Q: What is a full spectrum doula?
A full spectrum doula applies the doula model of care to a variety of reproductive health events, including but not limited to: fertility treatment, miscarriage, abortion, and infant loss. As a survivor of two miscarriages, it is important for me to fill this gap in maternal care, as many women don’t see themselves as inside the scope of a birth or postpartum doula and therefore are left to experience these things alone or with minimal support.
Q: Is a doula the same thing as a midwife?
No. A midwife provides medical care for you during pregnancy, birth, and the immediate postpartum period. Your midwife is responsible for clinical tasks during your labor and birth, though they may also provide emotional and physical support. A doula has no clinical responsibilities and provides physical, emotional, and informational support to expectant families before, during, and after childbirth. A doula and midwife work as a team to make sure your medical, emotional, educational, and physical needs are met.
Q: Does a doula replace my partner?
Absolutely not! My goal is to support both partners physically and emotionally, so they can each be fully present during the birth of their baby. This can look like showing your partner how to do a hip squeeze, helping them understand normal phases of labor, or making sure they get a break so they can show up more fully for you later. I have found that having someone in the room who is more experienced with birth helps your partner to be more calm during labor and enjoy the birth experience more.
Q: What if I need to have a cesarean birth?
A doula is a wonderful asset during a cesarean birth! Your doula can encourage mother- and baby-friendly practices during the birth, like a slower pull and immediate skin-to-skin contact. He/she can also work with you to relieve fears & tension, and remind hospital staff of your preferences during the birth, such as music, lights, etc. Your doula is also available to stay with you if your partner needs to go to the NICU with your baby after your birth.
Q: Do you have a backup doula for my birth?
I will have a backup for all births. A backup doula may stand in for me in cases such as contagious illness, other extenuating circumstances, or during an extended labor. If a backup doula is used, I will be responsible for compensating the backup doula for services rendered. I have many wonderful doulas that I work with, as well as a network of doulas through the Central Texas Doula Association. Your backup doula will be copied on most communications between the two of us. He/she may also attend one of your prenatal visits so that she can get to know you prior to your birth.
Q: Do you have experience with breastfeeding instruction?
I don’t have any formal breastfeeding training, but I have breastfed three children for a total of 6+ years! My first was particularly a struggle, which forced me to learn a lot about latching, different nursing positions, nipple shields, and when pain becomes a problem. I will do my best to get you off on the right start immediately following your birth and at our postpartum visit. However, if there is severe nipple pain or latching issues that are out of my scope of practice, I have a great network of IBCLCs to refer you to!