About Doulas

Birth Doulas

Helping families feel empowered to make informed choices about their care in pregnancy, birth and parenthood. Providing physical and emotional support throughout labor, birth and the early postpartum hours.

Postpartum Doulas

Helping families make a smooth transition into parenthood by providing assistance with newborn care, breastfeeding support, household duties and emotional support in the postpartum period. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Birth Doulas - What do they do and what their benefits?


Birth doulas are trained in the normal process, anatomy and physiology of birth. They use a variety of methods to infuse the birth experience with calm, peace and unconditional support. A great deal of work is done prenatally to establish a trusting relationship with clients and enhance their intuition, knowledge and confidence in the birth process.

Support can be provided in both home and hospital births to all people regardless of their particular choices about how their birth will unfold. Doulas offer continous support and individualized strategies for comfort throughout labor and they can help facilitate conversations with medical providers to ensure birthing people know their options in order to provide informed consent.
Numerous studies have shown that impartial, continuous doula support during labor can increase the satisfaction of the experience for both the birthing person and their partner as well as reduce the need for augmentation, instrumental intervention or surgical birth.

Because birth doulas are hired directly by the clients they will be working with, they answer only to them. They are able to support birthing people without distraction or conflicts of interest within any particular system.




Postpartum Doulas - What do they do and what are their benefits?


Postpartum doulas offer informational, physical and emotional support to families within the first year of a baby's life. Postpartum support can allow the birthing parent to devote the time needed to recovering after birth and tend to the intense demands of adjusting to the transition of life with their new baby. Additionally, it can difuse the stress of caring for basic household tasks such as meal preparation and housecleaning. Lastely, postpartum doula support can help build confidence by providing newborn-care and evidence-based education.

Studies have shown that postpartum doula support can decrease postpartum mood and anxiety disorders and enhance the feelings of positivity surrounding the postpartum period.




Will the doula take the place of my spouse, partner or family member?


Not if we're doing it right!
Doulas seek to facilitate a positive experience for all people involved in both the birth and pospartum experience. Our wisdom of caring for a birthing or postpartum person is only one component to the equation. Your other chosen support people know you much more intimately than we ever can, so they bring a critical knowledge to the equation as well. When the two team members work together to create a circle of support around a birthing or postpartum person, that is when the real magic happens.

Even the most supportive and knowledgeable of partners or family members will need breaks for rest, nourishment, and emotionally processing such momentous events. A doula can provide care for all involved in large and small ways so that they can be fully present and participate at the level they are most comfortable.




How do medical providers and doulas work together?


Birth doulas work collaboratively with nurses, midwives and physicians to provide holistic support for their clients throughout the birth process. Often, a doula can help facilitate conversation between a birthing person and their provider to ensure their questions are being answered, their concerns are being heard and their preferences are being honored. Birth doulas offer a unique role on the birth team in that their only responsibility is to the birthing person and their family. Often in pregnancy, doulas and their clients develop a level of trust and familiarity that is a welcomed addition to the birth room in which providers can be unknown.

Because doulas do not perform any clinical tasks, conduct exams or make diagnoses, they are able to focus their attention solely on how the birthing person is feeling and coping with the experience at any given moment.




How much does doula support cost and why?


The average fee for birth doula services in Rochester is around $1,000.
The average fee for postpartum doula support is around $30-35/hour.

When a doula sets their fee, they take into account the following:
-Unlimited text, email and phone support throughout time of contract -Prenatal and postpartum visits -On call access 24 hours a day, 7 days a week from 38 weeks until baby is 1-2 weeks old -Length of the birth - while some may only be a few hours, they can stretch to a few days -Childcare costs, travel fees, administrative and business costs, etc. -Amount of time and money invested in professional development to enhance skills

There is a misconception that newer doulas can offer their services for free. However, to create a sustainable work environment and situation for themselves, each doula often decides to establish at least a minimal fee in order to cover the basic costs of doing this work.

If you are concerned about paying the fee for doula support services, please consider the following: -What items could you sell, or could you host a garage sale, to cover the cost? -Could you put doula support on your shower registry? -Do you or your family members have any services that could be exchanged for a portion of the fee?




What other support services can a doula offer?


The doulas in our cooperative offer a variety of complementary support service options to our community. We have acupuncturists, chiropractors, placenta encapsulation specialists, massage therapists, lactation consultants, childbirth educators, a hospital-grade breast pump rental provider, breast milk jewelery designers, feeding therapists, yoga instructors and so much more!

Additionally, there are other kinds of doulas beyond birth and postpartum as well! Doula support can be utilized in bereavement, pregnancy loss, fertility and more. There are specialized trainings for the full spectrum support, but we do have some doulas in our community of offer these levels of support.

If you are interested in a specific support service and would like to be connected to the appropriate person, please use our contact form to let us know.




Who typically hires a doula?


The short answer is anybody who is preparing to have a baby or who has a baby at home!

Doulas are all about providing you with an abundance of care, support and all the information you need to make fully informed, confident decisions. So, regardless of your choices in pregnancy, birth or parenthood, a doula is there for you 100% and wants to see you succeed in your goals, however you may define them, and connect you with the resources you need to do so.




Is there a difference between a midwife and a doula?


Yes! There's a big difference between doulas and midwives, but we typically get along really well! Midwives are trained medical providers who support women from puberty all the way through menopause. They generally uphold the midwifery model of care which is highly person-centered, holistically supportive and promotes the normal, phsyiologic process of birth. As with doulas, midwives care for patients who make any number of choices in their birth experiences. Midwives work collaboratively with a physician in cases where instrumental or cesarean birth is required.

Doulas and midwives often have similar approaches to birth and so we compliment one another very well. Though they are both focused on the overall well-being of the birthing person and their baby, they have two very distinct roles in that the midwife will always be the one to perform clinical tasks or exams, make diagnoses and catch the baby and the doula is there to support the birthing person and their family to enhance their overall mental and emotional well-being and physical comfort.




Where do doulas attend births?


Birth doulas attend births wherever their clients are. Doulas in our cooperative have attended births at all the local and regional hospitals of our area and have worked with the homebirth midwifery groups to provide support to birthing people in their homes as well.




Birth Doulas - What is included with their support?


Every doula offer their own unique aspects to support, however the majority include the following:
~One complimentary consultation (over the phone, in person or via video chat)
~One to two (or more) prenatal visits ~Unlimited email, text and phone support ~Access to carefully curated list of community resources ~24/7 On-call support from 38 weeks until your baby is born ~Continuous support throughout labor, delivery and immediate postpartum support in the birthing location of your choice
~Backup doula support if needed ~One or more postpartum followup visits This is typical of birth doula support, but may not reflect the specifics of every doula's practice within our cooperative. Be sure to ask about this at your complimentary consulatation to discover what their particular offerings include.




Postpartum Doulas - What is included with their support?


Postpartum doula support is tailored specifically to you and your families needs. It can be provided at any time throughout the first year of your baby's life and may look like any of the following (please be sure to check with an individual doula to learn about what their specific support entails): Physical Support - Assistance with postpartum recovery, breastfeeding support, nutritious snack and meal preparation, care for child while parents rest, help with babywearing, assistance on outings, an extra set of hands to help with anything!

Emotional Support - Listening without judgement, validating your joys and concerns, support as you bond with new child and adjust to the transition of life with them, watching for signs of postpartum depression, discussing various options and supporting your choices, care for child while parents take personal time, support for non-birthing partner, strategies for positive family communication

Household Support - Laundry, light housework, nursery and supply organization, spending time with other children in the home and facilitating their adjustment to a new sibling, taking photos for you

Informational Support - Sharing techniques on feeding, bathing, dressing, newborn care and development, etc, providing evidence-based information on numerous topics pertaining to infants and parenthood, sharing of local resources and support groups, information on baby gear, providing resources for partner, help with navigating various sources of information





Monthly Doula Meeting

7 PM

Second Thursday of the Month*

220 Winton Rd. South

*Check the Doula Cooperative Facebook Group for occasional changes to dates or location.

(585) 234-0164

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The Doula Cooperative is committed to the inclusion of individuals and families regardless of age, race, class, ethnicity, national origin, gender expression & identity, sexuality, relationship status, ability, religion and birthing choices and location. All are welcome.