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Birth Support

Pregnancy and labor are a unique time in a person's life. Continuous, uninterrupted doula support from the onset of labor through birth has been proven to create many positive birth outcomes. Rainbow Doula DC works with all birthing persons, no matter their gender identity or expression, marital or relationship status, race, religion, or ethnicity, with a special mission to affirm and support LGBT and queer folx. We are committed to helping all birthing persons achieve their birthing goals.

My doula kept me calm when my baby's heart rate dropped and I could've so easily freaked out. Sometimes you just need someone telling you it's going to be ok.

- J.M. (birth services)

We Are Here For You

During pregnancy, a lot of attention is on the baby. Understandably so! And while we are of course concerned about the health and wellbeing of your baby, we also recognize that you are a full person with goals, hopes, fears, and story that you are bringing with you that make your pregnancy unique. That is why every doula with Rainbow Doula DC and has training in trauma-informed care. This includes getting to know a birthing person and working with them to develop a co-created support plan that feels comfortable to all parties. We also practice a consent-based approach, which places the steering wheel of care firmly in the hands of the birthing person.

The Facts, the FAQs, and the Fax

(Just kidding, we don't have a fax. You can find our contact information in this section, though!)

What is a birth doula?

A birth doula is a person trained in labor support. Doulas provide four key areas of support: informational, emotional, physical, and advocacy support. During labor, birth doulas can coach the birthing person through breathing and visualization techniques, provide comfort measures, recommend birthing positions, and support the birthing persons' partner by creating opportunities for rest. There is evidence to support having a doula benefits overall labor.

why hire a birth doula?

Evidenced-based birthing supports doula work. On average, people who use doulas are more likely to:

  • experience vaginal birth versus a cesarian (source)

  • experience shorter labor (source)

  • have newborns with higher Apgar scores (source)

  • birth without an epidural (source)

  • report lower stress during labor (source)

  • report higher satisfaction with overall birth experience (source)

Is a doula different than a midwife?

While doulas and midwives both support birthing people, midwives are medical professionals who can work in hospitals, birth centers, or support home birth, and provide care that includes birth but also well-person exams, prenatal checkups, and more. Doulas work in tandem with midwives or doctors to create the best possible birth support for all birthing folks. 

where can doulas work?

Doulas go with their clients! So if their client is birthing in a hospital, that's where the doula will go. If they are birthing in a birth center, the doula will attend the labor there, too. If the client is birthing in their home, (you guessed it!) the doula will be there! 

affording birth support:

We know that affordability can sometimes be a barrier to birth support, and are happy to work with you on a plan that works best for you. Some ideas for affording birth support include: asking for doula support from friends and family as a baby shower gift; fundraising for doula support using a crowdsourcing platform; asking about zero-interest payment plans that Rainbow Doula DC offers; accessing the Rainbow Doula Community Pooled Fund.

Did you know? Some insurance plans and HSAs or FSAs offer full or partial reimbursement for doula services, as long as you have a receipt (which we provide!). Check with your insurance provider.

what does the process look like?

The doula-client relationship starts a few months before labor. You will meet with your doula three times before the event of birth: once to make sure that you and your doula are compatible and to go over a contract that feels comfortable for all parties, and twice for in-person prenatal check-ups. On birthing day, your doula will accompany you to your birth location and provide comfort measures, physical and emotional support, and guidance so you and your partner can focus on what matters most.

how does covid-19 change things?

Many things are rapidly changing! Policies vary from hospital to hospital, but currently many hospitals are not allowing more than one in-person support person (including a partner). What this means is that doulas are providing virtual support. Virtual support includes the same number of prenatal meetings (two) and then continuous video or voice support during labor. Ask your doula about specific policies for your birthing location. You can find more about virtual support here

get started!

Schedule a free 15-minute consult with Rainbow Doula to get started on your doula journey. You can also email us with your questions. 

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