Boy do I have a treat for the Mama’s out there today! Over the past year, I have gotten to know Tanya, a wonderful kind-hearted, hard-working entrepreneur who has her own doula business. Tanya actually assisted in Dash’s birth! To be honest, I knew very little about doulas before meeting Tanya, and I’m going to assume I’m not alone in my lack of knowledge. It’s a real shame because doulas are amazing and someone everyone needs during their pregnancy, birth and postnatal life. Do you ever wonder exactly what a doula is, what they do or why you might want one? Great! Keep reading! I sat down with Tanya (over doughnuts amd smoothie bowls), and asked EVERYTHING you need to know! (You’re welcome.)
Let’s start off REAL basic…what exactly IS a doula?
A doula is your GPS through birth. They help you learn all the information you need to know, so that you can make the best decision for you and your baby’s care. They support you mentally and physically through birth, and act as a mentor once you bring your baby home.
What type of training and/or certification do you have to have to become a doula, if any?
I went through an organization called Pro Doula. There was a 2 day intensive training, an open book certification test, Skype interviews and I had work with three clients. The clients evaluated me, and it was basically an 18 month process. Anyone can call themselves a “doula”, but there are lots of certifications available as well.
Not many people know that a Doula’s job includes being involved before and after birth. Can you tell me about what you do and how you help before and after the baby’s arrival?
During the prenatal phase we meet and talk about what a “perfect birth” would look like for them. Then, we discuss plans and what to do when and if different scenarios occur. During labor we’re there to help with comfort measures, and to support both the mother and her spouse. During the postpartum phase we can stay overnight or for a day shift to help with laundry, cooking, etc and answer any questions she may have about newborn care. We are basically your Mom without the judgments and opinions!
How do you work with the spouse during the birth process? What roll do you each play?
In cases where the spouse is super hands-on, I will suggest position changes and tips that will help the Mom get more comfortable and relaxed. If he wants to stay up near his wife’s head, than I’ll be more involved. It’s really customized to each family. When I’m there, the spouse can also feel comfortable stepping out for a potty or food break, knowing that his wife is in good hands.
How do you work with the doctor, nurses and other medical personnel?
I keep it very team oriented. I know that my customer chose their provider because they trust and like them, and I am there to help.
Do you ever meet the OBGYN ahead of time?
Yes, I do! I have been to prenatal appointments with clients, and I try to meet as many providers as I can on my own. I want to be familiar with as many providers as possible in the Nashville area.
During labor, when does a Doula tylically arrive?
I like to be called as soon as labor begins, but I typically like to arrive when my client needs more help, like when the pain becomes more iintense. However, I can arrive as early as they want.
What do you do when things don’t go as planned? For example, when a planned natural childbirth becomes a cesarean birth.
I typically wait in their room, unless the anesthesiologist allows me to go back. I will stay through recovery to help with breastfeeding and making sure they get settled in. For a planned c-section, I’ve met clients at the 5am surgery prep to just hangout, listen to music, offer a hand and foot massage and just keep things relaxed so the the Mom goes into surgery feeling calm and confident.
How would you suggest we find the “right” doula?
Make a list of what you’re looking for, and start the interview process. There are so many doulas in Nashville and most offer free consultations so you can see if your personalities mesh well.
How much should someone expect to pay for a doula?
It can range from about $800-$1500 in the middle Tennessee area. It just depends…there’s a huge price range and it can depend on if you’re a solo doula or with an agency too. Agencies tend to charge more, but you’re getting a team instead of just one doula.
How would you describe your business, “Tennessee Family Doulas“?
My business is set up as an agency, so there are always two doulas on call. You would meet both of us in the prenatal visit, whomever is on call will come to the delivery and then we will both come to your postpartum visit. So you’d never have to have a stranger come to your birth.
What would you say is the greatest benefit of having a doula?
Having a doula reduces fear and builds confidence. They help you not fear the unknown because they’ve walked that road before.
Thank you Tanya for meeting up with me and answering the many questions us Moms (and future Moms) have always wanted answered!
If you’ve got anymore questions for Tanya (or want to hire her!) You can reach her here.
And if there’s any questions or comments for me please leave them below. If you liked this post please share, like, comment and show me some love!