Doulas- Taking A Closer Look
We always get asked what a Doula is and why should I get one? The short answer is always the same no matter where you look: We are a support person in your pregnancy, birth and post-partum journey who provides informational, emotional and physical support.
In reality, a Doula is a professionally trained, non-medical birth support person. They are laser focused on you and your partners’ needs at all times. They are present for you throughout your labour and aim to provide an overall sense of security, comfort and calmness to your birth or early postpartum. Doulas do not speak for you but help facilitate communication between you and your care provider. They are experienced in birth/early postpartum. Doulas have no agenda outside of helping you to have an empowered birth.
We work alongside the expectant parents and anyone else they choose to have as part of their team. As a doula, our role is to NEVER take over the role as support person. Rather we provide the wisdom and tools to help you and your birthing team to succeed. Let’s take a closer look and really break it down.
#1: Information – Information is a key component to your pregnancy. In today’s society, everyone seems to have an opinion or an agenda (including friends and family). Everyone will have different concerns or expectations for expectant mothers. As doulas, we’re able to help you navigate all your options so you can make the choices that are best for you. Our goal is that you’re happy with the choices you have made because you were given the right information when the situation arises.
Let’s look at a real life situation; Having technology at our fingertips can be beneficial, yet in many cases, you will still reach out to Google and try to find the pros and cons that relate to your birth. However, Google can be a bit of a trap! Google is famous for giving all the negatives and showing you all the dangers without showing you the positives as well. A doula can help you avoid that! We can send you evidence-based information and ultimately, help you communicate your questions or concerns with your care provider so that you feel well supported through the process.
#2: Act as Emotional Support – Emotional support is such a big category. It could be a blog in and of itself. However, to sum it up – Doulas act as your “Best-Friend” on some of your most challenging days. We are your cheerleader when things get hard, your shoulder to lean on when there are uncertainties or that number in your phone to text if you are excited after your ultrasound. We are able to support a significant other through any complications throughout your labour (this helps keep a calm room) or stay with the mother while the significant other goes with the baby.
Emotional support can be anything you need. Emotional support helps with anxiety and ensures that you know you have somebody on your side at all times throughout the journey.
#3: Serve as Physical Support – As a doula we have a tool belt that allows us to help your level of comfort. We have massage techniques to help with back labour; we have positions to help progress labour. Doulas help your significant other with providing levels as comfort as well. We provide suggestions for your significant other to get involved within the birth. After all, it’s their birth experience too! As a team, we navigate many different ways to ensure you are as comfortable as possible.
The second part of the question was: Why should we get one?
I could write for hours on the evidence as to why doulas are important through your pregnancy and birth journey. However, all the evidence in the world will not convince you to get one. People generally seek out a doula because they want to be informed and they want to feel calm throughout their journey.
Doulas are able to provide a sense of security. We are able to provide a constant through your pregnancy.
We don’t always have the option of who “catches” our baby or what nurse we would like in our room. However, you are able to choose your doula. By choosing a doula you are able to ensure that one person, other than your significant other, knows your birth plan, knows your hopes and dreams for the birth of your baby and knows what plans you have in case something does not go according to plan.
A doula is your constant.
We are on your team. We help keep track of it all so you can concentrate on the present moment.
I love being a doula and supporting new families through this exciting yet intense experience. If you have been considering hiring a doula for your upcoming birth, I would love to chat more about your goals and how I, along with the team here at Family First can help! Feel free to take a minute to learn more about my journey so far a Doula here in Regina and if you have questions, I’m an email away!
I look forward to working with you!