Virginia Padoula
Doula in Northern Virginia

Doula FAQ's

  1. What is a Doula?
    A doula is a labor support coach, providing both physical and emotional comfort. A doula offers help and advice on comfort measures such as breathing, relaxation, movement, and positioning. A doula does not replace the husband or partner but instead assists both parents in preparing for and carrying out their birth plan.  A doula also facilitates communication between the laboring woman, her partner, and her care providers.
  2.  What is a Doula's scope of practice?  
    The physical support a doula can provide covers all things from a hot or cold washcloth to a comforting touch, or even brushing mom's hair and massaging her hands and feet.  Doula's do not carry out any medical procedures or give medical advice. 
    The doula may also assist in facilitating communication between the laboring woman and her medical providers and husband to advocate for the mother's expressed wishesDoula's do not suggest going against the medical team's advice or tell the mother and father what choices they should make. A doula can help the mother understand her options so that she can make the choices best for her and her baby.  A doula spends time with the mother before birth assisting her in the creation of a birth plan.  This time spent together also cultivates a relationship so that both may feel comfortable the day of baby's arrival.
  3.  Will a Doula improve my birth experience?
    By attending to a woman's emotional needs, research has shown obstetrical outcomes have improved where a Doula was present.  The psychological outcomes compiled by Penny Simkin on the benefits of a continuous doula list; enhanced breastfeeding, better maternal-infant interaction, less postpartum depression, anxiety, and greater self esteem.  As well as, higher maternal assessments of their baby when compared to the "standard baby," and greater overall satisfaction with their birth experience.  Meta-analysis of 15 high quality randomized controlled trials of continuous support from around the world showed that overall, women who received continuous labor support were less likely to experience:
    • Epidural or other regional analgesia
    • Any analgesia/anesthesia, including epidurals and opiods
    • Birth with vacuum extraction or forceps
    • Birth by cesarean
    • Dissatisfaction or a negative rating of their experience.

 

What I offer:

My Doula services include:

  • Knowledge and passion about birth.
  • Two in-home prenatal appointments each lasting approximately one hour.  I take the time to answer any questions you may have and we get to know one another.  I cover the stages of labor, labor positions, nutrition, and what to expect from hospital care versus the midwifery model of care.  With an option of prenatal massage and rebozo work.  I also offer a TENS unit to rent before and during your labor.
  • 24/7 phone and e-mail support before labor and birth.
  • I meet you at your home for continuous support throughout labor and follow you to the birth setting of your choice for the birth of your child and 90minutes post-partum.
  • One postpartum visit for support and help with initiating breastfeeding within the first two weeks of birth.  Ask about additional postpartum options.
  • Flame less candles for hospital ambiance.
  • Birth ball, rebozo
  • Moxabustion
  • Reiki
  • Photos, if desired.
  • Phone and e-mail support after birth.
 

Pricing and packages:

  • The Deluxe Support Package:  Two prenatal appointments each lasting approximately one hour, and a one hour prenatal massage.  24/7 on-call support starting at 38 weeks, continuous support throughout labor and birth, and one post-partum visit lasting approximately an hour and a half including a 30min. postnatal massage, $1200
  • The Premium Support Package: Two prenatal appointments each lasting approximately one hour.  24/7 on-call support starting at 38 weeks, continuous support throughout labor and birth, and one post-partum visit lasting approximately an hour. $1000
  • The Standard Support Package:  One prenatal appointment lasting approximately one hour, continuous support throughout labor and birth, and one post-partum visit lasting approximately one hour, $900.
  • The Baby Day Support: Continuous support throughout labor and birth and post-partum phone/e-mail support, $750.