What is a DOULA?

To fully understand what a doula is, let’s look at history. The word Doula comes from ancient greek meaning “Woman Servant”, today it is much the same. Doulas offer support, emotionally & physically most commonly through the birthing process and after.

There are actually many different types of Doulas, Birth Doulas, Postpartum Doulas, Pregnancy & Infant Loss Doulas, Full spectrum Doulas & Death Doulas.

It is really common that people get midwives and Doulas confused & think they are both the same thing. They are both care providers that are not your typical OB but they actually play very different roles in the birthing process. A midwife handles you & babies prenatal care, make medical recommendations & can consult with and OB if necessary. They will be monitoring mom & baby during labor & will help with delivery. They are the ones dealing with all your medical care!

Today I will be talking mostly about Birth & Postpartum Doulas.

So, A doula on the other hand is offering emotional/mental & physical support to, #1 The laboring mother, which by coincidence actually offers support to the partner as well.

Birth Doulas will:

  • Establish a trusting relationship

  • Help you articulate your vision for birth.

  • Offer lots of resources for you and your families needs.

  • Make you and your partner feel confident and comfortable through labor

  • Be an advocate for your birth preferences & birth plan

  • Help gather and explain information that may com up during labor, support your communication with your care provider

  • Use tools and techniques to manage the intense surges of labor

  • Help you initially post partum

Postpartum Doulas Will:

  • Offer prenatal visits in home to support mom & baby

  • Support with feeding, whether it’s breast feeding or not. Help mom figure out what is best for her & baby.

  • Help deal with the stress & change off a newborn, help both parents feel confident in their new roles.

  • Some home visits might include, tidying up, bringing a meal, holding baby while mom can get some time alone.

Have you had a Doula, what was your experience? If not, would you consider one?

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Denise MasseyComment