Frequently Asked Questions

What is a postpartum (or postnatal) Doula?


The word Doula comes from ancient Greek and describes a professional who is experienced in childbirth, newborn care and postpartum recovery. A postpartum (or postnatal) Doula is a trained professional who will encourage and nurture you as you cross the threshold into new parenthood by providing the physical, emotional and evidence based informational support you need to heal after birth, or transition through your adoption or surrogacy experience. Their goal is to ensure you are nourished and informed, so that you may make the best decisions for your growing family. This may include information and support in breastfeeding and lactation, newborn care, light household tasks, meal preparation and care of the birthing person and baby or babies. My focus has alway been to provide the best possible postpartum care, but I am also a fully trained Birth Doula and support people though the conception, and beyond as a Full Spectrum Doula.




Do you have references?


Yes! Please take a look at my client testimonials and if you have any more questions I can connect you with a previous client for a direct reference. Don't hesitate to reach out if you would like to talk further.




My baby (or babies) have already arrived, can I still work with you?


Of course, please reach out to discuss what services best suit your needs.




How long do you work with families?


However long you need! Postpartum Doulas are an invaluable support for the first weeks and months after baby arrives, to help you adjust, recover, and gain your footing with new skills and routines. But there are so many emotional, psychologically and practical shifts within yourself, your relationships and your home that you may find yourself suddenly in a complete fog at 6 or 7 months postpartum, or maybe you need some support around you or your partner going back to work. I don't believe that postpartum care should be reserved for the first 6 weeks, and I will take on clients at any stage time during the first year of a baby’s life. However long I work with you, my goal is to leave you with the confidence and energy you need to thrive. It’s definitely not too late to ask for the care you deserve.




Have more questions?


Great! I would love to chat and make sure you have all the information you need, you can email me on holli@deararlo.co.nz




What kind of training do you have?


I am a fully trained Birth and Postpartum Doula through Carriage House Birth, in Brooklyn, NYC. And have twice completed the SEEN: Doula Mentorship program with Birdsong Brooklyn, NYC in both 2018 & 2019. I am a Certified Lactation Support Counselor (CLSC) trained with Empire Lactation I regularly attend additional trainings to help inform and prepare me to support all types of families, including; Twin Magic for Doulas with Carriage House Birth, Brooklyn, NYC Lactation Basics and Infant Feeding for Doulas with Up Town Village Coop, NYC Boundaries and Ethics for Birth Workers (Workshop) with Birdsong Brooklyn Moving Beyond the Binary (Workshop), with Jenna Brown of Love Over Fear Wellness and Birth in Austin, TX. Boundaries and Ethics for Birth Workers - The COVID 19 Edition (Workshop) with Birdsong Brooklyn My previous experience and specialized training includes: Home birth Water birth Multiples LGBTQP Families Birthing people over 40 Postpartum mood disorders Clients birthing away from home Single parents Cooking to heal the postpartum body American Red Cross First Aid and CPR Survivors of previous life trauma, including sexual abuse Baby led weaning Baby wearing Belly binding Supporting pregnancy loss; before, during and after Mother Blessing Celebrations Sibling support




What is a Full Spectrum Doula?


A Full Spectrum Doula provides support to families across the full spectrum of the pregnancy experience, including birth, adoption, surrogacy. I am here for you from conception until after the baby (or babies) arrive and everything in-between. Full spectrum also means that I support people through pregnancy loss, including; miscarriage, stillbirth and abortion. If you are interested in full spectrum support please send me an email and we can talk about what this could look like for you.




How is a Postpartum Doula different from a nanny or babysitter?


A nanny or babysitter cares only for your children, a Postpartum Doula cares for both mum and baby in the tender and sometimes trying time following birth. This means that along with helping you become the best parents for your baby, your Doula is also knowledgeable about your special needs in the postpartum period and is able to facilitate a smooth emotional and physical transition to new parenthood. Postpartum Doulas are also trained in lactation and breastfeeding support, newborn care and healing after birth. We can provide the non-judgmental, nurturing support and encouragement you need.




When can we start working together?


My services always adapted to your unique needs, but if you are booking a 20hr Postpartum Doula support package this generally includes 1 prenatal session and 4 postpartum sessions (4 hours each). We would plan to meet during your 3rd trimester and then as soon after baby arrives as desired. You may choose to have full-time support for the first few days as you settle in at home, or pace it out over your first month. If your baby (or babies) has already arrived that’s ok too, we will just shift the prenatal session into a postpartum session and you will get all the care you need. If you are booking support of loss or termination we will discus what you need and go from there. Rest assured, once you book my services I am here for you regardless of what happens.




Do you work evenings, weekends and overnights?


The short answer is, yes! I often schedule my clients across the full week, depending on your needs and my availability at the time of booking. Every client I work with has a unique set of needs and I tailor my services accordingly. Please set up a consultation to discuss further. I am available for overnight support after consultation. Overnight shifts are 10pm - 6am and are built around a families need for protected rest. The rate and contract differ from my day services so please reach out to discuss.




How does your phone and text support work?


My Doula support packages include text, phone, and email support from the time you book to when we complete our package.




What locations do you work in?


I curently provide in person Doula support throughout the Auckland region and Managwahi. I provide virtual Doula support to the rest of New Zealand and worldwide.




I want to book your services, what now?


Once you have decided what services you would like to book I will send you a contract and invoice. Once you have paid your 50% retainer fee you will receive a log in to your client portal and be added to my calendar. In your client portal you will find an abundance of relevant resources, our schedule and contract.




Fees, Policy, Retainers, Payments, Refunds


I require a non refundable retainer of 50% applied to the last half of your package, this is due upon receipt of this contract to hold your place in my calendar. The remaining 50% of my fee is due before we commence our first shift together. I work a 4 hour minimum per shift, unless otherwise negotiated and generally require at least 24 hours notice prior to beginning services. All hours expire 3 months after the contract date. I accept cash, bank deposit, debit card and paypal.




What exactly do you do during a shift?


Postpartum support shift can look like a combination of anything for the bellow list: Continuous physical and emotional support (listening to your birth story, your fears/frustrations/concerns, observing your postpartum recovery, etc.) Postpartum care (ie: preparing sitz baths, foot soaks and rubs, belly binding, etc) New born care education and support (assist in bathing, feeding, comforting the baby, cutting baby's nails, organizing the nursery/your home, etc.) Breast/chest feeding or supplementing support Preparing nutritious meals Maintaining simple housework (laundry, straightening up the house, dishes, etc.) Watching the baby and/or older siblings so new parents can rest Lending library of reading materials Referrals to other professionals as needed Telephone and text support I will not perform clinical tasks, medical assessments or evaluations nor do I provide medical advice or diagnoses for the birthing person or baby. My support services do not replace care from a medical provider.




How are your services affected by COVID 19


Your COVID 19 Birth and Postpartum experience matters. If you’re giving birth during the pandemic, I see you. The atmosphere around birth has become so much more stressful since the pandemic began and thats placed birthing people and their families under additional strain. I'm offering virtual postpartum support for those that are not in my service area, or, if that feels better for you and your family. If you are in the grater Auckland area or Mangawhai, I'm offering in-person support at Level 1 & 2 and follow all Ministry of Health guide lines on safety and hygiene. If at any stage we move to Level 3 any hours booked will be offered as virtual or rescheduled.




What does virtual postpartum support look like?


Scheduled Zoom/FaceTime/Skype video chats with me for your first weeks postpartum depending on your package. These are generally 2 hours long but I'm flexible depending on the needs of the day. I will also provide unlimited email and text support during your package. We will cove things like: Lactation and feeding challenges, reading your baby’s cues, baby sleep tips, postpartum healing tips and information, talking about mood and emotions as you move through your postpartum experience, navigating changing family dynamics, answering all your baby questions, and more.




What is a Birth Doula?


Birth doulas accompany people in labor to help ensure a safe and satisfying birth experience. Doulas draw on their education, professional training, and experience to provide emotional support, and physical comfort. Doulas can provide reassurance and perspective, make suggestions for labor progress, and help with relaxation, massage, positioning, and other techniques for comfort. Doulas are independently contracted and self-employed. Your doula is working for you, not your caregiver or hospital.