FAQs

What is a doula?
What exactly does a doula do?
How long have you been a doula & what is your background?
This is my second child. Why should I hire a doula?
What is the difference between a “baby nurse” and a doula?
Is there any task you can’t or don’t do?
Do you cover overnight hours or weekends?
What areas/towns do you work in?
When should I call?
How long do most families work with a doula?
What if we sign up for 10 hours and then decide we want more?
Is the cost of hiring a doula reimbursed through insurance. Are there any other ways to pay for a doula? 
Can we meet in person before I sign up?
Do you supply references?
When do you begin and end working with a client?
How do I sign up for doula service?

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What is a doula?
A doula (do-la) is an experienced, trained, non-medical care provider who can help with your new baby. If you are a first-time mother a doula is a caring, comforting presence and a non-judgmental “mother’s mentor.” A doula can help you learn to care for your new baby, answer questions about infant care and offer tips and tricks for feeding, bathing, clothing and soothing. First-time parents often find that working with a doula quickly builds their confidence and their new parenting skills.

What exactly does a doula do?
A doula cares for you and provides physical, educational and emotional support for the new mother and her partner. That way you can focus on  nurturing and bonding with your new baby. The advice for new parents a doula provides can help you feel confident as you take on your new role of parenting.

How long have you been a doula and what is your background?
I have worked in the field since 2000. My training includes attendance at a Doulas of North America (www.DONA.org) approved training series. I maintain adult and child CPR certification. I regularly attend professional seminars on topics related to parenting, such as Teaching Infant Massage, Recognizing Postpartum Depression and Getting Breastfeeding Off to a Good Start. I am a college graduate and have worked as a teacher, editor and writer as well as a doula. I am the mother of two grown daughters and the grandmother of two and have recently relocated to southern Delaware.

This is my second child. Why should I hire a doula? 
Because a postpartum a doula offers a set of capable, helpful hands. Parents with older children who hire a doula will have more time to focus on bonding with their new baby while maintaining all-important connections to their other children. Listing exactly what a doula does is difficult because every family has its own set of needs that become clear after the new baby arrives. Here are some things a doula might do to help with your new baby:

butterfly button Care for older siblings
butterfly button Catch up on laundry
butterfly button Prepare nourishing meals
butterfly button Run errands
butterfly button Pick up groceries or supplies
butterfly button Provide resources and referrals

What is the difference between a “baby nurse” and a doula?
A “baby nurse” (who, by the way, is typically not a nurse at all) cares only for your infant and provides no care for you and no instruction in baby care. A baby nurse does not usually have training to help you breastfeed. A baby nurse does NOT do laundry and help with meal preparation.

As a doula, I nurture both the mother and the baby (and often the father). I mentor you and answer your questions in a gentle, non-judgmental way. I offer physical and emotional support with the aim of building your confidence so that you are soon more comfortable taking care of your baby. You’ll learn practical tips for swaddling, dressing, bathing, & soothing your baby. In addition, I provide skilled breastfeeding help. And as my client, you also have access to a collection of books and DVDs on birth, breastfeeding and baby-related topics from my lending library. If time allows, I also handle household chores, such as shopping, cooking nutritious meals, tidying up, laundry, errands and caring for other children.

Is there any task you can’t or don’t do?
Insurance regulations prohibit me from transporting you or your children in my car. And while light housework, such as a quick sweep or vacuum, or cleaning up the kitchen from meal preparations, is within the scope of doula work, bathrooms and other large cleaning tasks are not. I do not  babysit or stay with your baby or older siblings while you are out.

Do you cover overnight hours or weekends? 
Unless circumstances are truly extraordinary, I work between the hours of 9 a.m. and 7 p.m. I discuss nighttime parenting at length with all my clients and can offer many tips and resources to boost your confidence. As a general rule I do not work on weekends. I will sometimes visit first-time breastfeeding moms for a short visit if they arrive home from the hospital on a weekend.

What areas/towns do you work in?
I work within 50 miles of Georgetown, DE 19947.  If you live farther than that, I charge a $1.00 per extra mile, per day. Any parking fees are the responsibility of the client.

When should I call?
It’s best to call early in your pregnancy to ensure support when you need it.

What is the typical time frame that families work with a doula?
While my basic service agreement covers 10 hours of service, the most popular contract is for 20 hours. This translates into about three hours of help with your new baby, every other weekday, for about two weeks. For most, this is a good start, while others may find they would like more support for longer periods of time.

What if we sign up for 10 hours now and then decide we want to add more hours after our baby is born?
Provided my schedule is not heavily booked, that should be fine. You may have to take the hours that others with contracts have not previously requested. This is not usually an issue at all!

Is the cost of hiring a doula reimbursed through insurance or are there any other ways to pay?
Depending on the circumstances and the insurance provider, the cost of hiring a doula is sometimes reimbursed. Check with your provider. If you have set up a flexible spending account, you can use that to pay for doula services. I can also supply gift certificates so that friends and family can “gift” you with doula support hours.

Can we meet in person before I hire you?
Yes. Provided your baby is not yet born, we can arrange a one-hour meeting in your home or a mutually convenient place. If you subsequently sign a contract with me, that meeting counts as your first contract hour.

Do you supply references?
Happily! Upon request, I will provide you with references.

When do you begin and end working with a client?
I begin service anytime within the first two weeks of the birth of your baby. However, in my experience, first-time and/or breastfeeding moms benefit most when service begins as soon as possible. I suggest that I visit your family on the day after you arrive home from the hospital so we can be sure that you are confident and comfortable (especially with breastfeeding). Hours must be completed by the time your baby is six weeks old.

How do I sign up for service?
Call/text 201-349-4700 or e-mail me elaine@tendertimesdoula.com to be sure I am available when you plan to need assistance. At that time, I will e-mail the necessary forms.

Questions? Don’t hesitate to email elaine@TenderTimesDoula.com
or call/text 201-349-4700
TODAY to insure support when you need it!
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To request more information and learn about upcoming classes and events:

A Doula is… “One Who Mothers the Mother”