What is a Doula?
The official definition of Doula starts by explaining how it comes from the ancient Greek, meaning “a woman who serves” and… usually people tune out after that. We say forget “female servant”. A doula is your own personal birth fairy!
A doula is your own personal birth fairy!She’ll be with you for the long haul, giving you CONTINUOUS support from early labor until after your baby is born. (More often than not, she’ll come over to your house to join the party).
She’ll provide PHYSICAL SUPPORT, by suggesting the best labor positions for your particular circumstances, massaging your back, feeding you ice chips, making sure you don’t fall over as you get in and out of the tub, or just making the room dim, calm and peaceful and observing quietly from the sidelines, if that is what you need.
She’ll provide EMOTIONAL SUPPORT, by reassuring and encouraging you, anticipating what will come next and listening to what you and your whole body are saying, not just to the words that are coming out of your mouth. Her goal is to make you feel safe and cared for.
She’ll provide INFORMATIONAL SUPPORT, by explaining what you may be experiencing. Her birth knowledge and training allow her to objectively observe the big picture while keeping an eye on the little details. This gives her a unique vantage point from where to compare reality with your birth plan wishes, and help you advocate for what’s most important to you.
She’ll provide support to your PARTNER and/or FAMILY as well, by allowing and encouraging them to participate at their comfort level. She can suggest ways they can assist you, remind them of what they learned through pregnancy or let them take the lead. She will even make sure they don’t forget to eat, hydrate and go to the bathroom, so that they maintain their energy as well.
Postpartum doulas are wondrous ladies that help you recover and transition into your new family dynamics well after the baby is born. They can help with newborn care, breastfeeding, emotional support of the complete family unit and even do some light housework. As opposed to a baby nurse, who usually just focuses on issues relating to the baby, a postpartum doula focuses on the well being of everyone in the family. Particularly the mom, because if mom is happy, everyone’s happy.
We are not postpartum doulas, but we can recommend several fabulous ones. Contact us if you need one!