In today's birthing world, doulas are all the rage. Although they've been around forever, mainstream medicine is finally catching up on the concept of having a doula by your side to support your body, mind and spirit throughout the entire birthing process, as well as afterward.
The word doula comes from an ancient Greek word that means, "Woman servant" or "caregiving." In modern times, a doula is someone who assists, coaches, supports, educates and nurtures a woman and her partner throughout the birthing process and afterwards. But many people don't really understand exactly what a doula's job is; I've had a few people ask me if doulas just do water births at home.
Not necessarily! Doulas can help you birth your baby at home, at birthing centers, in hospitals, with or without pain medication — even if you have a C-section, a doula can help wherever or however you choose to have your baby.
What do doulas do ?
1. They help prepare and educate both you and your partner for birth.
2. They help you create a unique birth plan that supports your wishes.
3. They stay with you nonstop, supporting you through the entire birth process.
4. They coach, guide and talk you through any emotional blocks or fears that might come up for you in birth.
5. They create a sacred, safe, protected and peaceful space with their energy, candles, aromatherapy and music.
6. They support you in your birth choices without judgment.
7. They provide encouragement and reassurance.
8. They help put you in birthing positions that are good for optimal fetal positioning
9. They give massages, visualizations, meditations, breath work, energy work, sounding and movement to help with pain management and comfort .
10. They advocate for the mother and her partner and can help facilitate better communication between the mother and her caregiver.
What doulas DON'T do: