What is your specialty?
Due to my experience working as a medical social worker I have specialized in high-risk pregnancies. A lot of my clients are considered high risk for either mental health reasons (depression, anxiety, and trauma), or physical reasons including advanced maternal age and complications. While I accept a lot of high risk clients, I also work with with low-risk women as well.
Do you have a backup doula?
Absolutely! A backup doula is primarily used for birth support, and it is a guarantee that a doula will be there to support you during your birth. While I strive to attend each and every birth, sometimes emergencies do arise; I will call in a backup if the birth support goes beyond 12 hours as it is important to have fresh support with you.
What payment methods can I use? When is payment due?
I accept cash, check, and venmo. For antepartum and postartum services, a 10 hour minimum is due when you decide to work with me. For birth support, a $50 deposit is due when you sign your contract, at least another $50 is due during the first prenatal visit, and payment is due in full by the second prenatal visit or 37 weeks.
Which tools and techniques are you familiar with?
If doulas are known for one thing it is their bag of tricks. I am familiar with rebozo, counter pressure, acupressure, relaxation skills, birth ball and stools, meditation, creation of the birth plan, and I have handouts related to induction methods, and birth positions. As a fully licensed social worker I also specialize in mental health.
If I am having a cesarean section can I still have a doula?
Yes! Whether the cesarean is planned or comes last minute, there are many ways a doula can provide support including education and help formulating a birth plan, support leading up to the c-section in the hospital, while the baby is in the nursery the doula can stay with the mother and be a liaison between mother and hospital staff. Recovery after a cesarean section is different from a vaginal birth and can require more assistance during which the doula can provide physical and emotional support.
Does a doula replace my husband or partner?
Not at all. A doula is there to educate, coach, and support both the mother and the partner. In antepartum and postpartum care, the doula provides physical and practical support such as cleaning, bathing, and newborn care which gives more time for bonding and rest with the mother and partner. During birth support, the doula will teach comfort measures that the father can do. Honestly, the more hands the better! When everything is said and done, the doula's goal is to help the couple have their ideal birth experience, not to overshadow the role of the family.
When should I hire my doula?
*Antepartum: Should be hired as soon as you feel that extra support during pregnancy is needed. Often this comes when physical complications for the mother or baby arise, or when emotional struggles come up and the need for additional support is identified.
*Birth Support: A birth doula can be hired at anytime during a pregnancy, however, the earlier in the pregnancy you connect with your doula the more time there is for the relationship between doula and client/partner to develop.
*Postpartum: Many women who want a postpartum doula hire her before their baby is born. This gives the doula and mother time to get to know one another and determine what type of support is needed. However, a postpartum doula can be hired even after the baby arrives.