Doula Care FAQ

What is a doula?

Doulas provide emotional, physical and informational support during pregnancy, labor, birth, postpartum and more. A doula provides continuous, uninterrupted support throughout labor and birth. They offer information, massage, suggestions for position changes, relaxation techniques, reminders to encourage the physiological process, etc. A doula does not replace a partner or other support person. Instead they help support them in ways that aim to enhance the bond and experience.

 

What does a doula offer and how does it differ from my midwifery care?

A doula will:

  • Provide prenatal visits in your home

  • Provide tools and reminders for labour comfort

  • Provide massage and comforting touch/pressure

  • Suggest positions to ease back labor, aid relaxation, help with pushing, etc

  • Offer you cold/hot packs

  • Bring you drinks, snacks, ice chips

  • Stay by your side so that your partner/support person can take a break when needed​

  • Staying attuned to your needs, giving space when needed and being close when needed

  • Take photographs of you, your partner/support person, & your baby during and after birth

  • Visit you at home afterwards to review the birth and support you and your beautiful new baby

  • Support with feeding/latch guidance

What do doula services include?

• Pre-natal visits in your home or in another comfortable space

• On call rotation guarantee 24/7 from 36 weeks onward to two weeks postpartum, or until baby is born (or similar variation)

• Phone/text support during early labor, before you need physical support

• Continuous presence once labor is established, until one or two hours postpartum

• Labor and birth positioning suggestions for comfort and labor progress

• Massage and other alternative pain relief measures

• Information on all aspects of labor for you and your partner/support person

• Support of whatever choices you make during labor

• Photographs and/or video of birth, if desired

• Help with feeding/latching

• 1-2 postpartum visits, at your convenience

What about fees?

With our funding in place, we can happily offer no-cost doula support to low income/socially complex families. This community payment structure relies on our families to choose their payment amount, if any, in relation to their financial situation. We have created a map to help with this process. Those who can pay, we ask that they do, as this will cover many costs, support lower income families to receive care they may not otherwise be able to afford, and support our doulas to continue this work sustainably. The payment would be considered a charity donation and a tax receipt would be available.

Please click here to read more about funding and view the guidance map.

I want to get to know the person who will be with me in labour. How will this happen?

Our doulas offer prenatal visits during your pregnancy in home or in clinic, which is a great opportunity to get to know one another. We also offer complimentary meet & greets before you agree to hire a doula to ensure you feel there is a connection there. 

How do I get a hold of my doula in labour? When do I let them know I am in labour?

Our doulas work on an on-call rotation similarly to the midwives and physicians. You will have access to a schedule informing you who to call depending on the date, and you will have access to all phone numbers. 

We ask that you inform us of any important information/changes along the way, and if you believe you are in early labour a phone call and/or text is appreciated to be aware of where you are at. We join you once there is a request made to have that support! Our goal is to give you space and privacy to labour until you feel you are ready to have your doula come support you physically.  This timeline looks different for everyone!

Are doulas just for home birthers? What if I want to give birth in hospital, have pain medication or am having a c-section?

We support all births. Doulas do not have any agenda and offer non-judgemental support. A doula's role is to help you make informed and intuitive choices that are right for you. Doulas are trained to support all kinds of births - at home, in the hospital, with midwives or doctors, medication free or with pain medication, vaginal or caesarean. 

To hire a doula for your upcoming birth with Apple Tree, please contact appletreedoulas@gmail.com