Ask the Expert Recap: How 2 Mom

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Our most recent Ask the Expert featured Stephanie Sinclair, owner and founder of How 2 Mom, a community and support group for moms with services relating to pregnancy, birth and postpartum. Stephanie became a doula after the birth of her first child and is passionate that every woman should feel respected, loved and empowered during all stages of pregnancy, childbirth and beyond.

Thanks to and all the members who participated in this activity. Every member who submitted a question in this activity was entered to win a $50 Amazon gift card, and we're pleased to announce that @Mlmeier is the winner of this random draw! 

Q: Hello! I’ve given birth 4 times all without a doula. I think having a doula would be helpful! There are many doulas out there. When interviewing potential doulas, do you have some recommendations of a couple questions to ask them? I’m sure not all doulas are the same so what are some tips in finding one that would be a good fit for me. - @Graves_cassidy

SS: @Graves_cassidy , first I just want to say that YOU absolutely deserve to have a doula with you while birthing! Second, thank you so much for the question, it's an important one. You are so right....depending on location, it can be an overwhelming process in finding the right doula for you! We all have different personalities, trainings, and experience. We actually published a blog post sharing what questions we think are important to ask your potential doula ( Most, if not all doulas offer a free consultation/interview, so my biggest piece of advice is interview a few to find the right fit! When you find the doula for you, you will know it! Thanks again!

Q: I had a doula for my twin pregnancy and I truly feel that it helped my husband and me through the process, so first off, thank you for all you do! How far do you travel as a doula? I noticed you were in the twin cities and I am in Rochester. Could you explain the training you received to become a doula? It's been a good 6 years haha so I don't recall how the process to become a doula works. Do you also have a backup doula in case you are unable to attend the birth? - @larissalien

SS: @larissalien , thank you so much for the questions and for the kind words! I feel so lucky to be called to this work! I had a twin pregnancy as well! Yes, we serve the Twin Cities, however Rochester isn't too far from me! We are always open and flexible to discuss travel and/or virtual options, and what that would look like! As a Doula, you have a long list of prerequisites for reading, and then your actual training is a 3 full day course. There are some online options these days as well. Yes, How 2 Mom has a team of Birth Doulas so we always have backups in place! Thanks again for the great questions!

Q: How has COVID changed your practices, particularly for your patients/clients where you can’t physically be present during the birth? How receptive do you find the providers to be in a hospital setting to your presence?- @Mlmeier

SS: @Mlmeier, thanks for the question. We had some challenges surrounding COVID but after 3 months of the pandemic hitting, as Professional Doulas we were welcomed back into the hospitals. However, we did everything we could to best serve our clients virtually during that time. Here is a great Testimonial Blog Post from a client at that time:

The goal is and should always be to best serve the client/patient, and we do that best when we work as a team! We help educate our clients so that they are able to ask the right questions to the medical staff. I hope this answer helps!

Q: I was curious I have a friend that I knew and she was a doula but I never really understood what they did. I know she educated her clients and was there during the birth of babies. But is a doula kind of like a middle person or support person? - @brittanygalioto

SS: This is such and good and common question! We are a support person who provides Educational, Emotional, and Physical support! There is also an advocacy piece to our job as well! We play a very different role than your medical team. Here is a blog post we published that will hopefully answer your question as well: