What Is A Birth Doula?
A birth doula is someone that provides emotional, physical and informational support before/during/after birth to ensure the healthiest transition into parenthood. The role of a doula includes listening and providing unbiased, evidence based information to families so that they are equipped to make the decisions and navigate the birth system.
What Does A Birth Doula Do?
A doula accompanies a person in labor to help ensure a satisfying birth experience. They work for you, not your care provider or hospital.
A doula does not perform clinical tasks such as vaginal/cervical exams, blood pressure, fetal heart rate monitoring, or temperature checks. They does provide physical, emotional and informational support. This can look different for everyone so comfort measures and needs are discussed during prenatal visits.
How to get started?
Interviewing doulas can seem overwhelming but it's all about finding someone you feel comfortable with. It's recommended to interview at least 2-3 doulas before hiring the one that is the best match for your family. Take a look at India’s Doula Match and Swedish hospital profile.
What To Expect:
The second or third trimester is the best time to interview and decide on your doula. During our first prenatal meeting, I will spend most of the visit listening and getting to know you and your partner while we discuss how you envision your birth. This is also a time to share anything you feel scared about going into labor. I can also provide information on the short and long term effects of breast/chest feeding, caesarian births, and various pain management options.
during birth care
During the two weeks leading up to your due date, I am available 24/7 and anytime you think you may be in labor. Working with your care providers to ensure a comfortable environment during your birth is my number one priority. Any decision you make, I will be by your side with judgement-free, emotional and physical support. After the baby is born, I will stay with you for two-three hours or until you are comfortable with my departure.
During those first few weeks, I will make two-three postnatal visits to recap on your birth and discuss any concerns or fears you may have around parenthood. Postpartum care can greatly affect how you transition into a healthy mental and physical state with your new baby. This is a time for your body to heal. I can provide support by assisting with feeding options, general infant questions, referrals, sibling support or other household tasks.