Sunday, October 3, 2010
I am a trained doula. A very newly trained doula. But I am excited, available, and ready to work. In time I will be posting a resume of sorts with more of my qualifications and information. My main goal with this blog is to just get information out there, but if you think you might be interested in the services of a doula -- whether that doula be me or someone else -- please contact me at:
So, if you are like 80% of America out there (including me till fairly recently), you are wondering what a doula is. To gain a sense of the word's history, it is an ancient Greek word meaning "woman caregiver". It is a modern take on an ancient practice. Today's doulas are there to provide emotional and physical support, as well as information during your labor.
But let me start at the beginning, so you have a general idea of what you can expect if you decide to look into this. We begin with an interview. In that interview we get to know one another, and decide if there is a connection for you and your partner. This connection is very important, given the nature of the role she will be playing. If it does not feel like a good fit, there will be other doulas she can refer you to. If you decide to continue on, you will make payment arrangements and schedule two prenatal interviews.
The first interview will consist largely of more discussion. A birth plan will be put together, a pain scale figured out, and expectations will be clarified. At the second visit, you will go over more hands-on techniques you and your partner can do to alleviate pain, focus, and ultimately empower yourself to be an active participant in your own birth.
Then the birth. You are welcome to call your doula whenever you think labor might start, and arrange for her to either meet you in the hospital or at home. She will remain with you, without leaving, until the baby is born. Her goal is to keep you focused and your partner involved to the degree that has been earlier set. Her place is not to come between you and your care provider. She does not handle anything clinical. Her concern is you. Depending on what you have earlier agreed on and what feels right to the mother in that moment, she can provide massage, positioning options, or simply picture taking, or constant presence. She is trained to be flexible.
After the baby is born she will remain with you for about two hours, and can help with breastfeeding. Once your new family is settled, she will leave.
Your business relationship will end with a postnatal visit, where you will process what went on at the birth.
And that my friends, is a doula. I cannot properly express the passion that I have for this role. I will simply say that it makes sense mentally, physically, and spiritually.