Slowly the word doula is becoming a household word. Unfortunately, the understanding of what doula care really is, is still misunderstood. Many assume birth doulas only support unmedicated, out of hospital births; and postpartum doulas only help with breastfeeding difficulties or support moms with postpartum depression. While doulas do support families in those circumstances, we also do so much! Continue reading
There is a common misconception that all doulas and independent childbirth educators support only natural birth, midwives, breastfeeding, home births, etc. While I am sure there are doulas and educators that only support those things, I am also sure they are often the exception and not the rule. As a doula and educator I support knowing your options, making informed decisions and most importantly following your intuition. In my training and education I was taught to support women and their families throughout their maternity journey, not to judge or make decisions for them. Continue reading
As postpartum doulas grow in popularity, the confusion about what exactly they do seems to grow as well. Some staffing agencies and childcare websites have begun using baby nurse, nanny and doula interchangeably which further adds to the confusion. The biggest difference between a doula and a baby nurse (or nanny) is that a nurse does for while a doula does to show how. Continue reading
Years ago I was a first time expectant mom and while I was excited, I did not realize just how big birth is. Birth is not just a moment, it is the beginning of a new chapter and a new life.
Every pregnancy and every birth shape us in some way. I chose a care provider and thought that was the only big pregnancy decision I needed to make.
Fortunately, I made a good choice in providers and she recommended I take a Maternal Wellness Center (MWC) childbirth preparation class. During that class I learned more than just the stages of labor.
This is what I learned: Continue reading
I think it is safe to say we have all been asked, “What do you do?” My answer is almost always met with confusion. Many have never even heard of the word doula or they think it is synonymous with a midwife. Add in the “postpartum” and even more confusion is added to the mix. Continue reading
Pregnancy, birth and the postpartum period are times of adjustment for all. Doulas come alongside dad and other support people to care for mom, but also to care for the entire family unit. A doula does not take the place of partner or dad, his role is unique and important. Occasionally I hear the misconception that doulas are for moms that do not have partner support or that doulas interfere with the partner’s role. There are MANY benefits for having a doula when a partner is unavailable and I’m sure there are some doulas that have interfered, but the role of the doula is not meant to and should not replace the dad’s role. It is so important these misconceptions disappear that many doulas devote entire webpages and articles to addressing dads. Here are a few examples Continue reading
Birth is an instinctual process, but there are still many benefits to childbirth education. It is not uncommon for many women to never witness childbirth until it is time for their own labor and the unknown can create fear and anxiety for some. For others the unknown can create unrealistic expectations which can lead to disappointment about their birth experience. Here are ten advantages to childbirth education: Continue reading