Frequently Asked Questions
What duties can’t doulas perform?
Birth Doulas specialize in non-medical skills, and do not perform clinical tasks, or diagnose medical conditions. A birth doula is not hired as a doctor or a midwife and therefore cannot offer medical advice, nor deliver a baby. I make every attempt to fulfill the wishes of a client’s birth plan, however I recognize and respect the authority of the care provider, and will not enter into an adversarial situation with medical staff.
Does a doula make decisions for me?
Doulas do not make decisions for their clients. Their goal is to provide the support and information needed to help the birthing mother have a safe and satisfying birth as the mother defines it. My role is not to speak for you but rather to help you find and nurture your own voice.
Do you as a doula only support natural births?
I support and respect any kind of birth you may choose, or end up having due to circumstances. It is important for me to clarify that any sort of birth life brings your way should take place with the utmost flexibility and positivity. Furthermore – if natural birth is not possible due to necessity or informed choice, we still prepare the body-mind-spirit in the way that best suits the circumstances, underlining positivity, love and acceptance of this amazing process.
Can you attend my birth in a private hospital?
Yes! Absolutely! Doulas are allowed to work in any hospital in WA. It's always a good idea to let your care provider know that you will have a doula present. Most great obstetricians are very supportive of the womans right to have whoever present that they want at their labour, which is usually limited by hospital standards to two support people.
Will having a doula make my partner feel unneeded or over shadowed?
A doula is supportive to both the mother and her partner, and plays a crucial role in helping a partner become involved in the birth to the extent he/she feels comfortable.
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I plan to use medicated pain relief; can I still benefit from having you as a doula?
My role as a doula is to support you and your partner, whether your labor and birth includes medication or other pain coping practices. Your need for support and encouragement continues even with an epidural. I’ve even been a doula for women having elective caesareans.
What if you are unavailable when I go into labour?
I always have a colleague on ‘back up’ – just in case there is some reason I can not attend your birth. I’m a mum myself, and obviously things can come up with my own children or family which means I could not make it – that said, I’ve never had to use my back up, but its always nice to have the security of knowing whatever happens you’ll have a great doula with you.
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