Doula Support in Pittsburgh, PA: Frequently Asked Questions
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Frequently Asked Questions

Our doula team works for you and your family. We support all types of birth and birth outcomes.

A doula is an invaluable member of any labor support team. Because we are independent birth doulas, we are able to travel with you to any local birth location. Our team has experience with all of the Pittsburgh area hospitals. UPMC Magee, West Penn, and The Midwife Center are our most popular birth locations.

In general, we are big advocates for a “less is more” approach to childbirth and encourage any of our low-risk clients to consider working with midwives. Midwives are the “experts of normal” and work hard to intervene with birth as little as possible. And yes, you can work with midwives even if you want to deliver in a hospital! If you’d like help finding a provider group that fits your vision let us know during your free consultation.

Our team has worked with just about every type of childbirth you can picture. Some are fast and intense, some are long and slow. We are trained to support both medicated and unmedicated labor, and vaginal or cesarean birth. We have experienced inductions; spontaneous labors; VBACs; and planned, unplanned, and emergency cesarean births. In short, we’re here for you no matter what happens!

How are you handling Covid-19? Will it affect my ability to have a doula with me during labor?

Our entire doula team is fully vaccinated and boosted against Covid-19. If you would like to see our vaccination cards, please just ask. We have been taking the entire pandemic very seriously and continue to do so for the safety of our clients and their families. As of right now, all of the maternity units that we are familiar with allow their patients to have a doula in addition to at least one support person (such as a husband, wife, co-parent, sister, etc.).

What is the benefit of having two doulas?

Every client that contacts us will meet with two doulas who will be their support team in labor. This is for one simple reason – it makes us better at our job! Each of us on has our own particular style and approach to birth support, so by working together we are able to “fill in” each other’s gaps. Our partner system also nearly guarantees that you will know and trust the doula who labors with you. When you work with a solo doula, there is always a chance that they will be unavailable for your birth and you will have to labor with a backup. Click here to meet the doula team!

I’m planning on using an epidural or other pain management during labor. Can I still work with a doula?

Absolutely, yes. It is a common misconception that doulas only support unmedicated labor, or that we only support home births. That couldn’t be further from the truth! Doulas are trained to provide the four pillars of support – physical and emotional support, patient advocacy, and information. Every single person who is having a baby, whether they use anesthesia or not, will benefit from having a doula on their side. 

Will a doula overshadow or replace my partner?

No, absolutely not. If anything, we make it easier for your partner to fully participate and experience the birth of your baby. It’s really, really hard for partners to watch the person that they love be in pain. Most of the time they want to help, but don’t know how. That’s where we step in! We help ease the anxiety and show your support people when and how they can help you labor. 

During our prenatal meetings, we try to really dive into your relationship and how you and your partner support each other. Any member of the support team is welcome to attend our prenatal meetings. For example, if you’re planning to have both your mother and your boyfriend supporting you in labor, they should both be in attendance.

I want to use a specific birthing method. Can you support me?

Yes, we can! We are very familiar with Hypnobirthing, Hypnobabies, The Bradley Method, Lamaze, and many more. We will do a deep dive into your favorite method during our prenatal meetings, and offer suggestions about how we can supplement it as well. 

Is there a limit to the amount of time you’ll spend with me in labor?

We are with you for the entire thing, no matter how long it takes! Typically we join you after you hit the “active labor” phase, but once we’re there we stay until after the baby is born and you are comfortable. We have supported births that are 2 hours long, births that are 42 hours long, and everything in between. 

What happens if I need surgery? Can you stay with me?

Most of the time, yes! At UPMC Magee and West Penn Hospital, doulas are almost always allowed to accompany you and your partner into a surgical birth. We have been able to squeeze into the OR at many of the others local hospitals as well, but it is not a guarantee. Whether or not we can join you in the surgery itself, we stay with you for extra time postpartum in the Post-Anesthesia Care Unit to make sure that you’re recovering okay and are getting to know your new baby.

What are my payment options? Can I use my health insurance?

Our clients generally pay out of pocket in two payments – 50% down at signing, and 50% at 36 weeks. We will also consider other payment plans, such as four payments of 25% each or monthly payments. We also have a small amount of donated “scholarship” funds available for low-income, marginalized or BIPOC families. If you need payment accommodation, please just ask about your options when we are discussing your contract! Doulas are not usually covered by traditional insurance plans, so we do not work directly with your insurance company. Additionally, if you have an HSA or FSA you can use those funds to pay for a doula. It is always worth calling your insurer to see if you can be reimbursed for your doula care or childbirth education! Please talk directly with your insurance provider for more information. 

Do you still have lots of questions? That’s totally fine! Set up a time to talk with us today.

See if we are the right fit for you.