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Doula labor support service
For more information about Unity Hospital's Doula Support Service, call the doula referral line at
A program of:
A doula, or birth assistant, can provide you with personalized attention and support to you and your partner throughout your hospital stay. The support of a doula can improve your labor and birth experience in many ways.
Doulas assist during labor with relaxation, breathing, massage, verbal encouragement and other comfort measures. They also work with your partner, encouraging involvement and creating an atmosphere of teamwork for a positive experience.
Research shows that doula labor support helps families in many ways, such as:
Many women find having the support of a doula emotionally comforting, as she has attended many births and can give helpful advice and encouragement. Doulas do not offer medical assessments, advice or treatment.
Although our Birth Center nurses and physicians are helpful and supportive, they are typically unable to be present during the entire labor, as they may take care of multiple patients at once. A doula serves only one patient at a time and is with you throughout your entire labor.
Unity doula team
The Unity doulas are an important part of the team at Unity Hospital. You may be interested in interviewing and hiring a doula in advance of your baby's birth. We encourage you to get to know our doula team and contact them for more information.
You may also choose to hire a private doula that is not on our list. The Unity doulas are "on call" for families who decide they would like the support of a doula when they are already in labor. If you plan to use a doula, please be sure to list it on your birth plan and inform your doctor.
Frequently asked questions
Some fathers express concern that a doula might take away from their role in the birth. After meeting directly with a doula, these concerns usually disappear. Doulas understand that this is one of the most important days of your life and respect the intimacy involved with birth. Most fathers are emotionally helpful to their partners in labor, but don't have the experience to know what comfort measures might be appropriate at any given moment.
Because doulas have attended hundreds (or even thousands) of births, they have a strong sense for how to be most supportive and can help the father know what to do next. Labor can be unpredictable and a doula is there to help you both work through the process one contraction at time, one step at a time. Fathers are also relieved to know that doulas support them as well, allowing fathers to rest or take a break without fear of leaving the mother unattended.
Yes, all doulas are welcome to support mothers at Unity Hospital.
Doulas stay with you during your labor and delivery, giving continuous support for you and your family. They are not trained to offer medical assessments, advice or treatment. A certified nurse-midwife is a registered nurse who has advanced training and certification to provide prenatal care for healthy pregnancies (not high-risk) and attend the delivery of the baby.
Working together with your nurse and physician, an experienced doula can be an essential part of the team. If your nurse has more than one patient at a time, or is busy with the medical part of your birth, a doula can be extremely helpful to you and the staff. It is the responsibility of the doula to introduce themselves to the medical staff, establish a relationship and understand the boundaries for each specific patient. Nurses and doulas communicate to provide the best care and support possible for the mother.
The birth of our first child was an exciting time, but the unknown made it a bit scary too. Part of our birth plan included using as little medical intervention as possible, so we decided to use Unity’s doula program. Having Alyson with us every step of the way gave me confidence and reassurance. With each contraction she did counter pressure techniques that helped me get through some of the hardest contractions. As a result, I was able to deliver our baby without any pain medication! With the help of our doula, our birth was truly a positive and empowering experience.
We will never forget the great experience that you guided us through. You made us feel so comfortable and relaxed. I don’t think I could have done it without you. You are truly wonderful at what you do. And you made a difference in our lives forever. Keep in touch. Thanks again!
We were so blessed to have you with us throughout our labor and birth process. Your attention to detail and our birth plan was greatly appreciated. We were so grateful that you could be with us to see and help our baby come into the world. You will always be remembered. Thank you!
How can we thank you for all your help, support and encouragement? The labor and delivery of our precious daughter was more difficult and painful than we expected, but your presence and skills helped all of us so very much. Thank you for telling me I am strong and my decisions were good ones. Its amazing how much peace of mind it gave me to hear that. We hope you enjoy the enclosed photos. Please keep in touch with us if you can, you mean a lot to us!
Services and payment
On-call doula program
The Birth Center at Unity Hospital provides a unique on-call doula program. This program provides on-call certified doulas for hire, after you arrive at Unity Hospital, while you are in labor.
The fee for using an on-call doula is $200. Unity Hospital will pay $150 of the total fee. Your portion of the fee is $50, which is payable directly to the doula after the birth.
You can hire a private doula to support your birth experience. You can see a list of doulas we work with frequently at Unity Hospital. Doulas meet with you before your due date to discuss birth options and assist you with your birth plan. Private doulas may offer additional services including attending prenatal visits, coming into your home during early labor, and post-partum visits to discuss breastfeeding and baby care.
The cost for services is determined privately between you and the doula. Prices vary depending on experience, but ranges between $500 and $1,000. Most doulas require a deposit before the birth and the balance is paid after delivery. Check with your insurance provider to see if doula services are covered. You may also be able to use your pre-tax health savings or reimbursement account.
High-risk pregnancy doula support
Unity Hospital has a special program to help cover the costs for those who qualify as a high-risk pregnancy. Talk to your healthcare provider to determine if your pregnancy and birth qualifies as high-risk.
For more information about Unity Hospital's Doula Support Service, call the doula referral line at 763-236-3080.