What’s a Doula?
The word doula comes from the Greek word meaning “woman caregiver.” The word is now used to describe a trained labor companion who provides the woman and her partner continuous emotional support, physical comfort and assistance in obtaining information before, during and just after childbirth.
Labor support consists of helping a woman develop her own rhythms and rituals, providing distractions with breathing patterns, comforting touch, varying positions, use of a birth ball, warm or cold compresses, vocalization, visualization, relaxation, or whatever is needed to provide comfort. Every birth is a unique experience and she will work with you to modify and vary comfort measures as desired and needed.
Certified doulas do not provide any kind of medical care. For instance, they would not listen to the baby’s heart beat or do a vaginal exam or deliver the baby. However, a doula is instrumental in providing emotional and physical support for the laboring woman and her family (husband) and/or post-partum care of the mother and baby. Doula care has been shown to improve outcomes for both moms and babies shown through many studies.
A birth doula specializes in pre-birthpreparation and education, and birthing. A birth doula stays with you throughout your labor, no matter how many hours it lasts, and leaves shortly after the baby arrives.
A post-partum doula specializes in attending to mother and care for the baby after the baby arrival. A post-partum doula can be hired hourly, or daily fro as many weeks as you like.
The post-partum doulas can stay with you (a new mom) longer, or come after the baby arrives, for a few hours a day, to clean up, take care of you, teach you to breastfeed the baby, and how to take care of the baby, some will shop and cook for you. If you choose to want to find a post-partum doula who takes care of you after the birth, please connect with her in advance as well.
DOULAS’ ADDITIONAL SKILLS:
Some doulas know massage techniques, pre-natal and post-natal, breast-feeding (lactation) consulting, or belly casting (making a cast of your full belly to preserve a memory of it), or placenta preparation, and make pills out of your afterbirth for you to ingest to eliminate post-partum symptoms. Some others provide you with prenatal yoga, HypnoBirthing skills for relaxation, breathing and visualizations during labor and birthing, or photography or videography during and after birthing.
EXPERIENCE AND PRICING:
Doulas’ experience is reflected in amount of births she attended and the price she charges. There are level 1, 2, 3 doulas, attending progressively up to 50, 100, and more birth.
REMEMBER to ask, if the births she attended were peaceful and natural.
Use the listing below to find the one who is available and who ‘clicks’ with you: she will be your hand-maiden, your angel in your birth room, and will keep you and your partner comfortable.
Doula Organization: Official certifying organization for doula services
If you are a doula looking for HypnoBirthing Training click here.