The role of a birth doula is to provide emotional, physical and informational support to help you have the best possible pregnancy, birth, and early parenting experience. The doula works alongside your nurses, midwives and doctors to provide a reassuring presence and help you navigate the birth process.
The program is available at all Swedish Birth Centers—First Hill, Ballard, Issaquah and Edmonds.
During Pregnancy, the doula will meet with you to help you prepare for your birth. The doula can provide guidance on what to pack in your delivery bag, help you clarify your birth preferences and develop your “birth plan”, and walk you through a labor rehearsal. Your doula is then available to you by phone or email with any questions you may have about preparations for birth.
When Labor Begins, the doula can come to your home to provide reassurance and help you determine when to leave for the hospital based on the recommendations of your medical providers.
At the Hospital, the doula is a familiar presence who will stay with you for your entire labor and help you feel calm, comfortable, and confident as your birth unfolds. Doulas are specially trained in providing comfort techniques such as breathing, massage, relaxation, positions, heat and cold packs, and use of the tub or shower.
Once You Are Home, the doula will conduct an in-home visit to discuss any feeding challenges, sleep issues, and overall adjustment. The doula is again available via phone and email with any questions you have until your baby is one month old.
The Swedish birth doula package includes:
- 1-2 in-person meetings during your pregnancy to discuss your birth preferences and help you prepare for delivery
- Phone and email support throughout your pregnancy to discuss preparations for your birth
- Attendance at your labor and delivery, including emotional, physical, and informational support
- In-home visit after your baby is born to discuss feeding, sleep issues, and other questions
- Phone or email support to troubleshoot questions until your baby is one month old
You have the option to choose either an apprentice doula or an experienced certified doula to provide you doula services.
Apprentice doula - $500
Swedish apprentice doulas have completed a doula training course and are working toward completion of the certification requirements including childbirth education, breastfeeding education, evaluated birth attendance, and the certification exam. They have been hand-selected by Swedish from the graduates of their doula training course, and receive mentorship from Swedish certified doulas.
Certified doula - $800-$2500 depending on experience
Swedish certified doulas are skilled in helping expecting and new parents have the best possible experience in pregnancy, birth, and the first weeks of their baby’s life. They have completed the requirements for doula certification, including a doula training course, childbirth education, breastfeeding education, evaluated birth attendance, and the certification exam, and they engage in ongoing continuing education to maintain their credentials.
Selecting your birth doula
To start the process of hiring a Swedish birth doula or to find out more information, please call our office or fill out our online contact form.
We will review the information you provide over the phone or through the form regarding preferred skills, experience level, and personality characteristics in a doula. Based on your preferences, we will make recommendations of doulas who have availability for your due date. You can then review these doulas’ profiles on the Swedish website to determine which ones you would like to interview. Alternatively, you can review profiles in advance and the program staff can let you know which ones have availability for your due date.
All Swedish doulas offer free 30-45 minute in-person interviews for you to find the right match.