What is a fertility doula?
A holistic fertility doula is professionally trained to support a woman/birthing person during their preconception period to help prepare their body for pregnancy. Helping people with uteruses, and couples navigate their infertility journeys, a fertility doula provides natural remedies, recommendations, emotional support, and guidance during this time.
What is a birth doula?
A birth doula is a trained professional who provides continuous physical, emotional and informational support to a mother/birthing person before, during and shortly after childbirth. A birth doula can also be referred to as a birth worker, labor coach, birth keeper, labor assistant and birth companion.
A doula may also act as mediator and an advocate who's there to run interference with hospital personnel, as well as translate medical terms and explain procedures. Before your due date, your doula will educate you about the process of labor and delivery, with the goal of making it less scary and more comfortable so you're empowered to take more active role in your birth. A doula can offer a plethora of non-medicated pain management techniques including massage, reiki, reflexology, aromatherapy, music and mantras; he or she will try different combinations to find the right solution for you.
1. Doulas aren't just for home birth.
2. Doulas aren't just for unmedicated births.
3. Doulas aren't just for first time parents.
4. Doula's don't replace your partner. We support them too.
5. Doulas are professionals.
6. Doulas and midwives have different roles.
7. Hiring a doula should be the norm, not the exception.
8. You will remember how you were made to feel on the day you give birth for the rest of your life.
9. You deserve the type of support doulas offer.
Are doulas only for homebirths?
Not at all! Doulas work in hospitals, birthing centers, or home births-- and they can attend virtually through virtual doula services! No matter where you have your birth, a doula will be there to help you feel safe and empowered. We offer non-judgmental support, no matter where and how you choose to birth.
I don't plan on having an unmedicated birth. Would I still need a doula?
Absolutely! There is more to labor than pain medication. No matter what type of birth you have, a doula will be there to help you feel safe, empowered and will provide guidance. A doula will support you in your decision to use medications or have a “natural” or unmedicated birth. We offer non-judgmental support, no matter where and how you choose to birth.
What if I am having a scheduled caesarean, would I still need a doula?
A caesarean birth is still a birth and deserves support! Doulas are here to make you feel safe and empowered. Sankofa Moon Doula Services offers variety of services to support you during pregnancy such as Thai Massage, Reiki, Prenatal Yoga, Nutrition Consults and more. Whether you'd like the services a la carte or within a doula package, we've got you covered. We offer non-judgmental support, no matter where and how you choose to birth.
When is the best time to hire a birth doula?
The ideal time to hire a doula is as early in your pregnancy as possible, preferably early second trimester. This allows both you and the doula to get to know one another and to discuss your plans for pregnancy, labor, and birth as long as needed. It also gives you more time to explore the options that your doula may alert you to in your area. It is important to note that most doulas are committed months in advance, so it's best to get your birth on their calendar when you have the opportunity!
What if my hospital will not allow a doula present due to COVID-19 restrictions?
We will join you via Zoom for your birth and support you virtually. Prior to your birth we will set up a comfort measures session where we teach your partner techniques to assist you while in the hospital as if we were there physically. This way, while on Zoom, we can walk your partner through the techniques we practiced. Remember, you can labor at home for as long as you'd like until you head to the hospital, in which I can also be there to assist you in-person or virtually as well.
Who is the primary doula for Sankofa Moon?
Tamisha Jackson Ponder, A.B.D. is the primary doula for Sankofa Moon. She is a yoga teacher and yoga teacher trainer, fertility doula, trained birth doula, Reiki Master, Thai Massage Specialist, Holistic Life Coach and the founder/owner of Sankofa Yoga and Wellness Center and Sankofa Health Express & Primary Care. She is currently completing her Ph.D. and holds a master's degree in Women's and Gender Studies: Health and Sexuality. Her research specializes in holistic reproductive health, reproductive justice, the over medicalization and historical experimentation of Black and Brown bodies, and Black women's agency in health and wellness. Diagnosed with endometriosis as a teenager nearly twenty years ago, she began her life's work into women's holistic health and wellness. To learn more about her journey into birth work, click here.
What makes Sankofa Moon Doula Services unique?
Our foundational work in women's studies, yoga, energy work and bodywork, allows us to approach Sankofa Moon with the acronym: (A)wareness. (C)onnection. (C)omfort. (E)mpowerment. (S)upport. (S)cope. As we are rooted in yoga and body and breath awareness, we want to fully support you mind, body and spirit throughout your entire pregnancy. As your body is changing, it may come with some discomfort, and we want to empower and support you during this transformation. The incorporation of yoga, Thai Massage and Reiki sessions speak to our clients. In addition, our primary/urgent care allows the client access to our nurse practitioners and midwife should they have any medical concerns or questions along the way.
What if I like the services but don't want a doula package?
You can book à la carte/individual services here.
May I add on services to my existing package?
Yes; you can book a Prenatal Thai Massage or Prenatal/Postpartum Reiki à la carte/individually here.
Where do you provide service?
We provide local services to the DMV (Washington D.C., Maryland and Virginia) and Baltimore area. Our virtual options allows us to serve locally, nationally and internationally. So whether you are near or far, Sankofa Moon has you covered!
How do I go about hiring Tamisha as my doula?
After you review the packages on the website, take some time to see if you're interested and request a consultation on the page. The consultation allows additional space for question and answer and essentially serves as a meet-and-greet. If you like what you hear and all sounds good, we will then send you over an agreement/contract to review, sign and return. To ensure our availability and to secure your birth on our calendar, a non-refundable deposit is due at registration along with the signed contract. Then it's official!
Does health insurance cover doula services?
Most insurances do not cover doula fees but you may be able to use your FSA/HSA or flex spending. Click here for more information about doulas and insurance companies.
How does payment work for birth doula and fertility doula services?
Payment for birth doula services varies on packages; however, a non-refundable deposit is due at registration via PayPal or MindBody with the remaining balance due 4-weeks prior to your due date. Payment for fertility doula services and prenatal support services are done conveniently via auto-pay with your MindBody account.
Are there other types of doulas?
Yes; there are many types of doulas: fertility doula, sex doula, abortion doula, postpartum doula, bereavement doula and death/end of life doula. A doula is a trained companion who is not a healthcare professional and who supports another individual through a significant health related experience, such as childbirth, miscarriage, induced abortion or stillbirth, or non-reproductive experiences such as dying. Sankofa Moon offers fertility doula and birth doula services.
Do you offer a Doula Mentorship Program for new doulas?
Unfortunately we do not offer mentorship at this time.
Click here for fertility doula info.
Click here for birth doula info.
Click here for womb wellness.
Click here for à la carte services.
Click here to learn about your doula.
Click here to contact Tamisha.