Questions that women have asked me
1. What is a “doula”?
The official definition of a doula is “…a trained and experienced professional who provides continuous physical, emotional and informational support to the mother before, during and just after birth” (DONA International)
There is room to further elaborate this definition. A doula is who you are: it is the totality of your personality components, your traits, life experience and views, as well as interdisciplinary knowledge which you have acquired throughout your professional life. The combination of all the above give each doula her uniqueness. Furthermore, each doula has her own specialty or specialties: for example, some doulas specialize in birth preparation, others in post-partum, as well as other specialties such as massage, acupuncture, naturopathy, reflexology, homeopathy, Reiki, yoga etc.
2. What is unique about you as a doula?
For me, the word “doula” signifies not only a profession, but a type of personality. Marie, a mother I served wrote me: “It is so natural and perfect for you… It is truly what you were born to do…you have a deep and clear understanding of your purpose for being on this earth”.
What is also unique about me in essence is that I am a yogi-doula. This means that who I am is guided by these yogi principles: Totally giving and devoted, compassion and grace, positive approach, internal observation, astute intuitions which I adapt to the intuition of every woman I am with, warmth, softness, kindness, emotionally accepting, strong and flowing energy, flexibility, acceptance, letting go, and surrendering to the immensity of this life-giving process.
My service to mothers is unique since I not only accompany births, but I also offer a comprehensive preparation to birth. I have designed unique yoga classes and workshops which combine yoga with a holistic process of birth preparation, based on the concept I conceived, that yoga is birth and birth is yoga: they are one. I also provide an individually adapted, tailor-made plan of birth preparation for each woman.
I attended a year-long comprehensive program and apprenticeship in various related fields. This program has included more advanced and innovative knowledge and skills than what US-based programs provide.
It is this connection between my knowledge and being a yogi, with all of its personality components, and my energy, that makes me unique.
3. Is there scientific evidence to the benefits of having a doula?
Absolutely! To learn more about the benefits of doula care, go to:
or purchase “The Doula Book” by Marshal H. Klaus, John H. Kennell, and Phyllis H. Klaus
4. I have a supportive partner who will accompany me in birth. Do I still need a doula?
Even if your partner accompanies you in the birth, a doula is still extremely valuable.
As Jenna described “Tami helped to prepare my husband….Tami helped us determine a way that my husband could help me during my second birth….Tami helped him be the necessary central piece of my labor support system.”
My presence complements mother’s partner and empowers him. Her partner and I work together as a team. We have developed the way we work in advance according to what suits both the mother and her partner. I am attentive and I hold a place of quiet and respect to the couple’s intimacy. Furthermore, I give couples the tools to experience and enhance their intimacy during the birth. The partner knows that he doesn’t bare the sole weight of responsibility for caring for the woman. He can also take some time out to renew himself. The best way to sum up the type of teamwork I share with birth partners is to quote Heidi’s husband, whose birth I supported. After the birth, I said to him: “What a wonderful gift it is for a doula to work with a partner like you”. He replied: “What a wonderful gift it is for a husband to have a doula like you.”
5. Do you as a doula only support natural births?
I support and respect any kind of birth you may choose, or end up having due to circumstances. It is important for me to clarify that any sort of birth life brings your way should take place with the utmost flexibility and positivity. Furthermore – if natural birth is not possible due to necessity or informed choice, we still prepare the body-mind-spirit in the way that best suits the circumstances, underlining positivity, love and acceptance of this amazing process.
It is true that as a yogi, I believe in a simple, natural way of life...of birth, and I believe that natural birth is the healthiest, simplest and most satisfying way to give life. However, as a yogi, I also believe in truly accepting life from a place of love and compassion.
I know that nowadays, there is a ‘natural childbirth’ trend that faces women with an array of expectations that cannot always be met. Do yourself a favor and do not fall into this trap, but look within yourself, your personality and the intimate process your body and soul need to go through, and respect it.
6. I intend to have an epidural and/or another medical intervention. Do I still need a doula?
“Even after the epidural was administered, Tami stayed up an entire night, massaging and doing what she does to promote active and healthy contractions and keep the birth process moving.” (Goldie)
As a birth supporter, I provide full support for mothers at any kind of birth, through any type of intervention, including epidurals. My ‘tool box’ contains physical, emotional and spiritual means for dealing with a natural birth (which, by the way I regard as such until you, or the circumstances have made it otherwise) and with any kind of intervened birth. For example, ways of helping the process to progress while epidural is in use, and other methods.
Any kind of birth you choose is the best for you if you deeply understand why you made this choice, based on the physical, mental and emotional preparation and the knowledge you have acquired. Read more about this in Oshrit's birth story.
7. Should I hire a doula for a high-risk pregnancy?
A high risk pregnancy is not necessarily an indication of a lack of ability to birth in the way you choose for yourself. A doula is an option for every woman in every situation, as long as she wishes, is aware of, knows about and acknowledges the benefits of doula care. And beyond this: Sometimes, a high-risk pregnancy may bring about worries and concerns. Through my work I also serve the woman’s emotional needs during the birth preparation, in order for her to arrive at her birth as free and as calm as could be, and to experience the birth in the most positive and empowering way. Read more about this in Zohar’s and Daphne’s birth stories.
8. Should I hire a doula for a VBAC?
Yes! A doula can provide a highly valuable contribution to a VBAC. I believe that in this case specifically, an appropriate tailor-made preparation for birth is essential. Perhaps the best way to give you an impression of this matter is to read Bridget’s birth story.
9. I have a midwife. Do I need a doula?
A midwife is a medical practitioner, a doula is not. I provide support which is constant and consistent and which focuses totally on the mother. I provide non-medical physical support (such as massage and movements that decreases pain and progresses labor), as well as emotional and spiritual support, all in a variety of means. I remain by the mother’s side from the time that the mother desires (not just at the hospital) until sometime after the birth. I am also there for her in everything she needs during the preparation for birth and post-partum periods.
10. Should I hire a doula for subsequent births?
It is true that statistically, first births are considered the most difficult ones. However, in my opinion, each and every birth requires treatment of a slightly different kind. Every birth experience finds us at a different place in our lives – remember that the mind plays a role in the birth process! Therefore, we would do well to come to each birth refreshed, according ourselves and the baby the same credit and treatment as if this was a first birth.
In addition, sometimes there is a need in subsequent births to have a corrective experience. We have an internal knowledge of and desire for something that was deprived of us during the first time, and a doula can contribute to the healing process.
When the doula’s profession became established, the prevailing perception was “doula for every woman”. Unfortunately, we are still far from this reality, but you have the ability to make it happen for yourself.
Read more about second birth experiences in Jenna’s, Shimrit’s and Melony’s stories.
11. How do you as a doula interact with the medical staff?
I believe in harmonious work with all medical practitioners, through a deep respect for their responsibility and professionalism. I provide non-medical assistance, and of course it is not my place to get involved in medical decision-making.
12. All I need is some professional physical, and maybe emotional support during labor… Should I still approach you?
Certainly. Birth preparation is only one of my specialties. I support mothers as early or as late during the pregnancy as they want – whether they need it early on or just wish for support during labor. It is important that you know you are in charge – it is you who manages the birth preparation, as well as the birth itself.
13. Is it possible to have a birth preparation with you that is not through yoga?
Yes, you can. I am flexible and will accommodate any kind of birth and every way you choose to prepare for your birth. I am there for you, to serve in the way that best suits you.