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WHAT IS A DOULA?

Like travel guides in a foreign country, birth and postpartum doulas help support new families through the life changing experience of having a baby!

Whether it’s a family’s first baby or their tenth, a doula can help make the birth and postpartum experience better. Today, a doula is defined as follows:

DOULA

a trained professional who provides continuous physical, emotional, and informational support to a mother before, during, and after childbirth to help her achieve the healthiest and the most satisfying experience possible.

Countless scientific trials examining doula care demonstrate remarkably improved physical and psychological outcomes for both mother and baby. 

Doulas have a positive impact on the well-being of the entire family.

From the beginning of time, women have been cared for and nurtured as they become mothers. Family, friends and neighbors from the community would rally around the new family to help guide them through their tender early weeks and months with a new baby.

Today, we’ve expanded and professionalized these habits as society has changed and more women are lonely sailing throw the maternity ocean.

When is important to hire a doula?

Well, I believe that a woman becomes a mother straight from the moment she thinks she is now ready to become one. So I recommend if you are not pregnant yet to look for a Doula who is also specialized in supporting women before their pregnancy, She will support and assist with all the technical and theoretical questions regarding conception and fertility matters. I would like to remind you that Doula is not a health care professional, therefore if you require a doctor or a midwife specialized help a doula will help you to find the one that will suit your needs the best.

In case you are pregnant than a Doula will hold your hand while you watch your belly grow. She will be your port of call in many cases, usually, I discuss with my clients what are their needs and I make suggestions on what I can do for them and we agree on a plan for their journey. I take time to write together a birth plan so as to inform the woman on what to expect and what are the several possibilities and the midwife or the doctor is aware of the mother’s wishes.

If you are already post-partum well a Doula is the perfect person to nurture you and look after the new family to ensure everyone’s well-being. How will she do that? Well, up to the family requirements. As an Aromatherapist, I like to suggest a nice relaxing foot-bath with specific essential oils to reduce swelling of the legs and relax the mother who is maybe breastfeeding or trying to recover from the short nights. Every Doula has her own way, some are specialized in massages, holistic cure, traditional medicine, and so forth so is up to you to find the right Doula for your needs and desires.

What do birth doulas offer?

Physical Support

Position ideas for comfort and labor progression. Comforting touch, counter pressure, breathing techniques and managing the family around: older children, partner and relatives.

Emotional Support

Doulas help families to feel supported, easing the emotional experience of birth and also helping to create a space where the hormones of labor can work at their best. Whether a birth is completely unmedicated or medically very complex, every family can benefit from nurturing and connection at this unique, incredible time in their lives.

Partner Support

Whether it’s a romantic partner, a friend, or another family member like the baby’s grandma, the birth partner’s experience matters in birth. Our doulas are there to support every birth partner in being as involved as they’d like with the birth. Physical and emotional support makes a huge difference for everyone involved. Now during the pandemic, this can happen only in home births, however, a Doula can still support the family members to be informed at all times.

What do postpartum doulas offer after the birth?

Emotional Support

The transition into new parenthood can be vulnerable, and postpartum doulas are experts in emotional support, active listening, and encouraging new moms and dads to follow their own hearts. Empathy, a hug, or even a good laugh together can do so much for a new parent!

Evidence-Based Information and Support

Postpartum doulas are trained to understand what new babies – and new mothers – truly need. The doula helps with soothing techniques, offers breastfeeding or bottle feeding support, and explains normal newborn behavior.

Practical Support

It’s all hands on deck with a new baby, and postpartum doulas can help the days go by more smoothly by helping with the baby’s laundry, preparing simple, nourishing meals or even massage the new mother 🙂

Partner and Sibling Support

A new baby means transition for everyone, including parents, grandparents, and little brothers and sisters. Postpartum doulas understand what everyone needs, and part of their role is to help the entire family adjust and settle in.

All families benefit with a birth doula on their team!

Credit : DONA international