1 What do your birth services include? When you work with me for birth services, you’ll have a birthing bestie at your fingertips! From the moment you decide you want to work together, until well after your baby arrives, I’m here for you. That means that you can reach out via email, phone or text during pregnancy for questions, concerns and celebrations. You’ll also get two in-person visits to talk birth and postpartum plans and one in-person postpartum follow-up to debrief the birth and see how you’re adjusting to your new normal. In addition to around the clock access and in-person visits, you also get endless emotional and physical support through the entirety of your labor and phone support throughout your first year of parenthood.
2. How long have you been a doula? My training for becoming a labor doula began in 2016. In 2017 I started working with a local agency and begam seeing clients. It’s crazy to think that it’s been almost 4 years! Throughout my time as a doula, I’ve had the opportunity to support more than 30 families.
3 What does your labor support usually look like? It depends on how your birth unfolds, but labor support is almost always physical and very emotional. If you are choosing to labor unmedicated, there will be position changes, counter pressure, massage and movement. No matter if you choose medication, support is very informational- facilitating conversation between the family and hospital staff. Reassurance to the mother and family, assessing situations and interpreting medical lingo and helping to keep the room calm and peaceful- are all ways of emotional and informational support.
4. What if I want/get an epidural? If an epidural becomes part of your birth plan, I’ll continue to support you throughout the duration of your lalor. From foot massages to helping with freshening up for rest, position changes and medical interpretations, there’s plenty that can keep me busy and helpful during your epidural labor. Not to mention all of the support you receive from me prenatally! So, whether you go into your labor knowing you’ll want an epidural or other medical pain management- I support you!
5. Will you be replacing the role of my partner? My role as your doula is NOT to replace your partner. My goal is quite the opposite, actually. I know full well that no one could replace your partner- especially in the birthing space. They give you support that you are used to and find so comforting, and that is important! Instead, my aim is to bring your partner into the experience- as much as he/she wants! There are so many ways to involve your partner in the laboring process, no matter what that looks like for your family. And my job is to help facilitate that. We’re both part of your support team, and that’s exactly how we’ll work-- as a team!
6. What is your birth philosophy/style? When it comes to birth philosophy or preferences… I don’t have them! I truly support what you want and what YOU feel is best for yourself and your family. My role as your doula is to help you feel informed and empowered to make decisions at any point of your pregnancy and labor. This experience is yours, so it’s important to me that your philosophy and wishes are carried out.
7. Do you recommend a birth plan? To me, it’s not about the birth plan, per se. Instead, the value is in the education of researching options for a birth plan. During our birth and postpartum planning visits, we go over standard hospital care and talk through different options for birthing and immediate postpartum.
8. Have you been to my hospital/birthing center before? Being a doula for the last 3 years, I’ve had the opportunity to work with amazing doctors and nurses at just about every hospital in the Indy area. However, if I do come across a client delivering at an unfamiliar hospital, I’m always sure to visit the facility (to the extent allowable) prior to your due date so that whether it is the middle of the day or night, I’m organized and prepped on where to meet you.
9. Do you have a back-up doula & will I meet them ahead of time? I don’t have a back-up doula, rather, I work with another doula in a partner model. This means that you’ll actually have two birthing professionals to support you throughout pregnancy, delivery and postpartum. You’ll meet us both at the initial consultation, and have of us BOTH to lean on for support and resources throughout your pregnancy. And when labor comes, you’re guaranteed to have someone you know and trust to attend your labor, no matter which one of us is there with you.
10. How many clients do you take on per month? We typically have anywhere from 1-3 clients due per month. But because we work in the partner model, if a situation were to arise where clients go into labor back to back, we’re both on high alert and ready to run off to a labor if needed.
11. When do you become on call for my birth? Working in the partner model, it gives us the ability to on call 24/7 not only for your labor, but throughout your entire pregnancy. Luckily, working with a partner, we get to rotate weeks where one of us is on call 24/7 for one week, then can go “off the grid” if needed on the weeks that we’re not on call. It not only gives you around the clock care and support, but it gives us time to live our lives and not feel burnt out. It’s the best of both worlds for the clients and doulas!
12.When will you join me for my labor? I come to be with you whenever you’d like! If that means meeting you at your house and helping you labor at home- I can do that! If that means meeting you at the hospital to help you get to triage, I can do that too! More times than not, I end up meeting families once they are admitted and settled in their rooms, but I have also done anything and everything in between. So whenever you want me there, I will be there.
13. How long after my birth will you stay? We typically stay with you at the hospital for the first hour or so. We stay by your side while baby is weighed and measured and mom is all fixed and cleaned up. That way, if dad wants to be by baby’s side, mom still has our constant support while doctors are still working on her. For moms who are choosing to breastfeed, we love to help facilitate that first latch between mom and baby.
14. Do you do any postpartum visits? Yes! The doula who attends your birth will also do a follow up in-home visit as well. Typically this is done within a week of you returning home from the hospital. At this visit, we debrief the labor experience, talk about breastfeeding and see how you all are adjusting to a new normal at home. We provide resources and referrals when and if necessary.
15. Do you help with breastfeeding? I do! Well, to the best of my abilities, that is. Admittedly, I am not certified in any type of breastfeeding specialties, but I do know the basics and can usually help with latching, troubleshooting and minor adjustments here and there. For everything else, I refer out. As a doula, I am well connected with so many amazing people and resources in our community and can (and do) refer you to some pretty amazing specialists when needed!
16. Do you offer any additional services? At EBbirthing, I also offer FitBump services which includes prenatal and postpartum wellness and exercise expertise with a fitness plan customized to you, your goals and your pregnancy/recovery. I also offer Postpartum Prep that allows you to feel confident and prepared to bring your baby home and to optimally rest and heal throughout your early days of postpartum. Postpartum preparedness is essential for thriving when you bring your baby home, and you deserve to feel just as confident and prepared for that aspect of motherhood, too.