Frequently Asked Questions about Doulas

What exactly is a Doula?

A Doula is a professionally trained labor assistant.  During your pregnancy I provide you with emotional and informational support.  During labor and birth the support is in physical comfort measures and helping you and your partner emotionally.  Once your baby arrives I will help you with bonding and breastfeeding if that is your desire.  My goal it to help the entire family transition smoothly through pregnancy, birth and new motherhood.

Is a Doula the same thing as a Midwife?

No, a Doula and a Midwife are not the same.  A Midwife’s main priority at your birth is to make sure that mom and baby are healthy. She is there to help deliver the baby and provide any medical care that you or your baby might need.  Midwives are also trained to provide support but that is not the main priority.  A Doula’s main priority is to make sure that you and your partner’s needs are met.  I can offer physical comfort measures and emotional support.  My main focus is to help  you in the ways that you need throughout your entire experience.  As a Doula, I do not offer medical care.

Why do I need a doula if my husband/partner will be with me? Isn’t that why they are there?

Your husband or partner is a very important part of your birth experience.  If your husband/partner wants to be hands on I can show them exactly how to help.  If your husband/partner does not remember everything from your childbirth classes I can help explain things to them.  Doulas and your husband/partner make a great team because Doulas know birth and your partner knows you.  That is a winning combination!

What kind of support does a Doula offer my husband or partner?

Your husband or partner needs support too!  Labor and birth can be very overwhelming to watch.  Your partner might need to take a break to use the restroom or even just get out of the room to take a walk or grab something to eat.  Your husband/partner can do this without feeling guilty because you will not be left alone.  I can provide your husband/partner with gentle reminders of how they can best help you so they don’t have to remember everything on their own.

Won’t my nurse do the same things as a Doula?

Nurses are a wonderful part of your team.  They often will support you the best way that they can.  The problem is that your nurse is also busy caring for other patients at the same time.  Her shift will come to an end and she will go home even if your baby has not yet been born.  She is there to monitor things and keep your doctor informed of how things are progressing.  As your Doula, I will stay with you until after the birth and you and your new baby are settled and doing well.  

I’m planning on an epidural. Do you still support that type of birth?

Absolutely!  I am there to support whatever you decide is your ideal birth.  Moms that choose to have an epidural still need emotional support.  I can also be there to help you change positions to keep your labor progressing and provide support when it is time to start pushing.  I am also there to help with bonding and breastfeeding during the golden hour.

I am planning on a cesarean birth. Can a Doula help with that too?

If you are planning a cesarean birth I can still be your Doula.  A cesarean birth requires emotional support just the same as a vaginal birth.  I can help you to prepare for the day and answer your questions.  With permission from your medical providers I may even be able to accompany you and your partner into the OR.  If I can not be in the OR with you, I can join you soon after while your partner heads to the nursery with the baby.  Breastfeeding can be a challenge after a cesarean birth so I will be able to show you some ways to do that more comfortably.  

Where are you located?

Butterfly Birth Services is located in Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania.  My service area includes Schuylkill, Columbia, Montour, Northumberland, Luzerne and Dauphin Counties.  If you are unsure about being in my service area please contact me.

Butterfly Birth Services will attend home, birth center and hospital births in the following counties: Schuylkill, Columbia, Montour, Northumberland, Luzerne and Dauphin. Service area includes but is not limited to, Pottsville, Danville, Bloomsburg, Lewisburg,  Hazelton, Wilkes Barre, Hershey and Harrisburg Pennsylvania.   Please contact me if you are unsure about the service area.

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