women labored and birthed at home with a midwife and other women in their
community. Although not known as doulas at the time, these women were continuous
labor support and the idea behind doulas.
Doula is Greek, meaning a woman who serves. Today it means a woman who is trained to assist another woman during
childbirth and who may provide support to the family after the baby is born.
have shorter easier labours, less complications, reduced risk of caesarian
section, and breast feed their babies more easily. Doulas provide continuous
emotional, physical and spiritual support. There is a wide range of options for
women in pregnancy and child birth; Doula’s strive to inform women of all their
options, so they can make informed choices about their bodies and their babies
during pregnancy and labour.
labour and up to two hours after, and one postpartum appointment. Some doula’s offer more
support to the family; for example, I offer two postpartum visits to high risk,
or first time families. I also offer to stay on 24 hours for two weeks after
the baby is born, so I can support breast feeding. There are various skills and services that
doula’s can offer on top of this, such as use of a TENS machine, birth pools, placenta
encapsulation, photography, massage, acupuncture, acupressure, prenatal
education and much more.
important that you know what it is you want out of your birth and your labour
support and find a doula that best supports your desires and you click with.
Interview until you find the perfect one, there is no rule that says you have
to choose right away. Doulas also have
our hands in many resources in our community; we can refer out to anyone that
will benefit the women and her birthing team.
contact a doula?
others and need more notice. Typically women will contact us at about 20-30
weeks pregnant; however, it happens at all points during pregnancy, right up to
a woman in labour contacting us. I have had women contact me right after they
found out they were expecting, before finding their midwife or care provider,
and one who contacted me at 40 weeks 3 days!
will cover partial or all costs of a doula. I always submit receipts of my
services and let clients know to submit them, even if the answer is no; it shows the
need and desire for doula care during labour. The price of a doula is not regulated
and you will find that prices vary across the region. Typically you can expect
to pay between $600-900 or more for services, based on experience. There are volunteer
services out there for families that need the support, but cannot afford to pay
for a doula. Doulas understand that the cost is high; we also know that our services
are worth our cost and will work with families to be able to afford our
services by offering various types of payment plans and certificates.
*In BC, you have the choice between using your GP or a midwife; if you choose to use a midwife, this is covered by MSP. Doula services are not yet covered by MSP, so are additional- help get this service covered by making your desire for one known, as Candice suggests above.
or in the hospital. The support
consists of resources, small errands, emotional support, and more.
and birth, and postnatal.
period offering emotional support at home with small chores, some cooking,
resources, and much more. Postpartum Doulas help with the women’s needs and
baby’s needs, allowing women to take the time they need to take care of
themselves and rest. Some postpartum
doulas do overnight care allowing families to get the sleep they need.
this one. These doulas support the
siblings during a women’s birthing time.
after pregnancy and the loss of their child, whether through, miscarriage,
terminal pregnancy, or still birth.
My midwife was the reason we had the birth experience we wanted. If we had been under the care of a GP, we would have been forced to induce labour, a choice neither Will or I wanted. Midwives and doulas not only provide assistance leading up to, during, and after birth, they also serve as advocates for the parents, helping ensure their voice is heard and respected during birth. If you are fortunate to have a GP that shares your beliefs and approach to birth, that is a wonderful thing. However, not all traditional doctors do, and for this reason I am a proud advocate for midwives and doulas. I hope this post has helped inform you about the options available to you as you begin the journey into parenthood.
If you would like more information about doulas and the services they offer, you can contact Candice via her website and find her business on Facebook & Twitter.
Also make sure to learn more about her Beautiful ME Project a project Candice proudly started to celebrate women & their bodies following childbirth.
Here are some useful links that Candice provided for readers to check out: