What is a Doula?
A doula is described by DONA International as
I like to define the Labor Doula as the constant presence during labor that is there only focused on helping you and your partner get through labor and birth, emotionally, as well as physically. I offer physical comfort, verbal encouragement and as well as aiding with information as the labor process unfolds. Each labor is unique, so one benefit of having a labor doula is that you don't have to feel the pressure of having thought through every possible birth situation. When things ebb and flow I can help you navigate each step of the way with evidenced-based information and support. I work alongside your medical team to help you make the best choices for you and your baby.
"a trained professional who provides continuous physical, emotional and informational support to a mother before, during and shortly after childbirth to help her achieve the healthiest, most satisfying experience possible."
Whether you give birth in your own home, in a birthing center or in a hospital; whether you desire to be completely unmedicated or if you've already scheduled a cesarean; I will be there as support throughout labor and birth. During labor the reassurance that things are progressing, as usual, is huge and that is one way a Doula supports her clients. Many labor positions and comfort measures are best done with two people, so if you are laboring with a supportive partner I won't take that person's place in comforting you, but instead come alongside them to aid in comfort and support.
Postpartum care is a continuation of the care received during pregnancy, labor and birth.
"The transition into new parenthood can be vulnerable, and postpartum doulas are experts in emotional support, active listening and encouraging new moms and dads to follow their own hearts. Postpartum doulas are trained to understand what new babies – and new mothers – truly need. The doula helps with soothing techniques, offers breastfeeding or bottle feeding support, and explains normal newborn behavior." DONA
As a postpartum doula, I am here to help a new family in the first days and weeks after bringing home a new baby. I provide evidence-based information on pertinent parts of postpartum and newborn care. These include, but are not limited to, infant feeding, emotional and physical recovery from birth, mother-baby bonding, infant soothing, and basic newborn care.
Imagine having someone reassuring you that how you are caring for yourself and your baby is perfect and helpful and teaching you new skills when you don't feel like you know what you're doing. Then that same person can do a load of laundry while you and baby sleep so you don't can nap knowing that your practical need is also being met. That is a little glimpse of what I can bring to your family as a postpartum doula.