So many people do not know what a doula is and they miss out on the amazing experience and support that we provide. The exact definition of a doula is "a woman trained to assist another woman during childbirth and who may support the family after the baby is born." There are two different types of doulas, birth and post partum. Although they are different, many of us do both because of our pure love for women and motherhood. There is something magical about getting to know a woman while she is creating a life, watching her bring that life into the world and helping her nurture that new life and making sure her mental and physical health is in tact. They say it takes a village to raise a baby and they are right, a village of women.
A birth doula is an important part to a normal birth. Having a birth doula lowers the usage of epidurals (if you wish not to use one), lowers the use of interventions as well as lowers the risk of c section. While birth is normal and natural, birth is all about attitude. If you are scared and not receiving the right support your chances of a normal birth are lowered. Birth doulas help you before the labor as well to get the baby in the perfect position and help the mom get the confidence and the right mindset. It's so important!!! While I'm the delivery room we never speak over your partner, we are actually there to support them too! We keep them calm, help them understand the doctor, give them breaks and show them how to be the most helpful. Having a birth doula really enhances the birth experience.
Post partum doulas often get mistaken for nannies. While both types of work are crucial and important for infants we differ from nannies in different aspects. A doula is not only worried about the newborn but also the mother, I'd actually say 99% of my work is taking care of new mothers. I'm helping them breastfeed, making sure they eat properly, drink enough water, watching them for PPD symptoms, making sure they rest etc. All of this is important. I help moms maintain a healthy milk supply and have a successful nursing relationship. Women with doulas nurse longer because we are cheering them on, supporting them, helping them along with the hiccups along the way, letting them rest and regroup as well as sending them to the right outlets if we cannot fix the problem (lactation consultants). Moms with post partum doulas are less likely to experience post partum depression, they are getting rest as well as not being left alone with the newborn all the time. That can be very lonely and sleep deprivation is a type of torture...new moms need help in the 4th trimester. It is not a weakness to ask for help, it is a strength. As a mom of five I encourage it to enjoy the newborn stage because it is not always like a pampers commercial, and that's okay!!
I know many moms fear that cannot affordo doulas but many of us work on a sliding scale and work with moms. There is not one set rate to be a doula, so you could find one in your price range if you looked hard enough. Interviewing doulas face to face is crucial to get the right feel, remember this woman will be with you during an intimate time as well as caring for your child. Use your instinct.
If if you have any questions about doulas, both birth and postpartum post them below! If you've used a doula and want to share your experience also share it! Let's spread the word so that all women have a doula with them on their journey!
Be kind to each other. ❤️