What do Doulas do?
This question is answered in the “About Doulas” section, but I’ll go ahead & give a quick answer here too. Doulas meet with an expectant mother a few times before her schedules due date to get to know one another, discuss any fears or concerns she may have about the birth, possibly make a birth plan, and answer any questions that she may have. During labor, we stay with the mother throughout the entire labor and birth. We are trained in methods of natural pain relief, positioning and calming techniques.
Why choose to have a Doula at my birth?
Labor and birth is one of the most amazing experiences a woman will ever go through, but it also can be exhausting, and scary if she doesnt know what to expect. A birth doula is someone who is experienced with all aspects of both labor, and birth, and can ease her, and her partners concerns by explaining different procedures or situations that can arise. A doula is trained in relaxation techniques and can help the mother to remain focused when labor gets tough. We are also trained in massage for pain relief and positioning that can help labor to progress, or slow down if the need be. A doula is there for the woman, but also for the partner, helping him to be as much a part of the birth as he wants.
Will a Doula take the place of my partner?
This is one of the most common misconceptions of a birth doula. The answer is, NO! definately not!!! In fact its just the opposite. With a birth doula, many partners find they are more relaxed, and more involved in both the labor and birth. A doula can help the partner by showing different massages to reduce pain, answer any questions he may have, or take his place if he feels like he needs a break. As doulas, we strongly encourage the partner to be as involved as he or she feels comfortable being.
If I have a midwife do I still need a Doula?
Unfortunately, this is another common misconception. Midwives are wonderful! I cannot say that enough! Midwives are trained in helping with relaxation during labor and birth, much the way that birth doulas are, but they also have the responsibilies of all things medical. As doulas, we do not do anything medical, and are therefore, able to focus all of our attention on the mother, working with her through every contraction, and making sure she is as comfortable as is possible. After the birth, a midwife may be busy working with the baby, or stitching the mother up, while a doula stays with the mother. One way of looking at it is this, a midwife is below the waist, and a doula is above the neck.
What if I end up having a cesarean section?
Nothing changes. As long as the hospital is ok with it, we stay with the mother during the surgery, explaining anything that is going on, and calming the mother.
How much does a birth doula charge?
Pickles and Ice cream doulas work on a sliding scale, that is, we have differnet packages, and can vary the price depending on the situation. The length of labor and birth does not make a difference. We offer a free introductory meeting to get to know you, and let you decide if we feel like the right fit, if so, then we discuss prices at our next meeting.