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.
The normal fee for our birth doula services at the Doula Foundation are $1,000. However, this is always 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 Crystal Perkins, Director of Programs, at 417-832-9222 for sliding scale fees and information on financial assistance.
Physicians and nurses are responsible for monitoring labor, assessing the medical condition of the mother and baby, and treating complications when they arise. However, childbirth is also an emotional experience with a long-term impact on a woman’s personal well-being. A birth 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.
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
Studies have shown that babies born with community-based doulas present during and in the time surrounding their birth 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.
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.
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.
Community-based doulas do provide emotional and physical support for the laboring woman and her family and/or postpartum care of the mother and baby, and connection to valuable resources. Doula care has been shown to improve outcomes for both moms and babies in many studies
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.
Since 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.
Having a cesarean section is still having a baby. Your birth doula serves as support and is an advocate throughout the preparation for surgery. 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, can help initiate breastfeeding, and will assist 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.
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 cervical examinations, or providing postpartum clinical care. Birth doulas are there to comfort and support the mother and to enhance communication between the mother and medical professionals.