What is a Birth Doula?
A Birth Doula is someone who serves and cares for others during their pregnancies, through labor and just after giving birth.
A Birth Doula provides continuous physical, emotional, informational, and logistical support before, during and just after the birth to the birthing person and support team.
Studies have shown that when a Birth Doula is present at a birth, there are fewer medical interventions done, such as inductions, forceps, vacuum extraction, and cesareans, with fewer complications, labors are shorter, and babies breastfeed more often.
Doulas are those extra eyes, ears, & hands. They can be responsive to things and bring awareness to things that are outside the range of normal that may require extra care.
As a Birth Doula…
· We understand the physiology of birth and the emotional needs in labor. and can help you to plan for your labor and birth to help you to achieve your goals as best as possible.
· We can stay to support throughout the labor, birth and immediate postpartum period.
· We can provide an objective viewpoint and continue to provide non-judgmental support no matter what the parents choices and decision are.
· We can provide emotional support as well as help with physical comfort measures during labor: breathing, relaxation, movement, positioning.
· We can help to get the information that may be needed to make informed choices and decision about your care and your baby's care.
· We can help to facilitate the communication between the medical staff and the laboring family.
· We can help the partner and other support team by showing them how to care for the birthing person during labor, and keeping them aware of what’s going on with the birth process, while keeping them involved in the care and nurturing of the parent.
Overall, our role as a Birth Doula is to nurture and protect the memory of the birth experience while helping the parent's voice be heard.
What is a Postpartum Doula?
A Postpartum Doula assists families who have just given birth and/or are bringing home a new baby, whether that is through birth or adoption. A postpartum doula is there to help that new family in those first days and weeks to adjust. Even experienced parents benefit from the support of a Postpartum Doula.
Doulas not only work to ensure postpartum adjustment but we also work to make sure that the parent’s perinatal mood is good, and that the family is well nourished. Doulas can also help to reinforce, great newborn care practices, positive parenting skills and care strategies for everyone involved.
As a Postpartum Doula…
· We can help to ease the transition when a new member of the family has arrived.
· We can help to reduce the parent's risk of experiencing postpartum mood disorders.
· We can offer evidence based information on infant feeding including breastfeeding assistance and infant care including bathing, changing, soothing and bonding.
· We can help with the physical postpartum recovery needs, whether you’ve had a vaginal or cesarean birth.
· We can provide nonjudgmental support no matter what choices and decisions are made regarding your body, your care, or your babies care.
· We can assist with light household tidying and nutritious meal preparation to assist with postpartum recovery.
Overall, our role is to assist with the family’s adjustment when baby arrives.