What is a Doula?
Doula is a Greek word meaning “woman servant”. Currently, the doula is the one who accompanies the woman or the couple, during pregnancy, labour and postnatal period.
The main role of a birth doula is to provide practical and evidence based information on pregnancy and birth, and to protect mother’s space, privacy, a basic need for a physiological birth. A birth doula has knowledge of the physiology of birth, but does not have a clinical role; offers emotional and physical accompaniment, may use comfort measures (breathing, relaxation, movement,…) and helps mother to make informed birth choices.
Postnatal doulas work in the home of the families as they may need, helping around the house, offering reassurance, supporting with infant feeding. This will help families to settle down after childbirth and bond with their baby and encouraging a smooth transition into parenthood.
When asked what they would say to families considering the support of a doula, the families I have accompanied have said:
Go for it! I think we need to be better at getting support and a doula is also better than a family member as it doesn’t come with unsolicited advice, judgement, etc… I hope more women learn about postnatal doulas!
Do it! A doula provides support to both the mother and their partner. Especially in today’s society where we often live far from family and our healthcare system is stretched so you rarely see the same midwife twice and definitely not for the antenatal and birth, the continuity of care and support you get from a doula is excellent. If everything doesn’t go according to plan you have that individual who knows you and your story and can give you additional support postnatally should you need it.
The best money you will ever invest in you and your baby. A postnatal doula keeps you sain!!
A doula can be a big help and will work with you in the way that suits you and fits in with your needs and wishes.
Check also this great article: Why hire a Doula?