So often, I get asked "What does a Doula do?" , or my favorite, "Why do I need a Doula?"
The age-old answer for this has been "we provide physical, emotional, and informational support." While this answer is technically accurate, this definition sells us short. Let’s break it down…
Sure, we provide physical support, sometimes by holding you up, sometimes holding your hips, your leg, or even your hair. But my ability to physically support you isn't really that - it's that I am 100% focused on you, anticipating your needs before you voice them, using my knowledge and understanding of you and birth to make suggestions for your movement that may facilitate your birth. Physical support sounds so, well, physical, but we are so much more than that.
Yes, we provide emotional support. Pregnancy, birth, and postpartum are emotional times. But, again, what you really need of me is my unwavering faith in you and your abilities; however you carry, birth and care for your baby. I am there not only for you, but for your partner as well - a barometer of normal. I can slow the room when it seems it's spinning, be a rock when you need to hold on, a sounding board when you need to roar, or understand how very hard you are working when you make it 'look easy.' I understand postpartum and that my visit with you is more than ogling over a new baby. I am there for the tough questions and the tears, the joys and the laughter, for you and your new family!
Doulas do have a vast amount of knowledge about pregnancy, physiologically normal birth, cesarean births and postpartum. But truly, this is not what you need of me and providing you with endless amounts of information can be overwhelming and lead to feelings of judgement. Instead, I am your bridge. I will make sure you have the information you need to make informed birth choices. I will provide unbiased information, allowing you to make decisions that are right for you. In fact, you already know more about how you will birth your baby then me. I both know and honor that. I am here to help you connect with a birth class, a health care provider, pediatrician, a therapist, a lactation consultant, or a yoga class; to answer the questions meaningful to you.
SO…WHY MAKE A DOULA PART OF YOUR BIRTHING TEAM?
Birth Doulas build relationships with expecting families to help them have a positive birth experience. We help facilitate conversations between the birthing person and her care provider. Provide non-judgmental support for her birth choices and support the family through labor and birth. We work with our minds, hearts and hands and are a bridge to many other forms of care.
DOULAS ARE THIS AND SO MUCH MORE!