Thinking about hiring a birth doula? What about a postpartum doula? What’s the difference? Why can’t my partner just fulfill these support roles--what’s so special about a doula?
There are so many things to figure out before Baby comes that sorting out whether or not to hire a doula might feel like a daunting task. And while it’s impossible to completely control a birth story, it’s been shown consistently that having a doula present positively impacts the outcome.
Birth doulas are trained professionals who provide support through labor and delivery, wherever those processes take place--at home, in birth centers, or in hospitals. They are dedicated to supporting you through the whole process. If you are delivering in a birth center or hospital, labor nurses often have many patients at the same time and are unable to do much more than pop in and out to check on progress. Here is a breakdown of a birth doula’s duties:
Birth doulas provide comfort such as massage, positioning aid, relaxation, and more. We do not perform clinical tasks such as cervical exams, fetal heart monitoring, or delivering baby--that’s left for doctors and midwives (and of course, mom!).
Birth doulas facilitate communication, share information, and encourage informed consent. We do not offer medical advice, judge choices, or push a personal agenda. We are there to support you in your birth process and help remind you of your preferences when things get tough. Want to change your mind halfway through? That’s okay, we’ll help you through that process too.
Birth doulas complement the nurse's role and function as a non-medical part of the birth team, providing flexible support throughout different scenarios. We do not create a barrier between the nurse and patient, a hostile environment, or micromanage the family’s birth experience.
Birth doulas encourage and provide gentle guidance to a partner throughout labor, birth, and early postpartum. We do not attempt to replace your birth partner or family members--birth partners are critical to success!
Now that Baby is finally here, the real adventure begins. Postpartum doulas can help you make the transition into a new family unit more smooth. We provide services to new families that nurture both baby and new parents. Services range from cooking meals, light cleaning, and breastfeeding/bottle feeding support, to overnight shifts that let you recuperate and get some sleep. The health and well-being of new parents is often overlooked in our rushed and modern society. Our goal is to build a safe and nurturing environment around all new families.