Frequently Asked Questions
What is a Doula?
A doula is a support person who assists a woman through pregnancy, labor, and the postpartum period. Your medical providers likely have several patients to monitor while you are laboring; your doula is dedicated to you and can be a more constant support and help. Your doula becomes that friend you can ask that "silly" or "embarrassing" question that you don't want to ask anyone else; we've heard it all!
Will a doula replace my partner?
A lot of people ask why they would need a doula when they already have a partner who will be there. They may worry that the doula will in some way replace the partner. That's a very common misconception! As doulas, we do not ever want to replace the partner. Birth is an incredible bonding experience for both the woman and the partner; that is not something we want to interfere with. Doulas fill a different role, and we can support both of you. It's like being part of a team; While your partner holds your hand, we can grab you some ice chips. While he turns on some music, we can help you adjust your position. When he needs to step out or use the restroom, we can step in and fill that short gap.
how can a doula help me?
The type of support given can vary greatly depending on the client's personality and individual desires and needs. This is why we have multiple prenatal visits with each of our clients. During our prenatal visits, we strive to get to know our clients well in order to tailer our support specifically for each client. In pregnancy and labor this support may include educational information, hands-on support like massage and hip squeezes, emotional support, and a non-judgemental listening ear for whatever you need. Postpartum this support can include meal planning, infant care, teaching infant care, light housework, and basic breastfeeding support. Learn more about our available support services here.
Do you deliver babies?
No, we do not deliver babies. Doulas are non-medical support personnel who do not perform any clinical tasks. Doulas do not ever replace your care providers, which may include Obstetricians, Family Doctors, or Midwives.
What area do you serve?
We are located in the Columbia, SC area. We can attend births in any of the Columbia area hospitals: Richland, Baptist, Parkridge, and Lexington as well as home births in the area.
What if I want an epidural?
There are many ways a doula can offer support, even if an Epidural is placed. While an Epidural limits movement, your doula can still help with massage, counter pressure, music, and emotional support. Labor is hard work, and this is not usually completely resolved by getting an Epidural.
Can a doula help with a scheduled cesarean birth?
Yes! Doula support can still be very helpful during a Cesarean. There may be limits to how many people can actually accompany you into the Operating Room, but many of the local hospitals have allowed a doula to attend as well. Before the birth, your doula can be there for emotional support as you get checked in and prepped. That can be a high-stress time, but we hope to help with that! Even if your doula is not permitted in the room during the birth, your doula could help with setting up your room, staying with mom if partner goes with baby to the nursery, helping you settle into postpartum, and assisting with the first latch (if breastfeeding) and support in the recovery and immediate postpartum.
Are there any known benefits of hiring a doula?
There have been multiple studies that show that non-medical support like a doula provides can have positive effects on the labor and delivery. It is important to note, however, that the doula is not responsible for any birth outcomes. Some potential benefits that have been documented include a shorter labor, fewer interventions, less need for pain medications, and a higher rate of reflecting on the birth as a positive experience. For more documented benefits, check the lists here.