DOULA FAQ

Still have a question you're wondering about? 

What are the benefits of working with a doula?


A study by Bohren et al. (2017) examined the impact of one-on-one continuous support during childbirth. Over 15,000 laboring women participated, and the results showed that women and babies who received continuous support had statistically better outcomes – especially with a doula (compared to midwives, nurses, childbirth educators, or friends). Some of these effects include a higher likelihood of spontaneous vaginal births, shorter than average labors, lower risk of a Cesarean section, decreased use of pain relief medication, and mitigated dissatisfaction with their birth experience. Visit evidencebasedbirth.com to read more about the study and the positive impact of doulas.




I am very open to using pain medication during labor. How can a doula support me?


I provide nonjudgemental support to every client and encourage everyone to approach labor with an open mind. Circumstances may arise that prevent a person from having pain medication and sometimes people who plan to have unmedicated births find themsevles in situations where interventions become unavoidable. I have supported many women with epidurals and there are many ways that a doula can assist before and after you receive pain medication. Everyone responds to medications differently and labor can still be difficult with pain relief. You will need more help with positioning and, potentially, pushing depending on how much sensation you feel.




How does a doula work with my partner, doctor and nurses?


My goal is to work cohesively alongside the medical staff and with your partner to support you in advocating for yourself and your birth preferences. A doula is able to provide continuous physical and emotional support to help you cope with labor, but is also providing information, planning next steps and reassuring your partner throughout the process. I love working with partners who want to be involved and hands-on. During your prenatal meetings, we will discuss how your parnter wants to participate and I will show them some key coping techniques for labor. Most nurses have multiple patients to attend to and cannot provide continuous labor support. Your doctor, if they are on call that day, might not be present until the end of your labor when you are ready to push. As your doula, I am a constant part of your team. I often know more about how my clients are emotionally and physically coping with the labor because we have had hours of conversations about it and I have witnessed its progression. I am able to provide care and attention to your non-medical needs and offer a neutral take on your options.




I took a childbirth education class. What else is there to know?


A good doula is like a good coach, but the team (you and your partner) has to practice! The more practiced and familiar you are with childbirth, the better we will work together during your labor. A childbirth education class is a great start, and if you haven’t taken one yet, I highly encourage you sign up for one outside of the hospital. If you don’t know where to go, I can help you find one that fits your needs. However, childbirth education might only be a weekend course that you take during week 30 of your pregnancy, and then you are in labor 11 weeks later, and you don’t remember everything! That is completely normal, and childbirth isn’t exactly an open-book exam – I know I went from a sports analogy to a school analogy, but just go with it. I am there to fill in what you don’t remember and give that invaluable continuous support during labor that no amount of classes can replace.




What services are included in your package?


We meet in person for two prenatal meetings in your home. When you are in labor, I meet you at home or your planned destination for birth and I stay until about one or two hours after your baby is born to assist with breastfeeding and bonding. Finally, I come to your home for one postpartum visit within the first week or two after the birth. You can visit the Services page to read more detail. Of course, I am happy to answer your questions and provide you with resources and referrals throughout your pregnancy and in the postpartum period. If you’d like to know more about what I cover in a prenatal meeting or in a postpartum visit, email me and we can set up a time to talk.




What does a Certified Breastfeeding Counselor do?


I am trained to support you in reaching your breastfeeding goals by providing lactation education, troubleshooting common problems, and referring families to appropriate resources based on your needs. I can help you to initiate a feed, assess latch and position, and identify causes of issues you are facing. Cracked nipples, bloody nipples, and pain while feeding are all common problems, but they are not normal. They should not, and do not have to be, part of your breastfeeding experience. Your baby is learning just as much as you are and, with reassurance and the proper guidance, you can have a healthy and positive feeding relationship that works for both of you!





What are the benefits of hiring a doula?


A study by Bohren et al. (2017) examined the impact of one-on-one continuous support during childbirth. Over 15,000 laboring women participated, and the results showed that women and babies who received continuous support had statistically better outcomes – especially with a doula (compared to midwives, nurses, childbirth educators, or friends). Some of these effects include a higher likelihood of spontaneous vaginal births, shorter than average labors, lower risk of a Cesarean section, decreased use of pain relief medication, and mitigated dissatisfaction with their birth experience. Visit evidencebasedbirth.com to read more about the study and the positive impact of doulas.




I am very open to medications such as an epidural during labor. How can a doula support me?


One big question I help you navigate is: when should I go to the hospital? The answer varies based on your medical needs and whether or not you plan to have an epidural. I can help you decide when to go so you are not waiting too long, but you’re also not worried about getting there in time. I have supported multiple women with epidurals and there are still many ways that a doula can assist before and after you receive pain medication. You will need more help with positioning and, potentially, pushing depending on how much sensation you feel.




I like my doctor and trust the nurses. How does a doula work with my medical team?


First, I am happy to hear you have a positive relationship with your medical providers because that is not always the case! Unfortunately, your nurses will not give you continuous support during labor and will eventually change shifts. Your doctor, if they are on call that day, might not show up until you are ready to push. I started as a volunteer doula at NYU Winthrop Hospital and have experience working in a hospital setting. My goal is to work cohesively with the medical staff and support you in advocating for yourself and your birth preferences. It is also my job to give you continuous support and my undivided attention, hopefully relieving some of the stress of your medical team.




I took a childbirth education class. What else is there to know?


A good doula is like a good coach, but the team (you and your partner) has to practice! The more practiced and familiar you are with childbirth, the better we will work together during your labor. A childbirth education class is a great start, and if you haven’t taken one yet, I highly encourage you to sign up for one. If you don’t know where to go, I can help you find one that fits your needs. However, childbirth education might only be a weekend course that you take during week 30 of your pregnancy, and then you are in labor 11 weeks later, and you don’t remember everything! That is completely normal, and childbirth isn’t exactly an open-book exam – I know I went from a sports analogy to a school analogy, but just go with it. I am there to fill in what you don’t remember and give that invaluable continuous support during labor that no amount of classes can replace.




Will this be covered by my insurance?


Possibly, but likely no. Doulas are not widely covered by insurance yet. However, I am happy to fill out any paperwork and provide a statement if you’d like to submit a claim for reimbursement.




What services are included in your package?


We meet in person for two prenatal meetings in your home. When you are in labor, I meet you at home or your planned destination for birth and I stay until about one or two hours after your baby is born. Finally, I come to your home for one postpartum visit within the first week or two after the birth. You can visit the Services page to read more detail. Of course, I am happy to answer your questions and provide you with resources and referrals throughout your pregnancy and in the postpartum period. If you’d like to know more about what I cover in a prenatal meeting or in a postpartum visit, email me and we can set up a time to talk.









 
Contact Me​
Reach out and we can see if we are a good match!

(516) 297-5533

SAMANTHA HOM

Birth Doula & Certified Breastfeeding Counselor

Long Island | New York City

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