Frequently Asked Questions

Is doula support only for mom's who are planning an unmedicated childbirth?

Absolutely not! Our main goal is to support your goals. We do not come with a hidden agenda. We support all types of birth; medicated, unmedicated, homebirth, birth center, and hospital. We not only help you reach your intended birth wishes, but continue to support you if you change your mind as well. We truly believe every type of birth is beautiful and can be empowering, and we strive to help you achieve that by supporting you in making the choices that are right for you and your family.

Do you replace the role of my partner?

Our role is extremely flexible based on your own individual needs. We actively try to work as a team with your partner to best support you. Sometimes this looks like you leaning forward into your partner's arms while he or she whispers positive affirmations to you, while we are behind you, rubbing your back. Other times it is making sure your partner has food/bathroom breaks so they have minimal separation from you during labor, and so you do not have to worry about their needs not being met so you can keep you focus in the labor process. We encourage your partner to utilize their strengths and other areas they feel comfortable providing support while filling in the gaps that you feel like you may need during labor. Through our prenatal appointments together, we learn how you visualize us working collaboratively with your partner in labor. We understand the bond between you and your partner is your greatest source of comfort while our professional experience with birth is a beneficial supplement.

I have a midwife, why do I need a doula too?

A doula is a non-medical, professional support person that stays with you during the duration of your labor and the immediate postpartum period. This can include joining you at home prior to travel to your birth place. A midwife supports you medically through the laboring and delivery process after you arrive at your birthing location. They are generally not giving continuous support and come and go through the duration of labor. Midwives are distributing their time to all their labor patients while also balancing periods of rest so they can remain sharp to make medical decisions quickly and safely. A doula is actively providing physical, emotional, and educational support from the moment you reach out and onward. For a midwife to provide their medical role and the support that a doula provides would be a disservice to you as a client in that it would significantly impact their ability to do both roles efficiently and safely.

I am interested in the classes you teach, but I do not want an unmedicated birth. Will these classes be helpful for me?

The intention of the natural childbirth classes is education on all types of births, not just unmedicated ones. Although the Bradley Method has an unmedicated focus, Bethany uses her 4+ years experience as a doula to supplement her classes with information on every type of birth so her students can make informed choices that are appropriate for their unique birth goals. She understands not everyone has the same goals, and that even laboring moms who have the intention of an unmedicated birth may have medical complications that can lead to a change in plans or simply they just change their mind. It is also important to have the skills to achieve an unmedicated birth to cope with the earlier phases of labor before pain medication is an option or if the pain medication ends up being unexpectedly uneffective. 

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Contact Us

Serving Northern Virginia, Fairfax, Prince William, Loudoun, Alexandria, Fauquier, Clarke, Warren, Shenandoah Valley, Frederick, Winchester

Riverbankdoulas@gmail.com  |  Tel: 703-585-3040

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