What is a Doula?
Doulas are trained to offer women non-medical physical and emotional support in the prenatal and postpartum period. They will also extend this support to the partner, and family throughout this life changing time.
Birth Doulas (also known as a labor coach) will meet with clients in the comfort of their home prenatally, assess their specific needs, determine their unique role, and adjust the level of emotional and physical support accordingly. They will discuss many topics focused around the upcoming birth, and discuss and create a birth plan together. A birth doula will also offer and provide many resources (books, handouts, videos, websites, support groups etc.) of which the client will determine what will be most helpful to prepare themselves for labor and delivery. Birth doulas will attend the birth (home, birth center, or hospital) and offer comfort and relaxation techniques throughout the labor. A birth doula will stay with the mother or couple until the baby arrives, has begun to nurse, and everyone is comfortable and settled.
Postpartum doulas will visit you in the comfort of your home and assist family members with their new roles. The schedule of a postpartum doula is designed around the needs of the family, and may be full or part-time. In either case, these doulas fill in all the spaces and are wonderful at assessing and anticipating the mother’s needs. They will gently encourage, educate, and strengthen the bond between the newborn and family. Postpartum doulas will assist with lactation support, newborn care, meal prep, nutritional needs, light housework, and will even run some local household errands.
Why Hire a Doula?
Doulas are widely accepted all over the world, and are increasing rapidly in maternity care in the United States. Many studies have shown that compared to women without continuous labor support, women that have a doula present, offering one-on-one constant loving support, are less likely to have:
- a cesarean surgery
- give birth with the use of forceps or vacuum extraction
- have a lengthy labor
- request an epidural
- need any analgesia (ie. pain medication)
- feel dissatisfied with their childbirth experience
Many women have also shared that they experienced enhanced breastfeeding, stronger maternal-infant bond, and a decrease in the occurrence of postpartum depression.
In our fast paced, technology driven society, we are actually disconnected now more than ever. There is something so valuable about a face-to-face connection and the healing power of positive words, eye contact, and touch. It is something a doula understands and values above all else. We will meet you where you are, and guide you along your journey. We cherish every connection we make, and will never forget you and your beautiful beginning.