THE ROLE OF A DOULA

what is a doula? 

mayDoula, meaning servant in latin, was the name given to the those attending births in ancient Rome. The doula had a deep knowledge, through hands on experience, of how birth unfolds. They understood what type of comfort and support a birthing person may require because of experiences over many years. What may have been new and scary for most was normal and easy to anticipate for the doula. The ability to comfort and cultivate an encouraging, confident, and peaceful environment for the birthing person is what makes the role of a doula essential.

We’ve seen an increase in the need for doula support as birth culture shifts back into the hands of the people. Modern medicine is relearning to respect the bodies intuition while advances in technology provide people with options. As a culture, we are coming to understand, through science, that the best thing for a baby is to be with their family. While advances in medicine are essential to keeping families safe, unfortunately some outdated methods are still widely in practice. A doula sees that their families values and goals for birth are met. They also help shed light on practices that may not be in line with current medical practices and help advocate for the highest quality of care even the most unfamiliar birth outcomes.

Knowing and believing in the bodies ability to give birth is a birthright. The doula helps put the experience of birth back into the hands of those having it. The richness of those moments in the labor experience belong to the birthing person and their family. In turn, even the most challenging of labor experiences, may build confidence and heart for all the joy, windy roads and complexity that family life may bring.

Doula support has been statistically proven to help mothers be more likely to have spontaneous vaginal births and less likely to have any pain medication, epidurals, negative feelings about childbirth, vacuum or forceps-assisted births, and Cesareans. In addition, their labors were shorter by about 40 minutes and their babies were less likely to have low Apgar scores at birth.

To me, the role of a doula means calming attention to the emotional and physical needs of the birthing person, anticipating those needs from experience and intuition, offering support and guidance to the birth team, and giving voice to unfamiliar moments where there is uncertainty or a cause for attention and advocacy.

A labor doula is an expert in providing care up to and during the big day. However, in addition, I also provide transitional guidance for postpartum healing and infant care.

Whatever your needs, I hope you take a moment to explore these offerings and reach out to see if we’re a good fit. I look forward to hearing from you!

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