Mama Monday - Doulas for Pregnancy and Childbirth
Birth and Postpartum Doulas
Happy Monday Lovies!
For this Mama Monday, I'd like to share about something near and dear to my heart: Doulas.
When people ask what I do for a living, I often have to answer this question, "Do-what?" or "What's a DOO-lah?" While the term doula may be foreign to many, the role of a doula is not. Doula comes from an ancient Greek word which means "woman's servant," and now describes a trained and experienced professional who gives continuous physical, emotional and informational support to a woman during pregnancy and throughout the birthing process, or practical support in postpartum period.
Often a mother has people available to give moral support during labor, whether it is her own mother, husband, friend, or partner. Often, however, these people may not have the knowledge or experience to answer all of the mother's questions or have the skills necessary to assist her in various stages of birth. Sometimes, a mother's husband or friends are frightened of hospitals and childbirth themselves are find it difficult to be supportive in the way she desires. Then there are women, whether teen mothers or those in other difficult life circumstances, who have no one to accompany them during this precious life experience. Birth Doulas may be a mother's primary support and can also empower the father (or others accompanying the mother) in assisting her during labor and birth.
DONA International shares these key points about the role of Birth and Postpartum Doulas:
A Birth Doula
A birth doula certified by DONA International is designated by the initials CD(DONA).
- Recognizes birth as a key experience the mother will remember all her life
- Understands the physiology of birth and the emotional needs of a woman in labor
- Assists the woman in preparing for and carrying out her plans for birth
- Stays with the woman throughout the labor
- Provides emotional support, physical comfort measures and an objective viewpoint, as well as helping the woman get the information she needs to make informed decision
- Facilitates communication between the laboring woman, her partner and her clinical care providers
- Perceives her role as nurturing and protecting the woman's memory of the birth experience
- Allows the woman's partner to participate at his/her comfort level
Research evidence shows that the quality services of a postpartum doula can ease the transition that comes with the addition of a baby to a family, improve parental satisfaction and reduce the risk of mood disorders.
A Postpartum Doula
A postpartum doula certified by DONA International is designated by the initials PCD(DONA).
- Offers education, companionship and nonjudgmental support during the postpartum fourth trimester
- Assists with newborn care, family adjustment, meal preparation and light household tidying
- Offers evidence-based information on infant feeding, emotional and physical recovery from birth, infant soothing and coping skills for new parents and makes appropriate referrals when necessary
For more information on doulas, take a look at the following links:
Interested in hiring a doula? Use the following links to search for a professional who shares your vision and philosophies for childbirth.
Why Am I a Doula?
Click here to read more about my journey to becoming a Birth Doula.
I love being a doula because I love to see women connect with their bodies and their babies during pregnancy and birth. A lover of truth and information, I am excited when I am able to help educate and empower women on all of the options available to them as mothers. I believe that no woman should feel afraid of childbirth; it is literally something that's been happening since the beginning of time! I also believe each woman and family should be able to achieve the birth experience they desire. Whether it is a goal for you to have an unmedicated birth, or you desire all the medical interventions you can get your hands on, I am here to help you sort through your options and have a voice with your health care provider to ask questions and have the birth experience you want, as well as hold your hand throughout the process to ensure your wishes are realized.
If you have any questions about pregnancy, birth, writing a birth plan, or breastfeeding, please contact me. I can help you by visiting with you about your concerns and help you get the resources you need.
Love and Honey,