What do doulas REALLY do?
Have you been researching what doulas really do? You've come to the right place. Here I have a detailed list of all the things trained doulas usually offer to their clients.
It is our goal to help the birthing person feel knowledgeable, empowered and encouraged from pregnancy through to the early postpartum period. We do our best to help YOU reach these feelings by doing a variety of things for and with you.
A doula will provide resources where needed.
We provide informational resources to birthing persons and families on a variety of topics by request or if we feel they could be beneficial.
A doula will aid in the creation of your birth plan.
Doulas often have experience in creating simple birth plans by helping you to dig deep and find what your values around birth are.
A doula is on call for you 24/7 nearing your due date.
Every doula's on call period varies, but when that time comes we are available to you 24/7 for support.
A doula can help you set up your birth pool. (if you're having a home water birth)
If you're planning for a water birth at home it is your responsibility to set up the birthing pool prior to labor. Your doula will usually offer to help you with this and when the time comes she will also help to fill the pool.
A doula begins her labor support earlier then medical professionals.
Doulas are prepared to support you through early labor even before you arrive to your birthing place. Our support in early labor can set the tone for the rest of labor.
A doula will help track waves or contractions.
When you're busy breathing through contractions your doula can be the one to pay attention to timing and tracking. We will reassure you that what you are feeling is normal and can help you to decide when you want to call your care provider.
A doula will help you get comfortable at the hospital. (if you're having a hospital birth)
It is ideal to stay comfortable at home for as long as possible, and a doula can provide a feeling of support and safety. When the time comes for transitioning to the hospital a doula will help to make the birthing person feel comfortable. This can be lighting, temperature, music, blankets or a variety of other things.
A doula will help your partner to support you.
Spouses and doulas should work well together, we want to enhance his experience of labor too. We can help spouses to support the birthing person by showing them effective ways to provide relief or encouraging them to continue what they are doing.
A doula is trained to provide a variety of support.
Doulas are professionally trained! We are knowledgeable in ideal positions, experienced in helping to find a rhythm through contractions, trained to provide a variety of pain relief (hip squeeze, counter pressure, gentle touch).
A doula will help with home birth clean up.
Birth is messy my friends. Your care provider will ensure that waste is removed, but you will likely be left with some mess to clean up. Most doulas will be willing to help finish some cleaning after the birth so the family can continue to bond over their new bundle of joy.
A doula can assist you with breastfeeding.
Doulas are eager to encourage breastfeeding in the early hours. We can be an extra set of hands and eyes to ensure you are getting a good latch.
A doula will discuss your birth experience.
Your doula experienced your birth with you and can help you to understand the events that happened and promote discussion where needed to help you feel confident and happy. Some doulas will even document your birth through her eyes.
I hope this has helped you to understand what it is that we really do. However, please remember that every doula provides a different service and we all range in experience.