In our newest post in our Ask an Expert Series, we are excited to introduce you to Anna Rodney……
Anna Rodney is the owner of the largest Doula agency in Chicago and recently opened Arizona Doulas. She has a deep understanding of what families need and want in labor, Birth and Postpartum and works hard to provide this. Anna is a labor and postpartum Doula and she is a labor and postpartum Doula trainer through CAPPA. She is a Hypnobirth instructor, happiest baby on the block instructor, a former special education teacher and has her masters degree in education. She cares deeply about families and works hard to share resources and build relationships in the community to support her clients. You can reach Anna at 707.616.9137 or [email protected] and you can learn more about her full-service agency Arizona Doulas.
What does a doula do?
There are two types of doulas: labor doulas and postpartum doulas.
Labor doulas support families in pregnancy, labor, birth and immediate postpartum. They are often childbirth educators and experts in many birth related topics. They are also a community resource and can connect families with additional resources and information. In labor the doula is with the family throughout the entire process. She is there to keep mom and family comfortable, calm and informed. She can do things like massage, put heat on moms back, ice on her head, get her on more comfortable positions and so much more!
Postpartum doulas care for mom, baby, family and household after baby arrives. She can help with caring for the baby so everyone can get some sleep, she can do dishes, laundry, run errands, straighten up, care for other siblings, cook meals and prep food and more. It’s truly an amazing service!
What part of the birth/afterwards is a doula present for?
The Doula is present for the entire labor and birth process doing her very best to keep mom calm and comfortable. After baby arrives the Doula should typically stay until everyone is settled. This is obviously very different for each family. The Doula would be able to help with things like breast-feeding, making sure that mom and family members have eaten, if mom wanted to take a shower or rinse off and change her clothes, they can help her and before the Doula leaves she wants to make sure that everyone is settled in and comfortable.
What should you ask when talking to different doulas before picking one?
Finding a Doula who has a good fit means something different to each family. First and foremost, the family needs to feel comfortable and confident in the Doula and her abilities. Learning about how the Doula can help in pregnancy, labor and postpartum would be important. Learning about how the Doula will be communicating and supporting your family with the process would also be very important. Every family is unique and has different sets of priorities. Overall, I think comfort level is the most important thing.
When interviewing, the family should decide what they are priorities are and ask questions that fit that. For example, if budget is the most important thing, then they should certainly be asking questions about how pricing works. If experience level is important to them than they should be asking questions like do you have experience at this hospital or how many births have you attended. Most clients have the opportunity to meet with Doula in their own home prior to deciding if they would like to hire them or not. This meeting gives them an opportunity to really get to know the Doula and get a good feel for her.
What training do doulas have?
There are many organizations that offer training to Doulas. Most training consists of a workshop or training and requirements such as reading, researching, tests and essays. I am a labor and Postpartum Doula trainer through CAPPA.
Is their certification verifiable by the client?
Yes, client can certainly ask for proof of certification and they should have access to their certificate or verifying it through their certifying agency.