There are a few different types of doulas out there so you are able to get support exactly when you need it.
Overall a doula is a Greek word meaning women’s servant. Women have been serving others in childbirth for many centuries and have proven that support from another woman has a positive impact on the labour process. But they are so much more…
Their purpose is to help you have a safe, memorable, and empowering birthing experience.
As a birth doula in Brisbane, I know most doula-client relationships begin a few months before the baby is due. During this period, they develop a relationship in which the mother feels free to ask questions, express concerns or fears, and take an active role in creating her birth plan.
Most doulas make themselves available to the mother by phone, text message or email in order to respond to her questions or address any concerns that might arise during the course of the pregnancy journey. Doulas do not provide any type of medical care however, they are knowledgeable in many medical aspects of labour and delivery.
Doulas can help their clients gain a better understanding of the procedures and possible complications in late pregnancy or delivery.
During birth, doulas are in constant and close proximity to the mother. They have the ability to provide comfort with pain-relief techniques including breathing techniques, relaxation techniques, massage, and labouring positions. Doulas also encourage participation from the partner and offer reassurance. Remember, they are your support person - they are there for you.
A doula acts as an advocate for you, encouraging and helping you fulfill specific desires you might have for your birth journey. The goal of a doula is to help the mother experience a positive and safe birth, whatever that means at the time.
After the birth, many labour doulas will spend time helping mothers begin the breastfeeding process and encouraging bonding between the new baby and other family members.
In addition to a birth or labour doula there are also antepartum and postpartum doulas.
These doulas provide support to a mother before the birth - examples are for those mums-to-be that are experiencing a high-risk pregnancy or have been put on bed rest. An antepartum doula can provide physical, practical, emotional and informational support during a time that can be emotionally draining, confusing and/or stressful.
An antepartum doula is also helpful if a mum-to-be has no family close by, no partner or a partner who is away often (such as FIFO workers).
These doulas provide support after the birth - for the first few weeks or even months. They can provide:
Informational support about feeding and caring for your baby.
Physical support such as cooking meals, cleaning or filling in when you need a break - to get some much needed sleep or even a blissful uninterrupted shower.
Emotional support by encouraging you when/if you feel overwhelmed.
Some doulas offer more than just one area and some will specialise. It’s best to chat to a few doulas to determine the type of doula services they offer, what experience they have, and how this aligns with the kind of support you desire for your pregnancy, birth and motherhood journey.
If you’d like to learn more just contact Trudy today.