Have a question for a doula about pregnancy, labor, birth, or postpartum? Fill out our Q&A form, and one of our doulas will email you a response. You can also check out our resources page for information and resources on specific topics. See below for our responses to questions asked by other parents.

Q&A Form

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Answered questions

What is a doula anyway?

Consider the fact that laboring women are doing the very important job of bringing new life into the world. It would seem sensible to value them and their experiences of birth. Yet, women who give birth in the US today often do not feel they have been respected or treated right during this process. Women are at their most powerful and yet their most vulnerable at this very special time. They deserve to be loved, comforted, listened to, encouraged, and adored. The word doula comes from a greek term meaning "woman who serves." Doulas are called to serve laboring women in this way.
A doula provides physical, emotional, and informational support throughout labor and birth. She is not a doctor or a midwife, who are medically trained to help to deliver the baby, and often have several patients in labor at once. Her only purpose is to support and love the laboring woman throughout her entire birth.
Every labor is different. During your labor, your doula will respond to your cues in order to provide the individualized support you need. Your doula may coach your breathing, massage your back, and wipe your forehead gently with a cool washcloth. She may answer your questions, teach you comfort measures until you find one that works for you, and whisper words that you find encouraging during your contractions. She may sit quietly and bring you confidence simply by being there. Or, she may give you a foot massage for 12 hours straight. It all depends on how you and your labor progress and what you need in the moment.
TCDP doulas believe that birth is a beautiful and sacred experience with enormous potential to empower a woman as she begins her journey into motherhood.  Positive birth experiences are good for women, and good for babies. We believe that you are beautiful and capable, and we attend your birth to help you to tap into your own beauty and power.
Is there proof this sort of thing works?
It is now known that continuous labor support during childbirth from a labor companion or doula improves outcomes for moms and babies. An updated 2012 Cochrane systematic review (this is one of the most highly regarded types of reviews) concluded that “Continuous support during labour has clinically meaningful benefits for women and infants and no known harm.” With this support, women are less likely to require an epidural, instrumental birth, or cesarean; their labors are shorter; they are less likely to express dissatisfaction with their birth experience; and their babies are less likely to have a low apgar score at birth. Another review published by the Journal of Midwifery and Women’s Health found that continuous support by a female companion throughout childbirthstrengthened mother-infant bonding, along with increased breastfeeding success and other positive results.
What this means is this: The evidence says that having a doula at your birth will make you more likely to have a positive experience, and a healthy baby, and less likely to have complications during your labor.
While labor and birth may be a short period in the larger picture of parenting, the experience of birth has also been shown to have an impact on a woman’s sense of self, and to be of great importance in establishing a positive start for mom and baby. A 2010 study identified five primary domains that women related to “good” birth experiences: self-determination, respect, personal security, attachment, and knowledge (Namey & Lyerly, p. 771). This amazing cocktail of support and love for the laboring woman is best offered in the form of a doula. In fact, in the Listening to Mothers II Survey, doulas received the highest ratings for a source of support throughout labor!

How much do your doulas charge?

Our doulas are all volunteer and we do not have a fee.  In exchange for our support, some moms will write a birth story to share on our website or give us permission to use their birth photos that they have approved. If your family feels they have a something to contribute we gratefully accept donations.