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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.

What is a postpartum doula?

A postpartum doula is a trained professional who provides families information and support on infant feeding, emotional and physical recovery from childbirth, infant soothing, and coping skills for new parents. Experts in emotional support and active listening, postpartum doulas might also help with light housework, fix a meal, and help incorporate an older child into this new experience.

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. Should you not want virtual birth attendance, there is an additional option to replace hours designated for labor support with postpartum assistance.

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 concierge/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 can I view the postpartum doula services?

View our postpartum services 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!

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 do I go about hiring Sankofa Moon as my doula?

If you like what you hear at the consultation and all sounds good, we will then send you over an agreement/contract to review, sign and return. Visit our Meet the Doulas page to view the dynamic team that will be supporting you. To ensure our availability and to secure your birth on our calendar, a non-refundable deposit of $400 is due at registration along with the signed contract. Then it's official! 

How does payment work for Doula Services?

The total cost for our Sankofa Package is $1750. We offer two payment options: A) $400 non-refundable deposit with final payment of $1350 due 4 weeks prior to due date; or B) $400 non-refundable deposit, followed by 3 equal monthly auto-payments of $450 due on the 1st of each month. 

I have a few questions about your support services. May I speak with someone? 

Of course! After you review our support package and website, take some time to see if you're interested and request a free consultation. The consultation allows additional space for question and answer and essentially serves as a meet-and-greet. 

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 not, but we are hiring doulas to expand our team. If you are interested click here.

Who is the director of Sankofa Moon Doula Team/Agency?

Tamisha Jackson Ponder, A.B.D. is the CEO for Sankofa Moon. She is a prenatal yoga teacher and yoga teacher trainer, fertility doula, certified 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. She is certified with and a member of the National Black Doulas Association. To learn more about her journey into birth work, click here

Additional Resources:

Click here for birth doula info.

Click here for postpartum doula info.

Click here for concierge services.

Click here to meet our doulas.

Click here to contact us!.