What is the Momdoulary™ difference?
There are many differences. It begins with our training, which is more extensive. While other certifying organizations have training that typically lasts 16-24 hours in total, our basic core training involves a 200 hour training program plus Mentorship and Coaching hours. They also go through another 80 hours of training in areas such as blood-borne pathogens, food handler safety (because they may handle food when supporting you), and breastfeeding support. Momdoulary Method certified doulas are trained in:
- childbirth anatomy & physiology
- labor comfort measures
- the fear factor
- conflict resolution training
- pre-natal training
- postpartum training
- ante-partum training
- comprehensive breastfeeding training
- Creating a cohesive relationship with your physician and care team
- Understanding the roles of interventions (including epidural, pain medication, Pitocin, induction, and c-section) in the birth journey
- Training in organizational and life-coaching methods to help you prepare for the transition into parenting.
- Parenting Preparation Coaching
- Certification as a coach through the Big Learning Curve of the Birth Year & Beyond
- Body Mechanics Training
- 8 Hour Childbirth Education In-Home Trainer Certification Course
- Newborn Basic Care In-Home Educator’s Certification Training Course
- Birth Ball Basics for Birth In-Home Educator’s Certification Training Course
- Birthnotics (hypnosis, NLP, and visualization based birth comfort) In-Home Educator Certification Training Course
- Parenting Preparation Life Coaching Certification Course (including adoptive parenting preparation)
- Intimacy during the birth year and beyond
- and more
What is the Momdoulary Method’s™ philosophy about birth? Will I be judged if I want an epidural or pain medication?
Momdoulary Method™ believes mamas should be supported and comforted, and we train our doulas to ensure you are fully informed, to help keep fear at bay, and to serve as your navigator through labor-land, in a judgment free, unconditional manner, no matter what your labor choices may be. They are not there to make decisions for you, or to see you labor in one particular way, but to support you on your particular path.
Every labor is different, and what a woman needs during a particular labor journey will differ (from other women, and quite possibly from her last birth to her next). Our graduates understand that every intervention, including epidurals and pain medication, have their time and place. In fact, if you are so stressed out over your efforts to avoid an epidural while pursuing a natural birth, the stress hormones produced as a result of that pressure could work against you, impacting the direction of your labor for the worst. Our doulas are trained to work with you to help ensure you understand your options and how your decisions now will impact your choices 2 hours or 2 cm later. While our doulas work independently, they have sworn to uphold these values.
What does a Momdoulary Method™ doula do, how do they work with me?
Once you have interviewed and retained your doula, they will typically arrange for a pre-natal visit & education session – but remember, our graduates operate independently, we are only a training and certifying organization. Here we are sharing what we demonstrate to them as an ideal model – but it is up to them to implement it, so check with the doula you are retaining to determine their offerings. That said, typically this is two separate sessions, though some doulas combine them. During the visit, they will explore with you the many options you have during your labor; share with you tips you can implement during pregnancy to help prepare for an easier labor and reduced likelihood of c-section; get to know you and your concerns, fears, and expectations better; take you through our Birth Challenge Simulation, where you get to experience a wide array of challenges you may encounter during labor, so you and your partner can together make decisions now, while in a neutral setting, rather than during labor itself. Then your doula will give you your welcome packet of useful materials such as guides to timing your contractions, labor comfort measures, birth art and journaling exercises, and more. Depending on the doula this may be printed or digital files – the delivery is up to the individual doula. Your doula will then suggest to you which courses she thinks you will most benefit from, and review with you your plans for coordinating as your pregnancy progresses and you near labor. The education session will cover basic childbirth education, including the basic anatomy and physiology of labor, labor signs and symptoms, what to expect in the hospital, and more. This will be combined with other select topics from the Momdoulary Method class menu, and your doula will guide you toward which ones best fit your situation. If you are interested in additional in-home education sessions, you can talk with your doula about creating an extended package for additional in-home education and/or parenting preparation coaching. Again, our graduates are self-employed, and offerings may vary from doula to doula.
I plan on having an epidural, what could a doula do for me?
Even if you plan on an epidural, there is much a doula can do for you. Remember, she is your navigator and your physical and emotional comfort guide, helping you stay informed and relaxed. She can work with you during your pregnancy to re-frame the birth experience in a more positive way; she can help you prepare for the birth experience, and prepare you for what to expect; she can help you better understand what is happening at each stage of labor; she can go to your home in earlier stages of labor, to help you labor more comfortably; she can help you stay comfortable in the hospital until the anesthesiologist arrives; she can help you manage any side effects of the anesthesia; she can help you by suggesting positions after the administration of anesthesia, which will facilitate the baby’s journey into an optimal position for birth; she can help you with encouragement and positioning during the pushing phase, and she can help you initiate breastfeeding – all while helping you keep fully informed along the way.
I will be delivering at a birth center, with a midwife. What could a doula do for me?
While a midwife will possibly be there with you more than a doctor (particularly at a birth center) she still may have several patients she has to divide her time between, plus there will still be time for laboring at home, where a doula will be there to comfort and guide you through labor-land, helping you better understand what is happening and where you are, ensuring you feel more fully supported; additionally, if an unexpected twist presents itself, your midwife will be focused on your medical needs, rather than comforting you through your contractions. Remember, your doula is there to support you through labor, contraction by contraction.
Will having a doula interfere with the sense of intimacy of the experience for my partner and I?
Momdoulary Method™ Certified doulas are trained to help you and your partner create a greater and more supported sense of intimacy, helping you better understand what is going on, and demonstrating to your partner things that may help best support you for the stage and phase of labor you are in. Furthermore, your doula well understands that she is there to support both your physical and emotional needs, and if at some time during labor you want some alone time, she is prepared to step out and give you that space, while being near enough to come back directly when you need her.
When does my doula come to me during labor?
While we can’t speak for your doula specifically, doulas typically join you during early active labor, helping you labor at home prior to continuing on to your place of delivery. Your doula will then continue to labor with you in the hospital or birthing center, and generally remain with you for awhile postpartum, to help get you comfortable, and to assist with initiating breastfeeding, if possible. Some doulas vary this, so do clarify this with the doula you work with.
What does my doula do for me during labor?
Your doula will support you in the labor process, following your natural rhythm, and suggesting a wide variety of comfort measures that could possibly include: acupressure; optimal positioning; physical support & comfort measures; birth ball use; assistance with breathing methods; birthnotics support; physical comfort & support; and most importantly, serving as your informational guide through Labor Land. Many people tell us that it felt like their doula was reading their mind, and anticipating their every need – that is because your doula is trained and experienced in birth, and knows what to expect; she is also trained to observe your body and actions, to help anticipate what is coming. She will, together with whomever is accompanying you at your birth, work to help create a circle of comfort to support you through your labor, one contraction at a time. Some doulas also provide additional support, such as acupuncture or massage therapy, if they have pursued these additional trainings.
What services does my fee for a Momdoulary Method™ doula supply?
Momdoulary Method™ doulas are certified in the Momdoulary Method, but are self-employed. However, most graduates typically follow the Method basics – please do clarify with your doula, however, what their package includes. If they are following the Momdoulary Method Suggested Basic Offerings, they typically include:
- A no obligation interview prior to retaining a doula’s service to explain how she will work with you, and to allow you to determine if you have the right chemistry between you.
- A pre-natal meeting to determine your birth support needs, clarify your preferences, address your concerns, and to walk you through the Birth Challenge Simulation, so you can be better prepared for the kinds of choices you may have to make when you are actually in labor. She will also go over your doula support materials with you, including labor contraction timing, labor symptoms, basic comfort measures and more
- Provide you with an in-home education session which will cover basic childbirth education and preparation, along with 1-3 additional topics (based on category of topic combination)
- Phone and email support
- At week 36, your doula will contact you to review labor symptoms, and will be on call full time until you deliver your baby; at 38 weeks she will check in with you frequently to assess where you are in terms of labor delivery
- During labor your doula will provide comfort measures (acupressure, labor positions, movements designed to ease discomfort and facilitate, hot or cool compresses, ice chips, etc as appropriate), emotional and physical support, and ensure that you remain fully informed
- Your doula will typically remain with you for up to an hour or two after the birth of your baby, to help initiate breastfeeding
- Your doula will do a post-natal visi to review your birth and answer any basic newborn care or breastfeeding questions
What don’t doulas do?
- Doulas do not perform any clinical or medical activities
- Doulas do not make decisions for you or speak for you
- Doulas do not speak to the medical staff for you, only you or your partner or legal advocate can do that
How are your doulas certified?
Momdoulary Method™ doulas are certified in the Method, and have had to pass some of the most rigorous requirements in the industry, which exceeds the training expectations for all currently existing certifying agencies in the US. They complete a 200 intensive training course, pass a rigorous board exam, complete blood-borne pathogen training, complete food handler safety training, and breastfeeding consultant education. Momdoulary Method doulas re-certify every two years, which requires additional training, helping ensure that your doula is kept abreast of the latest and greatest information in the childbirth and parenting preparation coaching field.
Do your doulas work with physicians? I heard doctors don’t always like doulas.
Momdoulary Method™ Certified doulas are trained to work as cohesive members of your birth team. They are also trained in conflict resolution and reconciliation techniques. They fully understand it is not their place to engage in an argument with doctors or nurses, or to make any adjustments to medication or interfere in medical actions in any way. Furthermore, Momdoulary Method™ doulas are trained to do their best to create a positive support team. A number of physicians and midwives refer their patients to our doulas due to the fact that we are, as one said, “A breath of fresh air in labor and delivery – your doula jump into action in a positive way, contributing to creating a better experience for everyone.”
Will my insurance cover doula services, and will you take my insurance?
Some insurance companies will currently cover a portion of your doula service. You will have to check with them directly.
What are your prices? Can I afford a doula?
Doula prices vary based on training, experience, and region. You can retain a doula who has attended a large number of births, or one who is just starting out, having only attended the dozen or less births in her Mentorship. Momdoulary Method Doulas do not work for or with Momdoulary, they are simply trained and certified in our method. Their prices vary starting anywhere from pro-bono in some practices on up.
When should I book my doula?
Quite honestly, that depends on the doula and your location, but check early as Momdoulary Method doulas are usually in high demand!
On another note: For the NYC Master doulas we can refer you to (Laura Saba, Unique Sotirakis, and Elyssa Granfield) Momdoulary Method doulas often book up 5 or 6 months in advance due to the many extras they bring to the doula relationship, such as parenting preparation coaching, Birth Challenge Simulation, in-home education, and their far more extensive training than most other doula certifications require. That doesn’t mean you will have no opportunity to book a doula later in your pregnancy, but you should be aware of the demand. At this time Momdoulary Method doulas work independently of Momdoulary, LLC. NYC based Master Doula, Founder of Momdoulary Method, Laura Saba and her proteges, tend to book up typically 6 months prior to due date, and if you want to work with them, we encourage you to reach out as soon as possible at 347-500-6038.
Will you lower your rate if I am booking at the last minute?
Actually, while we can’t speak for all our graduates, there is typically a surcharge for last-minute clients, as your doula will have to work a lot harder, in a more concentrated time, to cover all the material on short notice.
What does a Parenting Preparation Coach do – do they tell me how to parent?
Momdoulary Method trained parenting preparation coaches use our Coaching Model, a form of questioning and information resources, to help coach you through parenting preparation. This method gently leads you to discovering your own solutions – ones that best fit your family and your needs. Your coach will support you through setting up a plan of action and and implement it. Remember, when you become pregnant you enter the Big Learning Curve of the Birth Year and Beyond, and that learning curve really extends throughout your lifetime as a parent. We all run into moments where we need a bit of support in managing our changing lives, needs, priorities, and relationships. Your Momdoulary Method Certified Doula & Parenting Preparation Coach is prepared to coach you through the learning curve, so you feel supported and confident as you move through new territory.
What is Family Focused Professional Organizing?
Our Momdoulary Method doulas are also certified as Momdoulary Method Family Focused Professional Organizers. They are ready to walk you through an assessment of your dreams and goals for your family, and through determining ways in which your home life and your lifestyle are supporting or hindering you in terms of spinning those dreams into reality. They can then coach you through the nuts and bolts of organizational tactics to help create a physical environment in your home that frees you from the distractions and frustrations that stand in the way of your family living the life you envision. Eliminate daily battles with physical belongings crammed into spaces and falling on top of you so you can focus on creating the life for your family that all of you deserve.