What is a Doula?
A Doula is usually a woman, typically without formal obstetric training, who is employed to provide guidance and support to a pregnant woman during labor. The word Doula means woman’s servant in Greek.
What does a Doula Do?
Doulas provide a very wide range of services, but among the most popular are: Childbirth Education, Labor and Birth Support, Lactation Support, Phone and Email Support. A Doula is there to to help support you with all of your pregnancy and birth choices as well as to help you gain a voice for you to use. A Doula does not replace a partner whereas there to help you and your partner gain the knowledge to enjoy this experience together. A Doula can provide physical [massage, hip squeeze, slow dancing] provide oils, candles and lotions or just provide emotional verbal support- Whatever you and your partner want.
I am considering an Epidural how can a Doula help?
A Doula will help you at home while you are in labor, help you get to the hospital, support you physically and emotionally until you choose to get your epidural, help you manage any side effects of the medication, suggest the positions that will best help facilitate birth in conjunction with an epidural, help you push your baby out with encouragement and position suggestions and help with initial breastfeeding. A Doula’s main purpose is to support and one thing that I have learned from all of the births that I have attended is just being there emotionally. Being there and comforting regardless of medication or not, is what matters most to the mother and her partner.
When would you suggest that I take a childbirth class, if at all?
Anytime you are ready! Usually in the third trimester as things are progressing and you are getting closer to your due date is when most attend, but it is your preference.
Will a doula come to my home while I am in labor?
Yes! Absolutely! A huge part of a Doula’s role as a support person is to help you as you labor in the comfort of your own home before you are ready to move to your delivery destination.
How many clients do you tend to at once?
I take on two mothers a month. I do this because I like to make sure I am available at all times as I am on call for each. I do take postpartum clients during the month since those appointments are easier to schedule but only two scheduled moms a month and always within a few weeks of each other so zero overlapping. I do however take postpartum clients during the time that I am on call for births as the times are shorter and easier to reschedule.
Why did you become a Doula?
I honestly had no idea I wanted to work in the birth world until I attended my cousins birth almost two years ago. I was just there to be supportive and it was the first time I had ever seen a baby being born aside from my own births. It was intense but a good intense and it was so busy and I felt this relief knowing I was helping her throughout her labor. Then once her baby was born everything was crazy the room was spinning and hearing that baby cry was everything. I went home and it was all I could think about for months before I told my husband, this is it! I want to become a Doula!