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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:

Can you provide 5 easy steps to hiring a Doula with Lumina Birth?

1. Read our doula profiles here.

2. Fill out this short survey about what you are looking for in a doula.

3. We will match you with our available doula team members.

4. Interview available doulas, either on the phone or in person.

5. Hire a doula!  You can pay your deposit or full-fee online.

What is a Birth Doula and how does she differ from a nurse and/or midwife?

Birth doulas have been helping women in childbirth for hundreds of years! Birth assistants have traditionally been women in the family or friends who gather around laboring women to help in innumerable ways. Today, a birth doula is a non-medical labor support person who has been trained (or possibly not formally trained) to help women have their babies. She provides emotional care, physical comfort measures to work through labor, coaching, and knowledge to keep the couple aware and involved in all that happens. A midwife is trained differently to guide the mother through the more physical and "medical" needs of birth. 

More recently as the families less frequently live nearby and the role has become a  support service, the term "doula" was adopted, which is Greek for "mother's servant." She serves the mother with continuity of care and continuous support through her entire labor. Even the most well-meaning midwife or the best hospital staff simply cannot provide continuous care and labor coaching given their patient load and staff protocols to follow. A birth doula is also there to offer comfort and emotional support. She can provide information when the mother needs more guidance. Maneuvering through typical medical procedures can be a bit overwhelming, a birth doula can help with that as well. Simply put, a birth doula is an experienced labor support person who is hired to support a mom in her journey into motherhood, whether it’s the first baby or the tenth!

What is a Postpartum Doula and how is she different from a Night Nurse?

A postpartum doula is a support to the mom, in her home, after baby has arrived.  Postpartum doulas are different from night nurses because she will guide the mother in the art of being a mother to her newborn, instead of taking over. Care hours are usually scheduled during the day. Postpartum doulas help with one baby or multiples. When the postpartum doula leaves, the goal is that the family has been empowered with the confidence to care for baby while going it alone. It is an excellent service to women without family who can help, for a listening ear in an emotional time, and someone to help keep the housework managed while mom and baby adjust to their new routine together. 

What is the difference between parent concierge services and a doula?

A parent concierge provides information, support, and resources for navigating the pregnancy and postpartum period, but not during the labor and birth. Parent concierge is a comprehensive suite of services and resources tailored to the client’s needs. Services include: LacSnacks meal delivery, guided maternity wardrobe shopper, healthy living support, registry support, baby product how to and more. A doula is one who helps with the actual physical/emotional birth process (see above). She offers support in the home and/or hospital before, during or after the labor, birth and immediate postpartum hours.

How many women use Birth Doula support?

This number has grown considerably over the more recent years.  In a 2006 study, it was said that about 3% of women used doulas to help birth their baby. In the years since Lumina Birth's most experienced staff began working in 2004, the use of doula care in the Atlanta area has steadily grown.

What can a birth doula help with before, during and after childbirth?

The birth doula's work begins long before labor. Here are things she most commonly helps the couple with: 

-Thinking through birth preferences and writing the birth plan.

-Fostering a team environment with medical professionals chosen by the couple.

-Involving the birth partner and helping to support him, or her, too.

-Physical comfort techniques such as massage, varying labor positions, and hydrotherapy.

-Ensuring that the couple understand pros and cons of proposed medical interventions. 

-Offering resources for further support when needed.

-Being a knowledgeable, calm presence through the demanding experience of birth.

-Assisting in initial baby care preferences of the couple and first breastfeeding.

-Plus much more!

What can a Postpartum Doula help with after my baby has arrived?

The postpartum doula "mothers the mother" by offering an educated, unbiased ear during a time of huge family transition. She may do chores to help keep the house managed, such as: light meal prep, cleaning, laundry, putting fresh sheets on the bed, restocking the diaper changing stations(s), etc. Your postpartum doula will be happy to run errands and grocery shop. One of our doulas even washed the dog! If you have other children, she is able to take care of them as well while you rest or tend to the baby. She loves to help with the new baby the most! She may help with bath time, diaper changing, cord care, and more. She will guide you in how to establish routines, swaddle your infant, and in soothing techniques help get baby to sleep and how to keep baby asleep. She's the mother every new mom wishes she had! 

What are the birth outcomes I can expect when using a doula?

Although doulas cannot guarantee any particular birth outcomes. Making sure your care provider is willing to support you in your birth preferences and desire to have your doula present is key to building a stress-free birth team. The following stats are from a study done on the benefits of doulas in the birthing room:

50% less cesareans

25% shorter labors

60% reduction in epidural requests

30% reduction in pain medication requests

40% less need for forceps delivery

Increased time spent with baby immediately following birth

Decreased postpartum depression

Decreased birth expenses

How much does a birth doula cost?

Depending on a doula’s experience level, training, and region of the country, the cost can range from $200-$1600.  At Lumina Birth, our doulas' fees range from $400-$875.

How much does a Postpartum Doula cost?

Depending on a postpartum doulas experience level, the cost can range from $20-$25/hour. We contract the first session in a six hour block. It can be used in one or two scheduled sessions. After that initial block of time is purchased, you can purchase as few or as many hours as you’d like. Talk with your doula about scheduling. They are flexible, as you may not know exactly what you need until baby arrives.

When should I start interviewing and finally hire a doula?

We recommend you start the interview process in the range of 26-30 weeks gestation. Interviews can be done in person or on the phone. The earlier the better because you have more time to get to know your doula and her you. Remember, you get unlimited phone and email support during your pregnancy. Take advantage of that perk and hire your doula early! If you come to us frantic at 39 weeks, we will still be happy to help you and more than likely will be able to accommodate your last minute need.  Just contact us and we can help get the ball rolling. Profiles of all of our staff are on the web site. 

What if I have an unexpected Cesarean and I’ve already hired my doula?

Take a look at our contract and your detailed questions should be answered there. 

How well will my doula work with my care provider?

We take great pride in our professional presence and appearance when at a birth. We make it a point to introduce ourselves to medical staff so they know we are there to work as a team. We like to make the nurses job easier, and they appreciate it! Given our years of experience, chances are your nurse and/or midwife/doctor have met us already. 

Didn’t find the answer to your question here?

If you want us to add a question onto our FAQ’s just email us info@luminabirth.com!  We’ll answer your question and possibly include it on our website listing.

What should I pack in my bag for my hospital stay?

Consider packing two different bags.  When you arrive at the hospital in labor, bring your birth bag with you. Once your baby comes and your settled in the recovery room, send your birth partner back to the car for your overnight bag.  Swap your birth bag out for your overnight bag.

Birth Bag:

  • Relaxation tools (essential oils, rice sock, tennis balls, etc)
  • Nourishment (protien snacks, juice/water, food for partner, hard candy)
  • Non-skid socks/slippers
  • Birth ball
  • Soothing/favorite songs playlist
  • Your own clothes if you don't want to wear the hospital gown
  • Birth plan attached to a sweet treat for the nurse(s)
  • Insurance card/hospital forms
  • Eye glasses
  • Cellphone, charger and/or camera (don't forget the batteries)
  • Items/pictures to focus on
  • Family/friends phone numbers

Find out what the hospital already has and consider taking those items off your packing list.

Postpartum/Recovery Bag:

  • Extra Pillow
  • Pajamas or comfortable clothes for your stay
  • Pen and paper
  • Toiletries (shampoo, conditioner, toothbrush, toothpaste, make-up, etc)
  • Seasonally appropriate going home outfit for mom (6 month size) and baby (newborn size) and blanket
  • 2 Nursing bras and breast pads (washable or disposable)
  • Granny panties (the hospital provides disposable mesh panties)
  • Breast pump (bring one from home or the hospital may provide one)
  • Non-skid socks/slippers
  • Pre-installed car seat
  • Empty duffle for gifts

 

Find out what the hospital already has and consider taking those items off your packing list.