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WHAT IS A BIRTH DOULA?
The word ‘doula’ means mother’s helper. As a birth doula, I have the unique opportunity to focus my undivided attention on the expected parent/s well-being. Care is provided both physiologically and emotionally before, during and after the birth. Unlike your medical team I am with you from the onset of labor till after the birth. I am present to provide comfort measures that are non-medical in nature, but have being proven to manage the physical discomfort of labor. As a doula I recognize that the mind isn’t separate from the body therefore, I support you emotionally.
WHY A POSTPARTUM DOULA?
A postpartum doula provides evidenced-based information on things such as infant feeding, emotional and physical recovery from birth, support after an adoption of an infant, parent-baby bonding, infant soothing, and basic newborn care, breastfeeding support. A postpartum doula is there to help a new family in those first days and weeks after bringing home a new baby. They do many things to help ease your transition to new parenthood — from caring for you and your baby and assist your spouse in supporting the family too. A postpartum doula is present to help you be your best parent. Your doula will assess what needs as most important to you and get it done.
WILL MY INSURANCE PAY FOR A DOULA?
More and more insurance companies are covering doula services. You may also be able to pay for doula services using an FSA. Be sure to check with your insurance provider. Even if they do not cover it, the more they get the question, the sooner change will happen!
Most insurance companies will partially reimburse you if not fully reimburse you for the cost of childbirth education classes. Check with your insurance provider so you do not miss out on this benefit if you have it.
The emotional and mental support that a doula provides goes beyond advocacy and providing a shoulder to cry on—she meets the mother where she is. Anticipating the mother’s needs — food, water, rest, sunshine — makes the difference in the overall mental health of the entire family.
WHAT IF I GET AN EPIDURAL?
Every laboring woman needs tools to manage pain. Even if you plan to have a medicated birth, most care providers will not administer an epidural until you reach 6 cm dilation to reduce the risk of complications. That could take a while and a doula can be helpful during that time. Even after an epidural is placed, doulas can assist in promoting your labor progress and providing continued emotional support.