Frequently asked questions
What is a doula?
A doula is a trained professional to provide emotional, physical, and informational support during pregnancy, birth, and/or postpartum. She is a non-judgmental, supportive, and constant presence for you and your partner providing services unique to your individual needs and preferences.
Why hire a doula?
A doula is a neutral source of support, someone who you do not have to caretake but will be there to take care of you. Childbirth is a rebirth for the mother as well, and your doula is here to mother you, without personal bias or expectations. A doulas priority is you and your birth. She provides non-clinical care that is centered around your individual preferences and needs. Because of her consistency and support in creating your birth vision, a doula is a valuable member of the birth team.
• 31% decrease in the use of Pitocin*
• 28% decrease in the risk of Cesarean*
• 12% increase in the likelihood of a spontaneous vaginal birth*
• 9% decrease in the use of any medications for pain relief
• 14% decrease in the risk of newborns being admitted to a special care nursery
• 34% decrease in the risk of being dissatisfied with the birth experience
When do I hire a doula?
It’s the right time to hire a doula when you start asking this question. The sooner in your pregnancy you hire your doula, the more time you have to get to know one another and put together your birth vision. Doulas offer a wealth of resources on nearly every topic regarding pregnancy and can save you hours of research and sifting through what’s what, providing relevant resources based upon your needs and beliefs. Bringing a life into this world is no small task, and we want you to feel supported and at ease during this time.
How is a doula different than a midwife or nurse?
A nurse, midwife (or OB), and doula all have very different roles during your birth. A doula does not provide medical advice or perform procedures, nor does she replace or interfere with anyone on your birth team. A midwife, OB, or nurse’s responsibility is to monitor the health and safety of both mom and baby and to perform medical procedures. They may have multiple laboring patients at a time, or important tasks to focus on. A doula’s focus and priority is to support your emotional and physical needs. She provides individualized non-clinical care with undivided attention on you and making your birth vision a reality. She provide resources, encouragement, reassurance, and complements the support from your partner.
What doesn't a doula do?
A doula does not replace your medical support staff or your partner. She does not perform clinical tasks such as fetal heart rate monitoring or vaginal exams, nor does she make medical diagnoses. ***A doula will not make decisions for you, but will provide information, support, and reminders of your birth vision. A doula does not speak to the medical staff on your behalf, but supports you in being your own advocate.
Will a doula interfere with my partner's involvement?
Your partner’s support is invaluable and irreplaceable. They are experiencing this birth alongside you, and your doula is present to support you both. Your doula actually takes pressure off your partner, creating space for them to relax and feel more enjoyment during the birth experience. A doula can soothe your partner’s concerns, provide reassurance, help guide them in how to comfort you, offer information during difficult decisions, and support them to take breaks as needed. She can communicate what is happening in an unbiased, non-judgmental, and compassionate way, minus the confusing medical jargon.
What if I can't afford a doula?
There are many options to cover the fee of your doula, and we are happy to work with you and get creative. We believe no woman should ever lack in the support she needs during birth due to lack of resources or circumstance. If you’re concerned about finances, please reach out to us so we can help you.
-Adding us to your baby shower or sprinkle gift registry. Semper Femina offers gift certificates in any amount. We have pdf’s, social media posts, and email templates for you to share with your support network or add to your shower invitations.
-Sponsorships. Semper Femina accepts donations through our website and social media page. 100% of proceeds collected go toward covering sponsored mother’s doula fees. We use the funds raised to give the same personalized, and compassionate support to sponsored mamas, and to ensure the time placement in our calendar.
Do I need a doula if I'm having a scheduled Cesarean birth?
Oftentimes then use of the word “section” rather than “birth” can elicit feelings of expectation or separation from vaginal births. Your hospital’s standard protocol may not match up with what you imagined your birth to look like. A doula recognizes there is no standard birth, and can help by encouraging a gentle cesarean.
I know I want an epidural. Will a doula try to talk me out of it?
Every birth is unique and every mother has her own birth vision. There are many options to achieve natural births and there are many options for medical intervention. Your hospital or birthing center may have routine procedures that look different from how you envision your birth. Or maybe your first birth was unmedicated and you know you want an epidural. A doula will never make decisions for you or pass judgment upon your choices. She believes in each mother’s intuition and ability to know what she and her child need. She will answer your questions, offer information, empower you to advocate for yourself, and help guide you on a new path if your birth experience begins to change from your birth vision.
I want to hire a doula from Semper Femina, but don't live in Chicago. What are my options?
While doulas can be plentiful in cities and certain metropolitan areas, not every mother can have local access to a doula. Some women want more support and guidance in their birth vision, but are not comfortable with another presence during labor. Amy offers virtual doula services at a reduced cost to offer more access to birth support. Using technology to aid connection, you can FaceTime or even get text support before, during, and after labor. You can still hold prenatal appointments to discuss preferences, build a birth vision, learn supportive tools to use during labor, or even be guided through yoga postures and breathing. Your partner can ask questions during any stage of labor, and your doula will offer the same encouragement, guidance, and nurturing as if she were at your side during your birth.
What other services does Semper Femina Doula Collective offer?
How much does a doula cost?
Semper Femina doulas offer a range of different packages to meet your needs. The benefits and rewards of having a doula are invaluable. The physical and emotional support coupled with statistically improved outcomes can be the resource that helps you achieve your dream birth. Just as you wouldn’t bargain shop for a midwife/OB or nurse, a doula is an important and skilled part of your birth team. And she is the only member of that team that will remain at your side throughout your entire labor, regardless of how long that may be. That can mean going without sleep, being on her feet and at your side for hours or even days. She has prioritized you and your birth, limiting the amount of clients and even personal obligations she can commit to for weeks around your due date to be on call for you.
That being said, we never want cost to interfere with you getting the support you need. We believe that all women, regardless of circumstance, have a positive birth experience, and that all children can come into this world feeling love and community. If you are having trouble affording a doula, ask! Our fees cover expenses and account for the time we are available for each birth, but we are doulas because we believe in you and your right to a positive birth experience. We offer discounted rates and take donations to sponsor deserving mamas on a discretionary basis. To sponsor or be sponsored in any amount large or small, please contact us.