Prince Lionheart's Toolbox Session with Kristi from Helping Hands Doula



Kristi Clements

Birth & Postpartum Doula

Kristi knew from when she was a child that she wanted to help people. Kristi found that being a Doula has been an amazing way to support couples as they become parents. She wanted to take the fear out of the experience and help create positive memories.

Kristi’s training has included DONA International, ProDoula, Infant Massage Instruction, CPR, Hypnobirthing, and personality training.

What does a doula do?

Doulas provide expecting and new mothers with educational and emotional support before, during and after a baby is born. Doulas are non-medical birth workers, not to be confused with midwives. Doulas do not deliver babies nor make any medical decisions on a client’s behalf.

There are two different types of doulas: birthing doulas and post-partum doulas. A Birthing Doula provides support during the actual labor, birth and pregnancy, a postpartum doula provides non-medical support during days and weeks following delivery.

When do clients hire a doula?

As soon as possible, but most clients come to us during their third trimester, because that’s the time when they are looking for guidance. Questions like, “My water broke, but I am not really sure?”, come up during the last trimester and that is where doulas come in to help.

How does a doula support their clients during labor?

A doula is here for reassurance and to calm the client in stressful situations. Hiring a doula doesn’t automatically mean the clients are preparing for a home birth. A doula supports their clients at the hospital or at home. A doula is here to help the expecting parents in making the best informed decisions during their pregnancy and post-partum.

Has COVID had an impact on the home-birth to hospital birth ratio?

During the beginning of COVID-19 there was a higher demand for midwives, but I would suggest my clients not to change their mind about where to give birth just because of COVID. People had to wear masks at the hospital and the number of visitors was reduced, which was uncomfortable for some people but still manageable. I believe that it would add to the stress if someone who never considered home-birth before COVID, would then consider changing everything they had planned.

What type of services does a doula offer?

 We offer very structured prenatal classes to ensure that we cover a vast majority of information that the parents need before starting this journey. We also offer our clients a group chat, where they can get any questions answered as soon as they arise. We do offer virtual support as well as in person support. Usually it is very individual with each and every client, because we want to focus on meeting their individual needs. Some parents may need more help with how to bring home the baby others may need more support leading up to their due date.

Who needs a doula? Who really benefits from doula?

Anyone who prefers to feel more prepared for the beautiful journey of motherhood.