DOULA FAQS

Wondering what a Doula is and how we can help? Here are some commonly asked questions. Please do get in touch if you’d like more information, or if you have another question that isn’t answered, I’d love to help you.

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WHAT IS A DOULA?

The word “Doula” is a Greek word that means “woman’s servant”, though over the years it has come to mean "to serve".  It's pronounced "doo-la".  Doulas are a trained and experienced childbirth support person (and are often mothers themselves), and do not replace but rather works alongside your midwife or doctor.  Doulas can attend your birth at a private or public hospital, and even at your home.  A Doula "mothers the mother" and provides continuity of care with physical, emotional and informational support during pregnancy, birth and the postnatal period, to both the mother and her partner (if she has one, complimenting and reinforcing their role).  Having a Doula can ensure you have a more positive birthing outcome, including reduced rates of c-section and less need for medicated pain relief: if this is your preference, though of course, I would back you unconditionally regardless of your preferred choice.  I offer this service to you from a uniquely holistic perspective, both as a VBAC mum (read more about me here) and incorporating my extensive Birth and Postpartum Doula, Ka Huna massage and pre and postnatal Pilates training and expertise. 

Women have complex needs during childbirth. In addition to the safety of modern obstetrical care, and the love and companionship provided by their partners, women need consistent, continuous reassurance, comfort, encouragement and respect. They need individualised care based on their circumstances and preferences. The role of the birth doula encompasses the non-clinical aspects of care during childbirth.
— DONA (Doulas of North America)
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HOW WILL A DOULA HELP ME?

As your Doula, I'll be here to support you by providing information around your birthing choices and discussing your concerns, queries and fears.  In your pregnancy we put together a birth plan, the power of which isn't the plan itself, rather the education to know your options.  During your birth I'm there for you, to help with massage, position suggestions, breathing and sounding exercises, aromatherapy, homeopathy, photography, Spinning Babies techniques, advocating for your wishes and more - ultimately being there so you and your partner both feel continuously cared for and supported.  And even if things don't go to plan, I'll listen, remain calm, collected, focused, be able to explain things without medical jargon, supporting you through any challenge and reducing any risk of trauma around your birth.  I'll help you to be present for your birth, rather than letting birth happen to you.  After the birth we debrief your birthing experience so you can own your birth story, and I help further with tips and demonstrations for settling and wrapping your baby, suggestions for breast or bottle feeding, and can even cook you a meal, fold a load of laundry or take your baby and dog for a walk.  You may just need me to simply hold your baby so you can shower!

A doulas primary and unique role is to encourage the birthing woman’s self confidence. Whilst every member of the birthing team play an integral role in assisting the woman to birth her baby, the doula is there to be the mother’s constant companion and is comfortable and confident with the birthing process which is not only valuable for the birthing woman, it is very beneficial for the woman’s partner or even her chosen friend or relative who may also be present.
— Renee Adair, Australian Doula College
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WHAT DOES A DOULA COST?

Doulas vary significantly in costs depending on a variety of things including their experience, the package on offer and other things that can be included in their skillset.  For example, my Basic Essential Me package includes an obligation free interview, two prenatal meetings, birth plan preparation, being on call from 38-42 weeks, unlimited phone and email support, attending your birth both at home and in hospital (sometimes for a very long time - or as long as physically possible!), debriefing your birth experience, and a postnatal visit in your home, including nursing and settling support.  Many Doulas bring different things to your birth, for example, I bring a rebozo (Mexican shawl/scarf to help with pain manangement and baby positioning), Spinning Babies techniques, acupuncture needles (like pinboard studs), homeopathics and more...  I also offer additional Ka Huna Massage and pre and postnatal Pilates services. 

To my knowledge, in Sydney you could hire an inexperienced student Doula for somewhere between $400 and $1,000, or a qualified Birth Doula depending on their package, for anywhere between $1,200 and $3,500.  Postpartum Doulas also vary significantly in price, usually between $40 and $80 per hour with a minimum 3+ hours.  I try to keep my prices as reasonable as possible to ensure that women (and couples) who want and need support can afford it.  You can see more about my packages here and my additional services here.

If a doula were a drug, it would be unethical not to use it.
— Giving Birth: Challenges and Choices, by Suzanne Arms
 Drug free water birth. What is a doula? Amanda from Essential Me Doula Sydney, Doula Services
Deciding on who you would like to be present at the birth of your child is one of the biggest decisions on our life journey. We can not recommend Amanda highly enough. Her warm, friendly, calm and immensely knowledgeable presence instantly wrapped around us like a hug from a long lost friend. We always looked forward to our meetings and planning sessions together. She helped us to navigate the birth system and understand our options, plus how to ask the right questions, ultimately ensuring that even if things didn’t go to plan - that we understood why and weren’t left with unanswered questions. It was fantastic having a doula with such a Mary Poppins bag of birthing tools. Including massage, acupressure, aromatherapy and pilates. Amanda is incredibly practical and knowledgeable about birth in all its forms and we felt reassured by the fact that Amanda had experienced two different birthing experiences of her own. After the birth I felt incredibly well supported and looked after navigating the early days of motherhood, and hope that we will be able to have Amanda with us next time too.
— Jade & Jonny: Birth Doula Package Clients

See more testimonials here.

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