frequently asked questions
ok, so doula what?
if you are expecting your first tiny human or just plain new to the crazy number of options and resources the twin cities has to offer around birth, you may have had to google the word doula, or heard from a friend what their doula did for them. I'd love to help clarify my role. as a certified birth doula through DONA, I am considered to be "a trained professional who provides continuous physical, emotional and informational support to a mother before, during and shortly after childbirth to help her achieve the healthiest, most satisfying experience possible". it is important to me to form a relationship with each and every family I work with, to get to know your needs and wants, priorities as a parent, and what role you would like me to take in your birth or postpartum time. for more information on the certification process, feel free to visit www.dona.org or ask during our first meeting!
I provide four essential roles: emotional, physical, informational, and advocacy support. caring for you alongside your parenting partner, I am also here as a compass for you both, to guide you on the path that is closest to your ideal birth and parenting goals. along with the information and options we cover in our Modern Parent Village group prenatal meetings, I can also help facilitate communication with the staff to ensure that you ask all the right questions and have everything you need to make as informed decisions as possible regarding your baby’s birth. however, I do not and will not speak for you. this is where my role in advocacy comes in, helping empower you to speak up for your needs, a practice that will serve you well into parenthood. my presence in the birth room is there to quietly honor your strength as a parent, provide physical comfort measures, and suggest ways that you and your partner can work together in labor. I can provide reassurance and perspective to you and your partner, and help with relaxation, massage, birthing positions and techniques that aid in the comfort and confidence of your birthing experience. my role can shift to meet your growing family's needs. for more information on service packages & pricing, refer to the Services tab.
when should we hire a doula?
I have had families call me after the reveal of a positive pregnancy test & after a change in birth plans at 38 weeks. however, I typically recommend doing your search and interview process early on in your pregnancy. calendars can fill fast, so I require a non-refundable retainer fee be paid once you've chosen me as your doula.
before you make any commitments, I like to meet over a warm beverage to see if we're a good fit for one another. this complimentary first meeting is intended to get to know one another, share stories, hopes, and expectations. this birth & parenting stuff is an intimate thing. take your time. shop around. I typically recommend that families interview 3+ doulas before they make a decision.
what happens if you can't attend the birth for any unforeseen circumstances?
I make every effort to be present with each family that hires me. however, should another birth, illness, emergency, or any pre-discussed travel plans arise at the same time as your birth, there will be three of my most trusted doula colleagues with Gather Birth Cooperative available as backup.
what if i'm planning a surgical birth? or if i have an unplanned cesarean?
I have been in attendance to both planned and unplanned surgical births. my core roles as a doula remain all the same - providing continuous support + guidance in the decisions you and your family face throughout your birthing experience - with no judgement, shame, or guilt. no matter the plan or the outcome, it is just as important to honor each and every birth for the life-changing transformation it brings. start the discussion early on with your provider or place of birth what their policy + values are around doula support in the birth room, should a surgical birth be necessary.