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Q and A about Birth Doula Support. What else is included besides physical support?

Recently someone who is considering one of my birth support packages sent me a few questions for me to answer so she could better understand what my support outside of the physical support would look like. I thought it would be helpful to share the questions and answers for anyone wondering what else may be a part of your birth doula support besides physical support.

Q. For the transformative birth package, you mentioned that some prenatal ed is included, can you explain which education and subjects you include?

A: New born care, postpartum planning, and lactation 101 are included in this package. Instead of that all being done in one day, different components will be apart of our prenatal coaching sessions and in person prenatal meeting. You will learn everything that I teach in my "fourth trimester" workshop which can be found here.

Q : In your contract, you mention that you will not speak directly to the staff at the hospital but provide advocacy support- would you be able to give an example and clarify?

A: The relationship you have with your medical provider is direct and only a healthcare proxy (which your partner is) can make decisions, give answers, or make requests about your medical care. My role in pregnancy and birth is to support both of you with education and discussion so that you both feel you have what you need to make any decisions necessary and that you understand how to best advocate for your preferences and your best health. You will come into the hospital already understanding your preferences and how to advocate for them and I provide the coaching to make sure you remember to do so, I sort of prompt you. Here is what that will look like:

Midwife/OB: "Hi Jenna , now that you are here in the hospital, we are going to keep you connected to the monitor continuously to make sure your baby is ok during labor"

Me speaking directly to both partners: "Jenna, after your birth class, you told me you would like to have freedom of movement and would like intermittent monitoring, is that still your preference?"

Midwife/OB: "Oh I don't like doing intermittent monitoring, we could miss something."

Me: "Jenna, do you need any more information from (providers name) before deciding and do you need any time to discuss before agreeing to continuous monitoring or not?"

Jenna: "Yes I would like to understand the statistical chances that intermittent monitoring would miss something and how that would weigh against the benefit of be being able to be up and moving around to help get the baby out"

In reality this is a bit less formal and less clunky but I hope this gives you the idea of how my support can show up in the room while only you are giving answers or asking questions from your provider.

Q: 4 week Lactation support- what does this look like?

A: We will begin with lactation education in nearly all of our prenatal meetings, different components are woven into each one. Once baby is born, I will help you with your first latch and assess your nipples and baby to see if there are any physical challenges we need to be aware of.

For the next 4 weeks, I will be checking in about latch, pain, milk supply, frequency of feeds and a number of other factors that go into creating a great feeding pattern and relationship. If anythings comes up that you have a challenge with, we will get on zoom or a call, depending on the challenge, to make changes. The goal is that with continuous support, we can prevent some of the bigger challenges from happening by constantly assessing for signs of them to come and making a correction.

Q: What do the two postpartum sessions look like?

A: These postpartum visits are really here for what ever you need most in that moment. We can spend that time in the way that feels most supportive for you. Sometimes it is a big therapy session and a lot of processing happens, and sometimes, restorative practices like reiki or some body work are what are most helpful that day.

If breastfeeding is happening, I will do a little assessment and provide any pointers or info in support of that. We always talk through how sleep is going and relationship status etc.

Q: Your package descriptions lists "Phone, text, and/or video support until baby is 4 weeks old." Can you expand on this?

A: From the time you sign a contract, you can contact me with any question. This covers all subjects related to pregnancy, birth, postpartum and baby. Some examples of subjects my clients reach out with are below:

  1. Follow up questions to a prenatal visit with their OB or Midwife.

  2. Questions about which baby gear to choose.

  3. Help navigating emotional challenges and changes that come up in pregnancy and postpartum.

  4. Guidance in navigating relationship changes after baby arrives.

  5. Help creating new systems in the household to support rest while keeping household functional.

  6. Questions about newborn symptoms like spit up, gas etc.


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