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.
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?