Calling All Doulas

Updated on March 03, 2008
C.B. asks from Pittsburgh, PA
5 answers

I am a Mom of three children and one on the way in about 5 weeks. Unfortunately this time around we do not have the luxury of having family nearby for back up. I have heard that finding a Doula may help in such an event or emergency, not only for labor support, but to help with the children so that they are taken care of. I also heard that a Doula in training can do this as part of their experience/internship. Can anyone tell me if this info is correct? And, where I can find out about this type of service for this baby coming really soon? Know any Doulas specifically? I called our health insurance and they did not even know what one was. P.S. I live in the North Hills.
Thanks, C. B.

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So What Happened?

I wanted to thank those who had such helpful information on Doulas and in helping me find one. I contacted Doulas of Pittsburgh and was able to go to one of their "meet the doulas" night right in town. I was truly impressed with all of them; every one of the doulas was so nice and just had a great vibe for what they do.

Anyway, we were placed with a doula last week and she came to visit us at our home. Also, to let everyone know, that the cost is not bad at all, and worth every dime when it comes to having few worries, a great birthing experience and someone else to help/support the whole family, especialy our children.

I am so glad to have asked for help and for the great responses. Thanks! C. B.

More Answers



answers from Pittsburgh on

try the pittsburgh doula network !

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

my girlfriend is an amazing 4th trimester doula!
here is her website
her name is Joanna and she just finished an assignment with twins.
hope this helps,

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

Hi C.,

I used Birth Doulas of Pittsburgh. They were founded by Kathy McGrath who is a Doula, birth educator and is on the board of directors for LLL and DONA. They are nice because they have monthly "meet the Doula" events where you can go and meet the different doulas to see which one might work best for you. Here is their website: You can also contact Kathy McGrath directly to see about getting a "doula in training". I think they have to do their first 30 or so births at no charge as part of their training.


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answers from Pittsburgh on

I'm a doula so perhaps I can answer some questions for you.

The role of a labor/birth doula is to support a woman informationally, physically, and emotionally prenatally, during labor, and immediately postpartum. A postpartum doula can provide services in the mom's house in the weeks after birth, helping the mom to take care of herself so that she can take care of her newborn. Frequently this involves limited child care, light housekeeping, simple meal prep, in addition to hands-on help with the newborn.

Most typically a birth doula would not focus on older siblings while a mom is in labor. Now, if I went to a laboring mom's house and she and the dad wanted some time alone while she was in labor (some moms like to labor in the shower or tub for comfort), would I hang out with the older kids for half an hour or so? Sure. But that wouldn't be my primary function, and I wouldn't remain home with the older children when the mom went to her birthing place (assuming it's not a homebirth!). I'm not sure exactly what sort of services you are looking for; if it's primarily someone to look after the older kids, then perhaps a straightforward child care provider is what you should pursue.

Doulas do need hands-on experience in order to be certified so some doulas work at a reduced fee until they're certified.

I work with Heart and Hands (724/327-6063), and they offer both birth and postpartum doulas. A quick google search will help you locate many other fine doulas in Pittsburgh, as will going to the sites for DONA or CAPPA.

Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

Recently, MOMS Club of Pittsburgh East had a guest speaker who is a midwife come and talk to our group. She was from a wonderful local resource called The Midwife Center. The url for the website is

All three of my pregnancies were complicated so I needed to go to a OB/GYN as well as an endocrinologist. However, friends who have used the Midwife Center have said what a wonderful resource it is. The nurse/midwife who came and spoke with our group found out about them when she was pregnant many years ago (her children are grown). She was so impressed with them that she decided to become a midwife and has worked there for I believe 8 years.

She mentioned all of the great services they offer both before, during and after birth (for both weeks and months after birth). Although you may have already made plans for the birth, perhaps they would have the information you are looking for and can point you to a reputable person/organization if they cannot help you themselves.

I don't know what area you are in. I hope this information is helpful. Best wishes with your birthing experience.

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