Birth, postpartum, lactation, sleep coaching, and more...
1 / What exactly is a doula?
Doulas are non-medical birth workers. I provide physical, emotional, and spiritual support to pregnant, birthing, and postpartum families. You can think of me as your birth tour guide that has already attended several births, knows what to expect, understands the physiology of birth and the medical stuff, and will help you and your partner feel supported. I have training in things like comfort measures, holistic healing, perinatal mental health, prenatal fitness, and birth psychology to walk with my families through their birth and postpartum period.
2 / Do you only support "natural births" or home births?
I support all births wherever they may be. I do encourage all low-risk parents to consider midwifery care because that is what science and experience indicates is the best for maternal and infant health outcomes. Midwives work in all settings (home, hospital, and birth centers) just like I do. With that said, I attend several hospital births a year, and am one of the staffed doulas at Providence Little Company of Mary in Torrance, CA.
3 / When should I hire a doula?
You can hire a doula at any point during your pregnancy, but most families start interviewing doulas around 24ish weeks. For my practice, the earlier the better! If there is a particular doula you think you to want to work with, contact them sooner rather than later to ensure her availability. I am usually booked a minimum of 3 months in advance.
4 / What is a postpartum doula? What's a Newborn Care Specialist (NCS)? Are you a baby night nurse?
A postpartum doula is a doula that specializes in the The Fourth Trimester, or the 3 months after birth. She's a best friend-for-hire that cooks, does light housekeeping, lets you sleep, and can teach you how to take care of yourself and your new baby. My goal is to “work myself out of a job” and leave you feeling confident in your new role as a parent.
A Newborn Care Specialist (NCS) is similar in action but their scope of practice is more like a nanny that takes over full care of a baby and may not have training in postpartum or lactation. My role as a postpartum doula is to support the entire family in their transition as a new family by sometimes taking care of the baby, but with a focus on teaching and answering questions rather than pure childcare.
It's common for people to be confused when asking for a "baby nurse" or "night nurse" which is an old phrase. Anyone claiming to be a nurse should be able to show you their RN license.
You can read more about my postpartum services here.
5 / Do you take insurance? Can I modify a package to lower the cost?
Most insurances do not cover doula services, but for the ones that do, I provide clients with a super bill to submit for reimbursement. See my pricing + insurance details here. Sliding scale and payment plan options are always available. Whether you pay $0 or my full fees, all birth clients receive all services in my Standard Birth Package.
6 / I think I want a doula but my partner is nervous. How do you work with partners?
Absolutely not! In fact, part of my job is to make sure your partner really shines and feels cared for too. Birth is beautiful, but intense. There will be moments where your partner may be unsure of what is happening or need to take a breather for a few minutes. A doula stands in the gap in those moments. I can also act as a… bouncer if there are too many people/family members in the room disrupting your birth environment. (Birth is not a spectator sport!)
7 / If you aren't a doctor or midwife, what is a "prenatal" appointment?
This is where I will meet with you (and often your partner as well) to discuss topics like: the information you are learning in your childbirth classes, your birth and postpartum plan, any breastfeeding concerns, fears about giving birth, etc.
I like at least the first prenatal appointment to take place in your home, but we can also take a field trip to a breastfeeding group, take a walk on the beach, grab some tea and chat, etc.
The prenatals are important to your overall experience and I have found that providing individualized care results in better outcomes for my clients.
8 / Can I hire you just as a postpartum doula and lactation counselor?
Absolutely! Although my wraparound care packages are designed to fully support families from birth through postpartum at a slight discount. I find that being with families for a longer period of time during the perinatal process helps set them up for success long term.
9 / Should I book day or night care?
The best way to answer that question would be to book a consultation with me. But consider your budget, support network, resources, and any concerns you might have i.e. medical, mental health, etc. Day postpartum care is more geared toward education while night care is designed for rest and to maximize help for lactation concerns and newborn sleep coaching/shaping. Postpartum care is not a luxury. Everyone deserves support to as I like to say--thrive, not just survive.
10 / What is newborn sleep coaching? Do you sleep train newborns?
Sleep training is a separate skill set and service for older babies 5+ months old. Generally speaking, my clients booking newborn sleep shaping will not need sleep training at 5+ months old because their babies will already be sleeping longer stretches, many fully through the night by 12 weeks old. Sleep shaping is a gentle baby-led strategy customized over time to your family’s needs. It is not a “Cry it Out” method of sleep training and I do not sleep train or believe in sleep training newborns from an ethical standpoint.
11 / How many kids do you have? How long have you been a doula?
Would you believe that I've been a full-time professional doula for over 7 years, am on staff as a doula at a hospital, and I have zero children? My greatest weakness is my greatest strength: because my experience of pregnancy, birth, and postpartum is through my clients, I know the "right way" to do things is whatever works best for you and your family.