Free Doula Support
It’s never too early or late to hire a doula!
For those who are expecting their baby, hiring a birth doula may come early during the pregnancy or close to baby’s arrival. If you’re baby has already arrived, you may want to explore the option of hiring a postpartum doula who can help support you in your journey of becoming a parent.
A doula will help you ask the questions and speak for yourself rather than try to communicate on your behalf. They have a number of techniques to assist in encouraging easy and clear communication between you and whoever is in the room that you need to understand your wishes.
Doulas are not a regulated profession, however, the Doulas Association of Ireland requires all members to be Garda Vetted and have insurance. Members also follow a Code of Ethics which can be found here. If you have any questions please feel free to email us at email@example.com
A doula’s ultimate goal is to help you have a safe and positive experience either birthing your baby and/or during the first few weeks with your newborn.
Birth doulas will usually provide assistance during your pregnancy by answering questions and helping you navigate the healthcare system, then attend you during your labour and birth (either at home, in hospital, or both). After the baby is born they will generally visit you at least once to answer any questions about the birth and assist in establishing feeding or care systems with your newborn if needed.
Postpartum Doulas are there to enhance your experience as a parent to your newborn. This will be done by providing factual information, helping with hands-on chores and family adjustment, and assisting you in exploring ways to navigate any issues that might arise in a way that supports your view of parenting.
Each doula determines their own prices as they are independent business owners.
In general, a Birth Doula will charge a package price that includes antenatal meetings, labour and childbirth support, and some postpartum support. Postpartum Doulas are more likely to charge by the hour or have package prices for blocks of hours. The best course of action is to contact a doula directly.
A birth partner plays a vital role in supporting the birthing mother. The presence of a Doula can help birth partners participate at their own comfort level; showing them how and when to use various comfort techniques, providing information, and in some cases, looking after them as well. Partners are often grateful to be able to share the role of supporting with someone more experienced, and can therefore, enjoy the birth experience more themselves.
The evidence for using a doula is piling up, and Evidence Based Birth has a great breakdown of the many benefits:
- 25% decrease in the risk of Cesarean; the largest effect was seen with a doula (39% decrease)*
- 8% increase in the likelihood of a spontaneous vaginal birth; the largest effect was seen with a doula (15% increase)*
- 10% decrease in the use of any medications for pain relief; the type of person providing continuous support did not make a difference
- Shorter labors by 41 minutes on average; there is no data on if the type of person providing continuous support makes a difference
- 38% decrease in the baby’s risk of a low five minute Apgar score; there is no data on if the type of person providing continuous support makes a difference
- 31% decrease in the risk of being dissatisfied with the birth experience; mothers’ risk of being dissatisfied with the birth experience was reduced with continuous support provided by a doula or someone in their social network (family or friend), but not hospital staff
Not at all! Birth is an individual experience and doulas are there to support you in the experience you want to have. A doula is a non-judgemental assistant helping you on your journey, and can be a valuable tool for if birth plans need to change in the moment.