The Doula Difference
Here is a great explanation of the role doulas play, written by one of our favorite doulas, Wendy Dean. "Sometimes folks wonder why they need a doula if they are seeing the awesome midwives at PSMBC. We always say two things: first, labor is unpredictable and second you can’t have too much support. If your labor is straightforward and relatively short, you may do fine without a doula. But especially for first time parents, the way labor unfolds can be confusing, or even a little frightening. Having a doula on your birth team allows you to have skilled, experienced support BEFORE you get to the birth center or your midwife arrives at your home. It allows your partner to spend more time supporting you and less time thinking about whether what you are experiencing is normal or when to pack the car and head to the birth center. If your labor is long or gets complicated, a doula helps spell your partner, who will then be less exhausted when your baby arrives. After labor, a doula can be a resource in the early days of parenting. Most offer some degree of breastfeeding assistance and can help you figure out if what you are experiencing is normal or if you need to call your midwife or a lactation consultant. Doula care complements midwifery care in a beautiful way. We're biased, but we ask: why wouldn’t you hire a doula? It’s a win/win."
How to Choose a Doula
An experienced, professional doula is a wise investment in your birth. Here are some questions to ask when interviewing doulas:
- What makes you unique as a doula?
- Have you worked with my birth place before? What was that experience like?
- How do you define your role during the birth?
- Tell me specifically how you include the partner during labor?
- What do you expect from me as your client? Can you provide me with references?
- What do you do if you have two clients in labor at the same time?
- How many births have you attended? What have those births taught you?
"Over the years that I have been attending births as a doula, I’ve been privileged to support parents in a multitude of different circumstances. I’m always delighted to hear that a client has chosen to work with PSMBC because I know they will begetting the most evidence based, most compassionate, and best continuum of care possible!"
"Over the last 17 years since the opening of the Puget Sound Birth Center, I have had the honor and privilege of working with most, if not all, of the wonderful midwives there. Each brings her own spirit to the birth, her own warmth and love for laboring women, yet beyond that, they bring great competence in their skills of labor and birth management. I am always thrilled when I hear a potential client tell me that she is with PSMBC, because I know they will have a wonderfully memorable experience."
"As a doula my role is to provide guidance and support to the birthing family. When I attend a birth at PSBC I know that I part of the team and my relationship with the midwives allows me to support my more clients effectively. Families often chose a doula because they want the additional support to help them achieve their goals of having a natural child birth and they choose the birth center because they want a care provider that is supportive of their desires. In the end, they may or may not get what the birth they planned on having but what I find to be most important is that no matter what they want to be treated with respect, they want to make informed decisions and they want to feel like they are a part of the decision making process. This is what a birth with a midwife looks like."
"I love working at Puget Sound Birth Center. The midwives there are caring, knowledgeable, and so very supportive of healthy, safe birth. When working at PSBC, I feel that my clients are greatly benefitting from the complimentary care of both doula and midwife, working as a team to meet their needs."
"I have been doing births at PSBC since 1995, and am so happy to get to work with these fabulous midwives and support their clients. To me it is the best of all scenarios for birthing couples."
"Every mother deserves to have the best possible birth experience. I have supported dozens of families as they welcomed their babies into their arms in a peaceful, empowering, and safe atmosphere where they were supported by their outstanding team of midwives and doulas. As a doula, I know firsthand how important the bond is between the midwife and expectant parents. All of the midwives at PSBC equally respect and support my relationships with my clients. After supporting over 200 families, this synergy is at the heart of some of the most meaningful births I have attended."
"One of the most beautiful things about midwifery, practiced with the utmost skill and compassion, is that every birth is approached as the remarkably unique and transformative experience that it truly is. The team of midwives at PSBC has the practice and passion to give expectant mothers and their families the best possible birthing experience. It is a joy to work with PSBC midwives and I'm always excited about the collaboration."