"Think of the doula as a translator"
Father to a newborn baby, Choice In Childbirth panel at 14th St Y, New York. May 22, 2014.
We as doulas are trained to work alongside your partner, family and healthcare providers.
Our goal professionally is to nurture positive connections within the maternal health care community; including midwifes, OB/GYNs, and holistic health practitioners (acupuncturists, massage therapists, prenatal yoga instructors). We are here to help these people help you have the birth you desire.
How a doula can help you:
- While you are pregnant - our doulas can help you find the evidence-based resources you need, and share information with you you from a neutral point-of-view. Talking with us can ease any anxieties you have and help you find confidence in your ability to labor and birth.
- When you are in labor - a doula can remind you of ways (you've described to us) you can find physical and mental comfort. We can take photos, go on cafeteria snack runs, or simply be there with you while your partner takes a break.
- In the immediate postpartum - a doula can help you adjust to life with a new baby - feeding, bathing, sleeping and soothing the baby.
Take a look at our quick doula do's and don'ts, and then you can fill out our client inquiry form.
Practical support and emotional reassurance - during pregnancy, during childbirth and the immediate postpartum period.
A comforting presence - continuously during labor, physically and emotionally.
Attend hospital and caregiver appointments - we can help you find positive ways to have your questions answered and build a positive rapport with your health care providers.
Advocate - your wishes on your behalf during pregnancy, birth and immediate postnatal period.
Breastfeeding - We can give you tips and tricks that will help ease the discomfort of early breastfeeding. We can refer you to lactation consultants.
Referrals - help you find caregivers in your area who are the best in their field for the support you need.
Helping out around your space - dialing your midwife or doctor when you want to give an update, fixing snacks and drinks, filling your birth/bath tub, keeping an eye on older siblings (sorry, we can't be babysitters the whole time).
Information - supplementing your medical care with evidence-based research materials to ensure your decision making is well-informed.
Advise or make decisions for you - ultimately we provide the information for you to make informed decisions yourself.
Get in the way of partners, family or friends - it's your birth. We're just a friendly helping hand who happens to be super-knowledgeable about childbirth.
Clinical tasks - we do not check for dilation or perform any kind of clinical or medical checks. That's for your midwife, OB or hospital nursing staff.
Push our own agenda or opinions - it's purely factual information we'll share. And we hold no judgement for decisions you make (epidural, circumcision, etc).
Need to know more?
As doulas, we encourage you to think about what kind of birth is right for you, and we are there to support you in whichever birth plan you choose.
Here is a small selection of resources that will answer some questions you may have about doulas and childbirth.
- WEBSITE: Everything you need to know about doulas can be found on the DONA website
- VIDEO: DOULA 'The Essential Ingredient'. How doulas came to be, and what a doula does.
WEBSITE: KellyMom. Evidence-based breastfeeding and parenting.
- VIDEO: The natural birth center birth of Daisy Emmeline. When you're pregnant you watch birth videos! This is one of the most beautiful, inspiring ones there is.
- VIDEO: Home or Hospital? Holding the Space for Human Birth. Saraswathi Vedam at TEDx