FAQ

Q. What is Sunlight Vida?

A. Vestibulum felis sapien, tincidunt a enim et, hendrerit molestie turpis. Aliquam hendrerit sem vitae laoreet condimentum. Sed nisi arcu, tincidunt lacinia viverra vitae, accumsan ac nibh. Integer sed tempus massa. Nam tortor felis, faucibus vel euismod et, ornare non felis. Duis sed elementum quam. Mauris et nisi purus. Nam sed pellentesque purus, id commodo nibh. Mauris dignissim blandit suscipit. Nulla rhoncus blandit mi, eget lobortis lacus tincidunt non. Donec sollicitudin massa eu neque tincidunt, nec tincidunt justo fermentum.

 

Q. What is a doula?

A. Vestibulum felis sapien, tincidunt a enim et, hendrerit molestie turpis. Aliquam hendrerit sem vitae laoreet condimentum. Sed nisi arcu, tincidunt lacinia viverra vitae, accumsan ac nibh. Integer sed tempus massa. Nam tortor felis, faucibus vel euismod et, ornare non felis. Duis sed elementum quam. Mauris et nisi purus. Nam sed pellentesque purus, id commodo nibh. Mauris dignissim blandit suscipit. Nulla rhoncus blandit mi, eget lobortis lacus tincidunt non. Donec sollicitudin massa eu neque tincidunt, nec tincidunt justo fermentum. Vestibulum felis sapien, tincidunt a enim et, hendrerit molestie turpis. Aliquam hendrerit sem vitae laoreet condimentum. Sed nisi arcu, tincidunt lacinia viverra vitae, accumsan ac nibh. Integer sed tempus massa. Nam tortor felis, faucibus vel euismod et, ornare non felis. Duis sed elementum quam. Mauris et nisi purus. Nam sed pellentesque purus, id commodo nibh. Mauris dignissim blandit suscipit. Nulla rhoncus blandit mi, eget lobortis lacus tincidunt non. Donec sollicitudin massa eu neque tincidunt, nec tincidunt justo fermentum.

 

Q. What does a Doula do & Not Do?

A. Vestibulum felis sapien, tincidunt a enim et, hendrerit molestie turpis. Aliquam hendrerit sem vitae laoreet condimentum. Sed nisi arcu, tincidunt lacinia viverra vitae, accumsan ac nibh. Integer sed tempus massa. Nam tortor felis, faucibus vel euismod et, ornare non felis.

 

Q. What is your training & Experience?

A. Vestibulum felis sapien, tincidunt a enim et, hendrerit molestie turpis. Aliquam hendrerit sem vitae laoreet condimentum. Sed nisi arcu, tincidunt lacinia viverra vitae, accumsan ac nibh. Integer sed tempus massa. Nam tortor felis, faucibus vel euismod et, ornare non felis. Duis sed elementum quam. Mauris et nisi purus. Nam sed pellentesque purus, id commodo nibh. Mauris dignissim blandit suscipit. Nulla rhoncus blandit mi, eget lobortis lacus tincidunt non. Donec sollicitudin massa eu neque tincidunt, nec tincidunt justo fermentum.

 

Q. What birth settings do you attend?

A. I attend hospital, birth center, and midwife-attended home births. Though I fully support a parent’s right to birth at home unassisted (planned free-birth) and trust the intuition in doing so, I do not attend these births at this time.

 

Q. DO YOU ONLY ATTEND UNMEDICATED/NATURAL LABORS?

A. I support a birthing parent’s decisions about medication in any setting. Opting for medication pain relief or labor augmentation is a very personal choice, and I am here to help regardless what that choice may be.

At a labor involving an epidural, I can help position you so the drug distributes more evenly and dilation isn’t impeded. This includes periodically turning you and showing you how to support hips and natural lumbar curve with pillows to avoid back pain after anesthesia wears off. I can also help you determine the ideal timing for receiving the epidural. I can be a great emotional ally because although an epidural quiets your physical sensations, it will not necessarily provide calm for your mental state.

Of course, sometimes epidurals don’t work and labor sensations are still felt, or labor progresses too quickly to be eligible for a planned epidural; I can offer comfort measures in case of a surprise.

Whether a labor is induced or not, there are practical things to take care of while you labor. When I assist with these things, your partner can focus on being wholly present for you.

Q. DO YOU ATTEND CESAREAN BIRTHS?

A. Yes! Here are a few of the ways I can serve at a planned/unplanned cesarean:

  • I share information about family-centered cesarean options (also known as “gentle cesarean”).

  • I prepare you for what to expect from an emotional and physical standpoint, with insights that may go unmentioned by medical attendants.

  • I will either stay in the operating room with you or wait for you to finish surgery, per your wishes and hospital policy.

  • I will help facilitate a smooth transition in reconnecting you with your baby as soon as possible.

  • I will help you develop a realistic and heartening recovery plan.

Q. DOES A DOULA REPLACE THE ROLE OF MY PARTNER?

A. A good doula helps a partner feel more involved in the birth process, not pushed away from it. A doula’s role revolves around the birthing couple’s specific wants and needs. Whatever you envision for your partner’s involvement, a doula can help make it a reality.

As one example, if you prefer physical attention and comforting touch to come from your partner, I can make suggestions for comfort techniques or take care of other tasks in the meantime. A similar quandary: do you want your partner to fill up the birth pool while you’re (for sake of example) struggling with back labor or would you rather your partner focus that energy on providing counter pressure? Birth team members can generally only handle one task at a time, and this is where a doula comes in handy!

At any birth, a partner will need:

  • breaks to take care of personal needs & avoid exhaustion

  • time & space to be able to enjoy this day, which is a special milestone for them too!

  • affirmation that s/he is doing a great job

  • a solid understanding of how birth works, what to expect, how to actively help

  • a sense of self-esteem in knowing s/he is a vital, acknowledged member of the birth team

As your doula, I can:

  • take over active support so your partner can have a break

  • handle mundane or practical tasks so your partner can be close to you during special moments

  • assure your partner that s/he has a unique role in the birth process & is capable of wonderfully supporting you/baby

  • give your partner guidance on the birth process & reminders of your options

  • provide a feeling of relief knowing they aren’t alone — as a doula I’m the personal ‘handmaiden’ to the birthing duo

Q. WHAT IF I’M A SINGLE PARENT?

A. A doula may be especially beneficial for a single parent. I’m here to listen to you, to support your vision of pregnancy and new parenthood, to help facilitate it into fruition. As a non-judgmental birth professional whose agenda is YOUR agenda, my mission is to ensure you feel the steady pulse of support, commiseration, and empowerment you deserve. Together we will find ways for your pregnancy, labor, birth, and postpartum to feel fulfilling, connected, and manageable.

 

Q. DON’T NURSES, OB/GYNS OR MIDWIVES BASICALLY DO WHAT A DOULA DOES?

A. Nurses spend a great deal of time reviewing monitors, charting, and splitting their time between multiple patients each shift. A doula spends her entire “shift” near the birthing parent, and devotes herself to one client at a time.

At a hospital birth, an OB/GYN is usually seldom seen (if at all) until it is time to deliver and leaves shortly thereafter. A doula stays with you from active labor until everyone is settled in postpartum.

Midwives and their birth assistants have various responsibilities at a birth unrelated to comfort care, such as charting, setting supplies, taking heart tones and other health assessments, and keeping a watchful eye on the baby’s response to labor. A doula keeps her eye on the mother so she is never without support when attention is otherwise divided.

Often, we find instances of “all hands on deck” at birth and this is when a doula can be an irreplaceable asset. Also keep in mind: as a doula I don’t perform medical tasks, I don’t catch babies, and I don’t make health diagnoses. These are the responsibilities of your OB/GYN or midwife.

 

Q. DOESN’T A RELATIVE OR CLOSE FRIEND BASICALLY DO WHAT A DOULA DOES?

A. As a doula, my position is different from that of a family member or close friend. I support you without personal bias or unrelated history brought into the birthing day. Though a friend or relative is likely to worry as they watch you in distress or what they perceive as suffering, I remain calm, collected, and focused on you. When a friend or relative may feel led to blurt out excited notes of advice or observation, a doula is mindful of the sanctity of the space and the emotional susceptibility of the event. There are many benefits in including a helper who isn’t bogged down by protocols (nurses and medical providers) or personal concerns (relatives, friends).

 

Q. DO YOU ONLY SUPPORT BREASTFEEDING FAMILIES?

A. No! If you have decided breastfeeding isn’t right for you, for any reason, you will be turning to options like formula feeding, exclusively pumping, using donor milk, or giving mixed feedings — which come with their own learning curves and questions. Regardless of delivery method, infant feeding is never easy when undertaken alone. To help you meet your goals, I can provide information on different formulas, minus the advertisements and kickbacks; connect you with local milk donors; or create a supplementation plan that least impacts milk supply.

Q. WHAT SUPPLIES DO YOU BRING TO A BIRTH AS A DOULA?

A. First, remember the most important “thing” a doula brings to a birth is not in her bag — it’s herself! My mind, heart, and hands are my primary support tools; they cannot be bought in a store!

That said, I will also bring a magical bag full of feel-goods! During pregnancy, we will discuss your favorite methods of increasing oxytocin and managing big sensations. I will bring various items that might include counter-pressure/massage tools, energy-boosters, Rebozo, aromatherapy oils, clean-up supplies, bendy straws, eye mask, yoga strap, birth ball, peanut ball, tea lights for ambiance, camera for non-professional supplementary photos, etc. I can also keep track of progress with a contraction timer.

Q. AT WHAT POINT IN PREGNANCY SHOULD I HIRE A DOULA?

A. This is entirely up to you. Keep in mind though, the earlier you book your doula, the more use you’ll get out of her! The cost of doula support is the same whether you hire her right after your pregnancy test turns positive or right as your first labor contraction begins.

As a mother myself who hired doulas for both births at different points in pregnancy, I would personally recommend locking in a favorite doula as soon as you find her. This gives you plenty of time to connect, gain trust, and work through birth-related thoughts and emotions together.

Q. WHEN DO I CALL FOR YOU IN LABOR?

A. You’ll keep me updated about any early labor signs so we will be in communication before you require my physical support. Usually, a member of your birth team will call me to join you when active labor begins and generally it will take up to two hours to reach you (notwithstanding additional travel time outside my radius).

 

Q. DO YOU HAVE A BACK-UP DOULA?

A. In the event that a back-up is needed to replace me at a birth, one will be provided. However, my clients are spaced out to best avoid an overlap in labors. Thus, barring an unforeseen emergency situation or health issue, it is unlikely that a back-up doula will be needed. You are welcome to request to meet the back-up prior to labor if you feel led to do so.

 

Q. HOW CAN I AFFORD A DOULA?

A. Here are some creative ways to afford a doula:

  • Add services to your baby registry

  • Ask me about a payment plan

  • I have flexible payment options

  • I’m happy to customize a package to fit your budget

  • Ask me about bartering goods/services

  • Ask family/friends to donate funds for pre-birth gift-giving occasions

  • Use a flex savings or health savings account

  • Remember, the average cost of an epidural is $2,132, which your insurance may cover in part or not at all. A doula’s attendance at birth is shown to significantly decrease chances of epidural, thereby costing less overall.

Q. WHAT IS THE COST BREAKDOWN INVOLVED IN A DOULA INVESTMENT?

A. The amount invested in doula services goes toward more than just what your doula takes home. She is being compensated for:

  • doula training & certification costs

  • continuing education costs

  • time spent with: consults & meetings…

  • …research & paperwork

  • …prenatal communication

  • …birth plan writing

  • …editing any birth photos

  • being on-call 24/7 from 38 weeks onward

  • continuous labor support (average length of birth is 13 hours)

  • several hours’ worth of postpartum support

  • travel time

  • gas costs

  • supplies cost (labor tools, books, printing, etc)

  • childcare costs during meetings & birth

  • personal costs during birth (food & drink)

  • hospital parking fees, tolls if applicable

  • PayPal fees, if applicable

  • taxes

Q. WHAT IF I’M A TEEN/YOUNG PARENT?

A. Regardless of your age, you may have certain wishes for your birth that you hope will be respected. Birth is an immensely personal and intimate affair that remains so regardless of the birth mother’s age. As a doula I can provide relevant resources for young parents, refer to advisors on any concerning family situations, and help you make a postpartum plan that reinforces your healing, with co-habitants and family in mind, if applicable

Q. WHAT IF I’M AN ADOPTIVE OR SURROGATE PARENT?

A. First, you’re amazing! Second, I encourage you to research specialized adoption doulas and surrogacy doulas, which could make an excellent addition to your journey. Postpartum doulas can be tremendously helpful in these situations as well. For a relinquishing or surrogate parent, there is much peace of mind in knowing someone is looking out for you, open to listening to you without judgment, and sympathetic to the process from your perspective. For these situations I would be honored to design a custom package that fits your needs.

Q. WHAT IF IT SEEMS LIKE OUR PERSONALITIES JUST DON’T CLICK?

A. We will get to know each other a bit at your first consultation, which is always free with no commitment. I recommend considering what style of doula assistance you’d like so you know what you’re looking for before we meet. If it feels like we don’t exactly vibe in the way you envision for your pregnancy and birth journey, that’s totally okay. No hard feelings! I want you to have the experience that’s right for YOU.