Frequently Asked Questions
If you are filled with questions, you are not alone! There probably aren't too many questions that you would like to ask that haven't been asked before. So, ask away! To get you started, here are some of the most frequently asked questions:
Does a doula replace the role of my partner?
Definitely not. I consider it a priority to ensure that your partner is free to fully participate in the labor and birth experience. Partners need support, too! Freeing partners to truly be with the mother and to be physically and emotionally present for the birth of their child is one of my most important roles as a doula.
How does a doula support the father or support person?
As a doula, I will support your entire family. This will look different for every family. I will be present, literally and figuratively. I will be there to remind the partner to grab a bite to eat, to stay with Mom if the partner needs to run home, or even to take a nap. I will help you be fully present for the birth, at whatever level you are most comfortable. Some partners prefer to stay at the laboring mom's head, and don't want to have any part of what is going on "down there." Have no fear, that's why I am here! Other partners want to be hands-on, but need someone to suggest grabbing a cool washcloth or ideas of how to give a great foot rub.
Isn't that what a nurse does?
Nurses are AMAZING! I don't know of many other professions that can wear so many hats at the same time, while providing compassionate and professional care. That being said, they often have several patients they care for at a time. Nurses are great at monitoring your physical health and labor progress, but are rarely able to spend undivided time with one family. Doulas and nurses make a great support team!
What is the difference between a doula and midwife?
A midwife is called to be at a birth to monitor the mother and baby, to monitor for any health problems, catch the baby, and provide immediate postpartum care. A midwife can also perform vaginal exams, monitor heartrate, place sutures, and provide a plethora of other medical care. A doula cannot catch the baby or perform any medical tasks. Doulas are trained to provide a high level of emotional and physical support. While a midwife or doctor's priorities are the physical well-being of the mother and baby, a doula's priority can be the emotional support of the mother, baby, and partner.
What happens if I go into labor earlier than planned?
As soon as you think you might be in labor, give me a call! As soon as I am hired to be your doula, we journey throughout the rest of your pregnancy, labor and birth, together. This may be at 28 weeks, or 38 weeks, or 42 weeks!
Do you have backup?
Yes! I am blessed to be surrounded by a community of amazing doulas. If for any unforeseen emergency, I cannot be present at your birth, you will be provided with another great doula to fill my shoes.
What areas do you serve?
I serve a 40 miles radius around my home base, near Madison, Wisconsin. This includes all hospitals in Madison, Janesville, and Beloit, as well as a handful of others.