Finding Your Doula for Your Prenatal and Postnatal care
Birthways provides you with the guidance and support you need at every step of the way toward parenthood. We even make finding your doula easier than doing it on your own! We’ll use our expertise to help you identify your needs and to get you introduced to the right doula for you.
All of our doulas are trained to assist you and to meet your needs, both those that you are and aren’t anticipating! We know that finding the right fit and a comfortable and warm connection with the person you invite to support you is more subtle than just a checklist of experience and skill.
During our intake conversation, we’ll ask you to consider your preferences for experience level and share any budget constraints. We’ll also work with you to think through your interest in our other support services, so that when possible, we can match you with a professional that can meet your needs for labor support as well as postpartum doula care, massage services, private education, refresher classes or lactation consultation.
Doula Experience Levels
You can choose the experience level of your doula, with the assurance that any of our doulas exceed national standards. The experience, mentorship, and training at Birthways cultivates outstanding practitioners at any level. We might make recommendations based on the complexity of your needs and will help you find the perfect doula professional for your family, while offering a range of pricing to fit any budget.
All of our services are subject to availability and reserving by 27 weeks is recommended. If your first preference for experience level is not available, we will discuss alternative options with you.
Apprentice doulas provide low-cost options for families open to working with a doula that has received her basic training and is well-supported but has experienced fewer births than our mid-level or senior level doulas. She will be working on meeting Birthways’ extensive learning objectives over the course of her apprenticeship and will be accessing our continuing education, monthly case reviews, and independent learning while getting ongoing support from the mentors at Birthways.
We may dissuade you from an apprentice if you have complex needs, or if you need a high level of education during your prenatal visiting. We find that the ability to act as an educator is a higher level skill that is best performed by our more experienced staff members. You can also choose to work with an apprentice and enlist the services of a senior doula/educator to meet some of those other goals. We can discuss options with you!
The mid-level doula at Birthways is working towards completion of the Birthways learning objectives and is fast approaching senior level status. Her training includes attending 15 births or more and she continues to receive support from mentors. We have come to know your doula’s strengths and consider your needs as we suggest a particular doula for you.
Senior Level Doulas
Birthways senior doulas have completed our learning objectives, have attended a minimum of 50 births, and possess the diverse skill and knowledge base that earns our complete confidence in their ability to be in any situation. We are fortunate to have doulas that possess exceptional professional backgrounds and skills, and are experts in areas that may be important to you. For instance, within our senior doulas are massage therapists who are certified in prenatal and postpartum massage, doulas who are midwives, educators, consultants, and lactation professionals. Our most experienced senior providers have attended hundreds of births and have more than a decade of experience.
As we explore your needs, please share with us if you would like to be paired with someone who can also offer private preparation classes, or if you want to have in-home (or in-studio) massage sessions with your doula. We will focus on the providers when possible who have that ability to serve all of your needs.
If you would like to have comprehensive postpartum doula support along with your labor support services, please inform us as you complete your intake and we will choose from the doulas who offer both services when available. Not all of our labor support providers are available at any given time for postpartum care as well. Planning ahead is key.
If you were referred to a certain provider, we can explore that doula’s availability. However, sometimes we find that the perfect doula for you is not the same as the perfect doula for your friend who referred you to us. Feel free to openly explore your individual needs with us!