Updated: Apr 28, 2020
Doulas provide the birthing individual and immediate family with non-medical prenatal meets/consults in the client’s own home or location of choice. During these consults the Doula may provide one or all the following (or something else entirely dependent on needs):
•Discussions about pain management options and preferences
• Work through previous birth trauma (if applicable)
• Address any fears or concerns the client and/or partner have
• Discussions about common birth interventions and preferences
• Discussions about how and where a client wishes to be supported
• Creation of a birth plan with the family
• Review of the birth plan and discussion regarding the care providers views
• Discussion about the physical and psychological process of birth
• Discussions on when to call the Doula
• Preparation of a Post-Partum Plan with the family
• Discussions regarding supports in the client’s region
For Doulas who attend births they provide continuity, facilitate communication with medical staff (but do not speak for you), assist with creating a peaceful space for birth, provide partners with reassurance, and maintain a clear perspective throughout. All of these things help to assist families with informed decision making even in births that veer from the ‘ideal’ birth.
In Australia 1-3 prenatal sessions, birth and 1 postnatal visit to debrief the birth experience costs on average between $1000-$2500 for a qualified Doula. A complete package with or without birth attendance can cost anywhere between $1000- $5000 dependent on the level of experience held by the Doula/s, number of prenatal appointments, number of postnatal appointments, birth attendance (if applicable), and any additional services or supports included within a package.
The good news is many Doulas offer payment plans and are well worth their weight in gold. Doulas have demonstrated to have a better effect on outcomes than other support people (medical or non-medical) based on a 2012 study by Hodnet et al., and this study is not alone many have demonstrated the benefits of employing a Doula as part of the pregnancy, birth, and/or postpartum care team.
In fact, a review published in May this year (2019) in the Cochrane database brought together 55 studies about birth companions (including Doulas) from 22 countries and the outcome was another promising one for Doulas. Doulas are particularly useful and helpful in Australia with the high intervention rates here (caesareans sit between 30-50% depending on the hospital) as studies have demonstrated that Doulas often lead to many positive outcomes.
So What Exactly Are The Positive Outcomes?
• Fewer Caesarean Sections • Fewer Instrumental Births (Forceps or Vacuum extraction) • Fewer Inductions and Augmentations • Fewer requests for pain medication • Reduced labor duration • Increased breastfeeding rates • Reduced Anxiety and Depression Post-Partum • Higher satisfaction of experiences for the entire family • Higher levels of enthusiasm in partners • Higher levels of contribution and satisfaction for partners • Higher level of family/couple bonding throughout the journey
Our Doula Team provides a range of virtual (online & phone) Doula services for prenatal and postnatal consults Australia Wide (QLD, NSW, SA, NT, WA, TAS, VIC, & ACT). In-person (we visit you at your house) complete Doula Support is also available to those located Queanbeyan NSW, Jerrabomberra NSW, and Canberra ACT. In-person complete Doula support includes in-person support for you pregnancy, birth and postpartum period. This means your Canberra Doula (Lee) will visit you at your home or another location of your choice prenatally and postnatally, as well as supporting you at the birth of your baby. Lee also supports families, attending births in the following regions:
Wagga Wagga NSW
If your region isn't listed above, this doesn't mean we don't provide support. Lee provides birth support and attendance to people located as far as 5 hours drive from the ACT (if you are within this radius it is likely Lee will be able to support your birth provided there is booking availability) under the Canberra Doula Packages. If you live further away but still in NSW or QLD you may contact us about the Travelling Doula Packages - these packages will also allow for in-person prenantal, postnatal, and/or birth support; however, the visit will be more compacted over the duration of Lee's 1-2+ week stay in your region and additional communications or meets outside of the 'travel & stay' block of support will be virtual. For those not located in any of these areas in-person prenatal visits, physical birth support/attendance, and physical postnatal visits may not be possible. However, we still offer virtual Doula support options for those outside of the Canberra Doula Service and Travelling Doula Service radius for Doula Support.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR & ARTICLE DISCLAIMER: Lee is a Canberra Doula who also spent over 5 years working in the childcare field as a childcare educator (including as a Room Leader); she holds relevant children's services qualifications alongside Doula qualifications. In addition, Lee holds a wide range of qualifications and training in fields that include but are not limited to trauma and natural therapies. Lee is a proud Aspie woman and home educating mother of 5 children (4 of these children are earthside and 2 have disabilities). If you have concerns about your child's development, family member's wellbeing or your own wellbeing speak to your Midwife or Doctor - the information within this article should not be viewed as and is not designed as medical advice. Furthermore, a small commission is made on some of the links provided within these blog articles.
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