meal, or sleep break. Doulas also help support partners during birth… and it is so important for partners to be well supported so they can be alert and active for when the big moment – meeting your baby – arrives. Having an experienced doula who understands and is familiar with the birth process takes the pressure off of your partner and helps the two of you be able to fully enjoy the experience together. Your doulas experience attending births will ensure you both understand what is going on, feel comfortable and confident through the process, and enjoy your birth together as a couple.
I’ve been to a birth where mom had her husband, mom,two sisters and a midwife to support her in addition to me. This couple STILL thought my presence as her doula made a huge difference to her ability to have the natural childbirth she wanted We all worked great together helping this mother have a great birth experience, supported by her partner, her family, and myself as an experienced and professional birth support person and advocate.
I’m using a registered midwife. Do I still need a doula?
Many parents are under the impression that your midwife will stay with you throughout the entirety of your birth, and play the emotionally supportive role a doula would. There are many amazing midwives here in Vancouver, and they certainly provide great support for your birth. However, their ultimate responsibility is as a medical caregiver. They need to be present, alert and at the top of their game during really active birth and pushing, so typically cannot join you during early birthing or focus as much on your comfort as on their clinical duties. Your doula will stay with you for the long haul, from as early as you would like her there until after the birth of your baby. I love being part of early birth onward… that continual support makes so much difference! For more details see: The difference between midwife and doula explained.
Will a doula really make a difference to my birth?
There is scientific research that shows how greatly doulas can affect your birth experience and outcomes. Doula – supported births are statistically shorter, result in fewer medical interventions and are remembered as more positive experiences by the parents. Birth is an extremely powerful process. I can’t emphasize enough the emotional impact the birth experience can potentially have on mom and baby long term. A doula gives you a good start to looking back on your birth as a positive and supported experience.
How Much Does a Doula Cost?
Doula Fees vary quite widely, and there is usually a set fee per birth. In Vancouver, the typical cost of a doula ranges from $700 -$900 (or more. The Doula fee usually includes prenatal visits, presence during birth, and a postpartum follow up visit.
Ask your doula what her cost includes. My services include two birth doula package options to suit your needs and budget.
Contact Jessica Austin, Birth Doula, if you have any other questions about home or hospital doula care in Vancouver.
Call 604-700-4115 to arrange your FREE initial interview.