What exactly is a Doula? | The benefits and purpose of hiring a Doula

What exactly is a doula? What do they do & why do you need one?

A Guest Post by: Haley Nicole

What exactly is a doula?

A doula can be defined as a role of someone that provides labor support before, during

and after birth. With the use of non-medical and holistic care to the childbearing family,

a birth doula helps by providing information to plan care during birth. The support of a

doula minimizes emotional and physical stress, while facilitating normal physiologic

labor. As a doula, my role in childbirth is to make sure that the pregnant or laboring

woman’s needs are at the center of all care.

What do doulas do during labor?

The main role of a doula during labor is to empower the mother and provide emotional

support. In addition, a doula also assist with non-medical pain relief methods. A few

examples would be breathing techniques, counter pressure, acupressure, hip squeezing

and massage. These techniques can minimize the pain associated with contractions

and pushing.

What is a doula and what do they do during labor and delivery?

How do doulas support women that need c-sections?

In the event of a cesarean section, either emergency or planned: I personally offer as

much support as the medical staff will let me. If the cesarean birth is scheduled, I meet

the client at the hospital at their scheduled time. I offer emotional and breastfeeding

support after the birth if desired. I also assist their partner by helping them bond with the

baby while the mother is in recovery. If I am not allowed to be present during the

cesarean due to emergency, policy, etc. I join after the birth as soon as allowed.

Why should you hire a doula?

A doula should be hired if you feel the need to have additional support while pregnant,

laboring and postpartum. I often get hired when a pregnant woman would like their

partner to be more comfortable supporting them. As a doula, it is my job to prepare

everyone that will be in the room during labor. I make it my goal to ensure each person

involved is comfortable and educated on childbirth and providing support.

How does one find a doula?

My biggest suggestion would be to look on local Facebook groups to find doulas in your

area. It is awesome to find personal suggestions and read reviews that way. Another

option is to use https://doulamatch.net

What special training does a doula have?

There are technically no formal requirements for calling oneself a doula. However, many

doulas choose to get certified by organizations that oversee training programs. Most

doulas have received training on the birthing process and/or postpartum period and

have met the requirements of a rigorous certification program. Attending live births is

generally requirement of these programs. I personally received my certification through

New Beginnings Doula Training.

What special training and certifications does a doula require?

Does a doula assist the doctor or midwife?

As a doula it is extremely important for me to respect the different roles of each member

of the birthing team that I get the pleasure of working with. Effective communication is a

key strategy that utilized in this field. A doula does not perform any medical or clinical

tasks, but does ensure that the clients needs are effectively communicated to the entire

care team. Client advocacy is another key role of a doula.

Do doulas only assist during labor, or are they available during pregnancy and postpartum?

There are some doulas that cover pregnancy, labor and the postpartum period. From

the moment you hire these doulas they are there for you. You can also just hire doulas

for the individual stages.

What is a virtual doula?

During my own pregnancy, I started providing virtual doula services. This option is

perfect for someone that already has the support role filled, but wants additional

education and support. With the use of phone calls, texting or FaceTime, I prepare both

the mother and partner for their birthing journey. The image below covers my overall

virtual doula services. I also offer virtual postpartum support to those that only need

support after birth. This includes support with your physical and emotional recovery, tips with infant feeding,

infant sleep and overall care, bonding with baby and overall family adjustment. Virtual doulas are

ongoing support at your fingertips.

What is a virtual doula and what does it include?

Does insurance cover doula? How much do they cost?

Some insurances cover doulas. The cost of a doula varies by region, but a birth doula

can can range from $500 to $2,500. Virtual services are much cheaper and are either

flat rates or monthly payments depending on how long you wish to have the additional


What questions should a mom ask when interviewing a doula?

Common questions I have been asked include:

1. What made you want to be a doula?

2. How will you support me during labor?

3. How would you describe yourself as a doula?

4. How do you plan to support my partner in this process?

5. What is included in your fees?

6. What is the plan if you can’t come when I need you?

Questions to ask yourself after the interview:

1. How do you feel about this person being a part of your birth or postpartum


2. Does your partner feel good about this doula?

3. Are you looking forward to having this person be there for you when you need


4. Do you feel you will be well supported and not judged?

If you have any other questions or are interested in learning more about my virtual doula

services, my email is doula.mommanurture@gmail.com

Everything you need to know about a Doula and virtual doula services

Haley is a mom of two wildlings. Grayson, is two years old and Blakely is 3 months old.

Haley has been a doula for 2 years. In addition to

helping mommas out with their birthing journey, Haley also empowers her online

community by providing positive affirmations and creating a safe place to express the

struggles of motherhood. On her blog she also

shares traveling adventures, toddler learning and endless pictures of her tribe.

Doula page

Blog page

Did you use a doula during your childbirth? Are you familiar with a Doulas role? Comment below, I would love to know your experience!