Why have a doula?

Research has shown that doulas can help improve outcomes for mothers, babies, and families.

Clinical studies show that a doula’s presence at birth can reduce the chances of complications, unnecessary medical interventions, and reduce the length of labor. It can also increase self-esteem and success with breastfeeding, as well as reduce chances of postpartum depression. And doula support has also been shown to help families successfully adapt to new family dynamics.

Will a doula take attention away from my partner?

One of the doula’s goals is to strengthen the partner’s role during labor. A partner may naturally feel worried about the wellbeing of the laboring person and may feel unsure of how to help. A doula is trained to guide the partner and teach them techniques to help both physically and emotionally during the labor and birth. Maintaining an intimate and memorable atmosphere for the couple is something doulas value greatly.

What’s the difference between a midwife and a doula?

A midwife is a medically trained professional who helps women deliver babies. They can perform medical procedures, such as cervical checks and administering medication, and can provide medical advice and suggestions to the birthing person and their family. A midwife will check in on a person sporadically but will be unable to stay throughout the entire labor. A doula is a professionally trained, non-medical companion, present exclusively for physical, emotional, and informational support to help you cope through labor and birth. A doula will stay by your side continuously and uninterruptedly throughout labor and birth.

Do doulas work with medical providers (ie: doctors and midwives)?

Yes. Doulas are trained to understand and respect the importance of medical providers. The relationship between you and your provider should not, and will not, be affected by the presence of a doula. Doulas, though, can help mothers advocate for themselves.

Can a doula help if I’m having cesarean birth?

Absolutely! Doulas are trained to provide support for all types of birth experiences. In fact, doula presence in cesarean births has increased and has recently become more popular among provider recommendations. Many hospitals and providers are welcoming doulas into the cesarean birth experience to allow you to receive the exact same emotional, physical, and informational support as would be available to any other birthing person. Doula presence has also increased the occurrences of skin-to-skin during cesarean births, helping to keep baby comfortably on you during the immediate moments after birth. Please speak to your provider if you plan on having a doula present during your cesarean birth. Some hospitals and providers still don’t allow doulas in the room during a cesarean due to hospital policies and occupant limits.

Can a doula help in an epidural?

Yes! Doulas are trained to provide support during all types of birth experiences. People who receive epidurals will still benefit greatly from the emotional, physical, and informational support provided by a doula. The increased positive birth outcomes and reduced risks, from having a doula, also apply to labor and birth experiences where an epidural is used.

What happens if I go into labor and my doula is unavailable?

All doulas should have at least one backup doula available. Life is unpredictable and plans must be in place in case a doula is unable to tend to their client, due to situations such as attending another birth or illness. In situations like this, the backup doula would be contacted to provide labor and birth support. My clients are always given the option to meet my backup doula anytime during their pregnancy.

Does a doula have to be certified?

No. In North Carolina, there is no requirement for a doula to be certified. Anyone with training in labor and birth support can be a doula. Certification is optional. If you hire a certified doula, you can find out what the certification process was and have a better understanding of the extent and kind of training your doula had. There are several organizations that provide doula certification. Designated Doula is certified under DONA International (dona.org).

Where does Designated Doula provide services?

We provide service to the Triangle and surrounding areas, including Durham • Raleigh • Chapel Hill • Cary • Morrisville • Apex • Garner • Wake Forest • Carrboro • Pittsboro • Hillsborough • Mebane • Burlington • surrounding Durham, Wake, Orange, and Alamance County Areas