It is no secret that there are doulas who do not stay in their lane (yes, even in our area). They perform medical tasks such as cervical exams, blood pressure readings, and even checking baby’s heartbeat via doppler. They argue with nurses and providers in the delivery room and tell their clients what is best for them. In some cases, they’re advocating and taking the spotlight, making your birth about them. Considering all of this, it’s not a surprise that some local providers who may have interacted with these types of doulas no longer wish to support or work with doulas, after all; OBs, and midwives are human, too, and they have businesses, licenses, and livelihoods to protect.

How do you know if your provider is doula friendly?

Simple. You ask them.

Asking them is the second step in taking ownership of your birth and postpartum experience and finding your voice. (PS: the first step is choosing your birth team and birth place!) You may think your provider is supportive of doulas but you won’t know for sure until you ask them, or they tell you. In our perfect world, OBs and Midwives, and nurses ask patients who they’ve chosen to be a part of their birth experience and relationships are cultivated and nourished. Each member of the team knows their lane, their role, and supports not only the parent-to-be but each other as well. We’re all a team.

Questions to ask

Maybe gathering up the courage to ask your provider how they feel about doulas is difficult for you. That’s ok. We’re here to help! Think about what may happen if you don’t ask… there may be negative energy in your birth space. How could that affect you? Here are some ways to begin the discussion:

“I’ve hired a doula, have you worked with doulas in our area before or recently?”

“What are your thoughts on doulas?”

“I’m thinking about adding a doula to my birth team. Do you have any recommendations?”

The answers you receive may surprise you, or it may be exactly as you expected. Don’t be afraid of digging a little deeper. You can ask how the nurses at the hospital feel about doulas, or how other providers in the practice feel.

What if I don’t like their answer?

If you don’t like their answer then there’s room for education and discussion or change. If you’ve hired a doula already, don’t be afraid to tell your provider and share your positive experiences with them, or explain how you feel your doula will be beneficial to you. You can remind them that professional doulas who provide continuous labor support are evidence-based. And if you haven’t hired a doula yet, give us a call! We want to make sure you’re supported.

Alternatively, if having a doula is important to you and you’re receiving negative (or even neutral) vibes from your provider, you are allowed to find a new provider. Keep in mind, however; that depending on how far along you are in your pregnancy, finding a new provider may be difficult as some do not accept new patients after 30+ weeks. It never hurts to call and ask!

We have cultivated relationships with providers in the area and we’re always happy to discuss options. We can help you find a provider who is supportive of your choices, including who you’ve hand-picked to be part of your birth. The Fayetteville Doulas know our supportive roles are just as beneficial and important as medical roles. We are by your side to steady you should you waiver or wobble, always nearby, ready at a moment’s notice to reaffirm your strength, but never in the spotlight. Your birth should always be about you.

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