The word “doula” comes from the ancient Greek meaning “a woman who serves” and is now used to refer to a trained and experienced professional who provides continuous physical, emotional and informational support to the mother before, during and just after a birth.
Women have complex needs during childbirth and the weeks that follow. In addition to medical care and the love and companionship provided by their partners, women need consistent, continuous reassurance, comfort, encouragement and respect. They need individualized care based on their circumstances and preferences.
DOULAS by the BAY doulas are educated and experienced in childbirth and the postpartum period. We are prepared to provide physical (non-medical), emotional and informational support to women and their partners during labor and birth, as well as to families in the weeks following childbirth. We offer a loving touch, positioning and comfort measures that make childbearing women and families feel nurtured and cared for.
A Birth Doula
Studies have shown that when doulas attend birth, labors are shorter with fewer complications, babies are healthier and they breastfeed more easily.
Birth doula role is to:
- Recognize birth as a key experience the mother will remember all her life
- Understand the physiology of birth and the emotional needs of a woman in labor
- Assist the woman in preparing for and carrying out her plans for birth
- Stay with the woman throughout the labor
- Provide emotional support, physical comfort measures and an objective viewpoint, as well as helping the woman get the information she needs to make informed decisions
- Facilitate communication between the laboring woman, her partner and her clinical care providers
- Perceive her role as nurturing and protecting the woman’s memory of the birth experience
- Allow the woman’s partner to participate at his/her comfort level
A Postpartum Doula
Postpartum doula assists families during the period immediately following the birth of the baby. She helps “mother the mother,” and nurture the entire family as they transition into life with a newborn. Research evidence shows that the quality services of a postpartum doula can ease the transition that comes with the addition of a baby to a family.
Postpartum doula role is to:
- Empower parents with necessary skills to care for their newborn
- Help screening for mood disorders on the mother or family as a whole
- Offer education, companionship and nonjudgmental support during the postpartum fourth trimester
- Assist with newborn care, family adjustment and meal preparation
- Help the mother to have a better start on breastfeeding
- Help dads and partners learn necessary skills to assist the mother on caring for the newborn
- Offer evidence-based information on infant feeding, emotional and physical recovery from birth, infant soothing and coping skills for new parents
- Makes appropriate referrals when necessary
For more information, contact us today!