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Frequently Asked Questions

  • Where does the word "doula" come from?"
    The word "doula" comes from ancient Greek, meaning "woman's servant." Throughout history and in much of the world today, labouring mothers give birth with the support of a small core of women who offer back rubs and other comfort measures, while providing continuous emotional support. Like these wise and practiced labour companions, birth doulas know how to help women in labor feel better.
  • What are the benefits of doula care?
    Rebecca Dekker (PhD, RN, APRN) of Evidence Based Birth has compiled an excellent summary of what doulas do, what we do not do, and the evidence on benefits of doula care. Click here to read the article.
  • How much does a doula cost?
    Our doulas set their own fees, which vary in part according to their levels of training and experience. Costs mostly range between $600 and $800 dollars. For information on subsidized doula care, check out The Sabiha Fund.
  • Does a doula replace nursing staff?
    No. Doulas do not replace nurses or other medical staff. Doulas do not perform clinical or medical tasks such as taking blood pressure or temperature, monitoring fetal heart rate, doing vaginal examinations or providing postpartum clinical care. They are there to comfort and support the labouring person and to enhance communication between the parents and medical professionals.
  • What if I alread have other support? (e.g. family, spouse, significant other)"
    Birth doulas are invaluable assets to mothers and families before, during and after birth. They do not take the place of a father/partner in the birthing room but instead, work to foster intimacy and cooperation between birthing people and their chosen support persons. Here are some great links on how doula care can benefit the father/partner and not just the mother! 7 Ways Doulas Benefit Dads and Partners What the Heck Is a Doula and Why Do We Need One? (The Good Men Project) New Dad's Advice: Just Hire a Damn Doula (The Good Men Project) Parents should bear in mind that certain procedures in hospital restrict the number of people allowed in the room at any given time, but this does not mean that you cannot or should not have a doula; it just means you will want to discuss ahead of time with your doula who will be present with the labouring parent if somebody has to leave to room. Postpartum doulas work with you and your family after your child is born, although some of our doulas provide both birth and postpartum services, which some new parents prefer for continuity of care. Postpartum doulas slide right into your family to provide extra support while you regroup after a new arrival. They facilitate healing and family bonding, and their presence does not diminish or reflect negatively on the second parent. Again experience, fees, and services vary somewhat between doulas, so scroll our membership and reach out to somebody who feels like their vibe suits yours. We're happy to answer all your questions!
  • What if I'm high risk, or having a cesarean?"
    Birth doulas are trained and equipped to attend all kinds of births. In hospital or at home (in provinces where this is available), high or low risk births, medicated and unmedicated labour, water birth or dry birth--doulas do and love them all!
  • What if I want ALL the drugs?
    A doula's role is to support her client in making informed choices, not to judge. Whatever you decide is best for you and your family, we will back you all the way with heartfelt enthusiasm.
  • How can I become a doula?
    You can learn more about doula certification requirements by consulting any one of the following certifying bodies: Doula Training CanadaDona InternationalCappa
  • Further Resources & Topical Info
    Janeway Parents Hotline (St John's): 722-1126 Postpartum Mood Disorders info and help: DONA International: Doula Training Canada: Breastfeeding support in NL: Further breastfeeding resources: La Leche League Canada:
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