Frequently Asked Questions

What about the partner’s role when using a Doula?

A doula is supportive to both the mother and her partner, and plays a crucial role in helping a partner become involved in the birth to the extent he/she feels comfortable.

What does a doula cost?

Doula services at the Doula Foundation are $750; however, the fee is based on the family’s ability to pay. Our mission is to serve all women and their families and we do not want financial need to make services inaccessible to families who desire them. The bond that is created at birth lasts a lifetime and we want everyone to be able to protect that sacred memory. Contact Julie Anderson at 417-832-9222 for sliding scale fees and information on financial assistance.

What role does the doula play during birth?

Physicians and nurses are responsible for monitoring labor, assessing the medical condition of the mother and baby, and treating complications when they arise. But childbirth is also an emotional experience with a long-term impact on a woman’s personal well-being. A doula is constantly aware that the mother and her partner will remember this experience throughout their lives. By mothering the mother during childbirth, the doula supports the parents in having a positive and memorable birth experience.

What effects does the presence of a doula have on birth outcomes?

Studies show that the presence of a doula results in shorter labor, a reduced need for pain medication, and improved outcomes for both mother and baby.
In addition, long-term benefits of labor support include:
• Improved breastfeeding
• Decreased postpartum depression
• Greater maternal satisfaction
• Better mother-infant interaction

What effects does the presence of a doula have on babies?

Studies have shown that babies born with doulas present tend to have shorter hospital stays with fewer admissions to special care nurseries, breastfeed more easily and have more affectionate mothers in the postpartum period.

Does a doula make decisions during labor?

A doula does not make decisions for clients or intervene in their clinical care. She provides informational and emotional support, while respecting a woman’s decisions. A doula can provide the information to help parents make appropriate decisions and facilitate communication between the laboring woman, her partner and medical care providers.

Will a doula make the support partner feel unnecessary?

No, a doula is supportive to both the mother and her partner, and plays a crucial role in helping a partner become involved in the birth to the extent he/she feels comfortable.

What is the difference between a doula and a midwife?

Midwife provides prenatal care, delivery of the baby, care of the mother post-partum and newborn care. The midwife is responsible for the safety of the mother and baby.
Doulas do not provide any kind of medical care. For instance, they would not listen to the baby's heartbeat or do a vaginal exam or deliver the baby. They do provide emotional and physical support for the laboring woman and her family and/or post-partum care of the mother and baby. Doula care has been shown to improve outcomes for both moms and babies in many studies.

I’m planning to have an epidural; why should I use a doula?

A doula’s support is not only focused on managing pain during childbirth. She is your advocate throughout your labor and birth helping you and your family with any questions or concerns that may arise, helping you understand what your care providers are saying, and attending to your comfort and needs. Pain medication and/or anesthesia don’t always arrive at the exact moment you are ready for it. You may benefit from having a doula support you during contractions until you get the relief you are planning on receiving. Once you have received anesthesia, although you may not be feeling the intensity of the contractions, you are still having a baby. Your doula will remain with you throughout the birth, as well as the immediate postpartum period to support you and ensure that you and your family’s needs are being met.

I’m planning to have a c-section; why should I use a doula?

Having a cesarean section is having a baby. Your doula is your support and advocate throughout the preparation for surgery, and depending on hospital policies, she may be able to support you in the operating room as well. She will be at your side in the recovery room and can help you and your family with any questions or concerns that may arise, helping you understand what your care providers are saying, and attending to your comfort and needs.

Does a doula replace the nursing staff?

No. Doulas do not replace nurses or other medical staff. Doulas do not perform clinical or medical tasks such as taking blood pressure or temperature, monitoring fetal heart rate, doing vaginal examinations or providing postpartum clinical care. They are there to comfort and support the mother and to enhance communication between the mother and medical professionals.