We often get e mails with some really great questions, so, we thought it might be helpful to put a page of answers together for our website visitors. Please review the Q & A below and feel free to contact us with any further questions you may have!
What will the doula exactly do for me and my husband?
Well, whatever you need, really! Everyone gets specialized care specific to their level of need. We generally do 3 prenatals, provide complete labor support until 1-2 hours after your baby is born, and we generally come and see our clients in the hospital for a post-partum visit as well. Everyone is provided with up to date, evidence based information to help them make the best decisions that suit their needs, while providing helpful tips and tricks to keep your body completely primed and ready to have your baby with the least amount of complication. Most of all, we support. We support you and have your back and try to provide you with the birth YOU would like to have - while also helping you come to terms with any interventions that you may end up with.
Will they keep my husband involved and still apart of the process? My biggest fear is that he will feel like he should just stand off in the corner and let me and thedoula do this together.
Absolutely. Our biggest goal is to facilitate the mother/father team aspect (assuming that is what is wanted from both parties). Much of what we do is instinctual - we know when to be wall paper and we know when to get involved. We work with you both prenatally and through the birth experience to help your partner know exactly how to help you. We find that most guys usually just need clear direction. That when they are left to figure out what to do that things can get overwhelming for them. No matter how many childbirth classes you take, it never fully prepares mom or dad for the real thing - and it's very difficult to access the information you learned in the heat of the moment. A doula is there to keep the waters calm while being a solid resource of suggestions and information for both of you. Most dad's end up stating that we doula'd him just as much as we did mama.
When will the doula enter the picture for the delivery...will they just meet us there at the hospital or will they come to our house?
Generally we come into the picture whenever the client feels as though we are needed. Being able to labor at home is beneficial and having a doula with you through that experience can prevent you from going into the hospital too early. We are trained to know the stages of labor and can tell when it is time to go to the hospital or call in the midwife. Also, being able to labor at home with your doula can really help establish a level of ease and trust with one another, creating a real team aspect with your core birth tribe. This really eases the transition and settling into any transfer into the hospital - though - sometimes you just need to hightail it in! Some babies just don't wait.
When is a good time to call the doula?
Usually, moms call as soon as they think something might be going on and we give advice based from where she is at at the time and how quickly/intensely things are progressing. We keep in touch with the mom and/or partner and together decide when would be a good time for the doula(s) to come in.
How does the doula work with my Doctor?
Doctors are usually pretty supportive of doulas and the support they are giving their patient. We never ever step between you and your care provider or your nurse and we do not speak up on your behalf. I go out of my way to make the doctor and nurses feel as though they are a part of a team that is doing something very beautiful.
Wil you advocate for me if I need it?
Doulas do not speak up FOR you, they empower and encourage you to speak up for yourself. We will very likely have to work with the doctor/midwife/nurses again and can not afford to create a reputation for being bossy on behalf of anyone. We discuss prenatally what you do and do not want, then, if something comes up in the moment a doula will often check in with you to make sure that you are OK with the change in plan which is being suggested. This gives you and your partner the opportunity to speak up for yourselves in the moment rather than wonder why that happened or how things might have gone had that not happened.
We're there to observe and keep a level head so you and your partner can be free to be in the moment without needing to be on guard for these things. Ultimately, however, if you feel as though your care provider would deviate from your plans and do something you would not approve, you may want to consider getting a different care provider.
How many clients do you take on in a month?
Currently we accept up to 4 clients in a month and have each other as back-ups in case there is ever an overlap. This hasn't ever been a problem for us in the past, however.
How early do you usually start to meet with clients relative to their due date?
This depends on the needs of the family because everyone gets individualized care. We work with women with everything from menstruation, pre and conscious conception on through pregnancy, labor and postpartum. We're basically ready to go whenever the mama is, however the second and final prenatal is usually in the last two months of the pregnancy.
What is the cost and value of a doula and what does this all include?
The birth of your baby and you as a parent is a pretty big deal! Getting a doula is unquestionably a invaluable investment to aid you on your journey through it. If a woman desires the presence of a doula at all she should definitely not allow circumstance to hold her back. Money comes and goes, but, the birth of our baby is something we look back on for the rest of our lives. It can be as healing, empowering and special as we open up to and allow it to be, regardless of the actual outcome. Because, ultimately, when a woman is able to give birth feeling respected, supported and honored, that in itself is empowering.
Having a bEARTH doula is like having your own personal assistant who knows what you want, knows pregnancy and birth and knows the scenarios and interventions you might find yourself in at home or the hospital. They are experts with only your best interest in mind. There is no way to place a value on the benefit of a good doula.
Currently there is a $150. non-refundable deposit which reserves your doula for your estimated due date and is due by the first prenatal. We have put together different priced packages to suit the needs of people at all income levels. These packages include all of your care during your pregnancy, labor and postpartum and many include bonus goods and services as well. For specifics on this, please e mail us directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We also work on a sliding scale for families who are struggling where everything is paid for a la carte with payment plans available.
Are you certified an organization? What do you have to do to be certified by your organization?
Juliea Paige, founder of Crowning Lotus Doula Services is currently certified through DONA, one of the most respected doula training organizations in the world. To know what is needed to become certified, check out the DONA website to see our full requirements here: http://www.dona.org/develop/birth_cert.php
Certification is a process that we believe is not necessarily indicative of a "qualified" or "good" doula. Juliea Paige began a training program because she feels passionate about doulas benefitting from being trained hands on by another doula. All of thedoula apprentices who work with Crowning Lotus in the training program do all and more of what required through most doula training programs. Once their apprenticeship is complete they work as independant contractors as "bEARTH Doulas" - a term coined by Juliea to encompass the philosophy that "how we birth heals the earth". That birth can be healing, empowering and sacred and can be the building blocks of the most important role of a womans life - the role of motherhood. Babies born into an environment such as this are more likely to be more peaceful, loving individuals because that is how they were born and cared for.
How does an apprentice work with you and clients?
Clients are given the option to participate in the apprenticeship program or not, and whatever is right for the client is also right for us. If a couple does decide to allow an apprentice to attend, they are paired with someone and she shadows and participates in all prenatal appointments and communication and attends the birth and postpartum visits as well. The apprentices level of involvement depends on where she is at in her apprenticeship. In the beginning, they strictly shadow. After that they work with their trainor as a partner and at the end of their training thedoula shadows the apprentice to witness her skills and readiness to move to the next step which is to become a full fledged "Crowning Lotus bEARTH doula"!
What labor coping techniques you are trained in?
ALL Crowning Lotus Doulas are certified Reiki Masters, which can be invaluable in pregnancy and birth (if you are not sure what Reiki is, check out our Reiki page for more details). We also work with massage, acupressure, aromatherapy, Crystal/Gemstone therapy, herbalism & guided meditation.
My husband and I have not taken any birthing classes, and don't plan to do so because of our working schedules, etc. Can a doula help us prepare for the birth of our baby?
Yes! A good doula will cover all of the things that a good childbirth class would - and sometimes more. That's not to say that it isn't a good thing to take if you have the time and resources - there are many great birthing techniques out there that can be quite valuable. However, a lot of people spend a lot of time and money on classes and other stuff and still have a hard time accessing the information when it's truly needed because they are overwhelmed, tired and often at their wits end. One of the bonuses of working with a doula is that you will be given all of this information and then not necessarily HAVE to remember it because she is right there with you. It's like having the class instructor and all of her knowledge at your disposal through your entire experience.
Got more questions?? Feel free to contact us!
616.633.5787 - email@example.com