It is World Doula Week! World Doula Week officially began on Sunday.
What is World Doula Week?!? “The purpose of World Doula Week (“WDW”) is to empower doulas all over the world to improve the physiological, social, emotional, and psychological health of women, newborns and families in birth and in the postpartum period.” – World Doula Week
I did not even know what a doula was when Monte was born in 2012. Since his birth, I have slowly learned what a doula is and why EVERY pregnant woman should have and deserves a doula during their birth. When I discovered I was pregnant with Amelia, I knew that this was a necessity for me. I knew I wanted to accomplish a completely different birth, then what I had with Monte. A doula is what helped me achieve those goals!
What does a doula do?
- A doula is your advocate when you are giving birth. A doula will make sure the birth you want is accomplished. If something does not go as plan, your doula will know what you are comfortable with and will always be their to speak for you. A doula will keep you informed at all times.
- A doula does not take the place of your partner. A doula will help your partner feel more confident during your birth and help guide your partner with things to do.
- A doula will help you feel comfortable. A doula will wipe your face, place a washcloth on your head, remind you to breathe, will know different massage techniques, and be knowledgable in different ways to sit, stand and move during labor.
- A doula will help postpartum also. A doula will help you become comfortable with skin-to-skin and breastfeeding.
There are several benefits to having a doula including:
- Reduces the incidences of c-section
- Lowers the amount of epidural and pain requests
- Can shorten the length of labor
- Increases successful breastfeeding
- Decreases the incidence of postpartum depression
There are several types of doulas and each may be certified in one area or multiple areas.
- Birth (Labor) Doula- This is the most common. The doula is available before and through out the labor and birthing process. They help with breathing, advocating for you, massaging, breastfeeding, and more.
- Antepartum Doula – Doulas assist with mothers who have been placed on bed rest or who are high-risk. They provide a lot of emotional support and listen. They have resources for great support groups and sometimes will help with light housework.
- Postpartum (Postnatal) Doula – A postpartum doula is another set of hands, after your birth, when you are adjusting to life with your baby. The provide light housework, cooking and cleaning. They also provide support and coach with breastfeeding, sleeping, calming, and much more.
I cannot wait to begin my journey as a Postpartum Doula in May. If you have not heard, a CAPPA Postpartum Doula Training is coming to Des Moines. If you have not signed up, do it soon! I am excited to support mothers and their families after birth.