Quite simply, the answer is NO! Although attending your actual birth is a HUGE part of our job, there is a lot of heart and soul that goes into our work before and after the big day. Every doula offers slightly different packages depending on their qualifications, size of the package and if they offer additional services. In my area a typical Birth Doula package tends to look like this:
Wow! Right? Once you have hired a Birth Doula you will have access to so much incredible information and support! Remember, when you are paying for a Certified Birth Doula you are not just paying for any joe blow to show up to your birth!
You are paying to have up-to-date, evidence based information at your fingertips throughout the duration of your contract so that you don’t have to go scouring the internet trying to figure out what is fact and what is fiction.
You are paying for someone to help you prepare for your birth. Sometimes this means prenatal education, it might mean preparing a birth plan together, it might be talking about your fears and how to move through them. For each family their prenatal needs are different and it is our job to help make sure you have all of your bases covered!
You are paying for 2-3 weeks of on-call support! This means your doula could literally have to leave at the drop of a hat, putting their own family life on hold to share in your special day. It also means no drinking, early nights, eating well and exercising so that your doula is in peak condition whenever that call comes in!
You are paying for someone to attend your labour & birth whether it is 2 hours or 40 hours in length! Check out this great image on what a doula does during labour & birth!
PHOTO: National Partnership for Women and Families
You are paying for support in the early postpartum period (which new families often feel are the most challenging). Your doula can help with breastfeeding, light housework, meal prep or offering reassurance when you feel like “She never sleeps!” or “He is feeding ALL of the time!”
Families often underestimate the importance of support in the postpartum period, when in fact, there is a completely separate type of doula that ONLY offers support after the baby is born. A Postpartum Doula realizes the significance of your transition into parenthood or your journey from a parent with one child to multiple children.
But I digress! Back to Labour & Birth Doulas, you can clearly see that while your birth is a large part of the job, there is also a relationship that is formed along the way between client & doula. This relationship is different from any other relationship in your birth team and most will agree, a Birth Doula is NOT an investment you will regret, and NO, it is not just about the birth!
Doula, Childbirth Educator and lover of everything pregnancy, birth and babies!
Mom of 3, Birth Doula , CBE , Breastfeeding Educator, CIMI, and Photographer!