Whether it’s a family’s first baby or their tenth, a doula can help make the birth and postpartum experience better. Today, a doula is defined as 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.
What do birth doulas offer?
Position ideas for comfort and labor progression cross over with hands-on comfort measures like comforting touch, counter pressure, breathing techniques and other “doula magic” for families. A doula’s skilled hands and positioning tools can often help a malpositioned baby find its way through the pelvis and into the birthing parent’s arms.
Doulas help families to feel supported, easing the emotional experience of birth and also helping to create a space where the hormones of labor can work at their best. Whether a birth is completely unmedicated or medically very complex, every family can benefit from nurturing and connection at this tender, incredible time in their lives.
Whether it’s a romantic partner, a friend or another family member like the baby’s grandma, the birth partner’s experience matters in birth. Our doulas are there to support every birth partner in being as involved as they’d like with the birth. Physical and emotional support make a huge difference for everyone involved.
Evidence-Based Information and Advocacy
DONA International doulas are trained to help families connect with evidence-based resources so they can ask great questions and make informed decisions about their births. Our doulas serve as a bridge of communication between women and their providers, lifting them up to help them find their voices and advocate for the very best care.
A birth doula certified by DONA International is designated by the initials CD(DONA).
What do postpartum doulas offer after the 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. Empathy, a hug or even a good laugh together can do so much for a new parent!
Evidence-Based Information and Support
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.
It’s all hands on deck with a new baby, and postpartum doulas can help the days go by more smoothly by helping with the baby’s laundry, doing the dishes or preparing simple, nourishing meals.
Partner and Sibling Support
A new baby means transition for everyone, including parents, grandparents and little brothers and sisters. Postpartum doulas understand what everyone needs, and part of their role is to help the entire family adjust and settle in.