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  • Zan Maeder

Doula FAQ

What is a Doula?

Doulas support families through any of life's transitions.

With the arrivals of a new bub, a doula is a non-medical support person for the birthing person as well as their partner(s) during pregnancy, labour and birth and/or post-partum.

Doulas can help you:

* get clear about your hopes and preferences for pregnancy, birth and parenting

* provide patient, non-judgemental space for you to ask and explore questions

* make sure you know the options and services available to you

* provide support around and concerns, fears, anxieties or trauma related to pregnancy, birth or parenting

* help you both (birther and partner(s)) get on the same page

* rally other supportive community around you

* believe in your capacity to birth and care for your baby

As a pregnant or birthing person or a new parent, you are constantly bombarded with unsolicited advice. At the same time you have so many questions that it often feels hard to find answers to. As a doula, I want to help create a supportive space for you to find your own way, grow trust in your own instincts and help you filter and make sense of information overload. A space for you to ask questions and speak out loud fears and dreams.

Doula's can help you understand about what birth and parenting newborns can look like, what you might expect as you navigate medical care. I can point you in the direction of resources or other services and information and help wrap around you a network of family, community and professional support.

A doula is not a medical practitioner. I do not make decisions for you or speak for you. I will support you to get clear about your options and preferences and bolster your skills of asking questions and making informed decisions.

A doula is able to support the whole family and understands the way your wellbeing is all connected. Birth partners are welcome and encouraged to be as involved as possible in work with a doula and in some cases, may be the main recipient of support- me supporting you to support your partner. I can also provide support to siblings navigating the big transitions of a new baby arriving and their changing role within the family.

Unlike medical appointments, I come to you. We can meet in your space at times convenient for you and without the waiting and rushing that may be part of your appointments with midwives and doctors. I can help you learn practical ways to improve your pregnancy or birth and how to look after a newborn.

It's not an easy question to answer because every family might need different kinds of support. But the beauty of doula work is it can be tailored to your family's unique journey.

Why would I want a student doula?

Everyone deserves continuity of care through their pregnancy, birth and post-partum experience and it is the most effective way of improving birth outcomes and family wellbeing. Student doulas can be one of the most accessible options. Students with the Australian Doula College are rigorously trained. We are also provided 24/7 support by experienced doulas as we step out and begin supporting families. Student Doula services are available for a fraction of the cost and you can guarantee a student doula like myself is going to go above and beyond in supporting you because we're passionate and eager to learn.

For $450 I will provide

• 3 visits before your birth

• I will be 'on call' two weeks either side of your due

date and available by phone 24/7 during this time

• Support for you and your partner during your labour and birth

• 2 postnatal visits

If you are financially marginalised, I can still support you for a reduced cost or no cost through the Australian Doula College's Doula Heart Network.

So get in touch!

Do you only work with people who identify as LGBTIQA+?

Absolutely not! I work with families of all backgrounds. In my career in community work and counselling, I have supported folks of all genders and sexualities, folks from conservative religious backgrounds, men addressing their use of violence in their relationships, family members not accepting gender transition of a loved one, and people of all different ages and cultures.

My lived experience as a queer birth practitioner and parent means that I have a deep understanding of diverse ways of doing family and distributing care labour, of the kinds of discriminations that many families experience in maternity care (whether from it be based on race, disability, poverty, age, gender or sexuality), and that I am well practiced in challenging my assumptions. This contributes a richness and a compassion to my work.

How does virtual doula support work?

Generally this means prenatal and post partum appointments using Jitsi or Zoom. In many ways those conversations may be similar than if we were sitting in your living room and sharing a cup of tea. I will however have to guide you through, rather than demonstrating, any practices that we might discuss.

I can still be on call via phone around your birth and even be present during your labour and birth whether it be by phone or video chat if that's something that fits for you.

As a student doula, I can provide a comprehensive support package for $450 (this amounts to over 20 hours of face to face support as well as background support). This cost is not paid to me, but to the Australian Doula College to cover the administration and support provided to me as a student.

I can also provide support to folks who are financially marginalised for a reduced cost or free through the doula heart network.

Get in touch to find out more about costs for other services such as birth debriefing.


I can provide support in your home if you live in the Adelaide metro area and in hospital if you are birthing at Flinders Medical Centre, Women's and Children's hospital, Calvary or Ashford. Depending on where you live, I may also be able to support you to birth at Mount Barker hospital. I an support home births with private midwives in attendance or through MGP.

Please let me know anything that would make our communication or support more accessible- shorter visits, particular modes of interim communication, cultural practices I need to know about in order to create a safer experience...

If you have other questions I haven't answered here... get in touch!

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