What Is A Doula?

At Houston Central Doulas, all of our doulas are professionally trained and are certified or pursuing certification.

A doula is a person well versed in assisting families through all of the transitions and decisions that come with planning for a new baby, pregnancy, birth, breastfeeding,  postpartum, and parenting.

Our doulas each work for Houston Central Doulas which means that we work directly with you and your family. You are the person that hires us to build a custom itinerary based on your personality, and your preferred style of birthing and parenting. We do not work for a set hospital, obstetrician, or midwife. Of course, we love working with midwives and obstetricians, but our independent work allows us to get to know your preferred birthing place and provider.

Houston Central Doulas is based in Spring, Texas, but our doulas cover a wide service area from Huntsville, Texas down to Galveston, Texas and everywhere in between.  We are  excited to provide you care whether you choose to birth in a hospital, at a Houston birth center, or in the comfort of your own home!

We provide you with an hour long consultation to learn about your goals and adventures relating to your pregnancy and plans for birth. The consultation reveals to you whether we are the right team to provide you with the support you are looking for and begins to establish our relationship with your family. Your journey into parenthood is a deeply personal event. We prefer to get to know you and build your level of comfort prior to the big day of birthing your baby by supporting you and providing you with quality care during pregnancy.

Your two hour prenatal with a team of two doulas gives you the opportunity to ask any questions relating to your baby’s birthday, to design a birth plan (if you desire to), to learn some techniques for bonding and working with your partner during pregnancy that will make you more comfortable and connected and the techniques will work on the big day.  Your team of doulas is your baby guru. Feel free to ask them anything.  We’ll refresh your memory of your childbirth preparation classes, or you can join us for our childbirth classes that are taught either in groups or privately in three and nine hour increments.  We’ll help you learn how to time contractions, activities to do in early labor, and when to head to your birth place. We’ll provide you with information all along the way such as checklists of suggested items to pack.

Our birth packages include twelve hours of labor support.  Your team of doulas is available to you for phone support 24 hours a day and all e-mails are answered within 24 hours or less.  You are encouraged to call your doulas as soon as you desire support in labor. During labor, our doulas provide a range of support that includes tasks, physical support, emotional support, and informational support.

Tasks include things like retrieving your birth bag, and things like finding food for your partner so that if you want someone with you 100% of the time, you will always have your partner and/or doula with you.

Physical support includes positions to make you more comfortable, hip squeezes,  light touching or pressure as you desire it, physical support for walking during labor, positions such as squatting,  and support as you find positions that include bonding with your partner such as the position that looks like slow dancing together.

Emotional support includes our familiarity with childbirth and the different phases of labor and knowing what to say and not say that matches where you are in labor. Our doulas are always positive and encouraging and speak to you in your own language and with phrases that work for you. We avoid any triggers you may have and cater our entire support to you.  You can squeeze our hands, yell at us, curse at us, throw up on us, and we still won’t judge you or think of you any differently!

Educational support is a process that we start together during pregnancy where we provide you with evidence based information to help bridge the gaps in your understanding of all the jargon that’s included in birth. We assist you in connecting and communicating with your provider and birth team and encourage you to be your own advocate. We do not make any decisions for you, nor will we speak on your behalf. This is your journey, not ours. We do not takeover, replace your partner, or give unsolicited advice.

Our doulas stay with you for two hours after the birth (unless you prefer that we leave). We ensure that you get settled in with your new baby. We will help you move from labor and delivery to postpartum in a hospital setting, stay with you in a birth center until it is time to go home, or help clean up and prep a meal if you birth at home. During our two hour window, we assist with early breastfeeding.

Throughout our time with you in labor, we realize that in our role, there is a time and place for us. There are times you want us face to face with you or the most amazing hip squeeze ever. Other times, you want private moments alone with your partner. We respect your choice entirely. We happily sit in the waiting room so you can get some snuggling in with your partner while you marvel that your baby is so close to being in your arms!

Our postpartum doulas work with you in your home providing either day or night care. We provide newborn care. For some families, that includes us caring for your newborn while you rest the first night home, for weeks at a time, and even a year later! Other times, you just want an affirmation that you are a baby care rockstar and we’ll guide you through baby’s first bath, baby organization, and a postpartum action plan to ensure you can have it all – sleep, an awesome kid, a clean house, a warm meal, a shower, and time to yourself and time with your partner. Our postpartum doulas provide newborn care, overall family care, clean sheets, laundry help, meal preparation, sterilization of baby equipment such as bottles and breast pumps, a listening ear, help with errands, sibling support (the older child or fur baby variety),  and tools for connecting with other new parents and the community.

There’s so much more that we can do for you than I could ever write about. Please send me an e-mail at houstoncentraldoulas@gmail.com with any questions!

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