You are pregnant. Congratulations!! Now what? You tell your family, your friends, and you begin googling everything you can about how to have a healthy baby. It is a miracle, and you are wanting the best information, and the best care provider.
Who will be with you when you give birth? Who will help you find your inner compass? Who will help you clarify the overwhelming amount of information you are discovering?
There are birth doulas and there are postpartum doulas. While there is some overlap in training, education, and support, the two kinds of doulas offer assistance at different times during the childbearing year. The birth doula typically meets with a woman and her husband or partner a few times before the birth. She may meet them more often. The birth doula is then with her client during labor and birth, and meets with them again at least one time after the birth.
We used to have the village. It doesn't exist in most places anymore. Families are far apart, or working and unavailable to assist new families.
The postpartum doula is a listening ear, a guiding voice, and an extra pair of hands after the birth. She is there to ease the chaos in an often stressful time, when parents are learning to be parents, and babies are adjusting to life outside the womb. This time is often referred to as the Fourth Trimester.
Here are my top five reasons for you to hire a postpartum doula:
The postpartum doula has been around longer than I have been at it (1991), yet there are still many people who don’t know what a doula is. There is often much confusion with a midwife, who is clinically trained.
Many doulas worked hard to get doula into the dictionary. Online Meriam Webster’s says: “a woman who is trained to assist another woman during childbirth and who may provide support to the family after the baby is born.”
Dana Raphael, an anthropologist who wrote a book in the 1970s, The Tender Gift: Breastfeeding, brought us the word doula. It took a while for this term and the doula movement to progress to where we are today. Yet, many people have no clue what it is that doulas actually do!
I would add that we provide non-medical support, because "trained to assist" is very broad.
Sharing my knowledge and wisdom about all things birth