Molly Murray - Birth, Life, and Business Doula
As families navigate their journey towards finding the right doula for them, there are many questions that come up and need to be discussed with each person or group they are considering. Whether the questions are found online or not, I hear a lot of the same questions. Here, I've taken some of the most frequently asked questions and answered them all for you.
I'm always open to a FREE phone consultation or an in-person consultation. Reach out to me here to set up our time together!
What is your training? Are you certified? If so, by what organization? And what was required in order to receive this certification?
I have trained with many of the major doula organizations that have come to the area and I have traveled to Louisville, Chicago, and upper Wisconsin for additional training opportunities. My training includes that with ToLabor, CAPPA, Birthing From Within, VBAC Facts, Rockin' Dads, Gena Kirby's Rebozo Training, Spinning Babies, and a Placenta Encapsulation Training (though I no longer offer this service). I love and appreciate all of the different training opportunities and what they have provided to me in my career. Because doula work is unregulated and there is no certification required, I haven't chosen to certify with any of the organizations that I've trained with...and until it's required, I don't plan to. To me, it's extra money to spend on a piece of paper (every year) that doesn't really hold much weight at this time. I've attended hundreds of births and always stay within my (unregulated but underlying) scope of practice. I provide physical and emotional support and never medical care or advice.
What is your fee?
My current birth doula services are $900 (11/6/17). Families pay $450 upon hire and $450 closer to the due date and no later than 38 weeks. My fee structure will be changing in 2018
What does this fee cover? How many visits or hours?
My birth doula services include one prenatal visit in the comfort of your home, on-call from the time of hire, unlimited face-to-face birth support as soon as you're ready, backup doula support if needed, and one postpartum visit... oh, and I can take pictures if you'd like!
What is your refund policy?
I do not offer refunds for doula services. If I'm unable to make it to your birth, I send in my backup doula. You'll have the opportunity to meet them prior to your birth day.
Do you have anyone else due near the time I'm due?
I take on no more than 4 doula clients per month and as a rule, don't share with people when my clients are due. I will say that it always works out and I've missed very few births, but I trust my backup doulas and would feel comfortable with any of them at my own birth, so I know they would be great for my clients.
Do you have a backup arrangement with another doula or group of doulas in case you're not free when I go into labor? Can I meet them?
I do! They are incredible. You will have multiple opportunities to meet them. With the Cincinnati Birth and Parenting Network, we attend a monthly Meet & Greet that all clients and people are welcome to. My backup doulas and I try to be at every event.
How many births have you attended?
Over 200! I stopped counting after 150 in the first few years. Knowing how many births that doctors, midwives, and nurses attnend every day/week/month keeps me humble. I still have so much to learn!
Are you familiar with my doctor or midwife? If yes, do you get along well with him/her?
I have worked with many many doctors and midwives in Cincinnati and N. Kentucky and chances are that I have worked with your care provider. If I have not, I'm very comfortable getting to know medical professionals It's important that your doctor or midwife know that I, as a doula, am there to offer physical and emotional support to you and your partner and never to interfere with your decisions or health care. Healthy Mom and Baby (or Babies) are and should be the top priority for everyone.
Have you attended births at the hospital or birth center I will be giving birth at?
I've been a doula for over 5 years and have attended many births at most of the local hospitals and birth centers. I have experience at Good Samaritan Hospital, The Christ Hospital, Mercy West, Mercy Anderson, St. Elizabeth, University, Miami Valley Birthing Center, and Atrium Birthing Center.
When would you join me during labor?
As soon as you're ready for support! For most families, this is when contractions are about 5 minutes apart and getting strong enough that you're thinking about going to your place of birth. I often join families at their home and then we all move together to the hospital or birth center. If for any reason you are induced or a cesarean is necessary or chosen, I join you as soon as you would like me to be there. There have been inductions where I come in to help you get settled, leave until things pick up and come back as you or your partner are ready for more hands-on support.
Which labor-coping techniques do you think tend to be the most helpful?
Breath awareness, movement, and massage for starters.. I teach something called Non-Focused Awareness. ''What are you hearing? What are you seeing? What's touching you? Focus on your breath...'' This allows people to incorporate all that is going on around you INTO your birth, instead of trying to push it out and away. Additionally, I'm a big believer in ''doing the next best thing'' and knowing that ''there is no wrong way to give birth.''... Mirroring and mentoring my clients in self-compassion is very important to my work.
Would you work with and involve my partner?
YES! I think that a doula is just as important, if not more so, to partners as we are to birthing people. Partners often want/need affirmations that they are doing it right, that what the birthing person is doing is good and normal, and a heads up on what is coming next. I have special training on how to involve partners and think that their support is invaluable.
I see time and time again that couples become stronger in their relationship through the birthing process.
How do you feel about the use of pain medication during labor?
This is YOUR birth. You do what you need to do to get through it. If that's rockin' it out on the toilet or in the shower, I'm there with you. If that's having an epidural as soon as you can, I'm there. I have no judgments and can help you know what to expect and how to cope in either situation.
Why did you become a doula?
I have been in home health care since prior to becoming a doula. My spirit is that of a caregiver. I am nurturing and adaptable, comfortable in medical situations, even when others might see them as stressful. I had a doula with my second child after not having one with my first, and I was so inspired that I sought out and took a training when my son was only a few months old... 5 and 1/2 years ago!
Can you tell me about some of your birthing experiences?
Each birth teaches me something new, about myself and about the world.
I've attended all variations of births and with people of vastly different backgrounds. I truly believe that women and birthing people just do what they have to do to birth their baby.. There is no wrong way. I believe and see that birth is transformational. Moan as you need to moan, breath as you need to breath...listen to your instincts and allow yourself to go to what I call, ''labor land''. On the other side, you'll be a new person.
Ready to Learn More?
Cincinnati Mother, Birth and Postpartum Doula, Childbirth Educator and Founder of the Cincinnati Birth and Parenting Network.