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What is a Doula?

What is a Doula?

Sep 28, 2022

At Majka we are on a mission to help educate mamas so that you can make the best decision for YOU and your family! We hear mama’s say often how they “wish they would’ve known they had that option.” We don’t want you to have to feel like that anymore, so we want to do our part by highlighting the most frequently asked questions with a resource in that actual field. Lately we’ve been getting lots of questions about Doulas, and we wanted to get all the answers for you and put it in a blog so you had all the information and answers in one place! We hope this is helpful. You’re doing a great job! We love you! ♡

Let's understand what a doula is...

Here in 2022, doulas are vital members of many families’ support teams, from pregnancy right on through postpartum. But despite their increasing popularity, you may not have a great understanding of what doulas actually do. Attend your birth, right? Or come to your house after you’ve had the baby to help out? Or maybe both?

Yes to both of those things, if you want—and many more! Doulas are trained, non-medical professionals who provide emotional, mental, physical, and informational support to parents during the perinatal period (meaning before, during and after childbirth). Doula support is evidence-based (just check out that reduced Cesarean rate!) and can help you have a better birth and postpartum experience.

Types of Doulas

Birth doulas: support pregnant people and their partner(s) if applicable before, during, and shortly after birth. They can help the pregnant person with birth preparation and labor support techniques, as well as advocacy in the birthing room. Birth doulas also serve as emotional support for the birth person and their partner during labor. They provide some postpartum support, too, but it varies depending on the individual doula.

Postpartum doulas: are trained professionals who are experts in the fourth trimester. Postpartum doulas are like a new parent coach: they provide emotional, mental, physical, and informational support to new families during the weeks and months immediately following birth. This can look many different ways, depending on your needs and preferences, but it is always family-centered, non-medical, and supportive. Here at Major Care, we’re postpartum doulas, so that fourth trimester is our jam!

Other types of doulas: There are other types of doulas too, including loss doulas (doulas who support families through miscarriage or stillbirth), fertility doulas (doulas who support people during the conception process, including assisted reproduction like IVF), adoption doulas, and more. Full-spectrum doulas are doulas who support people throughout the reproductive cycle and through any outcome of reproduction, including pregnancy, loss, and postpartum.


What doulas don’t do?

Doulas are not medical caregivers. They cannot and do not diagnose or treat medical conditions. Doulas do not replace the role of a midwife or a physiciane—they complement that care as a member of the overall team. Doulas can direct you to useful information and community resources or suggest specialists that can help.

A doula can be like your own personal pregnancy or postpartum Google….they are that knowledgeable! Skip the actual internet search and just text your doula when you’ve got a question or concern.

How are doulas trained?

Doula work is not licensed, but most doulas are trained through a doula certification organization. Training varies and can happen online or in-person. Some doulas choose to certify and some do not.


How much do doulas cost?

There is a big range for how much doulas cost, depending on your local area, the experience level of the doula, services offered or included, and more. In general, a birth doula could be from about $500 to $2000 and up. Postpartum doulas usually work hourly or on a package basis, starting at about $20 at minimum and going up from there. Doulas who are new may charge less while very experienced doulas may charge more. Many doulas offer payment plans or sliding scale to make their services affordable for a wider range of families.

In general, parents pay for doulas out of pocket. This is because their services are not covered by insurance yet. You may be able to use your FSA or HSA for doula services. In some states, doulas are now covered by Medicaid, too.

How do I find a doula?

There is a doula out there for everyone. No matter your preferences, goals, background, or situation, you can find a doula who will help support you in the way you want to be supported. While there’s a common misconception that doulas are only for families who prefer unmedicated birth, or only for families with big budgets, or only for families who prefer a more natural lifestyle, the truth is that doulas support every kind of parent, across the spectrum.

To find the right doula for you, ask around in your community. Your friends, family, coworkers or other people in your orbit may have worked with an awesome doula. DoulaMatch, an online directory, also a great place to look for doulas who work in your area. Once you’ve found a few you like—we always recommend checking out their websites and social media!—contact them and ask for a time to talk. Most doulas do free consultations either virtually or in-person.

Everyone has different considerations in choosing a doula, from cultural and religious preferences to shared identity (for example, if you’re LGBTQIA, you may prefer a doula who also identifies as LGBTQIA) to training, experience, cost, and more. No matter what you’re looking for, one of the most important things is that you feel a true connection with the doula personally. This doula will be supporting you through one of the most pivotal life experiences, so you want them to be someone you truly like and trust!

Most doulas work in person, but increasingly, virtual support is an option, too. You can get great support from a doula online, be it via text, Zoom or FaceTime. Virtual doula support also means you can work with a doula who does not live in your city or town.

Here at Major Care, we specialize in virtual postpartum care. Our expert postpartum doulas support new families via text and video and we also offer a FREE daily postpartum app, My Fourth. Get instant access to after birth support when you download our app and use the code MAJKA25 for 25% off of one month of our text-a-doula plan.


Your Doula

Doulas support your transition to parenthood in a personalized way. Throughout the course of your relationship, your doula may recommend a great pregnancy book, rub your back in labor, refer you to a lactation consultant, and bring you a pot of warm soup….or all of the above and more! Doula support is dynamic and individualized. It’s one part coach, one part friend, and one part trusted professional.

From pregnancy to birth, postpartum to lactation, the support and expertise that doulas provide make a difference. Education, companionship, and non-judgmental support are what doulas are all about—and it’s always centered on you and your needs.


Major Care Bio

Major Care is a doula-led maternal health company on a mission to tackle America’s postpartum care gap. We blend the power of guided learning with the support of virtual postpartum experts to create a safer and more supported experience for parents while addressing a $14B+ problem for providers, employers and payers. Our free My Fourth app blends self-guided learning with virtual care. It includes a postpartum prep toolkit and six full weeks of daily guides to life after birth, with videos and content covering physical recovery, emotional health, lactation, relationships, and baby care. The app also offers plans for texting and video sessions with a diverse team of on-call doulas and lactation experts.

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