Frequently Asked Questions

Britta Bushnell, Transformed by Birth_edited.jpg
What is a doula?

A doula is a trained and experienced non-medical professional who provides continuous physical, emotional and informational support to a pregnant person before, during and after birth. 

A doula is a support directly for the birther, and their partner(s) (if applicable). Doula's are not medical professionals, however they can serve as a "middle person" between the healthcare workers and yourself. 

Why should I hire a doula?

The benefits of hiring a doula are limitless, and choosing to do so is prioritizing your own well-being, and the well-being of your baby, through your transition to parenthood. 

Research shows that hiring a doula can:

  • Reduce the risk of an emergency cesarean (39%), assisted births (forcepts + vacuum), or need for augmentation.

  • Increase the likelihood of a spontaneous vaginal delivery by 15%.

  • Decrease the need for medical pain management.

  • Improve the likelihood of high APGAR scores after birth and reduce the risk of low birth weight (4x less likely)

  • Reduced labor duration.

  • Reduce the likelihood of birth complications for themselves or their baby (2x less likely).

  • Significantly increase the likelihood of birth satisfaction as reported by the birther. 

*stats from Evidence Based Birth*

What does a doula do?

A doula provides continuous emotional, physical and informational support, as well as advocacy. 

Emotional Support:​

  • Continuous, non-judgemental and supportive presence

  • Words of encouragement and reassurance

  • Helping you view your experience in a positive light.

  • Support with feelings of worry, overwhelm, disappointment or self-doubt. 

  • Ensuring that you and your support(s) are taken care of 

  • Mirroring and active listening

Physical Support​

  • Understanding of the physiology of birth and providing physical support to assist the birthing process. 

  • Use of massage, counter pressure or other physical comfort measures to support you in your labor journey. 

  • Creating a calm, peaceful environment that is in tune with your wishes and promote the flow of oxytocin in the birthing process. 

  • Applying hot/cold compresses, assisting with any of your physical needs.

  • Helping with your desired or preferred pushing positions. 

Informational Support

  • Advocating for your wishes and rights

  • Translating medical jargon and providing information on options/interventions to ensure you are able to make an informed choice. 

  • Helping you prepare for prenatal appointments with information on what you may expect throughout your pregnancy.

  • Understanding the physiology of birth, and the stages of labor to support you in feeling in control, and informed. 

What does a doula NOT do?

Doula's are not medical professionals,
and therefore they do not: 

  • Offer personal advice, just evidence-based facts so you can make your own informed choice.

  • Replace or substitute for a doctor, midwife or other healthcare professional (ie. nurse, lactation consultant)

  •  Speak for you. I will advocate on your behalf, however I do not make medical decisions for you or intervene in your clinical care.

  • Pressure you into a specific decision based on my own personal beliefs or preferences. 

  • Replace your partner(s); I work alongside you as a continuous support to help you feel empowered and in control.

  • Complete clinical exams such as fetal monitoring or cervical checks. 

I would love to have a doula, but I am not sure I can afford it. What can I do?

Doulas are not covered by MSP, and I recognize that this is not accessible for everyone. Hopefully one day having a doula can be a universal right for all women (I mean look at the benefits above!).

In the meantime, connect with me and let me know your circumstances. I do offer 1-2 subsidized doula packages per year (sliding scale) to a family who is in need. If I am not available, I am happy to help you find some support.

Other options are:

The BC Doulas for Aboriginal Families Grant Program - https://bcaafc.com/dafgp/families/

The Doula Services Association of BC - Volunteer Doula Program

https://www.bcdoulas.org/volunteer.html

Let's Connect!

Kristi Field
Kelowna, BC

Tel: 250-808-0845

Email: kristifielddoula@gmail.com

Send me a message to book your free consultation!

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