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Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Doula's role?

A doula is a professional support provider who trusts and understands the physiological process of childbirth and respects the psychological and social impact a birth experience has on the whole family. Doulas provide practical, emotional and informational support and have no agenda of their own. They know that everyone will birth and parent in ways that are right for them and that, to be able to make informed choices, expectant parents need access to evidence based information.

5 Common reasons for choosing to have a Doula

1. A doula is a comforter.
A doula is there to support the labouring mother in many different ways; pep talks, massages, labouring positions and relaxation techniques, to name a few. She also makes sure the birth environment is what the mother wants (dim lighting, soft music, and so on). She is experienced and can offer reassurance and guidance during what can be a stressful time.

2. Having a doula often means a decreased rate of interventions during labour.

(I explain more on this under Evidence for Doulas below)
Studies show a decrease in the cesarean rate, the use of forceps, vacuum extraction, and episiotomies. The grounding presence of a doula alone can bring a tremendous amount of relief.

3. A doula can bring peace of mind to dad or birth partner too.

Doulas allow dads and birthing partners to take a step back, to rest and refuel, without any guilt attached. Knowing that their partner is being well-cared for and won't be alone can help the father focus on the momentous occasion of becoming a new parent. Having an extra pair of hands makes a big difference to a mother's or birthing person's comfort and pain levels.

4. Doulas know your birth experience matters.
A doula also acts as an advocate, helping the mother follow her birth plan so she can have her desired birth outcome. She works for the mother, not the hospital or the midwife. She will be with you every step of the way because she's taken the time to really get to know you. The goal of a doula is to help the mother experience a positive and safe birth.

5. A doula can mean a better postpartum experience.
New mothers have significantly less anxiety and don't experience the "baby blues" as severely when they have a doula caring for them after the baby is born. Just having someone to talk to and help those first few days after giving birth can help a new mother in so many ways. Have a look at for all the science. 

What does a Birth Package usually look like?

1.       An initial zoom call/in person chat to get to know each other better – usually an hour or so just chatting about anything and everything. During this session we can look at diaries and schedule your antenatal sessions.
2.       WhatsApp/phone support from as soon as you sign the contract (before and after appointments to make sure you have all the questions/follow-up info you need, but also ad hoc when you have a question or concern you need support with).
3.       2 x 2/3 hour evidence based antenatal sessions to help you prepare for birth and iron out any concerns you have – Zoom or in person as you prefer. 
4.       An electronic copy of antenatal preparation sessions PowerPoint deck. Containing all the information we discussed during your sessions, including links to video’s and evidence based information for you to review again in your own time.
5.       Access to the ‘client only’ area of the Doula Hub website containing many videos and resources to help you through pregnancy, birth and the postnatal period.
6.       Help in creating your birth preferences doc (or docs if you want to have a plan B/C too).
7.       On-call support (24hr) from 10 days before your baby is due until baby arrives. 
8.       In person support throughout the birth, including comfort measures and help in advocating for the birth you want and reminding you of all the things we discussed during the antenatal sessions.
9.       Support through the golden hours and help with feeding and getting you set up and comfortable.
10.   Postnatal visit to check in with your recovery, feeding, bonding etc and see what extra help you might need (usually day 3/4 or 5).
11. WhatsApp support for 6+ weeks postnatally for any questions or concerns you may have

What a Doula doesn't do

Doulas are not medically trained and do not give any kind of advice. They do not:

  • Carry out any midwifery tasks such as vaginal exams or monitoring the baby’s heart tone

  • Diagnose conditions

  • Make decisions on behalf of their clients

  • Pressure or try to convince their clients to do what they consider to be the best thing

  • Take over the partner’s role but instead offers support to them too

  • Leave after a certain number of hours

Are Doulas evidence based?

A Cochrane qualitative evidence synthesis carried out in 2019, which complements a previous Cochrane review published in 2017, explored the effect of continuous support for women during childbirth.  The results of these reviews concluded that if a woman/birthing person has continuous support during childbirth, which means having someone there the whole time, both mothers and babies are statistically more likely to have better outcomes.

Two out of the six outcomes showed the best results when the support was provided by a doula – someone who was not a member of the hospital staff member and who was not part of the woman’s social network.

Well known paediatrician & research Dr. Kennell said “If a doula were a drug, it would be unethical not to use it.”

How does having a Doula affect Birth outcomes?

The Cochrane review found that overall, women or birthing people who have continuous support during childbirth experience a:

  • 39% decrease in the chance of a caesarean birth if the birth partner was a doula

  • 15% increase in the likelihood of a spontaneous vaginal birth if the birth partner was a doula

  • 10% decrease in the use of any pain medication

  • Shorter labours, on average by 41 minutes

  • 38% decrease in the baby’s risk of a low five minute Apgar score

  • 31% decrease in the risk of being dissatisfied with the birth experience; mothers’ risk of being dissatisfied with the birth experience was reduced with continuous support provided by a doula or someone in their social network (family or friend), but not hospital staff.

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