“Published data indicate that one of the most effective tools to improve labor and delivery outcomes is the continuous presence of support personnel, such as a doula.”
-American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), 2014
A birth doula is an experienced trained professional who provides continuous physical, emotional and informational support to the mother before, during and just after birth, and provides emotional and practical support during the postpartum period.
A doula recognizes birth as an experience the mother will remember all her life, and respects the individual choices parents make surrounding the birth of their child. A doula is trained to understand the physiology of birth with an understanding of the process of labor and birth, and is prepared to give assistance, guidance, and provide comfort measures and support in every possible scenario. It is a doulas role to help you prepare for birth and then to help carry out that plan with an objective viewpoint. Your doula will then provide guidance and resources throughout your pregnancy, be with you during your entire labor and the hours after and be there to provide whatever assistance is needed during that time. Your birth doula will also follow up with a postpartum visit to talk about the birth, offer guidance for recovery and with newborn care including breastfeeding, offering referrals if necessary.
A doula is also: “An Angel” “A super hero” “Necessary” “The best decision we could have made” “Worth her weight in gold”…or so we’ve been told.
What is a postpartum doula?
A postpartum doula offers education, companionship and nonjudgmental support during the postpartum fourth trimester by assisting with newborn care, family adjustment and offering evidence-based information. A postpartum doula will assist with newborn care, meal preparation and light household chores, offer guidance on infant feeding, soothing, care and coping skills, and emotional and physical recovery from birth. The role of a postpartum doula is different for each family. Your doula will assess your needs and will work to provide the support you and you family need.
A postpartum doula is also: “Necessary!” “A Godsend” “Priceless” “Like a member of the family” “A life saver”…well, that’s what we’ve heard anyway.
How do I find a doula?
The Buffalo Doula Collective offers doulas with a wide range of experience and skills. You can contact any of our doulas from the Our Doulas page.
You will make an appointment to meet with one or more of the doulas for a free consultation to find the best fit for your needs. You can also attend one of our monthly Meet the Doula Night events.
The doulas in our Collective, while maintaining their individual practices, work closely together and provide backup and support for each other, so when you hire a doula from the Collective you are accessing the skills, care and knowledge of us all.
The Buffalo Doula Collective wants to make this a simple process and provide you with as much choice as possible. As an additional option, we have created a one-stop shop for all your needs. We offer a free referral service that is designed to help match you with a wealth of birth and postpartum doulas in WNY offering the full spectrum of care. We will also help with a match for child birth educators, yoga instuctors, chiropractors, birth photographers, birth pool rental, and a variety of classes to fit your needs.
Simply email firstname.lastname@example.org letting us know what you are looking for and a representive from the Collective will contact you within 24 hours.
What is the cost of a doula?
Members of the Buffalo Doula Collective and student doulas offer different rates and packages. We strive to meet the needs of every family in our community. The average cost for a birth doula is $300-$800 depending on the level of experience. The cost for a postpartum doula is between $10 and $20 an hour, with package rates being offered as well, most starting at $200.
What if I can’t afford a doula?
The Buffalo Doula Collective strives to make doula care accessible for all families. We also have a firm respect for the professionalism, commitment, level of experience, and dedication our doulas are offering each family.
Ask your doula about payment options or a payment plan. All of the doulas in the Collective offer options for payment.
You can also contact a representitve from The Buffalo Doula Collective’s referral service by emailing email@example.com. We will work with you to match you with a doula that fits your needs both financially and on a personal level.
While each doula offers different services designed to meet your needs, you can expect your birth doula to offer:
A free consultation to get to know each other and discuss your needs
Two prenatal meetings to help plan for your birth, offering options, education, and guidance to help you feel prepared for your birth
An optional visit along with you and your care provider
Email and phone support during your pregnancy
Support during your birth and the hours after
A Postpartum visit
Included in the fee for a doula from the Buffalo Doula Collective is our monthly support groups and educational opportunities. We offer the option to have your prenatal meetings done privately with your doula or in a group setting. We have found meeting in a group with other families due near the time you are creates a sense of community and a strong support network that benefits all families from birth to parenting. Plus, it’s so much fun!
Ask your Buffalo Doula Collective doula about this great option or join us this month to learn more.
The Collective wants to provide you with as many options for your birth as possible. Your doula will help you navigate your choices in all areas of your birth, including options for your placenta. Some women choose to plant their placenta to nourish a plant; some make a smoothie with pieces of their placenta; others choose to have it dehydrated and ground to be put in capsules. Tincture, a balm, and placenta truffles are also options woman have considered. Your doula will help you choose what you will like to do, help with the release from your place of birth, and can provide the service you choose.
Did you know:
Your baby’s placenta, contained in capsule form, is believed to: balance your system, replenish depleted iron, give you more energy, lessen bleeding postnatally, been shown to increase milk production, help you have a happier postpartum period, hasten return of uterus to pre-pregnancy state, be helpful during menopause.
There are a variety of potential benefits to placentophagy. For one, the placenta contains vitamins and minerals that may help fight depression symptoms, such as vitamin B6. For another, the placenta is considered rich in iron and protein, which would be useful to women recovering from childbirth, and a particular benefit to vegetarian women.
The placenta can be dried, ground, and encapsulated. The capsules can then be taken daily for a number of weeks. You reap all of the healthful benefits of placenta quickly, easily and discreetly, and the capsules will last indefinitely (for years). When you have recovered from childbirth, you can freeze the capsules and save them for menopause.
Placenta pills may help to:
- Increase general energy
- Allow a quicker return to health after birth
- Increase production of breast milk
- Decrease likelihood of baby blues and post natal depression
- Decrease likelihood of iron deficiency
- Decrease likelihood of insomnia or sleep disorders
Members of the Collective that are trained in encapsulation utilize sterile technique, are OSHA trained in blood borne pathogens, and have completed N.Y. state training in safe food handling and preparation. They can provide encapsulation and additional options such as tinctures, smoothies, prints, and a keepsake of the cord.
The fee for the standard encapsulation package is $200. There is a discount offered if you are using the doula services of a Collective doula.
Ask your doula about your choices!
How do I join the Collective?
We are looking forward to adding new dedicated members to the Collective. The Buffalo Doula Collective welcomes different personalities and levels of experience. We do require professionalism and a commitment to doula work that aligns with our mission and statement of beliefs.
Our referral service is designed to match families with doula services. If you are intersted in learning more about being part of the Buffalo Doula Collective’s referral service, please let us know a little about yourself, the services you offer, and your contact information by emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org, and you will be contacted by one of the representatives from the Collective.
Thank you for your interest!