FAQ

General FAQ

A: Some birth workers specialize in home birth, VBACs, or even double as body workers (massage, acupressure, acupuncture, etc). My specialty is autonomy and advocacy.

It’s important to acknowledge that every birth worker brings their own unique combination of knowledge, perspective and experience to the table. I won’t be a good fit for everyone and that’s ok! It’s important to be intentional about who you allow in your birth space and I want you to choose someone who best fits you.

 As a Childbirth Educator I teach by centering autonomy, rights in childbirth, and evidence-based, trauma-informed, patient-centered care. When I support you through pregnancy and birth, I build on that and facilitate conversation and communication between you and your care team to keep your voice centered in every decision being made. As a Lactation Counselor, I honor that you know what’s best for your baby and your family by using my knowledge and your values to help you meet your feeding goals how you want to.

If it sounds like you’re looking for something different, you can check out my Resource Page to find other doulas in the area!

A: I’m so glad you asked! In a nutshell, I believe that every person has the right to birth if, when, how, and where they want to.

Some of the things I stand by are:

  • There is no “one way” or “right way” to birth. You have the right to decide what does and doesn’t happen to your body and your baby.

  • The only person who knows what’s best for you and your family is you. You have the right to use your own goals and values along with balanced, evidence-based information to make informed decisions about your care.

  • How you are treated in pregnancy and birth greatly impacts your postpartum experience. You have the right to respectful care where your voice is always the loudest and most important in the room.

All of the services I offer including classes and support are centered on these beliefs. If you have more specific questions about my stance on certain topics, please set up a free consult to chat!

A: YES!

I take every step I can to make sure your Personal Health Information (PHI) is safe and secure! The platforms I use for your client portal, email, secure messaging, payments, scheduling, note taking, and more are fully compliant with HIPAA regulations. You can learn more about HIPPA requirements here

A: SOMETIMES.

I am so excited to say that I am the first doula in El Paso to become in-network with HNFS. This means that as of  May 2022, some of my services are covered for eligible Tricare® West beneficiaries under the Tricare® Childbirth and Breastfeeding Demonstration! Because I am in-network, I will bill Tricare® directly for services rendered. You should not need a referral to utilize this benefit.

Note: Tricare® requires the beneficiary to be at least 20 weeks pregnant and under the care of a Tricare® authorized provider to qualify. Unfortunately, doula services are not currently covered for beneficiaries planning to birth at a military facility.

I am not able to bill any other insurance companies directly. Some insurance companies will reimburse all or part of the cost of childbirth education, doula services, and lactation services. Since policies and coverage can vary greatly, it’s best to call your insurance company to clarify what is covered and ask what you’ll need in order to request reimbursement — I can definitely supply you with an itemized bill/superbill outlining cost and services provided if needed!

You may also be able to receive reimbursement through your flexible savings account (FSA) or health savings account (HSA), if you have them. You may need a “letter of medical necessity” from your OB or midwife on top of an itemized bill for this type of reimbursement. Again, it’s best to contact the person who manages your benefits for clarification.

Childbirth Education FAQ

A: It varies.

I am an Evidence Based Birth® Instructor and teach the Evidence Based Birth® Childbirth Class in both private and group settings. You can learn more about this class here.

Alternatively, I do not use any specific method in my private courses (Fearless Birth Delivered and Home Birth Basics). I instead use a blended approach that is evidence-based, trauma-informed, and parent-focused. The content is structured around physiology and building on the stress management and self care skills you’re already familiar with. 

A: That’s up to you!

Typically it’s recommended to take a class in the last trimester of pregnancy, but the truth is only you know the answer to this question! I’ve had people take my classes well before they are pregnant and others who hire me later in pregnancy. It really is about your comfort level and individual needs. The only thing I suggest is to not wait too long… classes tend to book up fast!

A: YES!

Every pregnancy, labor, birth, and postpartum experience is different. In fact, the hopes that this labor and birth actually does turn out differently might be the very reason you should take a birth class!

A: Put simply, they have different focuses.

I can’t say it better than Dr. Rebecca Dekker in the Evidence Based Birth® article Childbirth Education for Pain Relief during Labor:

“Most people in the United States take hospital based classes. Researchers have found that hospital-based classes tend to serve clients with a diverse array of goals and values and that some hospital classes condition you to accept the hospital routines. Some hospital childbirth educators also sometimes feel pressure to not teach the full range of options. Others say that that’s not a problem. On the other hand, about 18% of people take a childbirth class from an independent educator who is not affiliated with a hospital. Research shows that these classes tend to teach people to be critical consumers of their healthcare, and they also tend to focus on a normal birth philosophy – helping you prepare to have as normal a birth as possible.”

A: The answer to this question truly depends on your personal goals and preferences.

I’ve made the comparison chart below to help you make your decision! (Hint: If you’re on a mobile device, you may need to turn it sideways to read the chart!)

If you have more questions or are still unsure, you can schedule a free consult and I’d be happy to help!

Support Services FAQ

A: Continuous support can result in better outcomes for both you and your baby!

I highly encourage you to check out this Evidence Based Birth® article that outlines the benefits of doula support.

A: YES!

So, you already know you want an epidural… that’s great! I love when people are confident and firm in their decisions! It’s also important to note, though, that pain management is only one of the many components to consider about your upcoming birth. Childbirth education and birth support can help you continue to be an active part of your birth, navigate other choices you might face, and can even prepare you if your choices don’t pan out as expected– like in the case of a quick birth or if your epidural doesn’t work (yes, it happens!).

A: Not unless you want or need me to!

It’s a common concern that professional birth support will replace the birth partner, but this is simply not true! In fact, when you hire me I support the whole family unit. Partners have a personal, established relationship with the birthing person that can’t be replaced or duplicated. They also have a wealth of knowledge about the birthing person, how they respond and cope with stress, and specific ways to support them individually. Whether it’s helping with comfort ideas or giving your partner(s) a break, I strive to bring everyone together and help you become an extra-efficient team! 

That being said, I am able to be your primary support person for reasons of your choice (like if your partner(s) cannot be present for your birth). I am happy to help them to be as involved as possible virtually, too!

A: YES! While Midwives are absolutely amazing, they are also (one) human.

Midwives typically do have a wealth of training and knowledge on emotional and physical support, but they also have a responsibility to focus on the health and safety of you and baby. This can sometimes consume a large portion of a midwife’s time (think charting, assessing, etc) and they might also be attending to other patients depending on your birth setting. Having a dedicated support person ensures your medical, emotional, and physical needs are all being met continuously throughout the whole experience! 

If having a support person present isn’t right for you, knowing your choices and preparing for birth is important no matter what setting you plan to birth in! In the words of an experienced home-birth midwife who encourages families to hire birth support or, at the very least, take a class: “I have seen the effect of [Sarah’s] classes on my clients who previously felt overwhelmed and unsure. After having classes with Sarah, my clients have felt more prepared and confident approaching their own births.”

A: As soon as you’re ready!*

I’ve had people hire me well before they are pregnant and others who hire me later in pregnancy! It really is about your comfort level and individual needs. The only thing I suggest is to not wait too long… I tend to book up fast! Plus, we need all that time to get to know each other!

*Tricare® beneficiaries are not eligible for covered services until greater than 20 weeks gestation.

A: Sometimes.

I currently do not offer postpartum shifts as a standalone service. My Labor & Birth Support packages include one postpartum follow-up and limited support for up to 6 weeks postpartum, with the option/ability to book postpartum doula services pending availability. 

If you are looking for postpartum services only, I definitely recommend checking out my Resource Page!

If you are looking for Mental Health Professionals or other local resources focusing on Perinatal Mood & Anxiety Disorders, please send me an email at elpasopsi@gmail.com.

Lactation Services FAQ

A: According to the Academy of Lactation Policy and Practice (ALPP), the Certified Lactation Counselor® (CLC®) certification identifies a professional in lactation counseling who has demonstrated the necessary skills, knowledge, and attitudes to provide clinical chest/breastfeeding counseling and management support to families who are thinking about chest/breastfeeding or who have questions or problems during the course of lactation.

You can learn more about the scope of practice for Certified Lactation Counselors® here.

A: I am a huge advocate for initiating lactation support and education early!

Prenatal counseling can help you mentally and physically prepare and also helps you to establish a relationship with your lactation provider for a smoother postpartum experience.

If you’re already feeding your baby and need some help, definitely don’t hesitate to reach out! If I can’t help, I can most likely point you in the right direction.

A: YES!

My goal is that you feel comfortable and confident in all of your decisions, including your feeding choices. Whether you plan to exclusively pump, combination feed, fully formula feed, or anything in between, I am here to support you in whatever way you need! 

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