Frequently Asked Questions

Have questions and need answers now?  You might find those answers here . . .

Childbirth Classes

Q: Why take an independent childbirth class rather than the one offered by my hospital?

A: Hospital classes are often taught by labor and delivery nurses.  Their background is medical.  Certified childbirth educators are trained to prepare you for all birth scenarios, both in and out of a hospital setting.   You will be taught about hospital procedures but also how to avoid them.  You're given tools to labor in ways that are most beneficial to you, your baby, and your labor progress.  You will have the information needed to make informed decisions about your care. Independent educators are not limited to teach only what the hospital wants you to know.  You will complete your series feeling empowered about your upcoming birth.

Doulas

Q:  What is a Doula?

A:  The word “doula” comes from ancient Greek, meaning “Woman’s servant.”  Doulas may be trained for birth, postpartum or both.  A birth doula is a person trained and experienced in childbirth who provides continuous physical, emotional and informational support to the mother before, during and just after childbirth.  What a postpartum doula does changes from day to day, as the needs of the family change. Postpartum doulas do whatever a mother needs to best enjoy and care for her new baby. A large part of their role is education. They share information about baby care with parents, as well as teach siblings and partners to “mother the mother.” They assist with breastfeeding education. Postpartum doulas also make sure the mother is fed, well hydrated and comfortable.

 

Q:  Are there advantages to employing a birth doula?

A:  Most definitely, yes.  A birth doula provides excellent labor support even when a partner is present and will plays a crucial role in helping a partner become involved in the birth to the extent he/she feels comfortable..  They can be almost indispensable for a laboring mother without the support of a partner who is well-trained to provide support to the mother.  Medical staff can not normally provide the kind of continuous non-medical care and support that laboring mothers need to make the birth experience a positive one.  Another valuable role for birth doulas is to enhance communication between the mother and medical professionals.  According to DONA International, numerous clinical studies have found that a doula’s presence at birth:

  • tends to result in shorter labors with fewer complications
  • reduces negative feelings about one’s childbirth experience
  • reduces the need for pitocin (a labor-inducing drug), forceps or vacuum extraction
  • reduces the requests for pain medication and epidurals, as well as the incidence of cesareans

 

Q: Are there advantages to employing a postpartum doula?

A:  Most definitely, yes.  Particularly for families who really don't know how to care for a newborn or who simply need a helping hand to get through the initial postpartum period.  The goal of a doula is to nurture the parents into their new roles. As they experience success and their knowledge and self-confidence grow, their needs for professional support should diminish.

 

Q:  How do I find a Doula?

A:  Kim Amos at BirthNBabies is a trained and experienced birth and postpartum doula.  Her childbirth educator duties allow her to serve a limited number of clients as a postpartum doula.  She accepts very few clients as a private birth doula because of the potential for scheduling conflicts with childbirth classes.  However, you can email kim@birthnbabies.info for a referral to a local birth doula who accepts private clients.  Many of those referred will be doulas with whom Kim has worked at the former Barnes-Jewish Hospital program.  Fees normally run around  $400-$800 for these services but rates are set by individual Doulas.    You may also find a Doula through the listing on DONA International's Web site at http://www.dona.org/mothers/faqs_birth.php along with other useful information.
Think you can't afford a doula?  Because of Kim's relationship with DONA as a birth doula trainer she has access to many doulas at various stages of certification and experience.  She can help you find a great doula within your budget.  These are doulas who have completed their training and are working toward getting experience and certification.

 

Didn't find what you were looking for?  Please email your questions to kim@birthnbabies.info.