How Long do you Support Doula Clients During Birth?
This blog post is part one of my Birth Doula FAQ post series. I have received so many wonderful questions from potential clients at interviews. I aim the share the most commonly asked questions for your convenience. Through this series, I hope to answer questions for anyone that may be interested in adding me to their birth team or for those who may be interested in what I do as a birth doula.
WHEN DO YOU ARRIVE AT A DOULA CLIENT'S BIRTH?
First off, when do I plan to arrive at a clients birth? This is really dependent on what the needs of my client are. I become on-call 24/7 for clients 2 weeks prior to their estimated due date until the baby makes their arrival. This means if the birthing person thinks they may be in labor at 2 am and they need me, I am there for them.
Previously, I have gone to client homes in early labor for support & to help them determine if they want to go into the hospital or not. I have also met clients at the hospital when they decided they wanted my support. Providing care to my client is my goal and if they are in need of support in early labor, I will be there.
HOW LONG DO YOU STAY TO SUPPORT A CLIENT'S BIRTH?
After I arrive at a client’s birth and it’s confirmed that the birthing person is in early or active labor, I stay until after the baby has arrived. As of this post’s publishing, my longest client birth was 24 hours long.
This may seem like a very long time, but no one is working harder than the birthing person. I would never want my client to be worrying in the back of their minds that they were taking to long to birth and that I would leave them. If something did occur and I absolutely needed to leave the birth, I do use back up doulas so that my clients will always be supported. As of this time, nothing like this has happened yet.
WHEN DO YOU LEAVE AFTER A BIRTH?
After my client has brought their sweet baby or babies into the world, I stay by their side for at least two hours afterward. Before I leave, I wait until the family has been moved to their postpartum room & the birthing person has had a chance to successfully latch baby for a feeding session. This gives me a chance to ‘tuck’ everyone in so they can get their rest!
“Providing labor support to birthing people is both risk-free and highly effective. Evidence shows that continuous support can decrease the risk of Cesarean, the use of medications for pain relief, and the risk of a low five minute Apgar score. Labor support also increases satisfaction and the chance of a spontaneous vaginal birth. Continuous support may also shorten labor and decrease the use of Pitocin. Although continuous support can also be offered by birth partners, midwives, nurses, or even some physicians, research has shown that with some outcomes, doulas have a stronger effect than other types of support persons. As such, doulas should be viewed by both parents and providers as a valuable, evidence-based member of the birth care team.” – EBB
I go to my client’s side when they feel that they need my support, no matter what time they call. After arriving to support my client, I stay with them until after they have given birth, are comfortably and have fed their baby. If I have an emergency and need to leave a client’s birth for an emergent reason, I have a backup doula to provide support. Does this sound like the kind of support you would like to have at your birth? Let’s set up a free consultation to meet and talk about what you are looking for in a doula!
Jenni Jenkins – Sekine is an Oklahoma City Bereavement, Birth, & Postpartum doula who serves her Central Oklahoma community. She is also a midwifery assistant with Holistic Birthing Services and planning to begin her student midwifery journey in 2022.
To learn more about Jenni, please click here.