What is a Doula?

Salt Lake City doula providing hip squeeze to pregnant woman during labor

The word doula means “a woman who serves”. Doulas are trained and experienced to provide physical, emotional and informational support to the mother before, during and just after birth.

What is the difference between a midwife and a doula?

Midwives and doulas are both people who help women during pregnancy and labor. Their roles in the childbirth are, however, very different. A midwife is a health care provider who provides you medical care, and a doula is a pregnancy and childbirth coach. You can choose to have a midwife instead of an OB for your care provider. A doula, on the other hand, doesn’t replace your care provider but assists your OB or midwife by providing you with emotional, physical, and informational support so that they only have to focus on your and baby’s medical needs. If you or baby are in need of extra medical care, they will put those needs above your emotional and informational needs, which your doula will provide for you.

How much does a doula cost?

The cost of a doula depends on their training, experience, and location. Most experienced doulas in the Salt Lake area charge $800-$2,000+. We charge $1,700 for our services which includes two to three prenatal visits at your home, continuous labor support, and postpartum visits. Many parents want a doula but feel like it is out of their price range. We feel that everyone who wants a doula deserves a doula so we are always willing to work with your situation.

Utah doulas providing support while nurse takes care of medical needsWill you replace nursing staff?

No. The nursing staff will take care of all your medical needs, i.e. blood pressure, cervical exams, etc. We will be there to help remind your of your goals, support you physically, emotionally, and informationally, help you with your first latch breastfeeding after delivery, and help you and/or your partner after delivery. Doulas assist doctors and midwives by ensuring your physical and emotional comfort, while allowing your doctor or midwife to focus on the medical well-being of you and your baby.

Will you make decisions for me?

No. We will empower you to make your own decisions with informational support to help you make an informed decision, but you are the one who will ultimately decide and tell your birth team what you want done. We cannot speak on your behalf, but we will help you find your voice to help you communicate your desires.

What if I decide I need medication? Will you support me?

Yes. We will support you in all your decisions. This is your birth. We help you get the birth YOU want. If you want an un-medicated birth, we will remind you of your goals and work with you using comfort and relaxation techniques. However, if you change your mind we will support you, continue to keep you comfortable, and help you make informed decisions with any situations that may arise.

What if I want an epidural? Would a doula still be helpful?

Absolutely! We are there to help you before, during, and after delivery. Even with medication you may not be pain-free, so we will help keep you comfortable and help you make educated decisions so that you can have the best, least invasive birth experience possible.

Do you offer photography as part of your doula package?

We encourage your to hire two separate professionals; that way your doula will be focused on supporting you the entire time and the photographer will be focused on capturing each special moment. However, if that is out of your price range, we can take pictures when you are not needing our physical support.

Are there things you will not do as my doula?

As doulas, we do not perform any medical procedures, clinical tasks, or give medical advice. However, if you opt for Monitrice Services (free ad-on), we are trained and qualified to perform vitals during labor for you, check on baby with a doppler, and provide cervical exams at home so that you can feel safe staying home longer until you wish to leave to your birthplace.

Will you replace my significant other or make them feel unnecessary?

Partner helping with emotional support and counter pressure to pregnant wife during labor
Photo by: Maternal Focus

We love partners to be included in the birth experience, as far as they’re comfortable. We want partners to feel like they can help you through labor and be a part of the experience. We will discuss how involved they would like to be during birth and guide them to help make you comfortable during pregnancy and labor. We believe your partner has an intimate knowledge of you and we have an intimate knowledge of birth. Together, we make the ultimate team. We will help your partner feel included every step of the way.

How many visits do I get with you before and after the birth?

We know how important it is for parents to trust their doula, so we always offer one free consultation. If you choose to hire Karina, she will meet two to three times before the birth, throughout your labor, and one to two times after the birth. You are, however, free to call, text, or email her any time with questions or concerns after you hire us. Really, any time!

What happens when I go into labor?

Salt Lake doula and midwife's assistant helping pregnant woman during labor at birth center
Photo by: Maternal Focus

Call Karina to let her know you think you may by in labor. She will keep in contact and once you or your partner feel like you need some additional support she’ll grab her doula bag and be on her way. In our prenatal visits, we will go over whether you want her to help you at your home or when you get to your birthing facility. You are always welcome to change your mind about this as well. She is available by phone for assistance until she is able to get to you and/or your birthing facility.

What birthing techniques are you familiar with?

Karina is well versed with The Bradley Method, HypnoBabies, and Hypnobirthing Methods and is also a certified HypnoDoula and Bradley doula! She is certified in rebozo use, essential oils, acupressure, TENS-unit therapy, light touch massage and many other comfort techniques. She is also familiar with infant massage and can show you ways to help comfort and bond with your new baby.

Do you use a backup doula in case you can’t make the birth?

Yes, always. If we’re unable to make the birth due to extenuating circumstances, we don’t want you to go without doula support. We work together with the Davis County Doulas in the event that this happens. You will have a chance to meet with the backup doula beforehand to make sure you are comfortable with her.

Is your business registered with the state?

Yes. All legal paperwork for Peaceful Deliveries, LLC and Utah Doula Services is registered and on file with the state.  For your protection, ALWAYS verify your doula has a registered business: https://secure.utah.gov/bes/.

Are you a certified doula?

Yes, Karina has received her advanced doula certification through the Midwives College of Utah, her HypnoDoula certification, and her Bradley Method doula certification.

How long have you been a doula and how many births have you attended?

Karina has been a doula for 8 years and has attended over 260 births. Each one of them is unique and she enjoys being able to form a special bond with these families and help make their birth a peaceful one.

Need help finding questions to ask your potential doulas? See our blog post all about it!