Rebecca Burke, CD(DONA) Nominated 2013 "Best Doula in Dallas!"
(Dallas Child Magazine)
Frequently Asked Questions:
What is a doula?
The Greek word doula means a woman's servant. We use the word to describe a trained and experienced labor companion who provides the woman and her husband /partner with continuous emotional support, physical comfort and assistance in obtaining information before, during, and just after birth. A doula assists the woman and her partner in preparing for and carrying out their plans for the birth
Is a doula something new?
No, doulas have been attending births all over the world for centuries. In fact, in western culture having a doula accompany a woman in labor is on the rise.
What's the difference between a doula and midwife?
Modern day midwives are trained and licensed professionals who provide wonderful prenatal, birthing, and postnatal care. A midwife can check vitals, do lab work, and some can prescribe medicine; a doula can not. Both doulas and midwives provide tremendous emotional/physical support to a laboring mother, and are geared at helping to keep medical interventions to a minimum. Both have a beautiful trust in the physiology of the pregnant/laboring woman. The most distinguishing difference between the two is that a midwife can catch your baby and a doula can not.
Rebecca has attended births at the following locations:
- Presbyterian Hospital of Dallas
- Medical City Dallas Hospital
- Methodist Charlton Medical Center
- Harris Methodist Hospital
- Presbyterian Hospital of Allen
- Baylor University Medical Center at Irving
- Lewisville Medical Center
- Methodist Medical Center Dallas
- Baylor Medical Center at Frisco
- Presbyterian Hospital Denton
- Las Colinas Medical Center
- Hopkins County Memorial Hospital
- Presbyterian Hospital of Plano
- Birth and Woman's Center
- Baylor University Medical Center at Dallas
- Home Births
Does a doula only attend births where a midwife is the caregiver?
No, a doula can accompany the mother with whomever she decides as her care provider. Most family practitioners and obstetricians take a higher volume of patients, so they tend to welcome the individual care that a doula can provide.
Can a doula help me even if I want the use of medical pain relief? - And how would her help still be conducive?
Certainly. Aside from the doula's repertoire of pain relieving techniques, there's many other options available at the mother's disposal, for example: nubain, stadol, epidural, fentanyl, pudendal blockers, etc. A doula can help inform her client on the benefits and risk of each stated above. There are also occasions when anesthesia can fail or only partially take effect. The doula can help with the negative side effects associated with all medical pain relief.
Will a doula make my husband/partner feel unnecessary?
Not at all. A doula is an addition to the laboring team; she's not a replacement. Fathers to be are just as concerned for the laboring woman and baby. The doula plays a crucial role in helping the husband/partner to become involved to the extent that he feels comfortable.
Would the doula replace the nursing staff?
Unless a doula has additional training (i.e. monitrice) she will not provide medical support like vaginal exams, or taking vitals.
However, the doula will be one of the most consistent elements to your birth, because she does not change shifts and only works with one client at a time. Together the doula and nurse are complementary source to the laboring mother.
High risk vs. low risk: What's the difference?
Women are typically classified by their care providers low or high risk. Each provider carries their own standards for these two classifications, it's good to know what your caregiver determines as such. When you are low risk, you will have a lower risk of having an emergency situation and typically a lower usage of medical intervention. When women are or become high risk, there will be more precautions given to the mother and babies health and safety. High risk causes can be manageable, some preventable and reversible.
"If a doula were a drug, it would be unethical not to use one." John H. Kennell MD 1998