My partner/friend/family will be at my birth; do I still need a doula?
While friends and family can be great at supporting you, they are typically not trained in current evidence based information and familiar with difficult situations that may arise in labor and delivery. Our doulas are committed to continuing education and are trained to react calmly and professionally in any situation that arises.
We encourage our clients to have whomever they wish in attendance at their birth, and we will work with them as a team, to support you in having the best birthing experience possible.
Won’t the nurses and my doctor/midwife support me during my labor?
Your nurse and care provider are focused on keeping you and your baby safe, while your doula is focused on your educational and emotional needs, as well as your comfort. Your provider and nurse have other patients and responsibilities to attend to, but your doulas sole purpose is to support you.
Will my doula advocate for me?
A doulas role is not to advocate for you in birth, but rather to help you and your partner feel empowered during your experience so that you may, if necessary, advocate for yourselves.
Your doula can suggest options or questions you might talk over with your primary care provider or nurse. If a suggested procedure or course of treatment is unclear, your doula will encourage you to get the information you need to make an informed choice.
Whatever decisions you make, know that your doula will support them 100%.
Will a doula make decisions for me?
No. Your doula will help to empower you to seek the information you need to make your own decisions. She is not your voice; she encourages you to use yours and she supports your decisions without judgment.
Will a doula make my partner/father of the baby feel excluded?
Our experience tells us that partners participate in birth in a variety of ways. Our doulas are trained to listen to you and your partner and their desire is to support each couple in the way that is best for their individual family.
Our doulas goal is to foster a feeling of inclusion with the partner. Your doula will support your partner as he/she participates in whatever capacity you are both comfortable with. We are dedicated to working seamlessly with them in order to help you have a positive birth experience, and are dedicated to enhancing the partners’ role, not replacing it.
Is it true that doulas push unmedicated childbirth and won’t let their clients have epidurals?
No, of course not. At least not when you are working with professional doulas! The word doula translates to, “A woman who serves.” A person who is serving does not insist that things should be a certain way. They simply serve.
Any decisions about medical procedures, such as pain medications or interventions, are made between you and your midwife/doctor. At Doulas of Austin, we would never try to prevent you from making a choice that you felt was in your best interest. The only agenda our doulas have is to provide you with the unconditional, unbiased support that you deserve.
Will a doula support me if I know I want an epidural?
Your doula is dedicated to supporting you regardless of your pain management preferences. Your need for physical and emotional support does not end when you receive an epidural, and your doula will help you navigate and assess your options for pain medication so you may choose what is right for you.
Even if you’re planning on having an epidural during your labor, there are still many benefits to having a doula to support you. Your doula will be there to help you interpret your labor, to help you physically in the time before you receive the epidural, and she will also help coach you during the pushing stage. Most importantly, your doula can support you emotionally and provide encouragement. Just because you don’t feel the same pain you would without an epidural, doesn’t mean you won’t feel the same emotions.
Sometimes, labor progresses too quickly to receive an epidural and for women wishing to have one, that can be scary. If this is the case, knowing that you will have the continuous support of your doula can make all the difference.
I’m having a cesarean birth; can I still benefit from having a doula?
Yes! Our doulas are experts in supporting birth; all types of births, including surgical ones. Here are just a few ways our doulas can support you during your cesarean birth:
- Help you to feel more calm and relaxed prior to surgery
- Explain procedures in terms you understand
- Accompany your partner while they wait to meet you in the OR
- Help you manage the physical and emotional challenges of surgery
- Encourage you to share your birth plan and wishes with the staff
- Update family members at your request
- Stay with you if your baby (and partner) must to go to the nursery
- Help you initiate breastfeeding (if that is your choice)
Your doula will join you in pre-op, possibly in the OR (depending on facility policy), and after the birth, so that you are never left unsupported. Additionally, you may be surprised to know that planned cesarean births have options that will allow for a more gentle, “family centered” experience. There are many decisions to be made, and your doula will help you to identify your priorities, find out what is available in your birthing facility, and create a birth plan that reflects these preferences.
Will a Doulas of Austin doula support me if I am having a home birth?
Yes! We are available and happy to support you in your choice to birth at home.
Do Doulas of Austin doulas attend births at birth centers?
Yes! We attend births at all of the birth centers in Austin and surrounding towns, including but not limited to:
Which hospitals do Doulas of Austin doulas attend births at?
We attend births at all of the hospitals in Austin and surrounding areas, including but not limited to:
- St. David’s – http://www.stdavids.com
- Seton Medical Center – https://www.seton.net
- Scott & White – http://www.sw.org
- Cedar Park Regional Center – http://www.cedarparkregional.com/Cedar-Park Regional-Medical-Center/home.aspx
Does Doulas of Austin serve clients in towns other than Austin?
Yes, we provide doula services to clients in Austin and surrounding towns, including but not limited to:
- North Austin
- Cedar Park
- Round Rock
- Central Austin
- South Austin
Can a doula help me through a miscarriage, stillbirth or neonatal/infant loss?
There is no devastation as difficult as the loss of a child and the support of an expert is crucial during this time.
Doulas of Austin owner, Chiminh Ashton, has specialized training in supporting families through the loss of a child. Her vast experience as a maternity nurse has shown her the value and necessity of doula support in such circumstances.
Whether the loss takes place before, during or after birth our doulas have the experience and qualifications to support you. We bring compassion and expertise to a difficult situation while nurturing and comforting you. Doulas of Austin also has a list of vetted resources available to families as the need for them arises or the desire for them presents itself.
What is the difference between a baby nurse and a postpartum doula?
A baby nurse, otherwise known as a ‘Newborn Care Specialist’ is a non-medical professional who is trained in the care of newborns. While they do offer the new parents education on the basics of newborn care, their sole focus is the newborn and that is their only responsibility.
A postpartum doula is a trained (and most often certified) professional whose focus is on the adjustment of the entire family. Most easily explained, she is there to “mother the mother” as she recovers from birth and gains her footing as a parent of a newborn. She supports, guides, educates, and nurtures the entire family unit during the fourth trimester and sometimes longer, depending upon their individual needs.
I am planning to breastfeed my baby; can I still benefit from overnight support?
Absolutely! With overnight support, your doulas focus is on helping you to get a good night sleep. If you are exclusively breastfeeding, your doula will quietly bring your baby to you when it is time to nurse. After the feeding, you get to go right back to sleep while she takes care of burping, changing, swaddling and soothing your baby back to sleep. If you have chosen to bottle feed, she will simply take over all of the feedings through the night while you sleep a solid 8 hours.
Your website photos are beautiful, who took them?
The maternity and newborn photos, including the one on our homepage were done by Jennifer Najvar at www.jennifernajvar.com.
The beautiful birth photo shown on our ‘birth support’ page was done by Sabrena Rexing at www.sabrenarexingphotography.com.
Both photographers are local here in Austin and come highly recommended by Doulas of Austin.