Image by Camylla Battani

Doula FAQs

What is a doula?

DONA International defines a doula as; "A trained professional who provides continuous physical, emotional and informational support to a mother before, during and shortly after childbirth to help her achieve the healthiest, most satisfying experience possible"

Do doulas only attend home births?

Doulas attend all births!  I support women in homes, hospitals and Lucina Birth Center.

Do doulas deliver babies?

Our role is non-clinical.  We do not deliver babies, give medical advice, perform fetal heart tone checks or do cervical exams.  We are not a primary care provider.  Doulas are hired to to provide advocacy, education, emotional and physical support to clients during pregnancy, labour and birth.

I am planning on using pain medication (epidural, morphine), can a doula still be a benefit to me?

Absolutely!  Doulas support all births and our job does not end when a woman chooses to utilize medical pain relief.  Through optimal positioning, emotional and physical support and encouragement, we can help women achieve empowerment and control in her birth experience. A doula supports your choices, working to help you have a satisfying birth experience.

Will my doula make decisions for me?

No, doulas support you in making the best decisions for yourself and your baby by providing you with quality, evidence based information and presenting the benefits and risks to various procedures and options.

 Will a doula replace my partner? 

A doula compliments the partner's role by providing suggestions, reassurance, advocacy and relief.  A doula does not attempt to replace the partner's role, rather we work as a team to support the labouring woman.

I am planning a cesarean birth, can a doula still be of benefit to me?

Yes!  We support both vaginal and belly (cesarean) birth.  Doulas support belly birth by working with the client to create a birth wishes document and helping you to understand the cesarean birth process and all of your options.  Although doulas are typically not permitted in the cesarean space due to a 'one support person' general rule, we meet you at the hospital and provide emotional support and advocacy before and after birth.  In the immediate postpartum period doulas can help with initial bonding and breastfeeding.

katherine kowalski 

certified birth doula + registered massage therapist