What does a doula do?
Birth doulas can help provide emotional support as you navigate your journey to parenthood. They provide physical comfort measures, techniques, positioning, and more to make your birth process more comfortable. Studies show doula care reduces risks and can shorten labor times. Doulas also help families advocate for themselves in the healthcare environment, foster a team atmosphere with the healthcare staff, and provide information tailored to your needs and desires. Birth doulas have skills to support families through a variety of birth choices and situations, including unmedicated/physiologic birth, birth with pain medication, and cesarean birth.
Postpartum doulas provide practical and educational support in the early weeks of your baby's life, helping new parents build confidence in their parenting skills. Postpartum doulas may provide night support so parents can rest better, teach baby care skills, assist with feeding questions, and much more. Postpartum doulas can be especially helpful for families expecting multiples, families whose babies have arrived early or families whose babies have special medical needs.
What does a doula cost?
Doula service fees in Colorado vary by geographic area, experience, and services provided. Birth doulas may offer a set fee for an entire service package, and may offer varying prenatal and postpartum appointments in addition to attending your birth. Postpartum doulas usually haven an hourly fee, and may also offer packages which can be used in a flexible manner to best serve your family's needs.
Some doulas offer additional services such as parent education classes, massage therapy, or lactation support. Service packages with more hours or additional services will reflect that in their fees. We recommend interviewing several doulas in your area who provide the services you're looking for.
Do you need a low cost doula?
Colorado's Accessible Birth Connection program, originally founded by the Colorado Doula Association, is an application based program for connecting fee-flexible doulas to low income clients.
What is "Scope of Practice"?
You may see doulas use the term "scope of practice" or "practice standards" on their websites or materials, or during the interview.
While doulas are not clinical care providers and don't technically have a scope of practice (which is a legal term for what a professional is legally permitted to do under their license), doulas use these terms to encompass the non-clinical skills they utilize in supporting your family.
What is "Non-Clinical Support"?
Doulas do not diagnose conditions, analyze test results, provide medical advice, make medical decisions for you, treat illness or medical conditions, or otherwise provide clinical care.
The skills and techniques used by doulas are intended to encourage self-advocacy, provide physical comfort, and emotional support.
While doula care can and does reduce risks, it does not guarantee outcomes or provide clinical care.
Will a doula help me if I have an epidural? Or a cesarean birth?
Absolutely! Doulas have a wide variety of skills and techniques which can support families in many different birth situations.
Doulas attend births at home, in birth centers, and in hospitals. This includes physiologic births, births in which pain medications are used, and cesarean births. Doula care is not just for certain kinds of births!