Answering Your Questions
What is a Doula?
The word doula comes from the Greek δούλη ("dúli") the one that serves. And that's the purpose of a Doula: to serve you. It is a job of humility, where we put ourselves at the service of the mother and her partner so that, labour can be productive and as calm as possible.
Why I should have a doula?
Having a doula should be the couple's choice. The doula can not promise that childbirth will be fairy tales, but it can help ease the discomforts.
A study by Hodnett et al. (2014), the largest and most relevant systematic review on continuous delivery support, summarizing the experience of more than 15,000 women who participated in 21 randomized trials, concluded that continuous support during labour has significant clinical benefits for women and newborns and does not cause any harm, and that all women should have support during labour.
Hodnett et al. Continuous support for women during childbirth. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. Author manuscript; available in PMC 2014 September 25.
What a Doula DOES NOT do?
A doula will never be able to apply or conduct any medical technique, eg. internal vaginal examination, cardiac auscultation of the mother and baby, diagnosis, prescribing medicines or even homeopathic medicines, teas.
If the doula has another profession, as a nurse for example, other functions corresponding to her other professional training, such as blood pressure, may be attributed to her, but never as Doula, but as nurse.
Doula is a support professional (physical and emotional), she does NOT replace any other professional. Doula does not want to replace another professional. Working as a team is one of her missions, always seeking a better and integral service to her clients.
Doula will never have any attitude that is contrary to the midwife/ obstetrician (GO) who accompanies her client, she may advise you and help you make the questions, but she won't make the decisions for you.
Doula DOES NOT speak for her client or partner, she instructs, passes references, gives theoretical support on the various issues that involve childbirth and birth, doula keeps her client informed, but will never make decisions for her alone. She informs, and always encourages her client to clear all their doubts with the GO and midwives that accompanies her.
Doula is not a midwife! Doula is not a doctor! Doula is not an obstetrician! Doula is a support of love, affection and information, all within the limits established by her area of action and her code of ethics.
Doula will never tell the story of its clients without prior authorization. Doula does not take photos to post on their social network, publicizing their work, unless authorized. Of course, she will be very grateful to have a record of your childbirth, but this is the responsibility of the client (to give her the images) and if it is the will of the client! Having photographic records of deliveries and throughout the labour is very important for the doula, but it is not up to her to decide, therefore, only the client can authorize the use of the photos as well as their registration.
It is important that the client and her partner seek information on everything that includes pregnancy, childbirth, postpartum, breastfeeding, maternity/paternity. This will accommodate them for any eventuality that may occur. Information is always the best way ever!
Reference: DONA International Birth Doula Manual
How is your support during pregnancy?
Prenatal appointments lasting 2-3 hours, with time and place to be defined according to the availability of the couple and Doula
24/7 phone and email support starting at 37 weeks until 1 month after birth;
Informational support according to the needs of each couple (via email, indication of books, magazines or video);
Help with Birth Plan, if the couple wishes to use this tool;
Discussion and review of the technical, physical and emotional aspects related to pregnancy and post natal period (preferably performed in a prenatal appointment);
Explanation and practice of body balancing and non-pharmacological techniques of pain relief;
Help in the search of services and / or professionals that can satisfy the wishes of the couple;
How is your support during birth?
Support at home from the time that you request my presence and also at the place of delivery, until you are already settled on your room.
Use of non-pharmacological techniques of pain relief (such as massage or hot water bags), use of essential oils if you desire;
Support in the first contacts with the baby and in the establishment of breastfeeding in the first hour of life;
If emergency Caesarean, I'll be with you if the institution allows, or will be waiting for you until you are settled on your room.
Just a reminder: Doula is not a midwife: she does not do any medical or nursing procedure. Her job is to provide physical and emotional support to the expectant mother and her companion during all labour
How is your postpartum support?
As a breastfeeding facilitator, I also offer support with breastfeeding;
Telephone, email and online consultations, available 24 hours a day in the first month after birth;
Informational support according to the needs of each couple;
Emotional support, practical assistance and guidance on issues related to postpartum maternal recovery, newborn care, breastfeeding, assistance in family integration.
In case of loss
Emotional support during loss and throughout the emotional process of loss (mourning);
Weekly home visits during the first month and fortnightly during the second month after the loss (six visits);
Phone, email and online consultations, available 24 hours a day, from the time of hiring the service up to two months after the loss;
Help to search options of services and / or professionals that can satisfy the needs of the couple.
Is there any refund on your doula services?
If the withdrawal occurs at the time of the birth, the payment for the contracted services must be made (at least 80% of the value of the package) referring to the consultations, availability 24 hours and consultations by phone, email, SMS, Facebook and WhatsApp