Written by: Doula Kim Nowokunski


You’re expecting a baby! You are excited that you’ve found the right doula to support you through your pregnancy and your birth experience! And rightfully, you’re expecting that she will see you through.

A responsible and caring doula, however, will tell you that she coordinates with a back up doula. And she will ALWAYS have your best interest in mind when securing the next best doula for your birth. There are both obvious and less obvious reasons why your doula needs to plan for backup.

Obvious reasons your doula may need to call back up:

-Doula is sick

-There’s a family emergency

-There’s been an accident

-Two or more babies decide to arrive on the same day and she can’t be everywhere!

Doulas do their best to plan around family events and to only take on the number of clients that they are comfortable with. However, the unexpected can happen and babies don’t wait!

Less obvious reasons your doula may need to call back up:

– She needs a break. A doula has been laboring with you, face-to-face, for more than 12 hours and/or has been awake for more than 24 hours with baby still not arriving for several more hours. In this case, the doula may need to take a nap to re-energize for when the baby is about to be born.

– She becomes ill or has a real emergency during your labor:

  • She is with another client that she can’t leave.
  • You are induced and it turns into an unexpected three day induction. Ugh! In this case it is best to “tag team” with her back up.
  • Let’s say you are due on the 1st and know that the doula has an important event scheduled on the 15th- you will be very thankful that she has a back up in place if you are past due and the doula’s important event is quickly approaching.


Different Approaches to Backup


Many doulas work alone but will choose a back up from their network of doula peers whom they feel you would be comfortable with. Usually you can have the opportunity to meet and approve the back-up before your due date.

Some doulas work as a team of two. In this case doula A attends births M-W-F and doula B attends births T-Th-Sat, while Sundays/holidays are alternated.

Other doulas may be part of a larger team where there is always a doula scheduled to work on-call in case there is a need for back up.

Care for Mom Doula Service is a model of the larger team of doulas. Currently, there are six doulas on the team. When one of them is hired, you can have no doubt that Care For Mom will be at your labor. You can be sure that there are back up doulas who are familiar with your pregnancy, and are ready to step in during your labor if needed.


#pregnancy #doula #doulasupport #doulabackup #planfortheunexpected

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