What is a doula? How are a doula and midwife different from one another?
A doula is someone who offers non-medical informational, emotional, and physical support to people during the conceiving process, throughout pregnancy, labor, and the postpartum period. A doula does not replace your primary care provider. Doula's are also advocates for their clients to ensure their wishes are being met when medically possible.
A midwife is an expert of normal physiological pregnancy, birth, and well person care. They provide comprehensive well person, prenatal, labor, and postpartum care. They also offer family planning services that may include insemination. A midwife is a skilled primary care provider and other primary care providers are not necessary unless desired.
Although many midwives offer similar support as a doula, they are focused on the physiological aspects of your experience- albeit a holistic approach. A doula and midwife make a wonderful team to ensure that all of your needs are being met!
Is home birth safe?
According to the most recent studies, home birth is the safest place for low risked people to give birth. Since midwives are experts in normal they are trained to know when one is deviating from normal in an ample amount of time to get them to the hospital for additional support and care. Like most things health related, our bodies shows us pink flags, then orange flags, then red flags. A skilled midwife will know the ideal time to transfer to ensure the safety of both you and your little one(s).
How do you know if you need a doula?
From my point of view everyone should be provided a doula! A doula is like having the Best friend with no drama. Having someone to cheer you on, help you when needed, and advocate for you is always needed.
Studies show that when people have Doula's their satisfaction is greater, their is less need for medical intervention, less administration of pharmaceutical pain management, and a decreased rate of postpartum depression.
Why do people eat their placenta? What are the benefits? Any contraindications?
For those who choose to eat their placenta the reasons usually are pertaining to the physical benefits, cultural tradition, or for spiritual significance. However, each person is different.
There is not scientific research to acclaim benefits but many people report that by digesting their placenta they experienced:
an increase in their energy level
an increase in their milk production
hormonal regulation support
an absence of significant decrease in postpartum depression, anxiety, and OCD symptoms
stemming of postpartum bleeding
To the current community standard knowledge base there are few contraindications to digesting your placenta. Some are but not limited to:
if your placenta has to go to pathology (we can suggest that they only test a small portion if possible)
if any chemicals are to come in contact with the placenta
if you are not sure it is your placenta (mix up or no labeling)
if you experienced an infection (some exceptions)
I am having a planned cesarean birth. Would it still be necessary for me to have a doula?
It can be extremely helpful to have a doula to support you in preparing for your cesarean and to advocate for you regarding consents and options. A doula can be a wonderful person to support you in knowing what to expect and also good questions to ask your care provider. A cesarean is major abdominal surgery so it will difficult to move about and this may impact your ability to take care of yourself and baby without support. A doula is a wonderful addition to the postpartum team to support you so that you can heal and also support you in navigating caring for baby.
Do you offer sliding scale or payment plans?
I offer sliding scale for all of my services in order to make them as accessible as possible. However, I have a limit to how many sliding scale services I can provide each month. If I am not able to offer sliding scale I can recommend colleague you may have capacity.
Payment plans can be arrange case by case. For both sliding scale and payment plans I suggest that each client or prospective client figure out the maximum amount they can pay after considering all of their resources. Payments can me made weekly, bi monthly, or monthly. For bi-monthly payments I suggest the 1st and the 15th and for monthly payments the 15th.