What To Expect When Working With a Doula

Detroit Mom partnered with the amazing people from Live Light Birth & Family to bring you this post. All opinions are our own.

Starting the journey into parenthood is like setting off on a thrilling adventure, full of unexpected twists and turns. The birthing process is no exception. At Live Light Birth & Family in Detroit, we truly believe that birth isn’t just about the end goal–but rather, a transformative experience where your autonomy and choices take the spotlight.

In the world of doulas, each practitioner brings their own unique personality and approach to the table. We totally get the importance of finding a doula you click with. This is why we offer complimentary consultations to make sure we’re the perfect fit for you and your family. But what exactly does a doula do?

Let’s break it down: a birth doula acts as a nonmedical member of your birthing team, providing emotional support, advocacy, education, and physical assistance throughout pregnancy, labor, and the postpartum period.

Working Alongside Your Partner

Our role covers a whole range of supportive services. We can guide conversations with your healthcare provider and offer hands-on comfort measures during labor. We’re here to help navigate any unexpected turns during your birthing experience, whether you’re planning for a home birth, a birth center, or a hospital delivery. Research consistently shows the positive impact of doula support, including higher rates of satisfaction, reduced need for interventions, and lower likelihood of cesarean births.

Right from the start, we work closely with your partner to ensure they feel confident in communicating with medical professionals. Together, we’ll dive into your birth plan, clarifying your desires, preferences, and any concerns you may have. With this knowledge in hand, your partner will feel empowered to effectively communicate with medical providers, making sure your wishes are heard loud and clear.

Working Alongside Obstetricians + Midwives

As doulas with Live Light Birth & Family, we operate independently of the hospital or provider. We put the needs and desires of our clients above all else. While we champion your voice, we also give props to the invaluable contributions of obstetricians and midwives to your birthing experience. Obstetricians (OBs), being surgeons, bring top-notch medical expertise to the table. Midwives champion the natural rhythms of childbirth, bringing a whole lot of personalized care and emotional support to the mix.

We don’t usually deal directly with providers as doulas. Most of the time, we talk to OBs or midwives through our clients. Unless they specifically ask us to or they need extra support because they’re feeling unheard or their support person isn’t available, we don’t go to appointments with them. But if our client needs us there we’ll make it happen!

Working Alongside Medical Staff

As we step into the birthing environment, we work closely with nurses and build relationships with doctors and midwives. Some doctors might not know much about doulas. So, our goal is to show how we can work together as a team. We always prioritize our clients, and we want the medical staff to know we’re here to collaborate from the get-go. Standing as a witness in the birth space, we’re there to support our clients every step of the way.

Once we’re settled in the birthing location (usually a hospital for our clients), we keep encouraging our clients and their partners to talk directly to their provider. By focusing on our clients, we hope the provider and nurses will also respect and value our client’s birth goals. Sometimes, if needed, we jump in to chat with the provider, asking questions or clearing things up to better support our clients.

Working With the BRAIN Tool

Primarily, our role is to empower our clients to be strong, confident, and assertive advocates for their preferences. This confidence goes with them into their role as parents. One of the key parts of our prenatal services here at Live Light Birth & Family is the Prenatal Planning Meeting where we go over a tool called BRAIN. It helps clients ask questions that get them talking with their provider. Like:

  • B: What are the good things about this test, procedure, or medicine?
  • R: What are the risks for me, my baby, and my birth plan?
  • A: Are there other options? Can we get more info from other tests?
  • I: What does your gut say? What feels right?
  • N: Can we wait before deciding?

When clients start asking questions this way, providers see that they want to know all the details.

When decisions have to be made before going into labor, we help our clients figure out their next steps and discuss other choices they have. We want them to feel confident when they talk to their provider, by offering evidence-based resources.

The Triadic Support System

Our role as doulas is to create a supportive environment where your voice isn’t just heard but respected. We’re here to enhance the care provided by obstetricians and midwives, serving as unwavering advocates and nurturing companions every step of the way. We’re dedicated to ensuring your preferences are honored, whether it’s crafting a comprehensive birth plan or providing continuous support during labor and delivery.

We know that navigating the healthcare system can feel overwhelming, especially during such an emotionally charged time. That’s why we’re all about fostering collaboration among all members of your birthing team. This creates a triadic support system that puts your physical, emotional, and psychological well-being front and center.

Ultimately our goal is simple, yet profound: to create a nurturing environment where you feel empowered, supported, and deeply cared for every step of the way. Childbirth isn’t just a medical event—it’s a deeply personal and transformative experience, and we’re truly honored to be there to guide you through it with strength, resilience, and unwavering dedication.

For more information about Live Light Birth & Family’s doula services, click the “services” tab on their website!


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