Frequently asked questions
Why are birth outcomes better when you have a doula?
Multiple randomized control studies have found that the presence of a trained doula benefits everyone. The studies have consistently shown that doula care shortens labor, less use of epidurals and/or other pain medications, lower episiotomy rates, and as much as a 50% reduction in cesarean rates. Research has also shown better clinical outcomes for both mother and baby (Including better breastfeeding rates and better family bonding). A doula also provides care and guidance for the partner and other family members involved with the birth. The doula works alongside of your medical care providers offering assistance to the busy hospital staff, greatly increasing the mother's overall satisfaction of her birth experience.
Is a doula the same thing as a midwife?
No. A doula provides no medical or nursing care. Since she doesn’t have these responsibilities, or other patients to attend to, she can give her complete attention to being by a woman’s side for the entire length of her labor.
Does a doula take the place of a partner?
A doula doesn’t replace anyone. She is another member of the birth team and supports everyone in their own role. A doula’s presence helps fathers or partners participate at their own comfort level, showing them how and when to use various comfort techniques, providing information, and in some cases, looking after them as well. Partners are often grateful to be able to share the “coaching” responsibility with someone more experienced and can therefore enjoy the birth experience more.
Do I need a doula if I am thinking about getting an epidural?
Yes. A doula’s presence is helpful during early labor and during the epidural placement process. She then continues to care for the woman and her family, offering emotional and informational support. Doulas can help reposition you after the epidural is placed so that your labor can continue to progress. And, when it’s time to deliver the baby, the doula’s assistance can be invaluable. Doulas will hold your legs in the correct position, keep you focused, and encourage you while pushing. Once the baby arrives, the doula will help you with the initial skin-to-skin bonding, take photos if you desire, and assist with baby's first latch.
Can I request a particular doula and can you guarantee she will be the one at my birth?
Yes, you can select the Golden Gate Doula Associate you would like to work for your birth. Once you are under contract, you are welcome to attend the GGDA monthly workshops, classes, and support groups where you can meet and get to know all the doulas in the practice. The GGDA doulas are deeply committed to each of their clients. It is a priority to be at the birth of the couples we work with. Your doula will go on call for you as soon as you sign up in case you need a doula sooner than you planned. Due to the unpredictability of births there may come an occasion where two women go into labor at the same time and your doula may not be able to attend part (or all) of your birth. If this happens, a GGDA doula will be available to attend your birth, our team will always have 3 doulas on call around the the time of your due date. This is extremely rare, but we like to make sure that we are prepared for ANYTHING that can happen and that you will be in good hands of an experienced, passionate, caring doula.