Frequently asked questions
What is a doula?
The word "doula" comes from the ancient Greek meaning "a woman who serves" and is now used to refer to a trained and experienced professional who provides continous physical emotional and informational support to the family before, during and just after birth. While your doctor or midwife must focus on the clinical aspects of your prenatal care and delivery, a doula’s focus is on your educational, emotional, and physical needs. A doula will develop a relationship with you during the pregnancy and their constant presence during the entire labor and birth gives the expecting family a sense of security and reassurance that greatly enhances their birthing experience.
So what exactly does a Doula do?
A doula provides valuable information to families as they make choices for the pregnancy and birth. They refer you to childbirth education classes that will assist you in meeting your goals, assists in developing and writing your birth plan, provides current research articles, and helps you to find resources that will answer any questions that come up.
A doula is well trained in a variety of physical comfort techniques that are helpful during pregnancy, labor, and birth. These may include the use of massage, aromatherapy, position changes, water labor, and helping to keep you hydrated and comfortable.
A doula listens to your needs and affirms your decisions. In our culture of negativity and fear, a doula will offer encouragement and remind you how capable you are of accomplishing your goals in pregnancy and birth.
In addition a doula may also: provide support in your home during labor, travel with you to the hospital to provide continual support and help ease the transition from home to hospital, decrease the length of labor, provide information during pregnancy or labor so you can make informed decisions, partner together with medical staff to create a safe, peaceful and empowering environment in your birthing room, help with the initial breastfeeding relationship.
Does a doula replace my partner?
A doula never replaces the partner. A doula encourages and supports the role of the partner during the pregnancy and birth.
I know I want medication. Can I use a doula?
A doula works for you and supports whatever your birth plan may be. Pain management techniques such as an epidural, are not typically used till an active labor pattern has been established. This can take time. A doula is with you and helping you through early stages of labor. Epidurals don't take away all the discomfort and can sometimes cause side effects. A doula can help with any pain or discomfort you are still feeling.
How about an induction?
An induction can sometimes present more powerful and intense contractions, so having a doula may be even more important for supporting you with massage, breathing, relaxation, movement, positioning, etc.
Aren't doulas just for homebirths?
Flagstaff Doulas supports families in their choices of where to give birth. We love supporting families in all environments, whether it is hospital, home, or birth center, as long as a credentialed clinical care provider is present.
Is there anythig a Doula won’t do?
Doula are NOT doctors or midwives and do NOT provide clinical care - i.e. vital signs, blood draws, vaginal exams, etc.
We will NOT hinder your doctor or medical staff from providing you with proper medical care.
We do NOT make decisions for you.
We do NOT diagnose, treat or prescribe treatment
Does insurance cover doula services?
Insurance companies are just starting to realize the value of doulas. People who employ doulas have generally lower medical costs. Some families have been able to be reimbursed through insurance or use their flexible spending accounts to cover the cost. Ask your individual insurance company.
What if I can't afford a doula?
There are many options if you would like doula support but feel like you are unable to afford our fees. One option is to pay for doula services using a employer Health Savings Account or Flexible Spending account. We also offer payment plans and are open to bartering. Another option is that we offer gift certificates, so you can add doula services to your baby registry. With these options if you feel like you are still unable to afford a doula, you may qualify for free or reduced services. Fill out the form below and we will get in touch with you soon.
“If a doula were a drug, it would be unethical not to use it.” — Dr. John Kennell