How Do Doulas Work With Partners & Family?
The role of the partner during labor is essential. Laboring people need to know that their partners are there for them and that they are on this journey together. A doula encourages partners to be the primary source of emotional support and do not attempt to replace the partner’s role.
Most partners are inexperienced with childbirth and unsure of how to offer their loving support during this unique experience. Even the most attentive partner may be overwhelmed by the hospital environment, the changes unfolding in the laboring person, and the emotions that surface in anticipation of the baby’s arrival.
While childbirth educators do their best to equip partners with useful information and techniques, it is just too much to expect partners to remember everything and to know how to assist a person through labor instinctively.
A doula’s knowledge, skills, and expertise allow partners to be less pressured and more present. The doula will offer practical suggestions, information, and techniques as needed, which enables partners to be much more relaxed, loving, and emotionally present. A doula can provide partners with helpful tips along the way and make it possible for partners to take much-needed breaks.
There are also times when the labor or birth process can get intense or when things may take an unexpected turn. In these circumstances, partners may need as much emotional and informational support as the person in labor, and a doula can step in to reassure and care for the entire family.
How To Find A Doula?
The Portland and Vancouver metro areas have a rich and thriving doula community with lots of wonderful doulas to choose from, but all of that choice can be a little overwhelming when you’re unsure of how to find the right doula for you and your family.
That’s where our Birth First Doulas Matchmaker comes into play! Our free matchmaking service gets to know your preferences and helps you narrow down the options, so you can save you time and energy by only interviewing with doulas who are likely to be a great fit!
When interviewing a doula it’s always good to have a list of questions ready and to ask about things that are important to you (e.g., experience level, number of births attended, specialty areas, doula style, etc.), but the level of connection you feel with a doula is equally important and trusting your gut and intuition can be especially helpful in the decision making process. The doula relationship is one of connection and trust, so notice who makes you feel most comfortable, confident, and respected.
Will A Doula Be On-Call For My Birth?
Yes, our Full Doula Package includes on-call services so you can get support right when you need it! When you reach out, your doula will promptly reply. It’s so simple but so important to know that a compassionate and knowledgeable doula is just a text, phone call, or video away.
Being on-call means your doula has her cell phone on at all times and she’ll answer your communications 24/7 once you reach 37 weeks. It also means she is available to show up for in-person, hands-on doula support whenever you go into labor.
How Do Doulas Work With Medical Providers?
A doula does not perform any medical procedures but does work collaboratively with the hospital staff to create a supportive team atmosphere during your labor and birth.
An experienced doula knows how to create a good rapport with your nurses, midwives, and doctors while simultaneously advocating for your choices, needs, and desires.
A doula helps you to voice your needs and wishes without becoming confrontational or disrespectful, and works to maintain the delicate balance between respecting hospital protocols and ensuring your autonomy.
Are Doulas Covered By Insurance?
Oregon is the only state in the nation that reimburses doula services through the state Medicaid system/Oregon Health Plan. At this time, doula services have to be provided through a Coordinated Care Organization in order to qualify.
While doulas are non-medical providers without specific insurance billing codes, some private pay insurance companies also reimburse for all or part of doulas services depending on the insurance provider and individual plan.
We hope that private pay insurance coverage becomes standard for doula services in the future, but in the meantime families can use their Health Savings Accounts (HSA) or Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA) to pay for a Birth First Doula.
Doula Service Locations: NW Portland, NE Portland, N Portland, SW Portland, SE Portland, Sellwood, Beaverton, Hillsdale, Tigard, West Slope, Sherwood, Hillsboro, Gresham, Tualatin, Milwaukie, Lake Oswego, West Lynn, Happy Valley, Oregon City, Wilsonville, Oregon, and Vancouver, Camas, Washougal, Washington
Hospitals & Birth Centers We Serve: Kaiser Sunnyside, Kaiser Westside, OHSU, Legacy Good Samaritan, Legacy Emanuel, Legacy Meridian Park, Legacy Salmon Creek, PeaceHealth, Providence Portland, Providence St. Vincent’s, Adventist, Hillsboro Medical Center, WHA Midwifery Birth Center, Andaluz Waterbirth Center, Alma Birth Center, Canyon Birth Center, and Home Births in Portland, Oregon
Doula Service Specialities: birth doula service, childbirth & parenting classes, newborn classes, certified doulas, natural birth, unmedicated birth, vaginal birth, water birth, epidural assisted birth, birth advocacy, cesarean birth, vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC), high risk birth, induction, twins and multiples, previous miscarriage and loss, LGBTQ+ families, body positive, single parents, surrogacy, hospital birth, birth center birth, home birth, and a variety of additional doula services in Portland, Oregon