The Art of Labor

Birth Services through Gina Leigh McNally, CD(CBI)


What Doulas Do

  1. What is a doula?

    The word “Doula” comes from an ancient Greek word meaning female servant. A doula does not perform medical tasks, but instead is there to provide emotional & physical support before, during, and after childbirth. Prior to birth doulas work with mothers to help educate & prepare them for labor & birth. Once in labor, doulas provide both physical and emotional support by using different pain relieving & relaxation techniques, along with providing moms with verbal encouragement. Post-birth, doulas revisit mothers to ensure her and the baby are both adjusting to their new life together well. They can help with any breastfeeding issues along with answer any newborn questions. If mom is suffering from postpartum depression or baby blues a doula can provide her with emotional support and supply resources to that may be helpful.

  2. What is the difference between a doula and a midwife, montrice, or labor & delivery nurse?

    Unlike midwives, montrices, or labor & delivery nurses, doulas are not there to perform medical tasks. Doulas are strictly there to provide mothers with continuous physical and emotional support throughout labor & birth. They do not leave and simply check in every hour- they are there from the moment you ask them to arrive untill after your baby is born.

  3. What are the benefits of having a doula?

    Statistics are:

    • 50% reduction in the cesarean rate

    • 25% shorter labor

    • 60% reduction in epidural requests

    • 40% reduction in oxytocin use

    • 30% reduction in analgesia use

    • 40% reduction in forceps delivery

    • Mothers report greater satisfaction with their birth experience.

    • Less postpartum depression.

    • Babies have shorter hospital stays with fewer admissions to NICU.

    • Babies breastfeed more easily.

    • Mom and baby have an easier time bonding

  4. Does a doula replace the role of my husband or other partner at the birth?

    Not at all! Doulas recognize the importance of a partner's role during birth. Doulas do not try to replace or lessen this role, but instead aim to enhance it by teaching the partners techniques to help the mother cope through labor. There are many different levels during labor & birth at which birth partners feel comfortable involved. Some partners want to be a part of the birth but are uncomfortable in hospital settings or are squeamish at the sight of bodily fluids. Others want to be involved in every aspect of the birth as much as they can but benefit greatly from a helping hand that allows them to take a break to recharge. Whatever you and your partner’s wishes are, a doula will accommodate to your specific needs to ensure you have the best birth experience possible.

  5. Does a doula try and aim for a drug-free labor & birth?

    Absolutely not! While many doulas may be in favor of natural child birth, they absolutely do not impart their own opinions on such matters to their clients. My role as a doula is to support and advocate for YOUR birth wishes, whatever they may be. I do encourage mothers to become educated on all of the options surrounding pain relief & labor augmentation so that they can make fully informed decisions for themselves. I myself have been through labor and know the tole it can take on someone. I never judge any mom for the decisions she makes and instead support her till the end.

  6. Will a doula express my birth plan wishes to medical staff for me during labor?

    While a doula is ready and willing to advocate for you and your birth wishes, they do not make any decisions for you nor do they speak on your behalf. If an issue comes up with medical staff where they try to defer from your birth plan, a doula will make mention of this to you if you are unaware and help you to communicate your feelings on the subject to them. If you decide at any time you have changed your mind on any part of your birth plan, a doula will respect and advocate for this as well.

  7. What if I need a c-section?

    The process of having a cesarean section can be very scary and emotional, especially if it isn't planned. Mothers who undergo this surgery are by no means in less of a need for a doula than those who have vaginal births. Doulas can provide mothers with support during a c-section by informing them of what is going on during the procedure, helping to keep them calm & relaxed, facilitating skin-to-skin contact & breastfeeding as soon as possible (ideally this may happen as soon as while mom is being sutured if the surgen allows for it), staying with mom while your partner goes with the baby if it needs to go to the NICU, and helping mom to cope in recovery. Some doctors do not allow doulas in the O.R., discussing this ahead of time with both your doctor & hospital is important if you wish to have your doula present during your surgery.

  8. What if another one of your clients goes into labor the same day as me?

    As partners Brandy and I work as each other's back ups if any more than one clients were to go into labor at the same time. In addition, if a very rare case were to occur where one of us were not available to attend a birth in this situation, there will always be another doula from our team available to attend the second person's birth. This is one of the benefits to working with  team of doulas, there is a gauranteed back-up doula available at all times.

  9. What locations do you attend births at?

    Any hospital, birth center, or home birth (a home birth where a licenced midwife is present) within the Twin Cities and surrounding areas.

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Hiring A Doula

  1. At what point in my pregnancy should I hire a doula?

    Usually women hire doulas a few months before their due date. This ensures that we will have enough time to fit in our prenatal visits & fully prepare you for birth by covering various need-to-know topics. It is, however, NEVER too late to hire a doula! Sometimes our availabilty may be full and we may not be able to take on additional clients however if this happens referals to other doulas can be made.

  2. Can I meet you before hiring you?

    Yes!  An initial consultation visit is free of charge.

  3. What types of payment do you accept?

    I accept cash, check, and credit cards through paypal as methods of payment for my childbirth classes and photography services. Payments for doula services will be taken by Natalia Halls (A Woman's Design).

  4. Are doula services covered by insurrance?

    Most insurrance companies do not cover doula services. However, more and more companies are now paying for either all or a portion of the fees when claims are submitted. We can provide you with the steps to take to submit a claim. If you have a flexable spending account you may likely be able to use that pay for fees also.

    The following is a partial list of insurance companies have reimbursed in whole or in part for doula services:

    Aetna Healthcare


    Baylor Health Care System/WEB TPA

    Blue Cross/Blue Shield

    Blue Cross/ Blue Shield PPO


    Degussa, a German Chemical Company

    Elmcare, LLC, C/O North American Medical Management

    Foundation for Medical Care

    Fortis Insurance

    Glencare Managed Health Inc.

    Great-West Life & Annuity Ins. Co.

    Humana Employers Health

    Lutheran General Physician's Organization

    Maritime Life

    Medical Mutual

    Professional Benefits Administrators

    Prudential Healthcare


    Summit Management Services, Inc


    United Health POS

    Wausau Benefits, Inc

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