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FAQ

We protect the community by ensuring their voice is always heard and providing the support they need.

  • What is a doula?
  • Is a doula different from a midwife?
  • What is different about a community-based doula?
  • What are the benefits of having a doula?
  • What if I am planning to have a normal hospital birth/not natural birth/c-section/want medication?
  • Do I need a doula if my partner will be there supporting me?
  • What is the difference between this program and a home visiting program?
What is a doula?
  • Community-based doula” means a doula who often has shared lived experiences with and is trained to provide emotional, physical, and culturally informed support to families before, during, and after pregnancy. Community-based doulas provide a wide range of services and play an important role in improving outcomes and experiences for communities most affected by discrimination and health inequality.
  • Doulas provide information (like health education, pre/post-natal resources and referrals), emotional support (like relaxation and calming techniques), communication (between the person giving birth and health providers, supportive decision making), and hands-on support (massage, hydrotherapy).
Is a doula different from a midwife?
  • Midwives are health care practitioners who provide the person giving birth with the necessary medical support, care and advice during pregnancy, labor and the postpartum period. Doulas are trained to provide evidence-based information, emotional and physical non-medical support before, during, and after labor.
  • Both a midwife and a doula can be used on your birth team.
What is different about a community-based doula?
  • A community-based doula is a trained labor support person who comes from the same culture and background as the person giving birth. As trusted community members, community-based doulas can perform home visits, help connect persons giving birth to local social services, and provide a holistic approach focusing on prenatal and postnatal health.
  • Community-based doulas of color can help a person giving birth navigate structural racism in healthcare.
What are the benefits of having a doula?
  • Improved maternal and infant health
    • In studies, Doulas have been associated with: more spontaneous vaginal births, higher satisfaction with the birth experience, increased breastfeeding initiation, and shorter labor.
    • Doulas have also been shown to lessen the chance of low birth weight and infant/maternal mortality.
    • On average, people who use doula services have fewer c-sections and require less use of pain medication during delivery.
  • Increased satisfaction and engagement with maternity care
  • Decrease in health disparities and lesser effect of stressors (from racial discrimination, food insecurity, poverty, etc.) on the birth process
  • Decreased healthcare spending (because Doulas can reduce the number of c-sections, repeat c-sections, epidurals, birth complications, and chronic conditions, they can decrease the cost of maternity care for both private insurance and Medicaid)
What if I am planning to have a normal hospital birth/not natural birth/c-section/want medication?
  • Doulas can provide physical and emotional support to all different types of births, and are there to help the person giving birth and support their birth plan.
Do I need a doula if my partner will be there supporting me?
  • Doulas do not take the place of a supportive partner. Rather, they are there during the delivery to support both the person giving birth and their partner/family, as well as before and after birth.
What is the difference between this program and a home visiting program?
  • Home visiting programs provide education and guidance to families and their children to help promote healthy parent-child attachment starting from pregnancy throughout a child’s early years. Community-based doulas are focused on providing information, advocacy, and support for the birthing person before, during, and just shortly after birth. Both home-visiting and doulas can work together to help the person giving birth have the best possible outcome.



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