Common Doula Questions

What is a Doula?

A labor doula supports a woman and her partner during pregnancy, birth and the early hours of parenting. The doula is by the mother's side during her labor and/or shortly after she gives birth, focused solely on the mother and her partner. In labor, she is there to support, affirm and educate. She helps the laboring couple stay connected to their birth and assists the partner in supporting the mother. She provides knowledge, comfort measures and breathing techniques as well as suggestions for position changes to ease the discomfort of labor. The doula also provides educational information to help expectant parents communicate their expectations more effectively to their caregivers. (©ProDoula 2016)

Won’t my OB/ Nurse/ Midwife do that?

Your carefully chosen care provider is an integral part of your birth. You are not, however, their only patient. Your nurse, ob or midwife will be balancing your care with many others within your birth setting and will not be a consistent presence during your labor. A doula is a constant, continuous support member of your birthing team, contracted to you and your partner, for the duration of your labor experience. The steady, consistent care a doula provides is a great reassurance and assistance to families during such an important process.

Can my partner be my doula?

Your partner is very connected to your birthing process. However, he/she is also emotionally connected to the birthing experience of their baby and may need additional support. Doulas assist partners in having the birth experience they desire as well, whether that includes verbal encouragement, allowing a partner to get a much needed nap or meal, or assisting with physical comfort measures during the labor process. Often partners are a major benefactor of doula support in the labor setting!

What if I’m planning an epidural or cesarean?

Our doulas provide support of all birth plans, whether surgical, medication assisted or non medicated. We provide unconditional, non-judgmental support of your choices and decisions regarding your birth. Rest assured that your doula will have your back no matter the path of your unique birthing situation!

What happens when I get home with my baby?

If you’re wondering how you’re going to do it all when you return home, let Maryland State Doulas captain your recovery and postpartum period. With us by your side, rest assured that our professional team is there for your entire family, with the skills and knowledge to instill confidence and give you the most pleasant, enjoyable days following your arrival home!

Postpartum support provides compassionate, emotional support for mom, baby and the family, overnight support for the rest you deserve, meal preparation and light housekeeping, breastfeeding, baby wearing and baby soothing support, sibling care and more!

Does insurance cover doula services?

At this time, doulas are considered out of network with a majority of insurance providers. However, we strongly encourage you to submit your receipts for this out of pocket investment to your provider, as we’ve had a lot of success with partial or full reimbursement from many insurance companies. 

If you are a flex spend account holder, you may use your HSA/FSA card to pay for doula services in full.

We also offer a variety of payment plans to make it feasible to include doula services in your plans for birth - another reason why hiring a doula early is a wonderful choice!

Do you attend free births (unassisted home births)?

As professional labor doulas, we are covered by our insurance when practicing within scope. As a doula is not a medical provider, we are unable to provide support to families who are not under the care of a medical provider.

Is a doula the same as an OB or midwife? 

The scope of a doula encompasses providing physical, informational and emotional support to families prior to and during the labor process.  However, we are not medical providers and do not replace the care your chosen physician provides in your labor and pregnancy. We do not perform cervical exams, blood pressure checks, or anything that would step outside of the specific role provided and described above.

Do you carry insurance? How are doulas regulated and certified?

All of our doulas are insured and protected, as well as credited with a major certifying body recognized nationally as a doula training and certifying organization. This allows us to ensure the highest quality of our support to families during their time with us, and to apply our rigorous standards to excellence to every team member you may encounter during your time with us!