In Orange County and Long Beach, there are only a few options of doula support provided by a team instead of solo doulas. We've been working as a wife-and-wife team since we began supporting parents, but since November 2016 we've LOVED joining with another doula, Amanda Cagle, to become part of Your Birth Team.
We're so excited about this format! Working as a team not only gives us more support in our work as doulas, but it also creates a more cohesive and comprehensive experience for our clients.
Since we are often asked about the differences between working with a doula team as opposed to a solo doula, we thought we'd highlight a few of our favorite reasons to work with a doula team.
1. Built-in back-up
This is one of the biggest perks for our clients! When parents hire a solo doula, they run the risk of ending up with a back-up doula they've never met before should their doula fall ill or have more than one client in labor at a time. Sometimes that ends up totally fine! But... sometimes the back-up doula's style doesn't exactly match the style of the doula they hired. That can be difficult and nerve-wracking, especially since parents often don't know that they'll be working with a back-up doula until they call their own doula for support during labor.
Of course, for solo doulas, this is just what needs to happen sometimes. But we're so glad to be able to work with parents as a team! We love getting to know clients together during prenatal visits and childbirth education sessions. No matter which one of us attends our clients in labor, they know they'll be working with someone they've already built a relationship with.
2. Freshness guaranteed
One of the awesome benefits of working as a team is that, well, we're not working alone! Solo doulas sometimes spend 24 hours or more with a client in labor. If you've ever spent that long doing anything or pulled an all-nighter, you know how tough it can be to stay alert, be able to think on your feet, and maintain emotional stability - three huge aspects of providing doula care.
If a client's labor is long (let's face it - long labors exist) or happens to interrupt a night of sleep, we love having the option of switching places so that the doula who needs to rest and freshen up can do so, while the other doula can take her place. We love being able to take time to care for ourselves while still knowing that our clients are being cared for! This is also a great example to our clients of "putting on your own oxygen mask first" - a vital parenting skill!
3. Comprehensive services
One of the great things about working on a doula team is that clients can take advantage of the skills each of us brings to the table.
Each of us on the team offers additional services above and beyond doula support, and we LOVE being able to offer a more comprehensive experience to our clients! Between the three of us, we currently offer:
- Birth doula support
- Childbirth preparation classes
- High risk pregnancy guidance
- Postpartum doula support (both daytime and overnight)
- Lactation counseling
- Placenta encapsulation
- Prenatal and postpartum yoga
- Car seat safety checks
- Belly casting
- Belly binding
We love being as close to a "one stop shop" as possible, because we know how much easier that makes things for parents who are in the midst of everything baby.
This aspect of teamwork also allows us to really get to know our clients. When we spend time with clients prenatally in childbirth education sessions and a belly casting session, then attend their birth, then prepare their placenta and work with them as their postpartum and lactation support people, it really gives us a chance to play a more in-depth role in their childbearing year. The families we're able to work with in this way are some of our dearest clients. Being able to bear witness to so much of their journey into parenthood is so special. Which leads to...
4. Support, support, and more support
Hiring a doula team gives you access to not one, but two doulas at your fingertips. You have two caring individuals on your side to offer guidance and support as you move through the joys and challenges of expecting, birthing, and raising a tiny human.
For us as doulas, it means we have a place of support as well! Working as a solo doula can get lonely very quickly. We love having a team of trusted colleagues and confidants to help us work through challenges we may be facing in our practice, process difficult experiences with, and of course celebrate with us as we grow in our doula and mentor roles.
All this support makes doula teamwork seem like a no-brainer - both for the doulas and for our clients!